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successfully depended, of course, upon keeping the party together, so as to show a united front in both Houses in every conflict that ensued. But this degree of unanimity was soon discovered to be unattainable. Peel had a considerable following in both Houses. The last effort of the old Constitutional party was now, therefore, abandoned; and the Conservative cause tacitly relinquished to a leader who has done more to undermine the public faith in it than any man who ever lived.

At the same time, it is but just to Sir Robert Peel to consider that the support which he was asked to give to the amendments on the Municipal Corporations Bill was part of a general scheme for depriving him of the leadership of his party; and, secondly, that many firm Tories agreed with him in thinking that all that it was possible to effect, in the way of Conservative principles, after the Reform Bill, must be the result of a compromise, and that it was absolutely necessary to sacrifice both the English and the Irish Corporations on the altar of the Irish Church. How the Conservative party made use of the Irish Corporation Bill as a lever to extort the suppression of the odious "appropriation clause" is well known. And it may be that Sir Robert Peel feared, if he offered any further opposition to the English Corporation Bill, he would preclude himself from using the Irish one as a means of making terms with the enemy. Lord Lyndhurst believed that there was no necessity for making terms. Which was right it were mere waste of time to speculate.

Twenty years had passed over the head of Lord Lyndhurst before he again, and for the last time, stood forward in defence of our ancient Constitution. But a lapse of time, which reduces other men from old age to senility, had wrought no such change in him. In 1856 he declaimed against the introduction of life peers into the House of Lords, not only with as much logic and as much learning, but with as much courage and as much vehemence as he had ever displayed when at his best. After an elaborate argument, embracing the whole Constitutional bearings of the question, he did not hesitate to contrast the dependence and ineffi

ciency of the Senate of France with the vigour, patriotism, and spirit of the British House of Lords.

This, it must be owned, was certainly going to the point; and, indeed, it is one of the very few occasions on which Lord Lyndhurst permitted himself to appeal to any great general principles or the broad lessons of history. Indeed, the whole debate was afterwards described by Lord Granville, as the greatest at which he had ever been present in their Lordship's House.

The last transaction affecting the constitution of Parliament with which the name of Lord Lyndhurst is associated is the admission of the Jews to Parliament. The means by which this measure was finally accomplished, in the session of 1858, is probably still fresh in the reader's memory. A Bill was sent down from the House of Lords for empowering either House to resolve, upon any particular occasion, that certain words in the oath might be dispensed with. This measure was proposed by Lord Lucan, and received, after some hesitation, the support of Lord Derby, who held that it would terminate the discussion between the two Houses, while saving, at the same time, their lordships' consciences and honour. Lord Lyndhurst, who had moved the second reading of the Oath Bill, saw the practical object of that measure which he had advocated for so many years taken out of his own hands, and accomplished in another way, with his usual serene indifference to all considerations of mere vanity. He must have seen, we imagine, from the very first, that this Bill was an inevitable corollary of the legislation of '28 and '29. But, as on the Test and Corporation Acts, and the Roman Catholic Emancipation Bill, so with regard to Jewish Disabilities, he argued the question on its own particular merits, contending that the restrictive clauses of the oath had never been directed against the Jews, and not rising to the contemplation of that general principle by which all persons not members of the National Church were held de jure to be excluded from participation in the national State.

The moral and intellectual endowments of this great man were of the highest order. Undaunted courage, in the face of most perilous enter

prises, and in the teeth of the most determined opposition; a spirit as indifferent to mere general clamour as it was prompt to resent and to punish particularimputations; fidelity to his friends and calm disdain of his enemies, were the most prominent of his ethical characteristics. They are, we think, all in turn discernible, even in the brief sketch of his career which we have already given. Both in 1832 and in 1835 he gave signal proofs that neither difficulty, danger, nor abuse was capable of reducing him to despair, nor of dissuading him from another battle with an enemy flushed with conquest and superior in numbers, for the sake of the ancient Constitution. That he cared little for popular reproaches is demonstrable from the same evidence. But that he would allow no man living to use injurious expressions towards himself without an instantaneous check is likewise placed beyond a doubt, not only by the curt and defiant tone with which he was accustomed to rebut the charges which were brought against himself, but more especially by his behaviour to Lord Melbourne

on one particular occasion, that will long be memorable."

The moral defects visible in Lord Lyndhurst's character were few. He was certainly an ambitious man; and, as far as that can be called a fault in one who, conscious of great powers, has his own way to make in the world, it must be conceded to his accusers. He is said, likewise, to have lacked warmth of temperament, and that it was owing rather to this defect than to native magnanimity that he cherished so few antipathies, and forgave almost as soon as he was angered. It is for those who knew him intimately in private life to say if this view of him be just. If it is so, it comprises, at all events, the worst that can be said of him; nor does either of the infirmities implied in it militate against his possession of the other moral virtues we have assigned to him.

His intellectual powers were immense; nor have his friends thought it necessary to prove, or his enemies possible to deny, them. In the statement of a case Lord Lyndhurst was unequalled. The speeches which he delivered on·

* Lord Melbourne had characterised some statement of Lord Lyndhurst's as "artful." Lord Lyndhurst replied in words which so enraged the Prime Minister that he quite forgot himself:-"I wish, exclaimed he, in a paroxysm of rage, 'that the noble duke (Wellington) had been here;' then, turning towards Lord Lyndhurst, he continued-'the noble duke would have sooner cut his right hand off, than have taken such a course as that taken by the noble and learned lord: the noble duke is a gentleman; the noble duke is a man of honour.' Suddenly a cloud settled over the features of the insulted peer: the compression of the lips, and the gleam of the eyes, revealed the thunder which was sleeping within. A dead stillness reigned throughout the house. Lord Lyndhurst rose from his seat, and spoke in a calm, firm tone:-The noble viscount says he wishes the noble duke had been here, because the noble duke is a gentleman, and a man of honour. That observation, which is true of the noble duke, was applied by the noble viscount in such a manner as to bear a different construction when applied to others: I beg an explanation.' Lord Melbourne would have shrunk from grappling with his strong antagonist. When I said that the noble duke,' remarked he, 'was a gentleman and a man of honour, I did not say that anybody else was not a gentleman and a man of honour.' This paltry subterfuge was of no avail. "The words,' rejoined Lord Lyndhurst, are capable of a particular construction: again I ask the noble viscount what he meant by them.' The Premier not having risen to answer the question, Lord Lyndhurst quitted his seat, and was in the act of leaving the house, when Lord Brougham started to his feet, and entreated his friend to remain. The latter resumed his seat. A few remarks then dropped from Lord Brougham. Lord Lyndhurst once more rose, and with a look and tone which could not be misinterpreted, demanded an explanation. I must insist on knowing,' said he, 'from the noble viscount, whether he meant to convey an imputation on my character; whether he meant to say that I am not a man of honour." Lord Melbourne's better feelings had speedily prevailed. He admitted that he had allowed himself to be carried away by passion. 'I do not recollect'-such was his confession-'what I said: I do not know what were the words I used in the excitement of the moment; but I distinctly state, that if I said anything in reference to the noble and learned lord, to the effect that he had acted unlike a man of honour, or in any way unbecoming a gentleman, I most fully retract the words."" Lord Lyndhurst immediately declared that he was satisfied. And well he might. The nemo me impune lacessit attitude which he desired to preserve had been most successfully vindicated, and the Whig Prime Minister made to look nearly as small as it is possible for a man to look.

those occasions when the exercise of this particular talent was all that was required, remain as models for all time. Among these, of course, are to be ranked his famous "Summaries," which are already political classics, and one of the very few examples of parliamentary eloquence which has exerted an immediate influence upon public opinion, and brought Whig ministries to the dust by blows of which the marks, so to speak, were visible to the naked eye. After every one of these attacks it was felt throughout the kingdom-in the market-place and on the Stock Exchange, in PallMall and in May Fair-that the ministry was so much the weaker, and had lost so much more of its small remaining stock of credit.

The range of Lord Lyndhurst's acquisitions, we believe, was wide; but it was not wider than his imperial intellect could sway. His memory was surprising; and lawyers tell us that he showed, while on the bench, a capacity equal to the reputation which the greatest English lawyer has attained. It is not, therefore, to any natural inaptitude for the apprehension of first principles that we are to assign the neglect of them which, in certain parts of his career, we fancy we detect. We should rather attribute it to the fact that he was forty-six years of age before he embarked in politics, and that nearly twenty of these had been passed in the study and practice of the common law. By that time of life a man's intellectual habits are formed. Sir John Copley had never had any inducement to study politics from a scientific point of view, nor to make himself master of the great questions

which then agitated parliament. He was not likely to do so when he found himself Solicitor-General at fifty years of age, and overwhelmed with practical work. When he had to speak on the Roman Catholic question in parliament he got it up hurriedly, as he might have done a case on circuit; and, of course, it was quite natural, under such circumstances, that he should adopt the views of the majority of the party to which he had attached himself. He has told us himself that fresh inquiry into the question made him acquainted with many circumstances that materially altered his opinions. Even on the subject of parliamentary reform nobody can say how much or how little he was indebted to Mr. Canning, or to the debates in the House of Commons in the summer of 1831. If, therefore, on neither of these important subjects he displayed much original thought nor elevation of view, we do not, on that account, assume that his intellect was inadequate to the occasion. That would indeed be absurd. All we think is, that he came too late into politics to do himself full justice as a statesman, as he was afterwards too much absorbed by statesmanship to do himself full justice as a lawyer. Between these conflicting claims his genius had scarcely fair play; and his fame, we think, will rest hereafter on a lower basis than he might otherwise have succeeded in securing. He might have eclipsed Lord Mansfield, or he might have equalled Mr. Pitt. But both politics and law are mistresses who permit no rivals; nor was any exceptional indulgence extended to the late Lord Lyndhurst.

SOUL IN SPACE.

WHEN night unveils infinity, we gaze
From earth's dim shore upon the starry vast,
Where 'mid innumerate universes' rays,

Existence Deitific, present-past

Develops for futurity. What end,

'Mid yonder unimagined spheres of powers,
Can destiny allot this soul of ours;

Or whither will its ray, enfranchised, tend?
Soul and surroundment are inscrutable.
If life shall live, 'tis well; if perish, well.
What know we, save that one fixed hour we'll lie
Careless of life, in nature's sacred rest;
While myriad April moons shall round and die,
While thousand autumns golden to the west.

YAXLEY AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD.

CHAPTER VII.

MRS. MEIKLAM.

THE avenue was about half a mile in length; and when the young people reached the house, Bessie's spirits had regained somewhat of their usual buoyancy; she was able to skip lightly up the great stone steps, while Dillon pulled the bell. It was a quaint, old-fashioned mansion, large and intricate, with wide staircases and lobbies, but rather small rooms. Let us look well at Mrs. Meiklam, as she comes down herself to open the hall-door for her young friends; for she has seen their approach from an upper window. She is now about seventy-three years old, of a figure that had once been perfect, and which still retains much to command admiration, in its noble carriage and erect comportment; her hair, though still thick and of fine texture, is of the whitest shade of white, and banded smoothly on a placid forehead; her dress, of quaker-like simplicity, is scrupulously neat the muslin of cuffs and collars rivalling the outward snow in purity and whiteness. An expression of much sweetness beams in her eye, indicating that she lives in peace and with good will towards all men. She laughs when she ad

mits the new comers.

"My dear children, how could you walk on such a day ?"

"Oh, very well," replied Bessie, flinging her arms round her. "We had a delightful trip. Very pleasant indeed," she added, lowering her voice, as the recollection of the encounter with the dreadful Jenny Black crossed her mind.

The children followed their hostess to the room used principally as chief sitting-room at the Rest. It was a comfortable apartment, furnished in red, with a large fire burning in the ample grate, and many portraits adorning the walls. Bessie ensconced herself at once in a large, old-fashioned arm-chair, and having forgotten to take off her over-shoes in the hall, now coolly requested Dillon to pull them off, and leave them outside the

door. He did so instantly; while Mrs. Meiklam watched the proceeding somewhat in surprise.

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'Do you always ask Dillon to attend you in this way?" she asked, with the slightest possible contraction of eye.

"Oh, he always does what I want; and then, I do things now and then for him."

"Then neither is in debt to the other?"

"I don't know that. I think Dillon does more for me than I do for him; but that is only because I ask and want more than he does. If he asked me to do anything I am sure I would not refuse. Would I, Dillon ?"

"I don't think you would; you never do," said Dillon.

As the evening shadows deepened, and the fire blazed brighter, Mrs. Meiklam's old gray cat came walking in, followed by an aged spaniel, both intimate acquaintances of the young people, and each sat down composedly on the hearth-rug.

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And now, Dillon," said Mrs. Meiklam, "I want to hear about your tutor, Mr. Stutzer. Doctor Ryder told me this morning he had been very ill last night."

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Yes, very ill," replied Dillon, a flash of interest coming into his eye.

"Poor man! how I pity him, and his poor little girl, who always looks so pale, and thin, and grave in church on Sundays. Don't you think her a sweet-looking child, Bessie ?"

"Well, I really cannot say that I ever remarked her," replied Bessie, truthfully; "but I have often seen Mr. Stutzer himself-a queer-looking little man that always looks as if he was going to cry about something.

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And if he does look so you may feel sure he has enough to cry about, said Mrs. Meiklam, but not sharplyrather sadly and gravely.

"I think he is very poor," said Dillon.

'He must be so, if what Doctor Ryder told me is true," returned Mrs.

always most dainty meals-not as grand as the dinners at Mr. Pilmer's house-but far more suited to the

Meiklam. "You were at his house,
I believe, when he became ill last
night."
Yes-it was I who ran for Doctor tastes of children. The chicken
Ryder to attend him."

"I should very much like to assist him," continued Mrs. Meiklam, "but I scarcely know how to do so; he does not ask for aid, and it would be a delicate thing to offer him money. Doctor Ryder wished me to head a subscription list for him, and I certainly would do it with pleasure, if I thought such a thing would be agreeable to him.'

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Dillon did not think such a proceeding would be at all agreeable to his poor tutor.

"It wouldn't be well to offend him," he suggested, in his truthful way.

"In one way I could assist him, by taking his little girl and keeping her here while he is ill; I am sure that would gratify him, without letting him think he was under an obligation of a weighty kind."

But if he is starving," remarked Bessie, “I think he ought to be glad to get any sort of assistance from you.

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"You don't know, my dear, what ideas people have upon that point," returned Mrs. Meiklam; "there are many who would rather die than receive charity. It is a mistaken pride-but not the less hard to give up. However, I shall certainly offer to take Mr. Stutzer's little daughter, as I feel assured he would like her to be taken care of-in his present weak state. You can tell him so to-morrow, Dillon."

"I shall tell him to-night," said the boy, eagerly.

"To-night! Surely you don't in tend seeing him this evening?"

"Oh, yes; I said I would-and I'll come back here for Bessie."

"No-do not return; I shall send Bingham home with her."

fricassee so delicately flavoured-the little apple-pie so exquisite-and the pancakes and custards so delicious! Bessie always liked dining with her old friend.

When they were all again in the red-room after dinner-the oldfashioned lamp was lighted-and Mrs. Meiklam drew out her worknot fancy-work-but some very coarse aprons which she was making for the poor.

"I would like to be always here," said Bessie, leaning back in her chair and looking very lovely.

"Not always," corrected Mrs. Meiklam; "you would not like to leave papa and mamma."

"No-but all is so quiet here.' “Then you like quietness." "Yes, very much. Just now I feel as if I could die here in peace.'

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"But are you not very quiet at home, too? And surely you are allowed to do nearly as you like."

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"Oh, yes, I have always my own way," replied Bessie, a little proudly. Not quite always, I hope." "Pretty nearly always," observed Dillon, smiling over at his cousin.

"It is well to be able to enjoy peace in this world," said Mrs. Meiklam, thoughtfully; "and still better if we can hope for the 'Peace that passeth understanding,' in the next."

Now, the "Peace that passeth understanding" was familiar enough, as far as the words were concerned, to the ears of Dillon and Bessie, and they were generally pretty glad when they heard them especially in church, from the lips of Mr. Hilbert, the Vicar of Yaxley-for they knew, then, the Service and sermon were alĺ over, and that they were about to be emancipated from confinement in the house of prayer; but beyond that, the Peace which passeth understanding conveyed no particular meaning to their minds. Their idea of religion was very vague and misty, and as of something inexpressibly sombre and dreary. They respected religious people-and looked upon them as extraordinary creatures—but no more dreamed of being religious themselves So the point was settled. than of being burnt at the stake as The dinners at Meiklam's Rest were martyrs. Their notions of piety

"Oh, he must come back, Mrs. Meiklam," interrupted Bessie; "I had rather walk with Dillon-even if Bingham came too."

"But it will give Dillon a great deal of useless trouble."

"Oh, it isn't any trouble," said Dillon; "I'd rather come back than

not."

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