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A FEW CONVENTIONALITIES.

A CHILD enquired of us, the other day, why
a gentleman always said his first prayer in
church, in the crown of his hat. We were
reduced to the ignominious necessity of
replying that we didn't knowbut it was the
custom.

Having dismissed our young friend with
a severe countenance (which we always
assume under the like circumstances of
discomfiture) we began to ask ourself a few
questions.

Our first list had a Parliamentary reference.

Why must an honorable gentleman always
"come down" to this house?  Why can't he
sometimes "come up"—like a horseor
"come in" like a man? What does he mean by
invariably coming down? Is it indispensable
that he should "come down" to get into the
House of Commonssay for instance, from
Saint Albans? Or is that house on a lower
level than most other houses? Why is he
always "free to confess"? It is well known
that Britons never never never will be slaves;
then why can't he say what he has to say,
without this superfluous assertion of his
freedom? Why must an Irish Member
always "taunt" the noble Lord with this,
that, or the other? Can't he tell him of it
civilly, or accuse him of it plainly? Must he so
ruthlessly taunt him? Why does the Honorable
Member for Groginhole call upon the Secretary
of State for the Home Department to "lay
his hand upon his heart," and proclaim to the
country such and such a thing? The Home
Secretary is not in the habit of laying his
hand upon his heart. When he has anything
to proclaim to the country, he generally puts
his hands under his coat-tails. Why is he
thus personally and solemnly adjured to
lay one of them on the left side of his waistcoat
for any Honorable Member's gratification?
What makes my Honorable friend,
the Member for Gammonrife, feel so acutely
that he is required to "pin his faith" upon
the measures of Her Majesty's Government?
Is he always required to attach it in that
particular manner only; and are needle
and thread, hooks and eyes, buttons, wafers,
sealing-wax, paste, bird-lime, gum, and glue,
utterly prohibited to him? Who invested
the unfortunate Speaker with all the wealth
and poverty of the Empire, that he should
be told "Sir, when you look around you,
and behold your seas swarming with ships
of every variety of tonnage and construction
when you behold your flag waving over
the forts of a territory so vast that the Sun
never sets upon itwhen you consider that
your storehouses are teeming with the
valuable products of the earthand when you
reflect that millions of your poor are held in
the bonds of pauperism and ignorance,—can
you, I ask, reconcile it to yourself; can you,
I demand, justify it to your conscience; can
you, I enquire, Sir, stifle the voice within
you, by these selfish, these time-serving, these
shallow, hollow, mockeries of legislation?"
It is really dreadful to have an innocent and
worthy gentleman bullied in this manner.
Again, why do "I hold in my hand" all sorts
of things? Can I never lay them down, or
carry them under my arm? There was a
Fairy in the Arabian Nights who could hold
in her hand a pavilion large enough to shelter
the Sultan's army, but she could never have
held half the petitions, blue books, bills,
reports, returns, volumes of Hansard, and other
miscellaneous papers, that a very ordinary
Member for a very ordinary place will hold
in his hand now-a-days. Then, again, how
did it come to be necessary to the
Constitution that I should be such a very
circuitous and prolix peer as to "take
leave to remind you, my Lords, of what
fell from the noble and learned lord on
the opposite side of your Lordships' house,
who preceded my noble and learned friend
on the cross Benches when he addressed
himself with so much ability to the
observations of the Right Reverend Prelate
near me, in reference to the measure now
brought forward by the Noble Baron"—
when, all this time, I mean, and only want
to say, Lord Brougham? Is it impossible
for my honorable friend the Member for
Drowsyshire, to wander through his few
dreary sentences immediately before the
division, without premising that "at this late
hour of the night and in this stage of the
debate," &c.? Because if it be not impossible
why does he never do it? And why, why,
above all, in either house of Parliament must
the English language be set to musicbad

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