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am much troubled I was not at home in time for the post, that I might as soon as possible put you out of your generous payne that you are in for the worthy Mr. Newton. I was, I must confess, very much surprised at the inquiry you were pleased to make by your nephew about the message that Mr. Newton made the ground of his letter to you, for I was very sure I never either received from you or delivered to him any such ; and therefore I went immediately to wayt upon him, with a design to discourse him about the matter, but he was out of town, and since I have not seen him, till upon the 28th I met him at Huntingdon, where, upon his own accord, and before I had time to ask him any question, he told me that he had writt to you a very odd letter, at which he was much concerned; adding, that it was in a distemper that much seized his head, and that kept him awake for above five nights together, which upon occasion he desired I would represent to you, and beg your pardon, he being very much ashamed he should be so rude to a person for whom he hath so great an honour. He is now very well, and, though I fear he is under some small degree of melancholy, yet I think there is no reason to suspect it hath at all touched his understanding, and I hope never will; and so I am sure all ought to wish that love learning or the honour of our nation, which it is a sign how much it is looked after, when such a person as Mr. Newton lyes so neglected by those in power. And thus, honoured Sir, I have made you acquainted with all I know of the cause of such inconsistencys in the letter of so excellent a person; and I hope it will remove the doubts and fears you are, with so much compassion and publickness of spirit, pleased to entertain about Mr. Newton ; but if I should have been wanting in any thing tending to the more full satisfaction, I shall, upon the least notice, endeavour to amend it with all gratitude and truth. Honored Sir, your most faithfull and obedient servant,
* “Joh. MILLING to N.”’—pp. 234, 235.
We may easily conceive how such a distemper as the one here alluded to, might have given rise to the rumours of Newton’s insanity, which reached Huygens. Having given these explanations, we shall no farther trouble ourselves with the subject.
Newton’s appointment, first (in 1695) as Warden, and subsequently (in 1699) as Master of the Mint, through the influence of his friend Mr. Charles Montague, furnished him, throughout the remainder of his long life, with an honourable competency, which no man ever better deserved, or made a more liberal use of. He had already sat for Cambridge in the Convention Parliament, and was again elected in 1701. In 1703 he was chosen President of the Royal Society, and in 1705 was knighted by Queen Anne. His works upon chronology and theology are so well known, that we need do no more than refer to Dr. Brewster's account of them, and to add, that upon whatever part of Newton’s illustrious life and writings the reader desires to obtain the most authentic as well as the most satisfactory information, he will be sure to find it in this excellent number of the Family Library.
ART. VIII.--What will the Lords do? 8vo. pp. 33. London: Ridgway, 1831.
At the period when this pamphlet was first published, that is to say, about the beginning of the last month of September, the motto inscribed by the author in his title page contained an accurate description of the then state of the public mind. Non tumultus—-mon quies ; sed quale magni metus, et magna ira, silentium est;-which may thus be paraphrased. There were no meetings of the people, and yet they cannot be said to have looked on the progress of the Bill with apathy; their silence, so far as the House of Lords was concerned, was the silence of apprehension, and of unuttered anger! But what a difference in the aspect of that people in the latter days of the same month ! Their faithful organs—and of these no one has been more zealous, or more distinguished for its ability, than the Times—informed them that the Bill was in danger, that the Lords might possibly either reject it altogether, or modify its enactments in such a manner as to deprive it of all its value, and forthwith they began to rise in every part of the country, meeting in hamlets, parishes, towns, cities, and counties, to assert their unimpaired determination to have the House of Commons reformed, and they have already resolved and petitioned in millions for that purpose, being, moreover, fully prepared to take such further measures as the case may require, in order that their will shall be carried into complete effect. Some self-deluding politicians, who, by a species of jaundice with which they are afflicted, see only the most agreeable colours in the objects around them, have expressed their belief that the people had cooled towards the Bill. A more courageous assertion than this was never made in either House of Parliament; one more destitute even of the semblance of a foundation never fell from the lips of man. It is very possible that the debates upon the measure, for the last month, were read with less eagerness by the people generally than those which attended its early stages, but these politicians could not, it seems, for a moment suppose, that this result was, in a great degree, to be imputed to themselves, to their interminable harangues, their stupid repetition night after night of the same arguments, their want of ability in conducting their ineffectual opposition, and the apparent impossibility of their uttering a solitary sentence, which any human being, of the slightest pretension to education, could feel the faintest shadow of delight in perusing. We were indifferent indeed; we, the people, had cooled undoubtedly, we were indifferent to the rigmaroles of Sir Charles Wetherell, we had cooled to the pompous nothings of Sir Robert Peel, but to the Bill we had pledged our hearts, our homes, our families, our honour, all that was dear and valuable to man, and it will soon be seen whether we are not prepared to redeem those sacred pledges, if it be necessary, at the hazard of our lives. Cooled to the Bill ! The very imputation is a tocsin which we hear, while we write, ringing throughout the empire, because it is felt, not as a libel upon the people, but as an indication that a deep conspiracy is going forward against the most précious interests of the country, in which the chief traitors would not have ventured to engage, if they had not laboured under the grossest delusions as to the real state of the public mind upon this question. We thank them for the phrase: it has betrayed their designs, it has opened to the world their midnight plots, and clearly shown that their object is to injure the great measure by some alterations, which, even they have found out the country never would endure, unless it had in fact ceased to feel as it had felt, and had become careless as to the consequences of all the exertions which, for the last fifty years, and especially for the last twelve months, they have made in the cause of reform. By this token may we know the designs which the traitors have in hand. By this standard may we measure the depth of their schemes, and by it shall we know how to augment, and how to direct the force of our resistance. Cooled to the Bill ! Why what a petifogging set of statesmen those Peels and Wetherells, and their followers, must be, to imagine for a moment that the people of England are the weak, vacillating, capricious race of coquettes, which those sages would wish them to be. Did they suppose, that for every ridiculous attack which they brought forward against the Bill, while it was going through the ordeal of the committee, a fresh public meeting was to be held to express the popular indignation ?—that every one of the wild phrases of the ex-attorney-general was to be canvassed out of doors with the utmost gravity, instead of being laughed at 2—that the ill temper shown by some of the opponents of the Bill, shamed as it was by the dignified calmness of Lord Althorp, ought to have been encountered by similar bursts of passion on the part of the people? How miserably mistaken they must have been all this time ! The country certainly never perhaps looked on, during the discussion in Parliament of an important question, with so much quietness, as they have done upon this occasion; but was that quietness the quietness of apathy" Far from it. The people had performed with the most happy success the part which the constitution assigned to them, in securing the object of their wishes; they had carried the Bill, so far as the House of Commons was concerned, by the manner in which they constituted that house at the late general election, and well knowing how hopeless were the efforts of the opposition, they have waited with a becoming calmness for the result. They probably very generally hoped, that on such a question as this, which was strictly one of popular privileges, the Lords would not seriously think of interposing to throw out, or even to modify the provisions of, the Bill, and they knew that it had already received the unofficial sanction of the king. Therefore they expected that no real obstacles would be opposed to their just desires, and they left the matter to take its natural course. But the blind Tories could not understand this obvious state of things. They had eyes and could not see, ears and could not hear, hands and could not feel, feet and could not walk. Had the Bill remained in the committee another week, we have no doubt that these men would have flattered themselves with the hope, that the people were universally burning with the desire of running once more into the embraces of Gatton and Old Sarum, and of revelling upon their charms' But what will the Peers do 2 There's the rub, that is now the question, which every body asks, and to which nobody can as yet give a satisfactory answer. What will they do? Will they throw out the Bill 7 We think not. Mr. Croker, who is doubtless in the councils of the enemy, and who, by the way, has displayed more talent than all of them put together, has clearly informed us that the Bill would come back to the House of Commons. It would indeed come back stripped of all its utility, but back it would come. Now we must say that we would infinitely prefer that the Lords should reject the Bill in toto, than send it down to the other house so disfigured as that none of its friends should be able to recognize it. Should the Peers at once reject the Bill upon the second reading, or rather had they rejected it, as Lord Kenyon is said to have suggested at a moment peculiarly favourable to wise resolutions, upon its first introduction into the House, the Parliament would probably have been prorogued for a short period, a number of peers would have been created in the interim sufficient to carry the measure, the same Bill would be speedily brought forward, and as speedily carried, and there would be an end of the question. But the question will have no end, if the Bill be sent back with amendments to which the House of Commons cannot agree, for this supposes a series of debates which will absolutely inflame the people to a degree of excitement, such as has not existed in this kingdom since the time of the civil wars. These protracted debates will shew the majority of the peers in their true character, will betray their intellectual imbecility, their selfish dispositions, their narrow views, and, above all, their desire of interfering with the just privileges and rights of the people, and they will persevere in their mad career until they render their whole order contemptible in the eyes of the nation. John Bull respects the man who fairly differs with him in opinion upon a debateable question: but if a man haggles with him about what he knows to be his rights, and to be the justice of the case, he will turn on his heel, and leave him, though the haggler were a prince, to his own meditations. Now this very state of contempt is the very worst state into which the peers, as a body, could fall. There are some, though considering the numbers of the peerage, only a very few, individuals among them, such as Lords Grey and Brougham, Plunket, Lansdowne, Holland, the Dukes of Sussex, Bedford, Wellington, the Earl Fitzwilliam, and perhaps Lord Harewood, who would be respectable and much respected men in any station of life in which we could suppose them to be placed. But for the rest, the Kenyons, the Eldons, the Ellenboroughs, the Londonderries, the Mansfields, the Farnhams, et hoc genus omne, strip them of their peerage, and what are they? As a body, allowing always for the few exceptions which we have made, the peers have been for many years gradually becoming less and less venerated. Their education is by no means so well attended to as it had been in former times; in this respect they are excelled even by the mechanical classes, not to speak of the wealthy ranks which interpose between the latter and the peerage, those ranks from amongst which our best statesmen, our most able politicians, and those distinguished men who constitute the pride of our country in the eyes of foreign nations, have sprung. And then look at the morality of the peerage. Have they entitled themselves to a great increase of respect in that way ? Do they, generally speaking, even know what morality means ? Have we forgotten the scenes of unblushing vice disclosed in the history of Lord Ellenborough's divorce from his wife 2 Do we not see frequent instances of the most scandalous depravity in the conduct of the female part of the peerage towards their own servants, towards artists whom they employ in their houses for the purpose of gratifying their passions, and towards theatrical persons whom they openly patronize 2 Do we not see the most profligate women on the stage, raised by inconsiderate and unworthy marriages to the peerage, and have not common prostitutes, in the same manner, come to wear coronets? Is it not well known that the routs, masquerades, and fetes champetres, which are given by the nobility, are very much used as the most convenient occasions for deeds of debauchery, to which we must forbear even to allude? To such a pitch have gambling and other crimes in high life carried the extravagance of expenditure, that there is hardly an estate in the possession of a peer which is not mortgaged beyond its value; numbers of them have not the means of paying their tradespeople; and more than three-fourths of them would now be living in the King's Bench, if their privilege had not protected them from arrest; had they been within the meaning of the bankrupt laws, they would not have a bed to sleep upon. It wants but a national earthquake to level this artificial fabric of the peerage to the earth : at the first real shock it must fall to ruin. And we do believe that this is the destiny which awaits it. For if they attempt to haggle with us about our rights, we shall very probably inquire into theirs; if they venture to rob us of our privileges, we shall question theirs with a voice of thunder. And then let us see whether they will be able to resist us. The author