cowardice and submission-the Tories courage and resistance-and yet at this hour, the government of England is in the hands of the dastards who declare they will set us free!

Of the conduct of the Whigs from the peace to their accession to office, we shall not give even a general sketch. Never for a week was it magnanimous. How could it be so? Who were they? They seemed to shrink and shrivel up into unnoticeable insignificance. They now and then attempted to speechify; but even in that they failed; and the most eloquent among them could not play second fiddle to Canning. They were set on the shelf as so much musty lumber; and one rarely heard of a Whig except when he died. Then he was suffered to shine in obituaries; till in a week the farthing-candle lustre of his fame expired-and he was forgot. The most respectable among them changed their names, if possible, by marriage; and widowers and old bachelors looked kindly on you when you called them Tories. Sir John Walsh, whose opinions are strong, though perhaps hardly so strong as our own on this subject, has well shewn how the events of this memorable period of our history inevitably trenched upon and diminished that basis which the Old Whigs had so long and so proudly occupied before the French Revolution. They were-he says-become a Middle Term. But to preserve that sort of intermediate position, it would have been necessary that they should have possessed imposing strength; that they should have exhibited a political faith, clearly distinct from that of either of their rivals; and, above all, that it should have been thoroughly consistent with itself and with truth. Whigs were deficient in all these things. They had been greatly weakened; they had affinities with both Tories and Radicals; and they had mixed feelings of aristocracy, and principles of democracy, which they could no longer reconcile with the circumstances of the times. But there were many causes which banded them together in fierce opposition to the Ministry, and made them draw closer and closer to, and lean more upon, their dangerous allies. Those also of their party who inclined most


to Toryism, and who might have checked their exasperated feelings, in effect quitted them entirely; formerly they hated the Tories, and determined to use, while they inwardly despised, the Ultra democrats; but circumstances have changed; and while they still hate the Tories, they fear the democrats, by whom they are in turn hated, and erelong, if they be not so already, will be thoroughly despised. For a good many years, then, before their late accession to office, it seems to Sir John Walsh that the condition of the Whigs was this-they still possessed the materials of considerable parliamentary influence within the walls of the House of Commons-still retained practised and able orators, whose names carried with them the weight derived from ancient recollection, yet altogether languishing, not fixing public attention, or gui. ding public opinion, and gradually finding all the ground which they had exclusively occupied trenched upon by a mixture of all parties. There was little of union or identity left; they had been at the head of a body of opinion in the country; they latterly scarcely extended beyond the drawing-rooms of the metropolis; they had formed a great party in the nation; they were fast dwindling into a political coterie; they had divided England; they still possessed Brookes's. But we must quote, without break or abridgement, an admirable passage from the Pamphlet, shewing how all this had come to pass with the Whigs.

"The country had had, during these fifteen years, to contend with many difficulties. The revulsion which followed the termination of the war, the fall of rents, the decline of trade in the first years of the peace, the shock to credit in 1825, the fluctuations in the demand for manufactures, involved us in much embarrassment. The increasing evils of the poor law system; the vast mass of the titution on the slightest check to the demanufacturing population exposed to des

mand for their labour; the complicated question of the currency, must have strewed with thorns the pillow of a Minister.

His difficulties were without an obvious remedy: he was surrounded with theorists, each offering his explanation and his panacea but their arguments confuted each other; the statements sup

ported by one set of facts, were invalidated by others. The best and purest intentions, and even the highest ability, were unable effectually to cure evils re sulting from a variety of causes, and acting upon a system so tremblingly sensitive, so artificial and complicated in its structure. Yet, in spite of these dark shades in the picture, I am inclined to think that history will look back upon the reign of George the Fourth as a period of national prosperity and advancement. We have enjoyed profound peace, internal and external; the respect of foreign nations; the most perfect individual liberty; the most complete security of property and person ;-commonplace and vulgar blessings, perhaps, and the enumeration of which has a trite and hackneyed sound. They comprise, however, almost all that the best government can bestow; and I hope I may be excused for mentioning them, just as we sometimes turn to old acquaintance with a feeling of regard, even if they have been rather dull and wearisome, when we think that we may probably separate from them for a long time. Nor have other evidences of increasing national prosperity been wanting. Public works extensively prosecuted; commercial enterprises on a great scale successfully undertaken; an immense developement of our manufacturing industry; a vast diminution in the prices, and improvement in the quality, of almost all the materials of clothing; an increased revenue in proportion to the reduction of taxation; an extended consumption of most articles of general use and enjoyment, are proofs that the elastic force of the nation was not destroyed. I have observed that one of the characteristics of this period was the decline of party spirit; and it is to be attributed to this circumstance, that the nation bore with calm firmness and resolution the evils of one or two of those internal crises to which I have before alluded. There was no irritation applied to the wound, and it healed. Another remark that I shall venture to offer is, that there was no decay of the spirit of genuine and rational liberty. It did not appear that it required the excitement of party struggles to keep it alive, or the fierceness of faction to give it strength. Never had it shewn itself under an aspect more amiable, more worthy of our veneration and love. It seemed tempered with time and experience. It stood alone in its native grace and beauty, and had discarded those followers, - strife, contention, feverish agitation, which had heretofore appeared in its train, blemished its purity, and had seemed almost inseparably a ssociated

with its existence. We had a proof that the attachment to this noble and elevated principle pervaded the general character of Englishmen, that it did not owe its preservation to the vigilance of one set of public men guarding it against the conspiracies of others, that it was engraven in the hearts of all, that it flourished in the breasts of Canning and of Peel, not less than in those of the most ardent disciples of Fox.

"While such was the temper of the whole educated portion of the community; while the tendency of events was to obliterate these distinctions, and to suffer these old appellations of party to fall into oblivion, what was the position of the remains of the Whigs? For half a century they had fought a losing game: they had lost office, popularity, consideration; their predictions had been disproved, their errors had been made manifest. Even the tone of liberality and conciliation in the Government had trenched upon their peculiar manor, and menaced their separate existence. Their young men were seduced into the camp of the enemy; and the influence of this sun of conciliation was not less powerful upon the rising generation, and the moderates of their party, than upon those of the Tories; but they still retained the materials of considerable importance. The aristocratic Whig families clung to their party badges as to their mottoes or their escutcheons. They still could confer a high degree of social distinction. They employed this species of patronage to recruit their ranks with men of talent: they likewise possessed the command of a great number of those private avenues to the House of Commons which are now the theme of such unsparing abuse; and they introduced by them clever and aspiring men, who would not otherwise have obtained seats. Lastly, they enlisted a parliamentary leader not unworthy to fill the place of the great names he succeeded; possessing, in addition to eminent powers and diversified attainments, many qualities which peculiarly fitted him to exercise vast influence in a popular assembly. They still with his mighty aid filled respectably the Opposition benches, pursuing against the Ministry a warfare of detail, and maintaining a useful watch over the policy of the Government.

"A state of things so destitute of excitement was, probably, distasteful to many ardent spirits in their ranks. The languor of inaction and indifference had succeeded to the mortification of defeat. Those who had entered upon the stage of public life within the last twenty years, felt, perhaps, dissatisfied that their ener

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gies should be consumed, and their lives employed in the examination and discussion of subjects requiring much labour, affording no profit, and attended with little éclat. Among those older veterans, who had been actors from the beginning of this long drama, a more deep-seated feeling, perhaps, existed. Their whole course had been a disappointment: their early youth had been crowned with the laurels of parliamentary successes: they had, in the first bright years of manhood, felt their own powers, established their own reputation, been associated with

those whose memory they revered. They

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had passed the threshold which most men never reach; they had made that first step which is, proverbially, the most difficult; while the first sprightly runnings of life' still sparkled near their source, and the sanguine anticipations of that golden period would appear never to have rested upon a firmer or better ground.

"They had remained there. Their subsequent history has been one unvarying tale of efforts without progress, of contests without triumphs. They courted popularity; and popularity ranged itself on the side of their opponents, who had not courted it. They had prophesied defeat, and the nation refuted them on the days of Trafalgar and Waterloo. They proved to demonstration that our armies must be driven into the Atlantic; and the banner of England was borne by a series of victories from Vimeira to Thoulouse. Their biography was written on the reverse side of those tablets on which were inscribed the most glorious passages of our history.

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They had grown old in waging this losing war of party, and they prided themselves upon consistency. It was not wonderful, that, if among them there had been some whose tempers were irritable and imperious by nature, they should have been still further soured and embittered by such causes. They mistook, perhaps, for firmness and consistency, the common pertinacity of age, retentive of early impressions, and little susceptible of new ones. They fancied that they were in full march with the spirit of the times, while they were reverting to the days of 1792, playing an imaginary back game, maintaining the infallibility of

Charles Fox, and ascribing every recent evil to the dispute on the opening of the Scheldt."

What brought into power this feeble faction? Fools and knaves say, the cry for Reform. The Duke of Wellington, it is asserted, destroyed himself by the declaration that there

should be nothing of the sort as long as he was Minister. Not so. Sir John Walsh shews, in a few senten. ces, what we have often shewn, how that Ministry was upset. The Parliament was divided at least into four parties-the Ministerial-the Old Opposition-the Canningites and Huskissonians-and the True Tories. It contained likewise a strong body nell's motion for a select committee of Independents. On Sir Henry Parto enquire into the items of the Civil for all three parties combined against List, the Ministers were defeated; them, aided by a considerable number of the Independents. The true Tories overthrew that government, and in doing so, they did right; for how could they support the men who had "broken in upon the Constitution," and audaciously deceived the nation? Having done justice to themselves, and punished the delinquents, they are now willing to forgive, and, as far as may be, to forget; meanwhile mauling the miserable Minis try that now constitute the misgo. vernment.

It is easily proved, then, from the lists of divisions, that a great portion of those who voted out the Wellingtonians, were adverse to Reform. Nor did that defeat in the Commons give any accession of strength to the Whigs. They were a weak set, weaker perhaps than at any other era of their imbecility; but they were suddenly brought forward by the divisions of their opponents, "just as a ship which has lain for months enclosed by fields of ice, is at length released, not by her own strength, but by the crumbling and breaking up of the masses by which she has been imprisoned."-Such a ship!

Having been thus unexpectedly turned in, what were they to do, to save themselves from being expectedly turned out? They might pur


"the liberal and conciliating policy of Mr Canning and the Duke of Wellington"-too liberal and conciliating by far, Sir John-or they might throw themselves upon the democrats. For a while, we believe, they attempted the first alternative; and serious disturbances prevailing in some parts of England, which it was necessary to put down, all parties agreed to support the govern ment, for the sake of the stack-yards.

The special commissions did their duty, and incendiaries were doomed to die. But even then the new Ministry, though backed by all the energy and intellect of England, began to vacillate and waver; they conceded, even then, to the clamour of the Radical press. However, the Whigs shewed a wish to separate themselves from the party of the Movement, and still more so in the affairs of Ireland. The removal of the Catholic disabilities had produced none of those happy effects so weakly and ignorantly anticipated by the promoters of that unfortunate measure-and over Ireland reigned King O'Connell-whom our new Ministry seemed resolved to treat as a traitor. So far-well. With respect to the affairs of Belgium and Holland, they seemed to pursue, in all essentials, the same course with their predecessors. They declared that it was out of their power to effect any reduction in the expenditure of the State which would materially diminish the amount of taxation. So far-well. Then came their memorable Budget. In it they attempted to satisfy the public expectation (a foolish attempt -for who that knows any thing, does not know that they themselves-the Whigs-had deluded the great majority of the ignorant people into a belief that gross malversation and prodigality pervaded every branch of the Government?) by an extensive shifting and changing of those burdens which they could not lessen. It was now seen that they were blockheads, and not only seen, but admitted on all sides, and expressed by an angry, scornful, contemptuous burst of general laughter, that, spite of the young self-conceit of the faction, and its superannuated arrogance, must have brought the burning blush of shame over the unmeaning face of the Ministry, as it stood with its finger in its mouth, sulky for a while, then blubbering, and finally confessing, by retractation conducted on the largest scale, that they were indeed a conclave of Incapables. Should our language seem too strong, take the milder words of Sir John Walsh. "It is regarded as an injudicious and crude endeavour to put in practice certain theoretical views of taxation, without due reference to existing interests, without

respect for rational enjoyments, and as founded upon errors in calculation so extensive as entirely to vitiate its estimated results." Yet among them, and instructing them, and controlling them, are some, forsooth, of the" Political Economists!!" 'Twas pitiable to see the greatest country on earth governed by such impotents. The case was singular. In the Ministry are several men of ordinary-one man of extraordinary abilities-few feebler, perhaps, than you meet with in the common run of gentlemen-and yet the conduct of the whole was such as, in private life, would have imposed the painful necessity on the relatives of the party, of having them cognosced, as poor Watty was in the "Entail." And yet these are the Imbeciles who have had the impertinence to propose Reform!

They felt they were going-going -gone, if they did not forthwith fling themselves upon the democrats. They therefore lustily roared Reform! Reform! Reform! and the many-headed monster grimly laughed with all his mouths, as he opened his innumerous arms to clutch them falling into his foul but not friendly embrace. Of late years the Democratic Power had been quiescent, but it had been secretly gathering strength. The Populace-the Mobnow-a-days-have been made more than ever savagely ignorant by a base and brutal education. The best among the lower orders are perhaps now better than the best of former times; but the worst are infinitely more wicked; and the generality are more dangerous; for consider how hostile the times to all existing institutions!

"That formidable influence had been peculiarly quiescent of late years, but had secretly gathered the materials of strength. The wide diffusion of that first step in knowledge, the art of reading, which, when obtained, can only be very partially used by the working classes, had given a great increase of weight to the periodical publications to which their studies are confined. The generality of these papers,

certainly those most in circulation,— had a democratic bias, and were extremely hostile to all existing institutions. The depression and rapid fluctuations which trade and agriculture had undergone, disseminated such principles. These re

verses fell most heavily upon men of small or no capital, who, by activity or adventurous speculations, had advanced their fortunes. The painful and bitter feelings which they must have experienced when the tide turned, could not fail to prepare them for discontent, and to make them the willing and reckless agents of change. The congregated mass of manufactures perpetually augmenting, exposed to the severest privations on every variation of price, and altered proportion between demand and supply, were like so many volcanoes in the heart of the country. In Ireland, the numerical force and weight of the lower orders had been most skilfully combined and directed to the attainment of a certain object: the object was gained, and the combination remained unbroken. The example was not lost upon


Lastly, the successes of the population of Paris and Brussels against regular troops had set the whole public mind in a state of the most feverish agitation, and had roused the passions of the most desperate part of the community. In such a condition of affairs, nothing could be conceived more hazardous than invoking the assistance of such auxiliaries. At every period, it is the especial duty of government to avoid excitement, to soothe, and, if necessary, to restrain the ebullitions of popular feeling. Under the circumstances in which the nation has been placed since the accession of the present Ministry to office, this duty has been peculiarly imperative, whether we estimate it by the importance and value of that proud fabric of human civilisation which was intrusted to their custody, or by the unusual dangers to which it has been exposed. There are moral obligations which, though binding upon all, acquire an additional weight in particular instances. Courage is peculiarly demanded of a soldier, chastity of a woman, honour and fidelity of a general.

Among these

may be classed that principle which forbids a government, directly or indirectly, to incite, sanction, connive at, or avail itself of that lawless brute force, which it is the first article of the social compact that it shall subjugate and restrain."

To lay on or to take off a tax the Ministry had shewn was an achievement beyond their impotence; but they supposed it might be easier to effect a revolution. They took the country somewhat by surprise. Lord Grey, it is true, had been a radical reformer in his youth, but he was now getting a very old man, had stood tottering up "for his order," and declared more than once, to the

displeasure of all Ultras, that though he still advocated Reform, it was with very different views and very different feelings from those that guided and animated him at the commencement of his career. Lord Brougham had just been delighting the ears of Yorkshiremen with eloquent avowals of his determination to carry for them an extremely temperate plan of Reform, which was all, he said, that the country wished, and the Constitution required; and my Lord John Russell's motions in Parliament had always been in strict conformity with these sound principles, "that the government must never be placed in the worst of all hands, the population of large cities," -such are his words,-" that a uniform qualification for votes is most pernicious, and that the working of the constitution would be destroyed by the destruction of the nomination boroughs." Almost all the other members of the government, and almost all their friends, had all along held the same opinions-while some of them had been the devoted adherents of Mr Canning, who had sworn to oppose what is called Reform, to his dying day, and who kept his oath. In an hour, all honour, all truth, all sense, were flung to the winds; and round "these liars of the first magnitude," and their Bill, rallied every" partisan of extreme democratic opinions, of every shade and degree, from Sir Francis Burdett to Mr Cobbett"-aye, and far darker shades and lower degrees, down to the slumberers on bulkheads, and the snorers in kennelsthieves, robbers, incendiaries, all the lawless, yet untransported or unhanged, and them the Ministry called-The People!


What were the immediate effects of the unprincipled exposition of the First of March? Sir John Walsh mentions them in terms almost too moderate to suit our temper. first effect, he says, was to secure the support of the party of the movement, or ultra-democratic party. They not only gave the most zealous co-operation towards aiding the measure itself, but they afforded a general, though guarded and limited, countenance to the Ministry, whose defeat upon any other point would have entailed its loss,

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