NEWS OF THE WEEK.
ALTHOUGH the elections are not literally half over, a large and important section is by this time pretty well completed, in the ALTHOUGH the elections are not literally half over, a large and important section is by this time pretty well completed, in the • English cities and boroughs. Thus far the results have, on the whole, been as satisfactory as could well be expected. Liberal opinions have prevailed ; but in certain cases a pretty strong sense
has been enforced upon the candidates that something more than a nominal Liberalism would be expected from them. Conserva- tism is bland and liberal. Toryism has absolutely disappeared, or shows itself only- in the purely theoretical shape of Lord John Manners or Mr. Smythe.
Even where there has been contest, it has been conducted with singular mildness. Leticlon City set in all ways a good example. There was no lack of. earnestness. The utmost anxiety was felt by the friends of Lord John Russell ; and they rallied so well, that he was kept froth "first to last at the head of the poll, the rush to the weakest part Making that in effect the strongest. The next point of interest was the return of Baron Lionel de Roths- child; who was thought to be threatened by Mr. Masterman. The banker kept close upon the great capitalist ; but the Hebrew won the race, at the expense of Sir George Larpent. Mr. Master- man is the only one of the four Conservative candidates who is returned ; and by no means a bad representative of trading London.
Westminster attracted attention because it was Westminster ; otherwise the wild gallant who threatened to wrest the city from the Reform Association, and the ingenuous young nobleman who tried to insinuate a meek Conservatism iuto the city, cajoled but not conquered by Sir Francis Burdett, would have passed un- heeded among the multitude. Westminster returns two Mem- bers of the orthodox " Reform " stamp, a little above 'Whig proof. Tamworth was simultaneous with the Metropolis, and might
truly enjoy the oft-abused boast that it had "the eyes of Europe upon it "; for Sir Robert Peel received a renewal of his tenure, and made a capital speech, using his opportunity well to establish in the next Parliament a position of quiet command. Sir Robert showed that he is still, in-principle, strictly Conservative: he im- proves to preserve,—a theory not inconsistent with a very hearty and thoroughgoing assertion of Free-trade doctrines. He declares his complete segregation from party, and avers that he neither seeks nordesires office. There is something formidably inge- nuous, disinterested, and dispassionate, in the attitude of the sage and experienced statesman who is to sit in Parliament viewing and criticizing- the acts of the busy world around him, not quite mingling with it, nor quite withdrawn from it.
Among the most remarkable conclusions to the proceedings are some truly dramatic surprises, not always very agreeable sur- prises to Ministers. At Nottingham, Sir John Hobhouse counted upon a quiet reelection, with his independent but not dangerous colleague Mr. ThomasGisborne: Sir John is at the very bottom of the poll; at the top is Mr. John Walter, son of the veteran po- litician who has just expired ; next to him stands Mr. Feargus O'Connor, an actual Chartist ! Again, in Lambeth, Mr. Hawes is ousted, to make way for the City Solicitor, Mr. Charles Pear- son ! Yet again, General Fox is ousted in the Tower Hamlets, and fluent Mr. George Thompson is returned by an immense ma- jority. What triple humiliation' Instead of Captain Carnegie, Stafford sends Mr. Urquhart, by many accounted a prophet, by Lord Palmerston an impostor. Some other changes are less unsatisfactory. Liverpool, which was represented by Lord Sandon and Sir Howard Douglas, has returned Mr. Cardwell, a rising' member of the Liberal-Conser- vative party, and Sir Thomas Birch, a real Liberal. Mr. Hardy is well replaced at Bradford by Colonel Thompson ; Mr. Fielden, of Oldham, cedes to Mr. W. J. Fox, who can at least effuse more telling speeches. And perhaps Ministers will not be without a Sew of relief at learning that Lord Ashley takes Mr. Roebuck's place at Bath ; though Mr. Roebuck will be sadly missed by the readers of the debates, and by the People, whose real interests, as distinguished from popular delusions and prejudices, he watched with so courageous a vigilance.
Thus far, it is difficult to discover any single thing upon which the elections have turned. No single principle appears to have availed very powerfully. In London City, it would appear, no definite decision could be had on any one point: if there was any such decision it was that of the Noncomformists, just before the election, on the subject of education, and was against Lord John Russell; but he is returned at the head of the poll. On the whole, the fact seems to be, that the four candidates were re- turned just because the general temper of the constituency was in their favour. In many places candidates have been returned because they had sat before, as at Portsmouth ; or because they offered themselves, like Sir James Graham at Ripon ; Sir Robert Peel was returned because he was Sir Robert Peel ; and many other candidates were returned from a very simple feeling of ap- proval.
The election, in short, has been very generally regarded as a ceremony which should as little as possible interrupt the course of improvement that Parliament was engaged in. Liberal candi- dates felt it necessary to be warm in promises of forwarding that improvement; and even Conservatives were obliged to adopt a similar strain. The inaction which seized Ministers just before the election was not unnatural, but it does not appear to have done them any real service at the hustings : they might quite safely have ventured on a greater show of efficiency. And it is evident that the inaction cannot continue. Parliament is elected to go on ; and if our present Ministers do not keep the lead, they will be thrust aside. The very election of a Jew as. colleague of the Premier implies a more than, Whig decision and: promptitude in removing the impediment that debars the great capitalist's ingress—a fresh inroad on "finality."