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THE world need not be informed that the elections are now over-and an immense majority of what are termed the Whig party returned to the reformed House of Commons. Never had an English administration a stronger body of supporters in the Representative Assembly. Never, therefore, to the eye of the superficial did an English administration appear more powerful. But, examined a little closer, we shall find that what seems the cause of their strength is not unlikely to be the cause of their disunion. An overwhelming preponderance of members are returned, engaged to the most popular opinions, and the consideration of the most popular opinions is at once forced upon the government. The ministers run every hazard of losing the majority they have obtained unless they consent to embrace the policy to which that majority are pledged. The consequence of this is an immediate discussion among the members of the Cabinet how far to resist the movement, or how far to advance with it. Had the proportion of reforming members been less great, it is obvious that there might have been less disagreement among the ministers; for the more liberal would have said to the more con

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servative-"With this House of Commons we cannot carry popular measures to the extent we wish, and we are contented, therefore, with approaching to the boundary that you would appoint." "The conservative policy would have been embraced, and the very necessity of securing a dubious majority would have made the Cabinet unanimous. But the amazing strength of the liberal party, and the lengths to which they have carried their professions to their constituents, give one part of the Cabinet the courage to advance, as it strikes into the other moiety of the Cabinet the fear of proceeding. One says " "We have now the power to forward the work of good government." The other says "Things are gone too far, now is the time to resist continued innovation;" with one it is the very moment to advance-with the other to stand still. This, we have cause to believe, is the real state of feeling amongst the ministers, (although, perhaps, it is more easy to point out the conservative than the progressing portion,) and thus, as we commenced by saying, their seeming strength is the cause of their probable disunion. We will not take the question of the ballot as an example; we fancy (despite of mere popular rumours) that we shall find all the ministers agreed to resist that measure. So far there is little fear of a schism; too much importance has been attached to some equivocal expressions of Lord John Russell, and of a few immediate partizans of the ministry. The threat—" If men are to be intimidated from giving their votes, then, much as we dislike it, we must have the ballot," ought to be regarded merely as an electioneering manœuvre. It simply means—" If we are not returned to parliament, we will punish you with a new infliction of popular rights;" and, being safely returned, the excuse for dispensing with the ballot will be-"The bill has worked well. Let us wait." Or, in other words, "we are now in a majority, what signifies further alteration?" In truth, it is impossible to disguise from ourselves the fact, that when ministers have spoken of the ballot, it has not been as a boon to the people, but as a punishment to the Tories. A man of ordinary discernment may perceive, therefore, that the "animis ce

VOL. 11.-22

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lestibus iræ" are not likely to be kindled by any extraordinary fervour for securing the ballot, and that the intimidation which has not prevented the return of my Lord John Russell for Devonshire, will not be considered sufficiently strong to warrant "so dangerous an innovation in our constitutional customs."

But there is a question that cannot be blinked or delayed the question of Church Reform; and the degree and nature of that reform can scarcely be a matter of easy arrangement with the ministers. From the line of conduct Mr. Stanley has adopted-from the unbending haughtiness of his character-and from engagements to the High-church party, stronger perhaps than those of any other English member of the House of Commons, (save, it may be, Sir Robert Inglis,) it is difficult to imagine that he will readily subscribe to the pecuniary emancipation of dissenters and the diminished " dignity" of the hierarchical salaries. The most obvious and the most imperiously demanded of all the ecclesiastical reforms (the adjustment of tithes only excepted) is, that the treasuries of the Established Church should only be supported by its members. No reform short of this will satisfy that vast and intrepid body of men, the Dissenters of England, who, by siding with the people on political, have won their confidence on ecclesiastical matters-so that not to satisfy the Dissenters will, we suspect, be not to satisfy the people. But this species of reform, however just and moderate, cannot possibly be agreed to by "Mr. Stanley:-the man who is pledged to support the enormities of the Church of Ireland, cannot shrink from advocating the petty grievances of the Church Establishment of England. He who thinks that the Catholic majority should pay the Protestant few in one country may be forgiven for asserting that the Dissenting minority should enrich the preponderating division of the Legitimate Establishment in the other. We can conceive no reform which Lord Brougham would propose from which it is not likely that Mr. Stanley would dissent.*


* Yet the Tories have affected to consider the opinions of Lord Brougham as more congenial with the sentiments of Mr. Stanley than those of any other member in the Cabinet. It is easy to see through their design in this representation.


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latter gentleman stands, indeed, in a peculiar position; he is equally dangerous as an enemy and a friend-an admirable speaker, he is a bungling statesman; with great talents, he has no judgment; no man debates better or legislates worse; clear, shrewd and penetrating in the House of Commons, he is blinder than a mole in the Cabinet of St. James' or the councils of the Castle at Dublin. He detects every fallacy in an adversary-he embraces every blunder in a law-nothing can be happier than his replies or more infelicitous than his motions-he hastens to commence, and never calculates how he is to proceed-his bills are brought into the House with a vast flourish of trumpets, they vanish in all the skulking obscurity of defeat-he compromises the ministerial wisdom by rushing into a motion, and the ministerial dignity by as suddenly forsaking it. Yet this perilous friend would be a terrible foe: he is the only man on the ministerial benches capable of replying to Peel. To take his counsels from the ministry would be an incalculable blessing-to transfer his voice to the opposition would be an irreparable misfortune.

With this embarrassing ally, popular questions become doubly difficult to the government, and we are sure that there must arise many subjects for consideration on which the opinions of Mr. Stanley will be in the one scale and the expectations of the English people in the other—the fear of the hostility of the one, the evils of disappointing the other!

And here a new view of the political field forces itself upon us. It may be recollected that, in opposition to the generality of our contemporaries, we insisted that the necessity of a creation of Peers, so far from being removed by the passing of the reform bill, would become. doubly imperious by that event. We said, "If the Upper Chamber cannot agree with this present House of Commons, how can you hope that it will agree with the next? Are you afraid of a collision now?-be doubly afraid of a collision then; at present there is one only ground of dispute-with your first Reformed Parliament there will be a hundred grounds. Take now, therefore,

the opportunity when the apparent urgency of the case excuses all extraordinary measures; pour into the Upper House that necessary infusion of popular principles | which will bring it into sympathy with the Lower;make your Peers apparently for the passing of one great national measure and the escape from a probable revolution; but in reality, also, not for the temporary occasion, but for permanent ends;-not for the punishment of the Lords because they have resisted the people, but for their real safety because they should harmonize with the people."

Our reader will perceive that we are right; the necessity for a creation of Peers remains unaltered. Consider the Church Reform, the Taxes on Knowledge, the Abolition of Slavery, nay, the minor points of the opening the East India Monopoly, and repealing the Bank Charter. Is it likely that, on these questions, the Tory majority of the Peers will yield to the liberal majority of the Commons? It would be madness to expect that England should once more witness the extraordinary spectacle of a monarch beseeching the majority of his hereditary counsellors-to walk, amidst the hootings of a derisive people, out of their own legislative assembly, and the haughty successors (not, alas! descendants!) of the Norman dictators of the third Henry, preferring the prayer of their Royal Master to what they solemnly asserted they believed the dictates of their conscience, the safety of the constitution, and the prosperity of the country; that humiliating spectacle cannot again occur, the disgrace of it was too foul, and the ludibrium too galling. As vain would it be to expect that the Peers, aware of the danger of being triumphant, would silently submit to perpetual defeats, would relinquish their immense majority over the ministers they hate with all the bitterness of a hostile party, and all the vengeance of an insulted order and that the prudence, which never yet controlled a powerful body, will make them vote against the bias of their opinions and against the urging of their passions. A corporate body is not like one man-it is not equally open to the view of its own interests; the

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