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tinguishable speck in that huge sweep of congregated existence! Yet how noble the spirit which has called together that mass, which rules and guides and animates them all—which so adorns their combination, and teaches the structures of art almost to rival the vastness of nature! With feelings like these, you will not be surprised if my spirits were depressed. I felt the loneliness of my situation more sensibly, when I walked out at night, and saw the interminable stream of population in the spa-> cious streets, the lines of lamps and of illuminated shops, to which there seemed to be no end.
The smoky atmosphere of London gives a sombre hue to every object; black soot sticks to the clothes and linen, or lights on the face; the smoke from the houses prevents a satisfac. tory view at a distance, and seems, when viewed from an eminence, a great dark cloud attached to the earth. When the sun is bright in the sky, its rays produce a singular effect on this atmosphere; they appear to light up the whole scene in the most splendid manner,
and seem to be enriched by the murky tinges through which they pass. The high steeples rear their tall points through the dark cloud into a purer atmosphere, and receive the glittering beams of the sun, before thev pierce
the vapour which hangs over the dwellings of
The holy dome of St. Paul's is seen in its majestic grandeur. It has been compared to a Supreme presence shedding gracefulness
ind sanctity over all that is done beneath its shadow, and diffusing sublimity over the huge city, stretched out in endless pomp and endless -larkness at its feet.
La liberté est comme une liqueur salutaire, mais énivrante, qui rejouit le cæur de l'homme, qui l'élève et qui l'affermit orsqu'elle est prise modérément, mais qui dans ses excès, le rend nsensé, furieux, et trop souvent cruel jusqu'à l'atrocité. :
London, March 7th, 1819. “The same weaknesses, the same passions hat, in England plunge men into elections, drinking and - exist here, says Horace Walpole, in a letter from Florence,) and show themselves in the shapes of Jesuits, CeBisbeos and Coridon ardebat Alexins!" In E France and Italy (observes he, in another pasage,) the faults are national and cease to be striking. In England tempers vary so excessively, that almost every one's weaknesses are peculiar to himself. This arises from the clinate and the government: the first is changea-əle, and makes us queer; the latter permits our -:jueernesses to operate as they please.
During the elections, not only the “ queeraesses” but the vices of the English character, appear in all their nakedness. The populace seem to think that broken heads are essential
to the liberty of the country, and that mud and brickbats are indispensible ingredients in the British constitution. Accordingly, during this period of licentious indulgence, the most disgraceful excesses are committed. Before the contest, Despotism envelops Anarchy in a hideous veil; at the opening of the poll, the latter shows her terrible face, and all legal restraint is laid prostrate. The gathering of the storms of faction, which are ready to burst forth,--the exaggeration of debates, and the mad ravings of an infuriated populace,-give to the country the appearance of being on the brink of a revolution. The newspapers will inform you
of the event of the Westminster election. Mr. Lamb's majority was secured by the aid of those who supported him as a minor evil,” as the go. vernment papers say. Sir Murray Maxwell was treated by the populace, just as such a ministerial hireling deserved: he was saluted with mud and hisses, whenever he ventured on the hustings, He received a random brickbat over his eye, which sent him howling down the steps; another stone, lanched at him with great force and violence, winged its flight be. yond the hustings, and encountered the scull of one of his adherents. I was very much surprised to find Maxwell next day haranguing the people; “ sed heu! quantum mutatus ab illo Hectore!” He had a bandage over the eye that was injured, and “ disdain and scorn rode sparkling” in the one that remained! At length,
overwhelmed with the filthy missiles from the crowd, he abandoned the contest to his rivals.
I will close my letter with a short description of the manner in which the elections are conducted. At the opening of the poll, London is covered with placards, announcing to the electors of different counties who reside there, that, if they are disposed to vote for such or such a candidate, they will be furnished, at a certain tavern, with carriages to convey them to the place of election; that there they will be lodged, boarded and indemnified at the expense of their candidate.
The necessary and enormous expenses, have the effect of deterring all candidates who have not a considerable presumption of success. The expenses of the election consist, 1st, in the hire of a house in which the committee assembles; 2dly, in the charges of printing addresses to the electors, puffs in the newspapers, &c. 3dly, in the money paid to agents and persons employed in canvassing; 4thly, in the
payment of travelling expenses for those who are unable to pay them; 5thly, in the cost of building the hustings, and the allowances of officers employed to register the votes; 6thly, in the charge for ribands and other gewgaws, flags, banners, music, and refreshments provided all day at taverns, &c. lastly, in the price of a dinner, which always crowns the success, and of. ten terminates the defeat of a candidate.These expenses, which vary according to the number of electors, to their fortune, &c.
amount sometimes to $60,000! The purchase of ribands alone sometimes costs $10,000; and, in some counties, the money paid for travel. ling, &c. for a single elector, amounts to 8250!
The candidates do not content themselves with causing the suffrages of electors to be solicited in their favour by their agents; they take the pains to visit in person all those who have agreed to vote for them. These visits are of. ten a mere matter of form, which a candidate makes even to those electors who are engaged in the interest of his rival, lest he should be thought proud, at a time when it is expected he should " lower his colours" before the sovereign people! M. Cotter, in his work on the Criminal Code of England, thinks that this system operates in tempering the inequalities of aristocracy: a simple artisan, (says he,) finds a great lord come to him in the attitude of a suppliant, and ask him eagerly for his support; nor must it be supposed that the smallest assistance is to be neglected. One vote has decided the election.
The husting's are divided into as many compartments as there are parishes possessing the right of voting. In each of these compartments are seated two public officers, of whom one holds in his hand, an alphabetical list of all those entitled to vote, and the other a great book for the electors to write their names in. On the day fixed for opening the poll, the candidates repair to the hustings, sometimes with