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ter, and connexions, overawe and subdue the turbulent. The reformers feel that, in striking them, they are striking their benefactors and their friends,-closing the channels which furnish them with subsistence, and paralyzing the hands which assuage their sufferings. The elan of victory, the consciousness of strength, passes over to the other side; and education, talent, and virtue, reassume their wonted ascendency over violent and ignorant numbers.
It is of incalculable importance at this crisis, that similar meetings should take place generally through the country. We cannot expect to see elsewhere, indeed, the splendid and dazzling eloquence with which Professor Wilson captivated the immense audience whom he addressed. But we may expect to see every where the same ardent and patriotic spirit which assembled them together; and there is to be found enough of patriotic and right feeling in every British city, to undertake the labour which was so admirably discharged by the committee who made arrangements for the meeting. In every town and county in the empire, there is the same preponderance of property, talent, respectability, and virtue, over mere numbers and brute violence, which has been so triumphantly evinced at Edinburgh. All that is wanted, is, the vigour to undertake, and the courage to execute, a similar manifestation of existing thought.
The Conservative Party in both Houses of Parliament are incessantly twitted with their being a mere fraction in the nation,-a minority, whose opinion is not worth attending to in weighing the overwhelming mass of public opinion on the other side. It is by such manifestation of conservative principles that this assertion is to be disproved;-the eternal and pusillanimous argument wrested from the reformers, that changes must be made, not because they are advisable, but because the people demand them;-the minority in the Commons encouraged to continue their admirable and courageous defence of the constitution, and the majority of the Lords to stand forth, as heretofore, foremost in the ranks of order and freedom.
How is it to be expected that these patriotic and noble statesmen are to
continue their glorious resistance to the torrent of popular tyranny, if they are left alone to sustain the conflict? Are they to expose themselves to unmeasured obloquy, and their persons and property to danger merely to support a people who wil do nothing for themselves, who leave to them to fight, unaided, a battle ir which the middling orders are main ly interested? Are they to fight fo a nation who not only will not figh for itself, but is apparently dispose to embrace the odious chains of po pular servitude? And how are th legislature to know, or how can the refer to, the overwhelming mass o property, intelligence, and characte which is arrayed against the revolu tionary measures, unless the indivi duals who compose that moral majo rity come forward to record thei sentiments?
But we will not longer withhol from our readers the brilliant an poetical imagery, joined to the pro found wisdom and statesman-lik views which distinguished Professo Wilson's speech.
"Loyalty, I may say, has been, from th olden time, in Scotland, a national virtue It was so when we had an independent king dom, and our own kings-it is so still; an if, in the midst of those immense improve ments wrought in the whole structure of ou social and political life, since the Union, by the constant operation of countless causes a work in the progress and advancement o civilisation, our loyalty be not now so imaginative as of old, not so ardent, perhaps, noi so impassioned, yet, under the guidance and control of reason, it has become a loftier principle in the breasts of free men (tremendous cheers.) The doctrine of the divine right of kings has been long dead, never to be revived; but it may be replaced, perhaps, by a creed with respect to their human right, which may deaden the quickening and animating spirit that belongs to every high principle of human feeling and thought; and thus may loyalty lose the name of a virtue, and become merely the cold conviction in the understanding, that as the monarchical form of government is good, therefore we ought to respect the monarch. nowadays, inculcated by the chilling docMuch of this spurious sort of loyalty is abroad trines of the utilitarian philosophy, which shows no favour to what it calls prejudices and bigotries, but which are, nevertheless, often found in alliance with, and in support of, the noblest emotions of humanity(cheers.) We beg to express a loyalty of a
war; the gallant Prince of the Blood became a companion of the gallant young midshipmen,
"Whose march is on the mountain wave,
Whose home is on the deep.' (Great cheering.) He was brought up among the stormy music, dearest to liberty, the roar of ocean, that dashes against the cliffs of Albion and Albyn, on which are wafted far and wide the wealth and the might of this rich and victorious land. (Shouts loud and long.) With enthusiastic loyalty we islanders hailed our sailor king; and thus it is that we now give vent to the fervour of our attachment; and from all foes, foreign or domestic, we swear to guard with our love or with our lives, his anointed head. (Fervent cheering.) These sentiments, I perceive, find an echo in every breast. mortal man could of themselves excite such loyalty as we feel for William the Fourth, were it not that he is the guardian of that Constitution to which the country owes all its greatness, (cheers,) and because we trust that, notwithstanding the measures which we condemn, and which are his Ministers', that Constitution will remain unimpaired and conspicuous among all the nations."
very different kind of the deep, strong stamp consecrated by all the remembrances of the greatness, and the glory, and the happiness enjoyed by this land under the House of Hanover, (loud cheers,) and by none more than by the remembrance of the character of him who was indeed the father of his people, under whose long reign loyalty waxed great, and grew into a kindly and reverential affection of him who was emphatically called the Good old King,' King George the Third.—(Loud and reiterated cheering.)— The loyal loved him for the simplicity and purity of his domestic life, for that native intrepidity that was with him when his sacred person was threatened by the assassin's aim, and when, in the midst of timid and vacillating counsels, he saved the metropolis of his empire, when blazing with a thousand fires. They loved him for the confidence he reposed, in dark and perilous times, in the national character of the people over whom he ruled with a mild and paternal sway-(great cheering.)—The great Conservative Party shewed their loyalty and their patriotism then, in rallying round his throne, when "fear of change was perplexing monarchs,"—when, in a prodigious revolution-call it rather moral earthquake, whose tremors are yet sensibly felt over the world, and its waves, though no more dashing so furiously, are yet seen in a sullen swell, portentous of evil, along many a shore-the throne of France was overturned, which now, after so many usurpations, abdications, depositions, and restorations, is filled by one who the likeness of a kingly crown has on,' and is supported by the feeble prop of a non-hereditary peerage. (Great cheering.) Our loyalty was with him in the dark and fatal eclipse-it went with his white and honoured head to the tomb; and that tomb is guarded by the hallowed recollection of his kingly virtues. (Immense cheering.) Nor was our loyalty withheld from the son that succeeded such a sire. We did justice to his many noble qualities and his many finę accomplishments; we recognised in him the same high English heart that exulted in the glory and greatness of Britain; we supported his government during the long and fearful contests in which, during his regency, country was engaged, and which, after many immortal actions, which shed an equal lustre over our arms on land with that which on sea had been consummated, but not terminated, at Trafalgar, gave peace to Europe by the overthrow of Napoleon at Waterloo. (Tremendous applause.) And is that feeling
But the virtues of no
In the following able and condensed observations, is contained a summary of the invincible arguments against the necessity of changes in the constitution.
"Men did not fear, once, to speak, without a running accompaniment of abuses, defects, and anomalies,' of our glorious Constitution. They did not scruple to exult in it, to thank Heaven they had been born under it, to teach their children to understand it, that they might become the worthy citizens of such a state. (Cheering.) Nor did our orators and philosophers withhold themselves from celebrating its praises, which were resounded in all tongues and from all lands. The wisest men of the most civilized countries came to study it among the people who lived under its beneficent sway, and to observe how had been growing up, age after age, a national character, which was feared and honoured, as the character ought to be of every great nation, all over the earth. (Applause.) While despots trembled lest the influence of our free institutions, that had grown up under its shelter, might shake their own power, built on the sandy or hollow ground of usurpation and injustice, and strove in vain to pass a non-intercourse act to exclude the
colder in our bosoms towards our gracious spirit of our liberty; other rulers borrowed monarch now on the throne? No. (Thun- from it all they dared to adopt, and the ders of applause.) We hailed his ascension with a new and peculiar pride; for he had left the marble floors of his sire's palace at Windsor for the deck of a British man-of
wisest of their counsellors drew from it their maxims of political wisdom, to guide their state policy, in as far as that was possible under their form of government.
it is, that none dared to vilify it but tyrants or slaves. (Loud cheers.) Nay, our li berty, ill-understood, and rashly and sud denly introduced into the system of other states, not ready to receive the generous infusion, even contributed to inflame nations to madness, and to produce those fearful excesses in a neighbouring kingdom which were saved to Freedom in her own chosen seat. Yet here, too, Freedom had its dangers; but they who had been too heedless in their hopes for man in France, remorsefully lamented the injustice they had then done to their own free government, and lived to love it the better because of that injustice, and that it had stood firm against the shock of so many storms. Then there was a return to the reverence of ancient institutions, and of all those deep and high thoughts with which they were regarded by a people who had continued to flourish under them, while other nations had been disturbed, and other thrones overturned. (Universal applause.) But now, within the space of one little year, we are told that the British Constitution is rotten at the core, preyed on by a disease of the heart, and palsied in its body and all its limbs. We must abjure our faith in the causes of our country's greatness. The Constitution must be remoulded-reformed-reconstructed; but we do not fear to call it subversion and demolition. (Loud shouts.) If, indeed, its nature be so sorely changed, by what magic happens it that, under a rotten constitution, the people are so sound-hearted? that, under oppression, they lift up their heads? that, beneath the domination of a greedy and grinding oligarchy, we see every day, and all around us, the poor man becoming rich, and on lands acquired by his own patient industry and enterprise, building up for himself a mansion like a palace, while, not forgetful of his humble origin, but exulting in it, and true to the fond remembrances of his youth, he includes within its foundation the sacred site of his fa
ther's humble domicile ?
stacles and obstructions, as is imaginable out of Utopia? Can that be other, in the main essentials in the living spirit-than a glorious constitution, whatever exaggerated pictures may be painted of its defects by infuriated zealots, under which all the noblest powers of human nature are brought thus into perfect play, and with scarcely any other impediments in their way than what they love to conquer in the enthusiasm o their highest energies? (Thunders of applause.) If, indeed, there be in it something to repair, must there not be almost all tha we ought religiously to preserve? And with what a gentle and reverential hand must w touch the old, but undilapidated edifice (Cheers.) Our attachment to the Consti tution, then, is founded on the same basi with our loyalty to our King. It is not ai attachment to what is old, merely because i is old-though antiquity with all thought ful minds has a claim to reverence; nor to what is established, merely because it is s
though I do not fear to declare my trus in the virtue that has had long endurance but ours is that rational love which men fee for institutions under which they and their fathers have prospered-if not so as to satisfy discontented and ungrateful visionaries, yet in a greater degree, and with more uniform progression, than can be shewn to be the case with any other nation on the face of the earth. Shall we put all these immense, substantial, and proved blessings to risk on the hazard of a prodigious and portentous political experiment, which perplexes the wisest, and astounds the boldest, and fills the heart of the whole nation with agitation or alarm ?"
The utter absurdity of the argument, so commonly urged by ignorant known better, that the Reform Bill men, and by many who might have does not remodel the constitution, but only restores it to its pristine purity, is thus happily exposed :
shouts.) Strange, that under a constitution so outworn and corrupted, these should be the sights of the common day! It is a noble thing when our praises of the grandeur of any object of our love can best be pronounced in commonplaces-when it requires no far-fetched eulogium-when we have but to give utterance to self-evident truths. In what other country is the personal liberty of the subject held so inviolate? the laws administered with such equal regard to all ranks ?-the balance of justice held with so firm and untrembling-with such pure hands? To genius, to talent, to industry, and to worth, is not the path to fame, eminence, wealth, as free from all ob
Suppose that it is demanded of us to shew the principle of the constitution as it has been exhibited in our history. Shall we go, then, to the reign of Henry VI? would seem that none but the freeholders had then votes in the counties, the potwallopers in some burghs, and corporations in others. Who is the forty shilling freeholder as constituted then? The owner of land at least of fifty, say rather sixty or seventy pounds a-year in other words, the substantial yeomanry. The potwallopers are the working classes; and the corporations the more opulent class of burghers, who are either attached to the conservative side, or influenced by neighbouring great proprietors. These three great classes seem, from the earliest
times, to have represented in the House of Commons the small proprietors, the working classes, and the aristocracy, either of land or money. Thus the fusion of all the orders in the State in the House was coeval with the monarchy, (cheering,) and the influence of the aristocracy and of the crown was more felt during the time of the Plantagenets and Tudors, than in our days. This is proved by a hundred proofs; but, above all, by the steady increase of the liberties of the country, during all the last century; and, as for this, never were the liberties of the people so considerable as when the Duke of Wellington resigned. (Loud cheers.) All arbitrary or
restrictive statutes had fallen into desuetude;
taxes to the amount of many millions a-year had been taken off since the conclusion of the war; the number of the burghs that were daily opening was prodigious, and never had been so great as at the elections of 1830; then how mighty the power of the press, which has been called, and not unjustly, great though its abuses may be, the palladium of the people's liberties! God forbid that ever that press should be enslaved! yet who will deny that, alike in its liberty and its licentiousness, its working has long been in furtherance and extension of the rights, real or imaginary, of those orders whom, at the same time, it has of late been so violently and falsely averred, that it is the tendency of the British Constitution to degrade and oppress? (Cheers.) Firm, indeed, must have been the mysterious balance of that Constitution, assailed on the side of democracy by so many causes, and yet to stand fast. (Loud and lasting cheering.) This being, in few words, the state of affairs over the whole country a year ago, what does the Reform Bill propose to do? To annihilate the representation of the potwallopers, and so to rob of their elective franchise all the working classes; to annihilate the direct representation of commercial and landed wealth, by destroying the nomination burghs; to vest the return of all the burgh members, that is 300 out of 450 members for England, in the tenants of L. 10, or 3s. 10d. houses in large towns and cities, shopkeepers, and lodging-house keepers, alehouse keepers, and keepers of houses of a worse description. The land is no longer represented but in the counties, that is, in one third of the House,—and many strange absurdities there are even in that representation; the wealth of commerce is no longer represented, unless it obtain entrance through the gateway of corruption; the working classes are altogether cut out of the share of representation which they now possess: and can this be a final settlement? Impossible: with landed
of commercial wealth destroyed, and the many millions of the working classes without a voice that can be legitimately raised, but which, especially in times like these, is not likely to be silent. Is it not evident that, in the contests that must ensue between such conflicting interests, the New Constitution will be overthrown? For is it supposable that a Constitution of a few years' or months' duration shall withstand a tempest before which the fabric of many centuries shall have been levelled with the dust ?"
Of the Conservative Party in the two Houses of Parliament who have principles of revolution, he speaks made so noble a stand against the in the following eloquent strain :
"Let us, first of all, speak of the House of Commons. Here there is a majority and a large one-for the Bill. Granted, and I say freely, that I attribute honourable and patriotic motives to that majority. (Hear, hear.) But is the whole House of Commons for the measure? Are they unanimous? No; there is a strong, an enlightened, an eloquent minority for when we consider at what troubled, turbulent, and tempestuous times the elections took place, and of all the power of Government, backed by a powerful press, availing itself of a sudden and feverish excitement, who will hesitate to call it a glorious minority?—(tremendous applause,)-a minority which, night after night, brought the greatest talents of every kind in defence of the Constitution, which drove the Reformers from all their positions, often in sullen silence that vainly imitated scorn, and which their enemies, so far from despising, fear from the bottom of their hearts? (Loud shouts of applause.) I speak next of an illustrious body of men, who, if our annals have been writ aright,' have exhibited among them every species of heroic virtue. I speak of a body comprehending within themselves the bravest, the most intrepid, of the sons of men men who have scattered, like dust before the wind, the enemies of our country by land-dispersed, like the mist before the rising sun, our enemies by sea, and carried Britannia's thunder, to save or avenge, to the uttermost ends of the earth. (Tremendous cheers.) I speak of a body of men, among whom are many whose great talents and acquirements have raised them up from comparatively a humble sphere, to the highest and proudest eminence to which noblest ambition could
aspire. To that eminence they were enabled to ascend but by toils severer far than that which bathes in sweat the brows of the tillers of the soil-by means of that midnight toil of mind, beneath which many an intel
wealth thrown into a minority, the influence leet of highest endowments has sunk, and
its possessor died without his fame. In that order, we see generals, admirals, lawyers, orators, statesmen of the highest rank of intellect, many of them sprung from the people, and placed there by the gratitude of their country, acting through a Constitutional King, to defend its liberties. Such are many of the Peers, living now conspicuous objects in sight of a nation, that, in their elevation, feels its own, and understands that virtue is indeed the true nobility. But we forget not the spirit of the ancient noblesse of England-of that noblesse whose praises have been somewhat suspiciously sounded of late by th self-dubbed friends of the people. As pur and spotless blood as ever flowed through the veins of the Howards, the Russells, and the Stanleys, warms the hearts of those too, who, because they love their country with equal ardour and devotion, oppose those measures in which they see danger and destruction to so many of our best and dearest institutions. (Loud, long, and reiterated cheers.) I speak, then, of the entire order-I make no invidious distinctions-I speak of an order who, had they passed the Bill, contrary to their consciences, would have thereby miserably belied the character attributed to them all over the world; for, in what region is not held honourable and glorious, the origin, constitution, and character of our Peerage? Had they who are sprung of earth's first blood, have titles manifold,' sacrificed that in which alone can lie their strength in a free state,— their duty, their honour, and their conscience, soon had they in their turn been themselves sacrificed-consumed in the fire of a nation's righteous indignation."
Of the opinion of those highly educated classes, who are best qualified to form an opinion on the merits of the intricate question in legislation which our rulers have submitted to the suffrages of the lowest class in society, the eloquent Professor gives the following just ac
"There is another portion of society of whom I beg to say a few words, in relation to this alleged majority in favour of the last measure of Reform-the universities, the English and the Scotch church. (Hear.) What I say of these institutions shall be said guardedly, and, if in any thing erroneous, it will be subjected to scrutiny and correction. How stand they affected towards the Bill? There is no other country, perhaps, in the world, where education is so widely spread as in Scotland: we have in that every reason to be proud of ourselves which indeed we are at all times sufficiently disposed to be-(laughter and
cheers)-but is there a man present here who would venture to treat with scorn the intellect of the English universities? They are not the mere receptacles of Whigs and Tories, nor is party spirit the ruling spirit there, but one nobler far, derived from many high sources, and from none higher than the study of that classical lore imbued throughout with the life of liberty. There are found men of all political creeds : thither flock the illustrious and ingenuous youth of England, and there are they inspired by meditations on the works of Milton, and Newton, and Locke, and those great spirits who understood so well, some of them the whole mechanism of the heavens, and others the whole mechanism of the mind, in what lies the true strength of empires, and from what flow their corruption and decay. Nowhere else in the world is there such an enlightened constituency; and we know that an immense majority of it is against those measures, with its learning and its wisdom. (Loud cheers.) It is the same in the University of Dublin. It may be coming, perhaps, rather too near home, for me to speak of our own universities; but humbler though they be in their endowments, within them the spirit of loyalty and patriotism burns as bright as any where in the world; and within them opposition to the rash experiment is strong, forming, I do not fear to say, a great majority. men of colleges are spoken of, I know, as retired and secluded monks, little acquainted with this living world. But I for one never wore a cowl; I mingle with the best of my fellow-citizens, and I claim to mysen and my brethren an understanding of all the various duties and concerns of active life,
equal to that of any of our opponents who may have travelled earth and seas in pursuit of knowledge of mankind. And is it to be at once disposed of, and thrust aside out of sight as unworthy of consideration by those who may have finished their own education without putting themselves to the trouble of studying at any university at all, that the great seats of science, so far from being unanimous in favour of the aforesaid reform, present overwhelming majorities against it ?"
The speech concludes with a magnificent burst of eloquence on the character of that great and noble party in the state, who are proud to number its author among its members.
"Let the conduct of the Conservative Party be strictly examined, public and private, and they are seen to be the best friends of the people. Have they not been ever anxious for the adoption by Govern→ ment, of all plans that promised to be of be̟