20 MARCH 1852, Page 13


NOT whether England shall be Protectionist or not, says Lord Harrowby, but whether she shall be Democratic or not—that is the question henceforward. There are indeed some signs of a struggle approaching ; but through whose act? Surely it was all quiet and tame enough down to the opening of the present session, and had been so for some years ? The 'pro- gress " that we were making, especially if we east Free-trade out of the account, was not such as to alarm the most nervous old lady—we had not yet got so far even as an advanced system of water-supply. But that happiness of dull annals has been unloosed ; and who unscrewed the dead-lock P 2"he Con- servatives. It was they that drew the bolt of the dead-lock when they ousted the harmless Russell. We had settled down in the Free-trade regime, which even they find too much consolidated to be overturned at once ; but now there are rational expectations of steady attempts to reverse itr and there are the corresponding reparatives to resist that reversal We are all in motion again, drifting in cross currents, Fate knows whither. And it was the Conservatives who, impatient of the stillness, cut the moorings.

Such is Conservation—when it has dogmas of its own to urge. To disturb the state, rouse up the love of change and resistance, and risk even revolution, for Free-trade—that is horrible; but to do all that for the opposite doctrine—Oh! that is " Conservative "!