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attention. We may especially note amongst these the reproduction of the entire works of De Foe in monthly parts, printed with neatness and accuracy, at a very low price 20 — the poetical works of Shelley in a handsome volume, with an exquisite portrait and a vignette of the poet's tomb 21 and the works of Campbell in a similar style of elegance. All these may be particularly recommended for the judgment exhibited in their selection, and the pains that have been bestowed upon their revival.
A very useful practical work, to be regularly continued, has been commenced by Mr. Brady, the author of several valuable legal summaries. It contains plain abstracts of all the acts of parliament passed in the second and third sessions of the present reign 2, and as it will hereafter be issued yearly, so as to keep pace with the progress of legislation, it will become an indispensable manual for men of business.
Four numbers -- from sixteen to nineteen inclusive of Outlines of Ancient and Modern Sculpture are before us." The specimens appear to be well selected, and are carefully engraved. But it is impossible to judge of the scope of the design from these specimens : we must see the whole before we can venture to pronounce fully upon its claims.
We have looked over the first volume of the “Literary World,” 25 a new cheap periodical, and have been highly gratified by the taste, merit, and general ability developed in its pages. It is one of the very best -- if not the best — of its class : its embellishments are numerous and costly; and its matter is varied and judiciously selected.
“Gilbert's Modern Atlas,” 26 the first part of which contains a clear, carefully coloured map of the world, may be recommended for the accuracy of its engraving, and the brevity and fulness of the descriptive letter-press.
20 The Pulteney Library ( The Works of De Foe. Colonel Jack). London : Clements. 1839.
21 The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Edited by Mrs. SHELLEY. London: Edward Moxon. 1840.
22 The Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell. London : Edward Moxon. 1839. 23 Plain Abstracts, for popular Use, of all the Acts of Public Interest passed in the Session 2 S 3 Victoria, 1839. By John H. Brady. London: H. Wasbourne. 1839.
24 Outlines from celebrated Works of the best Masters in Ancient and Modern Sculpture. London: Charles Murton, 1839.
25 The Literary World : a Journal of Popular Information and Entertainment. With numerous Engravings. Conducted by John Timbs. Vol. I. London: G. Berger. 1839.
28 Gilbert's Modern Atlas of the Earth. With descriptive letter-press. By Henry Ince, M. A. London: Grattan & Gilbert. 1839.
MONTHLY CHRONICLE. .
LINES WRITTEN ON THE NIGHT OF THE QUEEN'S
The city is astir; each crowded street
wall and window is a-blaze
Why is the mighty city thus arrayed
PROGRESS AND PRESENT STATE OF PARTIES. The year 1840 has commenced under most favourable auspices for the Liberal cause. The resignation of Ministers in May last may be likened to one of those crises which mark the turning point in dangerous diseases, and from which, if once fairly surmounted by the inherent vigour of the patient's constitution, the period of rapid convalescence begins. Most critical, indeed, or rather well nigh desperate, did the condition of the Liberal party appear at that period, to all who did not trust with unshaken confidence in the inherent vitality of principles based on truth and reason. The reflux of that triumphant tide of popular opinion which at the memorable era of the Reform Bill swept all before it, had ever since been setting steadily against the Whigs, and bearing them to leeward at every tack; while the bark of Toryism, after long battling with the bitter storms of opposition, seemed at last “ to hold gladly the port,” and be wafted on by favouring gales to the wished-for haven. The union of the Liberal party, by which alone they had been enabled to make bead against the combined forces of the Church and Aristocracy, appeared for the time to be irretrievably destroyed. One section of Reformers openly longed for the advent of the Tories to power, preferring certain danger to the agonies of inaction and suspense; another section, alarmed at the violence and disgusted at the wrong-headedness of the extreme Radicals, were ready, if not to go over to the enemy's camp, at least to offer a sort of tacit support to a Peel administration. The great body of Reformers, in parliament and throughout the country, distracted by disunion, and dispirited by a constant succession of reverses, had fully made up their minds to the prospect of a Tory government, as an inevitable evil.
Such was the aspect of affairs in May last, such the elements of success which offered themselves almost spontaneously to Sir Robert Peel, when, on the resignation of Lord Melbourne, he was entrusted with the task of forming a ministry. The game, to all appearance, was in his own hands he threw it away by the most extraordinary mismanagement, the most unparalleled want of common sense and courage ever exhibited by a public
The conduct of Sir Robert Peel on this occasion is enough of itself to show that he has none of the elements of a great man, or even of a great party leader, in his composition. Plausible, dexterous, and accommodating, with a judgment unclouded by any of the prejudices of genuine bigotry, he makes an excellent general, as long as a defensive policy and Fabian tactics are the order of the day. But when the moment for action comes, when the solemn plausibilities of House of Commons and Tamworth orations will no longer avail, and a great emergency calls for the decisive daring of a statesman, he is found wanting. Too cautious, too fearful of committing himself, too destitute of strong earnest feeling and fixed principles, he doubts and hesitates, he trims and temporises, till the golden moment for action passes by:
The point on which he allowed the negociations for the formation of a Tory government to break off is thoroughly characteristic of the man. Rightly considered, it was nothing more nor less than an attempt to make the Queen act a lie, for his benefit. She was required to dismiss her chosen associates, in order to delude the people of England into the belief that she regarded her Tory ministers with a degree of friendly confidence
which no one better than Sir Robert Peel knew that she did not really feel. Oh Cant! thou goddess who varnishest over the solemn plausibilities of life, and delightest in specious respectabilities and parliamentary explanations, and breathest ever an atmosphere which is neither truth nor false, hood, but some ambiguous, vapid, inane mixture of both! what a triumph was thine when the dexterous orator rose, with studied phrase and well acted anxiety, to disclaim the imputation of having attempted to dictate to Majesty: - “ Thou canst not say I did it” - no, not a man of them could say he did it, though that it had been done was manifest to all; and thus, amidst hear, hear, with wave of hand, and glance of triumph over his shoulder, to benches of applauding partisans, the Right Honourable orator sat down, in parliamentary phrase, triumphantly acquitted.
Not so, however, thought the nation. The heart of many an honest man and woman beat high when they heard how the true woman-heart of a young girl had baffled the arts of veteran politicians. From that moment the tide began to turn. Loyalty, though somewhat on the wane, is still one of the deepest feelings in the breast of every true-born Briton. Love of fair play and hatred of humbug are still, thank Heaven, characteristics
of Englishmen. These feelings all testified aloud against the attempt of the Tory leaders to dictate a disingenuous falsehood to their youthful Queen. And when the party, in their impotent rage, threw off' every restraint of decency and moderation, -- when Bradshaws, amidst applauding crowds of wine-warmed parsons, bid their Sovereign remember the fate of exiled monarchs,— when ribald Robys pointed the obscene jest against their virgin Queen, and officers high in rank and station sat by, approving and consenting parties,
- when pulpits rang with denunciations of the woman Jezebel, — and in every private circle was heard the venomed lie, the slanderous inuendo, – then arose a burst of loyal indignation from all that was honest and sound-hearted in the land, which made the rascal rout of libellers and slanderers quail before it. Infinite is the damage which this outburst of disloyalty did the Tories; not only has the court been rendered hostile beyond all hope or possibility of reconciliation, but the country has been disgusted, and the character of the party injured in the estimation of all moderate and right-thinking men.
This is one of the results of Peel's miscarriage in May another no less valuable for the Liberals has arisen from the same cause. Furious at its disappointment, the blatant beast of bigotry burst its muzzle, and raged once more at large throughout the land. Orangemen and zealous Tories, disgusted, as they well might be, at the result of Peel's time-serving caution, broke loose from their allegiance, and determined to carry on the war after their own fashion. Baffled in their hopes of reducing the fortress by blockade, they resolved to make a desperate effort and force their way back, like Moloch, over the battlements, "armed with hell flames and fury' the flames of religious hatred, intolerance, and every bad and malignant passion. Loud was the cry to arms loud beat the drum ecclesiastical - ministers, miscalled of peace, were seen hurrying to and fro, bearing aloft the blazing cross to summon the clansmen of intolerance to the unholy warfare. Sad to Christian men was the unseemly sight of pastors stirring up their flocks in the name of the gospel of peace to hate those whom God has commanded them to love. Religious prejudice, national animosity, pride of race, recollections of former enmity, all were invoked, and were invoked in vain, to make the Protestants of England embark in a crusade against the rights and liberties of their Irish Catholic brethren. Thanks be to God, the attempt failed-failed so signally and entirely, that the very men and journals
who laboured most strenuously in the unholy work are now foremost to denounce and disclaim it. It is a consolatory fact, this signal failure of the No Popery.cry, and one which marks the silent, steady progress of truth and right amidst
ceaseless war of words, and tumult and hubbub of contending parties. Twelve years ago, when the Emancipation Act was carried, it is almost certain that if the Tory leaders had flung abroad the banner of No Popery to the winds, and appealed to the English people in the name of intolerance, they would have obtained a temporary triumph. Now, they can rally round them only a despicable handful of crack-brained fanatics, political priests, and designing adventurers. The very men who hounded on the Greggs and O'Sullivans, find it necessary to disclaim their connection, and set up for champions of civil and religious liberty.
While the Tories were thus damaging themselves in the opinion of the country, by the fanatic and disloyal escapades of sundry unruly members of their party, Ministers, instructed by the experience of past errors, strengthened by the infusion of fresh life, and aided in some measure by the accidents of fortune, were steadily gaining ground, consolidating the halfdisrupted union of the Liberal party, and laying the foundations for future success. They returned to office, after their temporary retirement in May, a stronger and more efficient ministry than they had been for years. The fatal question of the ballot, which separated them from the great body of their supporters, was at length conceded. The additional strength and confidence derived from making this an open question were incalculable. It is the fashion to abuse open questions, and sneer at them as expedients by which weak ministers contrive to retain, at the same time, their seats and their salaries. Those who argue thus overlook the change which the Reform Bill has introduced into the constitution of the country. In the good old days of Pitt and Castlereagh, when a ministry could, under ordinary circumstances, command an ex officio majority in both Houses, open questions were doubtless a sign and source of weakness. But now, when members of the House of Commons represent numerous and enlightened constituencies, instead of old trees and park gates, to say that there shall be no difference of opinion in the cabinet, is about tantamount to saying, that there shall be no difference of opinion in the country. Every advancing question must in the nature of things pass through the stages of a proscribed and open question before it is finally adopted as a ministerial measure, and made the rallying cry of the whole party. The real mistake on the part of ministers was not in making the ballot at last an open question, but in delaying to do so one moment after it had become plain that it had the support of a large majority of their adherents. The truth is, that the real objection to open questions is not so much that they make the ministry weak as that they make it strong. That the Tories should declaim against them is natural enough. Whatever tends to draw together different sections of Reformers, and make the existence of a liberal administration possible, is not likely to find much favour
Nor was it by the wise and statesmanlike concession of the ballot question alone, that Ministers strengthened their position. This was but an earnest and pledge of the adoption of a more vigorous and decided policy. The disclosures of Lord Howick have shown,
that from that moment the Ministers, with the single exception of himself, made up their minds to throw themselves frankly upon the support of the middle classes and great body of reformers. Lord Howick's plan of seeking additional strength, by retracing their steps, was unanimously rejected, and his consequent retirement from the cabinet left it a compact, united, homogeneous body. The
in their eyes.