« PreviousContinue »
The position of this country, with long been blessed with an exemption reference to its foreign relations, is from the serious national ills of life. the most extraordinary that ever Like the human race in the days of existed in the world. It may safely the Flood, they will be marrying and be pronounced without a parallel in sving in marriage when the deluge the whole history of mankind. It is comes upon them. hard to say whether it is most mar- Although, however, this is, beyond vellous considered with reference to all question, the general condition of the moral influence of past effort, or the influential part of our people, and the real weakness arising from pre- though it is the apathy or indifference sent blindness. We are at peace; we of this majority holding power which seem to be secure; all the appliances has so long stamped indecision and of civilised life are at our command; want of foresight on the measures of wealth, unbounded at least as regards Parliament, yet, upon a nearer examiterritorial magnates and wealthy mil- nation, it will be found that it is not an lionaires, is around us; every one absolute majority of the whole nation is set on gain, or straining after plea- which has been struck with this judisure;--and yet the hand of the spoiler cial blindness, but a part of it only. is ready to wrest it all from us; and, Unfortunately, however, it is a very amidst our feasting and rioting, the large class that has been so affected, handwriting is already to be seen and precisely the class in whom polion the wall which foreshadows our tical power is now vested, and who, doom. But our people are blind to as they return, at present at least, the the warning—they are deaf to the representatives of a majority of the voice of the propbet, prophesy he never seats in the House of Commons, have so clearly. They have yielded to the in effect acquired the government influence of great and long-continued of the whole nation. It is in the prosperity, won by the strenuous boroughs-above all, the manufacefforts of former times. With the turing boroughs—that the belief has usual disposition of mankind to be- spread most widely that war is an lieve in the perpetuity of the present evil which has entirely disappeared order of things, they think they are from the world ; that we shall never always to be at peace because they be called on to fight again; that are so now, and have long enjoyed pacific influences and moneyed power that blessing; and flatter themselves will henceforth entirely regulate the that their enjoyments are never to be affairs of nations; and that muskets abridged, nor serious sacrifices re- and cannon, swords and cuirasses, quired of them, because they have so sail of the line and steamers of war,
VOL. LXXII.-NO. CCCCXLI.