NEWS OF THE WEEK.
• THE last Unreformed Parliament of England is at an end. On • Thursday, it was prorogued, by the King in person, as a preli- minary to its dissolution. The session of Parliament that has thus terminated will be re- membered for ever ; and yet not ninny sessions have brought to completion so few legislative acts. But their greatness may well excuse their paucity. Had no measure been considered but Reform, —and, for the sake of its originators, it would have been well that none else had been,—that measure alone, so vast in itself, and in its yet dimly-discovered consequences, would have sufficed to give to any session eternal fame. But the late session has other claims to respect than the RefOtin Bills. The much-opposed and much-misrepresented Tithe Bill of Ire- 'land, though local in its present operation, has let in a principle hardly less important than that which the Reform Bills established. The purification of the Representative system, and the inchoate amelioration of the Ecclesiastical system, have been accompanied by two measures of great improvement in the Criminal Law,—the Cattle-stealing and the Forgery Acts ; which, though maimed in their progress by the Aristocratic branch of the Legislature, afford satisfactory evidence of that homage to the progress of humanity which the least feeling are now content to offer. In the Anatomy Bill, again, the triumph of reason over long- cherished prejudices, is not less apparent. To- that most important object of a statesman's study—the Education of the People—no inconsiderable portion of the session has been profitably devoted.- For though the Ministerial plan of Education in Ireland did not originate with Parliament, it has been wonderfully strengthened by the discussion that it received there.
In the management of public business, an important step has been made towards a more simple and effective system, by the con- solidation of the Naval Boards.
And though the abolition of the Scotch Exchequer be a matter considered in itself of small importance, yet, as an acknow- ledgment of the necessity, and propriety of lopping- off in every de- Partment of the State; hot merely what is injurious, but what is inefficient, the precedent is a valuable one. such have been the positive good deeds of the past session. The way to others has been opened, if not finished. The evidence taken en the Bank Charter will add greatly to our knowledge on a subject otequal interest and complexity. Though the Taxes On Knowledge still remain, their death- warrant may be looked on as drawn and soon to be executed. Two bills of great utility, the one public, the other private, have been delayed, we trust only to be brought forward in such a form as will insure their success,—we allude to the General Registry INI1 and the London and Birmingham Railway Bills. The Law improvements of the Chancellor have proceeded slowly; but those which have been effected are not without their value; and for those Which he has indicated, more especially that great one, the separation of the political and judicial functions of the Chancellor, his to be hoped next session Will afford him ample leisure and opportunity. Much has been effected, -much remains to do. The speech of the 6th of last December commended to our serious Consideration the question of Reform ; it deplored the general distress ; it spoke of Cholera—of opposition to Tithes—of the unsettled State of Por- tugal—of the disputes in Belgium. Reform has reeeivedits due share of our attention, but the cry of distress has not ceased; the Cholera still remains; Tithes are as vehemently' opposed as ever; Portugal is the- theatre of a civil war;- the discussions respecting-Belgium are yet unfinished. Of the future, we entertain, however, no fear. It may be that. the registry clauses, with which, in case of necessity, it is in the power of the Minister to dispense, from being indifferently under- stood and acted upon, will render the new-Parliament less effective than it otherwise would be. But the machinery is now in our hands; and in order to turn out good work, we have only to use it wisely and honestly. Our endeavours after improvement wilt no longer be neutralized by influences beyond our control. If the next House of Commons be not wholly the People's House, it must be the People's fault ; they can make it so if they please. We turn from the contemplation of the late Parliament, to con- sider for a moment the position of the parties that composed it.
The Tories are annihilated. The place that once knew them knows them no more. From a combination of the more viva- cious portion of that long dominant sect with the less energetic and honest of the Whig party, we may in future construct an Opposi- tion,—they may still bang in that capacity as a drag-chain on the wheels of our victorious car ; but the prospect of again directing. it, they must resign for ever. The Whigs, as a party, cannot long. survive their ohr opponents. Henceforth the regulation of our affairs will require a larger admixture of the Democratic spirit than their Aristocratic morgue will be inclined to tolerate. The Ministry, which already exhibits o of decay, must be reformed or changed, as the Parliament of which it has been the remodeller is about to be. The bead and body, like the image on the plain of Babylon, is composed of precious metal ; but the in- ferior parts are weed and base clay. Such heterogeneous materials could only be held together by Strong external pressure; they had no internal bond of union.
When the many cease to rave, party, which lived on their mad- ness, must cease to exist. Tories may depart, Whigs may depart, Cabinets may be changed ; but the cause of the People abideth; and if it Change, it must be the People's fault if it change not from good to better. The full cup is before them; may they drain it with gratitude and discretion, and Heaven bless' the draught!