Page images
PDF
EPUB

to the overweening influence of your religion, in this Protestant country.

Cross. Fear, sir! no,--there is no great fear of that, while we have such men in Parliament as yourself. Why, 5 Sir, let me ask you, why should you so readily accede to

a proposition for benefiting Catholics in Ireland, and make no exertion to secure us similar advantages in England ? We are all on equal ground now, sir,--we are emanci.

pated ; that is to say, we have our common rights; and I 10 am just as eligible to sit in Parliament, as you, sir.

Why, then, is Ireland to be favored at our expense ? I say, sir, it is your duty to advocate our cause, as well as that of the Irish Catholics; and you must, if you expect

any support from me, either vote against that clause, or 15 originate some motion to extend the same advantages to England.

Sitt. Time alone is wanting. Rome was not built in a day; nor can her church be established in an hour :

everything must be done by degrees.
20 Mist. Oh! then, it is gradually to be effected.

Sitt. I did not say that.
Cross. Did n't you mean it, sir?
Sitt. Why, really

Cross. This will not do ; I must have a specific answer 25 before I go. [Enter Clerk.] Clerk. Sir, I was not aware that you

had

company: Mr. Mist, how d' ye do? Mr. Cross, your servant; I won't detain you five minutes ;-can I speak to you

alone ? 30 Sitt. I dare say, you may speak before your

friends. Clerk. Well, sir, I shall be very short. I hear you have made a speech in favor of a general registration of wills in London. Is that the case, sir ? Sitt. Why, I certainly did support that measure.

It 35 was represented to me as an advisable thing, -and

Clerk. “Advisable," is it! What, sir, to deprive hundreds of honest professional men of their livelihood, to gorge the already bloated London practitioners ? Sir, it

is nonsense,-madness,—folly, 40 Sitt. It did not strike me to be so: I must be the best

judge of what I have myself examined and inquired into. There appears to be a vast deal of difficulty and intricacy in the present system, and no small proportion of chicanery and extortion; and I really cannot submit to

Clerk. Submit, sir, what do you mean by submitting ? I sent you to Parliament to represent me.--I tell you that the new Registration Bill is a most shameful bill, and

will rob me of four hundred and eighty pounds per 5 annum; what have you, sir, to set against that? I insist upon

it
you

do not vote for that bill.
Sitt. But I have pledged myself in a speech.

Clerk. Then, sir, I wish you would not speak so much, like the parrot,-you might perhaps think the more; or, 10 like our last excellent representative, who never spoke at

all, think as much as he did. You must not vote for it, sir,—that's all. [Enter Dobbins.]

Sitt. Mr. Dobbins, your servant.

Dobbins. Yours, sir, ah! some friends and neighbors ; 15 perhaps we are here on the same errand.

Sitt. These gentlemen are come to complain of me.

Dobb. Then, sir, we are all agreed ; and as we are all of the same party, and the same club, I have no scruple

in speaking out at once, for I am in a hurry,—we military 20 men are punctual, and I have another appointment. In

fact, Mr. Sittingbourn, I perceive that you voted for the reduction of the army.

Sitt. I did, sir, and conscientiously too: I think our military force is too considerable for the peaceable times 25 in which we live.

Dobb. That's all very fine, Mr. Sittingbourn; and no man in the kingdom is more anxious for reduction in the public expenditure than myself; but of all the things to

touch, the army, sir, is the last. I have been for many 30 years on half-pay.--I have no chance of getting upon full

pay, if the least reduction takes place-if things remain as they are, it is possible ; but the idea of blighting the prospects of a man who so strenuously supported you

Sitt. Sir, I was speaking on a great national question, 35 - I spoke in generals :

Dobb. Yes, sir, and forgot the lieutenants ; but that won't do.

Sitt. All I know, is, that amongst the most vehement advocates for reduction-amongst the most ardent de40 nouncers of extravagant expenditure,-you were the foremost, and I

Dobb. That's all very right, sir : I feel that I am an oppressed man. I have had beardless boys put over my

you so.

head :- the system is a corrupt one, and a base one ;-but reduction, sir-I-[Enter Cowl.]

Mr. Cowl. So, sir, you voted against the repeal of the malt-tax,—that's a pretty go :—how came that about ? 5 Sitt. Why, sir, as you ask me so plainly, I will answer

as candidly. I went determined to oppose the tax, and support the repeal ; but after hearing Sir Robert Peel's explanation, I confess I could not, in justice and honor, do

otherwise than vote for its continuation. 10 Cowl. That's a pretty go: you are a nice man to send

to the House of Commons, with your Peel and your repeal ; all I can say is, that you ought to be ashamed of yourself, sir; and I am worth fifty thousand pounds, and

neither ashamed nor afraid to tell 15 Sitt. I cannot see why I should be ashamed of acting conscientiously.

Cowl. Did n't you pledge yourself to vote against it?
Sitt. I did, but I was convinced by argument.

Cowl. Argument !-fiddledeedee for argument: I did n't 20 give you my vote, sir, to be argued out of your promise.

Sitt. I saw no injury done to the people by the tax, 1 saw

Cowi. “ Saw!” I don't care what you saw. Who cares for the people? I have heard you say it would not have 25 made a penny a pot difference in beer to the people, as

you call them; but it would have made more than five oi six shillings in the bushel to me; and who are the people, I should like to know, if it is not the maltsters ? [Enter

Lock.] 30 Sitt. Mr. Lock, are you here too,-and to complain ?

Lock. Indeed I am, sir,-here, sir, here is your name, voting in a majority for the Ratiledumslap Railroad; the success of which will just rob me of four thousand six

hundred a year,--supersedes the whole line of the Tow35 twaddle canal, of which I hold, at this moment, two-thirds of the shares. [Enter Jarvis.]

Mr. Jarvis. That is nothing to me, Mr. Lock,—nothing, sir, nothing.

Lock. How so, Mr. Jarvis ? 40 Jardis. Why, sir, you are a rich man, I am a poor

one :-your kinal did us a precious sight of harm of itself; and that ought never to have been suffered ; but as you say, the rail-road, which will take passengers as well as luggage, will be the ruin on me. Yes, Mr. Sittingbourn

if that Rattledumslap Bill is passed, no vote of mine do you ever have again. I'a horsed that road, now nigh upon thirty years, I bore up against the kinal, but for

the railroad 5 Sitt. I give you my word, I was not aware that the

railroad would interfere with your interests; or, to tell you the truth, that it would come near your line. It struck me as a great national work, worthy of support.

Lock. “National work!” It is mighty agreeable to 10 hear you putting what you call a national work in compe

tition with my Tow-twaddle Canal.

Jarvis. Yes, or the Eclipse, Wonder, and Rocket, all of which call me master.

Mist. I take higher grounds of objection to Mr. Sitting15 bourn.

Cross. And I, higher still,—the oppression of a vast body of Englishmen.

Mist. The danger of a large connexion of exemplary Christians. 20

Cowl. Sir, I have just six questions to put to you: Sitt. Sir, I cannot allow any questions to be put here; this is neither the House of Commons nor the hustings ; and as I have other things to do besides listening to the

separate grievances of a whole constituency, I shall wish 25 you a very good morning, leaving my breakfast parlor

entirely at your service to discuss your own business, which is none of mine ; and I only beg leave to tell you that whatever your opinion of the relative obligations of a

representative to his constituents may be, I, for one, con30 scious of doing my duty to you and to my country, to the

best of my ability, will neither hold the office of a slave,
nor endure the character of a delegate.
very good morning; and when next we meet in the
Town Hall, I shall be happy to hear what you may have

I wish you a

35 to say

LESSON CXLIII.-A REPUBLICAN SCHOOL-ROOM.-A. B. MUZZEY.

The success of all human enterprises depends much on the importance attached to them, the dignity they assume in our view, and the associations which circle round them.

The orators of immortal renown, in ancient times, were 5 accustomed to invest the themes they discussed, with a

peculiar greatness, and to throw a halo of glory around the occasion that had convened their audience. But there is one assembiy, unknown to their days, and compared with which their proudest conventions fade, as the morn

ing star before coming day. It is in the school-room in a 5 republic, the place where, in a land favored like our own,

the children of the rich and the poor, of the obscure and the honored, are seated side by side. This spectacle was reserved for a modern age ; and if, of old, the thought of

that influence, which an eloquent voice may exert over an 10 audience of mature minds, fixed habits, and established

principles, was so inspiring, what is not the legitimate effect of contemplating a collection of immortal beings, brought together for the culture of their noblest powers, at

the earliest, and, therefore, the most decisive period of 15 their lives?

When I think of the office of one, set for a teacher of those beings, it rises in my mind to a rank which might seem, even to those thus occupied, to be unduly magni

fied, did I state my own feelings in relation to it. Many 20 look down for the Teacher; they think his work one

which almost any individual can perform, and to which neither honor, nor high compensation, rightfully belong. I look up for the teacher, far above gross and perishing

interests, up to the clear sky of spirit, intelligence, and 25 character; and of him, who is charged with these sacred

concerns, and who is faithful to this great vocation, I can never think otherwise than with reverence.

LESSON

CXLIV.-THE

H.

ENGLISH SKYLARK.SAMUEL
STEARNS.

[Extract from a letter of a young American to his brother.]

London, July 12, 1836. My Dear Brother - I rose early to enjoy the hallowed hour of devotion. It was my first Sabbath in a foreign land; and a delightful morning it was. The sky was

clear, and the air was fresh and balmy. I walked beyond 5 the closely built houses of the town, now closed in silence

on their slumbering inhabitants, to spend those halcyon moments among cottages and gardens, fields and hedges, all bright with the morning sun, and fresh with the dew of heaven, to be regaled with views as beautiful as they

« PreviousContinue »