Page images

an error is committed, or an injury done, there is no one responsible for the consequences;-abuse, or contempt, follows the failure—but abuse and contempt are poor substitutes for irreparable injury.

The lengthened existence of a cabinet, composed of men bred up in and influenced by opinions, become firm, because not to be moved by the opposition of the most popular eloquence that ever harangued within the walls of St. Stephen, cannot but be a fair, just, and impartial ground of national confidence in the King's cabinet. Perhaps, we shall place “ The State of the Nation” in a comprehensive and full light, by making a quotation from a pamphlet of no mean tact, which brings together all the miseries of a period not remoter than 1820; and which are enumerated as grounds of opposition to the principles and measures of the then administration.

The then administration was composed of the same Secretaries of State, with the exception of Mr. Canning, as now; and he, upon entering office, declared, that he found in his office a certain line of policy which had served as a guide to to his predecessor, and from which he intended not to depart; therefore, it may be said, that, in spirit, the administration of 1820' is the same as that of the present moment.

• MISERIES of 1821), as described by the writer alluded to.

ENGLAND in 1824, as noir situated.

* A cabinet divided against + The Catholic question is, itself upon almost all the grand by the consent of the cabinet, measures which the altered con- not treated as a cabinet meadition of society and of the em- sure, and each member of the pire demands.

privy council takes his own course. The lord chancellor has said in the house of lords, that the cabinet was never more unanimous. When Mr. Canning came into office, he followed the line of policy marked out for him by the minister, and which was not changed upon his becoming the secretary

for foreign affairs. A revenue not only unequal. A revenue which, after havto any sufficient provision for ing undergone considerable rethe vast obligations of the state, duction, by taking off half of but daily falling away, whilst the assessed and many other it presses with double severity minor taxes, shews an excess of on decreased production and de. receipt beyond expenditure of creased value.

six millions, seven hundred and ten thousand, nine hundred and eighty-four pounds, ten shillings and five-pence farthing; whilst production is rapidly increasing, accompanied by a steady demand which ensures profit; and even the agriculturists are

contented. The expedients of finance The malt and beer duties drawn from the demoralization materially lowered, and the of the people, and from the ill beer trade opened to competiunderstood suggestions of abler tion; and laws passed against opponents, and rendered ineffi- illicit distillation. The lottery cient by the mutilations of the abolished after the present tickfinancier himself.

ets are decided. A clear headed and efficient, and frank chancellor of the exchequer, in the

room of Lord Bexley. • This column read consecutively, will give the quotation as it follows in the original.

† This column serves a double purpose, as answering its opponent's charges, and as exhibiting the present improved state of the country.


New taxes proposed, yet ad- Many taxes repealed wholly, ding nothing to the old. some in part; and yet an in

crease of revenue arising from

extending consumption. Agriculture reduced to despe- Agriculture revived and saration.

tisfied, and enabled to borrow of the Bank of England at four

per cent. Commerce uncertain, per- Commerce never so flourishplesed, and paralized by con- ing, and inspirited by several tradictory laws.

important acts, which afford re. ciprocity of trade, and remove many restrictions from the na

vigation -acts. Manufactures exposed to fluc- Manufactures in unexampled tuations, the causes of which activity, expecting and awaithave neither been apprehended ing new markets; and consuls or understood by the govern sent out to the South American ment.

provinces to protect the mercan

tile interests. The funds bolstered up by Capital so abundant, that the want of more profitable em though many extensive foreign ployment for capital; yet still loans have been raised in the stultifying by their fall or stag- market-many of the funds are nation, the predictions of the at par-consols at the moment minister of finance.

of writing 91%. The 5 per cents reduced to 4, and the 4 expected to be reduced to 3}, and all the predictions of a

rise fulfilled. The cost of maintaining the The poor reduced on an ave. poor, even in a time of cheap rage throughout the kingdom, subsistence, raised to an amount about 40 per cent.- labour in unparalleled in the annals of demand-ihe lower classes of the world, though private bene- the community, the sinews of volence was never so universal the state, in a most happy and or so active.

moral state, rejecting all the poison of blasphemy and sedition, and encouraging numerous publications of an useful, valua

ble, and instructive tendency. The public mind alarmed The public mind tranquil and exasperated by the display and confiding-an increase of of naked power, and by the the army for distant purposes, array of faction.

agreed to even by the most prejudiced opponents of a standing forcenot a faction throughout the empire.

The two orders of the people, The higher classes never so (for the middle class is almost actuated by benevoleat moextinct) steeped in luxury, ortives towards their humble sunk in poverty and privation. countrymen—the middle classes

emerging from temporary distress into activity and affluence, and neither poverty or privation is known, but as the

punishments of crime. These are facts notorious to The facts now replied to, all men, and not denied by the did certainly to a great degree friends of ministers themselves. exist at the time, and were not

denied; but the tone throughout assumed by the writer of 1820, is rather high coloured -to admit this, is to allow some little deduction of contrast in

our reply. Who then shall say that Many of the causes of the these results can proceed from distress of 1820, were beyond any other cause, than the want the controul of man. Canute of a directing wisdom and vir could not stop the flowing of tue ?

the tide. Man cannot command victory; and in a higber hand than that of mortals are the destinies of nations. Ministers never despaired; and without assuming to themselves the mantle of the prophet, argued from acknowledged principles, that when the world had had time to recover from the convulsion it had undergone, the blessings of peace would be

realized. The writer concludes with Common-Sense concludes, by this remark :

desiring the application to be “ By their fruit (saith the made. Scripture) shall ve know them.”

Apply this rule to the ministers and their friends.

Far be it from us to seek to disturb the general satisfaction that now pervades the frame of so

ciety. It cannot but be evident, from the preceding contrast, that great fluctuations have taken place, of sudden, decisive, and overpowering consequences. Steadiness will depend much upon the tone of our foreign policy; much in an attitude of preparation, and of unwillingness of interference; much in the turn, and character, and object of any future war.

Having now inquired into the branches of the Constitution, and of the Administration; and sup-. plied ample materials in a snug compass, to enable our readers to come to a clear estimate of the real state of the nation: we proceed now to more minute, but not less interesting subjects; and leaving all quiet at home, look abroad to see what can there affect us.


Charles the Second remained inactive whilst the French overrun Holland with impunity; but with this exception, England has always engaged in any continental wars, whether by subsidies or by the actual co-operation of arms, upon one defined and distinct principle, namely, “ The defence of the weaker against the stronger party.” This has been, and still continues to be, her policy; and there can be no doubt, that had she been compelled to engage in the late contest between

« PreviousContinue »