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The new palace at Westminster is a
very magnificent building, in, (I am quite
willing to believe Sir Charles Barry),  the
purest style of Gothic architecture; and the
large, not to say extravagant, sums of money
which have been, and will be for the next
half-century or so, expended in its erection,
speak highly for the wealth and
resources of this favoured empire. The Horse
Guards Blue, also, are a splendid body of
men. I scarcely know what to admire most
in their equipment: their black horses with
the long tails, their bright helmetslikewise
with long tailstheir jack-boots, or their
manly moustachios. Among the officers of
this superb corps are to be found, I have been
told, some of the brightest ornaments of our
juvenile aristocracy. But, admiring them, I
cannot quite withhold my mede of admiration
for the Queen's beefeatersfor the Royal
coachman, the Royal footmen, the Royal
outriders, and the Honourable Corps of
Gentlemen-at-Arms. In all these noble and
expensively-dressed institutions, I am proud to
recognise signs of the grandeur and prosperity of
my country. Likewise in the Elder Brethren
of the Trinity House, the Lord Mayor's barge
and the Lord Mayor's court; the loving cup,
the Old Bailey black cap, the Surrey Sessions,
St. George's Hall at Liverpool, the Manchester
Athen├Žum, the Scott Monument at
Edinburgh, special juries, the Board of Health,
and the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. What
a pity it is that, in the face of all these
grand and flourishing establishments, there
should be an inevitable necessity for the
existence of Model Prisons, Reformatories,
Ragged Schools. Magdalen Hospitals, and
Administrative Reform Associations!  What
a pity it is that, with our fleets and armies that
cost so many millions of money, and look
and areso brave and serviceable, there
should be incompetent commanders, ignorant
administrators, and imbecile subordinates!

How many other pities need to be
recounted to show that we are in a bad way?
Need we turn to the collective wisdom assembly,
the house of Parler and Mentir, with its
feeble jokes, logic-chopping, straw-splitting,
tape-tying, tape-untying to tie again;
double-shuffling, word-eating, quipping-quirking, and
wanton-wileing? Need we notice the recurrence
of that, to me, fiendishly-insolent word
"laughter",  that speckles parliamentary
debates like a murrain?  Are we not in a bad
way while we have Chancery suits sixty
years old, and admirals and generals on active
service, eighty? Are we not in a bad way
when working people live in styes like hogs,
and, with little to eat themselves, have always
a knife and fork laid (by the chief butler,
Neglect) for the guest who may be expected
to dine with them from day to daythe
cholera?  Is it not to be in a bad way to be
at war, to pay double income tax, to be
afflicted with a spotted fever in the shape of
gambling that produces a deliriumsending
divines from their pulpits to stockjobbing,
and turning English merchants and bankers,
whose integrity was once proverbial, into
cheats and swindlers? Surely, too, it must
be a bad way to be in, to see religion
painted upon banners, and temperance carted
about like a wild-beast show, and debauchery
in high places; to have to give courts and
church, arts and schools, laws and learning,
youth and age, the lie; and as the old balladist
sings in the "Soul's Errand",

                " If still they should reply,
                 Then give them still the lie."

But bad as is the state of things
now-a-days, it was an hundred times worse,
I opine, in the days of the six acts,
the fourpenny stamp, the resurrection men,
the laws that were made for every
degree, and so hanged people for almost
every degree of crime. It was worse when
there were penal enactments against Catholics,
and arrests by mesne process. It was worse
before steam, before vaccination, before the
Habeas Corpus, before the Reformation; it
was certainly an incomparably more shocking
state of things in the days of Mr. Philip

And who was Mr. Philip Stubbes?  Dames
and gentles, he flourished circa Anno Domini
fifteen eighty-five, in what have been hitherto,
but most erroneously, imagined to be the
palmy days, of Queen Elizabeth. Lamentable
delusion! There never could, according to
Mr. Stubbes, have existed a more shocking
state of things than in the assumed halcyon
age of Good Queen Bess. For what, save a