M. Prevost Paradol, who has written one of his epigrammatic
articles on these foul little political pools, seems rather to admire the sort of candidates who pay their way so nobly, though he acquiesces demurely in the condemnation of the bribees. "The fact should not be lost sight of," he says, "that the candidate Who has paid so dearly for his-seat is not necessarily a bad member of Parliament. . . . This particular species of corruption cannot affect Parliament as to the two most indispensable qualities in a political assembly, independence and intelligence." The man who paid 4,000/. for 236 votes at Yarmouth "would,, after all, after paying such a price for his seat, be likely to vote as he pleased in the House of Commons, and would judge the affairs- of the country to the best of his understanding and with, perfect independence." No doubt a man who buys his seat votes "as he, pleases," but how does he please to vote? Do not these vulgar millionaires, who invade Parliament more and more, and think there is nothing that may not be bought with money—infect politics with the coarse, know- ing, jovial venality of their own characters and standards of life ? What we doubt is, if that sort of character does apply any sincere political convictions to politics at all. We do not doubt that there are still Where, plenty of them, of sincere and earnest political convictions on other .topics,—Ihnt the _iess they are ashamed of their bribery, the more systematically and unblushingly they prac-
rise it the less chance there is of getting out of them any hide- pendent political intelligence at all. You cannot buy power,-and yet feel it a sacred trust.