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Misrule; the only measure which might be classed under the modern head of liberality, was no corrective of the misrule peculiarly Tory, unless the Whigs disclaim the laws against popery, which were formerly their favourite reliance. And even this slight approach to a liberal system, in admitting the Roman Catholics to the army and navy, was abandoned when put in competition with their offices;-for, however boldly the partisans of Lord Grey, and the Whigs of 1807, have since asserted, that they resigned because they could not carry this measure, it is a fact, quite undeniable, that they did abandon the measure; and only shrank when pressed, perhaps too hardly, for a pledge against its re-introduction at any future period. Lord Brougham, on the other hand, is guiltless of 1806, at which period
he was neither in Parliament nor in office, but he was a participator with Mr Canning in 1827. True, he held no office known in the red book, but he was dictator over the adhering Whigs, and was a party to all their pledges, or rather to their forfei
Lord Lansdowne, Lord Carlisle, Lord Melbourne, Mr Stanley, were all members of the government of 1827; Lord Holland was an adhe rent of the government of Mr Canning, and was near becoming a member of the government of Lord Goderich.
I do not wish to push beyond truth and propriety, the argument drawn from their junction with Mr Canning in 1827. I do not identify all those who belonged to it, with all the measures of all the governments in which Mr Canning had had a principal share. But I do contend that those Whigs, who consented to serve under Mr Canning, without obtaining any one concession to Whig principles, but on the other hand pledging themselves to oppose some favourite Whig measures, have no right to talk of Tory rule, as the abomination from which Whigs delivered us. Oh! but, say they, Mr Canning was a liberal. Will they mention any one measure of restraint upon liberty adopted by Mr Pitt or Lord Castlereagh,—
any one measure of these which have been considered as hostile to the people's rights, of which Mr Canning was not the defender or adviser? That, in commercial policy, he was on the liberal side, I admit; read his well-known speech of 1826, and say whether this is part of the Whig system. To Mr Canning's exposttion of the anti-liberal policy of the Whigs, I beg to add the fact, which escaped his observation, that the prohibition of Foreign Silks, the very point lately in dispute, was the work of Lord Rockingham and his Whig colleagues in 1766.* But upon all the questions which separate Whig and Tory, he was a staneh and uncompromising Tory. The Whigs, who joined him, may be blameless, or meritorious; but they cannot, in common honesty, assert the exclusive purity of Whig principles, or flourish upon the abolition of Tory Misrule.
If this be true of these conforming Whigs, how much more so is it of the Tories, who have reciprocated the compliment, by joining the Whig government,-Lord Palmerston, Lord Goderich, and Mr Grant! I know that Lord Goderich was in the habit of calling himself a Whig; but he was the bosom friend of Lord Castlereagh, and was, as well as the other two, a steady co-operator in the measures, which, according to the position which I combat, constituted misrule. Are these three gentlemen ready to admit that they had heretofore been the advocates of a system of error? If so, the people may perhaps be satisfied to have their services as able men, but certainly will not rely upon them with confidence for the maintenance of their new principles. And really this Cabinet is a curious piece of political machinery, if one set of Ministers abandoned their Whig principles to a Tory chief, and another sacrificed their Tory predilections at the command of a Whig leader!
Let any man infer from this, if he pleases, that Whiggery and Toryism are nonsensical and fanciful distinctions; but then let us not hear of Tory Misrule.
I fear that I have omitted one Mi
* 6 Geo. III. c. 28.
mister, who belongs to none of the classes which I have described"None but himself can be his parallel”— the Duke of Richmond,--but I will not expose you to the danger of a prosecution for libel!
Such being the Whig Ministers, let us consider, who and what are the leaders of the Opposition? Have they, when in power, been guilty of that misrule, which ought to place them below the Whigs in public confidence, or exclude them from the government of the country?
Sir, I ask the least candid Whig who writes for the Edinburgh Review, to name to me the administration, from the days of Lord Burghley to those of Earl Grey, which, judged by their acts, have stronger claim to the appellation of "Liberal," in its most modern and extended sense, than that of the Duke of Wellington? Let me not be told, that the illustrious Duke was the associate of Metternich, that he carried into the Cabinet the discipline of the camp, that he is abrupt in his manner, or peremptory in his commands. I must not be told that he might have done this thing a little better, or carried that measure somewhat farther; my demand is for a comparison; and I would be told of the Minister, who did more for religious liberty, more for public economy; less for ministerial patronage, less for arbitrary
He carried the Catholic question, which no Minister, however pledged, had attempted; he did not, it is true, until compelled by the House of Commons, repeal the Test Act. Did Lord Rockingham? did Mr Fox? and did not Lord Lansdowne, and the conforming Whigs of 1827, pledge themselves to oppose it?
He reduced salaries, and abolished places, so largely, according to the plea of his successors, as to leave them little to do; but certainly more largely than any of his predecessors. Was his administration marked by one arbitrary measure? Was there in practice, or in legislation, any one extension of prerogative;-one coun
teraction of commercial freedom ;one extension of criminal law?
The Duke's most captious accuser can only rest upon East Retford, and the Navy Board pensions. I do not intend to discuss Reform, which, in truth, is not a point of comparison with former times; but East Retford is simply this: It was determined, of two franchises expected to be disposable, to grant one to a town, and the other to the country; the bill for disposing of the former franchise, was lost in the Lords' House, and Ministers did not change the destination of the other! This is the simple story, divested of its posthumous importance. There may have been a mistake, or an untoward event, but certainly no comparative misrule.
The other grand instance of the Tory Misrule of the Duke of Wellington, I am almost ashamed to mention among matters of importance. Trusting that the business of the navy might be conducted by a smaller number of Commissioners, he reduced two-and to these two, according to an invariable practice, he assigned pensions, to be held so long as they should remain unemployed. No committee of enquiry had recommended the reduction; it was a spontaneous act of a retrenching government; and if these gentlemen had been left in possession of their unnecessary offices, and their full salaries, the Wellington administration would have been without reproach. But they happened to be the sons of Cabinet Ministers; that is, they were, first, persons whom a government inclined to favouritism and patronage would have left in the enjoyment of their emoluments; and, secondly, they were persons, whose pensions could not operate for the influence of Government-and this is an aggravation! I beg pardon for taking up so much time with this piece of triffing.
Passing to the other great leader of Opposition, I ask, wherein consists the instances of misrule exhibited by Sir Robert Peel ? Will any member
The late Cabinet consisted of Lord Lyndhurst, Lord Bathurst, Lord Rosslyn, the Duke of Wellington, Lord Aberdeen, Lord Melville, Lord Ellenborough, Sir Robert Peel, Mr Goulburn, Mr Herries, Sir George Murray.
of the present Government, from Lord Brougham downwards, assert that his principles were otherwise than wise, liberal, and successful? Of the other members of the Cabinet, the greater part also belonged, with him, to the government of Lord Liverpool. Of the Ministers who were newer in office, one is a most respectable Whig; and, unless in respect of Free Trade, wherein there may have been a slight shade of difference, not, however, interrupting the uniformity of measures, the late Government was eminent for its unanimity. But comparison of principles between the late and the present Government is unnecessary; seeing that the more considerable among their Whig successors had certainly no indisposition to unite with them, and that they did, in fact, concur with them upon all, except small matters of detail; trivial in themselves, though important in their consequences. I cannot advert to this concurrence without one word on foreign affairs. Observing that in the administration of domes tic affairs, Lord Grey's Cabinet attempted no improvement or change in the supposed misrule of the Duke of Wellington, and availing itself of the secrecy used in diplomacy, the Whig press lamented, day by day, the embarrassment occasioned by the Tory management of the affairs of Belgium; little dreaming that Lord Grey was preparing an ample though tardy acknowledgment of concurrence and approbation in the whole course of the negotiation conducted by the Duke of Welling ton and Lord Aberdeen Where, then, shall we look, in principle or in practice, for the superiority of Whiggish rule?
It may be true, that Sir Robert Peel had not, on the Treasury bench, as much assistance in debate as he himself had rendered to Mr Canning; the Tory Ministers, it is admitted, supplied but one great speaker;-how many are now to be counted among the Whigs? The present Government, in the House of Commons, is scarcely equal in oratory, and far inferior in every other sort of parliamentary qualification, to the superseded and calumniated Tories, Assuredly, there are those among the present Ministers who owe their pro
motion to their eloquence; but it is gone! From some, because they cannot accommodate it to the change of principle and vote; from others, because, having only that low species of talent which feeds upon misrepresentation and obloquy, they are powerless in defence, and weak in explanation.
Those among the Ministers who do speak, have wisely discontinued the practice, in which they shewed, at first, some disposition to indulge, of tracing their difficulties to the misrule of former governments. But, of the absence of any real excuse for them, they have afforded evidence, more effectual than their silence. They have not proposed a single measure for correcting the supposed abuses; they have not altered the system of government, or the course of policy. A few retrenchments of expenditure, some of them of extremely questionable propriety, furnishes the whole history of their domestic administration. They have increased the forces, upon the grounds upon which former augmentations have been defended; they have upon them, and in every other topic, fallen at once into precisely the same course of argument, which for years they had reprobated or ridiculed, as the common-place of Ministers. They have even found it necessary to match what they used to call the Dundas and Bathurst job, in giving a pension of L.2000 a-year to a Whig adherent, who had recently been pla ced in the high office of Chief Baron of the Exchequer in Scotland, for which, however, he gave up no pro fession, or other office; and therefore might, much more reasonably than the dismissed Commissioners of the Navy, have been left to his own resources.
Their management of foreign af fairs has been ably exposed in your pages; it is, however, rather difficult to treat this topic, because they have adopted a system of reserve, going far beyond Lord Castlereagh or Mr Canning. It is enough for me, that Lord Palmerston, so long a mem ber of a Tory government, has not ventured to justify himself at the "expense of Tory policy. I do sus pect, that when we are at last informed of his proceed ings in respect of Belgium, Portugal, and the Papal
I have already, perhaps, taken up too much space in combating a senseless notion; had I been less unwilling to occupy pages, which, but for me, might have served more usefully our great cause, I could have multiplied the proofs of that corporate self-delusion which characterises the Whigs, to which there is nothing similar on this side of the Atlantic. But I hope that the sketch which I have given of Whig and Tory history, will shew that his Majesty's present Ministers must stand or fall by their own merits. They cannot claim the honours, if any there be, belonging to exclusive Whigs; nor honestly boast of being guiltless of former misrule. Whigs and Tories have in their turn 'done well; and both have at times done ill. Adopting the designation of Tory, as a simple symbol of abhorrence of revolutionary measures, and of disgust with the vain pretensions of the Whigs, I, for one, remain,
legations, it will be found that a new policy has been adopted; and that he has set himself, not so much against the mismanagement of ancient Tories, as against the declarations of modern Whigs; that he has thrown aside that rule of non-intervention which Lord Grey established or avowed; and has mixed up this country in continental affairs, as intimately as when the Tories made that intermeddling a charge against the Walpoles and the Whigs. If his intervention should lead to war, the war and its consequences will not be owing to Tory Ministers or Tory politics; if war do not ensue, it will be because our high-minded Ministers have taken care, in maintenance of the "Balance of Power"-the old watchword of the Whigs-to ally themselves with the more powerful states for the oppression of the weaker. If herein they cannot shew that they have improved upon Tory policy, we shall find it, I candidly admit, quite as difficult to find their prototypes in the catalogue of Whig statesmen. It is only by the unnatural union between the disciple of Mr Canning and his bitter adversary, that this unmanly policy could have been produced.
I heard a song upon the wandering wind,
The burden of their music; and I knew
The lay which genius, in its loneliness,
Its own still world amidst th' o'erpeopled world,
They crown me with the glistening crown,
I hear the pealing music of renown
They tell me that my soul can throw
From thee, from thee, is caught that golden glow!
It gives to flower and skies,
A bright, new birth!
Thence gleams the path of morning,
Over the kindling hills, a sunny zone!
Thence to its heart of hearts, the Rose is burning
Thence every wood-recess
Each bower, to ringdoves and dim violets known.
I see all beauty by the ray
Of fear 'midst quivering joy,
Leave me not, Love! to mine own beating heart!
The music from my lyre
With thy swift step would flee;
The world's cold breath would quench the starry fire In my deep soul-a temple fill'd with thee! Seal'd would the fountains lie,
The waves of harmony,
Like a shrine 'midst rocks forsaken,
Like a harp which none might waken
So mute, so void, so shatter'd,
Leave me not, Love! or if this earth
Yield not for thee a home,
If the bright summer-land of thy pure birth
Send thee a silvery voice that whispers" Come!"
Then, with the glory from the rose,
With the sparkle from the stream,
With the light thy rainbow-presence throws
Over the poet's dream;
With all th' Elysian hues
Thy pathway that suffuse,
With joy, with music, from the fading grove,
Take me, too, heavenward, on thy wing, sweet Love!