NEWS OF THE WEEK.
WHo would envy the Tories the gratffication of reading the accounts from the West of England this week ? Their sinister prophecies respecting the Bristol dinner to Lord JOHN RUSSELL
are well remembered. It was sedulously asserted in the Tory jour- nals that subscriptions to purchase a piece of plate to be presented to Lord JOHN could not be raised to the required amount ; and that tickets for the dinner were a drug in the market. The events of Tuesday last gave the lie to these fabrications. The testimo- nial bought by the small contributions of several thousand Re- formers was a splendid and beautiful piece of workmanship ; and the largest room in Bristol could not hold the applicants for tickets, which were sold at a premium. Moreover, Lord Joust
RUSSELL'S speech was eminently successful in conciliating the good-will of the Liberals, while he made the falsehoods of the Tory defamers so clear, that we question whether even Sir WILLIAM FOLLETT, with all his "contemptuous confidence" in the be- sotted ignorance of his constituents would not shrink from re- peating his Exeter farrago of mendacity. Lord JOHN triumph-
antly defended his own consistency on the Irish Church question ; and retorted the charge of truckling to O'CONNELL on
the Duke of WELLINGTON and Sir ROBERT PEEL, With Spirit
and truth. Nothing could be fairer than this : there was the Duke's own confession that he yielded to a superior power against
his honest convictions; whereas Lord JOHN and most of his col- leagues are now acting on the Church question in accordance with opinions entertained and avowed several years ago, as well as at a time when O'CONNELL was vehemently opposing the Govern- ment of which they were members. Yet, forsooth, they are the 11 trucklers to O'CONNELL! The Duke, PEEL, and their large Tory majorities, who, trembling for their places and their live:, passed Catholic Emancipation, are valiant statesmen, consistent legislators, props of Protestantism, the right sort of men to deal with O'CONNELL !—Why, these are the men who licked the dust at OtoNNELL's feet.
It is hardly to be expected that Lord JOHN RUSSELL should be an advocate for Peerage Reform. We give him full credit for the
sincerity of his belief in the advantage of an hereditary aristo- cracy Of lawmakers : his birth and education must *line him to that opinion. Neither can he be required to disguise his senti- ments on this subject : but he may abstain from putting them forth unnecessarily, and in an offensive manner. In his reply to the Devonport address, we think that he indiscreetly and unne- cessarily pledged himself to a line of conduct which he may yet see reason to abandon, as he has lived to give up his old notions on Reform of the House of Commons. In his Bristol speech he
avoided this error : he said enough to show that he held his ow n opinion on the question, but there was nothing in his tone or lan- guage at which the most earnest advocates of Responsible Go- vernment could take offence. On the whole, we think that Lord JOHN RUSSELL acquitted himself admirably as a Ministerial advocate, without impairing his claims to public confidence as a Representative of the People and a tried friend to Liberal politics. Lord SEGRAVE was very anxious to retain the reputation of being a supporter of Ministers, and one of the Liberal Aristo- cracy: he distinctly admitted his responsibility for the due exer- cise of his senatorial powers to the Nation. This was quite as much as could be expected from Lord EMIRATE. Lord EBRINGTON talked a great deal of what is really little better than twaddle in one who professes to be a Reformer. His Speech amoueted to a justification of the-conduct of the House of Peers in throwing out the Irish Church Bill! His argument pro- ceeded on the supposition that the present House of Commons, elected under PEEL, truly represented the national oyinions. Lord EBRINGTON ought to know that this is far from being the ease. The majority in favour of those searching reforms which the Peers withhold, is neither doubtful nor small. When it is Said that a change in the conduct of their Lordships may be
looked for, we gaze Lbout in vain for symptoms of it ; but we had abundant indications of a resolve to persevere in opposition to Reform. Assuredly such Reformers as Lord EBRINGTON will not bring the Peers t6 their senses. Mr. THOMAS MOORE was one of the lions at the Bristol dinner. He spoke, as usual, poetical prose, and was very complimentary to the grandees, whose pet he is. But MOORE is shrewd, as well as imaginative and courtly : in metaphorical phrase he warned the Peerage of its tottering condition, and said that it might become a question whether "the overtopping capital of the column, however graceful its decoration, should not be at least lightened in its weight, rather than that the massive shaft itself, the stns edam= of the public weal, should be for a moment endangered in its sta- bility by the too oppressive ornament." The hearty cheers of the company preyed that, in their opinion, the " ornament " teas "too oppressive." • The Bristol dinner of Tuesday was followed on Wednesday by another at Bath. This was a more Radical demonstration than Lord JOHN RUSSELL'S. There was no hesitation as to the pro- piety of making the Upper Chamber elective and responsible the only question seemed to he, whether Peers were of any use at all. Mr. ROEBUCK was for setting aside their Lordships in a very summary style ; but Mr. HOME owned to a sort of penchant in favour of " King, Lords, and Commons." The grand speech of the evening, however, was that of Colonel NAPIER, the historian of the Peninsular War. It will be found almost at full length in sub iequent columns ; and will well repay perusal. The Colonel speaks as vigorously and heartily as he writes and fights.