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Our answer has been partly anticipated in a former page.
Our arrangement would leave to the Assembly, as much of the power enjoyed by the House of Commons, as is compatible with the colonial state. The government would be unable, without its concurrence, to engage in any expensive scheme, or to make use of any part of the Revenue at its own pleasure ;* for it is, of course, a part of our proposal, as it is of that of the government, that the entire surplus of Revenue, beyond the Civil List, should be at the disposal of the legislature. It is even probable that this surplus would give the Assenibly a considerable influence over the measures of the colonial government. But the govern. ment would be free to exercise its necessary powers; it could never be reduced to the alternative of concession, or starvation.
Adam Smith had said, that “ the American Colonists had their rights secured to them in the same degree and by the same means as we.” Hear a remark upon this saying, by an elementary writer upon
Colonies :“ The relation of dependency which a colonial establishment supposes could never be insured by a delegation of that authority to the governor, or an extension of those rights to the people, which give energy to the executive power and secure complete liberty to the subjects on this side of the Atlantic. To take one example only of the radical difference between the two systems. The influence of the Commons from their power of withholding supplies, which almost always prevents the negative of the crown from being exerted in Great Britain, and is indeed the great corner-stone of the British Constitution, has evidently almost no existence on the colonial system ; accordingly every measure proposed by the colonial legislature, that did not meet with the entire concurrence of the British Cabinet, was sure to be rejected in the last instance by the
Nor is this political arrangement, which altogether reverses the balance of the powers in the government of the Colonies, the consequence of any arbitrary or accidental part of the system.
It is essential to the dependence of the Colonies, and a necessary part of their subordinate constitution. It is the legal mode of enforcing subjection, consistently with the forms of the British government."-Brougham's Colonial Policy, ii. 25.
One consequence of making the government independent, is assuredly to enable it to exercise the veto. « Nor is it possible to protect the mother country from clashing decisions of the provincial legislature, without the actual exercise of the veto, which in our English Constitution is perpetually dormant. Let the question be one of trade; or let it be one in which the interests of a portion of the colonial community, which is the peculiar ob
* The exception of whatever small sum may be allowed for contingencies is not a material exception.
ject of British protection. An Act passes the two Houses in the Colony, injuriously and unfairly affecting those interests. The assent of the crown is refused by the governor. The Assembly remonstrates, threatens to exercise its power of withholding the supplies, and the King is disposed to instruct the governor to yield, rather than produce that inconvenient consequence. Meanwhile the suffering minority petitions the British House of Commons; their prayer is heard, and the crown is addressed by the Commons of England to prevent by his royal prerogative the injury with which the petitioners are threatened. The English ministers hesitate, and now the Commons of England threaten to shut the much richer purse which is in their hands.
If we have put an extreme case it is not beyond that which the Assembly assumes as its rightful course.
Much of what we have said and quoted on the Financial coutrol is applicable to the Assembly's demand of a responsible cabinet. But it is not a matter for legislation, and the Assembly's wishes cannot be realized without that absolute power over the purse which it is proposed to withhold from them.
The abolition of the Legislative Council was once proposed as a sort of compromise; but it was judiciously objected that this would oblige the governor to put his veto upon the acts of the Assembly, whereas his wishes may now be anticipated in the Upper Chamber.
We are aware that our suggestions may be said to be less liberal towards the people of Canada than those either of Whigs or Tories. But we hold that if the government is independent it can be more liberal. If it has no applications to make on its own part to the Assembly, it will consider the suggestions of the Legislature with a single view to the wants and wishes of the Colony.
But still the more aristocratic chamber is required, not so much in this state of things for supporting the monarchy as for moderating the democracy, and for giving due weight to the upper classes, whether in point of property or of intelligence. And surely this want is greatest where the democratic assembly is elected by persons of no education, and is in part composed of
The more independent the government is the more safely it can comply with the demand of the Assembly, that the Council should be made more independent of the Crown.
There is still another ground for retaining a non-elective chamber. The representative system in Canada gives a weight to numbers rather than to property, and thus gives an advantage to the Canadians of French origin. And this inequality has been
increased since 1828, by an act of the Colonial Legislature, to which the king's ministers assented, through an incautious application of the principle of leaving local matters to the local legislature. This Constitutional law ought to have been an exception. The supreme authority ought to have dictated a rule, proportioning the members rather to the number of qualified electors than of people generally.
If this were effected there would be some reason in the observation--the French are the more numerous, and therefore ought to be more powerful.
But we dispute the absolute power of the majority. In a sovereign State it is a necessary evil, though there often checked by an upper chamber; in a Colony, it is an evil easily to be avoided.One race must not be permitted to pass laws, unequally or injuriously affecting the other. If the Legislative Council fails in preventing it, it must be defeated by the royal reto.
We have no space for more,* and must leave Lord Durham's Instructions to Sir Robert Peel's exposure of their eminent absurdity.
Let the King's government in Canada, and the judicial administration, be made independent. Let the Legislative Council be made as much as possible independent, and the representation of property, let an even hand be kept between the two races, and the Canadians of French and English origin may be left to manage their own affairs, until the time shall come when, in common with their neighbours, they may throw off the colonial character.
* Our space obliges us to curtail much. In contracting the article we have endeavoured to dwell principally upon those points of the case which are of more permanent importance, and upon topics which have not occupied so much as others of the able pamphlets and speeches which have been published. We are particularly sorry to be compelled to leave almost unnoticed Lord Aberdeen's Instructions to Lord Am. herst, which have been published by the House of Commons while this article was at press. A more clear, honest, masterly production never issued from Downing Street. Lord Glenelg took it for his inodel, but spoiled it by his tawdry ornaments. We would confidently submit the two to a jury to be struck by Mr. Roebuck.
ART. XI.- Les Euvres de Wuli, publiées en Hindoustani : 2e
Partie : Traduction et Notes: (The Works of Wali, published in Hindoustani: Part II. Translations and Notes.) Par M.
Garcin de Tassy. Paris, 1834-36. AGAINST Eastern literature generally a strong and well-merited impression exists in Europe, and more particularly in England. We cordially assent to the justice of this prepossession in a very great degree, though not altogether; and if our remarks can at all avail to point out where the error commences, we shall have done much towards dispelling the thick fog of prejudice which obscures what is really brilliant in Oriental literature to our eyes, and towards removing that extraordinary indifference to every thing Eastern which arises in part from our knowledge, but more from our ignorance.
We are not of those who believe that all experience is wrong; that established habits, tastes, and modes of thinking are erroneous in proportion to their diffusion; and that because an individual differs from a whole nation, they ought to become his converts. Such as hold these doctrines may indeed excel their countrymen, but only in ignorance and self-conceit. The relative wisdom, of the single sage, and of his nation, are generally in the proportion of individual to national existence. He may not be aware of the grounds of their opinion; but this is his deficiency, not theirs.
Every effect has a cause ; every prejudice or fancy, some, however slight or perverted, foundation in truth. Every error has some portion of reason for its basis, and if we examine it close and candidly we shall elicit a portion of benefit. It is not in candid minds contrariety to fact, but the misapplication of this, that originates the falsehood. Let the test be applied to the Western and Eastern taste.
The literature of Europe is clearly traceable in its origin to the East: the latter bears in its several portions the characteristic marks of its origination. We have at present only to deal with a part of these. In considering in our XXXVth Number, the relics of Ancient Persia, we pointed out distinctly the sources of its Aorid and defective taste as rising out of a creed that confounded the Creator and the created: that held the visible as a portion of the unseen; the tangible as part of the immaterial; the single and perishing beauties of nature as rays of the One Eternal Infinitude.' The Gorgeous was there the Ineffable; the Beautiful, Deity. And as the forms that delighted the senses, though earthly, included Godhead, the words that expressed the former correspondingly shrouded a constant and mystic allusion to Him,
Whatever Europe boasts in superiority of Taste, it owes to Greece, to Homer, and the institutions of Lycurgus. Whether individual or collective, and it is certainly both, the unparalleled strength and tireless energy of that torrent song involved and swept the human heart along its course in unbroken sway; all effort, all energy, all nature in its path, being overwhelmed and borne onward in the one direction of that flood.
The imitative powers that might have rushed on to extravagance in the works of his followers, were checked by the same hand that had introduced the magic rhapsody. The cold and stern institutions of Sparta, rejecting Genius and abhorring Imagination, checked Passion into stone and depressed Fancy with a sneer. Yet the impetus was given: Homer still lived and breathed in the hearts of his countrymen, and Greece but breathed with him: but the infant Hercules of her spirit found a Spartan task-master: the early efforts of exaggeration were fettered by an iron scorn.
Sparta was an isolated state: the simplicity she maintained might influence and morally regulate, but could not bind the genius of Greece. A taste for vigour and conciseness was nevertheless thus originated, for restraint invigorates the powers which positive prohibition enervates. Taught thus to weigh its own fancies, to sit in judgment on itself, or else incur by extravagance the ridicule of vivacious Greece, the poet husbanded his strength, and sought only to imitate nature. She assisted her votary: the very soil of Europe was comparatively unproductive of those objects of sense which lull the imagination of the East; the republican rivalries, the temperature of the skies, induced energy not exhaustion; but, while intellects and interests struggled, the rose was unknown to Greece.
The accidents of rule and climate thus favourable to mental developement in Greece, and subsequently in Europe, were proportionately hostile in the wide sovereignties and glowing luxuriance of Asia. Prohibited from the strong excitement of politics, the subject-slave was virtually prohibited from all; his intellect, chained, left him free only to the pleasures of sense; and the individual despotism of riches and subordinate power was lost in the wide extent of an Eastern Empire, uncontrolled by the superior lord, or by the check of popular jealousy and opinion. Thought was a laborious uselessness, and fancy became sensuous because luxury itself was a necessity: the mind, forbidden to range, contracted itself to the eye, and earth lavished all her charms for the exaggerations of sense; the shade of his chinar was happiness, the streak of the tulip variety, the hyacinth, bloom, the narcissus tenderness; the ripple of the stream was an exertion, and the fountain a dream of delight to the entranced and voluptuous Per