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against the ministers for bringing the royal prerogative so indecently into question,-if the Conservatives, we say, could have persuaded themselves to vote for Mr. Hume; and on the debate on the Irish Coercion Bill, on which Lord Althorp made so signal a failure, the ministers loudly expressed their grațitude for the admirable and triumphant speech, in which Sir Robert Peel came to Lord Althorp's rescue. Yet the very next day, when Sir Robert Peel earnestly requested that a bill of such vital public importance, and of such infinite private interest, as the Irish Church Bill, should not be appointed for a second reading before it was printed—and when-speaking on the Monday—he implored that the bill, which was not to be in the hands of members till the Tuesday, should not be read on Wednesday—a delay which the most common turnpike interests would have obtained, and which one would have thought the recent services of Sir Robert Peel and the Conservatives entitled them to ask as a courtesy, if it were not a matter of right --no, the ministers would not: we are told they dared not concede even so slight an indulgence. The poor victim Church implored the respite of a week,-'no!’-two days, 'no!'-a day~ no, not an hour!' The trial, to be sure, had not yet taken place, but the scaffold was built-the executioners were ready-the grave was dug—the spectators were collected and impatient for the show, and die she must at the stated minute! while shouts of joy and approbation stimulated the cruel impetuosity. But, alas! when the bill came to be printed and delivered, it was found that these inexorable judges were but indifferent pleaders: the bill turned out to be inconsistent with parliamentary law ; it became necessary to throw it out; and the Irish Church has had a respite of-not an hour, nor a day, nor a week—but of three or four weeks; not the boon of courtesy or justice, but the ridiculous blunder of blindness and ignorance.

Again, look at the conduct of these ministers with regard to the Irish Coercion Bill. The framing of this bill required, if ever bill did, the most anxious deliberation in the Cabinet, and the most cautious care that not one jot more of severity should be introduced than the dire necessity required. It passed through the Lords, at the instance of the first minister, and with the help and concurrence of those two great lawyers, the chancellors of England and of Ireland. Did they ask, in the wantonness of apostacy, more coercion than the distressing case indispensably required ?

We hope and believe not! Yet their colleagues in the Commons have given up several important points; and have, to use the phrase attributed in the newspapers to some of their adherents,' frittered away the most important features of the measure.' The dilemma seems to us inevitable-either the bill, as recommended by Lords

Grey,

Grey, Brougham, and Plunket, was a wanton and unnecessary inroad on the constitution, or the bill of Mr. Stanley and Lord Althorp is a mutilated, imperfect, and hypocritical pretence.

And yet, here again, we believe that, personally, no one is to blame. We are satisfied that the Cabinet acted to the best of its judgment, with a great reluctance to go one step beyond what the case required ; and we believe that the ministers, in the House of Commons, have yielded their judgment to their discretion, and have consented to "fritter away the bill-only because they did not think it possible to carry it entire.

• Lost power and conscious fear their crimes create,

And guilt in them is little less than fate.' We acquit the men—but we tremble for the interests of the country, under a system which necessitates such vacillation and inconsistency in a government apparently so strong as to have carried the second reading of this very bill by so enormous a majority as 363 to 84.

Neither do we presume to feel-and still less to express—any personal objections to the individuals who constitute the new parliament. It is undoubtedly a most remarkable fact that hitherto the balance of ability seems to be on the side of the men of the old system ;—and that the volcano of public agitation, which was to have set so much groaning genius, and such compressed mines of intellect at liberty, has as yet thrown up more cinders than flame. But of this we say nothingthis is sufficiently felt and understood everywhere. We are willing to believe that our new representatives are as upright and conscientious men as any of their predecessors, there seems to be hardly one of them who might not have been returned under the old system,—and we are convinced that, individually, their talents are respectable, and their intentions patriotic and honourable. It is the position in which they are placed that makes them dangerous; and the peril arises—as we have already said, still more charitably, of the ministers-not from the character of the persons, but from the inevitable operation of the system. Like some of their predecessors in the Long Parliament

They do not strike to hurt, but make a noise.' If they wish to continue to sit in parliament they must act, not according to their own judgment, but in such a way as may conciliate their constituents; and if a man of the greatest acquirements should arise, if another Burke should represent Bristol, and another Windham Norwich,—they would not be the free and unshackled Windham and Burke of former days, Burke could not have dared to offend the constituency of Bristol, or Windham that of Norwich, if they had not had Wendover and St. Mawes in reserve, in which, or other nomination seats, they

afterwards

afterwards performed the most transcendant services to their country at large, and even to the very places which had discarded them.

Nor do we impugn the good sense of the new constituency of England, nor undervalue it, except on considerations drawn from the imperfections of our state and nature. Large masses of men cannot be well informed on the intricate details of politics and statistics; and even those that are less imperfectly informed are liable to seductions, excitements, and errors, which are often epidemic, and which, in such a system as the present, would be beyond remedy or control. Representative government itself stands on the admitted principle, that the people are not capable of exercising in primary assemblies political power; and, as Lord John Russell has truly said in his last work, (noticed in a preceding article,) this popular power is not fit for use, till it has been strained and filtered by some intermediate process. But his Lordship's Reform Bill has broken all our strainers and filtering machines, and has sent us back to drink, as we may, at a turbid and turbulent stream, which, when we stoop to taste it, may hurry us away into the depths of destruction.

To conclude :-Will any man point out to us any one Principle, Institution, or Interest- in the constitutional or social system of these realms—which is not at this moment in imminent peril ? And will any man-whose hopes and fears hinge on any principle, institution, or interest thus threatened-be bold enough to say that he places his confidence, either in the strength of the Cabinet, or in the independence of the new House of Commons ?

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THE

QUARTERLY REVIEW.

ART. I.-Geschichte des Osmanischen Reiches durch Joseph von

Hammer. Bände 1-8. Pest. 1827-1832. THIS THIS extensive and valuable work, before it is terminated, may

perhaps comprehend the whole drama of the Ottoman greatness. It has already traced the rise, and the decline, of the Turkish monarchy; if we may judge from the signs of the times, one more concluding volume may describe its fall. The Sublime Porte seems gradually but rapidly sinking to the state of the Byzantine empire, just before its final extinction. With powerful enemies advancing and closing it in on every side-its nominal authority extending over a considerable territory, its real power shrinking by degrees into a still narrower compass—the terror of its name, the memory of former greatness losing its hold upon its own rebellious subjects—the wreck of the mighty empire of Mahomet the Second and of Solyman the Magnificent, appears to have but one chance of safety, which, in her last extremity, was wanting to the Eastern Rome. The politics of the Christian cabinets may yet maintain this barbarous and Asiatic power in possession of what once were the most flourishing and civilized regions of Europe ; mutual jealousy as to the distribution of the spoil, particularly of the great prize, the Imperial City; the difficulty of constructing an independent Christian and European kingdom, of sufficient strength to resist the encroachments of its formidable neighbours, or even perhaps the rallying energies of desperate Mahometanism : such are the only guarantees for the future existence of the Ottoman empire,

-at least in Europe. Its fate will be averted or precipitated, by the turn which negotiations may take at Petersburgh, Paris, and London, rather than by the vigorous or indolent character of the reigning Sultan, or the system of government adopted at Constantinople.

The extraordinary changes which of late years have taken place, under the influence of the ruling sovereign, in Turkish habits and manners—the improvements which he has attempted to introduce into the military system-above all, the extinction of the Janizaries—are indications of the decay of the ancient Turkish spirit, rather than of recruited strength, or reviving energy The Turk can only be formidable as a Turk; attempt to modernize, to Europeanize his habits, his mind, or even VOL. XLIX. NO. XCVIII,

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