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Tis rashness which too frequently character iles the action of men in putting themselves forwar as candidates for legislative honours ipd hardly more to be regretted than the wanton. ness with whichtheyare sometimesapttospurn the prize when won. There are few men, es pecially in the colonies, of whom it can be said that their plain duty is to place their services at the disposal of their fellow-colo nists; but of all, except in very exceptional cases,it may be affirmed that, having done so, their duty ie to discharge the trust. No man who solicits the suffrages of a constituency has a right to trifle with the electors, or, having obtained from them what he professed to regard as a prize of great honour and value, insolently to throw it hack in their faces as a thing not worth the having. There has been too much of this uubecom ing trifling in the colonies-men acting as if they thought constituencies existed for no other purpose than to minister to their vanity, or further their selfish ends. It is not pos sible, indeed, always to discern positively the precise motive by which a man us actuated in throwing up his charge; but this one thing at least we may safely conclude-it can hardly be that high motive of zeal for the public service by which he professed to be actuated when he put himself forward as a candidate. Take, ior instance, the vacancy recently caused in the representation of Brisbane so soon after a general election. 3kr. Pen.? told his constituents that he was compelled to resign because his private affaiirs demanded the whole of his time and attention. Why then did he offer himself as a candidate at the last election ? There can only be one of two answers: either it was an act of mere wantonness, or he looked to the salary of Chairtnan of Committees to indemnify him for the time spent away from his business. In either case his conduct was unjustifiable. Ie had certainly no right to enter the House if his power to remain there hinged upon what he must have known to be so doubtful a contingency as his re-election to the chair. Rumour says also that Dr. O'DO aErTY is about to resign his seat for the same reason as that assigned by Mr. Puom, namely that the due discharge of his parliamentary duties demands more of his time than he can spare from his professional engagements. It is hardly fair to judge the doctor on mere rumour, nor will we do so. We may content ourselves with saying that the excuse, if al leged, would be a very lame one, and the more so inasmuch as it would not be justified by the fact of any now light having broken on the
hon. gentleman's mind. We would not nave referred to his case at all, but for his recent acceptance of an appointment under Govern ment which gives colour to the rumour res ,eeting his intended withdrawal from political life. Another case is that of the gentleman who, for so short a time, yet so notably, repre seated the constituency of Clermont. Mr. I ATKIN's address to the electors, resigning his charge, is so remarkable a document (coming from a gentleman of his knowledge and ability) that we quote the material portion of it: To THE ELascroa OF CLERBOT.ac- ntlememD,- : To-day I have resigned the trust you confided to my charge, and am no longer your member. I have taken this step after close conasideration, and owing to recent occurrences feel it was the proper one. I was re turned by you to oppose the late Mackenzie Govern mesnt, and to support the popular party. That party no longer exists in the Assembly. From the treachery, the weaklmess, and the lust for oeice, displayed by those who have been recognised as its leaders, it has been dissolved; and although somebf its component parts remain, as a party it is a thing of the past. Under the circumstaeces I had but two courses open to me, either to support the present Government and thus identify myself with treachery and insineerity, or else to support the Opposition which I had been retaurned to oppose. I might, indeed, have sat in the House and snarled at both sides ; that I did not chloose to do. The only honourable course left open to me was to resign my seat. To your interests I could no longer be of use s; and I owe it to you, after the great kindness you have hitherto shown me, that you should not labour under the disadvantage of being represented by a member who, opposed alike to tIe Government and the Opposition, could do you little serviee. Now we do not wish to accuse Mr. ATKIN of greater insincerity than falls to the lot of most politicians, but we hardly think he can have quite unbosomed himself to the electors in the above paragraph. It Ias been stated that the late member's resignation was owing to his knowledge that his return would be voided by the decision of the Elec tions Committee, his name not appearing on any roll; and we cannot refrain from saying that, knowing, as he must have done, his lack of the requisite qualification, his conduct in offering himself for election at all was very blameworthy. It really does look as if Mr. ATKIN's reason for resigning was to avoid being shown the door-to avoid being held up to his constituents asone whoto suithisown pur poses, had trifled with their political rights. We give him every credit for his late consist ent adherence to his declared principles. Faithful almost alone among the faithless, he will, if he so continues, one day reap his re ward-a far nobler and more enduring one than such as profligate political time-servers are now in the enjoyment of. But how can Mr. ATngIN y that the only honourable course open to him was to resign because the Liberal party which he had been returned to support had been dissolved by the treachery and insincerity of its leaders, and he could not support the other party which he had been expressly elected to op pose P "I might," he says, "have sat in the House and snarled at both sides." But why ? Could he have done nothing else but snarl? In all legislatures we find exceedingly useful representatives seated on the cross benches, and serving their constituents and the country well, independent of party. Mr. ATgKIN's farewell address reminds us very much of that with which Mr. M.CaIc?SBTE 80some years ago fauoured the electors of Ipswich; he gave, as his reason for resigning, his conviction that, in the then state of the House, it was impossible for him to effect any good. We hope that Mr. Arnr's real reason is differ ent from what Mr. MACALISrEa's was then. At any rate, if he considered himself entitled ever to have sat in the House at all, we maintain that nothing had occurred tojustify him in abandoning his charge.
Poor Mr. Mi'TGERArlD has very innocently come in for a great deal of censure from the northern press, the telegram announcing his retirement from the Ministry having been understood as an intimation of his resignation as member for the Kennedy. We do not think however that the hon. gentleman is likely to take such a course. We do not be lieve that officp was his aim in entering the House, or that he took it for the sake of the honour, power, or emolument attached to it. We believe that Mr. FITZGEEALD'S great blunder to have been that he thought other people as sincere and honest as himself. He will, we believe, still stick to his post as a representative of the people-support the Government in such things as he considers worthy of support, and oppose them when he thinks they are wrong. No member has more reason to be disgusted at the recent insincerity and treachery than he has; none, we believe, attend to their public duties at a greater personal sacrifice; but Mr. FPIrT GERALD will not, we trust, follow the bad example set by others, but, by his continued earnest perseverance and superiority to every thing that is paltry and mean, justify the high opinion which his friends have formed of his talents and character.