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It is true, that our taste may not be altogether so favorable as it ought to be; a dull, prudish, perverse taste. It is true that our ordinary manners in this country have not the desirable ease and freedom; there is newness, embarrassment, awkwardness, constraint in them; they are not so free and forcible, and not so indicative of the free workings of the mind, as they ought to be. But these, after all, are rather the manners of ceremony and of formal society.
Go to the exchange, the market, the public street, the municipal meeting, and you shall see, that the men, in whose veins English blood is flowing, can be ardent and earnest, and can use action, though they do not know it; and that is the right action. Go up to the greater occasions of life, to the crowded and grave assembly, and our Burke, and Sheridan, and Chatham, and our own Ames, and Hamilton, and Emmet, and the names of the living among us, that rise to our thoughts, are sufficient to wipe away the stigma that we are so willing to fasten upon ourselves; sufficient to show, that our court-room and our debating-hall are not always tedious, and that our pupil is not always dull.
We look for future orators in this land, whose words of might shall shake its wide and utmost borders, shall resound from the Atlantic to the Pacific seas; and whose renown shall be the heritage of distant generations. We trust that a voice is to arise in this Western world, which shall echo to the glorious eloquence of ancient times.
MR. HOBHOUSE'S CASTIGATION OF THE MEMBER FROM ORFORD. Extract from a Speech in Parliament on Parliamentary Reform.
I MUST be permitted to notice a most extraordinary position taken up by the member for Orford. He contended, that a reform of Parliament would throw the elections out of the hands of the real proprietors of England, into those possessed of no respectable means of subsistence. Strange, indeed, to be said by any one, and stranger still to be said by a member for Orford, in the face of so many county and city representatives who have constituents.
Did the honourable member never happen to hear, that the complaint of the reformers points exactly to the fact, which he has perverted and enlisted into his singular argument? The great complaint of the reformers is, that the body of electors-that is, the body that votes for the majority of this House, are persons of no property, are persons whose abode is, or ought to be, the work-house; who have no will, no power, no voice of their own; who, when they solemnly declare that they give their vote, that is, their wish, for the candidate whom they choose, are guilty of the basest and most pernicious perjury; who are the mere organs of others, and depending upon their masters for the rags they wear, and the scanty food they eat, and the wretched cabin that shelters them-have no opportunity, and scarcely, perhaps, feel an inclination, to perform the sacred duty imposed upon the real independent elector.
The complaint of the reformers is, that, whilst such an unhappy, miserable part of the population hold the elective franchise, and use it not for themselves, but under the control, and for the benefit of others, the real respectable citizens, the contributors to the exigencies of the state, the most valuable members of the community, who have given pledges of fidelity to the government and to the country, are not partakers of the privilege which alone can give them the means of protecting their property; namely, a share in the choice of the representation.
We claim, for the opulence, the industry, the importance of such towns as Birmingham and Manchester, the rights now thrown away upon, and shamefully bartered by, the pennyless, idle, insignificant vote-sellers of such boroughs as Orford.
EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH OF THEOPHILUS PARSONS;
Delivered in the Massachusetts Convention 1788, on the adoption of the Federal Constitution.
MR. PRESIDENT,-A great variety of supposed objections have been made, against vesting Congress with some of the powers defined in the eighth section: and as some of the objections have not been noticed, I shall beg the indulgence of the Convention, while I very briefly consider them.
as it is my intention to avoid all repetition, my observations will necessarily be unconnected and desultory.
It has been said, that the grant in this section includes all the possessions of the people, and divests them of everything; that such a grant is impolitie, for as the poverty of an individual guards him against luxury and extravagance, so poverty in a ruler is a fence against tyranny and oppression. Sir, gentlemen do not distinguish between the government of an hereditary aristocracy, where the interest of the governors is very different from that of the subjects, and a government to be administered for the common good by the servants of the people, vested with delegated powers by popular elections at stated periods. The federal Constitution establishes a government of the last description, and in this case the people divest themselves of nothing. The governments and powers, which the Congress can administer, are the mere result of a compact made by the people with each other, for the common defence and general welfare. To talk, therefore, of keeping the Congress poor, if it means anything, must mean depriving the people themselves of their own resources. But, if gentlemen will still insist, that these powers are a grant from the people, and consequently improper, let it then be observed, that it is now too late to impede the grant-it is already completed -the Congress under the confederation are invested with it by solemn compact-they have powers to demand what moneys and forces, they judge necessary for the common defence and general welfare-powers as extensive as those proposed in this Constitution.
But it may be said, as the ways and means are reserved to the several States, they have a check upon Congress, by refusing a compliance with the requisitions. Sir, is this the boasted check-a check that can never be exercised but by perfidy and a breach of public faith-by a violation of the most solemn stipulations? It is this check that has embarrassed at home, and made us contemptible abroad— and will any honest man plume himself upon a check, which an honest man would blush to exercise?
It has been objected, that the Constitution provides no religious test by oath, and we may have in power unprincipled men, atheists and pagans. No man can wish more ardently than I do, that all our public offices may be filled by men, who fear God and hate wickedness; but it must remain with the electors to give the government this secu
rity-an oath will not do it. Will an unprincipled man be entangled by an oath? Will an atheist or a pagan dread the vengeance of the Christian's God, a being, in his opinion, the creature of fancy and credulity? It is a solecism in expression. No man is so illiberal, as to wish for the confiring of places of honour or profit, to any one sect of Christians.
Sir, the only evidence we can have of the sincerity and excellency of a man's religion, is a good life-and I trust that such evidence will be required of every candidate by every elector. That man who acts an honest part to his neighbour, will most probably conduct honourably towards the public.
THE SPIRIT FIRM AND FREE.-Anonymous.
I SAID to Sorrow's pelting storm,
Rage on! thou mayst destroy this form,
And lay it low at rest;
But still the spirit that now brooks
Thy tempest raging high,
Undaunted on its fury looks,
I said to Penury's meagre train,
I said to proud Neglect and Scorn,
My spirit, which, untamed and free,
No scoffs of yours annoy,
Draws from its own nobility
Its high-born joy.
I said to Friendship's menaced blow,
Yet still the spirit that sustains
I said to Death's uplifted dart,
Thou wilt not find a fearful heart,
WHAT'S HALLOWED GROUND?-Campbell.
WHAT's hallowed ground? Has earth a clod
By man, the image of his God,
Erect and free,
Unscourged by Superstition's rod
That's hallowed ground-where, mourned and missed,
No! in ourselves their souls exist,
A part of ours.
A kiss can consecrate the ground
Is hallowed, down to earth's profound,
And up to heaven!