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BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. CCXXXVII.

JULY, 1835.

CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATIONS.

THE imminence of the danger to all our institutions arising from the open accession of O'Connell, with his united band of Radicals, Infidels, Papists, and Dissenters, to the practical direction of affairs, has at length roused that general sense of the necessity of exertion, to which every person gifted with the smallest share of political foresight has long looked forward as the only chance of salvation yet remaining to the country. Go where you will now, from the Land's End to John o'-Groat's House, and in every so ciety, apart from Whig expectancy, sectarian jealousy, and revolutionary ambition, you will find the most unequivocal proofs of a general convergence towards Conservative opinions. Reaction is a bad word; it savours of French fatalism and infidel principle; it does not express the natural tendency of the human mind towards truth, which uniformly arises from a practical experience of the consequences of error. This, however, is the real principle; and it is the law of nature, which provides for the slow but certain correction of evil in all political societies, where sufficient virtue and public spirit still exist to take advantage of the change.

This gradual approximation to wards Conservatism has received a very great impulse from the events which have occurred within the last

VOL. XXXVIII. NO. CCXXXVII,

VOL. XXXVIII.

two years, and has now spread to an extent to which we could have hardly hoped to have seen it diffused. The Radicals and Revolutionists, the deluders and deluded of mankind, feel this, and dread it from the bottom of their hearts. They do not attempt to disguise the danger. Isaac Tomkins bewails in pathetic terms the uni versal tendency of all the educated youth at the universities to Conservative principles, and fairly warns the middling orders that henceforth they must look to themselves in the struggle, for the upper classes are every day falling more rapidly under the bonds of corruption. Peter Jenkins reiterates the sentiment, and amidst warm eulogiums on the genius of Tomkins, bursts forth into bitter sarcasm on the Aristocratic classes, by whose vigour and energy all the fine spun theories of the Revolutionists are likely to be dissolved into thin air. Lord Brougham, in reviewing and praising both publications, exerts all his energy to impress upon the public the paramount necessity of vigorous exertions on the part of the lower orders to withstand the manifest tendency towards Conservative opinions, which has made such alarming progress among all the highly educated classes of society. The same truth is openly avowed by the Revolutionary leaders in London, who have convoked,

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