« ZurückWeiter »
the panic of 1847, in addition to the entire question of Free Trade, which was naturally the main topic of economical teaching in those years. On all these three topics he expressed somewhat original opinions, which were novelties, if not paradoxes then, though they are very generally believed now. Το his writings on the railway mania he was especially fond of recurring, since he believed that by his warnings_warnings very effectively brought out and very constantly reiteratedhe had "saved several men their fortunes” at that time.
"The success of the Economist, and the advantage which the proprietor of it would derive from a first-hand acquaintance with political life, naturally led him to think of gaining a seat in Parliament, and an accidental conversation at Lord Radnor's table fixed his attention on the borough of Westbury. After receiving a requisition, he visited the place, explained his political sentiments at much length “from an old cart,” and believed that he saw sufficient chances of success to induce him to take a house there. He showed considerable abilities in electioneering, and a close observer once said of him, Mr. Wilson may or may not be the best Political Economist in England, but depend upon it he is the only Political Economist who would ever come in for the borough of Westbury.” Though nominally a borough, the constituency is half a rural one, much under the influence of certain Conservative squires. The Liberal party were in 1847 only endeavouring to emancipate themselves from a yoke to which they have now again succumbed. Except for Mr. Wilson's constant watchfulness, his animated geniality, his residence on the spot, his knowledge of every voter by sight, the Liberal party might never have been successful there. certain expansive frankness of manner and a wonderful lucidity in explaining his opinions almost to any one, gave Mr. Wilson great advantages as a popular candidate, and it was very remarkable to find these qualities connected with a strong taste for treating very dry subjects upon professedly abstract principles. So peculiar a combination
had the success which it merited. In the summer of 1847 he was elected to serve in Parliament for Westbury.”
“Mr. Wilson made his first speech in the House of Commons on the motion for a Committee to inquire into the Commercial Distress at that time prevalent. And it was considered an act of intellectual boldness for a new member to explain his opinions on so difficult a subject as the currency, especially as they were definitely opposed to a measure supported by such overwhelmng Parliamentary authority as the Act of 1844 then was. Judging from the report in “ Hansard," and from the recollections of some one who heard it, the speech was a successful one. It is very clear and distinct, and its tone is very emphatic, without ever ceasing to be considerate and candid. It contains a sufficient account of Mr. Wilson's tenets on the currency-SO good an account, indeed, that when he read it ten years later, in the panic of 1857, he acknowledged that he did not think he could add a word to it. At the time, however, the test of its Parliamentary success was not the absolute correctness of its abstract principles, but, to use appropriate and technical language, its getting a rise out of Peel.' Sir Robert had used some certainly inconclusive arguments in favour of his favourite measure, and Mr. Wilson made that inconclusiveness so very clear that he thought it necessary to rise and explain,' which, on such a subject, was deemed at the moment a great triumph for a first speech."
THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT Hon. JAMES WILSON.
YHE death of the Right Hon. James Wilson
was a severe blow to your father; for his kindness and familiarity had created a tie between us that was almost fraternal. No man could love, respect, and admire a
talented, promising brother more than your father did him; no brother could rejoice more than your father did at each successive rise that Mr. Wilson made in life; and no one lamented his death more sincerely.
Acquaintances surmised that your father grieved for his loss from worldly motives. They were wrong. It was from a loftier feeling—one thoroughly refined from all base dross of selfishness and interest.
Mr. Wilson's death, no doubt, arrested the onward career of your father; bụt at that he repines not. In patience he pursues his usual course, deeply sympathising with those who have most cause to mourn for his loss, and happy to think he is still of some little service to the family of the departed statesman.
The portrait that is hung up in my library will be cherished as a memorial of the family of the Right Hon. James Wilson. It is a proof-print likeness of my lamented friend, sent to me by Mrs. Wilson, with the following letter :
6 MY DEAR SIR,—I have thought it would be agreeable to you to possess a likeness of my dear husband, and I have forwarded a proof print, of which I beg your acceptance, as a memóriasm usei min me u cong conected via Wz. Wien,
az viam de baut much esteem.
-E Wasex. - The Arches, Cietais. Des Brisci J. 19. 141. How Is M.
Mees raters.. n se na teed heart. Continue to Perberes. Threak the ode las ebced. is may yet for.
BILLINGTON THOMAS CARLYLE · ADVICE TO YOUNG
MEN—ON THE CHOICE OF BOOKS_VOICE OF YOUNG SCOTLAND.
RILLINGTON was a rising man; he had been
the favourite pupil of the great preacher, Dr. Chalmers; and when I first knew him, he held an influential appointment, and was editor of a prosperous journal, and a contri
butor to the periodical press. He had talent, he had industry and perseverance, and fame was smiling upon him, and fortune all but within his reach ;-yet, my son, one false step wrecked the prospects of that rising man, and left him bankrupt in fame, and poor—indeed! Many a pleasant day we spent together! many literary schemes we planned ; but, alas! that fatal error eclipsed a rising star, and robbed it of the lustre which it had attained.
Poor Billington! You remember him. Many a hearty laugh you have enjoyed when he related his humorous anecdotes, which he told so well.
I impressed upon you the care required in selecting your companions in youth—your boyhood companions. When you reach manhood the same care in the choice of your friends must be observed; for unwise fellowship ruins thousands. Before you admit a man into your friendship, watch him well; weigh his actions; and if there be a flippancy of words or a deficiency of honour and integrity, eschew him. A little watching, and his propensities, his disposition of mind, will