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collective Ministry had framed a appear, thinks otherwise, or affects policy, beyond the very obvious to think so, for reasons which are one of living from hand to inouth, tolerably intelligible. Though blessand depending for their existence ed with the enjoyment of a vigorupon the sufferance and modera- ous old age, and with faculties still tion of their opponents, Mr Glad- wonderfully unimpaired, Lord Palstone is the very last man whom merston cannot be expected to last they would have selected as their for ever; and failing him, there mouthpiece. He is emphatically will be a bitter contest for the the bête noire of the Cabinet, feared leadership of the party. That has and disliked by his colleagues, from been long foreseen. Earl Russell, his restless and exorbitant ambi- beyond all question, expects to retion, his inveterate obstinacy, and gain once more his old pre-emihis more than arrogant pretensions; nence; but neither Whigs nor and, but for his great oratorical at Radicals would accede to any such tainments, which in this country arrangement; for his incompeare perhaps rated at more than tency as a minister, always sustheir real value, and the command pected, is now established beyond which he has thereby acquired of a doubt. Lords Clarendon and the public ear, they would very Granville may each have claims willingly be rid of a man who, with which the Whigs would willingly all his brilliancy, is leading them recognise ; but the nomination of perpetually into scrapes. But the either would be the signal for a truth is, that the Ministry are at general secession of the Radicals. their wits' end for a policy which Beyond them there are none worth can be fabricated into a watchword, naming—with the one exception of and used as a rallying-cry at the Mr Gladstone, who regards himself coming election. The one point as the coming man, and is so rethat they might have taken up was garded, we are bound to admit, the lowering or degradation of the by no inconsiderable section of the suffrage ; but to that Lord Palmer- community ston, their sagacious chief, was most The singular versatility of the decidedly opposed, and the utter right honourable gentleman, which absence among the people of any has conducted him from extreme thing like excitement on the sub- Toryism to the verge of profound ject, coupled with the notorious ob- democracy, has made him an imjection of the aristocratic Whigs to mense favourite with the Radicals, such a measure, rendered such a who believe that nothing will check step unadvisable. The debate in him, and that, after having revoluthe House of Commons upon the tionised, so far as possible, the State, bill introduced by Mr Baines for he will next turn his attention to establishing a six-pound franchise, the Church, and aid in the assault proved beyond a doubt that no fur- which they hope to make upon that ther impetus could be given to the venerable fabric. Nor are such excourse of democratic movement. pectations altogether unwarrantThe speeches of Lord Elcho, Mr ed; for Mr Gladstone has already Lowe, Mr Black, and Mr Horsman- used language in regard to the all of them usual supporters of the Established Church in Ireland, Ministry-showed how strong and which is ominous of future operageneral is the feeling among edu- tions, and wbich has excited most cated men against further tamper- unpleasant doubts in the minds of ing with the constitution ; and we many, who, notwithstanding his may fairly conclude that it is not erratic behaviour in matters purely now in the power of any dema- secular, had placed entire confidence gogue to conjure with such a spell. in his integrity as an ecclesiastical
Mr Gladstone, however, it would champion and defender. Besides, to the Radical party, the acquisition tence as a specimen of mixed paneof such a man as Mr Gladstone gyric and hyperbole : “And what would be of the utmost importance. is Lord Russell ? Who will write They have already among them the history of this country for this selves some men of undoubted generation without giving in that talent, rough and ready orators, history to Lord Russell one of the who can address a mob with great proudest places? It is the praceffect, and even command an atten- tice, gentlemen, and the just practive hearing in the House of Com- tice, to decorate the breasts of our mons; but not one possesses the soldiery with medals and with qualifications required for a party clasps for the gallant actions in leader, or has sufficient personal which they may have fought; and influence to command a general if it were the practice, likewise, to support. We cannot imagine, un- decorate the breasts of statesmen der any circumstances short of with medals and clasps for the good an absolute revolution, John laws they have passed, and for the Bright maintaining himself as benefits they have conferred upon Premier of Queen Victoria's min- the country, why, the breast of Lord istry. The intelligence of the John Russell would be nothing but country would revolt instinctively one mass of clasps and medals !” against such a profanation. But Pretty well this for a gentlemen substitute Mr Gladstone for Mr who, for the greater portion of his Bright, and the incongruity dis- political life, almost invariably gave appears. Such an event appears his vote against the measures proimprobable, but it does not strike posed by this monopolist of the us as preposterous; and where clasps and medals ! even possibility exists, an ambitious The fact seems to be, that Mr man may readily be prompted to Gladstone thinks that Earl Russell, the attempt. We have no idea that whose discontent with his old Mr Gladstone will secede from the friends is notorious, may be of Whig connection until that is ir- future use to him. Hence this exretrievably broken up. He is fond traordinary burst of enthusiasm in of power, and fonder of office; and, favour of the most incompetent despite the jealousies and dislikes Foreign Minister that ever bungled of his colleagues, will remain by the a despatch. But we have some ship till it is on the point of foun- doubt whether the bait, however dering. In the mean time, however, dexterously thrown, will be seized. with admirable forethought, he is Earl Russell is now advanced in contriving the formation of a raft. years—has professed himself to be,
One thing is remarkable in his like Chrononhotonthologos, Chester speech, and that is the
“Fatigued with the tremendous toils caution with which he separates
of war "his own views from those of his colleagues. He dwells with much and, less personally ambitious than gusto, and not a little self-glorifica- Mr Gladstone, may be content to tion, upon what has been done- look on, and see his youthful enertaking care however not to chronicle gies revived in the person of the omissions, or to notice any instances aspiring Amberley. Mr Gladstone of failure. He bestows a modified may have to fight his own battle praise upon Lord Palmerston, whom without a single historical ally. He heonce vehemently denounced as the has indicated, very clearly, that he most dangerous of Ministers; and he intends to take his stand upon exis perfectly enthusiastic upon Earl tension of the suffrage—not opposRussell, who was once the object of ing Mr Disraeli's scheme for widenhis particular dislike. It is worth ing it laterally, and thereby giving while reprinting the following sen- a new infusion of intelligence and education to the constituencies— heal differences and controversy, but also lowering the qualification to extend the franchise, to mitiso extensively as to admit of the gate penal laws, to improve and introduction of the masses. “There enlarge education, to make justice should," said he," also be given to acceptable and the law respected, the country at large an extension and to remove every occasion of downwards, the effect of which collision and conflict between would be that, in the borough con- classes "), it may appear to some stituencies in general, the working that further organic changes are classes would exist as a sensible not only unnecessary but unwise. fraction or portion of the constitu- Cicero has observed, with no less ency, and that their voices would truth than brevity,“ Semper in be more freely and surely heard republicâ tenendum est, ne pluriin the House of Parliament." Con- mum valeant plurimi ;” but Mr sidering the boast of Mr Gladstone, Gladstone doubtless esteems himthat recent legislation has left no- self as a wiser person than Cicero ; thing whatever to be desired in the and for our part, if such be his way of real improvement (for he opinion, we have no interest to says, “Parliament has striven to disturb it.
THE PAST AND COMING PARLIAMENTS.
It is well understood that before consecrated buildings and burialwe again meet our readers the pre- grounds which belong to the Estabsent Parliament will have ceased lished Church. Because of these to be. It has enjoyed a longer things, done in defiance of the arguterm of active existence than any ments, threats, and remonstrances other within living memory; and of Mr Gladstone-the chosen of though we by no means profess to Oxford-the most zealous Tory be satisfied with much that it has cannot but forgive much to the done, we cannot see it pass into moribund Parliament, and especithe land where all things are for ally to that portion of it, the House gotten, without some feeling of re- of Commons, which is assumed, gret. Upon the whole, it has been as we think very unfairly, alone the most Conservative Parliament to represent the political opinions which has legislated for this coun- of the masses.* Nor is the retrotry since 1842. Like the Parliament spect of its manner of dealing with of that date, it has indeed been the question of parliamentary redragged more than once through form less curious upon the whole, a good deal of dirt. Against the or less satisfactory. After rejectbetter convictions of a majority of ing Mr Disraeli's bill, and compellits members, it consented too much ing him and his colleagues to reto the vagaries of the Chancellor of tire, it dealt so cavalierly with the the Exchequer, and, rather than Whig proposal that Lord Palmerforce Lord Palmerston to resign, ston's Administration was glad to sacrificed industries which it would withdraw its measure ; and now, at have willingly maintained. But the eleventh hour, the same Parliaif it wrought mischief to some of ment has pronounced, by a majority our material interests, in the ruin of of seventy-four in a full House, the paper, silk, and ribbon trades, that the qualification for voting for it declined to go beyond certain members of Parliament in boroughs limits in sapping the foundations shall not be lowered to the occuof the great institutions of the pancy of a six-pound tenement. country. It refused, at the bidding This is good in itself, but it is of the Liberation Society, to abro- better still when we consider of gate unconditionally the law of what material both the minority and church-rates. Admitting Dissent majority were made up. In the ers to the benefits of a university minority we find the names of all the education, it would not admit them Cabinet Ministers; of all, that is to to a share in the government of say, who were present to take part in these bodies. It excluded them the discussion, and, with the single also from using as their own the exception, we believe, of the Attor
• Since these sentences went to press, Mr Goschen's bill for the admission of Dissenters to the degree of M. A. in the Universities has passed the second read. ing. We are not disposed on that account to cancel one word of what is written. Mr Goschen's momentary success is to be attributed partly to the absence of many members who would have voted against him, partly to the feeling that the power of the House to do good or to do evil is gone. The most memorable feature in the debate was, to be sure, Mr Gladstone's sudden conversion from the opinions which he held and expressed last year. But the cause for this is too transparent to escape notice. The general election is at hand ; and it would not suit the book of a candidate for the honour of representing the University of Oxford to speak and vote at this time against the Established Church! Eheu quam mutatus ab illo !
ney-General, of every other member commanded a larger measure of who is not in the Cabinet. The support than was given to him six majority shows a list comprising weeks ago. Had he introduced his not only the whole strength of the bill two years ago, the chances are Conservative party, but the pames that he would have carried the of about thirty gentlemen on whom second reading by a small majority. the Government were accustomed, This year, the House, recognising up to the commencement of the how the pulse of the constituency discussion, to reckon as among the beats, has rejected his proposition stanchest and most influential of by a majority larger in point of their supporters. This fact alone, numbers—in the weight attaching if it stood alone, would remove the to the names which compose it, late reform debate out of the cate- more important by far—than has gory of common political incidents; accepted or rejected any other measbut it does not stand alone. The ure since the present Parliament speakers against Mr Baines's mo- entered upon the discharge of its tion spoke almost exclusively from legislative functions. Now we canthe ministerial benches. Lord Elcho, not but regard this fact as vouchMr Horsman, and the Right Hon. ing in no small degree for the Robert Lowe, among others, de return of the public mind out of nounced the scheme with a force doors to habits of more sober of argument which defied confuta- thought ; and we are very certain tion. Indeed, Mr Lowe's speech that when the public mind begins was worthy of the best days of par- to listen to the suggestions of comliamentary eloquence: it carried mon sense, it will soon subside into conviction to the minds of all who loyalty and contentment with the listened to it.
constitution as by law established We cannot look back upon all in Church and State. this, observing as we do the steady Nor are we seriously disturbed advance of Conservative feeling in in this conviction by observing the Parliament year by year as it the amount of success which has grew older, without deriving from attended Mr Monsell's endeavour the retrospect ground of good hope to reopen the settlement of 1829. in reference to the future. Members, With that settlement we never prewhen they first take their seats in tended to be satisfied ; and we shall a new Parliament, are not unapt, certainly not begin to make a profesunder the persuasion that they are sion of satisfaction with it now, safe, to play fast and loose with Indeed, the marvel is how statespledges uttered or implied, and to men of the calibre of those who treat their constituents a little de proposed and effected the settlehaut en bas. But as year after year ment, could pretend themselves to steals on they become more guarded be satisfied with their own handiin what they do and say; and at last, work, or assume that, by imposing with a dissolution inevitable before a particular oath on emancipated them, they take care, if it be their Roman Catholics, they had provided purpose to stand again, that both adequate securities for the maintentheir votes and speeches shall be ance of the Protestant institutions such as their constituents are likely of the country. Oaths, frame them to approve. Now it has been ex- as you will, are binding only upon actly as the Parliament grew older, men of honour, and men of honour and especially as it approached the need no oaths to keep them to term of its natural life, that the engagements into which they may Conservatism latent all along in its have entered. And political oaths composition came to light. Had are, above all others, the most worthMr Baines brought forward his less. They never have prevented, measure last year, he would have and they never will prevent, revo