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most immediate improvements to which he and his party-or, as he calls it, the country-look:
- When the House of Commons shall become, as we anticipate it soon must, the complete and accurate expression of the national will, the next step of our history becomes inevitable. The narrow interests of the nobles as represented by the House of Peers will be found directly opposed to those of the country at large. If this difference of interests should induce the peers to exercise obstinately the reto which the constitution gives them upon the deliberations of the Legislature (scil. the Commons), steps will be immediately taken to deprive them of this obnoxious privilege. Just as the two Houses were able to silence for ever the veto of the King, and reduce it to an empty form—so will the predominant power of the Commons extinguish this obstructive prerogative of the peers.'-- Ib. 502.
We do not quote this passage for either its reasoning or its history-it is manifestly very deficient in both. It admits the constitutionality of a power that it proposes to destroy, and talks of the regal veto as an empty form, it being in fact and in the writer's own view no form at all— but, if he will, an empty right-never of late exercised in that form. He himself elsewhere admits that both those vetos really, though covertly, existed—that of the Lords being preliminarily exercised in the House of Commons, and that of the Crown in both Lords and Commons; so that direct collisions between the three great powers of the state were either avoided or mitigated : but if the House of Commons is to be a full, complete, and entirely independent expression of the will of the People, it is evident that, if we are to have anything like the British Constitution, the Lords and the Crown must also be called upon to exercise their equally independent authority. But we only notice this to show the inconsistency of the writer's views and statements, for in point of fact we entirely agree with him that, whenever the House of Commons shall be what the writer understands by the complete expression of the national will,' the deliberative and legislative veto of either the Lords or the Crown will become-not an empty form, but-a nonexistence, and the Crown and the Peerage will become as nonexistent as their veto.
Lord John Russell may learn the same lesson from humbler but more popular teachers than his friends in the Westminster Review. The People's Almanack for 1852' is already published, with a prefatory notice of Lord John's promised reform :
"Lord John Russell has intimated his intention of amending his Reform Bill. If he brings in a complete measure, it will be the duty of the people to support him ; as without such support he cannot carry
it in the present House, and in the face of the aristocracy. If the measure is not complete-if it does not carry with it full justice to the industrious classes-it will then be the duty of the people to insist upon a more thorough bill. If the people are true to themselves, we shall have, in our next year's Almanack, to record the triumph of-reform in our representative system. That will be the first step in bringing about reform in Church and State.'— The People's Almanuck for
And in a popular and extensively circulated newspaper of the
• Lord John Russell said last session (in announcing his measure]
* That it has been announced by the First Lord of the Treasury, that it is the intention of the Government, this session, to bring in a bill for the Extension of the Franchise ;
• That in the opinion of your Petitioners-after the high hopes excited in the breast of the nation-anything short of-Household Suffrage, Universal Suffrage, as the case may be—will greatly disappoint the majority of non electors, and beget feelings of distrust and discontent, which might be dangerous to the safety of society;
• That your Petitioners trust that this, their claim for justice, will receive that due consideration which the fairness of the demand and the promise of Her Majesty's Prime Minister lead them to expect.'Vol. vii. No. 90, Sept. 1851. Thus, then, 'Her Majesty's Prime Minister' is put forward as the instigator of a new · Revolution,' by which the hereditary aristocracy and Church Establishment are to be swept away,' and the ' hereditary monarchy' is a matter for future consideration when the other two institutions have been ' annihilated.'
This, then, is what Lord John Russell—and we go even higher—this is what the Queen has to look to from the introduction of a New Reform Bill.' Its details will be of little other importance than the hastening or delaying the catastrophe.
If, in the present state of the world, the Minister of the Crownwho is already unable to manage the popular constituencies, shall propose any extension of the suffrage, we believe that it will be a fatal and irretrievable move down what M. Guizot has justly characterized as the incline of democracy-or, in other words, towards the experiment of a British republic.
We have already stated strongly our points of hope and resistance; they are powerful, but they will be weak, and, at all events, ineffectual, if the authority and influence of the Crown be thrown into the adverse scale. There will be found, no doubt, some brave old English spirits who will still hope against hope, and endeavour to protect the Crown even against itself; but the majority of even the well-wishers of monarchy will not be very forward to incur the trouble, the risk, and the ridicule of being more royalist than the Sovereign herself. If her Majesty sees her own interest and that of her son and her family in the same light that we—and, we presume, the majority of mankind--do, and shall forbid her ministers to begin a Revolution, the end of which it is fearful to look at, yet hardly possible to doubt—if, we say, the august Mother of the Prince of Wales shall take her stand against any further encroachment of democracy on the Constitution-the country, we have no doubt, would stand gladly and gallantly by her. But if a ministry, in the desperation of either spite or weakness, shall be permitted to abuse the name and influence of the Crown to forward revolutionary reform, God help all-prince or people—who have anything to lose by a REPUBLIC!
ERRATUM IN OUR LAST NUMBER, p. 228. The account we gave of the affair at St. Philip's, Birmingham, in our last number was, as we stated, derived from the Ecclesiologist' of June. The dates not having been there given, we supposed that they were very recent, but we find from the original correspondence since published that the Bishop of Worcester's decision was delivered on the 30th of last November, and therefore not, as we had been led to suppose, subsequently to the address of the Prelates from Lambeth. We must add that we have been surprised to find ourselves misunderstood on a more important point, We were at pains to guard ourselves against being supposed to impute Puseyism either to the Rector of St. Philip's or to his Diocesan; and are at a loss to conceive how our language should have been misunderstood-we referred exclusively to one special innovation ; which we are glad to hear has been now abandoned.
EIGHTY-NINTH VOLUME OF THE QUARTERLY REVIEW.
ACROGENS, the age of, 421.
stou's expedition, ib.-Canadian In-
and see Ken.
Browne, 'Sir Thomas, Works and Life of,
by Wilkin, 364-general description
on coffin-lid, 392.
Bacourt, M. See Mirabeau.
VOL. LXXXIX. NO. CLXXVIII.
among the American States, 65-dis-
orderly condition of, 69.
history of, 316—his dying testimony,
-on attempted innovations, 204-ad-