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of news, commercial, political and even literary, imagine only the stillness of despotism, broken now and then, perchance, by some screaming of a wretched songster, or the pompous annunciations of a juggler. On such a substitution, what scenes would follow! What frowning upon the exchange ! what impatient, damning execrations at the club-houses ! what blank visages all along the Strand and Pall Mall ! what wrathy exclamations from fair lips at Carleton Terrace, and St. James's Square! what chapfallen expressions in Paternoster Row! what Zahara-like solitude in the reading rooms! You shall see things upon the eve of a revolution. The ire of John Bull is kindling. He has been touched in a vital part. The food by which he intellectually lives has been wrested from him. You might as well venture with impunity to take from him his plumb pudding, his beef, his ale. view, the magazine, the newspaper, what are they but his necessary mind's diet? So much does he deem them co-essential that more than one such grouping meets your eye as this ;– Soup-Roast Beef at five-x x Ale-Newspapers-Porter, also a haunch of venison at six-also the Magazines.' He would not give up for the world the pleasure of knowing every thing that is going on abroad, of hearing his government railed at and defended, and of being able, as he carves a slice each day from the huge joint before

to shout out imperiously, Waiter, bring me the Chronicle, the Globe, and the Times of to-day.'

The great subject of the present English periodical

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press is politics. The Americans have sometimes been denounced for continually wrangling upon this subject. Our institutions are said to make every man of us peculiarly a politician. We are reproached for spending that time in talking about Presidents and Governors, which might more profitably be devoted to honest industry. Now it seems to me that the good people in whose centre I find myself, are ten times more disposed to write and talk about politics than are

Take such a fact as this, derived from the stamp office. In provincial England are one hundred and seventy-five newspapers. Of these, one hundred and seventy-two are decidedly political, whereof one hundred are called Liberal, and seventy-two advocate Tory principles. Can this fact be matched by a similar one in the United States ?

But a stronger proof yet remains. Politics does not so deeply enter into our magazines, as in essential manner to determine their character.

Nor do our larger reviews, while often containing articles upon those subjects that lie within the range of governmental policy, so ardently and fiercely espouse any system of measures, as to give them a strong political aspect. How different is the fact in England, Politics pervades almost universally, its higher periodical literature. Indeed, it may be doubted whether that literature could maintain its present firm and vigorous condition, were not this element intermingled with it. It shines forth in the magazine. It shines forth in the review ; and there are thousands who, while they look with indifference upon the purely literary portion of a Quarterly, are yet pleased to sustain it, since forsooth, each number contains one potent article, vindicating or denouncing those measures of governmental policy which they love or hate. But more.

We have no literary institutions which are likewise political. The far-dividing principles of federalism and anti-federalism, have not yet pervaded those high seats. But this is not true of the great Universities of England. The interests of Ox. ford and Cambridge are continually affected by political likes and dislikes.

And so look abroad all over England. For what are these numerous public meetings ? For politics. For what are all these great whig, conservative, and O'Connel dinners ? Why, all for politics. Now enter the saloons, and club-houses, and public conveyances. What is the topic that there is compelling gestures into even an Englishman's arms, and its superabundance of blood into his excited features ? Why nothing less than politics. Shall the Church abide as it is ? Shall the House of Lords stand as it is ? Shall the principles of Reform triumph ? These are the all-engrossing subjects of English thought and conversation. And well they may be so, for on the answers ultimately given to them, depends the happiness, not only of this generation, but of many which are yet to

come.

If politics be the great subject of the present English press, and particularly of the daily press, great ability

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is likewise a characteristic that must impress every reader. That ability very visibly appears in several of the leading journals. Take, for instance, many articles in the Times. What accurate and comprehensive knowledge do they contain! What treasures of knowledge in their authors, do they imply! They contain boldest and maturest thoughts on government, in finished and energetic language. They imply deep knowledge, not only of the English, but moreover of the Continental systems, and indicate an acquaintance with their past and present policy, which is indeed surprising. It is sufficient praise to assign for them a place by the side of those masterly essays, that for many past years, have characterized some of the higher journals in France, such as the Constitutionnel, and the Journal des Debats.

But aside from politics, nothing original and at the same time talented, finds its way to the English public through the daily or weekly papers. The French press gives you very frequently, admirable scientific, literary and philosophical compositions, compositions whose framing has engaged some of the best intellect of the country. But through the English papers, you will look in vain for a corresponding feature. Such can only be found in the higher periodicals,-in the magazine and the review. Hence the great mass of English readers are entertained chiefly with what is called news, and with politics. I do not now speak of the Penny Magazine, and two or three other similar publications. I know their object, their influence, and

the many ends they worthily subserve. I speak of the daily press; that press towards which the general eye is turned, whose sheets fly into every corner of the island, and which, now mightier than ever, is shaping the destinies of this people at a most eventful crisis in their history. With politics for its theme, and great ability discoursing thereon, what important effects are not each day produced! That ability does not always seem to be exerted for patriotic ends. Too often is party rancor its prompter and its guide. The whig, believing that the principles of his political creed are those whereon depends the salvation of the country, proclaims those principles, and Tory hatred instantly denounces, pursues and stabs him therefor. Then again comes forth the Tory gentleman-as did Lord Lyndhurst lately in his celebrated vindication of the House of Lords,—what a mighty diapason of reproach and recrimination is instantly rung forth from the throat of every whig and radical press in the land ! The words knave,' 'false,' “traitorous,' are bandied about from one to the other, like so many holiday and lady terms. Whatever may

be said of the wide licentiousness of our democratic press, I do believe, and I judge from the experience which my own reading has given me, that we are not altogether alone in political scandal, that ours is not the only press which holds up the good to scorn, because, forsooth they proclaim their honest convictions, and moreover, that in this self-eulogizing, and at the same time, self-denouncing island of Great

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