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approached him. This continued some days, and he appeared to grow less thoughtful; but his mind had taken a melancholy turn.

'One afternoon he retired into his room, on the pretence of drowsiness. The keeper called him in a few hours, but he did not answer. He entered, and found the sleep he had fallen into was the sleep of death. He had "shuffled off this mortal coil."


At the moment that I write this, his copy of Malthus is in my sight; and I cannot look at it but with extreme emotion.'-vol. ii. pp. 249–251.

A letter to Sir Walter Scott from Dr. Currie, gives an account of a melancholy incident connected with Annan water.

'I am glad you have a copy of the old ballad, “I wish I were where Helen lies." I have seen the tomb of the lover, Fleming, a thousand times. Kirkconnell church-yard, and Kirkconnell Lee, the scene of this story, are in the parish where I was born, and of which my father was clergyman. They are on the banks of the little river Kirtle, my parent stream. I hope your verses introduce this sweet stream: if they do not, I wish you would make them do it. It is a wizard scenery all round. There are, within half a mile, two old towers, inhabited each by a bogle or brownie, very active spirits in my younger days, but now seldom heard of, as I was told when last in the country. The house of Springkell, belonging to Sir William Maxwell, is below Kirkconnell church-yard, on the same river Kirtle, about half a mile, and Sir William has allowed a wash-house to intrude itself into the vicinage of the church-yard, the scenery of which is in all other respects dark, solemn, and awful. The church itself has long been in ruins, but the cemetery of the family of Springkell is there; and a finer situation for a burial-ground cannot be conceived. Kirkconnell Lee (part of which is the church-yard) is a holm round which the river winds in a semicircle. The opposite bank is high, steep, and woody. Here was concealed the murderer; and hence flew the arrow, or shot, which pierced Helen Irving's heart.

'While I was on a visit at Sir William Maxwell's, many years ago, I wandered out alone one summer evening into this beautiful and solemn scene; and here, strange to say, I met with a ghost! This is not the only ghost I have seen in my time; I met with another in Wales. I have often told the story of my Welsh and Scottish ghosts in conversation; and if I had now time, I would commit the whole to writing, in hopes that they might fall on some combustible part of your fancy, and perhaps kindle a blaze there.

'I am glad that you have any notice of Annan Water: I am myself of Annandale,-born within a short distance of that beautiful river, on the banks of which stands the residence of my ancestors, now in possession of Colonel Dirom.'-vol. ii. pp. 350—352.

The correspondence which is published in this volume, throughout the varied subjects which it embraces, bears the fullest evidence of the existence of a very high order of moral feeling in the writer. It shows that he was a man of genuine virtue-loving truth and principle purely for their own sakes. He is moreover exhibited in these familiar and casual developments of his character, as fulfilling the relations of friend and father with the truest dispositions that belong to those characters.


ART. IX.-1. Popular Opinions on Parliamentary Reform Considered. By Sir John Walsh, Bart., M.P. 8vo. pp. 99. London: Ridgway.


2. The Question of Reform Considered; with Hints for a Plan. 8vo. pp. 142. London: Ridgway. 1831.

3. Thoughts on the Causes and Cure of the Present Distresses; with a Plan of Parliamentary Reform. By J. T. Barber Beaumont, Esq., F. A. Š., one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace for Middlesex and Westminster. 8vo. pp. 74.

4. The Constitutional Principles of Parliamentary Reform. By a Freeholder and Landholder of Scotland. 8vo. Edinburgh: Tait. London: Ridgway. 1831.

pp. 68.

5. Letter I., to Lord Viscount Althorp, on the Ruinous Consequence of an Oligarchical System of Government. By J. V. 8vo. pp. 33. London Ridgway. 1831.

6. Great Britain's Crisis! Reform, Retrenchment, and Economy; the Hard Case of the Farmers, and the Distressed Condition of the Labouring Poor: a Letter to the Right Hon. Sir James Graham, Bart. By the Rev. Richard Warner, F.A.S. Second Edition London: Longman and Co.

THIS is truly the age of pamphlets. There never, we believe, was a period when they were more abundant, or more sought for. Before the establishment of the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews, pamphlet-writing was a good deal in fashion whenever any great question gave rise to a serious conflict of opinions. Since then most men have been contented to leave important and public topics to the two rival journals, in which it would be ungenerous to deny that they have been, in the main, treated with much learning and eloquence. In these latter days however, when the world seems once more unhinged, the reign of pamphlets has resumed its sway. If the two Reviews have declined in circulation, this may be one reason of their not being so much resorted to as formerly. If they have degenerated in their character, that may be another reason;and a third may be, that they come out too tardily for that excitability and impatience and rapidity of thought and action which so strongly characterize these stirring times. When revolutions are begun and consummated in three days, and cabinets are overturned in one, it will not do to write about such events in a journal that lags after them full three months.

The number of new brochures which day after day make their appearance upon Ridgway's counter, and are extensively read, indicate a more than ordinary mental fermentation among the enlightened classes of the community. The themes were lately of France and Belgium and Poland, Greece having been long since forgotten; but even France, Belgium, Poland,-deep as the solicitude is with which they are contemplated by thinking men,-have given

way to the question of Parliamentry Reform. That is now the allengrossing object. The publications which treat of it exclusively or incidentally are without number. We have selected from them a few, whose titles are prefixed to this article, partly on account of the ability with which most of them are written, partly because they represent the different views which have been taken of this vitally important measure.

As the cabinet is pledged to the early introduction of a Bill for Parliamentary Reform, it becomes necessary that the public opinion shall be settled with respect to it as soon as possible. plan of its opponents to defer the day when that bill shall be passed into a law-the "evil day," as it appears to them to be, as long as Parliamentary tactics may enable them to do. They will seek for committees to take evidence as to the actual state of the representation, as if that were not as notorious as the existence of the House of Commons itself. They will demand time for the consideration of the measure, as if their minds were not already made up against it. They will talk of its coming by surprise upon the country, as if forty years had not expired since Lord Grey's famous petition for reform had been presented to Parliament,-as if it had not been a favourite subject with Mr. Pitt, and one against which Mr. Canning directed for many years the most brilliant lightnings of his eloquence. There is really no ground for further delay in this business, and those who seek it little consider what they are about. They should reflect again and again upon the solemn warning conveyed in the language of Burke-of that philosophic statesman who said and wrote more things worthy to be remembered than perhaps any man who has ever sat in Parliament. "Early reformations," said that sage in his speech upon economical reform, "are amicable arrangements with a friend in power; late reformations are terms imposed upon a conquered enemy; early reformations are made in cool blood; late reformations are made under a state of inflammation. In that state of things the people behold in government nothing that is respectable. They see the abuse, and they will see nothing else. They fall into the temper of a furious populace, provoked at the disorder of a house of ill-fame; they never attempt to correct or regulate; they go to work by the shortest way. They abate the nuisance-they pull down the house."

Let it not be supposed, however, that though opposed to indefinite or extended delay, we are by any means unfriendly to the most calm and ample discussion of the measure intended to be proposed by the ministers. A Bill brought in at once and hurried through both houses, would produce but little general satisfaction, however salutary its provisions might be. The ready acceptance of such a Bill would afford as slight a proof of wisdom as a headlong and angry opposition to it. In order to meet the wishes of the country it must, of necessity, propose several important alterations in the present mode of constituting the House of Commons. It

will, therefore, be adverse to a great mass of existing and powerful interests, which it will require a decent time to convince of the impolicy of perpetual selfishness, and to conquer, if there be no hope of a surrender. The explanation by Lord John Russell of the plan which has received the unanimous sanction of the cabinet, will raise the question for debate not only within, but without the walls of Parliament; and it behoves us in the mean time to examine and well consider the leading points with which that plan must be connected.

We cannot do this more effectually than by bringing together, under one view, some of the many opinions which have been already broached with respect to the attainment of Parliamentary Reform. The first pamphlet on our list is evidently the production of an enlightened and philosophic mind, tempered by good sense and experience. It is written in a careful, polished, and luminous style; the matter is well digested and clearly arranged. The author, Sir John Walsh, one of the members for Sudbury, though opposed to exaggerated ideas, is no uncompromising antagonist of useful change. His great object appears to be, to find out the true bearings of the question, to take a survey of the coasts bordering on the ocean upon which the bark of the reformers is to be launched, to discover their safest course, and to warn them of the perils to which they may be exposed. He thinks, and we fully agree with him, that those do no disservice to the cause of practical and rational reform, who, as we enter upon this vast field, endeavour to trace some boundaries to its extent. Nor is a determined hostility to a principle to be inferred because, in a sincere and impartial search after truth, some of the arguments by which it is supported appear to be doubtful or erroneous. And in a question like that of reform, which embraces a thousand others,-which may mean any thing, from the transfer of the franchise of a borough to the adjoining hundred, to the assimilation of the British constitution with that of modern America, or of ancient Athens,-it is very desirable that reformers should be classified, and that we should know how many different regiments of opinions are enlisted under the same banner.'

The author truly observes that this question has, almost suddenly, become the leading topic of the day. It has indeed been reduced to a kind of lethargy since the death of Major Cartwright, who, with the best intentions in the world, contributed to place it in a condition of very general discredit. The petitions presented to the last Parliament upon this subject were few and feeble. Indeed so long as Mr. Canning lived, the hopes of the reformers were abashed and spiritless; even for some time after his decease, they vacillated upon the very verge of despair. They made little way in public opinion they numbered but a few undistinguished proselytes, and were altogether unfashionable. When Mr. Canning, being then destined for India, spoke against Lord John Russell's

motion for reform in the April of 1822, it was admitted in the debate, that "the whole body of the nobility, of the gentry, of the clergy, of the magistracy, of the leading and opulent commercial classes-in short, that the great mass of the property and intelligence of the country was arrayed against the question."* The seeds, however, that were sown by the discussions which had already taken place in parliament and in public assemblies, continued to germinate in the soil. The debates on the disfranchisement of various boroughs, and the opposition which was given to the transference of their right of election to the large unrepresented towns, tended also to keep the question before the public eye, and to induce many men, who were opposed to radical reform, to think that some alteration of the present system was becoming every day more and more indispensable to the welfare if not to the safety of the state. It cannot be doubted that the revolutions in France and Belgium have greatly accelerated the course of that question to the position which it now occupies. They rekindled the hopes of the "radicals," and afforded so strong a moral encouragement to their projects, which have always aimed at revolution rather than at reform, that thinking and sensible men in the active stations of society found it necessary to consider what ought to be done, in order at once to remove acknowledged abuses, and to give a salutary direction to the general movement which was thus produced. The Duke of Wellington and his colleagues were the only persons in the country who seemed not to perceive, or perceiving to despise, the effect wrought upon it by the transactions of which the continent was the theatre; and had his Grace continued much longer to direct the policy of this empire, we have little doubt that the dangers pointed out so well by Burke would have accrued; the people would have been excited to such a temper that the nuisance would be abated by violent means,-the house "of ill fame" would be pulled down. As matters now stand, the new cabinet is the safety valve through which the compressed element that otherwise must have exploded, may be restored to its native atmosphere.

We are rather surprised that Sir John Walsh, who appears to be well read in our constitution, and to understand its spirit, should set out with denying the principle of the sovereignty of the people. "The sovereignty of the people," he asserts, "cannot be established as the true principle of government, simply because such a sovereignty never has existed to our knowledge since the creation of man; because the evidence of all times, and the history of all nations, prove that while the Deity formed us as social beings, he made some form of government, and the consequent relation of the governors and the governed, coeval with our existence." This reading of our constitution appears to us to be apocryphal. The author indeed afterwards declares the divine right of kings an erro

* Canning's Speeches, vol. iv., p. 331.

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