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THE GREAT BABY.

HAS it occurred to any of our readers that
that is surely an unsatisfactory state of society
which presents, in the year eighteen hundred
and fifty-five, the spectacle of a committee of
the People's representatives, pompously and
publicly inquiring how the People shall be
trusted with the liberty of refreshing
themselves in humble taverns and tea-gardens on
their day of rest? Does it appear to any
one whom we now address, and who will
pause here to reflect for a moment on the
question we put, that there is anything at all
humiliating and incongruous in the existence
of such a body, and pursuit of such an enquiry,
in this country, at this time of day?

For ourselves, we will answer the question
without hesitation. We feel indignantly
ashamed of the thing as a national scandal.
It would be merely contemptible, if it
were not raised into importance by its
slanderous aspersions of a hard-worked,
heavily-taxed, but good-humoured and most
patient people, who have long deserved far
better treatment. In this green midsummer,
here is a committee virtually enquiring
whether the English can be regarded in
any other light, and domestically ruled in
any other manner, than as a gang of drunkards
and disorderlies on a Police charge-sheet!
O my Lords and Gentlemen, my Lords
and Gentlemen, have we got so very near Utopia
after our long travelling together over the dark
and murderous road of English history, that
we have nothing else left to say and do to the
people but this? Is there nothing abroad,
nothing at home, nothing seen by us, nothing
hidden from us, which points to higher and
more generous things?

There are two public bodies remarkable
for knowing nothing of the people, and
for perpetually interfering to put them right.
The one is the House of Commons; the other
the Monomaniacs.  Between the Members
and the Monomaniacs, the devoted People, quite
unheard, get harried and worried to the last
extremity. Everybody of ordinary sense,
possessing common sympathies with
necessities not their own, and common means of
observationMembers and Monomaniacs are
of course exceptedhas perceived for months
past, that it was manifestly impossible that the
People could or would endure the inconveniences
and deprivations, sought to be imposed
upon them by the latest Sunday restrictions.
We who write this, have again and again by
word of mouth forewarned many  scores both of
Members and Monomaniacs, as we have heard
others forewarn them, that what they were in
the densest ignorance allowing to be done,
could not be borne. Members and
Monomaniacs knew better, or cared nothing about it;
and we all know the restto this time.

Now, the Monomaniacs, being by their
disease impelled to clamber upon platforms,
and there squint horribly under the strong
possession of an unbalanced idea, will of
course be out of reason and go wrong. But,
why the Members should yield to the
Monomaniacs is another question. And why do
they? Is it because the People is altogether
an abstraction to them; a Great Baby, to be
coaxed and chucked under the chin at
elections, and frowned upon at quarter sessions,
and stood in the corner on Sundays, and taken
out to stare at the Queen's coach on holidays,
and kept in school under the rod, generally
speaking, from Monday morning to Saturday
night? Is it because they have no other idea
of the People than a big-headed Baby, now
to be flattered and now to be scolded, now to be
sung to and now to be denounced to old
Boguey, now to be kissed and now to be
whipped, but always to be kept in long clothes,
and never under any circumstances to feel its
legs and go about of itself? We take the
liberty of replying, Yes.

And do the Members and Monomaniacs
suppose that this is our discovery? Do they
live in the shady belief that the object of their
capricious dandling and punishing does not
resentfully perceive that it is made a Great
Baby of, and may not begin to kick thereat
with legs that may do mischief?

In the first month of the existence of this
Journal, we called attention to a detachment
of the Monomaniacs, who, under the name
of jail chaplains, had taken possession of the
prisons, and were clearly offering premiums to
vice, promoting hypocrisy, and making models
of dangerous scoundrels.* They had their
way, and the Members backed them; and now
their Pets recruit the very worst class of

* Volume the First, page 97.

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