An ominous article appears in the Times of this morning.
A plot is hatChing, our contemporary says, for the purpose of putting down reform. It will not be opposed in principle—the resolutions will pass—but every detail will be attacked, and, if possible, de- feated. The object, says the Times, is the formation of a new Cabinet under Sir ROBERT PEEL.
" There has been hatched, according to the best intelligence, a plan for thwarting the measure of reform at every stage of its progress through the House of Commons. Almost incredible as such an enterprise might appear, in the present state of public feeling and opinion throughout England, we are told that the thing is undeniable. The parties to this plot have agreed among themselves in a conclave, held lately at a certain country seat (it matters not where,) to oppose Parliamentary reform to the uttermost, and to make their systematic stand on this opposition. "The parties express themselves (so profound is their knowledge of the state of Parliament and of the national temper and feeling) with a per- fect assurance of success ; reckoning 'on it as a necessary consequence of their victory that the present Cabinet must be dissolved,—that a new Ad- ministration will be formed by Sir R. Peel himself,—(how must the Right Honourable Baronet have been amazed at this intelligence l)—and that, to reinforce still further the vast power of the conspiring potentates, some members of the existing Government will be solicited and per- suaded to serve under Sir Robert Peel "We understand that one main reliance of the •contracting parties is on those staunch and sturdy veterans, the members (miscalled represen- tatives) for Scotland—a description of allies which must tend no doubt to enhance the popularity of the whole proceeding, and to facilitate a return to office of those Englishmen who avail themselves of such creditable agents for prolonging, in this part of the island, a system of representation, than which none but that of Scotland herself can be more execrably vicious.
"As it seems desirable that all members of Parliament, especially mo- derate and unsuspecting men should be made acquainted with the tactics which are to be employed on this occasion, we think it right to announce as our conjecture, that so far as the plotters now alluded to are cut- cerned, no direct or open resistance will be made to the principle of reform. No, no I that would be too dangerous. But a wily and plau- sible course will be pursued; professions will be made of a full acquies- cence in the abstract expediency of some reform ; but ample Vengeance will be taken for that unsavoury acknowledgment, by opposing, clause after clause, and syllable by syllable, all and every item in the details of the measure to be laid by Ministers before the House. In this way will the tight be conducted. The shadow will be spared, the substance massacred. The principle '—worth nothing, because It is a mere word —will remain unmolested; and credit will be assumed by some of those who vote for it, as if they were themselves reformers ! But from behind the 'principle,' as a screen, the conspirators will attack the body and reality of reform ; and will so contrive, if they can win over a credulous majority by thus exhibiting false colours, that the same House of Com- mons which glorifies itself for consecrating the abstract right of the coun- try to a Reformed Parliament, may effectually strangle every hope of improving the right into the possession. If Sir R. Peel should, by some accident, not have learned the great tidings of all that is intended to be done for him, we would respectfully beg of Messrs. Goulburn, Twiss, and one or two others, to acquaint the Right Honourable Baronet.
"As for looking for any succour from the hard old Tories' we advise the agents of the Peel party not to take labour in vain. The Tories par excellence hate Sir R. Peel : they will have nothing to do with him— nothing to say to him, either towards badgering the present Ministry, or towards forming a new one; nor will the Duke of Wellington be apt to serve under an old colleague whom his Grace is said to regard as but his own lieutenant.
"But there is another party which may, perhaps unconsciously, cause as much mischief as the regularly-organized opponents of -reform : we mean the Radicals, who,with their hopes excited by a reforming Ministry, aim at procuring by one stroke all those results which few but themselves think of paramount importance. We warn this party, whose intentions we believe to be good, but whose zeal we think too exacting, to be care- fullest they fall into the snare already prepared for them by the Tory coal
spiracy : they would, we are sure, be the first to regret the ineffable mis- chief of upsetting an honest Cabinet, and would never forgive themselves for having contributed to such a catastrophe by their junction with men whose principles they abhor, and by whom they themselves would be laughed at and abjured as soon as the baneful victory should be achieved. It is, however, to the people we chiefly look : unless the eople—the people everywhere—come forward and petition, ay, thunder tor reform, it is they who abandon an honest Minister,—it is not the Minister who betrays the people. But in that case, Reform, and Minister, and People too, are lost.