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The Close of the Session
The Life, Opinions, and Pensile Adventures of John Ketch
PAGE 113 117 119 144 148 149 166 168 178 195 196 199 207 209 215 216 224
LITERATURE.—NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
33 35 36 ib. 37 ib. 38 ib.
Philanthropic Economy; or, the Philosophy of Happiness, &c.
and other Tribes of the American Indians
ib. 41 ib. ib. 42
ib. 43 ib.
ib. 45 ib.
Scenes and Characteristics of Hindostan, &c.
Tour to the Hebrides
Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, &c.
Pansy, or Heart's-Ease, &c.
Dr. Hermann Burmiester
ib. ib. 46 ib. ib. ib. 47
THE CLOSE OF THE SESSION.
The Session has closed—a session of unusual length, of unexampled fatigue—and what has been done ? There has been no lack of oratory, no want of hear, hear! of cheers, of groans, of cat-calling, and imitation of animal sounds. But it might be almost said, that it has been vox et præterea nihil, for little or nothing has been done. Like the Danaides of old, they have laboured hard, but it has been labour in vain, similar to their fabled drawing water in sieves. On the part of his Majesty's ministers, we have had indecision and incapabilityon the part of the Radicals, noise and bullying-on the part of the Irish members, silent exultation at the conviction that the fate of ministers was at their sovereign will and pleasure, and that it was their leader who pulled, behind the scenes, the wires attached to such puppets as Lord John Russell and Spring Rice. In consequence of this disgraceful thraldom, the Whig party has been gradually undergoing a change, the more moderate ascending into Conservatism, the more violent descending into Radicalism.
The Conservatives, headed by Peel, and supported when necessary by Stanley and Graham, have made a splendid display of talent and ability, and their defeat by numbers has been to them a series of triumphis. The old Tories, for the race unfortunately is not quite yet extinct, have been so puzzled with Whig conundrums, that they have given it up, and when their votes were required in support of the King and Constitution, were only to be found—fast asleep, with their decanters before them, dreaming of times which were, but never will be again. Such has been the session in the House of Commons. Now turn we to the House of Lords. And here we have a more agreeable task. We have had the pleasure of witnessing Lord Brougham cutting the throat of his own popularity, in true swinish style—we have watched him “playing such fantastic tricks before high Heaven,” as would“ make angels weep,” and common mortals laugh. He has kindly informed us that the House of Lords is only a mob, and that he himself is the cleverest man in the world. He has been by turns satirical, soothing, playful, terrible, funny, prophetic, and passionate. He has attempted to turn the House of Lords into a bear-garden, and as far as his individual self is concerned, it hath so become. He has wound himself up every night before he took his seat—of what the main-spring has been composed we will not venture to surmise—and he has every night, swung his arms as a pendulum, till he has run down; like his own “ Penny Magazine," treating of this and that, and every thing else in the world, quite as original in his matter, and quite as superficial as its contents. There is an indescribable complaint, which will never allow a moment's repose to mind or body; which nothing will satisfy—which allows of no beginning, and 'no ending-which wheels round the mind like the squirrel in its cage, ever moving,
Oct. 1835.-VOL. XIV.-NO. LIV.
but still making no progress. It is called the Fantods. From the diagnostics, we pronounce Lord Brougham incurably diseased with the Fantods.
We have also had the pleasure of witnessing the noble conduct of Arthur, Duke of Wellington, who has again proved that, in all he does, he consults only his country's good—that he is not obstinately wedded to opinions, but will yield to the spirit of the times, when that spirit does not attempt to make a breach in the citadel of the constitution. But in this rough collision, which, like the steel and flint, is sure to force out the sparks of latent ability, nothing has given us more satisfaction than the conduct of Lord Lyndhurst, who in this session has raised himself far above our praise, proving that his talents, great as they have been acknowledged to be, were still not duly appreciated, and that in every point, whether in oratory, or judgment, or manliness, or depth, in fact, even in his antagonist's most efficient weapon, that of satire, he was not only a match for, but the master of, Lord Brougham, who at the conclusion of the debate lay prostrate and writhing under him like the devil at the feet of the Archangel, a terrible foe indeed, but conquered by the unerring spear of Truth. It has been a glorious session for Lord Lyndhurst, and from our hearts do we congratulate him. He has gained in it even more than Lord Brougham has lost. There never perhaps has been a session in which two persona, one in either house, have earned such imperishable fame, as Lord Lyndhurst in the House of Lords, and Sir Robert Peel in the House of Commons. The conduct of the House of Lords, as a body, has also been deserving of the highest commendation. It is true that they are not all wise, but if the Duke of Sutherland with his two hundred thousand a-year, thinks proper to point out to the mob that they are in duty bound to take it from him, or if the Duke of Bedford prefers anarchy to the rejection of a Bill, we can only say that there is no accounting for tastes. We repeat, that the firmness of the House of Lords merits the gratitude of every well-wisher to his country. We thank them, and in so doing we take off our hat, notwithstanding that Mr. Hume considers such a mark of respect is infra dig., and derogatory to real republican sentiments.
We have been much amused by the attempt to frighten the nation with the squib of collision, as if the Municipal Reform Bill was the first instance of the amendment of a bill by the House of Lords. Have they not rejected, as well as amended, a hundred bills ?—yet to hear the bullying of the Radicals in the House of Commons, and the treasonable slaver of the stock-jobbing “ Morning Chronicle, we should imagine that, on the part of the Lords, it was a direct violation of the constitution. Like vipers gnawing at a file, they appear to have become mad with rage and disappointment. However, the Session is closed, and here we are all “ pretty well, I thank you;" and instead of this dreadful collision, which was to blow us all up, Tory, Conservative, Whig, and Radical, have all separated, east, west, north, and south, and no one dreads an infernal machine except the poor partridges, who have suffered, and the pheasants, who will this day pronounce a battue to be the most infernal business that ever was experienced.
The great question is, what will now be done? Are the present ministry to be allowed to remain in and strengthen themselves? they have many men of talent already, and will soon secure more. A few weeks of armistice will find them much more strongly entrenched ; and goaded on by the Jesuistical whisperings of O'Connell, whose support they must have, they will retain their places and appointments, be obliged to mortgage more and more the most valuable portions of our Constitution, entrusted to us by our forefathers, and the title deeds of which have been sealed with their blood; or will his Majesty try whether the late wild and visionary speculations have not sufficiently alarmed and roused those who have been so long inert, and have created a reaction favourable to the cause of peace and good order?
We laugh at the idea of collision; but still we feel that no country can flourish in a state of such anxiety and excitement. We feel that every concession will be but the forerunner of a new demand, and that it is the duty of the House of Lords to resist. We also feel assured that the Whigs will be urged on to extremes by their Catholic dictator, and that agitation will again be the cry at the re-assembling of Parliament. We think, therefore, that any thing which will afford a prospect of relieving ourselves from the present state of affairs, should be resorted to, and every legitimate means taken to insure success. The new ministry must be formed, and every branch of the present one dismissed previous to the dissolution of the Parliament. Let them not have the advantages which must accrue from their holding office, and then let us once more try the feeling of the nation, and see if we cannot get rid of this Popish usurpation.
We should infinitely prefer, if another arrangement could be made, one which would be more creditable to those now in office, and more safe also, for they are in a dreadful dilemma; for if they are thrown out, and can no longer, with the assistance of the agitator, command a majority, how heavy will be their fall, how deep their disgrace! If, on the contrary, they should remain in the ascendant, what will they, what must they do? they must go on. Stop they cannot, for they will not be permitted. Let them pause a while. From habitual opposition they have supported tenets and principles, which in opposition are not dangerous, but salutary, and which were intended only as checks, but not to be acted upon as motive principles. Bound by these principles, they now lie at the mercy of one who knows not mercy, who, indeed, knows not what it is he would have, and of a mob, to whom any change or turn in the wheel of fortune must prove a rise. Now, we well know that the majority of the Whigs, from their situation and rank in life, and from the station which they hold in the country, must be Conservatives in their hearts. They are in a false position, and must have courage to get out of it. Let them not start when we propose to them to have a conference with, and ascertain if they cannot, by mutual small concessions, join with the Conservative party. There is, after all, but the name of party between them. Let them do this, and they will have the merit of having tranquillized a suffering country, of having indignantly hurled off the Catholic despotism now riding on their shoulders, of having