Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

and should he be allowed to proceed in the same rash and headlong manner, in which he has hitherto conducted himself, a war of extermination must follow. He is adding fuel to a fire already too fierce; and the result will be, either that we shall be compelled to march an army into Ireland, and put down rebellion by annihilating the whole of the Catholic population, or the Protestants now there will be exterminated. The continued irritation of the Catholics, as now practised ; the unjust and preposterous attempt to prop up the Established Church, in spite of justice, in spite of the maddened feelings of the people, must make the breach between the two sections of the people eternal. Care, and an honest, intelligent endeavour to abolish the many great abuses existing in that unhappy country, would, we firmly believe, have reconciled the Protestant and Catholic Irish. But we fear that Mr. Stanley, neither by his talent, nor by the sympathies of his nature, is fitted for the arduous task of legislating for a divided people. He may be a quick and fluent debater ; but here something is wanted beyond smart talking. Profound knowledge of the human mind, and faultless sagacity in the management of the various instruments which constitute the means of politically governing, are needed in a case so desperate as that of Ireland. Mr. Stanley's flippant sarcasm renders the matter still more hopeless. He evidently prides himself on his talk. He is ever ready to put down opposition, and brow-beat those who question his proceedings. He is great in his own conceit, and in the opinion of an ignorant House of Commons. But his presumption is doomed to signal discomfit. While he is arrogantly proving that his patient must soon be in high health, the patient will expire. Ireland, according to his shallow reasoning, must soon be brought to a sound condition: he will quickly have no Ireland to experiment on. Of the Lord Chancellor's conduct, as separated from that of the remaining portion of the Ministry, we shall at this time say nothing. Further experience may, in the opinion of some, be required before a decided opinion can properly be formed respecting it. We, therefore, wait that experience. In the mean time, we cannot here avoid remarking on the new doctrine his Lordship has thought fit to promulgate, respecting the law of treason, and popular resistance. The Catholic Irish people deem tithes paid to a Protestant priest so signally unjust and oppressive that they refuse, in a body, to pay them; and in order to render the distraint for them of no avail, they have determined not to bid for property when exposed to sale on a levy for tithes. This determination Lord Brougham calls treason. When, in order to pass the reform bill, to frighten the House of Lords into compliance, his Lordship presented the famous Birmingham petition, had he the same opinion respecting quiet, peaceful opposition to bad laws ? He had not. Let him reconcile these contradictions. We cannot trust ourselves to speak at more length of his Lordship’s conduct; and therefore abstain from further comment.

Our task becomes tiresome. Were the enumeration of evils continued, till the whole list were exhausted, the present number would be occupied solely by the Ministers and their follies. Here, then, the specific instances shall cease. Let it, however, be remembered, in order that some general and distinct conception of the Ministerial merits may be attained, that they found this country irritated by a Government which manifested no real sympathy in the welfare or misery of the people ; and that they have done little beyond sometimes giving expression to liberal doctrines, to show that they, in the same way, and to the same degree, are not hostile to popular interests; that, on the other hand, they have done much to continue suspicion, and heighten the irritation already entertained. Let it also be recollected, that they found the nation overwhelmed by an enormous expenditure, and, that after two years experience, they rather have increased than diminished our burthens : that after repeated promises of aid, they have done nothing to enable the people to obtain instruction, and that now they boldly declare that they mean to continue the odious taxes on knowledge : that hitherto, with only one exception,* they have made no attempts to improve the administration of justice ; but have, on the contrary, increased the already overgrown salaries of certain judges, and thus rendered the evil still greater than before: that having come to office when the commerce of the country laboured under unnecessary and mischievous checks, they have permitted affairs to remain almost precisely as they found them : in short, with the single exception of the Representation of the country, in the House of Commons, not one of all the great and numerous abuses existing in the government of the country, has been in the slightest degree reformed : that in fact we are as badly governed now as under the dominion of the Tory party.

This state of things cannot last. A reformed Parliament will miserably disappoint popular expectation, if, under its superintendence, any such doubtful course is permitted to be pursued by the Ministers of the crown. The present Ministers, if they act fairly in the character of the people's friends, may obtain so powerful a support in the coming House of Commons, as to be able to set at defiance the opposition of their old opponents. But, in order to obtain this support, they must at once thoroughly change their whole course of proceeding. They must begin, first, by unsparingly dismissing every Tory functionary ; must also, on all occasions, punish, with inflexible severity, every undue exercise of power; and honestly aid in obtaining the great object of the people's desires, viz. a good government. The people will cheerfully take them for leaders, if they will heartily support the character. Nothing was ever more false than the assertion, that the people desire vulgar demagogues as their champions. Everywhere a contrary spirit has been shown. The office of a representative, for example, is, by all the various bodies of electors, conferred on gentlemen. A man from the ranks of the people, or the burgeoisie, stands no chance of success, when opposed to a person, supposed, by his station, to have received a finished education; who is, in fact, of what is termed the upper classes. The heroes of parish vestries are nowhere deemed equal to the task of legislation ; and, in spite of the brawling of this gentry for universal suffrage and vote by ballot, certain we are, that these would not, in the slightest degree, favour their return. The people have been so long accustomed to see men of high rank and station acting as rulers of the nation, that they are not yet prepared to see any other in that character. We speak thus, in order that the Ministers and their party may not mistake our present warning for a declaration of war. It is true, that, if the people do not find in them faithful stewards, and leaders in this their great struggle against the friends of bad government, they will seek for others in their own ranks; but this search will not be made, if the Whigs are true to the popular side.

Of the Bankruptcy act, we now say nothing, because Lord Brougham's conduct has been reserved for consideration at another period, if found necessary.

ELEGY FOR THE KING OF THE GIPSIES, CHARLES LEE, M'ko died in a tent near Lewes, August 16, 1832, aged 74. He was buried in

St. Ann's Churchyard, in presence of a thousand spectators.

Hurrah !-hurrah !-pile up the mould :

The Sun will gild its sod :-
The Sun,-for threescore years and ten

The Gipsy's idol God !-
O'er field and fen,-by waste and wild,

He watch'd its glories rise,
To worship at that gorgeous shrine

The spirit of the skies.
No brick-built dwelling caged him in ;

No lordly roof of stone ;-
High o'er his couch the vault of Heaven

In star-bright splendour shone !
The rustling leaves still murmur'd there ;

The rambling woodbine flower
Its twilight breath, exhal'd to cheer

The outcast's desert bower !
To him the forest's pathless depths

Their mossiest caves reveal'd ;
To him, fair Nature's hand bequeath'd

Her fruits of food and field ;-
The flower,-the root, the beast, the bird,—

All living things, design'd
To feed the craving, or delight

The gaze of human kind!
The pencill'd wood-flower, fair and frail,

The squirrel's cunning nest,-
The granite throne, with lichens wild,

In broidered vesture drest ;-
Sweet violets bedded in their leaves,

The first soft pledge of Spring ;-
Such were the gifts by Heaven's own hand

Shed on the Gipsy King !
The snow-drop glistening in the wood,

The crowsfoot on the lea,
Their gold and silver coin pour'd forth

To store his treasury;
The springy moss, by fairies spread,

His velvet footcloth made;
His canopy shot up amid

The lime-tree's emerald shade.
Buck,-pheasant,-hare,—some lordly park

Still yielded to his feast ;
And firing for his winter warmth,

And forage for his beast.
Happier than herald-blazon'd Kings,

The monarch of the moor;
He levied taxes from the rich, -

They wring them from the poor!
With glow-worm lamp, and incense cull'd

Fresh from the beanfield's breath;
And matin lark,—and vesper thrush,

And honey-hoarded heath ;-
A throne beneath the forest-boughs,

Fann'd by the wild bird's wing;
Of all the potentates on earth,

Hail to the Gipsy King !

BLANCHE ROSE.

Tue bells of Toulouse were chiming for primes.* The spires, stee. ples, and turrets fluttered with pennons and banners, and clustered with caps and bonnets like swarming bees. The main street was lined by the burgher guard, and crowded with citizens, strangers, troubadours, and minstrels, above whose motley shew the windows and galleries were hung with cindon t and arras, and filled with scarlet gowns, furred ta.. bards, and all the riches, splendour, and beauty of Bel Languedoc." A deep stillness reigned in the crowd, and all eyes were turned towards the east gate, where a triumphal arch crowned with laurel, palm, and the white cross of Toulouse stood as high as the bartizan of the city port.

“ Santa Madre! what jour de fête is this?" said an old pilgrim, as he pushed through the men at arms at the barrier.

“ In the name of St. Jacques de Toulouse where did you come from?" replied one of the sergeants, # glancing at his cockle-shell. “ That is no point of your charge,” replied the stranger;

" but I would know what saint you are going to celebrate." “ Truly we call him not saint as yet,” replied the sergeant;

“ though I doubt not he is as good as St. Dennis, or St. George, or any other St. Chevalier in the calendar; but in respect of the canonization, he is yet only Raymond de Toulouse-La Fleur de Chevalerie'-' la lame de France, our young prince that shall return to-day, with the glory of heaven and earth, from the holy croisade.”

The pilgrim crossed himself, and while he was yet speaking with the guard, the sound of cymbals, kettle-drums, and a

corps d'harmonie" came faintly through the still sunshine.

On viens!” exclaimed the sergeant; and the billmen, eagerly clearing the passage, closed up their array, and stood silent under their arms.

The music advanced slowly, till the deep knell of an eastern march could be distinguished, and the thick heavy trample of horses upon the road; every eye fixed upon the gate, as the music approached, till suddenly the clattering hoofs and rolling drums echoed in the deep arch, and the dark mailed horsemen and forest of lances came through into the sunshine. The long black line of men-at-arms poured slowly down the street, till the bright tabards of the heralds appeared at the gate, followed by the great banner of Toulouse, and all the peers and pala. dins of the array.

In the midst of his knights, mounted upon a blanche Arab, and glistening in the white battle-habit of the cross, the Earl rode before his banner, surrounded by his officers, and followed by all the chivalry of Languedoc and Provence. His pale noble countenance was clear and serene as the sun that shone upon him, and his long black hair fell like waves of raven silk from the jewelled helmet and glittering lambroquin, which shook like a glory about his armed head. A rending shout, Vive! Vive! vive le Paladin del croix !” Ş went up like thunder from

[ocr errors]

• Noon mass.

+ Fine white linen. * A soldier between the rank of an esquire and mau-at-arms, who generally work. ed the engines.

& Till the fourteenth century, the French languagr, particularly in the south, had great remains of the old Provençal and Romanish, once common to all the south of

VOL. 11.

B

the crowd ; and the waving of bonnets, scarfs, and glaives, fluttered and flashed, and glistened down the street before the þanner, like the tossing and glimmering of flowers before the breeze,

By the side of the Earl, rode his sworn brother in arms—the beauti. ful and gallant Auguste de Valence, son to King Remi of Provencecalled La Fleur de France," Le Bel du Monde," * and the second knight of all the Christian chivalry; but the eyes of the people past over him as he rode beside the young prince, who, in the opinion of the troubadours, came nearer the beau-ideal of chivalry,—“ Sir Galahad du Sangraal,than any other knight who had ever lived. All the way as he came, garlands, and crowns, and showering flowers rained upon his helmet and housings; and the people wept, and knelt and blessed him, and held up their children to see his face, and cry « Vive la Gloire de France !The young prince came white as his surcoat, and bowed his glorious head to the pall on his horse's mane. Soli Deo gloria.!” said he,Soli Deo Gloria! et non Nobis DoMINI !”

It was long before the court passed down the crowded street, but at length the Earl entered the Grande Place, and as he passed under a large house near the cross, looked suddenly up to the galleries. That house alone in the square was silent and deserted, the silk curtains were drawn close in the windows, and the heavy galleries empty and desolate. The prince turned suddenly and spoke to the grand almoner, and the colour came into the face of the old man, but what he answered could not be heard in the crowd.

In a few moments they reached the gate of the episcopal palace, and the long glittering lambroquins and tall lances poured through into the court till the gate closed, and the black column of men at arms filed past towards the castle. But the crowd still remained before the palace, and in a short time a sumptuous cavalcade of the city procession came through to the gate, and the stately companies of peers, knights, and ladies, began to arrive for the banquet prepared to give welcome to their prince.

All the noon and till the sun grew low, the clangour of the wild eastern music came from the portals, and the gates, stairs, and galleries were crowded with valets, pages, pursuivants, and men-at-arms; but as the evening came and the twilight began to fall, the quiet of closing day succeeded to the hurry of the noon, and only a bright page, or an overwassailled trooper was seen here and there fitting through the dim courts, or elbowing the narrow street, as if it was too narrow for a victorious crusader, who had ridden upon the plains of Zebulon and Naphthali.

It was near dark; the Chateau was dim and still, and the quiet of feudal solitude had succeeded to the hurry and glitter of the baronial pageant and military parade. At times a sudden roar of songs and voices came from the ward rooms, but only one still watch-light shone upon the moat, and already the pages were taking their respective turnpikes, +

Europe ; hence, even in writing, it retained many constructions since localized to Italy and Spain, and thus, for “de la" " à la," &c. was used “ del” “ al ;" “ Rey" for « Roi," “ Espée" for “ Epée," “ del Rey and al Rey” for “ du Roy and au Roi," &c. hence the surname which yet remains in France, “ Delcroix."

* Du monde was a superlative epithet frequently bestowed upon the extraordinary degree of any quality, good or bad. Thus, there was “ The perilous Knight of the World," The beautiful Ladye of the World,” &c. &c. &c.

+ Old name for a winding stair.

« AnteriorContinua »