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of the Whigs than a drowned rat; cult to arrive at the meaning. We when its career of mischief is closed, fear that something is wrong, where when, in its eagerness to steal some so many words are necessary to exs of the prime cheese which lay on the plain that all was right. Í do not upper shelf, it climbed where it was think any one ever dreamt of calling unable to keep its proper balance, and upon such a man as the Duke of Wels tumbled down into the tub of water lington for an "explanation," in the that lay beneath, and was then taken sense in which it has been lately apby the tail, and flung out on the plied ; and if such were by possibility dunghill to decay, amongst other out- asked for, does anyone doubt, that in so cast filth? The parallel is obvious, many words as might be delivered in and needs not to be prosecuted far- ten minutes by the House of Lords' ther. I shall not trouble you with clock, he would sweep away all matthe courteous speech, in which I ad- ter of doubt and intricacy from the mitted the extreme force of my cous subject, by a bold straight-forward sin's observation ; suffice it to say, statement, which would leave neither that when he was gone, I threw my necessity nor room for further ques. pages in the fire, muttering, as they tioning? consumed before my eyes, “ the man Such, certainly, was not the kind spoke like an oracle—it would indeed of explanation with which the membe superfluous to throw water upon bers of the late Cabinet favoured Para drowned rat, and I shall not write liament and the public; nor can it to my excellent friend North, until I ever come from those, who are either have something else to comment
upon Whigs themselves, or have had the than the wretched plight of the misfortune to be connected with Whigs.
Whigs, who involve everything in It was some time after this before such a hodge-podge of petty manageanything occurred which offered any ment, intrigue, and insincerity, that temptation for commentary, politics even an honest man cannot make a having been most uninvitingly dull plain story out of that with which for some time after the formation of they have had to do. the new Ministry, and even after the As to the first speech of “explanameeting of Parliament; but for the tion" which was delivered by Mr Huslast three weeks there has been a lit- kisson at Liverpool, I have a shrewd tle more animation, and it may not suspicion, my worthy friend Christobe an unprofitable task to take a rapid pher, that, notwithstanding the rather glance at some of the most striking hard knocks which you have, with views in the moving panorama of pube something of Irish kindness, occasionlic events during that time. First in ally given to the Colonial Secretary, he order, then, come the “explanations," had been previously to the delivery of so called, no doubt, according to the it taking a lesson from you in the old rule, because nothing was therein art of joke and banter, in which you explained. It is always an unpleasant are, above all men at present on the thing, when persons, holding stations face of the earth, pre-eminently con, so high as those of Cabinet Ministers spicuous. It is manifest that the speech of Great Britain, should find it ne- was nothing but a most superb quiz cessary to enter into a defence, or from beginning to end. And the won. “ explanation,” as it has been termed, der is that even the Liverpool people of their conduct as individuals. We should have intellects so cottony as feel, in spite of ourselves, the truth of not to have perceived it; for even if the French proverb, “ qui s'excuse they had believed that the tears of s'accuse," and we are forced to dwell the “ Continental peasantry” for Mr upon the exculpation of those, whom Canning's death, was but a flourish of we would rather consider not only as genuine rhetorical pathos, and that above misconduct, but above suspic the honesty and consistency of the cion. However strong this disagree. Whigs in joining those who professed able feeling may be under the most Lord Liverpool's principles, was, howe favourable circumstances, it is unquese ever “strange, yet true,” in the right tionably much heightened, when we honourable Secretary's opinion ; how find these defences to consist of long the deuce could they be so stupid as and intricate harangues, of which it is not to see the joke, when he began to tedious to arrive at the end, and diffi- talk about the “ cordiality and hare
mony" of the late Cabinet? Why, my has rescued the country from such dear North, if they had had the least silly and dangerous guidance. sense of the ridiculous, the universal It is really wonderful that greater crowd would have laughed until the misfortunes than did take place should sound would have swept across the not have happened, when public af. sea, and was reverberated in a thou fairs were in the hands of such sand echoes from the rugged shore of binet-When the Master of the Mint the Hill of Houth— Unanimity and goes to the Colonial Secretary to chat cordiality, indeed !-But the thing is with him about the Finance Commite too ridiculous to write or speak about; tee, and the clever hit it would be to one can only laugh.
gain Lord Althorp's influence in the There is nothing more like serious House of Commons, by making him truth than irony, when one does not its chairman-when the same Master happen to have the key to it; and, as of the Mint makes another call upon the reporters could only give Mr Huse the Premier, who, good easy man, has kisson's words, without imparting the no objections, and then forth with he joking manner, which, 'doubtless, still the Master of the Mint, who would have set the matter right with ought to have been at the Tower coin. all but the Liverpool people, a great ing sixpences-negotiates with, and deal of misapprehension went abroad, appoints Lord Althorp chairman, and and a good many, with more simpli- tells what he has done about the streets city than yous, actually supposed that in his own good-humoured chatty he meant something when he spoke manner-while all the time the Chanabout a guarantee. The Duke, how. cellor of the Exchequer in particular, ever, soon cleared their notions on or the Cabinet in general, knows nothis head, by opening a point-blank thing at all about the matter. When battery of a heavy shot, called nega« such a thing as this could be done, tives, upon this same guarantee, which what is there so absurd or so childish in the space of three minutes demothat we might not expect to follow? lished it utterly and for ever.
In this case, the conduct of Mr HerThat really pleasant and clever old ries was such as one might have exgentleman, Mr Tierney, the same who, pected from his knowledge of business, when lately in the Cabinet, and having and his feelings as a Tory and a genno business of his own to mind, went tleman; it would have been worse about fidgeting and gossiping in bis than folly in him to have retained his usual good-natured manner, and seto place in a Cabinet where such proting his colleagues by the ears-he ceedings were tolerated; and he therepromised to call Mr Huskisson to ac- fore determined not to remain. Mem. count, nominally, for his bad beha- bers of both Houses, who were memviour in serving under the Duke, but bers also of the late Cabinet, have as. really, for turning up his nose at the serted that his resignation, or what Whigs in Liverpool. When he came amounts to the same thing, a difference to the scratch, however, the gallant which the acceptance of this resignac old George fought shy, to the very tion would have put an end to, was
astonishment of everybody; for the cause of the dissolution of the no one suspects the veteran's courage, late Cabinet Mr Huskisson implicite and to this day he is a cleaner and a ly, and Mr Herries expressly and emcleverer hitter than any one of his phatically, says it was not; and the party. Whatever may have been the public, or that part of the public which cause, the House unexpectedly broke troubles itself about such matters, is left up on the appointed evening, without to the painful alternative of choosing the challenge having been given ; and between the statements of men who it was reserved for Lord Normanby, state things apparently contradictory, a cleverish, but rather coarse sort of and yet whom one is bound to believe person for a lord, to call for and obtain are incapable of stating anything unthese much-expected explanations. truly, Mr Herries, very plainly and
All the world that reads the news simply, and, as it appears to me, very papers knows what followed ; they re- naturally, says, that the contradictory ceived a most edifying history of the of his statement is incredible. He has ** unanimity and cordiality of the asked, what reason can there be that late Cabinet, and, I trust, have been the resignation of a person so unimpor, duly thankful to Providence, which tant as himself should cause the complete breaking up of the Government? Whigs in this way. I should think and instead of an answer, he received the sample he got of Lord Milton's coarse abuse. Mr Thomas Duncombe courtesy on the second evening of the (he about whom the Times newspaper discussion on the Corporation and Test has been making such a pompous Acts, must have shown him that the bother, while all the rest of the world best method he could pursue would have been laughing) bullied and stam- be that mentioned by old Diogenes, mered mighty words. Lords Milton in Lucian's pleasant Dialogues, namea and Normanby threatened and talked ly, " to show them that it is not in big-Sir James Macdonald scolded vain he carries a staff.” As it is, howe with all his might, and Mr Brougham ever, Mr Peel comes down to the tried to cross examine Mr Herries, as House every night, with his eloquence if he had been a witness at the Old wrapped in a robe of softest velvet, Bailey; but none of them answered that, while it hits it may not hurt. his simple question, which he put “ the gentlemen opposite;" he seems again and again, with a mildness to have determined that which was thrown away upon them, “ From his prudent lips shall flow for they neither understand nor ap- Words as light as flakes of snow." preciate the calm and unruffled de. But I can assure him that he will portment of a man who is armed so only breed himself trouble by this strong in honesty, that their loud mildness ; for his words, that threats pass by as idle wind, which he
“ Fall as soft as snow on the sea, regards not. By the by, these are the
Are lost on the Whigs as instantly." men who, but a few months since, They will think that he is either talked in so lachrymose a manner about the violent language of the friendly to them, or afraid of them; Tories, and even charged them with which two things are about equally having murdered a late lamented disgraceful; and by and by, when statesman with coarse scurrility; yet they find out that he is neither, then I will venture to say, that if all the
will he experience all the coarse abuse severe things which were said by all which is sure to flow when Whigs the Tories in the whole of the last get into a rage of disappointment. — session were put together, it would “ Sævitque animis ignobile vulgus." appear a mild and gentle harangue, It is the fate of many things which when compared with the quantity of are very surprising, to be not at all coarse abuse which was heaped upon important; but certainly the list of Mr Herries on the evening of the 21st names which Mr Peel placed upon February
the Finance Committee was both, and I have lately observed, with great caused more astonishment, and less saregret, many attempts to try upon tisfaction, to the country, than perthe Whigs the efficacy of that which haps any other act of the Government, those who have the care of mad peo- of which he was the organ, ever did. ple call “ the soothing system.” “All In the present situation of the coun. such attempts must be grounded upon try, the duties of a Finance Commit. great misapprehension. To be sensible tee are of an unusually great and imof kindness, is the characteristic of a portant nature. It is manifest that, noble nature, and therefore does not there is something wrong in our sysat all belong to the nature of the tem at present that the internal afWhigs. The Whig is an animal, that fairs of the nation do not prosper as though you should feed him with your they ought, considering the wonderown hand every day, and stroke his ful benefits wherewith Providence has back as he turns about in his den, yet blessed this country. In the regulayou cannot at any moment be sure tions which now govern the immense that he will not suddenly snarl and trade, and manufactures, and agriculsnap at you ; it is the unhappy nature ture of the country, we have departed of the creature, and there is no use in from the principles which our ancesstriving against it. It is passing strange tors, in their simplicity, thought were that Mr Peel, in general so remarka- best; and we have seen the poor mulble for solid judgment, and to which tiplied, and the revenue diminished. he adds so much experience, should It is highly worthy, and indeed impehave ever thought of managing the riously necessary, that these matters,
upon which our revenue depends, means by which the profitable emshould be diligently and deliberately ployment may be thrown amongst investigated by the very ablest men those who now live in penurious idlethat can be picked out of the able ness for want of it, an immense ac. men of Great Britain. This is no cession of wealth will immediately time for petty paltry inquiries about follow, of which the Government may, whether thirty-eight clerks would do by taxation, take to themselves what instead of forty, or whether a man is necessary for the public service. I that exists on a hundred pounds a- am very much afraid, however, that year, could not be made to starve on until men get a good deal further ad. ninety. The country does not want vanced in the contempt which is almen on the Finance Committee who ready pretty generally commencing, are only fit to “sweep the house, and for the audacious quackery of political light a candle, and seek for the piece economists, and return once more to of silver which is lost ;" it wants men the guidance of plain common sense, who can go to the root of the matter, this most desirable object will not be and examine the impaired sources of accomplished. As long as men will our revenue, and shew how it may be be so drunk with mystical theories; built up again with judgment. Does as to believe it for their interest to any man in his senses expect this from manufacture a small quantity, and Sir Henry Parnell, or Mr Maberly, or exchange it with a foreign agricultu. Mr Hume? Is it not evident that the rist for a given quantity of corn, while effect of putting such men on the the agriculturist at home must be supé Committee will be to make it a mere ported in idleness, rather than manucommission of inquiry into the public facture a larger quantity, and by exaccounts, and the expenses of certain changing it for the same portion of offices? In the grand question of ex- home produce, enable the agricultuploring the financial strength of this rist to support himself, while the manation, these men could give no as- nufacturer's profit, per yard or per sistance; and the men who could, pound, is as much on the larger quanwill desist from the task while they tity manufactured as on the smaller are encumbered with such auxiliaries. as long as political economy Doctors
Our country presents the extraor- teach this, and men are so besotted as dinary anomaly of financial difficulty, to believe them, little amendment can or at least the apprehension of finan. be expected. But perhaps some pert cial difficulty, while it abounds with young disciple of Doctor M'Culloch the materials of almost immeasurable may say, “ It is impossible the profit, wealth, which lie unemployed and use- per yard or per pound, can be so much, less. The bowels of the earth teem with when a larger quantity of goods is the most useful minerals-iron, and given to the home agriculturist for the copper, and lead, and tin ; which re- given quantity of corn.” Hold a moquire but labour to dig up, and some ment, young gentleman, you are conmore labour to fashion into those versant only with Dr M‘Culloch's things which, by the common con- books; while the manufacturer's books sent of mankind, are most valuable - his journal and his ledger-are a and costly. Huge tracts of land lie thousand times better evidence on the uncultivated and unproductive, which subject-look you at the figures. almost seem to cry aloud for the as- Let it be supposed that a manufacsistance of man's labour, that they turer of calico can sell bis goods at a may become covered with flocks and shilling a-yard, of which one penny is herds, or thick with standing corn. profit well, if he sell to the foreign Labour is all that is wanted to pro- corn-merchant 1000 yards, and debit duce this great riches, and yet there his account with L. 50, he gets back are hundreds and thousands of la. 20 quarters of wheat at 50s., which bourers pining in idleness and pover- balances the account, and his profit is ty, because they can get no employ- 1000 pence, or L. 4, 3s. 4d. But supment! Here indeed is matter for po- pose he should deal with farmer Giles liticians of sound and enlarged mind at home, not being allowed to import to investigate. Here is the real sub- foreign corn at 50s. ; in that case, ject for men of finance to grapple as wheat is then 60s. and the given with; for if they can once devise the quantity 20 quarters, he debits Giles with 1200 yards at 18.-1.60; and ced to carry the same bulk in almost he credits him with 20 quarters wheat the heaviest of all the metals, and the at 60s.-L.60. The account stands weight wellnigh breaks our back. In balanced, and his profit is 1200 pence, this respect, your northern portion of or L.5. Now, young gentleman, I the empire is more fortunate. I am defy you to pick a flawin these figures; fully persuaded, that the celebrated auand until you can persuade me that thor of the “ Letters of Malachi Malathe L.5 gained in the home market is growther” has not added more to the less valuable than the L.4, 38. 4d. literary glory of Scotland, than he has gained in the foreign market, I shall to its commercial welfare, by standing inaintain that Cocker and I are right, forth the invincible champion of its and M'Culloch and you are wrong. bank- notes ; and the Scottish mer
I know that now you will shift your chant, behind his counter, has almost ground, and say, that the manufac- as much reason to rejoice in the name turer cannot produce his next 1000 of that great writer, as the Scottish yards as cheaply as the last, because patriot who feels his heart swell with wheat has become 10s. a-quarter dear- proud emotion at the thought of those er. My answer to this is, that while noble works of imagination, which will machines which eat no wheat do so carry down the scenery and manners of much of the work, the difference of his native country to the remotest peri10s. a-quarter in wheat would not in. od of unborn time, which shall possess crease the cost of producing his cloth any knowledge of English literature. one hundredth part of a farthing in But to return to the Finance Comthe yard; but suppose it did, and mittee. I am far from supposing, more, is he not amply repaid by the that no good may be done by a rigid superior facility and safety of the mare inquiry into the administration of the ket, and by the encouragement he gives revenue, for even setting aside the to a branch of home industry, which consideration of the money, it is will provide a regular market for wholesome for the state that the buhim, in peace and in war, in storms siness of the public departments should and in calms, when the foreign mar- be thoroughly looked into occasionalket could not be got at ? Pardon, my ly, lest idleness and abuses should dear North, this excursion into the grow up; but even this I would by dry matters of politics ; but when I no means intrust to Mr Hume, or Mr recollect that the chairman of our Fi. Maberly, or Sir Henry Parnell
. Setnance Committee is a Whig, and a ting Joey Hume to examine a great disciple of that melancholy madman, public department, is like an endeaM‘Culloch, I cannot help holding up vour to measure the contents of Loch to your contempt the absurdities which Lomond with a pint stoup-" Il a such men imagine they shew their l'esprit trop borné,"—the man's mind wisdom by supporting.
is too little for anything of the kind. If I might venture to hazard an There, however, he sits in all his opinion upon the best means of re- glory, a greater man, I am sure, than storing our internal prosperity, I he ever expected to be. Every one, should say, that having first properly high and low, used to laugh at poor regulated the misnamed Reciprocity Joseph ; but now he is become a very System, a cheaper and more abundant formidable person, and the fear of currency would be the most likely him extends over the three kingdoms; means of restoring activity to all for it is confidently reported, that he branches of our industry. We work means to institute a strict economy ed long, and successfully, and glorie in the supply of brooms and matches ously, upon an abundant, yet artific to all the public offices of London cial currency; prodigious public and and elsewhere, and pale terror fleeth private engagements were entered into, to and fro amongst the respectable which sprung from, and were adapted venders of these articles. to, that currency; and they still exist, and we are bound to them under a
Mortalia corda new order of things, which must ne
Per gentes Hume-ilis stravit pavor! cessarily contract our means. We Other members of the Committee are, carried our load merrily while it was however, it is said, engaged upon made of light paper, but we are for more important matters, and we may