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can have, without a sweeping revolution, they are indignantly reproached, as apostates and betrayers. There remains, then, as the reservoir of their popularity, whence its scanty streams ooze and dribble round their path, their own party alone; the Whigs themselves : at all times insignificant in point of numbers, and at the present time still more insignificant, because many who would have been considered Whigs a few years ago, have become moderate Conservatives, (not that they have changed, but the old standard of whiggism may now pass for very good conservatism ;) and many (such as Lord Durham for example,) who called themselves Whigs, as being the then nearest respectable approximation to what they really were, have since passed over to the ranks of the revolutionists.
Even this small body, however, is not quite unanimous in praise; while it is worthy of remark, that the most implacable enemies of the whigs, they who revile them with the greatest bitterness, and assail them with the most unmitigated scorn and virulence, are not their ancient and time-honored opponents, the tories, but their quondam friends. This too is natural. No enemy so inveterate, as a base friend. No enmity so rancorous, as that which flows from the festering discontent of bad passions. No hatred so perfect, as that which springs up in a degenerate nature, when it has been planted there either by the refusal or the inability, (for it matters not which) to confer the hundredth obligation.
The whigs have rendered themselves thus universally odious by miscalculation or deception. They have no choice but between pleading guilty as fools, or knaves. These are hard words, but justifiable ones. If they seriously imagined, if they conscientiously believed, they could fulfil all the expectations which they knew they were raising; if they suffered themselves to be deluded with the notion, that when they had carried the Reform Bill, they could stop; or, if they went on, that they could carry, also, all the other measures for which that bill would provoke the appetite; if they reckoned upon being able to wield the fierce spirit of democracy which they were un chaining, to arrest the progress of that desire for innovation which they were about to call into existence, to curb the impulse they were preparing to communicate to the popular mind; if, I say, they acted under these persuasions, and deliberately entertained them as things they had meditated upon in all their bearings, then, what but folly, of the most portentous character, folly, hardly to be conceived outside of Bedlam, could have directed their course ?
If, on the contrary, they consented to climb into power by professions which they knew they must falsify; if they suffered hopes to be nursed by those professions which they knew must be disappointed ; if they took no step to disabuse their heated and misled followers, but took advantage of the momentary delirium, to grasp the objects of their ambition; if, in short, they suffered reform to mean, in the mouths of the multitude, anything, and everything, which the multitude itself chose to mean by it ; if it was by these means that they installed themselves as a reform ministry, then, it would not be very easy to transgress any just limits of indignant censure, in characterising their perfidy, meanness, and audacious fraud. Be the case as it may, however, the fact is undeniable, that their unpopularity with the reformers themselves, has been simply the result of this disappointment,
Yes—the reformers are disappointed; and they are loud in their complaints of this disappointment; and yet we all know the extent to which reform has actually been carried. We may judge, therefore, what it is the reformers understand by reform. We are now, too, in a condition to judge of the wisdom of the conservatives, in refusing to begin the work of reform on the principles upon which it was demanded by the reformers. They clearly foresaw the consequences. It is no longer an unresolved problem, what would have been the fate of a prudent and moderate scheme of reform, attempted by the tories, when we see what has been the fate of the reform offered by the whigs. The only safe position was that which the conservatives took, namely, to discountenance all systems of reform, which must, from their very nature, open the door to unlimited changes, but to deal with proved abuses according to the exigency of each separate abuse. It is not the science of politics alone that retrogrades, instead of advancing, by fettering it with systems to whose arbitrary standard all practical rules and maxims must be forcibly adjusted.
Whenever it shall please the whigs to relieve their unhappy country from the calamity with which it is now oppressed, by relieving it from themselves, they must expect to witness such a demonstration of public feeling, as never yet signalised the downfall of the most odious ministry that ever earned for itself a nation's hatred and contempt. It is not their conduct as ministers alone, which has prepared for them this requiem : not the mere fact of their having brought into jeopardy all our most valued and most valuable institutions; not simply because they have fostered a wild spirit of innovation, which threatens alike the stability of the throne, the church, and the constitution; but because of their total want of principle, their
mutual treacheries, their undignified yieldings, their paltryintrigues, their faithlessness, their mean truckling to rabble dictation. In vain they be-puff each other, night after night. In vain my Lord BROUGHAM tells my Lord GREY to his face, that he is an eighth wonder of the world ; that he is the greatest statesman of modern times, or of any time; that he has the privilege of growing old, without the attendant infirmities of age ; in vain the same noble and learned lord pronounces “honest” Lord Althorp to be an indispensable part of any administration—(had he said of any whig administration, there might have been some truth in it, and no very hyperbolical compliment to Lord ALTHORP either) in vain " honest” Lord Althorp does as much for Lord MELBOURNE, the moment he becomes premier; assuring us, that though the loss of Earl Grey was all but irreparable, yet, fortunately, Lord MELBOURNE was nearly as good; being“ possessed of great abilities, natural and acquired, great judgment, and great decision, qualities very necessary in the First Minister of this country;" vain, vain, is all this expenditure of soap: no less coarse and indelicate too, than vain : for the people of England have pretty well settled in their own minds, the exact, intrinsic worth of the whigs; and though, in the way of trade, they might have no objection to buy them at their own (the people's) price, and sell them at their's, (the whigs”) they would not, at any price, have them back again, when once they are fairly gone.
Allusion has been made to the unconstitutioual, unprecedented, and dangerous influence by which, on more than one occasion, these ministers have been, to a certain degree, forced back upon the sovereign after they had tendered their resignations. I know it may be said that a minister's resignation is not considered to be finally accepted, till his successor is appointed : but hitherto, when a minister has announced to Parliament the tender of his resignation, accompanied with the usual intimation, that the responsible functions of the existing government are thereby suspended, the inference has always been, and subsequent fact has confirmed the inference, that a new ministry had to be formed. The holding of office meanwhile, is nothing more than an act of duty to the King and the country, the non-performance of which would be tantamount to a sudden interruption of the nation's affairs.
It is easy to see, that when the government is in that situation, if either the people, or any portion of their representatives, take upon themselves to invite the retiring minister to return, or to express their hope that he will remain, there is, pro tanto, a direct invasion of the King's prerogative in the choosing of his ministers. It is no less easy to foresee, that if this whig practice be tolerated, if it be established as a precedent, it will not be long before the King's ministers will become the people's ministers, or the ministers of the House of Commons. These addresses and requisitions, these declarations of confidence, have in them a principle of the most dangerous tendency. To a certain extent, they fetter the free exercise of the sovereign's choice. But this is not all. By and hy, they will change from addresses, requisitions, and declarations, to REMONSTRANCES : and in the end, the House of Commons will withold its confidence from any minister not of its own appointing, and refuse supplies till its will prevails.
For this novelty, too, we are indebted to the whigs. No tory minister would have endured to be made the instrument of such an interference with the royal will: no tory minister would have submitted to be held up by his friends as capable
such childish indecision ; resigning to-day, returning to-morrow, resigning again next day, and coaxed back with sugar-plums the day after. When Pitt went out of office at the peace of Amiens, when, after the death of Perceval, the ministry was dissolved, when the LIVERPOOL Cabinet was broken up, and the CANNING one formed, when the Duke of WelLINGTON retired, to make room for the present men, were there any addresses from the tories, any requisitions, any declarations of confidence ? No. The ministers were supposed to be men who knew their own intentions, and having resigned, there was an end. They were not babies, to he wheedled with soft words and kisses. And even if they had been, the tories, as a body, were of too manly a breed to humour them; and entertained besides, too scrupulous a regard for the rights of the monarch, to think of doing any thing which could by possibility be construed into an act of dictation.
It is the distinction of this country, its high distinction, that in it are, at once, afforded the amplest and most various means, as well as the best encouragements, for the energies of mind, and the exercise of virtue. It is its disgrace, its lowest disgrace, that its most distinguished talents and attainments receive, not unfrequently, an application far, very far different from the ends which they ought to serve ; and instead of fruits worthy of the soil, fair fruits “ for the benefit," as Lord Bacon remarks, and relief of the state and society of man's life," they bring forth weeds of the most baneful and destructive efficacy. It is its disgrace, its lowest disgrace, that men who seem born to endow life with its brightest and richest dowries, apply the best gifts of nature, and the most valuable accomplishments of art, to the worst purposes of their worst passions; not to inform mind; not to generate, to strengthen, to sublimate virtue, but to give life, and vigor, and extent to the dominion of error.
Is life, then, in this land, the blessed Canaan of our inheritance, amid all its advantages of nature, of institution, of government, and of religion-incontestibly superior to the most civilised nations of the world—so well adapted also to give food and exercise to the best affections and the sublimest faculties of our nature, but a scene for the spirits of mischief to exercise their power--a scene for the portentous agitations of perverted understanding and corrupt will? No! Let me not defame, let me not degrade, my country. Amid this night of intellectual darkness, stars there yet are of brightest radiance and of most beneficial virtue. There are lights among us which, in a crisis even more calamitous than the present, may well speak comfort, and hope, and confidence to us. Men there are need they be named ?-worthy mand what higher praise can be given them ?—worthy of their countrymen able to defend and support it in the troubled and desolating conflicts of political warfare; and not only to defend and support, but to adorn and improve it; men with an understanding to see objects in their true bearing and dependencies, with an eloquence to give form and impression to the dictates of that understanding, and with an intrepidity of spirit and a sanctity of honesty, to pursue, temperately, yet inflexibly, the paths, though difficulties and dangers stand in the way, of severest duty.
The time is at hand when the country must owe her salvation to these men; when they must not shrink from the perils to which they will be summoned. The whig ministry totters to its fall. It has barely survived the last shock. It cannot survive another. It cannot continue in its present shattered condition. A conservative administration must succeed or a revolution! We must descend to worse, or ascend to better. But the latter, I trust, nay, I feel assured, is reserved for us. Amid all the deliriums of temporary delusion, amid all the machinations of those who seek their own ill-understood advantage in the convulsion of all legitimate government, and all social order, there are those who have minds justly to estimate, and the spirit mightily to defend, the prerogatives of the crown and the privileges of the people; prerogatives and privileges on which, in their distinctive operations but beneficial unity of effect, rests the just equipoise of the British Constitution ; as the order of the planetary system is preserved, by the agency of contrary powers in subserviency to the same end.
Bathos. Mr. Gilbert Pickering, who translated Horace in the beginnng of the last century, gives the line“ Sublimi feriam sidera vertice," as follows:
I'll bound, I'll spring, I'll strike the weaken'd pole,
I'll knock so hard, I'll knock through it a hole. Ben. Jonson, in his Sejanus, (act v. sc. i.) has a somewhat similar piece of fustian, where he makes Sejanus, who is soliloquising upon his ambitious projects, exclaim,
Great and high,
Flatman, a now neglected poet of the reign of Charles II., wrote a touching ode upon the subject of his own death. As his works are not in every one's hands, it may be acceptable to my readers.
Oh the sad day,
Of miserable me,
When they shall say of these poor eyes
Against his potent enemy!
And, when his next companions say,
" Who can his fate withstand ?"
Than ere my rhetorick could before;
The Portuguese ambassador at the Court of France (1641,) after a great deal of trouble, found a man who strongly resembled his new sovereign John IV. He had his portrait taken and presented it to Cardinal Richelieu as the King's portrait. The Cardinal having looked at it for some time without saying a word, at length observed, “ This is the portrait of a man who will one day be hanged." I suppose he meant that the Spaniards would one day catch the new King, and hang him. (Patiniana.)
“ This word, in its appropriate meaning, denotes lands formed by a long continued and gradual alluvion of a river. Such lands are universally formed by rivers conveying slime wherever sufficient space is furnished for the reception; and where falls, straights, points of land, or any other causes
check the current.”- Dwight's Travels. The Americans have restored this word to its original application to space instead of time. “It has been remarked by several writers, that the Latin word intervallum was evidently borrowed from the appropriate phraseology of a camp: inter vallos spatium —the spaces between the stakes or palisadoes which strengthened the rampart. None of them, however, has taken any notice of the insensible transition by which it came successively to be employed in a more enlarged sense; first, to express a limited portion of longitudinal extension in general; and afterwards limited portions of time as well as of space.”—“ It is now só exclusively appropriated to time, that to speak of the interval between two places would be considered as a mode of expression not agreeable to common use."— Dugald Stewart. There are, in the United States, according to “Ingersall's Discourse, "Scholars at the public schools
500,000 Medical Students
1,200 Law Students
6,000 Newspapers published
5,000 Miles of post road..
80,000 Ditto of turnpike
3,000 Number of Indians, within limits of the U.S..... 470,000
GEOFFREY'S MEDITATIONS IN ST. MARY AXE.
July 16th. I am rather in the dumps to-day. I have heard some ugly things about my Magazine ; had some ugly symptoms of its fate. One the most schon lastic minds in Canterbury has personally declared he « does not like it.” Another, complains that my auti-biographical address, had “a good deal of rigmarole"—that the “additions to Johnson's Dictionary are heavy”—and that “upon the whole, he is disappointed.”. A third, came in breathless haste just before the ten days notice was expired, and begged, in an agony of apprehension lest he should be too late, that the second number might not be sent unless he ordered it. A fourth, returned the first number, after keeping it a week, (I dare say, the party was too honorable to read it during the time,) which was as much as to say, it was not wanted. A fifth would like a few births, deaths, and marriages," and besides, “ thought it too dear.” A sixth-no-my list is at an end-a sixth has not yet been found, in the whole county, to utter a disloyal word touching the Canterbury Magazine.
July 20th, 7 o'clock in the evening. Upon the whole, the first number has gone off uncommonly well ; yet I have not been able to get out of my head all day, the reply which a celebrated bibliopolist once made,in my hearing, to the following question, which was asked by a poet, now dead. ( What is the reason," said he,
that so many new periodicals when they are started, never get beyond the third number?” “ I'll tell you. The first number the public buy, from curiosity; the second, the booksellers buy, upon speculation ; the third,—nobody buys."
July 22nd. Ah ! ah ! this will do this is something like.-One-two-three-four -five-six-seven-eight-nine--ten-eleven--twelve-thirteen letters all couleur de rose—and one of them on rose coloured paper; written too in a beautifully small, delicate hand; and the fair writer beseeching me to continue, this month, my auto-biography : the others, so full of truth in the dis