« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
“ TIME,” said a great man, “ is perpetually changing human affairs; it is wisdom to watch his progress and adapt the institutions of the state to his mutations ; and, without attention to these, history is but an almanac and experience a cheat." It was a just and pregnant apophthegm, with not the less either of force or beauty for that unaffectedness of expression, which distinguished the eloquence of the Right Honourable Orator. Dr. Phelan, in the History of Rome's Policy, says :
" We can discover, without recurring to the voice of revelation, that there is some mighty confluence of destinies to which the whole human race is necessarily on its way. In the most permanent societies and most tranquil seasons, a process is carried on, which tends to separate man from his institutions, as, in the lapse of ages, the fixed stars themselves have deserted their primeval signs. To look, therefore, to the past alone is the error of a schoolman who renounces the world of living realities, and sojourns in the shadowy regions of his own abstractions. But-to watch and provide for those silent influences which time is continually shedding to cor
ng fand thuspast, and a lot or measure others in
rect irregularities, some, as they arise, others in their progress; to make every new measure a liberal analogy from the past, and a safe precedent for the future; and thus, whilst the parts are in unceasing flow, to secure the continued stability of the system, these are the noblest cares of a statesman-cares which approach nearest to the plastic energy of Providence,reaching mightily from one end to the other,' as the wise man says in the Apocrypha, and sweetly ordering all things.'” .
And where shall we find wisdom more truly characterised than in the sacred volume. “Wisdom came from Teman; God came from Teman,” says the Prophet, in his rapture; elsewhere it is written, “ye are gods,” and surely the stateman should endeavour to imitate the goodness of the Deity. Then, in the imposition of Taxes, by the blessing of Providence, they might be made to resemble its own wonderful processes; drawing up the moisture from the earth, and causing it to descend in fertilising showers, at once beautifying and enriching the land.
“ The condition of a man's country necessarily affects his own, and it becomes his duty to subject it to a severe and just examination, whenever the current of public events betokens the approach of times of difficulty and danger; nor should he be discouraged from bringing forward-if, after a full consideration of the subject, he feels convinced of their practicability—such plans as may tend to ameliorate the general condition of the people.”- Anonymous.
It was in December, 1833, on a dull, foggy evening, that we paced the streets of the great metropolis, walking from our inn to place our first conception that appeared in print, in the hands of Mr. Effingham Wilson, of the Royal Exchange. We cannot say the bantling fell still-born from the press, for it was noticed by the Morning Herald, and attracted the attention of a Member of Parliament, who introduced it to the Premier ; but, cruel man, his heart had not then been softened; he was deaf to the cries of the poor for cheap bread, and remorselessly strangled our infant almost ip its birth.
Its relics, alas! perished * in the flames, but we
* The Royal Exchange was hurnt down in the winter of 1837; the stock of the booksellers who had shops and ware