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mation and correctness. On the contrary the deeds of the heroes were boggled and confused, with effort and pain a few words were forced out to accompany each glorious name, and at last at the name of Frere of Scinde, who in honour is inferior to none, who in usefulness was superior to many, the speaker broke down. After a few minutes of painful hesitation, and vain efforts to recollect what Frere had really done, he had the effrontery to tell the House that his deeds were of such public notoriety that no words of his could increase their splendour. Nor was Lord Palmerston more remarkable for his earnestness in reply. No one can read any of the more important debates which took place during his Premiership, where late in the evening he rose to reply to the objections with which his measures had been met, without feeling how insufficient and often how unfair his answer was. His object was to avoid the real subject of discussion, and to impress the House with the idea that he had not avoided it. sequently find his speeches full of brilliancy and good humour, but utterly deficient in that gravity which befits a statesman. Lord Palmerston was eminently fitted for the second place in a government; he would have supplied to any other cabinet what he so much wanted in his own, he was able to reply sharply and smartly at any hour of the night, he was always fresh and always ready. As Sydney Smith said of George Canning, “ An ironical letter, a short speech of twenty minutes, full of gross misrepresentations and clever turns, excellent language, a spirited manner, lucky quotations, success in provoking dull men, some half information picked up at Pall Mall in the morning, these are his natural weapons ;” but “call him a legislator, a reasoner, and the conductor of the affairs of a great nation, and it seems to me as absurd as if a butterfly were to teach bees to make honey."
We will now turn from Lord Palmerston to his successor. We are not amongst those who have sympathised with Lord Derby, either in his principles of opposition or his principles of government; still we are very glad of the change which has taken place. It was impossible that the old government should continue under its old head, and the Conservative party was alone strong enough or united enough to form a new government immediately. We may in the future hope for better things. In the mean time the position of the present government is one of extreme difficulty. The feeling of the House of Commons is undoubtedly Liberal, it was elected for the express purpose of giving support to a Liberal minister, it will be satisfied with no other than Liberal legislation, and it is the duty and the difficulty of the cabinet to reconcile their
principles with their situation. At present they have succeeded tolerably well, the indulgence which is ever freely conceded to those who are new in office has not been denied to them, they have taken care to escape the inconvenience of performance by avoiding the danger of promise, and in some respects they have bowed directly to the feeling of the House. They are hardly responsible for the unfortunate trial which has lately occasioned such excitement in England and in France. It was certainly their interest that it should take place; it was their interest that our laws should be proved to be adequate to the emergency, and it was no less their interest to shew that they cherished no jealousy or animosity against France. But we are told that the trial for murder, which is the great blunder of the case, rests entirely on the authority of Sir Richard Bethell. It must surely be a matter of regret that Bernard has escaped punishment; but we could not have expected that a jury would condemn him on a capital charge. Had he been indicted for conspiracy, there is no doubt that he would have been visited with a conviction and a punishment which would have fully satisfied both ourselves and our neighbours. There is another most momentous question with which the ministry have had to deal at their very entrance into office, that of India. This matter scarcely comes within the limits of our subject, but we cannot pass it over without a few words of remark. There was once some hope that the East India Company might hold its ground, but it is now doomed for ever. Mr. Disraeli, who before ardently supported it, is now the very father of a bill which is to de
If there is one thing that people are agreed about, it is that double government must be abolished. The object of the present ministry will be to make it as far as possible an open question. After all this may be the wisest plan; the question is one of extraordinary difficulty, and if the government were defeated on one bill, a repentant House of Commons might be ready to accept with too little discussion the crude and unwise measures of the government which might follow. This has happened once before with regard to India, but we could not a second time hope to be similarly free from the fatal consequences of such an occurrence.
But we were wrong in saying that the present government have given no promise; they have pledged themselves to that which we demand of every government, but which we seldom succeed in obtaining-measures of reform. These have been happily deferred till next session, and we hope that if the present ministry are then in office they may be deferred for a much
longer period. There is no one more anxious for a temperate and discriminating Reform than ourselves, but neither Lord Derby nor Lord Palmerston can bring about such Reform. Is it possible that Lord Palmerston can enter on this arduous task, which requires in an eminent degree all the qualities which he is famous for not possessing? Is it possible that Lord Derby can inaugurate a spirit of change, when the very name of his party expresses that he is averse to change? No. It is not to them that we can look either for Reform or for the firm and lasting rule which is so much for the interests of our country. Neither is this the time for these measures. Parties are too divided and split up into minute sections which are bound together by no principle of coherence, while those men who have real thought and independence disdain the dominion of whips and vote as their own conscience leads them. But this will not last for ever; there is growing up amongst us such a party as we need. There are men who are now abused and distrusted, taunted with fickleness because they alone stand unmoved among the changes of others, charged with impracticability and love of visionary schemes; but men who are above mere considerations of office and party, who are conscious of the responsibility of their position, and who look with equal pain on the shallow flippancy of the Whigs and the factious greediness of the Conservatives. Round these a party will gather in time, a party placed on too firm a basis to be shaken by the introduction of a Conspiracy bill or the declaration of a Chinese war.
At its head we may hope to see a statesman who is at least distinguished by dignity and earnestness. We may then expect a Reform Bils, and an end of these unhappy changes which can only tend to exhaust the strength and to weaken the principles of our policy.
THE LAST BARD.
The minstrel came forth ʼmid the thunder's shock,
And the whirlwind's wild commotion, And alone he sat where the wave-worn rock
Wept back the tears of ocean!
Unearthly sounds were streaming,
O'er a darkened world is beaming.
By the vernal sunbeam lighted, He sang again of its bright life's close,
In youth's green spring-tide blighted.
In martial rapture telling
And the banner proudly swelling.
The links of woe to sever,
Its strings are snapt for ever!
A prisoned sigh is sweeping;
His corse on the rock is sleeping.
The thunder rolls o'er his pillow;
Though it tosses the foaming billow.
Through Heaven's rent portals pealing,
His Maker's praise revealing.