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magical: the whole tone of that admirable paper is so liberal, that the most violent perceived they were addressed by a friend, and the law, in this number, was so clearly put forth, that the most sturdy were appalled by the statement. Within a week from that time if the peasants were not wholly reconciled to the farmers-the machines at least were again in work, and the business of lighting the swart face of Night was left once more to the stars and Diana. Here what soldiers could not have done, was effected by a newspaper. And here is a fact that says volumes for cheap periodicals. Had works of an equal honesty and intelligence been early sold for a penny apiece, throughout the villages of Kent and Sussex, we should not perhaps have been called upon to celebrate the solemn Holiday of the Christian world with executions of vengeance, and warrants of death; nor have crowded our gaols with men whom we first condemned to ignorance, and whom ignorance, and therefore ourselves, hurried blindfold into crime. This is the first day of a New Year-the high and august commencement of a new series of duties,-the onward step in the great march of human destinies which we have already taught to aim at brave hopes and exalted triumphs. On this day, therefore, as the first of all political objects, higher than any Parliamentary Reform, and without which Parliamentary Reform exposes us rather to the caprices of Passion than to the power of Opinion, we insist earnestly, seriously, resolvedly upon the early necessity of removing all taxes that press upon knowledge, and of laying the ground-work of true national amendment in a national education. We call upon Lord Althorpe to redeem his old pledges on the stamp act ;—we invoke Lord Brougham to mature those great schemes, of which pamphlets on hydrostatics are a tantalizing forerunner-scarcely useful as a beginning-utterly abortive as an end. The schoolmaster is abroad, but at present we have seen more of his rod than his books.
The New Year. And what-O Londonderry-O Wharncliffe-do you in this dark and boding epoch-this entrance into a new world of time-what do you meditate towards the re-establishment of your order in the popular esteem? In Spain there was once on a time a man called Perico de Ayala. "What," said a man to Perico de Ayala, "is that miraculous virtue attributed to the turquoise stone?""
"Oh, it is a very wonderful stone," quoth Perico, " none more so! -its virtue is this: if you fall from a high tower, you will be dashed to pieces, but the turquoise on your little finger won't be broken in the least." My Lords, the consistency on which you would value yourselves is very like the turquoise--the consistency may be unbroken to the last, but it is scarcely worth while to try the experi
ment on yourselves. For you, our Lords the Bishops-for you-at the high festival of the English Church, when man should put away from himself the haughty pomps of the world;--when the Christian ethics of peace to earth and good-will to men force themselves the most impressively on the human heart-for your ear is there at this sacred moment, no voice which preacheth "This system you uphold is a system that is built upon the fraud, and the perjury, and the immorality of your flock-will ye do evil that good may come?" Is there no still small whisper at your hearts which says-" Ye fear Reform may attack the pluralities of the Church; but does not Corruption attack its doctrines? Ye fear for your sectarian interests; but have ye no care for the cure of vices which press upon the universal interests of religion ?" Most spiritual Lords, we have a tale for you too, as well as for your temporal brethren. The great Mahmoud, for whom the title of Sultan was first coined in the mint of Eastern adulation, is celebrated for his invasion of the Hindoos. He came to the Pagoda of Sumnat in the promontory of Guzzerat. In this Pagoda was an idol held in especial reverence. Mahmoud enters the sanctuary—he lifts his iron mace against the head of the idol— the Brahmins flock around-they weep-they implore-they threaten -it is even said that they attempted to bribe. Mahmoud is softened not-he splits the idol in twain-a profusion of pearls and rubies tumble forth, and the devotion of the Brahmins is explained. There are those, my Lords, in other places than the Pagoda of Sumnat who rally round the shrine of Corruption, not for the holiness of the worship, but for the treasure within the Idol!
We cannot quit this subject, however, without assuring our readers —and as yet our assurances have not failed, even when most of our brethren foreboded a contrary result-that we have every cause to be convinced that Ministers are resolved on carrying the Bill, the next time, through the Lords. There is not the most remote reason to doubt the steadiness of the King; and they who have gone through the toil and heat of the day without flinching, will not falter at the close. Let us only conceive the possibility of Ministers suffering the Bill again to be thrown out of the Lords; we tell them boldly that they would lose at once opinion in the country, and a majority in the Lower House. Character, power, esteem, "honour, faith, obedience, troops of friends,"-all depend on the resolution they evince in the Upper House. And if they would ensure their point, let them beware of that arch-devil that whispers conciliation to enemies. While they are soothing one foe on the opposite benches, they are alienating, seriously alienating, twenty adherents. Meekness to assailants is a
reproach to supporters. Let them beware of that time when men shall divide the feeling towards the Ministry from the attachment towards the Bill.
The New Year-and what, putting politics aside, forgetting, for a moment, the anxiety and the dissensions, the fever and the fear, of the public mind-what are the softer and more peaceful prospects which Time expands to our survey? In the streams of literature, the ice begins gradually to thaw; and people are no longer so anxious to act as to be reluctant to think. Amusement, "that great want of man," is again sought for, and the world is willing enough to find something to talk about, newer than Reform, and something to read, less monotonous than the debates. Even History, which has slept for a time, begins to awaken to its old importance; and we have from the tardy hands of Murray-arch procrastinator of publishers-two histories within a week of each other. This revival of the good spirit of letters let us endeavour to foster, and temper the bitterness of the period with something of the true gentleness of letters. For ourselves, we have purposely, in this month, gone somewhat back to the treasures of less recent literature; for there we find the principles of that criticism which we are called upon, in newer books, to apply; and we will thus begin the year with old friends, as the best chance of enabling us to end it with new. Our hearts warm at this season to those whom we loved when young. We spring forward to welcome the kind face that smiled upon us when we were boys: we find our steps insensibly wander to that part of our library which contains the well-remembered books that first taught us to glow with the poet, to muse with the sage, to laugh with the satirist; we forget that we are anxious, toiling, hoping, yet care-worn men; and we recur-as the year itself to a renewal of our youth.
The New Year: and what differences in society-on the great superficies of the World's Mind, in manners, in habits, in customs, does the New Year portend, and bring? Let us pause. A great change is working over even the surface of things. Fashion, within the last twelve months, has been shaken on her throne. Among the great events of time, frivolities cease to charm. People talk no more about Almack's and fine ladies; and Agitation, which works in good as in evil, has done this much-it has called forth the higher, the graver, the steadier properties of the English character. Our attention has been bent upon the realities of things, and we forget our reverence for the appearances. Deep and stern remembrances have been evoked from the depths of the public mind; and these, in their turn,
call for that which the past teaches rather by fits and starts than in a continuous lesson-the necessity of amendment for the future. It was a fine saying, though in the mouth of a court poet, that
the people are much like the sea,
The New Year the time of charities, of cordiality, of genial and warm feelings the time that knits together in one bond of amity the old and the young, the rich and the poor. It pleases us at this time, to read in our journals of men in all ranks, and of all opinions, uniting in remembrance to their humbler brethren. We love to read of the loaves, and the fuel, and the warm garments, and the old English hospitality, which we are now reminded that it is a pleasant duty to bestow. But while we do not scorn these private benefits, and while we do homage to these individual benefactors, let us not omit the opportunity of inculcating one great truth-legislation is the only means of effecting general and permanent good; and one wise law does more for the morals, the comforts, the happiness of our peasantry than a thousand Sir Roger de Coverleys.
The New Year-and what hopes, dear reader, (for why should we not be friends, united in a common object?)-and what hopes, dear reader, does it find within ourselves, who now address you? May it be father to that time when we may talk to you of what we have done, and when you may feel for us something of that good-will that we now heartily experience for you!
THE TEMPER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS.
In an article in the November number on the Temper of the House of Commons, an attempt was made to explain what were the peculiar qualities in a speaker which were likely either to win the favour, or to offend the taste of that Assembly: when, and by whom, the declamatory style might boldly be assumed, and why, generally, the argumentative was the safer path to success and popularity.
In making now a few observations on the Temper of the House of Lords, this essential distinction meets one on the threshold. It is not here a question as to the degree of praise to be obtained. The Upper House, taken as a body, dislikes every speech. It endures all, but it desires none. It submits, as it would to a dose of physic, to the prescribed course of debate and deliberation, necessary for it to exercise its inherent functions of legislation. But in taking that dose it sometimes does make very wry faces the while. Witness the frequent contortion of muscle, with its audible accompaniment, on the part of an illustrious prince, which no doubt he calls a yawn. These, of course involuntary oscitations, are, singularly enough, symptoms of weariness elicited only by the most brilliant parts of his opponents' speeches. This, however, is a peculiar instance. Generally speaking, there is no such judicious discrimination in the degree of attention accorded. A stranger, entering the House of Lords for the first time, could form no estimate from the state in which he found its Members, whether the orator was worth listening to or not. Whatever other distinction the House of Lords may cling to, in talent it is an unsparing leveller. The dullest twaddler may command its patient endurance. The most eloquent debater can do no more. And the consequence is, that though it counts amongst its Members not only avowedly the first orators of the day, but many more pleasant, clever, ready speakers than the House of Commons could now number, yet, how few of these ever willingly open their lips. The Reform Bill was an exception, the debate on which was certainly most creditable to the Aristocracy, whatever may be thought of the division; but on most other occasions, the discussion is not unfrequently allowed to fall into the hands of those incorrigible bores who have either too much vanity, or too little sense, to perceive that the House does not willingly listen to any one. It is, no doubt, a great defect in a legislative assembly to dislike debate, and to be indifferent to the manner in which that prescribed duty is executed. But there is nothing in the constitution of the Upper House which renders this defect incorrigible.
As these remarks are written in no unfriendly spirit to that august assembly, they might have been suppressed at present, when it is certainly not necessary to call public attention to any of its yet undiscovered faults; but this is mentioned now, from the conviction that nothing would tend more to remove the evil complaint of remissness in the personal discharge of their duties on the part of the Peers, than the passing of the Reform Bill. A Peer is described in some Glossary, no matter where, as "a man who votes by proxy in both Houses of Parliament, but in person only in the House of Lords." Take away the first portion of privilege thus described, viz. the right