Изображения страниц

the means of expressing them; whether it had any peculiar tendency to ensure to us a succession of strong administrations ; whether it had any peculiar tendency to produce great and original statesmen. What, then, are the results which we have learned from this investigation? What are the lessons which this remarkable history, when it is examined, tends to teach us?

First, we should learn from it to distrust complicated expedients for making strong administrations, and refined expedients for producing wise and able statesmen. The sole security upon which we can depend for a strong government is a consistent union in the nation. If we have that, under any tolerable parliamentary system we shall have a strong government; and if we have not that, we shall not have a really strong government on ordinary occasions under any. The true security for having a sufficient supply of good statesmen is to maintain a sufficient supply of good constituencies. We need not regret the rotten boroughs, if we have instead of them an adequate number of tolerably educated and not too numerous constituencies, the great majority of the voters in which are reasonably independent and tolerably incorrupt. There was nothing in either of these two respects very valuable in our old system of representation. It did not secure to us an unusual number of coherent and powerful administrations; it did not of itself give us an exceptionally great number of able and honest statesmen.

Secondly, we should learn from the history of the last century that it is perfectly idle to attempt to give political power to persons who have no political capacity, who are not intellectual enough to form opinions, or who are not high-minded enough to act on those opinions. This proposition is admitted in words; every body says that it is a truism. But is it admitted in reality? Do not all the ordinary plans for a uniform extension of the suffrage practically deny it? Will not their inevitable effect be, in the smaller and poorer boroughs at least, to throw, or to attempt to throw, much power into the hands of voters who are sure to be ignorant, and who are almost sure to be corrupt?

Lastly, the events of the earlier part of the last century show us-demonstrate, we may say, to us—the necessity of retaining a very great share of power in the hands of the wealthier and more instructed classes-of the real rulers of public opinion. We have seen that we owe the security of our present constitutional freedom to the possession by these classes of that power: we have learned that under a more democratic system the House of Stuart might have been still upon the throne; that the will of the numerical majority in the nation would probably have placed it there, and would probably have kept it there ; that the close boroughs of former times gave, in an indirect form and in an objectionable manner, the requisite influence to the instructed classes; and we must infer, therefore

, that we should be very cautious how we now proceed to found a new system, without any equivalent provision, and with no counterbalancing weight, to the scanty intelligence of very

ordinary persons and to the unbridled passions of the multitude.

If we duly estimate the significance of these conclusions, we shall perhaps think that to have been once more reminded of them, at a critical instant, is a result of sufficient significance to justify this protracted investigation, and an adequate apology for the detail which has been necessary to render it intelligible.



The Diaries and Correspondence of the Right Hon. George Rose, con

taining Original Letters of the most distinguished Statesmen of his day. Edited by the Rev. Leveson Vernon Harcourt. 2 vols. Bentley.

[This book does what it professes to do,-throw new lights on the cha

racter and career of many eminent statesmen,- and is therefore one of real historical value, and bas much interesting political gossip. It is not well edited ; and Mr. Rose himself is not a subject of much

moral or ideal interest.] Civil Correspondence and Memoranda of the Duke of Wellington while Chief Secretary for Ireland, from 1807 to 1809. Murray.

[A work which, taken in conjunction with the correspondence of Lord

Cornwallis recently published, presents a very curious picture of
Irish politics at the time immediately preceding and succeeding the

Historical Evidences of the Truth of the Scripture Records stated

anew, with special reference to the Doubts and Discoveries of Modern Times; being the Bampton Lectures for 1859. By the

Rev. George Rawlinson. Murray. On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, or the Pre

servation of favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. By Charles Darwin. Murray.

[Reviewed in Article VIII.] Ishmael, or a Natural History of Islamism in relation to Christianity.

By the Rev. Dr. J. Mühleisen Arnold, formerly Church Missionary

in Asia and Africa. Rivingtons. A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin and

his Companions. By Captain M'Clintock, R.N., LL.D. With
Maps and Illustrations. Murray.
[This bids fair to be the most popular, and deservedly popular, book of

the season. It is very well and tastefully illustrated without colours.] Schiller's Life and Works. By Emil Palleske. Translated by Lady

Wallace. Longmans. Lord Dundonald's Autobiography. 2 vols. Bentley. The Friends, Foes, and Adventures of Lady Morgan. By W. J. Fitz

patrick. Simpkin and Marshall.


Books of the Quarter suitable for Reading-Societies. - 257 The Booke of the Pylgremage of the Sowle. Translated from the

French of Guillaume de Guileville, and printed by Caxton in 1483; with Illuminations taken from the Ms. copy in the British Museum. Edited by Katharine Isabella Cust. Basil Montagu Pickering. (A quaint book of much beauty, which was no doubt one of the sources

from which Bunyan drew the conception of his “Pilgrim's Progress." It is embellished with the illuminations of the old copy in the British Museum; and, as a whole, will be found interesting quite beyond the

circle of mere antiquarians.] The Divine Life in Man. By the Rev. Baldwin Brown. Ward.

[Truly fine and thoughtful sermons-given in a style at times some

thing too ornate.] Expository Lectures on St. Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians. By the late Rev. F. W. Robertson.

[Though often very fragmentary, these reports of Mr. Robertson's Lec.

tures on the Corinthians will not be amongst the least admired of

his admirable sermons.] The Peculium : an Endeavour to throw Light on some of the Causes of

the Decline of the Society of Friends, especially in regard to its claim of being the peculiar People of God. By Thomas Hancock.

Smith and Elder. Quakerism, Past and Present; being an Inquiry into the Causes of its

Decline in Great Britain and Ireland. By John Stephenson Rown

tree. Smith and Elder. A Fallen Faith. By Dr. Sheppard. Piper, Stephenson, and Spence. Miscellanies. By the Rev. Charles Kingsley. 2 vols. J. W. Parker.

[Noticed in Article I.] Recreations of a Country Parson. J. W. Parker.

(A very agreeable chatty book, reprinted from “ Fraser's Magazine."] Poems, by the Author of “ John Halifax." Hurst and Blackett. Self-Help. By Samuel Smiles. Murray. Women Artists. By Mrs. Ellet. Bentley.

[A book of good design, and showing not a little labour, but not very

well executed; and containing, in some of the biographies, real

trash.] The West Indies and the Spanish Main. By Anthony Trollope. Chapman and Hall.

[An amusing, and in many respects an instructive, book, but one indi.

cating very hasty judgment. Mr. Trollope's criticisms on the co

loured population are unripe, and derived from hearsay.] Heathen and Holy Lands; or, Sunny Days on the Salween, Nile, and

Jordan. By Captain J. P. Briggs, Deputy Commissioner, Tenasserim and Martaban Provinces, Charge of Province Tavoy. Smith and Elder.

[The account of Burmah in this book, or rather of the Tenasserim pro

vinces, is one of the most interesting results of travel that we have seen for a long time, at once fresh and thorough.]



Books of the Quarter suitable for Reading-Societies.

Ceylon: an Account of the Island, Physical, Historical, and Topo

graphical. By Sir Emerson Tennent. Longmans. New Zealand, Past and Present By Dr. Thomson. Murray.

[Intended less for the colonist than the English reader, but a good book

of its kind.] A Visit to the Philippine Islands. By Sir John Bowring. Smith and

Elder. Kitchi-Gami: Wanderings round Lake Superior. By J. G. Kohl.

Chapman and Hall. District Duties during the Revolt in the North-West Provinces of India in 1857. By H. Dundas Robertson. Smith and Elder.

[An interesting book, of a somewhat too numerous species.] Australian Facts and Prospects. By R. H. Horne. Smith and Elder.

[A book of useful caution against false conceptions of Australian life.

The short autobiography is very lively.] Rural Life in Bengal. Thacker.

[The illustrations convey the most faithful representation of rural life in

Bengal that it is possible to conceive, and are exquisitely engraved. The descriptions, written from the factory of a gentleman deservedly known as “the model planter," are lively, and, on the whole, truth.

ful, though somewhat couleur de rose.] A Tale of Two Cities. By Charles Dickens. Chapman and Hall.

[Has more of the substantial power of Mr. Dickens's earlier works than

any since “ Martin Chuzzlewit.” It is, however, unfortunately alloyed with the spasmodic sentiment and striving after effect of his

later style.] The Minister's Wooing. By Mrs. H. B. Stowe. Sampson Low.

[A tale of great power, humour, and broad genius, though a little spoiled

with gushes of sentiment.] The Day of Small Things. By the Authoress of “Mary Powell.”

1 vol. . Hall, Virtue, and Co. Against Wind and Tide. By Holme Lee. Smith and Elder.

[Not equal to “ · Sylvan Holt's Daughter" in ability or finish. It is

rather like steering “ on a wind,” to read it.] A New Sentimental Journey. By Charles Allston Collins. Chapman

and Hall. Fables and Fairy Tales. By Henry Morley. Illustrated. Chapman

and Hall. The Nut-brown Maids; or, the first Hosier and his Hosen. A Family Chronicle of the Days of Queen Elizabeth. J. W. Parker.

[Too antiquarian, and in the “gramercy" style, as it has been called;

but indicating some real artistic power stifled by these antiquities.] Tales from Molière's Plays. By Dacre Barrett Lennar:.. Chapman

and Hall.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »