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LETTERS OF AMY GREY.---VIII,

October, 10th, 1818. I was much shocked at the event you announced.---Your letter did not reach me 'till late in the evening:---I could not close my eyes---and my thoughts shaped themselves into the enclosed lines. Johnson says, that genuine grief banishes poetical ideas from the mind; and I believe he

says true. When the intimate affections are in question, or the ties of nature are severed, at least some time must elapse before the pen can render these feelings through the medium of poetry; but, on the other hand, such events as do not come home to the heart's core individually, yet awaken strongly the sympathies of human nature, startle the imagination, and that busy power gives to the mental eye what passes at a distance, with the sort of glaring, fickering, unreal, yet illusive light, that a flash from a cloud spreads far and wide.

The enclosed will perhaps convey to you a clearer idea of what I am endeavouring to express, than you could otherwise collect from your agitated friend,

AMY GREY. P.S. Three of the young men who perished, were inhabitants of but, luckily, we were not personally acquainted with them,

STANZAS,

On the revival of Freedom in South America, in the Year 1818.

Still she lives ! let winged winds

Bear o'er the deep the tidings vast,
That here the glorious exile finds

A land where she may dwell at last,

Banish'd by the tyrant, man,

From the realms she fain had blest, ---
'Twas deem'd her earthly course she ran---

'Twas said self-slaughter gave her rest.

No ;--- led by her celestial guide,'

(l'he radiant orb that westward goes) Another world she then descried,

Far, far from her benighted foes.

There Nature's wonders, wild and great,

She saw, in boundless grandeur hurl'd;
With thoughts sublime her soul elate.

She bow'd to wake that slumb'ring world,

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• It is probable that every native of “our Island of sorrow” remembers the melancholy fate of a ship richly laden with our young countrymen, who, ever awake to the call of Lin berty, were rushing, on the wings of the wind, to attend her summons in South America.

Hush, oh, hush, my weeping muse --

Erin sickens at thy tale,---
And Europe's sons would all resusa

To listen to thine idle wail.

A. G.

MADAME DE LA VALLIBRE.

She was so beautiful, so true, so fair
In that false court. Alas! what did she there?
And now before the monarch in his state,
As each orb were a gem of price and weight,
(So leavily the white lids drooped above
Those painful eyes of gentleness and love)
She knelt---while on her cheek the crimson dyo
Vied for a moment with his canopy:
She spoke not, but one large and burning tear
Drop'd from her unrais'd eyelid, and so near
The monarch started as it fell, 'tis said,
On the rich cushion where his foot was laid.
But the next moment saw him turn with calm
Cold brow, and colder heart, “Adieu Madame!'
Faint, low was her response of agony,
Soft, woe-fraught, and intense, “ Adieu Louis."

THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS.

The first impression, perhaps, which a stranger receives, when visiting the gallery of the House of Commons, is, that he is looking down on a most uncourtly assembly. Having been habituated, when his fancy called this meeting before him, to view it through the medium of the high. duties it discharged, encompassed with a shade of legislative gravity, he never thought of senators and senatorial office, without feeling something of that reverence which epic and historic grandeur exacts. But, when he looks upon an assemblage of men with no assumed exterior of dignity, and witnesses debates conducted with nothing more of form than the ends of fair discussion necessarily demand, he is almost as much surprised as an enthusiast in poetical reading, who, for the first time, beholds in his proper, and it may be, by no means prepossessing person ---a: living author.

As soon, however, as the first emotion of surprise has subsided, the strane ger feels that if the aspect of the assembled Commons is less awful, it is more exciting than he had imagined it. He feels also, how gratifying it must ke to the popular spirit, that there is so little of separation between the legislators, and those for whom their talents are exerted, -so little of that cold statue-like majesty, which impressively, although in silence, warns you not to be familiar. In the House of Commons there seems to be scarcely any other than physical barriers between members and spectators, and these are bars which are much less influential in controlling the excitability of the spirits, than that kind of moral repulsion with which grave and stately ceremony stands centinel for other assemblies, and protects them, even in thought, from any vulgar intrusion. This peculiarity very naturally arises from the relation in which members of the House of Commons are to be regarded. They represent the people, and they represent them, not as if they had been tamed to exhibit the tempers of their constituents in a gentle and conciliating light, nor as if they were caged and controuled like the Tepresentatives of the forest tribes at Exeter Change, who growl in their natural tones, at the direction of their keeper, and for the information of the curious. The members of the House of Commons are allowed ample Latitude, and are many of them at least) masters of themselves; and while each individual represents the peculiar class, who are his constituents or his admirers, the combined effect of all the individual energies is to convey a faithful, though a free representation of the dispositions and inclinations of the people for whom they legislate.

I have heard it said, that the House of Commons represents the property of the people. This is too limited a proposition. It is true; but it is not sufficiently extensive. Not property alone is represented,—the passions, and pursuits and principles of the people, find in the lower House of Parbiament, advocates and protectors ; nor is there an opinion entertained by any class of persons with respect to what should be the principle of government and legislature, which is not reflected back upon the public in the speeches or the practise of some parliamentary man.

Are there persons in the country who reverence a sublime and rigid simplicity; who reduce alk government to the rule of a procrustean equality, and measure excellence by one standard that of economy; who consider man in no other relation than that in which he is to be regarded as an animal, and would arrange the government of a nation by the same principles as those which they would observe in the economy of their stables ? Are men of such views to be discovered in the nation ?- They are not without their representatives in "the House,” who are to be found receiving with cheers of derision these visionary theories, by which men like Bacon, and Burkie, and Canning, and. Plunket have disgraced themselves; and welcoming with rapturous applause the pure and sapient opinions which have immortalized the inemories of, Cade aud Jaek Straw. On the other hand, are there persons, who, reLuiding man as a creature of intellect and imagination, would have him governed by a system of somewhat niore complexity than that which may accord with the necessities of the beasts that perish.—There are men, who llave even the lights of philosophy transmitted, as it were, through a metium of chivalrous sentiment which tinges the pure rays with warmer and vaijed hues? 'The House of Commons can furnish representations for such Enids, and for all the intermediate classes; from those who think of a huHani bes being as a creature visited by high invaginings, and to be educated i

poble purposes, and all other poetical epitbets and applicabilities, ciown to the sober reasonable people who very properly think of man as a creature whose business is---to “ feed, and to be fat."--- For all these classes there are fitting advocates and retainers in the meetings of the lower House.---So general should be the the sense, in which the House of Commons is to be called,

the representative of the people.

There is, however, one very important particular in which the represcntation is imperfect. Class men according to the opinions---their passions--their habits---their political principles---and you may find them fairly represented ; bụt when you come to judge of them by the degrees of intellect, you perceive, it must be admitted, only one class taken into account; men of inferior understanding are in this respect quite excluded froin parJiamentary practice and debate--. I know that this assertion may be disputed. It may be said, that it would be neither just in principle, nor conre. nient in practice, to deny to foolish constituents the privilege of having members returned of like faculties with themselves. It may be also sajili that to keep out such, would be impracticable, as in many instances, in cases of popular and unpopular electors, kindred spirits must approximate to each other, and a thoughtless majority must obtain a preponderance. Objections of this nature may be urged, and an almost universally admitted truth may be denied on the old principle that what is, is not, because it ought not to be. But observe how easily the full and plain truth shall put down all obstinate opposers. It is the practice of Parliament, a practice consccrated by a most venerable antiquity, ---that various members, whether cho. sen by lot, or in the way of a voluntary and sublime oblation, shall consent to diveșt themselves for a season of their high faculties, and shall, in coa sideration of the necessities of the people, in order that every class may have its appropriate leader, condescend to act and speak in a manner no way removed from that in which they would have acted, had they been in reality such persons as those whose characters they for the time assume.

I said this practice was consecrated by its antiquity, an antiquity not to be measured by the recorded precedents of parliamentary practice, nor to be traced to its source in the formation of the British constitution. Those who seek the most conclusive authority in favour of our senatorial metamorphoses must ascend higher than the tameness of modern times, and penetrate into those regions where historical truth is hidden from the thoughtless, and disclosed to the wise, through a veil of allegory. The transformations of the Heathen Gods, and their assumption of human character, is familiar to all.–Various explanations of the stories recording these wonderful exploits have been offered by learned men, but I trust mine shall be found not less plausible than any which has yet been given. My interpretation is this : The Gods assembled on Olympus, signified, in the allegorical language of the times, the Grecian legislators convened in parliamentary meetings, and The transformation of Gods into men, was nothing more than the assumpțion of some of the follies and vices incident to the constituents whom they represented. whom, perhaps, during the course of a long sitting, they had forgotten, b it whom they were compelled to remember and resemble at the approach of a general election. This was the more necessary, because the language of these early senators was always fairly reported. 'Mercury, the Interpres Deorum, was a faithful short-hand writer, who never troubled himşelf by endeavouring to understand the meaning of the words used by the Ligh personages for whom he officiated, but cožtented himself with giving

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