20 JULY 1844, Page 13


Mr. WAKLEY because Mr. WAKLEY has proved himself innocent of the horrible charge insinuated against him. Sir ROBERT PEEL talks of Mr. Wonzimuss's retrac- tation being " put upon record "—as a verdict of innocent, we suppose, in favour of Mr. WAKLEY; but cautiously abstains from any rebuke of Mr. WODEHOUSE. Perhaps the condemnatory silence with which the Member for Norfolk's first grudging and unhand- some apology was received, and the confession of his own want of candour and generosity implied in his being obliged to volunteer a second, had rendered further censure superfluous. Perhaps the wanton atrocity of the imputation had obliterated all sense of the im- propriety and mischievousness of the mere vituperative personality. Whatever may have been the cause, it is to be regretted that even a seeming sanction should have been lent by the House of Com- mons to the opinion that Mr. WODEBOUSE would have been justi- fied in throwing out the aspersion had Mr. WAKLEY been guilty. The readiness of Members to substitute personal taunts for argument—to gall their opponents rather than make good their own case—is reprehensible even when the personalities are merely trivial and irrelevant. It is an offence against the public to introduce topics which can only lead to darkening of council, unseemly heats, and waste of time. But the evil will be immeasurably increased if imputations of serious crime are to take the place of the small taunts and jeers hitherto indulged in. T one honourable Member may accuse another of being a fire-raiser, 'by may not the other retort by charging him with shoplifting, ,urder, or nameless offences? If there had been good grounds for making such a charge as Mr. WODEHOUEIE insinuated against Mr. WAKLEY, Mr. WODEHOUSE ought to have prosecuted hirm or been silent. Matter for Old Bailey indictments is too serious to be employed in the manufacture of stinging sarcasms. It is to be hoped that the clumsy and vulgar excess of Mr. WonanousE's per- sonality may disgust Members with the practice.