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party considerations from an earnest pursuit of truth , would have risen above His party . Mr . Macaulay ' s fervour sank him in error even below the common level . He was freely elected for , Edinburgh in 1839 , on the first opportunity after His return from India , a'hd he was freely rejected after the change in his opinions was known . A difference between him and his constituents about church matters helped to heap on him what he regarded as a slight and contumely , but it was chiefly the consequence of his political tergiversation . His subsequent re-election for Edinburgh , amidst a general decline of confidence in public men , was entirely due to his great literary reputation . It was not the condonation ; of his infidelity to political principles . 3 ? or that he was fully punished ; he was honoured for his great literary achievements . h
Mr . Macaulay and his party fell together , and sould be memorable warnings equally to aspiring young politicians and ancient leaders . They cannot escape the natural punishment of infidelity to principles , and the loss of confidence it causes . Either politicians are so ignorant of the laws which really govern the opinions of mankind , or they are so utterly regardless of them , that there is scarcely one who has not pledged himself to principles he has been obliged to disavow . They appeal for popular support by one profession , and retain office by another . The general infidelity of members of the senate ard members of the press to their political professions , destroys all reason for surprise at the want of confidence in public men , and at the decay of their influence . The Whigs were nominally on the side of free trade , but , occupied in resisting the just claims of the people , preferring shabby
intrigues to actual , services as a means of success , they allowed the Tories to carry off the credit of fiscal and commercial reform . Mr . Macaulay , instead of being the first leader of the onward marching people , as in 1830 , was the , humble admirer of Sir Robert Peel , a more adroit compromiser than himself . He has not even left any meriiorial of his abilities as a politician , other than his speeches . His Code for India— -the very notion of such a thing being absurd—was ; a complete failure . -He was-not instrumental in repealing the Corn Laws , and , except making a speech at Edinburgh , in which he avowed himself a partisan of the whig compromise of a fixed duty , _ he took no-part in promoting that indispensable policy . On no great measure is his name engrossed , while even that of so humble a dependant on aristocratic patronage as Spring Rice stands on the first bill for releasing the press from fiscal restrictions . Lord Macaulay , the author , will form the subject of an article next week .
T O thoughtful minds the discovery of a new world would not be a more startling incident than the entrance into a new period of time . Metaphysicians may tell us that time has only a relative existence , and , guided by Hebrew bards , we may speculate on the conditions of immortal existence , when time shall be no more ; but whije the changes of our own constitution , tlie movements of the earth , and the revolutions of planetary bodies affect our senses and influence our lives , we cannot be other than profoundly impressed when any important chronological division is finally closed » s a fapt , and can only be viewed by the eye of memory , or re-opened by the historian's pen . With the last stroke' of midnight , on the
31 st December , not only an eventful year glided into the regions of the past , but a Decade , the tenth part of a wonderful century , took its place among the long cycles of ages whose dimly deciphered records mark the progress of the human race ; In whatever way theDaeade of the Eighteen Fifties is contemplated , it stands out in bold and brilliant , if n . ot colossal characters ; it has been great in its manifestations of life and activity , and magnificent in its contributions to the regions of the dead . In Europe , it haa witnessed the portentous reappearance of the Napoleonic Empire , and one war , which rolled back for a season the barbaric pride of Russian conquest ; « wd another , which half-crushing the venomous Empire of Austria , has rescued a large portion of Italy from the serppnt fangs of Hapsburg rule . The East has had its full share of crisin nnd collision . An immense , slow-moving , civil war has shattered tha Tartar dvnaatv in China , while the insolent fanaticism of tho
Mongol inn race has provoked first one collision and 4 ; hen another , with the civilizing forces of England and Franco . Japan has nobly cast aside her ancient prejudices , opened her ports to our traders , and ahown her tendency to European progress by employing tho telegraph wire , which never before conveyed mosnages in so primitive a speech . India has suffered a military revolt which will long be memorable for atrocity on one side , and heroism , not inferior to Thermopylae , on the other . She has also passed away from tho great company of merchant princes , whose conquests and administrations , with all their faults , will long bo chronicled in story as ntnpxVg the fcrou'tieot exhibitions of Britten energy nijid skill . Tho political progress of Europe ht » p , not equalled tho expectation * excited towards the close of tho previous decade , and it is melancholy to think that only ft email portion of her two hundred nnd sixty millions are in possession of liberty—while more than half are subject to tho three great military dospotiums in Russia , Austria , and Franco . Monb of the political history of tho ponod
is that of reaction , if only external events are viewed ; but we now know that ideas ultimately triumph ; and no country is without indications of the development of thought . In France * freedom was crushed for a time , in . a manner which needs no repetition here ; but with all its crimes and'faults the despotism of the Empire has been very preferable to the low-minded trickery of the Louis Philippe sort of . constitutionalism ^ or the irreclaimable stupidity of the elder Bourbon race . In Russia , signs of advancement are equally conspicuous ; the Crimean war broke the proud cold heart of the mischievous and inhuman despot who misdirected the energies of his people ; Poland and Hungary were partially avenged in the blazing ruins of . Sebastopol , and a new Czar , of more beneficent views , undertook the noble task of emancipating the serfs . The Court of Austria , "true to the traditions of Hapsburg perfidy , revelled in the violation of the oath of the young Emperor to maintain a free constitution in his dominions ; and , when , liberty raised her head in Hesse Cassel , in Hamburg , or in Italy , Austrian troops were ready to trample upon popular right , and encourage any sovereign , who had sworn to a compact with his people , to join the Court of Vienna in perjury and crime . Wurtemburgr , Bavaria , and Saxony , were the earliest in the decade to form a league Avith Austria for the suppression of constitutional right ; Francis Joseph decreed , in 1851 , that the Cabinet should be exclusivel y , responsible to himself ; and the following year the Austrian Proconsul , the Grand Duke of Tuscany , overthrew the constitution he was pledged to . maintain , and thus prepared the way for the abolition of his dynasty and reign . Abetted by Austria , the Papacy has rejected all friendly counsel * rendered service to the ultimate progress of humanity by demonstrating the sanguinary and barbarous character of priestly rule . In 1852 , the Emperor of Austria abolished trial by ¦ jury , and , in the following year , the Porte 'having rejected the ultimatum of Russia , the House of Hapsburg was unfaithful to its saviour the Czar ; and more distinguished by its atrocities in the Principalities than by services rendered to the European cause . In 1854 , in accordance with the Austrian party in the Federal Diet , the King pf Hanover suppressed the constitution of' 48 ; and during these reactionary events Prussia behaved with that half-hearted cowardice % yhich curiously distinguished the recently reigning descendant of Frederick the Great . : _ - . ' .... _ v . Other important European events occurred during the Decade which the limits of this article prevent us from noticing , but on the whole it must be characterized as exhibiting a decline of political excitement , naturally following tho overwrought condition of ' 4 $ and ' 49 . Impelled by its own necessities of gratifying military ambition , and perhaps also urged by the fear of Carbonari conspiracies , the French Empire has commenced its assaults upon the treaties of 1815 , at present with decided advantage to the progress of -liberty ; and when the old year closed it was in a collision with the Vatican that may prove fruitful in events for human good . In England , during the early years of the Decade ,-the National Reform Association , under the presidency of Sir Josuvjl , AVai-msi-ey , held ; an immense number of meetings in favour of the Reform scheme of Mr . Hums ; and although there is little , excitement , all parties are now agreed that an extension of the suffrage must take place . In 1850 a remarkable meeting . was held at the London Tavern , attended by Mr . CJobden , ' to protest against a proposed Russian ^ Loan . This opposition upon moral grounds tp a scheme that promised to benefit the money mongers , excited tire wrath of their supporters , but it was a valuable fact ; as tlie first effort of the kind to connect moral obligations with pecuniary transactions with foreign states . In 1851 ICossuth was liberated from his confinement at Kutayeh , and soon after commenced the most remarkable series of addresses in this country and in America ever delivered by a foreigner . In France , Protectionism has received some severe blows ; in England , it attempted tO ' raise its head when the Tories first came into power , and lately the shipowners have uttered plaintive cries 5 but free trade has become a part of the national life of this country , and efforts to return to ignorant ways beJong to tho category of curiosities and not of important facts . M In industrial life we have made great progress . 1 he Decade began with the formation of the Royal Commission for the fcxinlMtion of 1851 , an event of world-wide significance , which crowded into a few months a century of teaching » n all tho higher branches of manufacture , and gave an impulse to practical art education which is already bearing abundant fruit . The Greut Exhibition led to the Crystal Palace , which will " yet realize the magnificent expectations it originally excited , whenever the shareholders are wise-enough to elept a body of Directors sufficiently intelligent to wield the resources placed at their command . ' In pure science , if tho Decado cannot boast of startling revelations of general laws , it has accumulated a great" store of facts . Astronomer * have brought homo now planets from their wanderings in tlio regions of celostial space , and Sir David Bbewsctb tells us that by the discovery of Neptunp , tho solar system has been extended ono thousand millions of miles beyond its former limits ! In geology tho mysteries of ages havo been rolled back ; important evidence accumulated of tho antiquity of tho human race , and fresh gold fieldafound according to scientific predictions—have already exorcised a powerful , influence upon prices and trade In pbysiologv great advance has boon mado in microscopic investigations , and m tuo theory of tho functions of norvoa and ,. tl , io . s , pinal cord ; and xu chcnuatr , y ,. in addition to a host of compounds thatJioVc , bow discovered , now dyes and now processes introduced , W VV *?„„ i comparatively cheap method of producing , the ueofuljmetal riumininm , that wiU probablv afieot important manufactures and ad a tp the conveniences of domestic Hfo . In geography wo havo tho
Jan . 7 , I 860 . ] ^ 7 zeLead ^ i * a / ria Saturday [ Analyst . 9
The Last Decade.
THE LAST DECAttE .
Leader (1850-1860), Jan. 7, 1860, page 9, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2328/page/9/