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fluence where the people were. They had been extending their authority over the small and decayed villages in Schedules A and B; but from the great towns in their neighbourhood, their domination had been gradually passing


And now, while the country was thus slowly and almost invisibly changing its ideas, it was also changing its habits and pursuits.

Not many years ago, two thirds of the population in England were an agricultural population, depending mainly on the large possessors of the soil: at the time I write, upwards of two thirds of the population are a manufacturing population, deriving their support, rather from the lower and the middle, than from the upper classes of society. In the meantime great cities, which may be called empires, have been rising into existence; and during these events, knowledge has been rapidly and widely diffusing itself; and with knowledge, that desire for action and that passion for power, which are its necessary concomitants.

It is impossible for these causes to exist without their effects. It is impossible for the whole frame of society to have been shifting from under our feet without a great shock taking place in our institutions.

The first sign of this-was in the Reform Bill which would have been carried earlier, but for the French revolution of 1789, and which was doubtless hastened by the French revolution of 1830.*

The second sign of this-has been in the Corporation Bill.

In 1832 we gave the people the power to make laws; in 1835 the people have carried a law which will create popular manners.†

These two measures passed-who can doubt as to which way is flowing the tide of future events?

Nor have we here been following a course at variance with the nations around us during the period to which I have referred, or in discord

* One of many proofs, that the destinies of two countries so nearly allied by nature, cannot be wholly separate from each other.

+ If the Lords had altered the qualification of the town council, and succeeded in appointing the town clerk for life, they would have done something, but they would have done much less than they imagined. They would have confined corporate power in certain hands; but they would have left the origin of that power in the community. It would still have been not to those above, but to those below them, that the ambitious among the town's people would have had to look for power; and this would have done what I have said the law as it stands must more effectually do, viz: create popular manners.

ance with that longer portion of human action, which is what we call the history of the world. From the laying of the first stone of the pyramids of Egypt, to the abolition of slavery in the West Indies, the great masses of mankind have been gradually advancing in condition : and the sacred law which we obey, preached with a divine prescience nearly two thousand years ago, only proclaimed an equality, which passing through two systems-that of chivalry and the church and aided by a series of almost miraculous discoveries has been daily advancing from that hour to this.

I look upon it as certain then, that in this country, we shall also see a monarchy of the middle classes, at no distant date ;-whether we approach it gradually, slowly, safely, as I believe we shall; or whether we are hurried to it on the blast of some political tempest, which we cannot now foresee, but which the air-charged with electricity—is at any moment liable to produce.

It cannot, therefore, be without interest to observe that the same year which has advanced us by a new step, and a gigantic step towards such a monarchy;- has shown it, shaking and trembling to its foundations in the country of which I am writing.

Thus our attention is naturally awakened to France; and we anxiously enquire whether the dangers that menace her, are such as we shall have in our turn to experience. Let us then see whether that nation, which possesses more popular ideas, and in some respects, more popular institutions than ours, does not also still possess some trappings of a galling and tinselled tyranny, such as we never saw. In its manners are the traces of former servitude yet visible? Over its laws do those manners yet exercise some influence? In its progress do we remark those abrupt stoppages and rapid movements which shew that it has pursued-not the safe, and even course?

On the other hand;-is it not true, that the improvements we are looking forward to, will come as the necessary result of others that have preceded them?

Is it not true that the equality we anticipate will have been preceded by a freedom we have long enjoyed; and that the democracy attaining power will have been educated by an aristocracy that has long possessed it?

Is it not true, that a government of the middle classes in this country would be the government-not of a few of those classes admitted with fear and caution into the gestion of pub

lic affairs-but of the great bulk of the people long accustomed to the management of their local concerns?

Is it not true that a government of the middle classes in England would be a government well suited to the serious and commercial character of the English, as a government of the middle classes in France is hostile to the vain and military character of the French?

Neither would such a government be productive, in both countries, of all the same results. I have to notice a licentious literature, an irreligious people, a philosophy imbrued with that spirit of association natural to the state of things amidst which it appears, but covered, at the same time, with the taudry tatters of a depraved licentiousness, the baleful heritage of times gone by. Nobody will believe-whatever mischief might arise therefrom-that the advancing influence of the middling and lower orders of society with us would be accompanied by such consequences. The evils to dread would indeed be of a directly contrary description ;-an over fanatic zeal in religion, an extravagant severity of manners, and a temporary absence of those charms of literature and society, which add to the happiness, and ought not to corrupt the manners, of mankind.

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