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This great debate was interrupted by a motion brought on by Mr. O'Connell, on the impending famine in Ireland, which is chiefly memorable for a speech of Mr. Bright, in which, alluding to Sir Robert Peel's last address to the House, he said, "I watched the right honourable baronet go home last night, and I confess I envied him the ennobling feelings which must have filled his breast after delivering that speecha speech, I venture to say, more powerful and more to be admired than any speech ever heard in this House within the memory of any man in it." A further eloquent allusion to the Minister's newly acquired freedom from the enthralment of the bigoted among his party had a powerful effect upon the House, and it was observed by those who sat near Sir Robert Peel that the tears started to his eyes at this unexpected generosity from his old opponent.The Irish Viceroy appointed by Lord Grey was the Marquis of Anglesey. The interval between his two viceroyalties extended over a period of nearly two years, during which the Duke of Northumberland was at the head of the Irish Government. The manner in which relief was granted to Roman Catholics, expressly as a concession to violence wrung from the fears of the legislature, confirmed the wildest notions of the people with respect to their own power. The offensive exclusion of O'Connell by the terms of the Emancipation Act deprived the concession of much of its grace and power of conciliation; and now negotiations for making him Master of the Rolls broke down. In consequence of the securities with which the Emancipation Act was associated, the latter part of the year 1829 and the whole of 1830 were miserably distinguished in Ireland by party conflicts and outrages. To the government of the country thus torn and convulsed Lord Anglesey was again called in December of the latter year, and, considering his antecedents, no appointment was likely to prove so popular. "Nevertheless," says Lord Cloncurry, "neither support nor forbearance were accorded to Lord Anglesey. From the moment when it was known that he was reappointed, he was treated by the demagogues as an enemy. And the extraordinary progress of Liberalism made during his lieutenancy must in candour be set down to the account of his courage and perseverance in fighting the cause of the people against both themselves and their enemies." On the eve of his departure for Ireland he wrote to Lord Cloncurry, saying, "O'Connell is my avant-courier. He starts to-day with more mischief in hand than I have yet seen him charged with. I saw him yesterday for an hour and a half. I made no impression upon him whatever; and I am now thoroughly convinced that he is bent upon desperate agitation. All this will produce no change in my course and conduct. For the love of Ireland I deprecate agitation. I know it is the only thing that can prevent her from prospering; for there is in this country a growing spirit to take Ireland by the hand, and a determination not to neglect her and her interests; therefore, I pray for peace and repose. But if the sword is really to be drawn, and with it the scabbard is to be thrown awayif I, who have suffered so much for her, am to become a suspected character, and to be treated as an enemyif, for the protection of the State, I am driven to the dire necessity of again turning soldierwhy, then, I must endeavour to get back into old habits, and to live amongst a people I love in a state of misery and distress."
Thefts without violence should be punished by fine. He who enriches himself at anothers expense ought to suffer at his own. But, as theft is generally only the crime of wretchedness and despair, the crime of that unhappy portion of mankind to whom the right of property (a terrible, and perhaps not necessary right) has left but a bare subsistence; and as pecuniary penalties increase the number of criminals above the number of crimes, depriving the innocent of their bread in order to give it to the wicked, the fittest punishment will be that kind of servitude which alone can be called just, namely, the temporary servitude of a mans labour and person for the compensation of society, the personal and absolute dependence due from a man who has essayed to exercise an unjust superiority over the social compact. But when the theft is accompanied with violence, the punishment also should be a combination of corporal and servile punishment. Some previous writers have shown the evident abuse that arises from not distinguishing punishments for thefts of violence from those for thefts of cunning, thus making an absurd equation between a large sum of money and the life of a man. For they are crimes of a different nature; and in politics, as in mathematics, this axiom is most certain, that between heterogeneous quantities the terms of difference are infinite; but it is never superfluous to repeat what has hardly ever been put into practice. Political machinery more than anything else retains the motion originally given to it, and is the slowest to adapt itself to a fresh one.
WASHINGTON AND HIS MEN AT VALLEY FORGE. (See p. 239.)
Is it possible, then, so beforehand to apportion punishments to crimes that when a crime is committed it shall be but necessary to refer to a code and at once detect its appropriate punishment? Or must the law be general in its language, and leave a wide margin to the discretion of the judge? Beccaria would have the judicial function confined solely to the ascertainment of the fact of a crime, its punishment preordained by the law. On the other hand it is said, that it is impossible to anticipate every case that may arise; that no two cases are ever alike; that it is better to leave the nice adjustment of penalties to the wisdom and impartiality of a judge, and only limit his discretion by rules of a most expansive description.
The art of sculpture, like that of painting, took a new spring in this reign, but the early part of it was encumbered by the tasteless works of Wilton, Read, and Taylor. It remained for the genius of Banks, Nollekens, Bacon, Baily, Behnes, and Chantrey, to place sculpture on its proper elevation in England.