Page images
[ocr errors]

SPIRIT OF THE POLITICAL JOURNALS, mirth. Few but the Aristocrats can be so void of FOR FEBRUARY.

sympathy, or of an understanding of the sympathy

of others, as to commit so hateful an offence against MARTIAL LAW-MILITARY TRIBUNALS.

moral decorum; and we are often tempted to think It is thoughtlessly said, that the young gentle that the cruelty and wickedness of the giants of men in sash and gorget, who sit in judgment, will tales of chivalry were intended to adumbrate the at least be impartial. Those who mix at all with cruelty and wickedness of great people in all states military men, and hear their truculent language, of society. or those who mark the ferocious spirit of their Lord Cloncurry's observations, which moved organs in the periodical press, know the folly of such mirth in Pandemonium, were as follows :this expectation. Major Beauclerk, who is an old

“He begged their Lordships to conceive a noc. soldier, and in every way a competent witness, turnal search by the police (A laugh.) It might said in the House of Commons:

be a subject of laughter to their Lordships, but it He could tell Ministers, from long experience-was the cause of many a wail in Ireland. Englishfor, for two years he had acted as Deputy Adju- men did not require to be told by him that the tant-General—that one of the worst courts they females of Ireland enjoyed the feelings of modesty could possibly devise was a Court-Martial. Party in as great a degree as their own countrywomen. prejudice could not but have considerable sway in How would their Lordships like their wives, or courts so constituted. In his humble opinion, no- their sisters, to be visited at night in such a manthing could be worse. He had repeatedly seen ner by an insulting and brutal police? (Hear, young officers surrender their opinions and judg- hear!) This power was much abused, and, therement to the colonel, who frequently was greatly fore, it was his intention to move in the Commitprejudiced. He had himself' been under arrest tee, that when those to whom the power of search for two days for merely giving a judgment to the was given by the Bill, came to a house and called best of his ability, and Captain Brooke of the 62d on the names of those who ought to be in it, those had been similarly treated for the same offence. who did not answer should be deemed absent.

The powers given to the military will be abused By this means, that great power which was given in every way, and for every purpose. Every op by the Bill would be more innoxious; those domi. ponent of Government will be marked for perse- ciliary visits, even in the present state of Ireland, cution; so also will be many an unacommodating could not be allowed. Instances had come to his husband who has a handsome wife, and many a knowledge of the manner in which this power had watchful, sturdy father who has a beaụtiful daugh- acted under the last Insurrection Act. He had ter, This danger of the most exasperating sort known an admirer of female beauty to transport a of wrong, was urged years ago by Lord Grey þim- brother, or a lover, who stood in his way, for no self in objection to nocturnal searches for arms; other offence than being obnoxious to himself. He but when it was instanced by Lord Cloncurry on had also known a debtor Magistrate transport or Tuesday, there was a laugh-the Noble Lords imprison a creditor because he had asked for his laughed at the idea of offences to female modesty. bill

. He had known a most respectable man, reWe will not term this merriment brutal, for what siding on the borders of one of the proclaimed is there in the conduct of brutes which is compar- districts, and who passed the boundary after the able to it in odiousness ? It were a most irra- limited time, for no other purpose than that of tional disparagement of brutes to stigmatize the paying the wages of his man, taken up and combarbarity with an epithet borrowed from their mitted to prison for three months,—though, upon kind. No one ever saw a brute amused by the representation to the Lord Lieutenant, he was idea of another brute's pain or degradation ; but if afterwards released. He hoped, therefore, due such a prodigy should be witnessed, it may be care would be taken to guard against the abuse of called Lordly. Providence, who has denied brutes this power.” imagination and risible faculties, has saved them No care will be taken, no care can be taken, in from the hateful expression of glee at the thought the proposed measure, to guard against these of suffering. The laugh is one of the distinctions atrocities. The zeal of courts-martial will be of man from brute; and the Lords, who employed shown in the rapidity of their convictions. What it on the occasion instanced, have made it mark is about to be done, but to substitute the most another distinction, which only fiends can share unpractised judges for the most experienced ; the with them. Ireland, says Lord Grey, has reached rudest procedure for that reputed the best? A an unparalleled demoralization : do the wretched military tyranny is to be set up to teach respect creatures for whose offences the Lords, are shaping for the law, and confidence in justice! If, by a laws, laugh, like their Legislators, at the amusing miracle, the military courts do substantial justice, thought of the worst outrages to females ? In what will be the effect? To create respect for what society but the House of Peers would such the law superseded? Impossible. No; in that case a subject have been treated with merriment? We they will create respect for the military law, and doubt whether, in the orgies of the lowest brothel, the restoration of the regular tribunals will be resome respect for decency, for humanity, would not garded as a relapse to favour and partiality, and have restrained the gross, licentious, barbarous 'hated accordingly. The irregular tribunals must

be better or worse than the superseded ; if better, serious engagements sit upon the consciences of a how is love and respect for the worse regular majority of the members, and how necessary it is courts to be generated by them? if worse, what for their constituents to look after their conduct good consequence of any kind can be reckoned on? with jealous and scrutinizing care. By the rejecThe patient resists the surgeon's knife, having notion of the above resolution, the first Reformed reliance on his honesty or his skill ; will it im. Parliament-not yet a month old—have in effect prove the matter to strap him down and give the sanctioned the principle, that it is expedient to re. carpenter a diploma to operate with an adze? ward public servants, by promoting them to offices

There are men who, thoughtlessly or imprudent- to which no duties are attached. How pleased and ly, advocate martial law as protective of the peace- grateful the old Borough party must be to see one able against the lawless; but what protection will of the most cherished dogmas of their political there be against the errors, the caprices, the pre-creed recognised and adopted by their triumphant judices of the military judges ? Who can feel for opponents ! one moment secure of his liberty, when a mali In the majority of 94, by which the House re. cious information may cause him to be dragged |jected Mr. Hume's resolution, we find the name from his home and flung into gaol for an indefinite of not fewer than 45 of the Conservatives. As for period ; his family, meanwhile, left unprotected, these men, we have little to say about them. We and his affairs neglected ; the issue of his trial be- believe it would not be difficult to show that they fore à rude, unskilful, rash, and peremptory tribu- are nearly all distinctly pledged to the abolition ! nal, doubtful ; and the injury of detention cer- sinecures. But their policy and practice coincid. tain ? Is there a man who, after the passing of ed. The Tories made a point of defending every this atrocious law, can feel his innocence a pledge sinecure as long as it was possible, when they were of safety? In every red coat he will see a master. in office, and they act consistently in voting for He must subdue his looks, cringe in his presence, their continuance now, But what shall we say to and yield all his exactions, or he is a marked man. the conduct of the professed Reformers,—the loud. If he give any umbrage to gentlemen of the sword, tongued, unceasing, implacable declaimers agains! if he refuse credit, hospitality, or the company of the profligate expenditure of the old Borough Parhis wife or daughters, he may reckon on night liaments? The history of political tergiversation searches; and if not an accusation, at least a vex-furnishes few more disgraceful instances of dere. atious summons to attend as witness at some dis liction from duty, and abandonment of former tant trial, of the subject of which he is alleged to professions, than was afforded by the votes and to know something. These things, and yet greater speeches of the two members for Westminster, on atrocities, have been, and why may they not be Mr. Hume's resolution. They stood in the foreagain in similar circumstances? Nr. O'Connell most ranks to defend the fastnesses of corruption, instanced,

-to the levelling of which their constituents “ The notorious case of Sir Edward Crosby, a would, in other times, have expected to see their man totally innocent of the charge brought against most vigorous efforts directed. What will the him, who had been dragged before a court-martial, Electors of the Tower Hamlets say when they read of which a major of dragoons was President. the name of Dr. Lushington among the sinecureAmong other questions, he was asked why he, who sanctioning majority ? Are the constituencies was an officer of rank, had never entertained any of Finsbury, Marylebone, Southwark, Liverpool

, of the officers of the garrison ? He was tried, Leeds, and Wolverhampton, desirous of perpetu. convicted, and, though wholly innocent, executed. ating the all-play and no-work system of the rot-Examiner.

ten borough Parliaments ? If not, let them cal! THE SANCTION OF SINECURES BY THE REFORMED their representatives to account for their rotes of

the 14th instant. Perhaps Messrs. Broughan), There is at present no party, no description of Horne, Spankie, Marshall, Macaulay, Whitmore. men in Parliament, who are not pledged chin-deep and the freely-elected Lord Sandon, may condeto the enforcement of rigid economy in the ma- scend to inform their respective constituencies of nagement of public money. During the progress the weighty reasons which induced them to back of the late elections, though many of the candi.. the Government in their resistance to the aboli. dates objected to pledges in general, yet they all tion of sinecures. We shall be curious to learn if seem to have thought it necessary to make an any reasons exist for their conduct, which, as hobexception in favour of pledges to reduce impro- ourable men and consistent politicians, they need per expenditure. But how have these promises not blush to avow. been kept ? A reference to the division on Mr. On a reference to our list of the division, every Hume’s resolution, " That it is the opinion of this one must be struck by the great number of absenHouse that the existence of sinecure offices, and tees. The fact is, that more than one hundred offices executed by deputy, in the Army and Navy members quitted the House, not liking to vote departments, is unnecessary, and inexpedient as a against the Ministry, and unable to endure the disa means of remunerating public service,”—which grace of voting with them,--fearful too, and with resolution was rejected by the House on the 14th reason, that their names would be held up in the instant,-proves how loosely the most direct and Black List, to the reprobation and surprise of those


who had just returned them in the belief that they racters, and must redeem themselves by no comwere really the unflinching advocates of retrench- mon effort. ment and reform which they had professed them [The above is from the Glasgow ARGUs, a new selves to be. We recommend to the electors of and spirited print, destined, we hope, to tell truth, those places_and there must be a large number of and keep alive public spirit in the West, sicken them—whose members were missing on that divi- and wane as it may in the East.] sion, and to the constituencies of various other places which are at present virtually unrepresented,

MR, COBBETT IN PARLIAMENT. because nobody has seen or heard any thing of

Cobbett has been received with great attention, their members, to inquire what these industrious, and makes a good figure in the House. Mr. Buckand attentive gentlemen have been about all this ingham, in the first number of his Parliamentary time ? —Spectator.

Review, whilst describing the debate on the ap

pointment of a Speaker, gives the following charSCOTCH MEMBERS.

acteristic observations made by Mr. Cobbett, which Before the division on Mr. Hume's motion re. are not reported in the newspapers :-“I'll tell specting Sinecures, the friends of the Ministry you what, Mr. Ley, (the Chief Clerk,) you may were offering 6 to 1, that the minority would depend on it, that when we vote the Speaker into be under a hundred. Their dismay is inconceiv- the chair, the people of England will say, “ There able ; being heightened by the knowledge, that now, look at him! There is Mr. Manners Sutton ; about 100 Members left the House without vot- he is the best man among 'em—the best of the ing. The list of the majority is to be published, batch—they couldn't find a better in all the House. and so, we trust, will that of the runaways. What a pretty set, then, they must be themselves ! Their conduct is, if possible, still more disgrace- Ay, ay, Mr. Ley, they'll say as the farmers say— ful than that of those who, in the teeth of re.. "As is the sample so is the sack ;' and a pretty iterated pledges, voted, upon the broad and ge- sack it must be to give such a sample as this !'” neral question, (no special case,) for upholding This reminds us of the anecdote of the honest plain sinecures. The latter are like Rob Roy—honest French deputy, sent to the Convention from a rerogues; they do not pretend to be better than mote province, who, on looking earnestly round on they are. But our sneaking equivocators, who his fellow-labourers, many of them lawyers, was would serve both God and Mammon, what have asked what he thought of them :" I think,” he they to say for themselves ? Says one, “ The replied, “there are a great many scoundrels among embarrassing predicament in which Mr. Hume's us.” motion has placed many of the Scotch pledging Members, almost exceeds belief.” Not in the least;

The measures which Earl Grey brought forward we can perfectly conceive how awkward a time- last night in the House of Lords, for “ the more server feels, when his conscience is set at variance effectual suppression of local disturbances and danwith his interest. These gentlemen frisked back gerous associations in Ireland,” will create an extraand forward like shuttlecocks, between Ministers ordinary sensation throughout the kingdom. Noand Mr. Hume, begging them, as a certain part of thing like them, nothing even approaching to them, the body might be supposed to entreat two stools, in despotic character, has been known to Irishmen not to draw themselves asunder.-In vain! Mr. since the memorable year of 98. On proposing Ilume stood firm to his purpose-Ministers were mince matters, or understate their extreme severity;

them to the House, Earl Grey did not attempt to inexorable--and these worthies, too cowardly to be allowed (like Charles X. when he promulgated play either the parts of honest men or knaves, his famous Ordinances) that they were measures sneaked away, like chidden curs, with their tails at variance with the spirit of the Constitution; but between their legs. Now that they have recover then he insisted that they were absolutely necesed from their first consternation, they begin to sary, for that such was the present condition of a prate about Mr. Hume's “impracticability,” and large portion of Ireland, that the ordinary law of their own “discretion.” It is possible that Mr. the land was a dead letter, and life and property in Hume may have brought forward his motion for made out a strong case—a case calling for the

daily, nay, hourly, jeopardy. His Lordship, we grant, the sole purpose of embarrassing Ministers. We

promptest and most decisive attention of Governwould not attempt to extenuate his conduct, did we ment; but he did not prove, or attempt to prove, believe that he acted from pique, although some that Ireland was in a state of broad, open, daring Ministers, and particularly the underlings, have rebellion, and we know nothing short of this can given him ample cause. But we maintain, that justify a Government in having recourse to meawith his motives these gentlemen have nothing to sures whose first and most prominent feature is, do. The plain question—“Sinecures or no sine- that they are not only at variance with, but actualcures?" —was submitted to them: the country was Constitution, and every known law of the realm.

ly abhorrent--deeply, incurably abhorent to the entitled to know whether they adhered to their

We do not urge this point out of any splenetic previous ample professions; and they have shrunk opposition to Government. They are placed in a from the test. Let us have their names by all peculiarly embarrassing position, and deserve the means: and let their respective constituencies most lenient consideration. They see plainly(what, keep an eye on them. They are suspected cha- indeed, no one can deny) that Ireland is in a most


tranquillity. The Duke of Wellington thought the picious temper and a jaundiced eye, still we dare

distracted condition; that what with repeal agita- with a keen sabre; it is short work, but not reputtors on the one hand, and the miscreant factions of ed sweet. the Whiteboys, &c., on the other, she is, from north We shall next week enter more fully into the es. to south, a threatening moral Vesuvius. Govern- amination of this measure of mild martial law, as ment see this, and in their wish to meet the difficul- Lord Grey calls it. At present, suffice it to say, tha: ty with becoming energy--to grapple with it like the Premier's exposition is eminently old womanish. men of mettle, it is scarcely to be wondered at, He says he was disappointed as to the healing ef. though lamented, that their zeal gets the better of fects of the Relief Bill, and therefore gives up all their discretion, and that they over-act, rather than notion of pacifying by the redress of grievance. under-act, their part.

This reminds us of the angelic lady, in one of Miss of one thing, however, Government may be Austen's novels, who resolved never to think well certain, and of this one thing they cannot be too of any one again, because a fair friend deceived her soon assured, for if we mistake not, it will shortly, in a little affair of matrimony. Let the Irish be of be thundered in their ears from every quarter of good cheer. Mighty instruments require mighty the kingdom. They must proceed, without a mo- hands. Sancho Panza armed cap-a-pee in Barrament's delay, to conciliate Ireland with as much taria, was pot dangerous. The scheme is unworthy zeal as they have now coerced her. Their liberal of statesmen, and will break down by the fault of measures must, at least, go hand in hand with their its authors. despotic ones. The olive-branch must be held out Lord Grey makes one important admission—that at the same moment of time with the sword, or the Magistrates are not to be trusted with extraoreven their Irish Church Reform will not save them, dinary powers, as they are commonly tainted with for it bears no proportion as an act of grace, to their faction; and does not this fact fully explain the present proposition as an act of severity. It is but want of respect for the laws which is laid to the as Falstaff's halfpennyworth of bread, to his mon charge of the people ?-Examiner. strous tavern bill for sack. We repeat, then, (and as men interested in the

CONFIDENCE IN THE MINISTRY." welfare of Ireland, we have every right to insist Sone of our readers have been rating us for a on it) that since Ministers have shewn such an want of due confidence in the Ministry. We doubtardent desire to coerce Ireland, they must now less, repudiate the profligate maxim in politics, that show equal desire to conciliate her. They must all public men are alike. We know the value of teach her to respect, as well as to fear them. They consistency; and we appreciate the difficulties of must purify her grievances at the fountain-head, preserving it through the various changes in our and not content themselves with damming up the eventful times. Liberal principles are professed; numerous disturbed waters that flow from such a Anti-Reformers have turned completely round, and source. They must not be radicals in despotism, have become the friends of improvement. There and bit-by-biť Reformers in liberality. Such con- are not a few men, now high in power and office, duct will never do; and the spirit is now at work who, as every one remembers, agreed with the throughout Ireland, which will convince Ministers Tories in sneering at Reform, and in upholding a that we speak but the bare, literal truth.Sun. rotten system of representation, though they were In our report of proceedings in Parliament, will utterly opposed to them

in every thing else. Among be seen the plan of Ministers for the pacification of these men the present Premier is not to be classed. Ireland. The best that can be said of it is, that it af. He was a Reformer forty years ago, he has been fords the Irish an excellent opportunity of procur- one, we believe, ever since. To say that such a ing for themselves the blessing of transportation man is no more deserving of pnblic confidence than from their wretched, misgoverned country, by the the late Lord Castlereagh, would be to assert what simple procedure of taking a walk before or after our honest convictions clearly contradict. But, as sunrise. The whole thing will be ougatory there we belong to no party but that of the nation; as will be much vexation upon its first operation, but we are not under the slighest obligation to extentit will soon break down, and no case has been made ate the delinquencies of the Whigs, or to exaggerate out for it. Indeed, on the contrary, Lord Grey states, the blunders and political profligacy of their oppon. that by sending a special commission into Clare, ents.--we claim to ourselves the right to examine supported by a strong force, peace was restored, the acts of Earl Grey's ministry, and to applaad or and that the same course in Queen's County was stigmatize them according to their character and attended with the same success. Here is evidence probable effect. Though we are then, that the powers at present in the hands of posed-very far from it indeed to view the policy

e by no means dis Government are available for the restoration of and practice of the present Government with a sgs. measures hardly severe enough, and wanted some not place a blind confidence in any Ministry. We thing more than the mere suspension of the Habeas cannot applaud measures which had they emanated Corpus; the suspension, doubtless, of the corpus from a Tory Cabinet,

would have been desigpated without the habeas, which he looks upon as an im- as arbitrary, because their promoters are members pertinence. Lord Brougham, who, though person- of a Whig and a Reforming administration. With ally as peaceable a man as may be, bas a pretty every.disposition to think well of a body of men notion of setting the sword at work in the hands who have been in a great degree instrumental in of others, claims, as he has a good right to do, his carrying the Reform Act, we consider it absolutely share in these disastrous counsels. He argues that necessary to watch them closely - to warn our the greatness of the infringement on liberty will readers of any symptoms of backsliding which prevent abuse, and that the powers will terminate appear in their policy, and the practical working of the sooner for being so sharp. The same consolation their system of government; and we regret to say, holds good when a man's head is to be taken off that the manner in which they opened their Parlia

mentary campaign, was such as to induce the preg- seemed to be the very aim and intent of Ministers, nant suspicion that some of them were lukewarm, at all risks, to irritate the men who lead the Irish if not treacherous, to the popular cause. It will not democracy: We have heard no one reason assignsoon be forgotten, that their very first act was to ed for this inconceivably indiscreet conduct, except place Mr. Manners Sutton in the Chair of the House the fear, which we have above alluded' to, that to of Commons. Was not that a suspicious circum- divulge their scheme of Church Reform would stance? Did it not appear very like a truckling have been to alarm their Conservative allies—wbo attempt to conciliate, by most paltry means, the really seem to have been taken in on this ocvirulent foes to popular rights ? The mode in casion. Up to Tuesday night, therefore, when which it was managed, too—the negotiation of the Lord Althorp proposed' bis extensive and poministry with their plausible candidate was such litic measure of Church Reform, we maintain, as to create distrust in the minds of many of their that the Ministry had not acted in such a manwell-wishers. The election of an Anti-Reforming ner as to deserve the confidence wbich has been Speaker was their first act;—now for the second demanded for them. It is difficult to imagine how For some time previous to the opening of Parlia- they could consistently be supported both by Sir ment, it was understood that overtures had been Francis Burdett and Sir Robert Peel on Irish ques.

made to the leading Anti-Reformers. The regular tions. The support of the Tories injured them more ; organs of the Ministry in the Press had assumed in public estimation than it benefited them on the

an altered and most offensive tone on many of the division. The effects of the suspicion thus engenderpopular questions of the day. With respect to the ed in the public mind will not be easily or soon alaffairs of Ireland, it was given out that an “impos- layed.

We have stated some of the same reasons ing attitude" was to be assumed,—the standing which have caused us to view with distrust, and to army was to be strengthened,-martial law was 'to scrutinize with some severity the plans and appasupersede the Constitution,-and the old Tory rent policy of a Cabinet whose measures we would measures of coercion, and violence were to be re- gladly support and applaud. In carrying through sorted to by the Reforming ministry. But it ap- every scheme of reform and retrenchment, which is peared that doubts were entertained as to the con- worthy of the authors of the new Charter, we shall currence of the Reformers in such measures as freely and zealously lend them our aid. During the these; and the Ministry were therefore constrained struggle on the Reform Bill, we refrained from opto beg for assistance from their Conservative oppo- position, when there was no little ground for it nents, in the well-grounded confidence that it would because we would not, in ever so slight a degree, be joyfully accorded. We maintain that these over- endanger the successful termination of their great tures afforded strong and just cause of suspicion work. We refrained for the sake of the people of against the Ministry. Why did they distrust their England, whose cause they were fighting; not for Reforming majority-that majority which repre- the love of the Ministry, whom we only know as the sented the opinions of the great mass of the people faithful, or negligent and treacherous servants of of England ? When the day arrived for the opening the people. We are not bound to change sides of Parliament, matters assumed a still darker aspect. with them.-Spectator, Not one word of conciliation dropped from the lips of the Ministerial organ, the proposer of the address in the Commons. Every sentence breathed defiance Whes we styled Mr. Stanley the Secretary at War and severity. The Members of the Cabinet, who with Ireland, it was not without presage of the spoke during the debate, said nothing to mitigate or extremities to which his distempered counsels were to neutralize the stern announcement of the coercive hurrying on the Ministry. More powers and more measures which they declared to be forthcoming. powers will be demanded, till no powers remain. They did not deny that the Habeas Corpus Act was the defeat of all the resources of a mighty Governto be suspended, and the right of trial by a jury of ment is in process. The demonstration of what their countrymen denied to the Irish criminals. They talked vaguely of the conciliatory measures

cannot be done against a people is about to be which were to follow; but, contrary to all-even to worked out; and to make the example the more

Tory precedent-- they maintained a stubborn silence decisive, it will be shown that no seruples of justice - as to the extent on nature of those measures. Were or humanity have withheld the employment of the

they fearful, that if they had proclaimed their scheme sharpest means., The Council Chamber is now the of Church Reforme, they should have lost the votes Armoury, and the whole science of Government of the Conservatiyes, when the division on the ad. consists in the distribution of bullets and bayonets. dress came to be taken? If such was the case-if These are the instruments with which Irishmen their object was to triumph over the Radical and Repeal miuority--to show how great a superiority tutions. It is the old regime ; and there are cir

are to be penetrated with a love of laws and insti. of force they could command, we can style their con ductas little better than a piece of desperate and dan, cumstances, such as those of Poland, in which it gerous bungling. An insurrection might have bro- may succeed to extermination, but those circumken out in Ireland upon the receipt of the King's stances are happily not ours. With barbarians, a speech, coupled with the speeches of the Ministers barbarous policy is effective--the instruments are and their partisans on the first night of the session, hard, and relentless as the directing power ; not so The risk of such a calamity was not trifling; esper those with which the Government of a highly cially when we consider

, that the biglily wrought civilized people will have to do. What the eye the Irish Members--full of fearful forebodings and does not see the heart does not rue ; and there are fierce denunciation-were certain to accompany the always meni ready to lay down vast plans of vioannouncement of the intentions of Government. It lence, but the subordinate actors seldom or never


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »