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recently been formed, and it has been said and written with something, perhaps, approaching to censure and a sneer, that a large proportion of them is composed of chairmen of quarter sessions. Gentlemen, it is most true; but, so far from that being ground of disparagement, I think it may be viewed in a totally different light, if we consider only for one moment who are the men who are selected throughout this kingdom to fill that office. When I direct your minds to this, I exclude of course all considerations which have reference to this particular county ; but, taking the kingdom at large, I ask you who are the persons who are selected by their fellow-subjects to be the chairmen of quarter sessions? Are they not persons who are known, each in his respective province, to be gentlemen of unblemished character and reputation ? Are they not persons who are selected in their several counties, not for their nobility or pride of birth, but because, having had liberal educations, they have themselves benefited by their education, have acquired habits of business, and are desirous of making themselves useful to their fellow-countrymen? If then, throughout the kingdom, men thus qualified are the men who are placed in these posts, is it a misfortune to the country if we find that in a new Ministry such men form a large component part of its members ? It is very true, if we compare the present with the late Government, that we may not find in the former men with such high and noble titles—that we may not find men who so much boast of the pride of birth or of family connections. In the Ministry which has just gone out in the Cabinet which stood at the head of it—there were the aristocratic names of Bedford, of Grey, and of Granville. There was not that I know of in the whole Cabinet a single chairman of quarter sessions. But it happens that there does belong to that party one chairman of quarter sessions who is the chairman of the county which is next to our own-I mean Hampshire—and he fills at this moment the chair of the Speaker of the House of Commons. And I am certain I shall not offend the Ministry who have just retired if I say that, of all men in their ranks, the man who would be regarded by every party as the flower of their flock is that right hon. gentleman ; for, indeed, he is a man who combines at once a kind and an affable demeanour with a firm and an independent character; and, though avowedly a party man, he has at all times acted with strict and honourable impartiality in that exalted position. This, too, I will add, that although I am opposed to that right hon. gentleman on many points in politics, if the keeping him in his post as Speaker of the House of Commons depended on my casting vote, he should unhesitatingly have it. I can, therefore, feel that the honourable station which for so many years I have held in your county does not in any degree render me less fit for the public service, and that the character of chairman of quarter sessions will not in any respect be a disqualification when I seek for re-election at your hands."

The men of Dorset ratified Mr. Bankes's appeal by instantly returning him as their representative, and thus signified their approbation of Lord Derby's judgment, in addition to the several counties and boroughs which had already re-elected their members—by their own solemn act and deed rebutting the calumnious assertions of the League that Lord Derby and his party were unpopular throughout the country. But, if we would within our allotted limits bestow only a passing notice upon each department of the Government, we must turn our attention to that one which is of primary importance, and any deficiency in which places, not only the inherited glory, but the immediate safety of the country, in jeopardy-need we name the Admiralty. The faulty administration of that vitally important department for

years past through abuse of patronage, cruel neglect of meritorious services and unblushing nepotism, gross ignorance on the part of its officials of naval architecture and naval matters in general, and wasteful expenditure, have alternately been the subjects of condemnation and ridicule : satirists have laughed at Admiralty ignorance and imbecility—the serious have wept over its injustice to officers—and the patriotic have been indignant at its profligate waste of the national money. We confess that we have been rather moved to sorrow and indignation by Admiralty mismanagement than tickled to laughter; yet in Punch's strictures upon this particular Board we do not think that even the caricatures of our facetious friend have exceeded the realities of fact. We regret that we have not a file of Punch at hand while writing these remarks to enable us to quote from a number some few months ago, in which a (supposed) bill of the costs of a war-steamer was given ; but it was somewhat after the following fashion, and we confidently appeal to our naval readers whether it is not a faithful record of proveable facts, although not a faithful copy of any genuine bill, cooked for the table of “my lords commissioners."

John BULL, DR. To the Lords Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High

Admiral of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Jan. 1850.- To building steam-frigate Thunderbom

Tons, 1,847. H. P. 875. Portsmouth ... ... £95,000 Nov. 1850.- To repairs at Pembroke, Thunderbomb

having broken down in her first passage out to
Lisbon

12,000 Feb. 1851.–To giving her White's bows on her return from Lisbon

3,000 To repairing and renewing engines

... 10,000 JULY 1851.- To lengthening her stern, because altera

tions forward had made her sit too much by the
head

2,500

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To putting in new masts, her former ones being too heavy

1,500 To new false keel and increase of ballast, she being found too light

750 Dec. 1851.-To repairs, at Messrs. yard, Black

wall, which defects in her original structure ren-
dered necessary, and which could not be made at
either Chatham, Sheerness, Portsmouth, Plymouth,
or Pembroke

... 35,000 At same time, entirely new boilers, her original ones

having been worn out in her passage to and from
Lisbon, and been pronounced incurably defective 16,000

...

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£177,550 “ That's the way the money goes,” Mr. Cobden; and not in the wages of soldiers and sailors, or in the maintenance of their widows and bereaved families, or in the legitimate upholding of our wooden walls, as you mendaciously and malignantly assert. You have got hold of the wrong end of the stick ; but your simpering conceit will no more submit to correction than did that ignorant and impracticable Scotchman, who, upon his first introduction to asparagus, commenced upon the white end; and, when gently told of his mistake, haughtily declared that he preferred that end, and persisted in munching his unsavoury and indigestible morsel. But the men whom Lord Derby, with the assistance of the Duke of Northumberland, the First Lord, has now placed at the Admiralty, do know the right end of the stick; they are all practical seamen, and will not waste the country's money by experiments on matters of which they are ignorant; nor will they expose themselves to derision, as a First Lord, not many years ago, did on an official visit to Portsmouth.

That honourable gentleman, who was fluent enough of speech and wide awake to things on shore, was so little conversant with things afloat that, after inspecting a line-of-battle-ship and professing his perfect satisfaction with all her arrangements, asked the captain to show him the men's bedrooms! The credit for even common sense was gone from such a First Lord, in Jack's estimation, for ever; and we have heard it rumoured on Common Hard that the crew of the adıniral's barge declared they were ashamed to row such a lubber round Spithead. Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Napier, who, despite his Nelsonian vanity and exotic eccentricities, has done both the Navy and the State good service, has long been pleading for a sailor as First Lord. Sir Charles has now his wish: the Duke of Northumberland is First Lord; and we rejoice, in common

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VOL. XXXI.-II

with all who know his Grace's character as a peer, a sailor, and a man, in Lord Derby's selection. The Duke of Northumberland was regularly bred to the sea and saw much service during the Peninsular War, being employed on the Coast of Catalonia in 1809, and commanding a gun-boat in co-operation with the Andalusian patriots in 1810. He was acting-captain of the Caledonia in the partial action with the French fleet off Toulon; and at the taking of Genoa in 1814. Since the war, we are not aware that bis Grace has been actively employed afloat; which, for important reasons, we regard as a signal advantage to bis efficiency as a First Lord. All those intimately familiar with the naval service are aware how full of jealousies it is; and how hard it is for any officer to give satisfaction to his brethren, or to have his own title to promotion, or even praise, admitted. Sir Charles Napier himself is a case in point. Improvements in our ships, in naval discipline, and naval economy, have been successively made since Sir Charles Napier's suggestions were issued from Vevay in Switzerland in 1816, down to the present year, and in conformity with those suggestions. But the active list of the Navy who have benefitted by all the changes alluded to by no means give to Sir Charles the credit to which we think him justly entitled; for neither his Whiggery nor his waggery shall make us unjust to his professional claims. claim his naval critics), old Charley is a long-headed fellow; and when he sees an improvement is about to be made he takes care to suggest it.” Luckily for Sir Charles's vindication on this head, many of his suggestions were made years before the improvement indicated was adopted; and made from a secluded spot in a foreign country, where naval gossip does not circulate as in London clubs or at the lounging-rooms of our naval ports. Others ascribe all his reforming effusions and efforts to selfishness. “ Charley wants a ship or a squadron, and therefore he bullies the Admiralty.” This ungenerous argument may be levelled against the most stainless hero or the purest patriot who ever lived; and is so vulgar, so easy, and so common, that we need not pause over it, were we even undertaking the special advocacy of Sir Charles Napier, instead of merely glancing at the wakeful character of naval jealousy, as a reason why an officer not recently afloat is preferable as a First Lord to one who has just vacated some active employment. Had the Duke of Northumberland been summoned from the command of the Mediterranean fleet to assume office at Charing Cross, he could not have promoted a single officer of that fleet without evoking growlers from every quarter. But now, with his regular naval education, his fami

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liarity with nautical matters will not be disputed; while his disposal of patronage will not be ascribed to mere personal predilections of recent formation. But, while thus vindicating the Duke of Northumberland's nautical capabilities and claims, we must remind our readers of his Grace's munificently beneficent character as a peer, and his kindness of heart as a man. His noble exertions for the general improvement of life-boats have been of late conspicuously before the public, and his efforts have not been confined to a munificent premium for the best life-boat; but his effective labours are demonstrated by his well-known establishments for the relief and assistance of shipwrecked mariners on the iron-bound coast of Northumberland. In an able article on the “Report of the Committee Appointed to Examine the Life-boat Models submitted to Compete for the Premium offered by his Grace the Duke of Northumberland,” which appeared in the columns of the Times on the 2nd of September last, the writer remarks :

“ In Northumberland the active benevolence of its present duke was anticipated by Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham in the reign of Charles II. His establishment at Bamborough Castle is still flourishing, and has succoured thousands of shipwrecked mariners ; while the present duke has nobly undertaken to place a well-built life-boat at each of the most exposed points on the coast of Northumberland, and rockets or mortars at all the intermediate stations. While the borders of the ducal demesne of Northumberland are thus provided, in what condition is that of Cornwall? We read in the report that from Falmouth round the Land's End by Trevose Head to Hartland Point, an extent of one hundred and fifty miles of the most exposed coast in England, there is not one really efficient life-boat.' The Duke of Cornwall is still a minor, but mounts a blue jacket and tarpaulin truck, and is of an age to pity and feel for the shipwrecked seaman, if his case is only properly placed before him.

“Cornwall has long been infamous for its wreckers-would it not be a glorious task for its present duke to redeem its character ? Is it fitting that the Prince of Wales should be surpassed in munificence by any of his future subjects—albeit a Duke of Northumberland : nay, is it fitting that the country squires of Norfolk and Suffolk, and the burgesses of their several sea coast towns, should keep up an efficient life-boat at every five miles along their shore; while the Duke of Cornwall, the heir-apparent of England's Crown, cannot boast of one throughout the distance of one hundred and fifty miles situated at the very portals of the English Channel ?"

But the Duke of Northumberland's beneficence is displayed, not solely in these munificent acts which are of necessity public, but the poor cottagers for many a mile around Alnwick Castle will gratefully tell of his Grace's unostentatious charities now,

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