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Young Arthur Dobbs that evening was welcomed home from sea,
Get up, get up, fair gentlemen, and save yourselves, I pray;
“'Tis heavy news you bring us, yet stay your idle fear,”
“For sick on shore, they tell me, is Stoddart, who commands,
“ But never shall the tale be told, that British ship of war
Then up rose guest and kinsma about the festive board,
But though, as gentle seamen, they all well understood
Which when the swarthy villain saw, right scornfully he laughed,
And heaped about her silent guns—for, at the bloody post
And now the British lion no longer from the mast
This ballad was partly suggested by a passage from a letter of Paul Jones to Lady Selkirk, dated Brest, May 8th, 1778, and partly by the tradition of the country. Mr. M.Skimin, however, the accurate and minute historian of Carrickfergus, deprives the story of half its romance. He asserts—and his authority on any fact connected with the history of Carrickfergus, is entitled to implicit confidencethat, at the time of this action, Mr. Dobbs was the only volunteer on board the Drake. The honor due that gentleman ought rather to be the greater on this account; and his memory can the better afford to share a portion of its renown with the umbre associated with it above. Mr. M.Skimin's work, however, was not referred to till the ballad had been printed, else this explanation had not been required.
It may, we think, be affirmed, with no perience should have led them to slight degree of confidence, that at no restrain the excesses of the multitude, time, since November, 1830, was there were so low in principle, that while so fair a prospect as there is at present they must have seen the danger to the of a change for the better in the con- country generally, they yet encouraged duct of public affairs. It is gratifying the cause ; for though indeed it threatto be able to begin the year with such ened the country with peril, yet it anticipations; and we do not entertain brought to their party present trithem upon light grounds; we do not umph, and a prospect of future domithink that since the time when the nation. There can be little doubt revolt of the Barricades in France, that time would have wholly cured acting upon the peculiar and unfor- the evils of the popular excitement tunate state of parties in England, and violence of 1831-2, as it had prodnced the “reform” madness, and before cured other, but similar explogave such a treinendous impetus to the sions, were it not that under the infludemocratic spirit, there has been such ence of that abberration of the public a tendency to pause and cast anchor mind, or rather by its direct agency, a once more upon the firm ground of great change in the constitution was common sense, as we can now perceive made. It was quite true, as had been in the state of the nation.
often maintained, that the constitution This we owe, in some degree, to the of Great Britain contained, within bare effect of time, and consequent ex- itself
, a restorative principle—a selfhaustion of the reckless desperation adjusting power, which after any sudwhich at first rushed upon all manner den shock, brought back the parts of of changes, and was never tired of tur- the body politic to an equilibrium ; moil and tumult which seemed likely but that principle and that power were to shake the foundation of things not allowed to come into action, for established. The popular mind was the shock was brought to bear upon quite intoxicated, and heeded not the the constitution itself; and the anchor precipice or the avalanche as it reeled which would have brought us up was along; it could not perceive the cool that, which, in the mutiny and the craft of the grasping demagogue, or tempest, was broken to pieces as an the party jobber, who took advantage instrument which gave the officers of of this wild excitement to accomplish the ship too much power. It is, therehis selfish purposes.
The mischief fore, not to be wondered at, that time raged without control, for those whose bas not sooner, or to a greater degree, place, whose education, and whose ex. wrought the beneficial change to which
we are now referring, but that it has bas arisen out of it; and it has also done so at all, is to be taken as a gra- proved that the party who promoted tifying proof that our case is not past the change have sunk in the public hope, and that the views which Con- esteem, while the party who opposed it servatives all along entertained of the have risen in the same.
What more fallacy of recent innovations, were is required? correct.
Let us briefly glance at some of the For if—as was 80 long, and so particular inatters, whose general effect loudly, and so offensively proclaimed we have contemplated in the foregoing -the change in the constitution, and observations. the new influences which sprung out It is unquestionable that a very conof that change, were as good as they siderable number of those who believed were important—if it had been true that good would result from the “ Rethat new and healthy sources of vigour form Bill,” and who therefore exerted were opened to the state—that new themselves greatly to cause it to pass, passages had been formed whereby did believe that the progress of revoluthe intelligence, and the energy, and tion, or “organic change,” as it i the the interests of the nation, would find fashion now to call it, would stop there. their way to the posts of legislation Nay, more, thongh the ministerial and of government—if these averments papers now pretend that to have looked had been true, every week and every upon the Reform Bill as a “final meamonth would have added strength and sure” would have been political silliness reputation to the new order of things, of the lowest description, it is very and to the men who had been con- certain that the ministers who carried cerned in bringing that order of things it, most of whom are ministers still, did about. In that case, time could not so describe it ; and, without attributing but have confirmed in the most irre- to them a great deal of habitual sinfragable manner, the soundness of the cerity, we may, perhaps, give them revolutionary policy which had been credit for having meant at that time
The nation itself would what they said. But whether they did have shown in the improvement of its or did not, many of their supporters political aspect, in the increased intel- certainly did believe that the Reform ligence of its legislative discussions Act was to put an end to all political and determinations; and in the in- agitation about changes in the constitucreased strength, respectability, and tion and government. They exulted in efficiency of its government, the truth the belief that a time of rest, and freeof all that had been asserted of the dom, and honest legislation, was at excellent nature of the revolution hand, such as Great Britain had never which had taken place.
seen before. They thought that parOn the other hand, when time has liament would have nothing to do but not done this, but has done exactly the attend to concerns of internal improveopposite—when both the revolutionized ment and external safety, and they branch of the legislature, and the could not bear with
atience the sugpublic men chiefly concerned in that gestion that the newly acquired inrevolution, bave gradually sunk in the fluence of the middle classes in the public esteem-when the government House of Commons would not lead to has only been able to preserve its ex- peace, and prosperity, and sober attenistence by the grossest inconsistency- tion to practical matters. A little when, at the conclusion of three years experience seemed to show them that from the great change, we find the the men who are very well able to party that opposed it much stronger, manage practical affairs within the and much more in favor with the public sphere of their own business, are not, that when the change was made, how therefore, the men best fitted to do so shall any fair and reasonable man in parliament. They found that there escape the conclusion that a great was no peace from political dissensionpolitical error was committed? Time no rest from the agitation of fresh has proved it, both negatively and posi- schemes of “organic change,” in the tively. It has proved that no national constitution. There were thousands advantage has accrued from the change; who desired to see the representative that nothing either of glory or of utility system reformed, and who did not desire
to see church or king disturbed. They productive of a general, home-felt satisnever supposed for a moment that the faction. But few understood them at latter would follow the former, as an all: of those who did, many doubted, effect follows its immediate cause. They and still doubt, their present efficacy, believed that the same ministers who and their prospective safety. had proposed the reform would cer- No symptom of national regret was tainly resist any encroachment upon displayed when, in November, 1834, the Protestant church or upon the the king dismissed the “ Reform" miconstitution of the House of Lords, fornistry. The country remained per. these were what they professed to be, fectly tranquil, and apparently satisfied, and such as even the theory of the con- during the period that the Dnke of stitution hold them to be; but in all Wellington was the only minister, and these views and expectations they were when, upon the acceptance of the godisappointed. They found they had vernment by Sir Robert Pecl, the first called into existence a legislative power “ Reform” parliament was dissolved, which was not at all disposed to confine the country not only did not murmur, itself to sober practical duties, within but immediately returned another parthe limits of the “reformed” constitu- liament, in which the force of the movetion as it then stood. To alter that ment party was diminished by about constitution more and more appeared to one hundred and twenty votes. Could be almost the only object which the there have been a clearer proof than new house was inclined to occupy itself this, thai so far as the diminished conwith; and the ministers, instead of fidence of the people of England in withstanding the Frankenstein which the promoters of the Reform” was they had moulded with their own hands, evidence of that scheme not having yielded to the unruly monster, and, worked to their satisfaction, such had sooner than be left behind, actually been the fact ! took the lead in further revolution. The partizans of revolution boast This was the course taken by the ma- that Sir Robert Peel's administration jority of them; the Duke of Richmond, was not able to stand ; but there would Lords Ripon and Stanley, and Sir be little room for boast, if they had the James Graham were honourable excep- fairness to consider the evidence aftions. They quitted the ministerial forded by the elections of last January camp. With these we do not include and the desperate coalition to which Lord Grey, whose motives for resigna- the ex-ministers were driven by the retion do not appear to have been of the sults of these elections. The more it same honourable kind. An intrigue, is reflected upon, the more astonishing in which he was not included, and the it must appear, that, under ali the cirpersonal mortification attendant upon cumstances, so very great a change its unravelment, led to his separation should have taken place in the returns from the ministry.
of the commencement of the year 1835, While these projects of the “move- from those of the close of the year ment" party were going on, the prac- 1832. There were so many new botical measures of improvement which ronghs where the persons who had the had been looked for, were neglected. power to command the first return; Some great projects, which were rather might have been expected to retain it, political refinements, affecting practical at least for some years—so many old matters, than what are generally classed boroughs which the extended right of as practical measures, were carried into voting had thrown into nearly the cireffect. The commercial concerns of cumstances of the new boroughs, that the East and West Indies, and of it is astonishing that two years should China, were revolutionized, and new have done so much. arrangements were made with the We now come to the coalitionBank. But these measures were n the “unprincipled coalition,"* with Mr.
* Thus was it rightly denominated by Sir William Follett, in his admirable speech to his constituents at Exeter. We regret much that this beautiful address has not been printed in a permanent shape. Its eloquence deserves it. And the sound constitutional views and temperate sentiments which the learned gentleman so ably expressed, render it a valuable record of right principles.
O'Connell and the popish radical no- ciently well disposed, to check the minces who waited upon him in the O'Connell party, the debates can be House of Commons. This was the nothing but a continued riot of discusdirect consequence of the change pro- sion on revolutionary propositions for duced by the elections of January 1835. the whole of next session. The real If the ex-ministers could have obtain- reformers, who became so with a view ed a victory in the House of Cuin- to peace and security, all desire the remons, without Mr. O'Connell
, they turn of Sir Robert Peel's ministry to certainly would not bave then mani- power. fested the love for him which they had They who desire parochial improveso long dissembled. But the elections ments in matters affecting the common took away every hope of this : they business of life—such as church rates, had no shadow of chance of any thing collection of tithes, dissenters' marbut continued defeat, unless they made riages, administration of justice, &c. &c. terms with O'Connell ; and, mortified are now satisfied that from a ministry and revengeful, as they then were, they which has no preponderance in the readily sacrificed every thing but place, House of Commons, but what O'Con. in order to obtain it. We need not nell gives it, and in the House of Lords, here dwell upon the history of this dis- no power at all, they can expect none graceful transaction, which has been of these things. They know that had so often dwelt upon, and so justly de- Sir Robert Peel continued in office, the scribed as one of the most unprincipled whole of these reforms would have and flagitious that ever darkened the been settled last session. They therepage of English political history. Let fore wish that his ministry were reit suffice to say, that, though by means stored. of that hideous and revolting union of We have noticed the extraordinary English gentlemen and members of change as indicated by the elections, parliament with the man whom they which had taken place between the had previously pointed out to public close of 18:32, and the beginning of execration, as an enemy to his country's 1835. When we compare the circumwelfare, they succeeded in regaining stances which led to that change with office ; they dragged upon themselves the much more gross and inexcusable by that act a load of lasting infamy, circumstances which have taken place and set in motion a current of public since, may we not now calculate upon disgust, which has been increasing every much further change of the same nature? day, as the character of their popish May we not very safely presume, that and revolutionary ally has been more the evidence of the next election will and more developed.
prove, to even a much greater extent We now come to notice, rather than than the last proved, that the people of to discuss, the reasons for our antici- England are losing all confidence in pations of a change, which will once the men who have deserted church, more put Mr. O'Connell's friends where and king, and House of Lords. The they ought to be, viz. out of office. two years preceding January, 1835, did
They are all correlative to the facts much, as we have seen, towards making we have just enumerated.
the electors conservative-is it not The great party in the country who likely that the one year since January, sincerely advocated “reform,” thinking 1835, has done much more? Who it would be the source of good practical can doubt it? measures, and the security for future It is scarcely possible for words to repose, are now completely satisfied tell the depth of the disgust, and the that there is not the smallest chance of extensiveness of the apprehension, either the one or the other, under the which is felt in England with respect guidance of the Melbourne and O'Con- to the entanglement of the government nell ministry. O'Connell's system has with Mr. O'Connell. The blustering, been, is, and ever will be, agitation," or the affected tone of carelessness, or and the government which is leagued the attempts at ridicule which are atwith him must be like him. The state tempted by journals directly in the pay of the notice book of the House of of the ministers, ought to deceive no Commons shews that unless there be a one of sense or experience. The fact government strong enough, and suffi. is unquestionable, that generally the