Puslapio vaizdai


suffrage which may require the intervention of than in Scotland; although, if England be the Parliament.

richer country, necessarily it should have, while Another and a better plan of extending the distinctions prevail, the narrower franchise. In suffrage has been most successfully employed in Ireland, which is the poorest of the three diviseveral English counties. The Manchester sions, the franchise is absolutely higher even than Anti-Corn Law League might have reasoned in Scotland. Ostensibly it is the saine, or nearly and published against the Corn Laws for the same ; but those who are acquainted with the many years, if they had not commenced to mode of operation must concede, that the franconstruct votes. Even after they flooded chise is really higher in Ireland than in Scotland. South Lancashire with bona fide voters, they In that country, also, the arrangements of regismight have wrestled long for their great object, if tration—with a view, perhaps, to the creation of the potatoe disease had not come to their assist- doubt and complexity—are still more abstruse

That was the great instrument of conver- and absurd than those of England and Scotland. sion in the Legislature. The public bestow more They can only be cleared away, in many cases, by credit on Mr. Cobden than on the avis vastator in a vigorous—we cannot add healthful-system of this business; but shrewd people still suspect that hard swearing. An Irish election generally costs Mr. Smee's insect was the great whipper-in of an immense capital in morality for oaths. That, Peel's majorities on the corn question in 1845, indeed, is remarkable in many contested elections; and not the Honourable Member for Cavan, as but the expenditure is peculiarly prevalent in Irehis constituents supposed.

land. We cannot very obviously see the difficulty in In this agitation on the suffrage, the Anti-Corn the way of preventing all the oath-taking in these League effected a stroke of good in their bye-play, cases. We are acquainted, of course, with the sufficient to compensate all the toil, and trouble, utility of this hindrance to business for the purand cost of their existence. The awakening of poses of many agents. When one candidate is the English mind to the existence of a popular running up too rapidly on his opponent, the latter power over the counties was an important politi- instructs his agent to put the oaths. This is a cal advantage. It may be used, or it may be ne- solemn matter, and it is to be performed in a glected, but it exists, and there is no county, con- slow, serious, and solemn manner. The agent can taining one or two large towns, that may not make, by due caution, an oath occupy five minutes. have an infusion of popular feeling in its consti- There are, certainly, able men in their profession, tuency, if the people choose to improve their oppor- so filled with respect for the third commandment tunity.

on these particular occasions, that they cannot do The political advantage is, however, vastly in the work in less than five minutes.

It is exemferior to the moral influence that would be pro- plary to watch these gentlemen-one hears a duced by the extensive purchase of small free- sermon in their staid and drawling tones. They holds. We know no merely social arrangement would spin out a very small amount of intellect more likely to produce greater benefit than the at the same rate into a long discourse. They extension of the landed interest. The extension preach, but their lecture, rightly understood, is of the suffrage is bui an instrument, while the levelled at the low and perverse morality of Parextension of the landed interest is a realisation ; liament, which has converted oaths into one of and when political arrangements can be made, the many political schemes for gaining time. In directly and immediately, subservient to moral Ireland, registration is peculiarly troublesome, and purposes, there is greater satisfaction derived the qualifications under the bill are remarkably infrom their pursuit. We can easily see that, if distinct and confused. We understand a reason for land were freely in the market for this class of separate bills and legislation in the three kingdoms, purchasers, there might be no obstacle to prevent where ancient customs and privileges are affected; English artisans, who receive ordinary wages, but we cannot perceive any ground for creating from attaining the suffrage. The iron-workers of new distinctions and differences, by the adopStaffordshire and South Wales might all be elec- tion of various rules and bills on thoroughly new tors. There are, indeed, many classes of artisans, legislation. The practice is highly indiscreet, but who, by a little self-denial, would place their it is also unjust when privileges, dependent in names on the voters' roll for their counties ; while any form on a money qualification, are made in large towns, by moderate pains-taking, a great more precious in a poor than in a rich country. number of skilled artisans might secure such in- That the franchise is really higher in Ireland, fluence as a vote affords. There are two or three and the voters fewer than in Scotland, will be Scotch counties—those especially where the iron readily admitted by all who are informed on the works are situated—that, by a little arrangement operation of the Reform Bills in the two counon the part of the miners, might return their tries. The majority of persons who consider these members--Scottish counties where the privilege things at all, will also readily allow that the franconceded to England (the wealthier country) chise should be attainable on the same grounds, of forty shilling freeholds does not exist.

for the same reasons, and with equal ease in all The great mystery of the Reform Bill is in its the three kingdoms. So far, however, from that varied interpretations. There are three different being the case, the simplest matter in the whole bills, and there have been more than three diffe- business—the registration feexis in Scotland rent interpretations of the same clause in each two hundred and fifty per cento more than in bill, In England the franchise is made wider | England.

We may

In all the three countries the elements for annually raised. With this necessity, the nation greatly increasing the roll of voters exist. In has a perpetual excitement for the reduction of cither of them the higher class of artisans, in taxes, and the feeling is not more natural than point of wages, might command votes. Even in wise. We are not aware that, hitherto, reductions those trades where wages are low and insufficient, have always been wisely made. The system pura considerable number of artisans might be, by sued has been, we think, more one of immediate judicious arrangements, placed on the roll. A convenience than deliberate planning in the struggle, involving less outlay than a few strikes smaller items of reduction ; but still, they have and combinations, would give the cream of the tended to the improvement of business, and been working-classes—the aristocracy of labour—that followed by favourable results. There are many voice in the management of national affairs which taxes that should be annihilated many more they seek, often forgetful that, by sacrifice and that might be modified ; and, if they are touched resolution, it may be obtained.

with a decisive hand, there must be some subWe do not intend to propose any scheme stitutes found even for their immediate prowhich in the slightest degree would interfere duct. The statesman who, in a period of peace, with or make unadvisable the efforts of the Na- shrinks from the obvious duty in our financial tional Alliance, of which we know no more than affairs of having a surplus, is his country's foe. appears in the newspaper reports. From them Last year we required to borrow ght millions, we infer that it is one of the many bodies gene- to combat famine and pestilence. That was a rally formed to promote a great object, in tolera- war exception. Famine and pestilence are the bly regular succession, and of which all but the direst enemies, and, therefore, the loan could be last perish apparently without fruit :, apparently, excused, although we should have preferred to but not really, for each one of them has done see a separate tax imposed for its liquidation in something to press forward the general plan. three or four years. There is nothing between And the last, which seems triumphant, is no more strict honesty and a splendid repudiation except indebted to its own strength or wisdom, to its an annual balance on the right side. own consistency, or to the power, the tact, or remind the United States, and other nations in talent of its members, than to the operations of its difficulties, of their repudiations, daily, year by defunct and dissolved predecessors for the final year ; but, without a strict determination to give hour of victory and triumph.

the commissioners for the reductiou of the national The plan we are to propose may be described debt something to do annually, there are only so as a make-shift--another stretch of the bill—not many years between us and a suspension of payan inefficient pull, but calculated to neutralize all ments. While, therefore, the public health rethe labour, the swearing, and the subterfuges of quires the abolition of the tax on the light and the registration courts. There is an old princi- air that God has made, and sends to all—while ple in Blackstone, that taxation and representa- the farmers say that the malt tax should be retion should be co-existent. This is a very honest pealed—and merchants insist that the tea tax and a much-neglected principle. Every Whig, should be reduced- all who wisely seek to supupon proper occasions, makes much of the prin- port the integrity of the nation perceive that a ciple, and refers one back to the times when substitute must be found for these exactions, and Russell bled and Hampden fell. The eloquent the only popular substitute is direct taxation. allusions, however, to these periods and princples The existing property tax is most unartistically are never indulged in, except on extraordinary imposed. Like all other parliamentary work, it and very proper occasions. Recently, they have has been done with the greatest respect to ease, become rare—and they threaten to be rarer. A and the slightest regard to justice. It almost combination of forces-Russell and Peel, or Peel appears as if Government were doubtful whether and Russell—would entirely swamp them ; al- their clerks could keep accounts, from the manner though the coalition or any other Cabinet will in which they parcel out their work. To save an require, even in the next session, to make a extra set of books, they tax the man whose only thorough revisal of our money-raising power. wealth is his labour, equally with the proprietor,

A re-arrangement of taxation must be at- who labours not. Every one sees and feels that tempted for financial purposes. The income tax the arrangement is unjust ; but then many plead was imposed only as an interim tribute, and it that the formation of distinctions would be atwill be made perpetual. It yields five millions tended with trouble; and, therefore, to save sterling, and cannot be wanted. The tendency of trouble, the injustice is perpetuated. Sometimes opinion is, however, so decidedly towards direct it is troublesome to be honest, but nobody theretaxation, that no opposition will be made to the fore says that honesty should be avoided. extension of the tax in point of time, and there We think that the formation of a large direct would not be much, we believe, to its extension in tax should be immediately commenced. There amount. While the nation provides for its exist will be some labour in arranging the details ; but ing expenditure, there seems little ground to ex- the Legislature will have to do the work soon, and pect any reduction in the amount of our taxes. it can derive little pleasure from delaying a task They may be shifted from one point to another. that must be performed. The plan should recogWe may attempt to relieve the strain on the nise the wide difference between property acquired weak links of the chain, or lighten the weight on and professional emoluments. The one continues the over-burthened, but the gross total must be but the other fails with the health, the strevgth,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

even often with the state of mind experienced by , be an effort of immense magnitude. The courts aš the worker. The one admits of being bequeathed: present display all the peculiarities of some long the other dies with the dead, and is buried in and complicated law plea. There is certainly no their grave. On no pretence, therefore, 'can' the reason on earth for employing the learned gentle two sources be classified together. One is as se- men on the opposite side to discover whether A.B. cure and perpetual as prudence and economy may or B.C., either or both of them, reside within a choose to make it ; the other is uncertain like given district, have holdings, or occupy houses health and life ; 'and sometimes feeting and “flit- worth a given sum of money, and are in the few ting" like fashion. We admit the propriety of other matters that require to be considered qualitaxing both, but not of taxing them alike. fied for a registration-roll. The poor-rate col

Two classes, therefore, require to be established ; lector, the police collector, and the income tax and they should be placed under several divi. officials find out the truth on all these subjects sions. The tax stops at present with one han- with remarkable facility ; and we could no more dred and fifty pounds per annum. That is the discover, at any time, a good reason for all the smallest rateable income under the present act. expensive tortuous labyrinth of doubts and objecBut the rate is uniforin, The same ad valorem tions in registration courts, than we have been duty is leviable on the man who receives £150, able to reach a good understanding respecting and the nobleman who enjoys £150,000. We the perpetual motion. can escape from this inconsistency only by using The new plan of registration that we propose, a graduated rate. The sliding scale is, we know, not as a substitute for, but only as an addition in proverbially bad repute, when applied to corn, and rival to the present plan, is like its qualibut it does not threaten to be mischievous on its fication, perspicuous and plain. Any sam of application to incomes. We do not propose to direct taxes paid under the property and income particularise the various heads of taxation under acts can be fixed as the minimum qualificaeach of the two classes, because that, we concede, tion. We hold, of course, for the smallest sum must require much consideration; but the division levied. But any sum might be fixed, although the is thoroughly practicable—a mere question of smallest would be most accordant with justice ; work, that when accomplished will be highly re- and when an election occurs, let any man be munerative.

empowered to vote in a particular parish who The direct tax, to be popular, must not be oppres- has paid his income tax within the parish during sive, and the taxes to be abolished must be of a the preceding year for the specified amount. So character to produce real and apparent benefits. far as this class of voters are concerned, the only Without being oppressive, however, we believe roll necessary is the tax-gatherer's book, and the that twenty millions of the national income might only certificate of qualification is the receipt be procured from this source. This increase could / which, when employed to confer a vote, could be only be obtained by increasing, probably from 78. marked off, like a postage stamp, to prevent the to 10d., the rates chargeable at present from in- possibility of its being twice used. comes of £150 to £300—to 1s. from that up- So many of the public as were inclined might, wards to £600—to 1s. 3d. from £600 to £1000 of course, be allowed to follow the existing plan and a similar addition, perhaps in less propor- of registering on houses and lands, with the protions, on the larger class of permanent incomes. vision that any man might take his choice, but This change would necessarily be accompanied no man could follow both schemes ; and the by a reduction on incomes of a temporary charac- Sheriffs, we predict, would soon find their register, and by reduced rates on a lower class of in-tration business uncommonly light. comes, free at present ; but which, without hard- The manufacturers of fictitious votes could not ship, might contribute directly some portion of pursue their avocation in this line to any considewhat they now pay indirectly, and from which rable extent ; because it is obvious that, while they would be in no small amount relieved. they might qualify a few individuals of inferior

Upon the basis of direct taxation, another exten- income by paying their income tax, yet as each sion and simplification of the franchise might be vote would render the elector liable for at least placed. The Reform Bill might obtain through two years' payments, the past paid in anticipation, it another and an effectual stretch. We allow and the current to be paid in consequence of his act, that the new element to be added is alien from while other public burdens would necessarily folthe ownerships and occupancies—the leases and low, we do not see that an evil, which could be the infeftments—the copyholds and the freeholds never more than of contracted importance, would of the present system ; but it is simpler than any ever reach even the boundaries of its narrow posexisting plan-would save the electors days of sible limits. trouble at the registration courts, and produce the We repeat that this scheme has nothing to do utmost benefit and peace of mind to all persons who or say with the objects of the National Alliance. are neither revising barristers, counseis, nor agents. It originates rather with a desire to simplify than As to registration courts, we have always thought to extend the suffrage further than the designed that they should be conducted at the public cost, limits of the Reform Bill. There is nothing, inby public officials, without the obstruction of party deed, in its nature to prevent it from supplantmen. The registration of the persons holding a ing, in some measure, the necessity for other few defined qualifications in property, in any suffrage movements; but we have no hope whatparish or district of a parish whatever, cannot ever that the Legislature will be wise enough to extend it to the points in question. The Legis- | twenty-five pounds of direct tax by the commislature never chokes an outcry for ten shillings and sioners under the income-tax act. We have also sixpence by paying nine shillings; and it is not the reasons of objection to the votes of other two our design to tempt them to do anything that parties, whose tax, during the same year, was in. might stand in the way of those demands that creased by the sum of eighty pounds. Is it pos. are likely to be made upon them by and by, with sible to conceive any law, or state of law, more renewed earnestness.

absurd than that which permits these extraordiWe have, however, two notes addressed to one nary anomalies ? or any change that would proparty within a short period -one stating that duce worse law makers than those of the last his claim to vote was disallowed for some techni- twenty years, if judgment can be formed upon cal reason; and the other making a claim for their productions from such specimens ?

[blocks in formation]


WEEP not! weep not! She is dead,

Him who found her young and fair,
Whose young life was sorrow-

Wooed her, won her, left her there,
Lay down-lay down the weary head,

To contempt and cold despair,
For her there is morrow.

Bitterer than December !
Never shall she wake again

Now that agony is past,
To that long, long ceaseless pain ;

Death alone could sever,
Death has loosed its burning chain,

And her eyes have wept their last,
Why then should ye sorrow?

Close them soft for ever.
Fitting time for her to die,

Beautiful and desolate !
Wild and waste December !

For thee no longer angels wait,
Snow upon her heart shall lie,

Thou hast reached their golden gate,
Nor will it remember

Peace be thine for ever!
Leeds, Yorkshire.


TIIE TWEED_Continued.


We must now proceed to trace the course of | Homes and the Cranstouns, were for ages the a very important tributary of the Tweed; we determined enemies of that of Lauder, and it is mean the Leader (or the Lauder) Water, which thus highly probable that the family was ruined has its rise in the Lammermoor hills, and which by their frequent predatory inroads, the boldness thence runs down through Lauderdale, throwing of which may be conceived from the fact, that on itself into the Tweed from its left bank. We one occasion, towards the end of the 16th century, might find some difficulty in ertering on this they entered the town of Lauder in great force, part of our task, owing to the connexion of this with the Earl of Home at their head, burnt the district with our own family history ; but as we tolbooth, and dirked the Laird of Lauder's bromust have done the same had we had to deal with ther, William, who was sitting administering any other family, and as there is no good reason justice in the Town-hall, in his capacity of herefor keeping back information, because we chance ditary bailie. Soon after this, the elder branch to be mixed up with the matter of it, we must of the family died out, and the younger branch, e'en proceed to discuss it as shortly as we can. which had migrated to Laswade and Edinburgh, When Robert Lauder came into Scotland with succeeded as its head, but without any of the land, Malcolm Canmore, besides certain lands in the which had gradually melted away, till it ended in Lothians, he had large possessions assigned to a quantity only sufficient to furnish a restinghim here. His successors were afterwards created place for the bones of its proprietor. It is somehereditary bailies of Lauderdale, and the family what strange that most of the accounts of became a very powerful one in Scotland, as is Lauderdale are altogether silent with regard to proved by the frequent notices of its mem- the name, notwithstanding the ancient charters bers, at various periods, in Rymer's “ Fædera,” which still exist. By one of these, Sir Robert and other historical works ; from which it de Lawedre, tempore David II., gives off some appears, that for some centuries there was lands,“ in and near his borough of Lauder,” to scarcely ever a treaty of peace, or of marriage, or a Thomas de Borthwick, and it is witnessed by negociation of any kind, either with England or John Mautelant, the sixth of the Lauderdale with France, in which they did not officiate as family, and by his brother William. prominent commissioners ; and after the battle The ancient family of the Maitlands of Thirleof Ilallidon hill, we find tempore David II., stane, now Earls of Lauderdale, have possessed Robertus de Lawedre Miles, the father, holding lands in this valley for some five or six centuries, and the high office of Justiciarius over the country these have been gradually added to and extended, between the Firth of Forth and the Border, until they now form a very fine estate, which the whilst, at the same time, Robertus de Lawedre late and present Earls of Lauderdale have cultiMiles, the son, held the same office over all the vated and planted with so much judgment as to country to the north of the Firth. Their chief have completely changed the whole appearance of seat of Lauder Tower was in the burgh of Lau- the country. Thirlestane Castle has been greatly der, where there is now a large enclosure, or increased in extent, and converted into a noble, garden, called the Tower yard, and where, within or rather a princely place of residence. little more than half a century ago, some parts of The Leader is a very lively stream, and the the ruin were still standing. And now comes the whole of its dale, the greater part of which is great and useful moral lesson, which is often to wide, is of a cheerful riante character, and it has be extracted from family history, of the evanes- of late years been brought up to a very high decence of all human affairs. Were we to go gree of cultivation. We must not forget to menback to a period of about some two hundred tion that it has been noticed in Border ballad. and fifty years ago, we should be able to

“ The morn was fair, saft was the air, draw up a list of not less than twenty-five

All Nature's sweets were springing, families of the name possessing landed property ;

The buds did bow with silver dew,

Ten thousand birds were singing; whereas, now, with the exception of

** When on the bent, with blythe content, selves, no part of whose present property ever

Young Jamie sang his marrow; formed any portion of the old estates, and one of Nae bonnier lass e'er trod the grass, our sons who recently acquired the estate of

On Leader haughs and Yarrow.” Huntleywood, in Berwickshire, and Mr. Lauder, The Leader is a delightful river for angling, the elder brother of the two celebrated artists, but its trouts are much more numerous than large. who possesses some land immediately below the We believe that heavy fish are seldom taken in new town of Edinburgh, there does not exist, so it, though a creel may very soon be filled with far as we are aware, a single landed proprietor small fish, which are delicious eating. of the name. The causes of the gradual decadence We shall say nothing of the burgh of Lauder, of a family are not easily or certainly traced, but except to remind our readers of the historical fact we know that the powerful Border clans, the connected with it, of the celebrated conference of


« AnkstesnisTęsti »