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fmiktt Cflrmjpfontt.


fmiktt Cflrmjpfontt. (We deem it right to state that we cto not at all times indsntity ourselves with our correspondent's opuxioaa.j There is no other country in the world where the opening of Parliament is looked forward to with such combined anxiety and pleasure an England. Parlia- ment, as a body, doubtless has many faults and .-0- ">p. I do not believe thatâto use a Carlylean V an unv*racity; but][ eantama jjJjj (""ouBtrajy [fid opposing 1. tnements, many anomalitjB and antioti^e^absurdidiee but in these very respects, as in others, it fairly represents public opinion. We, too the great publicâare afflicted by many anomalies ana wrongs, social and national." The fact that the Parliament what the people are as a whole. If there are not men of all classes in itâand I do not think there ought to be, or rather I do not think there can be-all Lam are represented. Here the poorest and meanest of her Majesty's subjectsâfor instance, the pauper in the Union-has his defenders,, and the richest and mightiest have their assailants. Our ^Legislature, in fact, is Great Britain in miniature. No wonder, therefore, that such an assembly, the fountain of our laws, is looked forward to with interest* We shall not now have long to wait for its gathering. Already the official note of preparation has been sounded, and the Government Gazette informs us that it is to meet on Thursday, the 4th of February next, for the dispatch of divers urgent and important affairs. There will be no other proroga- tion, and the 4th will be the opening day. I can learn nothing at all reliable as to the probability of n jjlfc her Majesty opening the Houses in person. The only things that are in favour of such result are J that the public generally earnestly desire it, ehich ltd rxu the Queen muat know; and that the two years of Court mourning being over, there is no official etiquette to prevent such a desirable result. On the other hand, hei Majesty keeps so secluded, even now that the two years have expired, that there is not much ground for hoping that the opening ceremony will be otherwise than by Royal commission. I think the coming session is likely to be a very busy one. Many very important foreign topics will necessarily engage the attention of Parliament, and there are already standing on the books of the House of Commons-the remanet of last sessionâno less than 46 notices of motion. Why, here is half. a session's work cut out already and we all know how rapidly work begins to pour in when the Commons fairly get into harness. There have been many elections during the recess, but the state of parties does not much differ now from what it was last year. In 1863 there were 312 Con- servatives, now there are 314. In 1863 there were 11 Peelites, now there are 13. In 1863 there were 238 Whigs, now there are 233. In 1863 there were 95 Radicals, now there are 96. This estimate is the result of very careful analysis, but I confess I do not place much reliance on it, inasmuch as divisions in the Commons show such curious anomalies. I do not believe that any set of men, whether they number 95 or 238, can be counted on to vote this or that way. It never turns out so, as the division list will show during any session. Whatever the state of parties may be, however, on the meeting of the Houses, it is probable that all boundaries will speedily be levelled by a general dissolution, and politicians will have to do their reckoning all over again. We must be a thoroughly royalty-loving people, for everything connected with the Royal Family excites immediate and intense interest in the public mind. Nothing has been read with such general and pervading interest as the brief announcement of the accouche- ment of the Princess of Wales. Everybody is delighted, and rejoices in the fact that mother and child are doing well. Round our cheery fires these cold nights you could not get any one to take the slightest interest in the Schleswig-Holstein question, even though war may at any moment arise out of it; but everybody talks with pleasure about the last bulletin, which completely knocks on the head even the last telegram of Mr. Reuter. p. YPtl into WJj»tS6vei Lord laliiierston may be in other respects âand, on the whole, he is perhaps as popular a man as has been at the head of affairs during the memory of any one living-he is certainly very fortunate in the matter of ecclesiastical patronage. Archiepiscopal and episcopal mitres have been falling at his feet, and all sorts of posts and preferments have come to him to dispense. Another bishopric now comes to his lot âthat of Ely. Besides this, there are two.deaneries vacant-those of Cork and St. Patrick; two arch- deaconriesâthose of Dublin and Carmarthen and we aM know that there have been lately many rich ecclesi- astical-appointments in his gift. It is quite true that all ecclesiastical preferments are not in the gift of the Prime Ministerâfar from it; but it is well known, neverthe- less, that the Prime Minister of the day has always considerable indirect power in these matters. There is such a principle in political action as claw me, claw thee," and it is very natural to take advantage of it. On the whole, the ecclesiastical appointments df Lord Palmerston have been popular, and I firmly believe that he sincerely desires to do in thia respect what he considers best for the Church at large. There is very great distress now in London, and although the severity of the weather has considerably modified, and consequently distress has much decreased, still there is plenty of cold and hunger, nakedness and want. What a cheering fact, therefore, it is, that the benevolent institutions and kind-hearted individuals are doing all in their power to alleviate the misery around them! The lists of contributions which you may see any day in the Times does the heart good. The age of chivalry may have departed, but the age of charity has not gone. There are still as much benevolence and true charity amongst us as ever. I speak more particularly of my own little village, London, and I wish to add to my remarks an urgent appeal to any whom it may concern, that we may have more policemen. The two subjects are intimately connected in this way: London is disgracefully de. ficient in its police force robberies and street outrages, these dark nights, are painfully numerous; and all this while there are thousands of men unemployed- dock labourers especially, though they are but one classâwho, with a little training, would make very fair average policemen. Apropos of the police, just let me add a fact and a recommendation. The fact is, that the City police have just had added to their new uniforms those very comfortable and even necessary appendages, leggings. The recommendation is that policemen should be allowed to grow beards. For men who are exposed to alLweathers, day and night, the beard is the natural protection, which only a stupid martinet policy would forbid.. Have you ever noticed how, of late, there has sprung up a system of ecclesiastical puffery which, in my humble judgment, is very much out of place ? I do not think it right that we should be told, amongst theatrical and entertainment advertisements, that "the services at the Foundling Chapel commence," &c., when we know full well that there is a collection strictly exacted at the said Foundling, and that if a gentleman takes his wife and offers sixpence, he will be told that "sixpence is not usually considered enough for two persons." Nor do I consider it seemly that there should appear every now and then such an advertisement as this St. Paul's, Charlotte-street, Buckingham-gate, Pimlico.âSundays, 11, 3.-30, 7; daily evensong, 8. All services choraL Seats free to all. Offerings for clergy and service expenses re- questedateach attendance in lieu of pew-rents." When I read such notices as this, evidently put forward to attract visitors, and consequently money, I half expect-at least, it is only another step-to see added, No half-price. Children in arms not admitted. Vivat Regina." Do not let me be accused- of ridi- culing sacred things. Ce n'est pas man metier, it ist a natural deduction. The friends of the total abolition of capital punish- ment could desire no better argument in their favour than a recapitulation of the criminal history of the last assizes. The anomalies of pardon and hanging, reprieve and perpetual imprisonment, have been so great, that I have not been at all surprised to hear some of the most staunch supporters of capital punish. ment say that they think the juries, judges, and' Home Secretary have of late created so many anomalies between them, that it would be far better that in future the severest penalty- for any crime should be perpetual incarceration. Certainly a more dreadful punishment is not easily to be conceived. The case of the wretched man Wright will not soon fade from the public mind. Never were there more efforts made to rescue a man from the scaffold. Public meetings of two or three thousand people, successive deputations to the Home Office and to the Queen, and t$>e tijress,, raising jfe voice in the same CgjerytJuiyj tei:aed to the hope that Wright repmvuved but his execution is -now one ofl "Jhe blood-stained episodes in our criminal I anualBt; and whenever his dreadful story is told, it t will be connected with that of Townley, while "one law for the rich and another for the poor "âwhether rightly or wronglyânow pervades the public mind.



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