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But grant it, and - What theu ?-_Where is the wonder that Old Sarum should return Mr. Alexander, or Pembrokeshire return Sir John Owen ?the one at present is scarcely more a close borough than the other. A mighty triumph, indeed! The Anti-Reformers go about knocking off thistle heads, and calling the world to admire their prowess ;-innocent little dears! And Dorsetshire !-Why, really we have taken some pains to learn the facts of that election, and all we wonder at is, that it was so near a race, No Reformer in the last Parliament, save only Mr. Calcraft
, could have obtained Mr. Calcraft's success; it was the person that triumphed rather than the Reformer. And here Mr. Ponsonby,—not possessed of much property in the county, closely connected with Catholics-voting against Lord Chandos's amendment, and therefore considered against the agricultural interest,-goes down into the hot-bed of parsons and · squires, hypochondriacs about the Corn Laws, and croakers about the church.) the very focus of all prejudice, aristocratic and political—to contend against one of the most popular young noblemen in England, who had, besides, the most unlimited command of money,and, after all, he is beat only by a handful of doubtful votes, and more than probably, from the grounds of his intended petition, may not be beat at all! " Is this a victory for the Anti-Reformers to crow over? The Roman Emperor who picked up a cargo of shells and sent home, demanding a triumph for the feat, had scarcely a better notion of glory. But let us, cries the Times, a journal whose great activity, power, and talent on this subject England will not lightly forget, let us strain every nerve for the election in Cambridgeshire. We ought to do so~let us do so; but if the Reformers are beaten in Cambridgeshire it will be no proof of reaction about Reform. The agricultural districts in general are not those in which we are to seek for the free and unbiassed current of opinions. It is where men are drawn close together; it is where men are independent of each other—that is to say, it is in large towns that we are to look for the expression of popular opinion, often discussed, and not unfairly influenced. But, above all, who could call Cambridgeshire (the Hardwicke and Rutland interest united against Reform !) a fair field for Reformers?", Why, the Rutland interest alone is sufficient, in common times, to return its creature. Talk of this election being a just criterion of public opinion-Pshaw! But for the Reformers it will be a noble battle; the less the disgrace in defeat, the greater the glory in victory. There is one caution we must give the people. Nothing on earth is so common a characteristic of human nature as over contidence in strength. A party very powerful in numbers, and certain of obtaining its object, never fights with the same determined and desperate zeal as one that feels that the most energetic efforts only can save it from annihilation. The Tories are extinct if the bill is passed; their efforts, therefore, are incredible ; they spare no money and no labour. What must be that state of despair which wrings gold from Eldon, and activity from Newcastle ? But do not let the people despise isolated skirmishes, under the notion that the grand battle is safe ; let them give their enemy no plea and no quarter; let them give the practical lie to the cant of reaction. It was from too great a confidence in their numbers that the French army were beaten by the handful of “ English, scarecrows” at Agincourt. It would be too absurd and too disgraceful if the Tories made an Agincourt of Reform!
THE TIMES. We shall not give the reader much of direct and immediate politics n this number. For neither to the past, nor to the present is the deep and anxious interest of the Public now directed ;—all political feeling is absorbed in one subject and one conjecture-the Reform Bill and its fate ; and when men are eager and hot with anticipation, it is in vain to demand from them that patient temper of discussion and inquiry without which political writing is above all other compo. sition wearisome and tedious. But we are happy at least that we can speak with the most sanguine and cheerful conviction upon
that one point—on which so keen an anxiety, so harassing a fear, and so fluctuating a hope, are entertained. Our readers may depend upon this--the Reform Bill is safe. The King is staunch--the Ministers firm—and the aspect of the Time has—we have cause to know-made several converts among the Peers. Let us give them credit for the motives of that conversion-do not let us join that crowd of politicians who think that a man must be dishonest because he is a Lord, and who would deny to educated and honourable men all views but those of ignorance, and all motives but those of dishonour. The Time," that great innovator,” may well be sufficient to convert some of the enemies to a measure which so long as it is agitated annihilates all tranquillity and paralyses all trade-every delay to the accomplishment of which feeds not excitement alone, but what is far worse—what in a commercial country, in a country supported by an artificial system of credit, must, if not speedily checked, ultimately terminate in a National Bankruptcy,—which introduces into the constitution the habit of unconstitutional excitement. The stoutest supporter of Aristocratic institutions must now feel that by opposing the measure he is encouraging,– he is nerving-he is hurrying on—the rapid and irresistible progress of democracy. Men, whom personal considerations might not intimidate, may well be appalled by considerations for their country. But the converts among the Peers, though more numerous than are imagined, are not sufficient. The Ministry must make creations—let the country believe they are prepared to do so--they must do so if they wish to retain office, and to retain the chamber of Peers; for as, in another part of this num ber (viz. the Dialogue between a Tory Peer and a Reforming Commoner) it is more especially insisted upon—the converts to the Bill are not converts to the Ministry—if they, the Ministry, wish to prevent eternal collisions between the two Houses of Parliament, which must end in the destruction of the weaker and less popular --they will seize the present occasion to infuse into the one that general sympathy with the other, and through the other with the people, which will become at once its purifier and its safeguard. Talk of the blow to the Peers that a large creation will inflict !- the
Dec. 1831.-VOL. XXXII. NO. CXXXII.
danger that menaces them is not from being a popular, but an unpopular body—not from being in accordance with the general opinion—but from being opposed to it.
We have also to congratulate the country on the belief that the new Bill (equally democratic and efficient with the former) will be presented in a more convenient shape than the last—that we shall not have the same wearisome disputes in the committee, and that we may find time even among the engrossing discussions on Parliamentary Reform, to give to other subjects of business that consideration which they so imperatively require. Among these, the fearful and organized system of murder which has been evidently long carried on in the Metropolis—the stalling and trafficking of living men for purposes at which the blood runs cold, demands an immediate and effectual remedy. The only remedy is this
the providing subjects for anatomical science must be made a duty of Government. There must be places in every large town in which, on application, subjects can be procured at so low a price as to throw the contraband traffickers entirely out of the market. The country would not, for this end, if it be necessary, grudge the Government some adequate fund. This must be coupled with a repeal of all Laws that throw degradation on the scalpel—the bodies of felons ought not to be appropriated to the uses of sciences—they ought not to be deemed worthy of that honour. *
The most diligent inquiry should be made into the methods pursued abroad of procuring subjects, and the Press should and will, we trust, lend its mighty aid for the correction of such prejudice as it may be necessary to offend—we say may, for no individual feelings need be outraged—the repose of the churchyard need not, as now, be violated ;--to the unclaimed bodies in hospitals there are no relations whose feelings are to be outraged, and that service to their fellow creatures which the sick poor abroad not only cheerfully submit to bequeath, but submit to with a sort of pride, there is no earthly reason why the sick poor of England should not, if rightly taught, equally accede to. Those who die unclaimed in hospitals, have received in their last days a great benefit from the public—why should not that benefit be repaid? Some general prejudice even in this may be encountered—but in what reform have we not prejudice to encounter? Those who talk cant to the poor, and cry “why do not the rich bequeath their bodies to the surgeons?" forget that in this reform it is not the rich, it is the poor alone who are to be served. The rich man does not suffer from the ignorance of the country
This truth cannot be too much insisted upon. Some of the papers sugge st that the bodies of all felons dying in prison should be appropriated to the use of an atomy. „A pretty way to remove the prepossession that such appropriation is disgracc ful, by choosing subjects alone from those classes which are the most degraded
practitioner; if his finger ache he can consult a Halford or a Brodie: it is the poor who are maimed and mangled by the blundering knife that acquires that practice on the living, which the high price of subjects forbids it to acquire on the dead. Above all, it is the poor who suffer from the dark and atrocious crime of the murderer ; rich men are not the prey to the Burkes and Hares of the metropolis. Men who really love the poor must be honest, must be bold in their advice: the prejudices of one class are not to be more favoured by good and liberal government than those of another. We oppose
the prejudices of the rich when we deny to a Newcastle the monopoly of boroughs--we may have also to oppose the prejudices of the poor if we deny to a Burke the monopoly of human flesh. The great practical remedy is to make the supply of subjects a matter of government. Do this—appoint responsible agents and overseers in this matter, as in all else where usiness to be safely and well doneshock no prejudice openly—take no bodies which there are relations to claim—violate no churchyards—but remove at the same time those laws which make dissection criminal, and its objects degraded ; and, by the blessing of Providence, you will have an easy and simple cure for a system that now exposes the great bulk of our countrymen to the ignorance of unpractised surgeons and the peril of secret and organized murder.
In every time there is one popular vice of mind. Formerly in England, this vice was an undue confidence in public men. vernment was to be supported at all hazards. The love of order was confused with a love of the administration, and bad measures were winked at as a part of the legitimate loyalty we owed to King and State, Now we have run into the opposite vice of distrust. Ministers are weak here and wavering there—they certainly won't summon Parliament till January—they won't make Peers--they are measuring my Lord Wharncliffe's stature of opinion for a new suit
Reform--they are deceivers-traitors-God knows what. Now the most singular circumstance is that the confidence was shown to the enemies of the people, and the distrust to the friends. Let us guard our minds against the excess of this caution; a certain vigilance-a certain suspicion-is what every wise people ought to direct towards their rulers. But in these times—that exceeding credulity to every rumour—that disposition towards fear-that fostering of uncertainty and wooing of suspense, is unworthy of a great nation, already resolved upon its purpose, and resting intent and irresistible upon the vast shadow of its strength. We ought to regard so feeble an enemy rather with calmness than fear. The first convinces them of our unanimity--the last flatters them with the hope of our divisions.
A REFORMING MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT.
A FOREIGNER IN ENGLAND.* There are few persons mixing generally with the world, who did not know something of the supposed author (Prince Pückler Muskau) of these volumes, during his stay in this country. We remember that it was a great dispute at the time, whether or not he was clever; that dispute this work will, we think, effectually set at rest; other questions respecting himself, the Prince still leaves undetermined. We do not find the Book, indeed, deserving of any high eulogium ; and Göthe's opinion prefixed by the very able Translator to his version of the Tour, must be received with some suspicion and reserve. For Göthe is warmly (too warmly were impossible,) panegyrised throughout the work, and that illustrious Author is known to share the weakness of his no illustrious contemporary of Scotland, and to be a little unduly affected with respect for those external titles and appliances which the writer of the Tour brings in addition to his literary claims to attention. Yet, without being very acute, or very profound, or very original, or even very amusing, the Author before us possesses, nevertheless, a sufficient combination of all those qualities to make his work (accuracy apart) one of the best Sketch Books of Travel that late years have produced. Certain it is, however, that no class of literature is more rarely found in any degree of excellence, than travels. Few possess the art, the greatest art perhaps, of Letters, and the greatest proof of a truly deep and inquiring mind; which distinguishes by a brilliant and unerring instinct the light from the frivolous, and the heavy from the profound. And this is exactly the art which the Tourist or the Traveller ought the most eminently to possess. Generally in the familiar part of this class of writings, we are regaled with all that the Traveller ate and drank, called in to admire or to condole with his eggs and his ham, his beef and his pudding, his want of sleep and his bad digestion ; he tells us whether his head reposes upon one pillow or two, and is exceedingly diffuse upon the quantity of water the chambermaid leaves in his jug. In the graver portion, we have descriptions of founderies and machines ; statistics that would be extremely delusive if they were not wholly unreadable, and political discussions between the inquisitive traveller and some stray gentleman on the road, who thinks it kind and hospitable to inoculate the foreigner with as much of his own ignorance as he can conveniently dispense with. Our present Traveller is not very free from the for
He is sometimes garrulously revelant of the mysteries of his appetite ; he condescends to inform us of the surprise he created in a black-haired damsel, by his pertinacity on mutton ; and to make us partners of his grief, when instead of the anticipated varieties of fish, he is doomed to the monotony of “the eternal chop :" but these little frivolities we are willing to pardon in a man observant and reflective, and as to the other and graver fault of mistaking lead for the most valuable of metals, and dosing us with dulness for the pleasure of appearing sage; we yet more cheerfully and far more justly, acquit him. But our Tourist is one whose observations we must warn our readers to take with distrust. His criticisms on individuals are not very graphic, and often not very faithful; and upon the mass in
* Tour in England, Ireland, and France, in the years 1828 and 1829; by a German Prince.