29 MARCH 1845, Page 1


EASTER is always a season of political quiet,—in the midst of the busiest and most thriving part of the year, and making men, satiated with work, bent on holyday : but ihis year there is a more positive quiet than ordinary. Parliament is silent ; political agitation in England is quite hushed; so that in the stilness we can hear the pettier tumult of Tractarian dissension in Ireland, the sounds of injured helplessness from Malta, the jar and tumult • if civil contest in Switzerland, and in the remote United States -the roar of impious Furor chafing against his restraints" Fremet horridus ore cruento." While we listen to those distant sounds, the thunder and surf of the ever restless tide of Time, close behind us rises a small voice of plaint from the Past—the voice of New- castle'a Duke. Obsolete, out of date, dead to the world, a Pelham has been evoked from the tomb by the insult which William of Co- ventry offered to his manes. Ghost-like, he emerges to disclose the truth, and to utter a soliloquy of mournful regret. He was not, he avers in accents of such simple lamentation as command belief, so corruptly mercenary as to procure favour from a Minis- ter, his son, in the purchase of an estate upon which the Crown had claims. But from that vindication he wanders to a personal• retrospect. has been a shrewd bargainer in nothing—quite the reverie.: he has spent his substance in many a cause ; yet all that he supported has failed, and has been abandoned. He alone sticks, without swerving or flinching, to the whole round of the old Tory policy,—Protestant ascendancy, Corn-laws, rotten bo- .roughs, and all their inCidents ; he has not lost the ancient faith in the old. "constitution," made more precious, like Stilton cheese, by its rottenness; he alone has such earnestness of faith that he 'dares to avow 'those ancient opinions. No one speaks to him : he is "a wounded deer,", he says, left by the herd. His idols have all been thrown down, but still he believes, and mourns. There is a naivete in the utterance of these lamentations which is even affecting. He began life with the fairest prospects ; he shared popular beliefs, and staked his all upon them ; he made one whole- sale mistake, and is a living failure : all the world is renegade, but he alone ; and in his forlornness he weeps aloud. Faith of any kind is respectable ; and the votary of a new creed listens to this deserted Druid in reverent pity. But even now his tale has its use and moral. See where he sits, "quiet as a stone," far, far behind in the path that we have come. Within living memory, we all stood where he remains ; since he was of the ruling faith we have done this great onward journey. Like the ship's log, motionless himself, he serves to mark our pace and progress. Dull and :Airless as the calm seems around us this day, the stream cif time has brought us thus far forward in the path of human advancement ; which widens as we walk, and discloses to us visions unseen from that ancient standing-place where we have left the forlorn old man.