The preliminary canvass for the ensuing General Election. goes on
with a certain dull pertinacity. Its most remarkable feature is the increasing number of Protectionist recantations. Officials and non-officials, honest politicians and politicians whose reputation "cloth' something smack," all hasten to throw off the Corii-law fivers—to slough their old skins like snakes, in the spring warmth of Free-trade. In 171tima Thule, Lord Derby's own Septa' Soli- citor-General expressly disclaims the soft impeachment of seeking to restore Protection. In Staffordshire, Mr. AdderleY, with the honourable frankness of a highminded gentleman, tells his consti- tuents that they must not expect him to undertake the Quixotic enterprise of resuscitating a dead faith. At Sunderland-, the noto- rious Hudson has thrown Protection to the winds ; some- of his supporters shaking clenched fists and sticks at him in impotent rage the while. The Free-trade controversy has been decided by the people before the appeal has been made to them. Even !Mould Lord Derby obtain a majority at the election, he is freed 'film his pledge : that majority will not be composed of Protectionists ; there are Free-traders in it who will refuse to walk through the Cern-law Coventry with him. . The feature of the canvass that in interest approaches most near- [LaTax EDITION.]
ly to these recantations is the number of individuals of no mark or reputation—an appalling number of briefiess barristers among them —who are offering their services to constituencies. Some of these worthies have had the precaution to furnish themselves with certi- :ficates of character from well-known Liberals. Mr. Hume is good- Amturedly profuse in granting such attestations,—as though he never had warranted Mr. Disraeli's soundness in Liberalism ! The addresses of some of the certified candidates, with their long tails of recommendatory titles, bear a curious resem- blance to the advertisements of Eisenberg or Morison, with attestations of easy and successful operations on corns or won- derful cures effected by pills. Among these proteges of Ultra- .4,iberalism are some who do their political godfathers little credit. A Mr. Ralph Walters—the Hume-Walmsley candidate at Gates- head—has advanced charges against Mr. Hutt, so utterly destitute of foundation, and evaded the retractation and apology due to the injured party in so shabby a manner, that Mr. Hutt has felt him- self warranted to proclaim his conduct in terms of unmistakeable ;import. If in the face of this certificate, with its proofs, we could suppose the Gateshead constituency capable of electing Mr. Wal- ters, we should conclude that Gateshead ought to be disfranchised next after St. Alban's.