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SAUNDERS AND OTLEY, CONDUIT STREET;
AND CUMMING, DUBLIN.
CONGRATULATIONS FOR THE YEAR 1836.
With the new year, it is incumbent upon us to put on our best looks, and wear our merriest faces; and, whatever be our misfortunes, whatever our ailments, however inclement the weather, or however unkind our friends, we should, overlooking all present annoyances, and despising all the menacings of evil, cast our eyes sedulously around, above, below, and beyond us, in order to find out meet subjects for congratulation. Will not a year, began in the mist of tears, naturally terminate in the pelting showers of despondency? If the sun in the heavens will not shine out on the first of January, we must contrive, like those who do not find success, to do without him ; and make something in his semblance, a sort of a tinfoil sun of our own, which, if not sufficient to enable us to read our own rhapsodies, will be quite luminous enough to swear by, and to light up the glories of the Whig administration.
Now, with this pious wish of being grateful, let us look around and enumerate the various subjects of congratulation that intrude themselves upon us, and thus unceremoniously force felicity down our throats, whether we will or not, and make us blest in spite of ourselves, frost, fog, and the rheumatism. Now let us hearken to the voice of comfort-of triumph !
Englishmen, we congratulate you that the Whig-radico-Irisho-rapparee-papistico-association still directs the councils of the empire, and that Lord Melbourne has a good appetite. Indeed, considering all things, for the good of his country, he has stomached a great deal.
We congratulate the country upon what the Whigs have done since their accession to office, the extraordinary foresight which has induced them to pass acts of parliament, which have the peculiar merit of being imperfect. Employment is necessary to the welfare of the people, and the representatives of the people having nothing to do in these times, will have now plenty of occupation in amending their acts. This gives us great hopes of an increase of morality in the nation at large, for it is not possible to amend one's acts without amending one's lives.
We also congratulate the nation upon the valuable system of reciprocity we have lately been carrying on. It is delightful to witness the exchange of sterling advantages for empty compliments, and to
Jan. 1836,--VOL. XV.NO. LVII.
feel that we have this positive balance in our favour, that Dr. Bowring is able to astonish the natives in Hebrew and in good French.
We congratulate our countrymen upon the great satisfaction with which we can perambulate the streets of the metropolis, and every other part of the kingdom. Formerly, we were so crowded, that it was unpleasant; but so many hundreds of thousands have
gone over the water to make room for us, that the grass is actually springing up between the paving-stones in front of St. James's Palace. This is kind to us, and philanthropic to others, for, with the plethora of money with which this country is borne along, it is but right that we should disseminate a few millions per annum among those nations who will, in all probability, make war against us; it will supply them with the sinews of war in case of need, and, it is clear that, if they had nothing for us to take from them, there could be no source of congratulation in beating them.
Our foreign policy, lately, is another source of public congratulation. We have left off the system of bullying our neighbours, of insisting upon being treated with respect, and of laying down the law to others. We now have put more Christian doctrine in our international system. We are like the old expiring lion, at whose jaws every jackass may have a kick. With all humility, if smote on the right cheek, we offer them the left, and thus do we avoid any thing like a squabble. It is to Lord Palmerston that we are indebted for this new system of bearing towards other nations, and if we knock under, no one can accuse us of being overbearing.
We also congratulate the country upon the language of the lower classes having found its way into both houses of parliament, as it is a sure sign that the mob will soon follow. For argument we have abuse, then insult, cock-crowing, squeaking, barking, hallooing, groaning, hissing, and thumping of sticks and feet. This is very pleasant, for it is the shortest way of settling the question, and they may now call for it before the debate begins.
Englishmen, we congratulate you upon the working of the new Poor Laws, seeing that it is rapidly working off those of the working classes, who are compelled to work the most, and eat the least. We congratulate you on the satisfaction you must enjoy in paying many thousands to a few commissioners, who will spend your money like gentlemen, instead of throwing away a few hundreds upon objects who have no other claim to it than helplessness, a life of useful labour, the dictates of charity, and the command of God.
We congratulate the country upon its increasing pauper population, and its increased and still increasing number of palaces. Every poor man has now his palace. “ Palace !” said we. Rather, should we say, his choice of palaces, in any of which he may not only freely enter, but is ardently welcomed, for three halfpence; and also, at the same time, indulge in the maximum of happiness, by pouring down his own throat a libation of max. But our congratulations must not stop at the individual, and somewhat sensual, happiness thus profusely distributed among the productive classes, since these palaces must ably assist Miss Martineau by establishing an efficacious preventive check, in making them physiologically non-productive. Then, is it