THE DERBY DIGGINS.
DERBY has been digging, and has digged up a treasure that as- tounds himself. California and Australia, he cries, have asto- nished the world with their gold, " hitherto considered as confined to a very limited space, to quarters capable of small extension"; but " suddenly, from all quarters, it came pouring in upon us with a profusion astonishing to all classes and ranks." In like manner, there existed, " within a very short time since, a popular delusion that the field of statesmen and politicians was almost as limited" —it was supposed that you would only dig in favoured localities ; but "I have been in some degree instrumental in dispelling that de- lusion "—I, " the fortunate adventurer," "honoured by the com- mission of her Majesty to do the best he could in her service," have "ventured boldly to open a new mine," and have found ster- ling metal as good as any ! Yes, "I" has. Derby has been digging, and has hit upon a vein of statesmen. At the first turn of the spade, out comes up a Malmesbury, "astonishing to all classes and ranks"; another dig, and you have a Pakington, pro- digious lump ! once more, and a Manners dazzles the satiated eye ; then a Beresford, a Naas, a Stanley—" my son, sir ! "—pouring out upon the spade " with a profusion astonishing to all classes and ranks," for even rank finds its nil admirari vain against gold. Derby himself is dazzled. Riches he thought there were ; no dig- ging was needed for Disraeli—he lay exposed to view, as it were, among the washings ; but to think that beneath the surface !- You could not have known it from the face of the country : you might have wandered from Manners to Beresford without suspect- ing the riches beneath. But Derby has found them, with his little spade. We have the historic parallel— "Little jack Homer
Sat in a corner, Eating his Christmas pie ; He put in his thumb,
And he pulled out a plum,
And cried, What a good boy am I!"
Alone he did it, and many were the plums excavated. " Seven at a blow," say you ? Were they not fifteen or a score, all at a coup ! Derby is the King of Spades. There is, reports the Fortunate Adventurer, " as little admixture of dross in all this gold " as in any from the best mines. Perhaps if he had dug one inch deeper he might have been less lucky—he might, for instance, have turned up a G. F. Y. But with prescient instinct, he abstained, the Fortunate Adventurer!
He will not deny the alloy—the usual amount, of course. " Truth works best with a little falsehood," says Bacon, as gold with its baser metal. A dash of Protectionist equivocation, for example, to harden the face of her Majesty's current Ministry, or a soupcon of Maynooth mental reserve.
It is indeed amazing that England should possess so many noble, honourable, and right honourable geniuses, all genuine gold and fit for making sovereigns. The Fortunate Adventurer confesses his surprise. Now, although he has ventured upon new "placers," he still keeps chiefly to the higher grounds : but what if he were to descend with his little spade into the plain It might be worth trying. Not, possibly, in the coal-field of Lancashire—that sort of exploration could not be to his taste. But how does he know what riches may lie beneath the lower surfaces, say of Westmoreland or Devon ? Dig, Derby, dig, and try again. Be " instrumental " in dispelling more of the popular delusion. Hitherto you have yen.; tured only in the higher wine districts of good society : go down. into the more promising porter districts, the true fields of quarts. Turn up native sovereigns among the people—" the only source of legitimate power." From the gold of California and Australia, with delighted enthusiasm, you predict " revolution " ; so that you have not yet capped those favoured regions in your own domestic diggings. Manners will not subvert the order of nature, nor will all the worldwith you in thinking a Naas so very astonish- ing. Even Malmesbury does not frighten people, nor lead them to expect a "2d of December." Dig, then, deeper and deeper still,
into some common wheal; "the effect of which it is difficult to fore- see ; but it is not difficult to say that it must work a strange and extraordinary revolution in the system of society and in our com- mercial relations."