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The rights of Englishmen-" every Englishman's house his castle," indeed!! Where, we ask with the liberal and lofty-minded author of Vivian Grey-where are now those "rights" -where that "castle," sacred and inviolate so long against the profanations of despotism, and the detested intrusion of an all-pervading espionage? Proclaim the law of the curfew at once, like the wily Norman tyrant, when the noble Saxon race of a former epoch were to be ground down into villanage, and decimated of their numbers, to allay the restless fears, and swell the booty of the band of griping economists of those days. Proclaim rather the curfew, we say, at whose sullen toll fires may be raked, and lights put out, by the submissive serfs; for the despotism of William was enlightened and constitutional by comparison with the more refined malice of Lord John, whose blue-bottle myrmidons are appointed to outrage the cottager's fireside, indecently to intrude upon the sanctity of the bedchamber, and recklessly to lord it in the cottage, once inviolable and inviolate as the proudest and the strongest castle.
No man, of the slightest powers of observation and ratiocination,can doubt that the Poor-Law Abolition Bill is the root of all evil-the fretful blisterplaster by which the body politic has been gradually excoriated and inflamed into the mass of maddening humours, which at length have exasperated the unhappy patient wildly to rush into rebellion-to fire with blazing brand his neighbour's house-to flourish the dagger athirst for his blood. The conflagration and sanguinary conflicts at Birmingham-the organized outrages in Lancashire, Cheshire, and Northumberland, are but counterpart demonstrations of popular fury against the New Poor-Law Bill-of the Bristol and Nottingham burnings, and ferocious bandings of the Birmingham Union, so lauded and patronised at the time in aid of the Reform Bill. The difference how striking that difference!-is, that the Poor-Law movement being anti- Whig, must be put down vi et armis; and, if constable and cutlass fail, by cannon
and cavalry. The Reform movement, essentially Whig in its character, and conservative of Whig places, was, on the reverse, headed in its furious freaks, and palliated in its incendiary outbreaks, by the Whig Ministers themselves. They corresponded, from Downing Street, with revolutionary agitators, by despatches, as regular and as officially franked as orders to Lords-lieutenant of counties, or mandates to the colonies. Thus, in eight years the first eight years-of Whig ascendency, the country has been brought to the very verge of two sanguinary revolutions; the one revolutionary bantling being of its own begetting, to secure office-the other a Frankenstein of its own creation no less, seeking its dispossession and destruction. All other causes of popular discontent and disloyalty sink into insignificance compared with the deepseated and ineffaceable abhorrence of
the Bastile law. All other causes of grievance, real or alleged, are but accessory, and contribute only to enlarge the overshadowing proportions of this upastree, poisoning the social atmosphere, and blighting the vegetation of kindly feeling all around. Armies may march to enforce the law deformed rural police, staff and cutlass in hand, may threaten recusancy or execute vengeance-Sir Robert Peel may throw himself more rashly than gallantly into the breach for its defence, and fancy it chivalry—the Great Duke himself may interpose his sevenfold shield, and wave his till now invincible truncheon, in its defence-but vainly all! The fiat has gone forth-the mind, stubborn and immovable, of the land, has pronounced and sealed its doom-the peasantry and the operatives of England say, and are entitled to say, with the proud barons of old, "Nolumus leges Angliæ mutari." If now the New Poor-Law, in all the nakedness of its atrocious principle, cannot, and dare not, be more than partially carried out, how shall it be when the half million of unskilled workmen, now temporarily absorbed by railway enterprise, shall return to overlay the common labour market, where their absence has tended to maintain wages, keep down the redundancy of competition, and facilitate the working of the odious law? We assume to know, and from long intercourse and experience ought to know, quite as much
of the middle classes, and infinitely more of the labouring classes, than either the Great Duke or Sir Robert; and presume, therefore, to tell them, that, while the first may be perhaps somewhat equally divided in sentiment, influenced by high authority, and therefore apathetic either way, there exists no such division of opinion-no such torpidity of feeling among the labouring classes. Never were they on any given question so unanimous. With them the New Poor-Law is the question of life and death: they will have it not-they will brave all the pains and penalties of disobedience. Is the Great Duke equally prepared to en counter all the consequences of their resistance? Let him, we beseech him, listen no more to the Richmonds and the Salisburys, disqualified witnesses. as they are in the mighty cause at issue. Red-herring diet is not too luxurious for parish paupers, as by the one conceived; nor are they enamoured of their Bastile cages, or fattened and overfed to sauciness with their pork-water soup, as earnestly insisted on by the other, a noble guardian and chairman of a Sussex Union. Some people have strange fancies. Thousands will crowd on a hangingday to the gallows, and feast on the agonies of the dying wretch, from the sight of which tens of thousands flee with horror. Some noble lords, there may be, who have morbid appetites, and grave-digging propensities, only for human suffering and mortal putrescences. Let them indulge: they may ransack churchyards, when Newgate felonry has been gloated on to satiety, and new rigours have been imagined, and torments feasted on. There they may be in their proper sphere; but let them refrain from the workhouse; there, if the tenants are paupers, they are not felons. It is one, and ot the least curse of the New Poor-Law, that even professing Conservatives are to be found among its hardened advocates.
How various and inconsistent the policy of the Cabinet! Whilst Lord John was carrying starvation and imprisonment among the honest labouring classes of England, because work they cannot get, and to beg they are ashamed, Lord Normanby, the Viceroy of Ireland, was making royal progresses, and evacuating jails of all their criminals and assassins. In the
course of one single jaunt, during one single summer, his Excellency discharged no fewer than 240 of these ruffians, with a light-heartedness and nonchalance adding peculiar grace to the clemency. He referred not for character or circumstances of mitigation to the judges who tried, but to the jailer in whose custody they were; and in the jail of Clonmel, fifty-seven felons were thus discharged in one hour, as, it may be supposed, not fitting company for the 200 more honest men left behind. Not only were the sacred functions of judges invaded, but venerable judges themselves, and the chief judges above all, grossly outraged before the eyes of the whole people, with all the reckless levity of a pampered buffoon.
We shall not dwell on the disgusting compost of farce and fraud, of perjury direct and prevarication constant, which were the only distinguishing features of the Normanby Viceroyalty, and the Secretaryship of Lieutenant Drummond, as brought out in the highest judicial court in the land; where the latter was cited and compelled to become the reluctant evidence, not alone of his own doings, but of the misdemeanours approaching to treason, and the lesser impeachments of falsehood, folly, and perfidy of his own chief. Excellent was the rebuke of Lord Brougham in the House of Lords, on occasion of the contempt of these men for the forms of justice, of their insult towards the persons, and scornful reversal of the decisions of judges.
"Whoever had practised in our courts, whoever had presided over them, whoever had observed the mode in which the judicial business was carried on, whoever had meditated on the constitution of these realms, as regarded its executive, legislative, and judicial branches, must be prepared to say with him, that of all the branches of that constitution, the pure, correct, and inflexible administration of justice was by far the most material, (hear, hear.) It was this great power, this prodigious clamp, which bound society together. It was this great solar belt which guided and strengthened the whole system, formed as it was of discrepant materials, of various sizes, from the lowest to the most exalted. As long as that great belt continued firm and strong, and retained its binding force, he utterly disregarded all perils with which the constitution might be threatened. Give the Crown all the desire to tyrannize imagin
able-give it an obsequious House of Commons, a venal House of Lords, and a corrupt Court-allow it all the wish to overstep the bounds of the people's freedom-and he fairly made his appeal from the King's Court at Windsor to the King's Court at Westminster- there, in that temple of justice, he knew he should find imperishable the palladium of the constitution. Let the danger come from any quarter-let there be a vacillating House of Commons-a Parliament in which the people's representatives knew not their
the increasing power and encroachments of the democracy, the subversion of the Union, the overthrow of free institutions, and the final establishment of a despotic authority. Of the Supreme Court of Judges of the Union, yet untouched in its high attributes, De Tocqueville says-“Their power is enormous; but it is clothed in the authority of public opinion. They are the all-powerful guardians of a people which respects law; but they would be impotent against popular neglect or popular contempt.' And such is the precise character of the position to which the administration of Lord Normanby degraded the judges and the justice of Ireland, and of whom his system, fairly followed out, would perpetuate degradation.
own minds, but voted one day this way by a narrow majority, and the next day voted in another way by an equally narrow majority-let the force of the constitution, thus left without equipoise, reside entirely in the House of Lords, and let the mixed monarchy of this country, the balance being destroyed, be converted into an aristocratical government-still, against all that the corruption of courts and the domination of the aristocracy could effect, he fled for protection to the judges, who would protect the subjects of the Crown against every oppression. Or, if the danger should come (as we might live to see it, though he thought the event not likely) from the fury of democracy-court, in a household capacity. He I if the pressure should proceed from the
lower region of the body politic-and if the outrages of the multitude threaten to demolish the walls of the constitution, then he opposed to them as an impregnable bulwark the judicial system, against which, as against a rock, all the surges of popular fury would dash, but would dash in vain," (hear, hear.)
And so also De Tocqueville and Chevalier, in their respective and unrivalled works on the United States.* Public liberty, the integrity of the union, and the preservation of the constitution, are safe-they remarkso long as the independence of judges, and the consequent purity of justice, are not invaded and tampered with. Of late years the judges, in various of the states of the Union, have been made removable at pleasure, have been constituted durante bene placito, or for a term of years; and in this dependency of the judicial power, and consequent pliability or corruption, those profound observers discern, with
Lord Normanby is now tranferred to the Colonial Office, from whence, after but a short probation, he is about to be somewhat unceremoniously deported, if report speak true, to a place more analogous to both heels and head -that of dancing attendance on the
is dismissed as incapable, by Mr UnderSecretary Stephen of the same office, of whom Sir Francis Head has recorded, in an official despatch to Lord Glenelg, that he is a "rank republican:" an accusation sufficiently borne out by extracts from certain evidence of his before a Committee of the Commons on the affairs of Canada, not necessary to quote here, in which colonial revolution and separation are beforehand advocated. That Mr Stephen, like most of the anti-slavery jobbers, is a renegade in politics and consistency, we can both believe and testify. But our generally well-informed contemporary of the Newcastle Journal, is incorrect in stating that Mr James Stephen, junior, now Colonial Under-Secretary, was ever Member of the Committee of the famous Constitutional Association of 1821 or 1822, in Queen Caroline's days. He was, we believe, a subscribing member of that association; but his brother
It is extraordinary that to two French writers the world is respectively indebted for the most comprehensive, accurate, and philosophical account and examination of the institutions and statistics of the United States. There is not one English work on America worthy to be named in the same page with those of these two distinguished
George it was, now, if we are not mistaken, Sir George Stephen, attorney-at-law, who was a member, and one of the most zealous, of that fireeating and liberal press-prosecuting committee, which decreed and had entered on its minutes, duly affirmed according to form, orders for about twenty-four prosecutions for libel at one time against various journals, of which not far from one-half were against the Times alone, some halfdozen against the Chronicle, and the rest various. That they were abruptly stayed, and never proceeded with was owing, not to the after scruples or improved liberalism of Sir George Stephen, Knight, the committeeman, or Mr James Stephen, the associator, whose loyal rage was unbounded at the check; but to the admonitions, the threats even, of one who, himself then of the press, chief defender of the association in the press, and once high in the Times himself, but then at bitter strife with it, held the rights of the press-those of his order to be sacred, and its excesses to be leniently construed-a noble oblivion of party feelings and private animosities in the common cause. It has been with no small astonishment, therefore, that we have since witnessed the sudden trans. formation of the zealous anti-slavery Tory, Mr James Stephen, into a "rank republican" under-secretary, and of his equally thorough-going Tory brother into a Whig knight or baronet, and most obsequious correspondent and supporter of that same Times, formerly by him devoted to the vengeance of the harpies of the law.
The elevation, as the conversion, of Mr Under-Secretary Stephen was, we presume, influenced by the same policy which has uniformly prevailed under the sway of the Whigs. They have ever preferred to pay off the foe, as the Romans in their decay bought off the Hun and Vandal, with gold instead of the steel of Camillus. In Canada we have seen the policy in operation on every nomination to office-in the elevation of Bedard and Vallières to the bench, treason-mongers both, less dangerous, only because inferior in talent to the arch-traitor Papineau, to whom, moreover, as to his great compeer in Ireland, the highest judgment-seat was likewise proffered, but honestly and consistently, at least, refused. So also in
the cases of Lord Durham, Turton, Buller, Chapman, and a host of other subordinate agitators-the weakly Cabinet has been found ever as prompt to offer terms as the patriots at market to close a bargain. To independent members like Mr Hawes, the grant of L. 170,000 for his father-in-law, Brunel, in aid of the Thames Tunnel, of which Mr Hawes himself is a large proprietor, has not been deemed a bribe too magnificent; Mr Hawes could tell besides of other unpublished, because more private obligations. After liberality so splendid, Mr Spring Rice may surely be pardoned the Shannon grant of L.250,000 for improving his lands on that noble river, into a majorât worthy the peerage of which he is to be the founder, seeing that the Parliamentary allocation of the former L.250,000 had made his fortune only by half.
Among the memorable mementos of his passage through the Cabinet, and existence in the chrysalis state in the Commons House, previous to the expansion into the gaudy butterfly of the peerage, Mr Spring Rice has bequeathed to the country an empty exchequer, and leaves it a bankrupt in credit. His last, and one year's, exploits, have been to increase the permanent debt by four millions sterling; to present a budget of deficiency in income below expenditure of nearly one million, non-inclusive of charges for the augmentation of the army voted since, of provision for further Canadian invasions, of reinforcements for the navy, which the complications of foreign affairs would seem to render inevitable, and of other contingencies for the repair, fortification, and defence of our coasts, which, from the following mysterious paragraph, would appear somehow, and from some quarter, to be menaced with invasion.
"Dover, August 13.-Sir James Gordon, and the other naval and military officers and civil engineers, named in the Parliamentary commission for an inquiry
into the state of the harbours on the southeastern coast of England, having completed their survey of this port, proceeded in a Government steamer, this morning, to the westward, to continue their labours."
As if the deficiency under such heads were not sufficient evidence to warrant a fiat of insolvency, Mr Spring Rice has further proposed and carried a resolution for the abolition of post
age duties, which clears off one million and a-half sterling more of revenue at one fell swoop. Yet the last year of Tory financial management left the Whigs with nearly three millions of surplus means in the National Chest, available for the reduction of debt, which, as per the following accounts current contrasted, has now disappeared :
"The last budget of a Tory Adminis tration was brought forward on the 15th
of March 1830. Its totals of receipt and
expenditure were as follow:—
2,668,000 The budget for the present year is brought forward on the 6th of July, and its totals
Deficiency To which add the postage and other contingent defalcations, as before noted. With all the elements of confusion in full chaotic action in the countrywith Chartists in open revolt, or waiting the propitious moment for open revolt, in scores of thousands-with distraction and dissensions in the Cabinet, where the cry of sauve qui peut has been raised how fares the palace and the court? Is that peace so ruthlessly affrighted from the cottage, reposing its silken wings, adjusting its downy plumage, and nestling more happily in the bosom serene of a brightly fair and maiden sovereignty? Alas, no! the palace is no more exempt from cares and crosses than the humblest of cots; misery, which disdains not the lowest, mounts also into the highest places; civil and kindred strife may rage as rifely, and inflame as remorselessly, in the splendid abodes of the mightiest and most glorious of royalties, at the same moment that social and civil wars may desolate the meanest of huts. Intrigues and factions may create as much deep-seated wretchedness in the court as New Poor-Laws in the country; they may act, as they do act, with spell more malign upon the interests and the happiness of a great empire, than all its concentrated wisdom and patriotism are equal to counteract, although
never in the proudest annals of its glory can one epoch be found, when in Parliament and in the nation the union and array of both were so grandly pre-eminent. Never, also, were they more needed; for in times of revolution it is not fields that have to be won, Talleyrands baffled, or Napoleons overcome. Genius and talent are not required to infuriate the masses and demoralize the people, but the meaner souls and the vulgar attributes of Robespierres and Marats. Whatever and wherever else the bizarre, the frightful, heads of the hydra of revolution, its heart's blood is ever in the court, and from the court circulates to its extremities and vivifies its energies. For good or for evil; for weal or woe; for conservation or disorganization; for commanding respect or inspiring contempt abroad; for ensuring contented obedience to the laws and the powers that be, or assisting their subversion and promoting insubordination-for all these the court is all-powerful-for all these tremendous is the responsiCauses however bility lodged there. trivial, however apparently contemptible, thence originating and therein fermenting, may come to affect the future destinies of half a globe. graces and grimaces of a flaunting, fly-away bedchamber woman, sufficed for the overthrow of a Wellington and Peel. Sully in his memoirs observes, that "the most grand, magnificent and serious affairs of state, derive their origin, and their most violent movements, from the sillinesses, jealousies, envy, and other whims of the court; and are rather regulated by these, than by meditation, or by considerations of honour and good faith,"
Who shall pretend to say what mishaps may flow from early tastes and habits, imbibed, we may say, from the maternal breast, and sedulously fostered by the prejudices That is, if we are to of education! believe Lord Melbourne, who has not scrupled to declare that Queen Victoria "hates the Tories by education and the Radicals by nature." According to this grave, and, as many may consider, undoubted authority, the Queen was educated for a party and not for her people. The policy suited doubtless the mercenary views and the ambitious aspirations of Leopold, its author, with whom the interests of the empire were subordinate to the