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among the poor, and industry pursued for its own sake, and from a sense of the blessings with which it is attended, and a legal provision for the labouring classes established, then and not till then, the bonds of slavery may be abolished.-When that period arrives, however, no efforts of fanaticism, no struggles of a party, will be required for Negro emancipation; the interests of the owners themselves will lead, as in the feudal ages, to the gradual enfranchisement of the poor; the change will be so gradual as to be imperceptible, and the child will become a man without being sensible of the relaxation of the parental authority.
The general error on the subject of the West India Negroes, emanating from amiable and Christian feelings, may be traced to the same source as the political errors which are now shaking the empire to the foundation; a disregard of experience, an inattention to the lessons of history,
and an ignorance of the past progress of freedom in other parts of the world. The time, however, has now arrived, when good intentions will not justify insane actions; nor men be permitted to toss about firebrands, and say it was in sport.When men mingle in political concerns, we require from them not only benevolent wishes, but rational conduct and information on the subjects which they agitate; we hold it no excuse for a physician, who has sacrificed his patient by his ignorance, that he meant only to do him good.If the boasted spread of knowledge has effected any thing, it should teach men distrust of their opinions, if not fortified by the lessons of experience; and it must prove worse than useless, if it does not inspire a rooted aversion for every project which is not founded on the deduc tions of history, and a determination to resist every innovation which does not imitate the gradual changes of nature.
We made a sad mistake, last month, in clean forgetting that it was our Christmas Number. The world must have thought it strange behaviour in us not to wish her a happy New Year, and many Returns of the Season. The truth is, and we frankly confess it, that we hate the idea of our getting old; and so powerful is the influence over us of that feeling, that it sometimes renders us insensible to the solar system. It is now, we have been credibly informed, 1832 A. D.; and we suppose there has been much snow. In-door people as we are during winter, we care as little about a fall of flakes as about a fall of the funds-having sold out; but we still feel in our frame certain genial symptoms of spring, a budding and a blossoming, a stir of sap, that precedes, predicts, and produces leaves and fruits on all our branches, affording shade, shelter, and sustenance to mankind. Friends of our soul! this goblet sip-and may ye live a thousand years!
It is now, we believe, some two lustres or so, since we began to delight and instruct the Public. It has become with us a confirmed habit; and that philosophically explains the ease with which we now effect our benevolent purpose, and diffuse, like the sun, without fatigue, light all round about the globe. We differ from our prototype in one particular, that we never set; and in another, that no astronomer has been so bold as to calculate of Us an eclipse. An occasional cloud may pass across our disk, but there are on it no permanent spots. We are an orb of purest Fire, yet we scorch not, neither do we consume; 'tis ours but to produce and to preserve; from our golden urn all the planets draw light; and to it return, and into it are absorbed, the comets.
It is certainly very foolish, then, in us to fear that we are waxing aged; seeing that we are universally regarded with that love and admiration which are bestowed only on the brightness and the beauty of youth. Ours, then
must be a perpetual spring
charms of all the Seasons.
involving in mysterious and perfect union the This is the wondrous work of-DUTY.
"She doth preserve the stars from wrong,
And the eternal heavens through her are fresh and strong!"
But let us relapse into a humbler strain. We are human-we are mortal.
"If to our share some human errors fall,
LOOK ON OUR FACE AND YOU FORGET THEM ALL."
OUR face! We beat Janus-for we have three faces-the face of Christopher North-the face of George Buchanan-and the face of Maga. 'Twould be hard to say which is the most prepossessing-of most virtues the most unerring index. Maga delights to be in the middle, showering her smiles right and left-like Venus between Phoenix and Nestor. Were man or devil to threaten with ill the hoary Elders, her eye would wither them ; were She insulted, her Guardians would annihilate the mightiest by a nod that tremefies Olympus.
But none now ever venture to say that black is the white of our eyes; the good in love, the bad in fear, do homage at our footstool. Ha! who abuses Blackwood? Not even the "whisper of a faction." The danger now is, that mankind run into the opposite extreme-and fall into the sin of Idolatry, as suddenly through the darkness in which too many of the nations are enveloped, our fulgent head star-bright appears." They forget what we have told them in a preceding paragraph-that we are human, that we are mortal; in apprehension how like a God," it is true-but subject to the same doom-at last-that has smitten so soon and so sudden so many of the meanest of Periodicals-Death-Burial-perhaps, in the event of another General Deluge-Oblivion!
Politics, Poetry, Philosophy, Literature, Life—these are our themes— all inexhaustible! At this hour they lie almost untouched. There have been people seriously alarmed at the consumption of fuel. When all the coal in the earth shall have been burned, the human race will perish of cold on the cessation of cookery-the vital flame, too, will be extinct. No-not till they have shewn that there is "reason in the roasting of eggs" on the twigs of the last tree. There is also much peat. And who knows but that the "chemist's magic art" may bring fire from Heaven, without the punishment of Prometheus, and fill our grates with lustrous air, whose beauty shall burn with fervent heat, till tales of smoky chimneys in popular tradition grow dim and die, the last lingering relics of old wives' dreams!
Idler all fears lest the combustible strata of the soul should be consumed, which the Genii who work Maga's will, dig from its subterraneous regions, for fuel to the flame that burns for ever on her shrine. Many a many-mile-shaft must they first send winding away with its hanging terraces, through rockribbed columnar darkness, whose roof supports the booming sea. They have the genius and the enginery-to explore-to penetrate-and to heave up the "concealed treasures of the deep"--the vasty deep-into the air of the common day-till the wonders of the central regions of the soul are spread far and wide over its surface, which is thereby made to smile with effulgence of its own, fit to bear comparison with the "light from heaven," in which it melts, but is not lost-forming, the two together, one life-warming and life-ennobling flame.
PRESENT BALANCE OF PARTIES IN THE STATE.*u su Taù
611 lootefoot wo 18 steriod of test it bad 9f: 761 ai bog In and out of the House the Whigs, that the public contempt may prove on the subject of Reform, as a body,fatal to our modern Pythagoreans. are nearly dumb. Last session of Monkeys, it is believed by simpleParliament, Ministers wore pad-minded people, are deterred from locks on their mouths, of such inge- articulate talk only by the fear of nious construction that to pick them being set to work; and some appre(the key having been lost) was behension of that kind seems to be at yond the skill even of Mr Croker. the bottom of the silence of our goSitting all in a row, with appendages vernment. of that sort dangling from their lips, True, that the newspapers still the appearance which they presented stutter and stammer some spiteful to the Fourth Estate in the galleries, sedition; and an occasional pamphwas not a little whimsical; nor did let, perhaps from the grey-goose the want of speculation in their eyes quill of Mr Place, the tailor, emits serve to add to the dignity of British a feeble cry, as the jaws of Cloa senators. The point-blank expres- cina open to receive it, almost stillsion of their physiognomies remind-born, and querulously expiring (in ed one of a congregation of images the moment of premature birth. But looking straight forward, and with their chief periodical organ- the imperturbable patriotism, on the on Edinburgh Review supports the goings of a great city, from the win- Bill now by the mutely-speaking elodow of a Hair dresser's shop. Such quence of silence; and falls back in images, with bead-like eyes, painted graceful repose on the back of the cheeks, and well-arranged ringlets, easy-chair of elegant literature, lealook as if they could speak would toving Reform to Fate and Fortunethey but try; promising orators. Now to its good or evil stars. The radical mouths, however, have they; and Press, as we predicted, without priwe forgive the eternal taciturnity of ding ourselves on the gift of prophethe blockheads, with a feeling of self- cy, now abuses the mutes. Its direproach, for having unthinkingly rectors had been watching for some expected words from woody sdi 23 months in their lack-lustre eyes dangerous symptoms of insincerity, and now denounce the hypocrites. The Westminster, the Examiner, the Spectator, and other republican organs, who have to the tune of Ca ira "wielded at will our fierce democratie," are waxing exceeding wroth that
"Because not of this noisy world, But silent and divine."
We cannot help suspecting that Ministers, on the subject of Reform, may carry too far the imitation of those their apparent prototypes, and
*On the Present Balance of Parties in the State. By Sir John Walsh, Bart,, M.P.
London: Murray. 1832.
VOL. XXXI. NO. CXCII.
the supply of Peers has not answered to the demand-and from their grim lips we hear less about our Patriot King. The excellent Atlas no longer supports them on his shoulders; and declares" they are rapidly sinking in public estimation." The acute Observer saith, that " begin to come thick and fast, that the days of their existence is numbered;" and indeed almost all their organs sound dirgelike, as if over persons pining away to the tomb. They themselves shew all the symptoms of Malignant Cholera-the blue nailsthe cramped extremities-the sharp features the sunken eyes-the ghastly faces-the inarticulate whisperings-the agonizing convulsions, that, when life is extinguished, will continue to render death more dreadful than disease, nor let the body rest even in the coffin. Stick a lancet now into the veins of the Ministry, and not a drop of blood will ooze out-only something like tar. Care must be taken to have the body buried deep, deep; a night-watch must be kept against resurrection-men; we must not suffer it to be dissected; for though the question of contagion and infection be still unsettled, prudence dictates that such remains should be suffered to rot where they are buried. Let us not be blamed for being thus metaphorical; we mean but to shew how benevolent genius can improve on malignant dulness, and create poetical imagery out of the vulgar phrase "boroughmongering corruption," as honey has been made by bees in the carcass of the animal that chews the thistle.
Meanwhile, how delightful to observe the prosperous progress of political literature among us dreadless Tories! With our eloquence the walls of St Stephen's and that other hall have resounded to the downfall of much spiders. From every corner has been swept the cobweb -and, contrary to their use and wont of old, the creatures are "not at their dirty work again." Our periodicals, perennial in their patriotism, diffuse flowers and herbage wherever they flow, wide over the land; and ever and anon is appearing, in the same cause, some congenial and kindred pamphlet from a Walsh, a Stewart, a Fullarton, or an Escot, that like “another sun risen on mid-day" of
Maga, illumes the political horizon, and drives afar off over its verge the sullen clouds of discontent and sedition into their native limbo.
We rejoice, at all times, to hail the Friends of our sacred cause, and to spread,wherever our pages wing their way, the treasures of the wisdom of the Conservatives. It is denied by none that We constitute one of the divisions of the Grand Army-and by many we are called-like Picton'sthe Fighting Division. Our place is in the Van; and though we may have met occasionally with a check, never once have we been beaten back in confusion on the Main Body, nor disordered the Line of Battle. Indeed, the Whigs have terminated the retreating system in a general flight; we have cleared the field of them down to the last poor devil of a drummer. The Reformers are all hors de combat; and we have only to rout the Radicals. To our enemies we always give and do justice; and we cheerfully acknowledge that the Radicals are not like the Whigs-cowards. Queer ones many are among them -men not born to be drowned; but the populace of a country are the dregs of its people, and therefore the very rabble of England are brave. They are, at least, fierce, and will fight viciously ere they fly. But we are speaking of course now only of political warfare; in their ranks there reigns no spirit of subordinationthe non-commissioned officer must beware of drilling the private, lest he insult the majesty of the people
the colonel himself must curry the favour of his own ragged regiment-the field-marshals are jealous and quick of each other's honour rather than of their own; and pray, who is generalissimo?
With the Radicals we look forward to many engagements — in which, let it be agreed, that no quar ter shall be given; but for the present our business is with the Whigs. Let us take a review of their character and conduct, and then leave them-if not for ever, for a monthto the nation's contempt. And let us do so with only that calm curling of the lip, which naturally accompanies that emotion. We shall regulate our feelings by those of Sir John Walsh-often use his very words
and sometimes introduce a para
graph or page of our own by way of variety, as condiment to the substantial dish set before us by the baronet. In his pamphlet, as in that of Mr Escot, we find many views presented, which it has been our aim to illustrate monthly since the day on which Reform dawned on this benighted nation. But we cannot say that we have discovered any proofs in the writings of these gentlemen that they have read ours; they have travelled over much of the same ground, but not in our footsteps; our roads have lain parallel, but divided and concealed by hedgerows and gardens; and it is pleasant to meet them, at the end of our journey, in an agreeable inn bearing the sign of the King's Arms-a joyous party of Conservatives.
The object of the first three sections of Sir John Walsh's admirable treatise is, to establish and illustrate certain propositions which tend, in his opinion, to elucidate the present position of affairs in this country. These propositions are, 1st, That a Political Party in a state must rest upon a basis of political principles peculiar to itself; 2d, That the old Whigs were a party containing many aristocratic ingredients and sympathies, but that their political principle was a peculiar regard for the popular parts of the English Constitution; 3d, That this party sustained a severe shock at the period of the French Revolution, both by the secession of many of its most respectable members, who threw their weight into the scale of government, and by the creation of another party professing democracy, without any reservation or respect for the British Constitution, or for any thing else which stands in their way; 4th, That the political principle of the Whigs has been still farther invaded of late years by the liberal policy of the go. vernment; and, 5thly, That the Whigs have continued to cherish, through all their reverses, a devoted attachment, not merely to the principles, but to the interests of their party, and a strong ambitious desire for its exclusive dominion and ascendency. Into this retrospect of the past history of these parties, Sir John Walsh has been led, by the extreme difficulty he has found in accounting for their actual state, or in explaining
the extraordinary policy of the present Ministry, which appears to him inexplicable, unless we search for its causes in a more remote time. After making every possible allowance for the total absence of official experience, yet he cannot, without tracing them to some motives originating many years since, and confined to a particular political sect, account for a series of acts so contradictory, -such perpetual and incomprehensible vacillation-such an exhibition of inconceivable recklessness and temerity at one time, with such tameness and timidity at another. He has therefore to seek-and seeking he finds it-in passions and prejudices to which the present generation are strangers-in the ranklings of early disappointments-in the desire to vindicate forgotten opinions, and to revive differences which had passed away-in the utmost fanaticism of party-a course of conduct irreconcilable with the ordinary results of human affairs, and the usual springs of men's actions. This enquiry is preliminary to the discussion of the main subject of his disquisition. And though it is not in our power to accompany him through it all, we can give much of its substance, and perhaps all its spirit.
In his description of party, he places it, at first, in its most favourable light, as Burke did, in his Thoughts on the Causes of the Present Discontents, and then endeavours-and with success-succinctly to state the advantages and disadvantages of political parties in a state. In doing sothat is, in fairly bringing forward the ostensible aims, in tracing the legitimate bounds, and in describing the useful results of party combinations; and, on the other hand, in exposing the errors, the evils, and the vices of which party spirit may be the cause, we may form in our minds a standard to measure the conduct of each particular party in the State.
First, then, Sir John says, rightly and forcibly, that we are entitled to require that a party should be founded upon some acknowledged adherence to fixed principles of policy, which they profess in contradistinction to their opponents. If they have not a known creed of political faith, a uniform complexion of opinion, they are a mere band of adventurers in pur