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lic buildings should be solid and durable. Light works and rich ornaments are soon dilapidated in our corroding atmosphere."
“ Will they break through St. Paul's Church-yard, and throw open the cathedral, or is the design abandoned ? It is a most desirable thing that there should be one point of view whence St. Paul's might be seen to advantage. What a noble display does the church of St. Martin make at Charing-cross. One half of the population of London did not know there was such a noble portico in existence."
“ From the College of Physicians, the view, being in oblique front, is admirable. I think it would puzzle the builders of the new churches to point out a parallel edifice among their late erections."
“ It is to be regretted that the opportunity afforded in the new churches has been thrown away. The sums expended have been heavy, but not one in ten will bear examination. Then the principle of orthodoxy, which demands steeples over Grecian pediments, is a most unbending one. A campanile would answer every purpose, and a single bell would be amply sufficient. What a barbarism are bells in crowded cities to the sick and studious! In the country, they are pleasant, and disturb no one; but the resident near a church in a great city, suffers positive martyrdom of the ears from them. I shall be accused of disaffection to all established religion, I know, for this remark; but I must endure it—they are intolerable nuisances."
" Relics of monkish superstition, associating agreeably only with the country, and like the tower that contains them, peering among deep woods, becoming charming associations with rural life. In cities, they ought to be put down, I fully agree with you. The church-going bell of the country
. Over some wide-water'd shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roarI would not yield up for worlds. It is a recollection that is now part of my existence. I fear, however, that our ears must be broken by them, and our houses shaken, until men, dropping prejudices, make religion a thing that depends less upon external things, and more a question of the heart.”
"I wonder we have no church built on the Rotunda or Pantheon plan. We have not one, I believe, in England; but I suppose the board of new church-builders would not admit it. The form would be norel here, and an innovation. I know no design more noble; the grand dome over head, and the lights from above, ensuring tranquillity. The absence of windows low in the sides would, if needful, admit galleries that might be made highly ornamental. In Catholic countries they are often found.”
“Yes; but in England they would trench upon established usage. Every thing in religion must be done as near as possible to harmonize with the times and notions of the most high and mighty Prince James.' There are so many men of true taste among our clergy, I wonder they do not interfere, and let us have some little variety in our Christian temples.”
[Here we are necessitated to break off abruptly.—This “ conversation” shall be concluded in our next.]
THE BURIAL OF COLUMBUS.*
It was no kingly pall-
Trial and toil were o'er ;
Were still as the Dead Sea shore-
Unfold the page of Time!
Burns in its pomp sublime--
They bear him to his grave-
A world across the wave.
Spirit! I call on thee
O Spirit! reply to me.
Thou gav'st them all-to whom?
Start from its gilded tomb,
Crown'd dust! and where art thou ?"
The wreath to bind his brow ?
* See Irving's Life of Columbus.
+ “ For Leon and Castile Columbus found a New World.” Oct.-VOL. XXVI. NO, CVI.
King of the heartless heart! his name
Death was to him but life!
The base ignoble strife.
THE CORN LAWS AND “ CATECHISM.”*
BEFORE we proceed to treat upon the important subject, and the pamphlet named at the head of this article, it is due to ourselves to state the reasons that have induced us so long to delay a notice of this subject, and to assure the country that it has not arisen from any hesitation on our part to declare at once and unequivocally our honest opinion of the ruinous consequences and withering effects of the Corn Laws upon every branch of British industry, and the certainty of their ultimately producing a mass of misery which, if left unrelieved, must inevitably bring about a political convulsion. Those individuals who have done us the honour to read any articles in the New Monthly, in which an allusion to these laws could with propriety be made, will bear us out in asserting that our incidental remarks have had one constant tendency, that of showing the necessity of their repeal. Public events have alone prevented us from giving an earlier and more direct attention to the momentous question of this most unjustifiable monopoly.
The accession of Mr. Canning to the Premiership was the first event that caused us to pause, because we felt, in common with every well-wisher for the improvement of his country, that a disappointed and rapacious oligarchy was endeavouring, by every means in its power, to foment discontent and throw obstacles in the way of the cabinet of that statesman, which an unreserved discussion of the Corn Laws, through the medium of the press, might at that moment have materially aggravated. The alteration that took place in them at that time, under the impression of affording a slight relief to the community from their frightful operation, without creating any serious alarm to the landowners, left the great principle of their injustice untouched; and, therefore, afforded no scope for enlarged discussion under the peculiar circumstance of the period of a popular ministry struggling against oppression in every shape, and judiciously endeavouring first to secure that permanency, by which alone it could be useful to the empire. To have pushed any point to an extreme at that moment, in proportion to the influence we possessed ; to have thrown any obstacle in the way of such a Govern
• Published by Ridgway.
ment, at such a time, would have been an error that we should have been sorry to have committed, and the more particularly as events subsequently turned out. The unsettled state of the cabinet that succeeded the one of which Mr. Canning was the head, and the important transactions that have occupied the public attention since the accession of the Wellington ministry, have induced us to suspend any consideration of this subject. These, then, have been our motives for delaying to take a somewhat enlarged view of the Corn question, and works connected with it, particularly the “ Catechism ;”. and, if we have felt that the circumstances of the last two years have been inauspicious for discussions upon it in periodicals, we freely declare that, in our judgment, the time has now arrived, when to remain silent upon this paramount object is little less than treason to the state. The circumstances connected with this question disclose, at present, not only the most favourable opportunity, but the imperious necessity for its consideration.
If we look to the governors, we see a cabinet, strong in its head, in moral influence, in political reputation, and, above all, a cabinet that has obtained admission to the constitution for its Catholic fellow-subjects, which may at once be regarded as the touchstone of its honesty and power ; opposed as it was on that occasion, in many instances, to personal friends, to political connections, to powerful interests, whose virulence was broken down by integrity, constancy, and a rapid diffusion of information, pourtraying the necessity of the measure. If we look to the governed, we find the most enlightened and highest spirited people in the world, with moral, political, and commercial advantages, enjoyed by no other nation under heaven, cramped in their industry, curtailed in their comforts; the lower classes fast approaching to pauperism, and the middle ranks of society unable to maintain their station ; we see a declining revenue, and in every article of commerce a glut, excepting those for the food of man, which are at a price that prevents others being made or sold at a living profit. We cannot doubt but that evenhanded justice will urge the Duke of Wellington's government, now that it is relieved from the pressing measure of the last session, to turn its serious attention to a total change in the laws relating to the commerce in corn. It is almost impossible to imagine that such a cabinet, possessing, as we sincerely believe, the inclination, and enjoying, as we know, the power of doing justice to the British people, can pause in rendering them a tardy and negative recompense, by relieving them from a crying injury, in the next meeting of Parliament; but, should we be disappointed in this expectation, the rush of public opinion will, we have little doubt, be so strong in declaring the necessity of a change, that should it not be proposed, as we trust it will, voluntarily by the ministers, they will be compelled to recommend it, or be driven from the helm by the united voice of an injured nation, exasperated to a point of violence that may make the stoutest heart among them have its misgivings for the consequences.
If the Government were to declare that it was afraid to moot the point with the landed interest, the Catholic relief Bill gives a flat denial to the assertion; if it should propose a half measure, the complete and satisfactory relief bill will rise in judgment against it; but if it should enter upon an arrangement that deals out ample justice to the community, it has the great act of the last session for its guide and encouragement. If the clamour of the interested few assail it, the Government can recollect that it has been so assailed before, and came out of the contest triumphantly, and the same firmness and vigour of purpose that, in the one instance, drew down the plaudits of a grateful people, will insure success in the other, and increase their satisfaction in the same ratio, that the amount of persons requiring bread at a price that an open market for its purchase will afford them, and consequently a remunerating price for their labour, exceeds those who desired to be admitted within the limits of the constitution. It is now no longer a question whether Whig or Tory shall prevail, or what party shall wield the powers of the Government, but events have brought the point to an issue between the British people generally, and partial interests among them; and it is to be decided,
for the trial can no longer be delayed to its full extent, whether in the eyes of our rulers the welfare of the entire community be of more importance than that of particular parts of it, whose interests are necessarily involved in the common 'interest, and which must sink in the common ruin under the futile and dishonest attempt, if such were to be made, of rendering partial favours instead of substantial justice.
In applying ourselves to the consideration of this embarrassing subject, especially rendered so by the blind obstinacy of individuals who are mixed up with it, we shall frankly state the shades of difference that exist between the well-informed author of the“ Catechism on the Corn Laws" and ourselves; for upon the main question, the necessity of their removal, as we have before observed, we entertain no doubt. To our mind, the catechetical form is not the most inviting for the consideration of intricate arguments, however convenient it may be in some respects; but that is more a matter of taste than any thing else, and therefore we shall proceed to the question of rent, that has produced at different times such a variety of opinions among authors and the public generally. The two leading positions with regard to rent have been, the difference between good and bad land, and the price necessary to pay for the production, with a living profit to the producer. One party has declared rent to consist in the distinction that exists between the value of good and bad land; and the other, which includes the able writer of the * Catechism," contends that rent is the difference between the living price of the produce, and the price for which the produce can be sold, in consequence of the whole quantity being less than there would be a demand for at the living price. There are many minor assertions put forth upon this difficult economical point, but we believe that we have stated the case fairly, when we say that the preceding are the two leading positions ; in neither of which do we coincide, or rather we should say, that the inquiry upon abstract principles of rent and its origin leads into a variety of abstruse disquisitions, that really cannot, in the present state of society, and the several circumstances that surround it, be made applicable to practical purposes. Under the deep impression of the necessity of dealing with things as we find them it is, that we never cease to maintain the certainty that, in our judgment, great national changes must take place; but it is to prevent those changes from occurring by any hostile collision, that we are the more desirous for their adoption. A positive and negative motive in urging them, weighs with us, to render justice and advantage to the country at large, and to prevent popular proceedings under events that, in all likelihood, must produce the most frightful irritation. With these motives of urgent necessity for a deviation in many instances from the course of policy that has been pursued, we will proceed without reference to opinions and parties, keeping steadily in view the one great object of bringing that deviation about with the slightest possible degree of excitement. If we are prepared to state that events have forced changes upon the consideration of the Government of this country, and that it must now deal with things as it finds them, it must be borne in mind that there are others which have been long in existence, as well as those that have recently pressed themselves upon its attention, that must be brought into the calculation; and therefore it is that we regret the application of terms that have a tendency to irritate, without, as we can perceive, any other motive.
In going back to first causes, and tracing out the origin of rent, let it be found where it may, it cannot answer any good pupose to regard the landed proprietors, per se, as the drones in the hive, who are entirely living upon the labour of others; for if this is to be pushed to its extent, the most active and efficient members of society may ultimately be deemed a burden upon it. In what light, for instance, can the retired merchant or manufacturer, or any other person, who having been actively engaged during the early part of life, and having acquired wealth for himself, has been thereby adding to the national store, be considered, under this view of the question,