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important avocations ?
Do we not feel that
myriads of human beings have delegated to each member the charge of their happiness ?
Ye aristocrats, there ye must look upon us all as brethren-brethren in life, equals in death, heirs to one vast inheritance-the tomb. Runners to one goal, that bourne where distinction may be marked outwardly by monuments, but is levelled inwardly by the destroying worm, that craving feeder of parted flesh and blood.
“ 'Tis the mind that makes the body rich.”
It is the mind which leaves its undying offspring to rise above the decay of the form, and tell Posterity what the deceased has done.
Pope has said that
“Party is the madness of many for the gain of a few.”
And is the maxim heeded?
Alas! no; men
will still waste the best energy of life in discussions and disunions; party spirit will destroy all philanthropy in the human breast.
We do not allude to the party feeling which must necessarily arise from politics being designated by various names, viz. Tory, Whig, Radical, Conservative; but there is a totally different division to this—man against man, opinion against opinion, private animosity indulged under the cloak of political feuds.
And is the ambition of conquering each other a fit employment for those who represent this great and intellectual country?
An English politician should be far more philanthropic, he must forget himself, and think of the world ; not of the world of fashion, not of the set who will sit at his table, and crowd to hear his speeches, but of the poor untaught world, whose proclamations have reached him, and whose wants are laid
But if the politician become popular, in the vulgar acceptance of the word, he too often sacrifices his own feelings of duty, preferring applause, though it be unmerited, to remaining unknown. We must remember that, notwithstanding the march of intellect is very great, still the majority of the poor (taking Wales and Ireland, as well as the meaner parts of England and Scotland, into consideration) are very untutored, and even when the poor are taught, they are but imperfectly acquainted with the estimate of their own wants; like spoilt children, they would love the hand which caressed, and the bounty which gave them plenty, but, in time, they would find that the very things they had craved for were unwholesome and satiating, and the firm hand which had chastised, as the bold voice which had refused, would be more beloved when reason enforced the belief that the politician · had proved worthy of his post.
The difficulty of refusing a request is often greater than granting it.
Parties are very well in their place, and when there is a necessity for them.
If a king be dethroned, it is natural that one part be for, another against, his cause, for the Sovereign must have leaned to a party, ere party be formed for and against him. There have been times when names and parties in politics were absolutely necessary.
When Charles the First was dethroned, one party called for his head, another wished to reinstate him upon his throne.
A man would have been unworthy of his sex if he could calmly have looked on, nor sided with one part of the community.
When William and Mary were called to
the English throne, many were still disposed to favour the unfortunate Stuart dynasty.
We cannot change our hearts as soon as we imagine we can ; we cannot cast off old feelings as we would a worn-out vesture. No; they cling to us in spite of philosophy's keenest reasoning, and in those unfortunate days the more lenient were for the weak Sovereign, whom they hoped would yet amend, the more turbulent were on the opposite side.
But now — now, in these peaceful times, why cabal about terms,—let motives be the object; let all that is sacred convince our politicians of that which they should ever bear in mind—that they hold a responsible situation.
Let them come to those glorious halls,
feeling that a day is lost when it has not been
devoted to the nation.