NEWS OF THE WEEK.
PARLIAMENT will be prorogued by the Queen in person on Tues- day next; a dissolution will follow immediately ; a new Parlia-
ment will be summoned; the elections will commence in the course of a few days ; and then the value of the numerous calcu- lations and conjectures of Ministerial gains and losses will be tested by results.
The Whigs persist in asserting that they are about to receive a very considerable accession of strength. They talk of a balance in their favour of at least thirty seats, counting 60 votes on a divi-
sion ; and are angry with the Spectator for its inability to see their prospects in so fair a light. We cannot, !sowover, to please the Whigs, mislead our readers. We cannot see where the thirty new seats are to be found. Several places have been named to us as sure to return Whigs instead of Tories, in which our private in- formation leads us to believe there will be no change. Some of those boroughs which, a fortnight ago, we ourselves fully expected to see converted from Tory to Whig, will now certainly remain in the hands of the Opposition; and when others are mentioned as likely to turn out Tory sitting Members we find that the tins may be balanced by losses not taken into Members, cal- iilationklaevertheless, we do not pretendtosuchaccuracv of kno ; sdge sellfafild justify a positive denial of the probability that the Whigs will gain thirty new Members. We only say that we have seen no evidence yet which authorizes UR to confirm the Whig calculations; and we bear in mind, that all parties are apt to overrate their strength, and to be sanguine as to the result of a general election. The Tories, for 1%•• instance, declare that they shall have a majority in the new House of Commons; and that, before the close of the year, there will be a Conservative Cabinet ! It is certain that they are on the alert, and seem far from downcast.
But let us suppose that the Whigs will be powerfully reinforced: what would they do? There are two theories of their future policy. One, which we had the pleasure of hearing a sanguine but true Liberal, of the largest views, develop, is, that having nothing to fear from the Court, and with a sufficient majority to back them in the Commons, Ministers will take a decided line of progressive improi ement ; that, being placed above the necessity of courting and yielding to those timid supporters who were always ready to fly off at the intimation of a design to move onwards, they will have the courage and wisdom to acquire the national confidence by carrying out the intention of the Reform Act. It is a part of this theory, that the Radicals, maintaining at least their present num- bers, will continue their general support of the Government ; and that the personnel of the House will be improved—many bigoted "old stagers" having been removed, and their places supplied by more enlightened as well as younger politicians. This is the cheering view of the future. It rests upon several assump- tions, which are open to challenge. But there are two ways of procuring a Ministerial majority in Parliament ; and this leads us to the second theory. On the sup- position that the constituencies elect a very small additional number of Whigs to the new House of Commons, it is suggested that bribery, in various shapes, may be employed to thin the Con- servative ranks. It is surmised, reasonably enough, that with the prospect of a long Parliament, many Tories may be induced to join a party which has the disposal of Court and Government favours—especially if such an approximation towards Conserva- tism in word and deed be made by the Whigs, as may form an excuse for, and diminish the infamy of, desertion. Recent speeches in Parliament by Lord MELBOURNE and Lord JOHN RUSSELL, and the Conservative tone of the Ministerial news- papers, countenance the notion that a coalition of moderate Tories and Whigs would not be very disagreeable to the latter, as the easiest means of retaining to their own party a great portion of the divided authority. And this policy would also hase the allure- ment of rendering Ministers independent of the Radicals, whos e allianceis only endured because it is necessary to the existence of the Government as at present composed. Objections to the feasibility of this arrangement arise from the fact that both Whigs and Tories desire to engross all the good things which office confers. The Whigs highly esteem the Radical alliance in one point at least—the Radicals leave all the patronage to the Whigs, and have moreover proved themselves very tender-hearted and compliant when the Ministers have whimpered about the bitter necessity of resigning in case the Radicals should be cruel enough to vote according to their principles. Now the Tories will have pay for service. They will do nothing without such recompense as Ministerial retainers generally expect and receive; and if the Whigs bring over such a number of Tories as wilt enable theta to dispense with Radical support, a considerable deduction must be made from the profits of the now exclusively Whig concern. This would be a disagreeable, perhaps an insuperable obstacle to the plan of union with a portion of the Conservatives. But if the Radicals should turn restive, and insist, as the condition of their continued support, that certain measures should be carried, which the Whigs cannot stomach, then Ministers may be tempted to relinquish a portion of patronage and power, that they may be enabled to dispense with Radical votes, and get rid of those whom we shall still take leave to describe as the impracticable men of principle. In the present unsettled state of parties, all sorts of conjectures present themselves to men who look ahead ; and among them is a sort of dim forecast of a Court party and a Country party, such as existed in the days of Sir ROBERT WALPOLE ; the Whigs hold- ing office on Tory principles, the Tories and the Patriots uniting successfully to eject the Whigs, and then splitting.