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the fervour of revolution, which appear to have been admitted to vote. spread to this country by contagion This was perfectly safe during the in 1793 ? What brought the House days of baronial power, when the of Peers triumphantly through the nobles lived in armed state on their contest with the Whigs, the House estates; when the poor were few and of Commons, and the whole forces uninformed; when London containof the Coalition, in 1783 ? The same ed 30,000 souls,t and Lancashire was cause which made Rome triumphant almost uninhabited; when manufacover Hannibal, Napoleon victorious tures and printing were unknown, at Arcola, and Wellington at Water- and the greater part of the rural laloo. Unconquerable firmness—de- bourers were disqualified from being cision in presence of danger-the freeholders, by actual slavery. In bravery which, by deserving the the days of Gurth and Cedric, of smiles of Fortune, speedily obtains Ivanhoe and Wamba, no peril from them.
democratic power was to be appre“ Quid in rebus civilibus,” says hended. Bacon;“maxime prodest-Audacia; In the progress of time the right quid secundum, audacia ; quid ter- of voting in the counties was retium, audacia.-Nihilominus fasci- stricted to forty shilling freeholders, nat et captivos ducet eos qui vel the qualification which has ever since judicio infirmiores sunt, vel ani- continued. This change took place mo timidiores; tales autem sunt ho- in the time of Henry VI., by the 8th minum pars maxima-id circo vi- statute, c. 7 of that monarch. It is demus audaciam in democratiis plu- estimated by Sir James Macintosh, rimum valuisse ; apud senatores et that, in the time of Henry VIII. principes certe minus. In these L.30,000 was equivalent, taking the words is contained the secret of the value of money and the price of artisuccess of the aristocracy on those cles, to L.1,000,000 of our money :I in memorable occasions, compared with other words, forty shillings was equal the utter prostration which followed in that reign to above L. 70 a-year of their submission in the others. It is the present currency. the audacity of revolutionary leaders The progressive depression in the which so frequently gives them suc- value of money, therefore, which has cess; because the great bulk of man- since taken place, has operated as a kind are always inclined to range continual lowering of the elective themselves on the firmest side, and franchise; and has brought it now to under the most intrepid leaders. Let embrace properties amounting in vathe British aristocracy oppose to the lue only to one thirty-third part of vehemence of popular tribunes the those originally admitted by the stafirmness of the Roman senate, and tute of Henry. they will speedily achieve as noble a This is a most important considertriumph.
ation, which has never met with the We have said that the time is gone attention it deserves. While the by, when unqualified resistance to people have been constantly exclaimReform could have been made : the ing against the encroachments on divisions of the Tories have lost them their power by the nobles, the silent that vantage ground : the rejection of changes of time, by incessantly lowthe Reform Bill must be accompa- ering the elective franchise, have nied in one or other House by a more more than counterbalanced the influ. rational plan for remodelling the ence of the higher classes. The disConstitution. In considering this covery of the mines of Potosi, the subject, it is of the utmost moment progress of luxury, Mr Pitt's Bank to attend to what originally was the Restriction act, have all added prodiqualification of voters, and the giously to their power. The forty changes which time has silently shilling freeholders who now come made in those who come up to the up to an English county election, no poll.
more resemble the military tenants In the remotest ages all freemen who formerly returned the knights
* Bacon de Audacia, 10. 32.
+ Hallam, iii. 38.
| History of England, ii. 54,
for the shires, than a modern farm- corresponding weight does he wither resembles the Barons of Magna draw from the other side ? He quaCharta.
druples the weight on the other half This increasing and prodigious de- of the beam, and still insists that the gradation of the franchise, by the machine will balance itself. lowering in the value of money, It shews how deplorably ignorant would, when acting in conjunction nineteen out of twenty are of those with the vast increase of commercial who speak in favour of Reform, when and manufacturing wealth, and the it is recollected that this obvious and spread of political information by decisive consideration has means of the press, have long ago once been alluded to by the advooverwhelmed the Crown and the cates of the proposed change. They Aristocracy, had it not been counter speak incessantly of restoring the acted by the decay of many boroughs, Constitution to its pristine condition, and the influence acquired over when they are seriously proposing others by the nobles who resided in to lower the qualification of all the their vicinity. This cause, as every borough voters, that is, of two-thirds body knows, threw a great number of the House of Commons, to less of the boroughs into the hands of than an hundredth part of its former the Aristocracy, and this alone coun- amount. No one can deny, that the terbalanced the continual additions qualification of the majority of the which the democratic influence was L.10 house tenants will be below an receiving from the change in the hundredth part of the forty shilling value of money, and progressive low- freeholders in the time of Henry VI., ering of the franchise.
that is, of L.70 a-year freehold proSeeing that the balance of the perty at this time. Three-fourths of Constitution was thus maintained, the present electors would be swept a wise administration, if they deem- off if that standard were really to be ed the nomination boroughs an eye- adopted: hardly one of the L.10 sore to the people which required to householders would find an entrance be removed, would have restored under the old qualification. The matters to their original situation, freeholders, instead of being raised by restoring the franchise to what it to a million, would be reduced, in was before the change commenced: all probability, to little more than in other words, by raising the quali- a hundred thousand. The Reform fication to the present value of forty candidates with such constituents shillings in the days of Henry VI., would have been rejected in twothat is to about L.70 Sterling. thirds of the English counties.
Instead of this, what have they But this is not all.—The Reformdone? Proposing, on the one hand, ers justify the assumption of this low to extinguish the whole nomination standard of L.10 householders for boroughs, do they propose, on the the election of these boroughs, that other, to reach to the real standard is, of two-thirds of the House of which prevailed before that species Commons, upon the ground that the of influence had acquired any ascend- potwallopers and scot and lot voters ency? On the contrary, they pro- are to be disfranchised. But when posed to lower it to the L.10 house- does this disfranchisement take efholders: in other words, to a class of fect? Upon the death of the present men, of whom the great majority, so voters, and not till then. Now it is far from being worth L.70 a-year of during the lifetime of the present freehold property, are literally worth voters, in the years immediately nothing. And this is called resto succeeding the Bill, that the perilring the balance of the Constitution, ous consequences of this sudden adand reverting to the pristine order of dition to democratic ambition are to things!
be apprehended. If we get over the A mechanist finds a machine in effects of that prodigious change for which the opposite weights are near- ten or fifteen years, the remote efly equally balanced : conceiving that fects, after the excitement has subthe weight on one side is not of the sided, are comparatively little to be kind which he approves, he removes apprehended. The whole present two thirds of it. To restore the democratic part of the constitution ; equilibrium of the machine, what all that now counterbalances the no
mination boroughs is to be retained; hundred more members than at prethe pot-wallopers of Westminster, sent, is trifling in comparison of the Southwark, and Preston, are to vote evil of confiscating innocent properalongside of the L. 10 householders ty: in other words, unhinging every of the Tower Hamlets, Manchester, estate in the kingdom. and Birmingham; and this at the 2. That if the present system of time that the whole nomination bo- unequal and varied representation is roughs are to be instantly destroyed. to be broken in upon to any extent, The vast addition to the one side of the qualification over the whole kingthe balance is to be immediately im- dom should be greatly raised. Exposed; this alleged counteracting perience having proved that it is the weight to the other side, is to be post- higher class of voters alone who are poned till this period has arrived, inclined to resist a subsequent exwhen it is comparatively little re
tension of the franchise. quired, and before which the ma- 3. That it should be made to dechine will probably have been de- pend not on being the tenant, but the stroyed.
proprietor of a house: the latter of France, after the experience of her these parties only having a direct infirst Revolution, deemed it only safe terest in resisting measures of spoliato give the elective franchise to tion. 80,000 of the richest proprietors in 4. That the rural freeholders only that kingdom, out of a population of should vote for the county members, 30,000,000. With such a constitu- and not overwhelm the influence of ency,a parliament so democratic was landed property by the introduction returned as rendered it impossible of urban voters, subject to opposite to carry on the government. After prejudices, and swayed by an adverse the impulse to popular power which interest. arose from the second Revolution, 5. That if the system of nomithe ministers of Louis Philippe only nation, or close boroughs, is to be venture to raise the number to abandoned, a freehold qualification 200,000 voters; in other words, to should be bestowed on funded moone in one hundred and fifty of the vable property of the same value as people. These are the measures of that which affords a qualification for those well versed in the history of land or houses. revolutions. The Reform Bill pro. 6. That unless they retain their poses to extend the right at once to present indirect representation, a a million of voters out of a popula- certain number of members should tion in Great Britain of 16,000,000: be bestowed on our American and in other words, to one in sixteen. Indian possessions.
And this is said to be attending to If the leading principles of the the lesson of experience; securing present Bill, viz. the disfranchisethe ascendency of property, and rement of all the nomination boroughs, verting to the principles of the Con- and the adoption of the low freehold stitution !
standard, are adhered to, the country Without pretending to solve the is thenceforward placed under the difficulty of amending the repre- dominion of the tenants of ten pound sentation, we venture to submit the houses. Let any man examine the following principles, as essential to principles, habits, and information of the formation of any stable govern- these men in his own neighbourhood, ment.
and say, whether he would willingly 1. That no existing right of re- submit his private affairs to their turning a member to Parliament management. If he would not, is the should be taken away without either state, with all its complicated intera full equivalent or proved delin- ests and weighty dependencies, safe quency. It is no doubt desirable not in hands untit to be trusted with the to make the legislature too large; management of the affairs of a pribut the inconvenience of having one vate family?
VOL. XXX. NO, CLXXXII.
BEECHÉY'S VOYAGE TO THE PACIFIC AND BEHRING'S STRAIT.*
In England, almost the first thought forcibly to the mind's eye, and enof youth is the sea, and the first aspi- gages the feelings of the reader more ration of boyhood to be a sailor. strongly in the cause of the narraEvery thing that we read, or see, or tor, than any display of artful elohear, impresses on our mind the same quence. feeling; and who cannot remember His style, in general, is plain and having been enraptured long, long manly; and the only passages which days together, over the tales of appear at all objectionable in this strange, new scenes, and dangerous point, are a very few, in which an passages, and wild adventures, in occasional desire for what is called Anson, Vancouver, or Cook ? and fine writing has led him from his having longed to see the beings of more simple and natural manner. another world there portrayed, or The land expeditions of Captain to wander through those sweet is- Franklin in the Arctic regions, will lands in that ocean, happily called never be forgotten by any one who the Pacific ? Few there are who have has read the vivid account of the suf. not such remembrances, and the ferings, dangers, and fatigues, which book at present under review will he and his companions underwent; call up in the minds of all many a and the feeling which every one pleasant daydream of early years, entertains in regard to that gallant when the thought of dangers and officer, would communicate itself in difficulties was as nothing before some degree to a voyage undertaken the spirit of young adventure; and to co-operate with, and assist him in, every unknown spot, from the deso- his second great attempt, even if the late and icy cliffs of Cape Horn, to voyage itself had not possessed matthe smiling solitudes of Juan Fer- ter of infinite interest. But, apart nandez, was involved in the lustrous from all collateral causes of pleaatmosphere of dawning imagination. sure, this book contains within itself
Amongst such scenes this voyage much both to please and delight, was directed; and the account of it from the vast variety of different is conceived in the spirit of a gentle scenes the excitement of someman, and written in the plain and the splendour of others-and the unaffected style of a sailor. Cap- rapid transition from extreme to extain Beechey acknowledges in the treme from those climes where, Introduction, that he is not what the world calls a literary man, and he
“ vertical, the sun apologizes for it, by reminding the
Darts on the head direct his forceful rays;" reader of the early age at which he While entered a profession which claimed and received all his attention. The
“ O'er heaven and earth, far as the ranapology for the absence of very re
ging eye fined composition in the production
Can sweep, à dazzling deluge reigns; and
all of a sailor, was hardly necessary.
From pole to pole is undistinguish'd blaze;": Pomp and elaboration of style is not expected from a naval man, nor To would it harmonize well with the
Hecla, flaming through a waste subject of a voyage. Neither is there in the mere wording of Cap
And farthest Greenland; to the Pole itself, tain Beechey’s book any thing to of- Where failing gradual, life itself goes fend, if there be nothing to dazzle; while the plain, straightforward, sail- Such scenes must always be full of or-like manner, in which he de- interest to those persons who have scribes scenes of interest, adventure, not seen them, from the stimulus they and danger, brings them up more give to imagination, and the satisfac
* Narrative of a Voyage to the Pacific and Behring’s Strait, to co-operate with the Polar Expeditions, &c. &cBy Captain W. F. Beechey, R. N. London: Colburn and Bentley, 1831.
tion they afford to curiosity; and to have satisfactorily determined some those persons who have seen them, of the most obscure points in the from the re-awakening of drowsy science of modern geography. memoirs to matters of thought and Captain Beechey sailed from Spitfeeling long past. But in Captain head on the 19th of May, 1825; and, Beechey's book, there is a mingling after a passage distinguished by noof valuable observation with amu- thing of any great importance, arrising narrative, which merits more ved at Rio Janeiro, whence he prodetailed examination.
ceeded, as soon as possible, towards In 1825, Captains Parry and Frank- the Pacific, doubling Cape Horn. lin set out upon their last expedition, In this part of the passage some into seek for ā north-west passage to teresting scientific details are slightthe Pacific; and Captain Franklin ly touched upon; but, in general, being unprovided with the means of the great mass of information of this returning to England in case of his kind, obtained during the voyage, is success, the Blossom sloop, mount collected in the Appendix, by which ing, sixteen guns, was sent out to means, the course of the narrative is Behring's Strait, for the purposes of allowed to proceed uninterrupted. meeting him, and of rendering as- The accounts of the voyage round sistance to either expedition whose Cape Horn, and along the Chilian endeavours might prove effectual. coast, however, are entertaining from Precautions were taken to strengthen their very simplicity; and some of the vessel, and to provide her with the descriptions, without any effort, every thing necessary for exploring and probably without the writer's the coast, overcoming the difficulties consciousness, are highly pictushe might meet with, and for culti- resque. What Sir Joshua Reynolds vating the regard and friendship of was accustomed to call “ the repose the natives in those countries to of a fine picture,” is often happily which she was destined.
transferred to descriptive writing, Various officers, well known for but it must always be unaffected their scientific acquirements, were and easy. Such a character runs appointed to the vessel, and Captain through the few lines which deBeechey, who had already accompa- scribe the approach to Talcahuana, nied two of the northern expeditions, the seaport of Conception. was placed in command. The instructions given by the Admiralty were
“Our arrival off the port, was on one of minute, and somewhat restrictive. those bright days of sunshine which chaThe particular survey of various racterise the summer of the temperate points in the Pacific, the position of zone on the western side of America. which was doubtful, was one great ted in the entrance of the harbour, were
The cliffs of Quiriquina, an island situaobject of the voyage; but Captain covered with birds, curiously arranged in Beechey was directed to make every rows along the various strata ; and on thing subservient to the purpose of
the rocks were numberless seals basking meeting Captain Franklin. In case of that officer not appearing either echo with their discordant noise, or so
in the sun, either making the shores rein 1826 or 1827, the Blossom was to unmindful of all that was passing, as to remain as long as possible in Beh- allow the birds to alight upon them, and ring's Strait, without running the peck their oily skin without offering any risk of being forced to winter there; resistance.” and then to return directly home. This command was precise, and was The dangers of the passage round perhaps both prudent and necessary; Cape Horn have been represented but yet, it may be regretted now, as so tremendous, by those who that a greater degree of license was achieved the feat in an age when it not permitted both to Captain Frank- was seldom attempted, that for a Jin and Captain Beechey, as those considerable time, a double license two officers came within so short a' was allowed to the magnifying and distance of each other, that exer- story-telling propensities of all who tions, slight in comparison to those could boast of having accomplished which they had previously made, the undertaking. Captain Beechey, would have effected their meeting, however, very much reduces its terand produced results which would rors, and leaves the bugbear of