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An, how still the moonbeams lie
On the dreaming meadows ! How the fire-flies silently
Lighten through the shadows ! All the cypress avenue Waves its tops against the blue, As the wind slides whispering through
He is late in coming!
There's the nightingale again!
He alone is waking ;
That his heart is breaking ?
With them both is thrilling.
From the deep dark orange-grove
Odorous airs are steaming,
Faint with blissful dreaming.
With an infinite yearning.
On my heart the silent weight
Of this beauty presses ; Midnight, like a solemn Fate,
Saddens while it blesses. All alone I cannot bear
This still night and odorous air; Dearest, come, its bliss to share,
Or I die with longing.
I have listened at the doors,
All are calmly sleeping ;
In the dark am weeping.
Therefore I am weeping.
THE VOTE OF CENSURE.
THE Ministry is as good as dead, fully set forth and minutely critiand only waits to be buried. It cised. Both parties did their best, has lost its influence abroad, it has but the course of the argument lost its character at home. It is has shown clearly that the Opposian inert chrysalis, in which the tion had a good case, that the soul of Lord Palmerston is expiring. Ministry had none. Horsman, It is the ghost of his reputation- Cobden, Roebuck, and Bernal Osof a name that has been famous borne made elaborate speeches in in Europe - which has kept the condemnation of the Ministerial Ministry in a nominal existence policy; and the fact that the three The waverers who decided the re- first-named gentlemen voted with cent vote in favour of the Govern- the Ministry, after all, adds special ment shrank from terminating the weight to the anathemas with which career of a great minister by plac: they felt compelled to assail it. ing on the records of the House of Other members of less note acted Commons a formal condemnation in similar fashion. They could of his policy. But the debate has not resist the force of the evidence virtually killed the Ministry. It against the Ministry, but they has laid bare the unparalleled blind- sought with eager ingenuity to deness and blundering which have vise excuses for voting with it. Mr marked their foreign policy. The Roebuck did so by attempting to whole story of the negotiations has disconnect the conduct of the Fobeen placed in full view of the pub- reign Minister from that of the lic; and so strong was the case Cabinet. Mr Horsman, with a against the Government, that the similar disregard alike of constituindependent members, who sup- tional principles and of the facts of ported the Cabinet with their votes, the case, held that Parliament, by were the most unsparing in their not sooner expressing its opinion condemnation of its blundering on the question, had become accomand abortive policy. The House plices in the miserable policy of of Lords condemned the Govern- the Ministry. Mr Cobden openly ment by a majority of nine ; the confessed that he would vote that House of Commons acquitted it black was white rather than termiwith a verdict of Not Proven by a nate the rule of the Liberal party, majority of eighteen. And so the Mr Osborne, while pouring his Ministry still exists, although its withering sarcasms upon the whole reputation is extinct and its hours Cabinet, declared that the “great are numbered.
Liberal party” was already defunct, The debate which took place on yet was not disposed to help the vote of censure is, we do not the Tories into office. Had the hesitate to say, the most remark- motion condemnatory of the foreign able that the oldest member of policy of the Government been deeither House has witnessed. It cided upon its merits, it would is the most important debate on have been carried by an overwhelmforeign policy that has occurred ing majority; and even as a party since 1815, and the speeches were struggle—as a vote of want of concharacterised by a fulness of know- ' fidence-it was a sentiment of reledge, by an ability of statement, spect for the past greatness of Lord and by a sharpness and power of Palmerston which alone saved the rhetoric, which have not been sur- Ministry from a decisive overthrow. passed in any similar discussion. Seldom in its long history has the Every side of the question-nay, British Parliament had so grave an every nook and cranny of it was issue to decide, or so sad a position
VOL. XCVI.-NO. DLXXXVI.
to contemplate. England has be- and to repudiate their policy by a come a hissing and a byword among vote of censure. the nations. The public which re- It is a poor plea for any Minismembers the commanding position try to excuse itself by throwing which our country occupied at the the blame of its errors and failures close of the war of giants which upon Parliament. It is the bounden terminated at Waterloo — who re- duty of a Ministry to resign if it member the dominating influence cannot carry out the policy which of England when Castlereagh con- it believes to be right. But, in the ducted our foreign policy, and Wel- present case, no excuse of this kind, lington led our armies—who read poor though it be, could be pleaded in every history, even in that of M. by the Government. It took every Thiers, that it was England which means in its power to prevent its broke the power of the first Na- foreign policy being examined and poleon, and delivered all Europe discussed by Parliament. It defrom bondage—were stupefied to layed in a most unusual manner to find that our Government had sunk lay the record of its negotiations beinto so humiliating a position. fore the House; and first by one plea, Ten years ago, at the commence- then by another, it staved off disment of the last European war in cussion until with the failure of the wbich we took part, the influence Conference all was at an end. The of England was so great that, if she papers were furnished in driblets; had spoken her mind in time, there when one batch was printed, another would have been no war. It was was promised; and at last came the the vacillation of a Liberal Ministry, miserable project of the Conference, of which Lords Russell and Pal- not to save Denmark, but to save merston were members, that occa- the Ministry. Even taking the facts sioned the Crimean war, by leading as stated by Mr Layard, the papers Russia to believe that we should (he ought to have read a portion of not oppose her attack upon the them) were laid on the table of the independence of the Porte. But House at the beginning of March; where is our "just influence" now? and it would take a week before Russia and France disregard our members could have time to master solicitations-Austria and Prussia, the contents. Well, what took as well as the minor States of Ger- place then? Lord Ellenborough, many, despise our bluster, and set who on several occasions had fretted at defiance our threats. England at the Ministerial delays, and who has become isolated, hated, and considered that it was a matter of ridiculed. The fault was not that the utmost importance that Parliaof the country, but of the Govern- ment should express its opinion upon ment. The conduct of the Minis- the foreign policy of the Government try has been alike alien to our tra- before the Easter recess, gave noditional policy and at variance with tice of a motion which would have the wishes of the nation. England led to a full discussion of the queshas been humbled solely by the cul- tion; but when the day came Lord pable incapacity of the Ministers ; Russell made a most earnest appeal and the right and only possible to him to abandon his motion, on way of retrieving her position, and the ground that any discussion placing herself in her just attitude would embarrass the Government towards Europe, was to disconnect and impede the progress of the neherself from the conduct of the gotiations for peace. * What could statesmen who misrepresented her, Lord Ellenborough, or any one in
* “I rise, on public grounds, to request the noble Earl not at present to bring on that discussion. I do not expect that anything that falls from him will tend to increase the difficulties which surround the settlement of this question ; and, for a like position, do but acquiesce ? submitted to decision, and to give This was on the 18th of March. their votes in favour of the MinisWhen Parliament reassembled after try, while fully admitting the accuthe Easter recess, the Government sations laid to their charge. announced that a Conference was So conscious was the Ministry of about to meet, and thus discussion the badness of its case that it did was again staved off. The first act not dare to meet the vote of cenof Lord Russell in the Conference sure on the usual issue of Aye or was to propose that the proceed. No. It took refuge under cover ings should be kept secret; and of an amendment, which simply this arrangement, though quite dis- sought to give the go-by to the moregarded by the other Powers, was tion of the Opposition, and which, pleaded by our Government as a whatever other objections there reason for keeping Parliament in were to it, certainly did not pledge the dark as to what was in progress. the House to an approval of the Parliament, indeed, was pretty well Ministerial policy. This was of itself informed as to the transactions of a humiliation for the Ministry. A the Conference through the medi- Ministry which shrinks from meetum of foreign newspapers ; but, ing a vote of censure stands self-conowing to the ruse of our Govern demned. But if we look at the ment, it was not in a position to amendment, what do we see? Why, take cognisance of them. As a the very adoption of the form of foreign critic observed, the Con- address proposed by Mr Kinglake ference was simply a "protracted was a censure on the policy of Parliamentary maneuvre," devised the Government. Its terms were, by our Ministry to stave off discus- “ to express the satisfaction with sion and keep themselves in office. which we have learnt that, at this There is a great power in accom- conjuncture, her Majesty has plished facts; and when the mis- been advised to abstain from chief was done, and remedy impos- armed interference in the war sible, the Ministry reckoned that now going on between Denmark Parliament would have less motive and the German Powers.” Now, for displacing them. From first to the Government, so far from having last their game was delay; and the been desirous to remain neutral, game was so far successful, that had throughout been eager to go Parliament was made to appear as to war. This fact is patent on the to some extent an accomplice in face of their despatches; it was the policy of the Government. The publicly acknowledged by Lords Opposition took the very earliest Russell and Palmerston in their opportunity of challenging a ver- speeches in Parliament on the 27th dict upon that policy; but the fact of June. When announcing the that the miserable career of blun- failure of the Conference, and the dering was, or seemed to be, at an resumption of hostilities by the end, enabled the ingenious con- German Powers, Lord Russell took sciences of many members to ignore pains to show that the Government the true character of the question had done its best to go to war with
my own part, I must say that I should have been very glad to render the fullest explanation of the conduct of the Government in respect to the affairs of Denmark and Germany. There are, however, reasons of public policy which make it desirable that there should be no discussion at the present moment. In the first place, I have now to present, by command of her Majesty, various papers in continua. tion of those which were presented a few weeks ago. These papers contain the further correspondence which has taken place up to a very recent period. In the next place, there has been a correspondence lately carried on with regard to the holding of a Conference and a proposed armistice, and I have good hopes that the Danish Government will agree to that Conference.”-Times, March 19, 1864.