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done by lightning to 210 ships of the British Navy. Of these, 133 occurred in time of war, between 1793 and 1816, when 69 ships of the line, 49 frigates, and 32 sloops were disabled; and 55 in peace, when 8 sail of the line, 14 frigates, and 32 sloops suffered. In estimating the loss sustained by these vessels, Mr Harris finds it to be about £125,000; or about £10,000 annually in war, and £2500 in time of peace. Now it is a matter of fact, established by the official Journals of the Navy, that not one of the vessels fitted with Mr Harris's conductors suffered the slightest injury from lightning; and we must therefore regard his plan of protection as producing a saving to the country, of £10,000 per annum in time of war, and £2500 in time of peace; without attempting to estimate the loss sustained by our commercial marine, or presuming to appraise human suffering, or to put a value upon human life. The man who thus protects the national property-who adds strength and security to the national bulwarks, and saves the lives of the brave men to whose guardianship they are entrusted-is well entitled to be viewed as a national benefactor, and as having earned the noble praise that he served his species whilst serving his country. Yet true it is, as we believe, that he has not received any special reward for labours attended with such ever-enduring and beneficent results-prolonged as these labours have been through nearly half a century.
We would not, by any means, wish to be understood as ready to espouse any claim for recompense that might be preferred, on the ground merely of some considerable addition having been made to the existing sum of scientific knowledge. But the case where the labours of a life have been devoted to, and realized in, a discovery or plan productive of results most precious to the interests of the Empire and of Humanity, and evidently incapable of being adequately compensated but through the intervention of the State receiving the benefit, is one which presents itself under a very different aspect; and we humbly conceive that the case before us is of this description. We are quite aware that Lord Melbourne, before leaving office, judiciously bestowed upon Mr Harris a scientific pension of L.300 a-year which had become vacant; but this, we must presume, was conferred, not as a remuneration for a particular invention or service, but as a distinction due to general eminence in science, and shared with others similarly honoured. It would, therefore, be but a just and becoming exercise of public beneficence, were a proper compensation awarded to Mr Harris for the time, labour, and anxieties consumed and endured, in maturing, and energetically prosecuting the adoption of a system of protection so vastly beneficial to the Nation and to Mankind.
ART. V.-1. Speeches delivered in the House of Commons by the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel, on the Renewal of the Bank Charter. London : 1844.
2. Speech of Lord Monteagle in the House of Lords on the Import Duties, 13th June 1844.
3. Speech of Viscount Howick on the Corn Laws, 25th June 1844.
4. Speech of Viscount Palmerston on the Slave Trade, 16th July 1844.
THE HREE years are now completed since a general election and a change of government restored Sir Robert Peel and his friends to power. They were reinforced by the accession of Lord Stanley, Sir James Graham, Lord Ripon, and their political associates. The support of other members of Parliament, of character and official experience, was also given to the new administration. The opposition of others was greatly mitigated or neutralized, if not wholly withdrawn; or it was converted into a more useful, because an independent support. Former differences between these parties had been forgotten they had acted in concert for seven years—a long political apprenticeship. The jealousies which existed in earlier times had long been extinguished, and had merged in the bond of a common antipathy: no political coalition in modern history seemed to create so much strength, and to be open to less objection. It seemed not only excusable, but natural, and almost inevitable. The Parliamentary majority produced by the general election, far exceeded the expectation of the Government. The superiority of the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo was scarcely more unquestionable than in the House of Lords. The Church hailed the advent of the former member for Oxford, whose offences in 1829 were considered to be atoned for in 1841, by the penances and mor tifications to which he had submitted, and by a political fast of eleven years, The Landed Interest were loud in their exultation, and were prepared to turn again into ploughshares those swords which they had so long wielded in the Conservative cause. The powerful and well-organized body of the Wesleyans, deluded into the belief that the Whig policy was not more fatal to British agriculture than to Scriptural truth, felt a pious security in the protection of the new Cabinet. The West Indians pointed with triumph to Mr Gladstone and Mr Goulburn, and rejoiced under the shadow of their hogsheads and puncheons. The high Protes
tants of Ireland impatiently reckoned upon the downfall of Maynooth, and the overthrow of an unchristian system of Education. It was prophesied that Repeal agitation would cease, and that the collection of the O'Connell rent-that modern exaction of Peter's pence-would, at the best, be subjected to the penalties of high treason. The merchant was taught to expect the ratification of commercial treaties between England and all the nations with whom fruitless negotiations had been carried on. The Saint and the Moralist were persuaded that the crime of opium traffic would be expiated, and its recurrence effectually prevented; and that Slavery and the Slave-trade must cease, under the influence of a government that could consistently appeal to the Christian recollections of the Holy Alliance, and the pledges given by the sovereigns assembled at Vienna and Verona. The Cosmopolite was taught that universal peace was secured; that the tranquillity and civilization of Africa would be maintained and promoted by the combined efforts and generous rivalry of the two free sovereignties of the West; and that, under the influence of Conservative wisdom and Conservative power, all causes of contest between nation and nation, from the Oregon to the Levant, would be extinguished.
These bright anticipations, combined with a belief that the result of the general election had made any government but that of Sir Robert Peel impossible, gave to that statesman and his cabinet a strength almost unexampled in modern times. The number of his troops had been early shown-their discipline proved in past campaigns-their devotion to their leader was expected to be perpetual, founded as it was, not only on a just admiration of his high attainments, but on a grateful sense of his invaluable party services. It was under such auspices that the Tory Government succeeded to power; and never apparently did political power possess more elements of union and stability. The pledges, either directly or tacitly given to the country, were clear and distinct. The expectations formed by the party were great. How have those pledges been redeemed? How far have those expectations been fulfilled? How now stands the reputation of the Conservative Ministry, and the Conservative Par liament, at the close of the last, their third session? What progress has been made in useful legislation ? and how far have the interests of the Empire, and of the World, been promoted under the authority and influence of her Majesty's present advisers?
The enquiry is interesting, provided it be prosecuted in a spirit of truth and fairness. The bitter and sarcastic speeches with which Lord Lyndhurst, when in opposition, was wont to conclude the Parliamentary Session, though characterized by
power and brilliancy, failed in their effect, from their utter want of candour and justice. It is true, that, circulated throughout the country, these speeches served the temporary purpose of getting up a cry; they excited the strongest prejudices against one party, and encouraged unbounded expectations of good from the other. This condemnation of the Whigs, and these promises made by the Sponsor for the Tories, served their turn. The justice of the condemnation, and the prudence of the promises, are now more than doubtful; and if to create groundless animosities, and to encourage hopes equally groundless, be a crime, it is one which, in this instance, has carried with it a full measure of punishment. The bitter cup is now returned to the lips of those by whom it was filled to overflowing. The weights and measures distributed by the Carlton Club through all Conservative associations and meetings, serve but as standards by which the acts of the Government are now estimated and compared.
The unfavourable result of this comparison has been loudly proclaimed by the Tory party, both in and out of Parliament. The retribution is as complete as it is severe. In a recent work, curiously compounded of politics and fiction, and of considerable notoriety, an eager political partisan is described as having been employed in the preparation of slashing articles in a 'party Review, passed off as genuine coin, to take in the lieges, especially in the country.' These articles are said to have been written in a style apparently modelled on the briefs of 'those sharp attorneys who weary advocates with clever commonplace the censure coarse without being strong, and vin'dictive where it should have been sarcastic.’* Such articles, like the slashing' speeches we have mentioned, were by the party largely resorted to; but they failed in producing any lasting effect. The one and the other were soon discredited, and are now no longer current. They are cried down even by those for whose benefit they were first put into circulation. This result reads to us a salutary, and, we hope, an effectual lesson-teaching by an example which cannot be mistaken, and which ought not to be forgotten, that the honourable advocacy of a party is best promoted by the observance of truth and candour; and that all exaggeration or over-colouring of facts, however they may lead to an ignoble and unworthy triumph, can never promote the permanent interests of any cause, either public or private. It may be presumptuous to hope, that in all cases we have our
*See Coningsby; or, the New Generation. By B. D'Israeli, M.P.
selves avoided the errors and practices we condemn. The want of candour in an opponent is a common complaint, and we admit that it is easier to detect and expose it, than it is to be generous or even strictly just; but we hope, that in former articles similar to the present, we discussed fairly and dispassionately the proceedings which they surveyed. We endeavoured, in all sincerity, to escape the errors which we now condemn, and to adhere to the principles we here proclaim. And in this spirit, and in conformity with these principles, we now propose to make an analysis of the Session just closed, and to invite our readers to consider how far its proceedings deserve the approval of the public, and how far the Tory Ministry deserves its confidence.
Parliament met early in the month of February, and sat for upwards of sixth months. In respect to all practical suggestions, the Speech from the Throne promised little; yet it promised more than has been performed. Peace with all Europe, and more especially our friendly relations with France, were made subjects of congratulation. The events of Tahiti and Morocco have since enabled us to estimate the real worth of these announcements. The treaty concluded with China was described as highly advantageous to the commercial interests of England; yet the just and necessary war which led to that treaty, had been previously proclaimed by the Tory leaders, in the House of Commons, as an act of unpardonable rashness and injustice. The successful result of wars in India was alluded to with triumph; but no reference was made to the pledges of a pacific policy, as ostentatiously given by Lord Ellenborough as they were afterwards recklessly violated. The revision of the Bank of England's Charter was recommended, which, however, the state of the law made inevitable. A determination to maintain the union with Ireland was expressed, and the necessity admitted of adopting measures for improving the social condition and developing the natural resources of that country; but no hint was given as to the nature of the measures contemplated, or to be introduced. A revision of the system of registration of its voters, with a view to the extension of the county franchise, was also announced.
Such were the main topics adverted to in the royal Speech. We doubt whether the annals of Parliament have ever exhibited a Session in which so little has been effected to satisfy the people, or to raise the character of Parliament. Indeed this seems to be admitted by the Government itself-one solitary Act of Parliament being named, in the closing speech from the Throne, as deserving any special notice. We search the statute-book in vain for any series of enactments worthy of the legislature of an enlightened community; nor have the debates, or Parliamentary