Изображения страниц

"I assure you, Charles, I was fairly puzzled; I had learned the extent of Lord Hetherford's power with a vengeance; and, to say the truth, I felt half ashamed of myself in coming forward on a sort of frolic before men so earnest and desperate as these. However, I made the best of it; told them I certainly could not ensure my success; advised them not to commit themselves, but to hope for better times. And so I left them. I was ushered out with the same precautions, rather disappointed, I must confess; but my troubles were not over. I found a large body of people-among others, those I had first visited, who, fearing the kind reception they had given me might be prejudicial to their interests, were assembled together to greet me on my return, which they did in a most unfriendly mannerthrowing dirt and stones upon me, accompanied by language far from complimentary."

"And this was the end of your canvass ?” "Canvass, indeed! What do you think of


"I can hardly sympathise with you, indignant as I feel at the conduct of Lord Hetherford."

Indignant! so am I. I wish he were not a


"Thank you. But you may keep him."

"There are very few like him, though, I dare say. Yet, after all, what does he do? He only tries to have as much power as he can-very natural."

"Very natural for a Tory, perhaps; but he has no right to have any power at an election. What is the use of the Reform Bill?”

"Ah, do not talk of the Reform Bill, let's forget old grievances, and think only of the present."

"I do not despair of bringing you round in time, Harry. You are only half a Tory."

"Half a Tory, indeed! No half measures for me, as Lord Norford says. Still, we won't quarrel about trifles. It is time to be going in, I think."

"You are anxious to join the fair Juliet; but I have no attractions more powerful than this beautiful moonlight. So I'll wish you good bye. Don't stay for me."

Lord Hewiston needed no further solicitation. He hastily returned to the house; and Arbridge walked on, forgetful of the moonlight he had so much admired, revolving only the words he had just heard. Again he asked himself was this an election? was it thus the suffrages of a free people should be obtained? and his heart responded indignantly.

Was Lord Norford to take his seat in

Parliament-to have a vote, to have the power of making laws? And by what right? the right of a people's choice. Was he a representative? the representative of slaves! Lord Norford might be good, or wise, or clever, but, were he virtuous as an angel, gifted with more than mortal genius, and sense, and judgment, yet he had no right to enter the Parliament House, save by the free choice of an unfettered people. And was he thus chosen? the question was mockery. To prove that a thing is wrong in principle, let us inquire the effect it would have, if generally adopted, for, whatever is wrong in principle, must be wrong in practice, though it may not always appear so when viewed in petto. Now, imagine an entire House of Commons, composed of the nominees of peers, our constitution is virtually abrogated. Then why should some of these unhappy puppets, (for really they are to be pitied) why should they now be suffered to mix with the real representatives of the people? "And is this," exclaimed Arbridge, “is this the fruit of the glorious struggle of '32?"

He had often lamented that his youth had prevented him from joining in those stirring scenes. With what interest had he perused the annals of the people's battles; how his heart had burned in reading of the people's triumph! and was this

the result? That very reform but showed how much more another, a greater one, was needed. And it would come-yes; a people never yet suffered in vain.

As he passed near the castle he heard the sounds of revelry within: those sounds accorded ill with his excited feelings, and he turned away again to solitude and silence.


Jul. I have no joy of this contract to-night;
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be,
Ere one can say it lightens. Sweet, good night.

Rom. O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
Jul. What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?
Rom. The exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine.


THE election day arrived; all was grandeur and gaiety. No hard won triumph ever appeared more joyous; the conqueror of a hundred rivals could not have seemed more conscious of his power.

Of course, the hustings were erected pro forma, and, of course, the mighty multitude assembled, to hear the discourse of their aspiring candidate. At the appointed hour, the carriages brought the gay party from the Castle, to witness the important scene. The horses tossed their haughty heads, proud of their gorgeous trappings of blue

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »