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opinions are maintained by Verri and Adam Smith,) whether the money requisite for the support of roads should be levied by tolls or a general impost, and supports, for the most part, the opinion of the great Scotch political economist against that of his own countryman,

The following remarks on our practice of recruiting are graphic and pointed, and as such we quote them, though we cannot entirely concur with the sentiments of the author.

“ It is known that the English army is in a great measure raised by recruiting. There is not yet any conscription in England. The conscription, it is true, is a tax of blood; the more grievous when it is paid to a tyrannical government, or to a foreign government, which oppresses the conquered by means of the conquered themselves.

But under every circumstance I prefer the conscription to recruiting. Even under a spurious government it is less shameful to serve by compulsion than by choice. Besides, recruiting is a contract between a knave and a fool. Abont three in the afternoon, just when the fair is most crowded, one hears the sound of four or five drums and a few fifes; one sees a party of soldiers, with ornaments dangling to their watches, ribbons in their helmets, and faces sleek and chubby, (as if war was le pays de cocagne,) better in dress and appearance than other soldiers, in order that they may more easily seduce and deceive; one sees, I say, this recruiting party leading into the midst of the fair, and showing in triumph to the crowd, two or three youths, who for three or four guineas have sold their lives, and know not whether to their country, their king, or their love of idleness. They have their liats ornamented with silk ribbons, just as in ancient times they decked with garlands the horns of the rams that were destined to be sacrificed. This simulated pomp, this false gaiety, seem to me similar to that festival wbich used to accompany tbe vow of chastity and perpetual seclusion which girls pronounced when they took the veil. The English speak with borror of the slave trade. Where is the difference between an African, who sells himself, as frequently bappens, deceived by a slave mercbant, and a man who, heated with wine and delusive promises, sells himself for a few guineas to a lying corporal ?"

If Count Pecchio had often indulged in such flights of futile exaggeration, we should not have thought his work worth notice, The information he gives respecting the mild methods of bribery and persuasion so often employed by the African slave merchants, is new to us. Relying too confidently on all other authorities, we had feared the case was different. “ The English," he says,

speak with horror of the slave trade.” True; but they speak with no horror of the practice of recruiting, and yet they are as jealous of their own liberty as of the liberty of other people. Is it then possible that there can be so strong an analogy between recruiting and the slave trade? If he had asked bimself this question, he would probably not bave framed the absurdity we have quoted. It is not clear upon what plea he prefers the conscription to


recruiting. The latter has plainly the advantage of being voluntary, while the former is a system of compulsion. But deceit, according to our author, is as bad as compulsion : and " cruiting is a contract between a knave and a fool.” This is too sweeping an assertion. The contract may be such as he describes, and so may any contract between the employer and the employed; but it is not necessarily such. The military ardour of inexperienced youth, though it may lead to a measure at which prudent friends will shake their heads, does not deserve to be so severely stigmatized; and any one who will compare the condition of the soldier with that of the distressed mechanic or the ill paid day-labourer of the south of England, will come to the conclusion, that enlistment may often be adopted, not by a fool at the suggestion of a knave, but by a well-judging poor man upon a calm and prudential view of comparative advantages; and such we know is frequently the case.

The little tract entitled “ Un' Elezione di Membri del Parlamento in Inghilterra,” is pleasingly and judiciously written, and without having much pretensions to profundity of thought, or extensiveness of research, is well calculated to give the author's countrymen a tolerably accurate notion of the mode in which elections used to be conducted in this country. Count Pecchio is one of that commendable class of travellers, who, without abstaining from a due admixture of inferences and speculations, do not exhibit them to the exclusion of facts, but give us pictures as well as essays. Instead, therefore, of quoting Blackstone and Delolme, he has given, as specimens of the workings of our system, a vivid description of what he witnessed in two English elections in 1826; one for the county of Nottingham, the other, a severe contest of ten days' duration for the county town.

“ In describing to my countrymen the forms and incidents of an election such as I myself witnessed, I have not pretended to present to them a perfect model. Whoever studies the art of government, knows that numerous defects are contained both in the national representation of England, and in the conduct of its elections."

We are glad to think that since the appearance of this little work so many of those defects have been removed ; and that those portions of his description which are least flattering to our country are but the history of a system which no longer exists. Whatever doubts may exist with respect to the working of the Reform Bill (and doubts must exist with respect to every untried measure) we think it cannot be otherwise than cause for congratulation among well meaning men of every party, that we shall be no longer liable to a whole fortnight's continuance of such disgraceful incidents as the following.

“ The evening presented a scene worthy of the pen of Tassoni. The streets were strewed, not with the dead, but with the dead-drunk. Both the successful and the beaten party passed the night in uproar, amidst clouds of tobacco smoke, foaming tankards of ale, and spirits, It was a complete bacchanal.”

Here, too, are tactics on the part of candidates and electors, which we trust can never be repeated.

“ It is important to have a number of electors ready in order to gain a superiority in the first few days. Success in the outset frequently decides the victory. But it is nevertheless necessary to distribute the number so as to keep the poll open, and also to bring forward first the doubtful votes, and to keep the sure ones in reserve.

" When there is a contested election, the voters during the contest come, sometimes, a distance of three or four hundred miles. Virtue is ever mingled with vice. Many electors boast that they are invincible by threats, incorruptible by money. Some prefer to lose their employment, to be displaced by the government, turned off by their employer, abandoned by their client, or their patron, rather than vote against their conscience. It is certainly true that, for the most part, when any elector is the victim of his integrity, the party for whom he has voted comes to his assistance, repairs the loss he has suffered, and secures him from injury; but a great number yield to seduction, or to threats, and prefer to rectitude an attention to the interests of the moment. A less numerous, but more crafty and corrupt class, feign indecision at first, that they may gain time and sell their votes dearer at the last moment. When an election is obstinately contested, the victory is frequently decided by a few votes out of several thousands; the last are, consequently, bought at a very high price. In the last election for the county of York, two voters who were in Wales, were paid two hundred guineas, besides their expenses.

In this election at Nottingham, two electors asked thirty guineas each for their vote, but while they were bargaining the poll was closed, and they remained without their money."

This calculating spirit of corruption, this base practice of weighing the exigencies of a candidate, and making the price of a voter's conscience depend, like the rise and fall of stocks, upon the result of each day's poll, is, we trust, effectually counteracted by the present limitation of elections to two days. There is much good sense in the following comparison of the systems or direct and indirect election.

Political writers have already inquired which is to be preferred, direct or indirect election. If I were to judge by wbat I have seen in Spain and in England, I should adopt the opinion of those who think that direct election includes, on the whole, more advantages. The Spanish constitution prescribed three grades of election, the first parochial, the second of districts, he third, the actual election of the deputies. In 182) I saw one of these elections at Madrid. I remember that it was cold and insipiil. There was no conconrse, no contention, no enthusiasm ;

nor could the names of Riego, Arguelles, Galiano, and many otber illustrious patriots, warm the people. These were not elected directly by the people, but by electors chosen by the people. The people cannot feel a lively interest in parochial elections, in which is nominated a number of electors, who are to choose a still smaller number of other electors, who are, finally, to elect the deputy. Under such a system the people do not know the candidates ; their election is to the people a chance or lottery. The candidates distant from the people, separated from them by two ranks of electors, make no profession of principles contract no obligation, are not indebted to the people for their election, and, consequently, do not take so much pains either to cultivate or to assist them. These elections by progressive steps, it is true, avoid the conflict of passions, and certain tumults and disorders, perhaps also are less subject to corruption, perhaps also are more especially expedient among people of a warm and excitable character. But they are, on the other hand, devoid of that emulation, that fire, that interest which are the life of free existence. Hardly any one in Spain knew that an election was going on, while in England it is a general convulsion, it is a species of patriotic phrenzy which invades every class, every city, every village. In direct elections the people re-assumes the sovereignty in all its power, is the judge of individuals, the awarder of prizes, and the arbiter of fame. The English system of election moreover, thanks to the custom that the candidates should be proposed by some of the most respectable of the electors, bas also this advantage over election by progressive steps, that it tends to direct and enlighten the people in the choice of their representatives.”

In conclusion, we willingly express the satisfaction with which (with some slight exceptions) we have read these pleasing and unpretending works. We should be glad to see more from the same pen, and on the same great subject, England. There is a very wide field on which Count Pecchio bas not yet entered, many interesting features to which he has not yet adverted ; and if his means of observation have been sufficient, we should gladly see him offer to his countrymen, and the world at large, other sketches drawn in the same spirit of charitable caudour which characterizes those before us.

Art. VIII.-1. Paris, ou le Livre des Cent et Un. Tomes IV.

V. VI. VII. VIII. Paris, 1832. Svo. 2. Oeuvres de Charles Nodier. Paris, 1832. 5 Tomes. Svo. In noticing the first three volumes of this Parisian Albuin on a great scale, we had occasion to make some observations on the prevailing tune of the literature of France at the present day; to indicate slightly some of those perilous and mistaken directions to which it appeared to be tending ;—the exaggeration of painting,

the moral cynicism, the revolting nature of its subjects, the utter absence of sound feeling and pervading morality which characterized most of those works which in the course of the last two or three years had attained popularity; and without entering minutely into the causes of this aspect of Literature, to express our conviction that the general instability of opinion and removal of the accustomed land marks in morals and legislation, in the science of government, and in the candour of criticism, were exercising, in the first instance at least, a degrading and unfavourable influence on Literature in general. The perusal of the volumes prefixed to this article has tended to contirm these views, both by the direct corroborative testimony which some of their ablest and most impartial contributors bear to the truth of the opinions we then ventured to express, and by the indirect but not less convincing evidence which others of them afford of the very errors against which our observations were directed.

No elevated or profound Literature in truth can ever be expected, when it is regarded, not as an end, but as a means ; considered in this light, its practice is no higher than that of any other trade or profession. When it is regarded as a step to employment, as the necessary tenure of office, or a useful engine for obtaining that notoriety or influence which, in the present omnipotence of the press in France, is the passport to wealth or power, it naturally stoops its flight to the level of its aim, and accommodates its inspiration and its morality to the scenes and the principles with which it is conversant.) The only fervent and unsullied worship which is paid to Literature, is the devotion of the wilderness, the closet, and the cell; half of those who surround its public altars at the present day are false priests, who seek to live only by the things of the altar, or to make their profession of faith a stepping-stone to their worldly advancement. When we laugh at the labours of the schoolman, the midnight oil of the anchorite, the researches of the metaphysician ;-their time spent, their toil wasted, apparently without return,--would it not be well to recollect that all the “ fancies chaste and poble” which have vivified or elevated humanity have owed their existence to this very principle of self sacrifice? Doubtless it is no light effort which enables the poet or the philosopher to contemplate with calmness the necessity of overlooking the present, of passing over the only beings with whom he is ever likely to mingle on earth, in order to shake his distant posterity by the hand : to live only in the memory of those who are yet unborn, to cast what might have been his bread upon the waters, in the bope that he should see it again after many days! Yet such, we think, must be the case if ever Literature is to assert its old supremacy :—if ever

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