STATE OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS.
EVERY one recollects the celebrated exclamation of MIRABEAU; " Wo unto the privileged orders—they shall perish ; but the people is everlasting r But it is not by the exertions of the people in any country that the privileged orders are really degraded. In England more especially, the habitual reverence for rank among the great mass of the people has hitherto been so great, that scarcely any degree of misconduct would prevail upon them to think of Dukes and Marquises as mere human creatures, and to treat them as such. It must be confessed, however, that the temper and. patience of our fellow countrymen have been severely tried of late years. The Peerage, as a body,- has manifested a contempt and hatred for popular feelings and rights, which is all but in- tolerable. They who mix in general society hear a style of lan- guage adopted in conversation at the present time, which would scarcely have been thought of three years ago. The wisdom or ad- vantage of placing hereditary and irresponsible power in the hands of men who take so many opportunities of proving that they have no sympathy or connexion with the feelings and desires of the middling and lower classes, is now a comnion topic of dis- cussion. Such being the state of feeling very generally in the country, one would suppose that men of common discretion would take every opportunity of regaining their lost popularity, and proving that their estrangement from the other classes of their fellow subjects was merely temporary and accidental. But the mischief is, that the Nobles are not men of common discretion.
They ye unable to read. the signs of the times. A glaring proof of this assertion is to be found in the recent election of the Re- presentative Peers for Scotland. Out of sixteen, all but one are rank Tories. The People of Scotland have returned. 4-1 out of 53 Members of the House of Commons, Reformers ; and the Peers of Scotland have elected 15 out of 16 to represent them in the House of Lords, Anti-Reformers.
The Standard, in commenting upon the result of this election, observes, that the Nobility of Great Britain. " have declared against Ministers—declared with a degree of decision and power which demonstrates that either the Nobility or the Ministry must fall." And again—" If all the former do their duty as the Nobility of Scotland have done, there can be no doubt of the result." Very true—there can be no doubt of the result. If the majority of the House of Lords persist in their opposition to the wishes of the great mass of the Nation, the weaker party must yield, and the Peers must be stripped of their privileges. During the last eighteen months, we have repeatedly pointed out the necessity of reinforcing the Liberal party in the House of Lords. Earl GREY is said to ike averse to a large creation of Peers as derogatory to the dignity of his order. We can assure his Lordship that the question will shortly be as to the very existence of an hereditary Peerage in this country ; unless means are taken to prevent that collision which millions are earnestly expecting, but which the more temperate friends of freedom and of the British Constitution deprecate, and would fain indefinitely postpone. As matters at present stand, the Ministry are in a minority in the House of Lords. Are they justified in assembling Parliament under such circumstances? Would any Minister of common prudence risk that clashing of one order of the State with the others, which may take place any day after the meeting of Parlia- ment,unless vigorous measures are used to prevent it ? The principal and most active person in procuring this unfortu- nate result of the Scotch Peerage elections—unertunate for the Tories, we mean—is stated to have been the Earl of LAUDERDALE. His Lordship was not a very young man when the French No- bility Were compelled. to fly theca native country in poverty and distress. Was there any thing so very tempting in their situation