7 JANUARY 1843, Page 5

The state of the revenue is only the bad symptom

of the substan- tial 'evil, the state of the people. Everybody seems to feel that some attempt ought to be made to mend it, and nobody now believes that the measures of last session can prove sufficient to that end; but there is no accord as to remedies, or even as to the direction in which they should be sought. The remarkable con- flict ofopinion in the press is evidence of this more than ever un- settled state of the public mind. The Morning Chronicle, of course, ie all for repeal of the Corn-laws. The Times thinks repeal of the Corn-laws might do good; also repeal of the gew Poor-law- though it is become chary of tiripg readers on that subject; and it has an idea that the removal of pews in churches might do some- thing; but perhaps it is certain of nothing so much as that the Whip could do nothing. That the Whigs could prescribe best, appears the ruling idea of the Globe. The Standard declares that the settlement of the Corn-law last session was final; but admits that, "the principle of protection being maintained, the figures of the scale would be necessarily open to periodical revision" ; so that the corn-duties are not -only to slide up and down within the range of the scale, but the whole scale is occasi6nalty to be shh��'fftieedd it is to be not only a sliding but a elided scale a pleasing in ntlob- to maintain steadiness in the-corn-trade! The Morning Post, the only stanch Tory extant, being much scandalized at the spirit of innovation which prevails, especially among Conservatives, exhorts its party to *take a stand upon the old ways ; and then, as if for climax to the general incoherence, confesses to a dream of some measure of innovation, which would seem -to be more sweep- ing than any yet proposed, excepting possibly the Charter : " We have some reason to- believe," it says, "that the atten- tion of the First Minister of the Crown is at present, end has been for some time, deeply engaged with- consideration of the moral and physical state of the great mass of the population, and the possibility of the Legislature and the Government taking such steps as may be reasonably expected to improve those condi- tions." A vast enterprise would it be to handle the " moral and physical state of the great mass of the people " ! What might be the main ingredients in the plan, if it had any existence beyond the glowing imagination of the Conservative writer, it is impossible even to guess. The repeal of the Poor-law, for instance, cannot be one' - for Ministers actually have before Parliament a measure to preserve, by amending, the existing Poor-law. It cannot yet be the repeal of the Corn-law ; for Sir ROBERT PEEL would hardly condemn his own measure almost before it has been tried. It cannot be any increase of " protection" ; for Sir ROBERT PEEL has beaded a new move- ment against that old barbaric idol. It can hardly be " the Peo- ple's Bill," or " the People's Charter," or a Ten-Hours Bilj. The Post itself helps us to no insight : it intimates, indeed, its owd wish for a more " kindly superintendence" of "the lower order s of society," more of " the wholesome awe which sound yeligioil inspires," " powers of thinking" for those same' orders, 'a-which education disciplines and makes useful," and more " kindly, re- spectful affection for their superiors." But here we have no hint of the nature of a practical measure. Church-extension seems to lurk in it ; but Sir ROBERT PEEL has declared against thit at the State's expense.

Not but there is ample scope for a great statesman who should be moved to plan a remedy by the wants of the people-peren- nial destitution coexisting with enormous wealth,most elevated " morals" with wholesale crime, and a perilous distance between higher and lower orders. The difficulty is, that the tendency to promote those very evils pervades our whole system of legislation and of social rules : it is not the want of scope, but the interminable vastness of scope, that is the despair of the statesman. Sir ROBERT PEEL has before now surprised his friends: he must see well enough that the world is out of joint ; but he would surprise us all,

if, tearing his attention from the single urgent subject of finance—

or rather, merging that one in the more comprehensive view—he were to put himself forward as the man to set all right. These dreamy speculations of something to be done, are among the most forcible indications of the universally uneasy and apprehensive feeling.