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the destinies of the kingdom, but of a still more formidable tribunal, before which even parliaments stand awed, Public Opinion. Let us suppose that such an order had emanated from the Home Office at the present day, and an enquiry instituted, and suppose a minister so totally devoid of reason as to defend himself on the ground that he had not read it. What would be the result? And shall we permit such a justification to be pleaded at the bar of the unanimous judgment of posterity. Great was the outcry, just the exasperation, with which was heard the intelligence, that in the blackhole at Calcutta a multitude of Englishmen had been entombed. How then can Mr. Macaulay who has arraigned the tyranny by which such an outrage was perpetrated defend, how can the descendants of those whose horror was excited by the recital of this ferocity, tolerate him while defending William from just censure for participating in an outrage not inferior to that which then evoked so unanimous a burst of national indignation ?

What, let us ask, would have been Mr. Macaulay's estimate of the king's guilt had James and not William then filled the throne? Would he have alleged that he never read the order though he signed it. Would he have justified this course by a reference to the custom of princes and ministers? Would he have hinted that even had he read it there seems no reason for blaming him; that the order was perfectly innocent, and the king's mind too much preoccupied with the affairs of Europe to attend to the interests of his subjects? Would we have been gratified with the perusal of that ingenious theory on the duty of government with regard to thieves which at present is made public most opportunely? Many of our most distinguished men are devoting their talents to the elucidation of the vexata questio, "What is to be done with our criminal population?" some suggesting education, which perhaps might in time effect the desired object. Tickets-of-Leave have not been. found adequate to the evil. But Mr. Macaulay's plan meets every difficulty, cuts the gordian knot, and does away with all necessity for penal settlements, bridewells, and reformatories; and his plan is this, beautiful in its simplicity, EXTIRPATE THEM. This, my Lord Palmerston; you must do, and if you do not you abdicate one of the highest functions of your office, for "It is the duty of government to extirpate gangs of thieves."

Gentlemen of the Reformatory Association, you lose your labor, a discovery has been made to which that of Archimedes was but child's play, and our historian may now imitate the example of that hardy sage, and cry aloud, I have found it out, I have found it out. We are very sorry we have been betrayed into this departure from the course of our parallel ; but being interested in the discovery of the best means for decreasing crime, we were very much struck by this really admirable suggestion of our author. We shall now resume.

Would Mr. Macaulay, in fact, have urged any one of those pleas in defence of James? We think not, judging from the unqualified terms, in which he refers to his conduct towards Monmouth, and from his interpreting a passage from James's Memoirs, relating to the efforts made to obtain his sanction of Charnock's plot (which he refused,) for carrying William off alive, to mean, of course, assassination. We incline to the opinion that the sentence would run thus :The King cannot be blamed for signing an order to extirpate such a gang of thieves, for it is the duty of all governments to extirpate all gangs of thieves. To read a document such as this would have been an act of blameable mistrust of his ministers. But to sign it, and not read it, it was an outrage on decency and humanity.

Had Mr. Macaulay been contented to admit that in this one instance William had erred; but that his good qualities, and the advantages he had conferred upon these realms, are sufficient to outweigh, or at least may be set off, against illegal barbarity. We should not perhaps have objected to this But this would not answer his purpose.


William must be apotheosised at all risks. He is a great king, giving freedom to a nation, and granting toleration to his subjects of all creeds, because he hates religious persecution; a domestic husband loving his wife, though not strictly faithful to her, and by treating with harshness and duplicity inspiring her with a passion fond even to idolatry; a man in whom vice becomes virtue, and virtue, supernatural, in fact a living, breathing, acting, impossibility. But admitting that he did or did not read the order, which ever Mr. Macaulay likes better, that he was not aware of the plots of his courtiers, how comes it that after he came to the knowledge of this scandalous butchery, he refrained from punishing the actors in it. There are three classes of offenders; those who

incite to or furnish the means of committing a crime; those who themselves are the actual criminals; and those who protect offenders from the pursuit of justice. Mr. Macaulaysays that William cannot be placed in the first class. Many will be of opinion that he cannot be classed in the second category; but all will admit that he must be included under the third head of accessories after the fact. Even Mr. Macaulay concedes, that it is impossible to acquit the King of a great breach of duty. But after this frank admission he goes on in his old special pleading way, concerning the King's imperfect information as to the circumstance of the slaughter. In 1695 a commission of enquiry was issued, to investigate this matter upon which the public mind was so strongly excited. In return, the Scotch parliament, with all the obsequiousness of new born loyalty, passed a vote of thanks to the King, for this instance of his paternal care. The commission sat with closed doors; the commissioners and clerks were sworn to secrecy. After more than three weeks' delay, a report was produced purporting to be founded upon the evidence, and the conclusion at which the commissioners arrived was, that Stair was the cause of this barbarous murder. That Breadalbane was an accomplice was not proved. The report of the commission was considered by the estates. They sent forward an address to the King, in which, instead of demanding the punishment of Stair as a murderer, they left it to the royal wisdom to deal with him in the manner best calculated to vindicate the royal honor; and the royal wisdom very wisely allowed Stair to go unmolested. Mr. Macaulay says "In return for many victims immolated by treachery, only one victim was demanded by justice, and it must ever be considered as a blemish on the fame of Williain that the demand was refused." Does this look like an accessary after the fact? We think it does, for what is the definition given by Blackstone? "One who aids in the escape of a criminal from justice, knowing him to be a criminal." Did William know Stair to be a criminal? The report of the commission was before him. Did he favor his escape from justice? Mr. Macaulay gives the answer. And if the law of England, usually so just in its judgments, allots to the accessary a penalty, little, if at all, inferior to the principal, by what law is William to be held guiltless of participation in

this treacherous massacre? We know not. Hallam who is not unfavorable in his view of William's character, says :"It is an apparently great reproach to the government of William that they (Stair and Breadalbane) escaped with impunity, but political necessity bears down justice and honor.

Mr. Macaulay, while confessing that it was a blemish on William's character, forgets to assign a probable cause for his conduct. And indeed, from his peculiar position, we could not expect him to allude to it. But Dalrymple, who wrote for the benefit of the public and not for the interests of a party, boldly affirms, that

"The king would not permit any of those who were concerned in it (the massacre) to be punished, conscious that in their cause his own was involved."

With this extract we shall conclude. We have endeavored to shew how Mr. Macaulay has discharged the duties of the office which he undertook to perform, and on a deliberate examination of the contents of these volumes, of which our extracts are but meagre examples, we are confirmed in the opinion; that, notwithstanding his great reputation in politics, eloquence, and literature,-notwithstanding that singular felicity of style which causes page after page of his narrative to vanish under the entranced eye of the reader,-his book is a political romance, a work of genius, it is true, but of imagination also, a perfect illustration of HOW NOT TO DO IT; very agreeable to read, very unprofitable to study, an invaluable book for a circulating library, but a worthless addition to the collection of a student; false in its facts, uncandid in its criticisms, illogical in its reasoning, and unjust in its conclusions. We have now done. We are conscious of many defects, written during hurried intervals snatched from the more serious avocations of life; we fear our production is inaccurate in some respects, incomplete in all, for who can review Macaulay as Macaulay would review. This much we may safely assert, we have acted throughout with impartiality, extenuated nothing nor set down aught in malice, and we confidently ask for the integrity of our motives the sympathy of our readers, if our manner of carrying these motives into effect does not entitle us to their critical applause.


1. Tracts of the British Anti-State Church Association. London: Cockshaw, 1857.

2. A Proposal for Religious Equality in Ireland, and for a Charitable Settlement of the Irish Church Question. Addressed to his Constituents by William Shee, Sergeantat-Law, M. P. for the County of Kilkenny. Dublin: Richardson, 1857.

A piece of sound advice never since acted upon was given by Bacon in the year 1617 to Sir William Jones then lately appointed Chief Justice of the King's Bench in Ireland.—“ My last direction," he says, "though first in weight, is, that you do all good endeavours to proceed resolutely and constantly, and yet with due temperance and equality in matters of religion, lest Ireland civil become more dangerous than Ireland savage. The same course of action then recommended, is equally adviseable to-day, and the like evil result as then, is still to be dreaded from its non-adoption. We require a government that will be resolutely and constantly neutral between all religions, that will quietly reduce them all to perfect equality, and that having once made the law respectable, inay hope for the first time to make it respected. Until this be done the expectation of lasting tranquillity for Ireland is quite delusive. The very circumstances on which small politicians found their hopes, are of all others the least favourable to a continuance of the stagnation which they call repose. In proportion as Ireland becomes eulightened and prosperous will her sense of dignity increase; in proportion as her power advances will she be resolute to use it; and in the inverse ratio of her drunkenness and her ignorance will be her toleration of the Church Establishment; a wrong which can only be perpetuated amongst sots and dunces. Ireland civil must become more dangerous than Ireland savage. The vile old type of the Irish peasant, we mean the stage peasant, the popular-tale-and-story peasant, the whisky-bibbing, jig-dancing, hooping, hiccoughing, cudgel-flourishing peasant is almost worn out, and we have broken the mould in which he was cast; the penal code of Christian England. The Church Establishment had nothing to dread from an enemy

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