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children were neglected. Forcibly he contrasted what they were with what they should be. Beautifully he described the true position of a mother, at whose knee alike prince and peasant learned all that was best, all that was highest in the character of man."

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How earnest, how impressive were his concluding words :-"We ask you but for a slight relaxation from grinding toil; for a time to live, and a time to die; a time for the enjoyment of some of the comforts that sweeten life; time to perform some of the duties that adorn it. Therefore it is, that, with a fervent prayer to Almighty God, that He will be pleased to turn the hearts of all who hear me, to justice and mercy, I now finally commit the issue of this question to the judgment and humanity of Parliament."

Exhausted with long speaking, the noble Lord sat down, amid thunders of applause, re-echoing from all sides. Friends and opponents joined in those cheers-political animosities were all forgotten. For a brief moment nature was predominant: they felt as men, and as men they proclaimed their sympathy with their suffering fellowcreatures their admiration for the eloquence and humanity of the champion of the poor! But hush! -silence! Let the honest cheering cease: the Minister has risen-the Home Secretary addresses

you! Well might Sir James Graham say he never rose, to perform a more difficult or more painful duty. He could certainly never have had a more invidious task. In the name of the Government he opposed the proposition-it might injure the wealth and commerce of the country!

What!-to give two hours of rest to the weary frame of childhood, to give a short repose to the weak suffering woman! Perish the wealth and commerce based on such foundations-that can only prosper by the unceasing toil of youth and beauty, by the cries of hapless children deserted by their mothers, by the tears of those mothers banished from their homes-a commerce founded on the ruin of the domestic hearth, on the subversion of the laws of nature. Away with such prosperity! But no; it may be sustained, gloriously sustained, without such bitter evils. It was not this that spread the fame of England through the world that burst the gates of foreign nations, and bade our commerce enter in. Believe it not— believe it not! The manufacturing greatness of this kingdom is too firmly established for such a little change to injure it. It is far too great and powerful to need these two hours' labour.-Or if they be required, cannot men work? Their labour is unquestioned. At least, if you must have women, must have the assistance of those anxious mothers

and pale-faced girls compelled by poverty-if you must have them, let ten hours suffice. We ask it of your justice; we ask it of your mercy. Mercy! good heaven, does mercy demand ten hours' daily labour? What think you, high-born dames, fair daughters of rank and wealth and beauty, whose cares are softened by the hand of love, whose every want is administered-how many hours could you bear constant work? Are you not wearied in a little while, bending over your 'broidery frames? Are you not overcome by a short walk? Can you imagine one whole day's incessant toilno rest, no respite ?-one long dreary morning, afternoon, evening, of monotonous unvarying labour-the same dreary walking backwards and forwards, traversing miles, though in a little space. And can you fancy this, and fancy only ten hours looked on as a gracious boon, asked in the name of mercy ?-asked by poor suffering women and tender girls-asked in supplication and hope, with tears and prayers-asked, and, oh heaven, refused! But who thought of its being refused that first night, when the words of Lord Ashley yet resounded through the House; when his glowing language contrasted so forcibly with the cold, calculating remarks of the Minister? Who thought it? But enough; let us marvel no more upon the subject.

Arbridge, whose whole soul had responded to the words of the first speaker, heard all the discourses with undivided attention. They were earnest and animated. And had they not cause? Arguments on both sides were eloquently defended. Money and mercy had each able champions. Lord Howick fairly answered all objections about interference, by observing that the principle was the same in both cases; they interfered as much by deciding for twelve hours as for ten.

The debate was adjourned. It was too important to decide that night. Three days must elapse ere it could be resumed, and during that interval these speeches would circulate throughout the kingdom, appealing to the sympathies and justice of the people. The poor operatives would hear of the eloquence of their champion, and with what eager expectation would they watch for his success!

While Arbridge listened to the debate, Violet was preparing the gage d'amour Evelyn had suggested, when Sir Stephen entered the room, inquiring for Mr. Arbridge.

"He has gone to the House."

"I am going there too: we might have walked down together."

He remained for a moment, apparently in thought; and Evelyn, supposing that he wished to speak with his daughter, left the room.

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"Mr. Arbridge is often here," observed Sir Stephen.

"Very often."

"He is one of your professed admirers."

"So it appears.

"Has he declared himself ?”

"Some time ago."

"And you told him?"

"I told him nothing.

I told him to wait."

"Then you rather like him?”

"I have not decided yet."

"I suppose you do, then. But, Violet, remember this: I have promised to leave you free to please yourself. I have perfect confidence in your judgment; only you must not be in a hurry. Mr. Arbridge is certainly a very eligible connexion; he must inherit all his uncle's property and his title, and he is a clever fellow too: he will get on in the world. So if you have set your heart on it, I have no objection. But, as I said before, you must wait. It would never do for me just now to form a close connexion with one of the opposition. I should lose a great deal of the influence it has cost me so much to obtain. I tell you this, you know, that you may be cautious."

"You need not be afraid, papa; I have not settled anything about it yet.”

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