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« Oh yes,
income shall be secured to Selina, sufficient to assure you, and her, a better home than you have kept up lately.”
Clouds came over the sea of faces. "Was their young squire not a going to live at the Grange himself? Was he about to leave them again? Was he not a going to be their landlord ?"
,” he answered, “ I am your landlord, now and from henceforth. And I hope to be very often at the Grange: I dare say my mother will tell me and you, the more often the better. But my
chief residence it cannot be. On my landing in England, I hastened to Dalrymple: and arrived but in time to be recognised and legally acknowledged, before its master's eyes were closed on this world. "I am Sir Charles Dalrymple.”
Some drew back in humility, some rushed forward to renew the handshaking, but it ended with a shout, that made the old hall ring, of Long life to Sir Charles Dalrymple.
“I'ran over here between the death and the burial,” continued Sir Charles, “and I must return to Dalrymple to-morrow for the funeral. But I trust this short visit has been productive of some good—that it has served to give happiness to hearts where anger and despair were rife. Oscar, once more I say, let us be friends : you shall always find me one.”
Oscar Dalrymple could not refuse to take the hand held out to him: but his face was sullen still.
“And now I think that is all for to-night," said Sir Charles, turning his radiant smile on the motley company. “ When I return from Dalrymple, the old Grange shall hold a good jollification, and I hope you will all come to it."
They filed out, conscious that the family must want to be alone. “Miss Isabel,” whispered Farmer Lee, with a great broad smile on his face, as he was retreating in his turn, "you must not be too proud to come to our house now, though I can see who will soon be my Lady Dalrymple.” And Isabel Lynn pushed him away, with a laugh and a blush.
But Reuben had stolen up to his master with an anxious, troubled face. “Mr. Charles," he breathed, forgetting the new title, “ have you quite left off the-the-PLAY? You will not take to it again ?" “ Never, Reuben,” was the grave, hushed answer.
« That night, which
you all thought fatal to me, and which was so near being so, as I stood on the bridge, looking down on the dark water, I took a solemn oath that I would never again touch a card, or any other incentive to gambling. I never shall."
“God be praised for that!" uttered Reuben.
“For that, and for all,” reverently answered Charles. “If I have not cause to praise Him, who can have ?”
Thus the Grange passed away from one who had shown himself so unfitted to hold it; and sunshine was restored under the genial reign of Sir Charles Dalrymple.
THE DERBY MINISTRY.
ALThough it might have been foreseen that the course pursued by Lord Palmerston, and the recklessness he evinced for popular opinion, must eventually lead to his discomfiture, still the suddenness with which he was hurled from power at a moment when everything appeared so favourable to him, could not have been predicted even by the most cautious watcher of the political horizon. All seemed so fair weather : scarce a cloud arose to veil the dazzling nimbus with which Lord Palmerston had invested himself, when the aura popularis was heard soughing in the distance, and, like a hurricane, attained such gigantic force, that the ministry were powerless, and could only vacantly gaze on the dire havoc produced by the storm they had themselves conjured up.
The fall was a rude one, we are ready to allow, but it was merited : the engineer was hoist with his own petard. By the voice of the people Lord Palmerston was raised to his exalted post; by the same voice he has been irrevocably condemned. He has no reason to move for a new trial—indeed, it would not be granted him in the present exasperated temper of the nation—for he affected popularity, and by the verdict of the English people he was compelled to stand or fall. But a year ago, when the nation was dazzled by the Chinese fireworks offered for its special amusement, and brought in Lord Palmerston by a triumphant majority, he little expected that power would so soon slip from his grasp, and he be so impotent to retain
it. No menaces were heard from the ministerial benches on that memorable evening when the House so nobly asserted its prerogative ; there were no allusions to an unscrupulous coalition, words that tripped off so glibly on the previous occasion. minister gave up the seals of office unresistingly, and, for his own sake, we wish he could say, like Pitt on an equally remarkable occasion,
Virtute me involvo, probamque
quæro. There is one excuse, however, for the hallucination under which Lord Palmerston suffered. It had been the fashion, during the past war, to speak of him as a dictator, and the sweet sound had buzzed so constantly in the prime minister's ears, that he ended by believing the delicious delusion. That his merits were, by comparison, great during our extrication from the blunders of the previous administration, we are ready to allow, although we never felt inclined to regard him as the saviour of his country. Many difficulties had been already removed ; numerous errors were in process of rectification at the period when Lord Palmerston assumed power; and, with his usual acuteness, he claimed the entire credit. The war was brought to a termination, satisfactory or otherwise, but certainly honourable to the nation, and Lord Palmerston having
proved his greatness in war, all that was left him was to show himself equally great in peace. And here his first difficulties beset him: during the feverish excitement of the contest the people did not regard the cost, but, peace once secured, that mauvais quart d'heure ensued in which the items began to be grumbled over. However, by a process in which a liberal government always evinces great tact, the balance-sheet was prepared so that it should pass muster, and Lord Palmerston escaped quitte pour la peur. Unfortunately for himself, however, the prime minister had found it remarkably agreeable to have money always at his command without going through the tedious process of asking the consent of the House; and, being still under the dictatorial delusion, he applied various sums of public money to purposes for which they had not been originally voted. The House, naturally and wisely jealous of its prerogative, fired
at this unconstitutional proceeding, and several sharp skirmishes took place, one of them terminating in a government withdrawal. The temper of the House had, however, been tried, and it determined to watch the prime minister, and if it found him tripping again in spite of the repeated warnings, the ultima ratio would be applied. But the premier rushed doggedly on his destruction ; and in a most delicate matter, which required very cautious handling, and, above all, the utmost straightforwardness, to prevent most unpleasant complications, he chose to affect a mystery, which could only lead to the crisis he desired to deprecate, and, in defiance of our great representative assembly, the proper arbiter of the national honour, he attempted to play the dictator over again—with what result is now a matter of history. Such, we believe, is the rationale of Lord Palmerston's downfal, and although he had taxed the patience of the people by glaring sins of omission and commission, still his overthrow was precipitated by the studied insult he offered the nation, which had once hailed him as its deliverer, through its representatives.
This explanation will at once dispose of the charge of inconsistency which has been brought against the Conservative party, because it voted in favour of the Alien Bill, and yet gave a helping hand to overthrow the premier, under whose auspices the bill was introduced. The question which caused the majority was in no way connected with the bill : but it was necessary to establish the fact, whether Lord Palmerston or the House of Commons should hold the
hand. The bill in itself was good and proper; perhaps it erred on the side of leniency; for although it is our boast that a man, once setting his foot on British soil, is free, still the doctrine must not be carried to exaggeration. We offer a home to refugees of every country; they are at liberty to set up their household gods among us; the only stipulation we make, being that they should conform to the laws of that country which affords them shelter. But toleration should have its limits; and it would be unendurable if assassins and scoundrels of every degree should be allowed to shelter themselves under our ægis, and plot safely against the lives of sovereigns and the tranquillity of the Continent. Just as the Romans had no law for the punishment of parricides, in their belief that such a crime was impossible, so we, hitherto, have taken no precautions against the dangerous and desperate assassins who have plotted their iniquitous designs against our
Imperial ally. But in what light these felons themselves regard the shelter we afford them, may be seen from the infamous pamphlet which has recently emanated from their officina in the purlieus of Leicestersquare. So long as such publications are suffered among us, we should not bear too harshly on our allies for the misconception they seem to entertain of the British character.
So far, then, as the House of Commons was concerned, it was evidently d'accord that some restrictions should be placed upon the refugees; but, out of doors, the feeling was very different. The French papers had teemed with loyal addresses, in which the colonels of line regiments let off their superabundant energy, and displayed the feeling still influencing the Gallic soldier when England is concerned. At such a moment, and remembering that these addresses appeared with an official stamp, Lord Palmerston should have firmly pressed for an equally official disavowal, and so soon as the Imperial irritation had subsided, no doubt matters would have been rectified. In theory, it may
true that an emperor should always be master of himself, and give way to do vulgar irritation, but a shower of bullets must upset any mortal nerves, and the knowledge that England was the only country where such plots could be concocted and successfully carried out, necessarily evoked a manifestation of the Imperial wrath. Count Walewski's letter was probably of too decided a tone, and the irritation produced by the publication of the Gallic fanfaronades was admirably employed by those persons who would willingly overthrow the universe to gain their own selfish ends. Lord Palmerston played into the hands of these men by his reticence, and paved the way for another outbreak of those deplorable excesses which are beginning to render Hyde Park a byword and a reproach among us.
Even the most uncompromising liberal must allow that Lord Derby behaved in a manner as patriotic as it was self-sacrificing when he reluctantly consented to accept the seals of office. The House of Commons, as at present constituted, offers no bed of roses for a Conservative premier, and, had Lord Derby selfishly consulted his own comfort, he would have gladly escaped from the perilous ordeal. But, although he had forgiven the ungenerous manner in which he was treated by the nation on the last occasion of his being summoned to assume the premiership, he would have been more than mortal if he had forgotten it. All honour, then, to such a man for merging private feelings when he felt it his duty, as an Englishman, to do his utmost in rescuing us from the dangerous position into which Lord Palmerston was, we believe unconsciously, drawing us. On the Anglo-French alliance the peace of Europe depends, and it will be Lord Derby's first care to place that alliance on the same firm footing as when the two armies fought and bled together in pursuance of the same great object. And this can be effected without any difficulty, by a straightforward course of action : the emperor has a moral right on his side, and so soon as the requisite explanations have been accepted with the same willingness which will doubtlessly attend their offer, Englishmen will be enabled to enjoy their sole à la Normande or their riz de veau à l'oseille at Philippe's, without any preliminary and most unpleasant interview with his worship of Bow
street or the Mansion House. The quarrels of lovers (of Chambertin) are a renewal of love.
Turning from this question of the hour to the other topics which will prominently require the attention of the new government, we find many grave subjects waiting at the door. The House of Commons has, by a judicial act, decreed the overthrow of the East India Company: even the nominis umbra must disappear. The Conservative party has rightly considered that a period of insurrection, unexampled in the history of the world, and when the public mind is too excited to act justly, was not the best in which to introduce a change, which in calmer moments may possibly require great modifications, but the country having decided otherwise, it can but acquiesce in that decision. But we fortunately now can boast of the right man in the right place : Lord Ellenborough, with his large experience and perfect knowledge of India, will devote himself and all his energies to the elucidation of the difficult task before him, and we have no fear but that he will introduce a bill admirably adapted to tone down the asperities of Englishmen, and at the same time offer the native a reasonable guarantee of protection. Great ought to be the nation's gratitude to the Conservative party, when it has given them a Lord Ellenborough in the place of a Vernon Smith—a mountain of light in lieu of a Bristol diamond.
Again, the Conservatives have been placed in a most anomalous situation by the promise of reform given in the royal speech at the opening of parliament. They are too chivalrous to place her Majesty in a false position by ignoring the pledge their predecessors had so boldly given, after hope deferred had begun to make the nation's heart sick, but, at the same time, they are too conscientious to pander to that vulgar desire for reform, which, properly translated, only means dangerous innovation. One of the brightest gems in the British constitution is that wise tendency for progress, in which all parties join, although with very different ideas as to the interpretation of the word. With the so-called liberals, progress typifies votes and the manufacture of boroughs, securing the Whig administration another unscrupulous partisan. With the Conservatives, on the other hand, progress represents a truly liberal increase of the suffrage, in which one section of the community is not augmented at the expense of the other. During the Whig administration, many abortive attempts at reform have been made, but they all aimed at the same result: they desired, by increasing the number of votes, to give a preponderating influence to the towns. The cry was raised, and repeated by liberal organs, that the countrymen were brought up to the poll
, like a set of sheep, to vote as their landlords dictated, but they omitted to tell us what influence the great manufacturers exercised over their servants. In the large towns the workmen are the prey of unscrupulous partisans, who lecture on all the exploded theories of the radical party, and delude the populace with an exaggerated idea of their importance, by which process votes are brought by hundreds to the poll, in happy unconsciousness of the purpose they are serving. Granting, then, merely for the sake of argument, that the agricultural mind is under the landlord influence, in what degree are they worse than the noisy patriots that follow the first Chartist agitator, who leads them