Imatges de pÓgina
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Government, and upon the country, by the Irish Members, who had produced the majority in favour of Reform in the last House of Commons (there being a minority of English and Scotch Members, and a great majority of Irish in favour of the Bill). He declared himself to be convinced that Ireland was to be governed upon principles founded on the necessity of conciliating her “ people;" and that “the nation,” and not “a party,” should be consulted by him in every measure which he should bring forward. He said (and he said it with truth,) that even during this session, much had been done in compliance with the national desire, and referred to the two important proceedings in regard to education, and to the administration of justice, in which a new Jury Bill would make a most essential change. That this speech was delivered with some view to recantation, I have no doubt. Indeed, it is generally known, that the Cabinet utterly disapproved of Mr. Stanley's opinions on the Irish Church. Lord Althorp had already denied his doctrines on this most momentous of all questions ; and he himself probably felt that it was necessary to retrace his steps, and from this motive gave utterance to opinions of which a decided liberalism was the chief feature. It is almost needless to say, that he expressed himself with great perspicuity and vigour. His clear voice sent forth his complete and compact sentences without any

halt or faltering ; and his acute and stern look, which, although without nobleness, is marked with strenuous thinking and decision of character, lent to his utterance an appropriate accompaniment. On the cause of Reform being proposed, Mr. Macaulay rose. His last admirable speech (but which of his speeches in Parliament does not deserve the designation ?) secured for him a tribute of simultaneous cheering. He was not seduced by the applauses with which he was received into a long speech. Indeed, he seemed to studiously restrain himself, and to keep his eloquence under a discreet subordination. He made no effort; and it must be owned, that any one who had then heard him for the first time, would not have easily conjectured that he was the man of whom it is said, whenever he gets up to speak, by the most habitual chatterers in the House, “ Stop! let us hear Tom Macaulay.” Lord Morpeth spoke on the liberty of the press. This nobleman, whose amiable disposition renders the respect which is paid to his high station so willing and unreluctant, is universally liked ; and by those who have opportunities of closely observing his mind, is universally admired. But he falls, in his public speaking, into a mistake, which it were most desirable that he should correct. He thinks it necessary, upon all occasions, to make a display of literature, of acquirement, of diction, and of imagination : and all these excellences he does generally succeed in exhibiting. But, not distinguishing between a trivial occasion, which calls for no sort of effort, and the great circumstances under which only his powers should be put into requisition, he produces a notion that he is nothing more than a practised and graceful declaimer, whereas he is, in reality, infinitely better. « Dic aliquando male" should be the cardinal rule in Lord Morpeth's elocution. Plain things, said in a plain way; a vigorous thought, delivered with an unaffected simplicity; an abrupt exclamation, bursting from lips careless of cadence and fervid with passion; a powerful fact, stated with a vehement brevity; these have

far more effect in a large popular assembly than the most subtle reasoning, the most polished diction, gesture the most graceful, tones the most harmonious. “ Dans une grande assemblée, (says Mirabeau,) il faut plutôt frapper fort, que frapper juste.”

Mr. Charles Grant was called on to return thanks on a toast which I did not collect. His silence in the House of Commons, and his aspect of apathy on the Treasury Bench, were in singular contrast with his energy and vehemence on this occasion. He spoke with great ardour and impetuosity of gesture.

The circumstance which chiefly struck me in this remarkable assemblage of distinguished men, was, the care with which all minacious mention of the House of Lords was avoided. There was not a single intimation given that the Upper House should yield. I confess that this delicacy appeared to me to be inappropriate to the occasion. In the House of Commons itself, the strongest language is employed in reference to the Lords. It is said that the Reform of the House of Commons is not their concern—that they have no business to interfere, and that their passing of the Bill is but a mere formula of legislation. “ Convulsion and revolution” are the topics of almost every speech, and the Fauxbourg St. Germain is ominously brought before the imagination of the titled tenants of Belgrave-square. But when the gentlemen who hold this admonitory language meet in an ovation of conviviality, their tone suddenly becomes moderate, every phrase is measured, and care is taken that the mantling fulness of their patriotism should not overflow. Is this a judicious course ? I scarcely think so. It is from the nation that the great impulse must be given to the aristocracy, and when senators fall back, as they do at a public festivity, into the people, when they speak, not in their parliamentary, but individual capacity, they need not falter in the utterance of the plain truth, and have more than an excuse for telling the great Lords of the land that Reform not only “ will,” but “must” pass into a law. In looking back to this dinner, I do not perceive that any considerable public effect has been produced. The Whigs did not speak out. They must do so, if they desire to carry the Bill. A mere vote in the Commons will not suffice, and it is idle to expect that people will take fire at the rejection of the measure, if they themselves remain inactive and cold. They should summon public assemblies—they should put themselves at the head of the popular mind. In every district of the country they should invite the nation to their aid. Thus they will indeed make themselves and their cause appreciated in the Upper House ; but if they stand back, if they appear to be terrified at the likelihood before them, if they intimate that they will pusillanimously acquiesce in any lofty negative from the oligarchs which they have to encounter, other and bolder men will step forward, and snatching the reins out of their hands, will throw them loose, and apply such a spur to the passions of the people, that they will overleap every barrier, and plunge into ruin with a single bound. Let Reform be lost, the Tories will come in first, they will be succeeded by the Radicals, and the reparation of the constitution will be readily undertaken by those great architects of liberty, Mr. William Cobbett and Mr. Henry Hunt.

CORONATION LAYS.

PICKED UP IN THE CROWD.

Poets have almost invariably been remarkable for their loyalty ; this is one reason why we are disposed to put faith in the authenticity of the poems (“ effusions” is the more modern and accepted word) which we have now to place at the bar of public approval. We cannot precisely say by whom each individual lay was composed, but we think some of them bear intrinsic marks of certain styles and peculiarities, which the world has been for many years well acquainted with. Luckily, however, lest any mistake should have arisen as to authorship, the reader will find a brief description of the writer, in the form of a preface, to each poem. It is evident from this that the “ Lays" were originally intended to be published with portraits. By whom they were lost we know not; but we have a suspicion that it must have been by some great patron of literature, who, after taking the trouble to bring the several poets to town, and appointing them to their several stations, had his pocket picked. Thieves are of course more enlightened than they used to be, and commit depredations only on utilitarian principles ; consequently the poems were discarded, as matters that fell not within their notions of eligible property. They saw the market for melody overstocked, and ranked their acquisitions accordingly in that very comprehensive class of things, that are of no use to anybody but their owner.

THE LAY OF THE LOST MINSTREL. [A tall “ stalwart figure," with a good-humoured Scotch face, a sturdy-looking stick, and a style of dress indicative of something between the farmer and the philosopher, should be represented seated upon a pile of novels, marked “ fiftieth edition," writing, with a pen in each hand, two volumes at once of a new work-at the same time dictating a third to an amanuensis at bis elbow. A map of Italy should be lying upon the table, as he intends to make a tour there shortly ; the titles of several unwritten Italian romances, and sketches of the plots of them, should be scattered about: mingled with them, might be a few anti-reform pamphlets and petitions.]

I.

Long years have pass'd, since lyre of mine
Awoke the short and easy line

That now unbidden flows;
Tell, Constable, tell thou, how long
My steps have shunned the halls of Song,
And sent, for sundry reasons strong,
My pages, an uncounted throng,

To bear the train of Prose!
But now my harp anew is strung;
And eager grows my tuneful tongue,
Like panting steed that paws the earth,
To burst, and tell its tale of mirth.
And visions float, like those that danced

Before my eyes, when George the Fourth,
Be-tartaned o'er, erewhile advanced
With knightly train, and quite entranced

The fondly-frantic North.

Again I see such glittering show,
Again such pageants gleam and go,
As well might form the golden theme
Of minstrel-song or morning-dream,

II.

The last excursion formed, I ween,
To charm our gentle King and Queen,

Was on the tide of Thames;
sight that few may e'er forget,
That bards, enrapt, are singing yet:
Then all the court, defying wet,
Embarked at House of Somerset ;
But now the royal party met

At Palace of St. James !
Sunny was that September morn;

And groups grotesque were there;
The beef-eaters-and those who scorn

To taste such vulgar fare-
And those again who daily mourn,

Condemned to dine on air.
Highest and lowest of the land
Were met, and saw no vacant stand;
Ladies with white and waving hand,
And troops, a fine mustachio'd band,

With brandished weapons bare.
And coachmen comely, sleek, and big,
Beneath a curly world of wig;
And pages slim, a countless race,
So dazzlingly disguised in lace,

So like a line of dukes they stood,
That had their thousand mothers old
Beheld them in those suits of gold,

They had not known their blood.

III.

Now, now the standard fondlier floats,
The cannons speak with hoarser throats,
And cheek of trumpeter denotes

The coming of the King!
Each lady now her kerchief throws,
Each exquisite with ardour glows,
Each treads upon his fellow's toes,
And deems he sees the monarch's nose.

Ah! no, 'tis no such thing.
Yet hark! now, now in truth he comes,
He comes as sure as drums are drums;
The drums, the guns, the shouts, the cheers,
You hear-or you have lost your ears.
Let all look now, or look no more;
What stands at yonder palace-door?
Gaze, wonderers, gaze; a coach-and-eight
Is passing through that palace-gate-
A coach of gold, with steeds of cream,
It moves, the marvel of a dream.

IV.

With coursers six, are some that bring
The suite and kindred of the King;

Bold Sussex, honest Duke;

And him, the darling of renown,
A nation's idol, hope and crown,
Great Cumberland—whom yet the town

Salutes with sharp rebuke.
And not one lazy lacquey there

But glance of rapture drew,
Like tinselled hero at the fair

Of old Bartholomew.
Some rode, some walk'd, some trumpets blew,

Some were with wands and some without;
And all along the line of view
From pavement and from housetop too

Rose one continual shout;
That Charles the First at Charing-cross
His head, amazed, might seem to toss.
Rang all the Mall with needless noise,
From topmost Sams to Moon and Boys !

THE SHOW IN LONDON.

[Let the design represent a middle-sized and middle-aged poet, habited in blue, with buttons bearing the initials “ P. L. U. C.” " He must be leaning on an anchor, reading the last account of the capture of Warsaw. His books must be numerous and classical, but none bound in Russia, as it reminds him of despotism. Statues of Bacchus and Apollo might be standing near him. A volume of his own poems should be lying before him, opened at“ Hohenlinden," as that exquisite composition has evidently suggested the idea of his new one, called “ The Show in London.”]

In London when the funds are low,
And state-distresses deeper grow,
The rule is this—to have a show,

Designed with strict economy.
We here this cheapened show have had;
Who now shall deem the nation sad !
Distress was there superbly clad,

And Sorrow stalked not shabbily.
All, all the troops were out; who choose
To read the list their time may lose;
The gaudy Guards, the Oxford Blues,

Besides the Surrey Yeomanry.
And many a line of Foot appears,
With drummer-boys and pioneers,
And last, the Loyal Volunteers,

The drollest of the Infantry.
Not last; for of the New Police
Behold how one, in pure caprice,
The hat knocks off-to keep the peace-

Of idler, answering snarlingly.
That morn was seen by all the town
King William's brow without a crown;
But ere yon autumn sun went down,

'Twas circled most expensively.
The Debt still deepens. Could we save
A trifle, Hume might cease to rave.
Waive, Rundell, half your profits waive,

And charge as low as possible.
Oct.-VOL. XXXII. NO. CXXX.

Z

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