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the facts, and not at forms and fictions, of its members know nothing of the one would say that the efficient iuflu- process till it is over. Then they learn,
are two: first,“ the country,” as the general public does, that suchand, secondly, certain managing polit-and-such noblemen, gentlemen, and ical cliques in London society. There lawyers have been appointed to variare some few public men of such com- ous greater and minor offices of State. manding weight and influence that the selection formally rests with the they are independent alike of the crown; in reality with the prime minHouse of Commous and of the party ister, acting in consultation with his managers. The electorate - that is, court or private cabinet of advisers on of course, their moiety of the electo-party affairs. An English premier is rate — will have them, and their claims usually either a great nobleman, or a cannot be denied. In such cases the commoner of advanced years, distinelection is practically a vote for or guished eminence, and close personal against one or two of them; as in 1880, relations with the aristocratic, territowhen the real question was whether rial, and wealthy classes. In either the electors desired Lord Beaconsfield case his associations are constantly to continue in office or not; in 1892, with the more select members of that when the alternative practically was for miscellaneous, but tolerably well-deor against Mr. Gladstone ; or as it will fined, collection of individuals and be at the next general election, when family groups, living during a considereverybody will be asking himself | able portion of the year in the West-end whether he wants Lord Salisbury and streets and squares, who make up what Mr. Balfour to come in or to stay out. is called "society.” These are the In these cases “the voice of England is people of whom the Cabinet-maker the choice of England,” understanding knows most, the only people with by the voice of England the voice of whom he is likely to be in frequent Scotland, Ireland, and Wales as well. contact; and consequently, when he is You cannot say that the House of selecting his mivistry he looks for its Commons has much to do with the members, as a rule, in these circles. matter; it does not choose the suc- But he does not usually look for them cessful party leader who comes in on himself. He is probably too busy, or the top of the wave, and it could not too important, or too much a grand reject him if it would. Could the seigneur to be very well posted in the House have made anybody but Mr. personalities of the world and of poliGladstone premier in 1892, whether it tics ; he is dependent, like other kings, wanted bim or not? In 1880 the ma- princes, and presidents, on his court jority of the Liberal members probably and his chancellery. The plain fact is did not want him, and would have pre- that, under this democratic dispensaferred Lord Hartington ; but they had tion of ours, a person has very small to take him all the same. And if the chance, as a rule, of attracting the noHouse of Commons were abolished, the tice of the great man, or of the group plébiscite could be held and the coun- which surrounds the great man in club, try elect ils prime minister, with much salon, or country house, if he cannot the same essential result. Here, again, find his way into the governing and is a case where the functions of the managing cliques which “ work party House of Commons are a great deal politics through and by society. There larger in appearance than they are in are various ways of getting into the reality.
inner ring. A man may be born in it The choosing of the ministers of the -in which case, with decent abilities, second rank, who are not of sufficient there is no reason why he should prestige and weight to be called to office not be an under-secretary at sevenby the popular voice, is a different mat- and-twenty ; or he may be acceptedl ter. The House of Commons is not because he is very rich ; or even someconsulted in Cabinet-making, and most times, though rarely, because he is
very clever; or because he is a person I will find it somewhat difficult to find a of influence in local politics, and would more plausible explanation of the presbe likely to do good service to the ence in them of several noblemen and party. And the chief advantage to geutlemen who could be named. For the ambitious local politician of being our present purpose it is sufficient, at elected to the House of Commons is least, to suggest low little the House that he has thereby a chance — at least, of Commons has to do with the matter. if he is also wealthy, sociable, and a With some inodification in the details, good entertainer-of working his way the present system of government and into one or other of the ruling oligar- appointing governors could go ou, in chies. The House itself can do little essentials the same, if the House of for him directly, unless he be a person Commons were abolished. of the most exceptional ability and force of character ; but indirectly, if he THE
THE COMMONS : also possesses the necessary qualifica
SUGGESTION. tions of wealth, manners, and hospi- If there is any force in what has
was tality, it can help him to get his footing been said here, it will be seen that the in the right set. Once firmly estab- comparative weakness and inutility of lished there, he is as eligible as another the House of Commons is due mainly for nomination to office. He may talk to the increased power of the Cabinet, to the party chiefs and impress them and to the position of members of Parwith his personal ability; and he will, liament as delegates directed to vote at any rate, have the opportunity of with the party according to the orders becoming acquainted with the ladies of the caucus, rather than as representand gentlemen who meet the premier atives able to exercise an independent and the members of his closet-council judgment. Space will not permit me at dinners and luncheons, who stay to go into the question of the means with them at country houses, and are by which the system could be altered, married to their sisters, brothers, aunts, even if it were desirable to alter it. A and cousins. Thus, when the time good many people would be inclined to comes, he may find himself a junior say that it is not. They would, perlord or an under-secretary, or even a haps, hold that the growth of the Cabminister at the liead of one of the great inet on the one hand, and the larger departments; and the House of Com- control of the electors over their memmons, it may be with a little mild sur- bers on the other, represent a natural prise, acquiesces – partly because it and healthy development; and that if cannot help itself; partly because the the result is that Parliament has more oligarchies, with that excellent good of the show than the reality of power, sense and self-command wlich have the arrangement, nevertheless, works always distinguished the English gov- satisfactorily cnough. However this erning classes, do not, as a rule, make may be, there is an obvious method by flagrantly bad appointments. If the which the Commons could effectually subordinate members of the Cabinet regain control of the executive and and the ministry generally are not become independent of the caucus. much above the average of members of would only be necessary to add to the Parliament, they are not often below it. rules a standing order prescribing that
This explanation of the mode in divisions in the House should be taken which ministries are made is not ex- by ballot. It will be seen what an actly orthodox. Neither the popular enormous difference the adoption of plébiscite nor the influence of London this simple expedient would make. If society is recognized by the writers of the votes in the House were taken by the text-books. But these elements ballot, no one, of course, could know are at work all the same ; and any one low each individual voted. Every who takes the trouble to consider the member would be left free to exercise composition of some recent ministries his own private judgment on the ques
It filled up.
tion before him, untroubled by the fear | forgotten and now become extremely rare, either of the party whip or the local its existence has been recalled by a passage
“ wire-pullers; and though he would, no in the recently published "Mémoires du doubt, still usually vote with his léad Chancelier Pasquier.” Speaking of Napoers, he could, at any rate, safely vote leon's efforts in his latter years to saddle against them when he thought them Talleyrand with the blame of the Duke
d'Enghien's execution the writer says (i. wrong. Under these conditions minis
195), “Il l'en accusait à l'ile d'Elbe, en ters would have to convince where présence de je ne sais quel Anglais, qui l'a they now command; and the speeches consigné dans une relation de son voyage in debate, instead of being an empty dans l'ile.” The “relation” referred to form, would actually be intended to may be read in the ensuing pages ; of the persuade the audience to which they "je ne sais quel Anglais," a very few were delivered. The “ mechanical ma- words must now be said. jority ” would disappear; and a gov
Hugh Viscount Ebrington, eldest son of erument could not venture to bring in Hugh first Earl Fortescue by Hester, a bill which it knew very well was re- daughter of the Right Hon. George Grengarded with dislike and suspicion by a 1783, passed through Eton and Brasenose
ville (the prime minister), was born in third of its supporters, if it also kuew College, Oxford, and entered Parliament as that those supporters could, if they member for Barnstaple in 1804. In 1809, pleased, give effect to their convictions having obtained a commission, he was apat the ballot-box. A minister, chal- pointed aide-de-camp to Sir Arthur Welleslenged on some point of administration, ley, but was prevented from joining him would have to defend himself in ear- from Gibraltar under the escort of General nest and vindicate his action success- Venega's Spanish army by its defeat at fully, instead of merely calling upon
Almonacid. Before he could reach Sir the whips to muster their forces for Arthur the vacant place on the staff was
He first attracted notice in the a party division.
In one word, the House of Commons would be, in fact, the infliction of the sentence of the pillory
House of Commons by his protest against - a sovereign · assembly, and become, on the famous Lord Cochrane in 1814. what it is not now, the real ruling ele- Napoleon, as we shall see, was aware of ment in the Constitution. But such a this incident or had been told it for the change is probably not one that could occasion. Later on Lord Ebrington benow be carried into effect. The elec- came known as a leader in the Reform tors have showu no disposition to tol- movement of 1830, being selected by Maerate any arrangements which would caulay himself as the head of the indedeprive them of their power to control pendent Reformers in the Commons in and supervise their parliamentary del- September, 1831, when the ministry threategates ; nor, perhaps, if the question in the Lords (Lord Macaulay's Life and
ened to resign in consequence of its defeat were seriously put to them, would they Letters, i. 193). In another passage Maregard with approval an innovation
caulay speaks of the effect which he had which, while it tended to weaken the seen produced in the House" by very rude 1 Cabinet and almost to paralyze the sentences stammered by such men as Lord cancus, would make the Commons far Spencer and Lord Ebrington.” As another stronger than either.
instance of the moral ascendency which SIDNEY Low. can be gained only by a man of acknowl
edged courage and uprightness, it may be mentioned that Lord Ebrington once dispersed single-handed a formidable mob of
rioters in North Devon, throwing to the From Macmillan's Magazine.
ground, without for a moment interrupting A CONVERSATION WITH NAPOLEON AT his address, a man who presumed to lay
hands on him while exhorting them to re[THE memorandum here following was turn peaceably to their homes. For the originally published as a little pamphlet in March, 1823, nearly two years after Napo- 1 Of course this does not mean discourteous; the leon's death in May, 1821. Long since 'courtesy of both men was proverbial.
rest Lord Ebrington having absolutely no once a poor baker's son at Nancy, since gift of speech played his part in silence, named by Napoleon himself le Sage de la though the intimate friend and trusted Grande Armée), a note to say that his counsellor of men so highly placed as Lord | Majesty the emperor will receive him at Althorp and Lord John Russell. He died eight o'clock.' J. W. F.] in 1861. Enough has now been said to show that
MEMORANDUM. Napoleon's interlocutor was a man of per
PORTO FERRAJO, haps more than ordinary force of character.
Monday, Dec. 6, 1814. But what probably made Napoleon specially I went by appointment at eight anxious to create a favorable impression on o'clock in the evening to the palace, him was his relationship to Lord Grenville, and after waiting a few minutes, was than whom the dethroned emperor had no shown into the room to Napoleon. enemy more resolute, nor any whom it
After some questions about myself, might profit him more to conciliate. Be that as it may, the memorandum of the my family, etc., he asked eagerly about
France, saying, 66 Dîtes-moi franchetwo conversations speaks for itself. It is
ment, sont-ils contents ?” I said, here given exactly as it stands in the origi
“ Comme ça.” He replied : nal manuscript, taken down at the earliest opportunity after the second interview ; cannot be ; they have been too much and though written evidently with extreme hun bled by the peace ; they have had rapidity, unblotted by a single erasure. a king imposed upon them and im“The parts of it which are in French are, posed by England. Lord Wellington's as nearly as I could recollect them at the appointment must be very galling to time, the very words used by Napoleon, the army, as
must the great attenwrites Lord Ebrington in his preface; tions shown him by the king, as if “and the remainder may be relied on as to set his own private. feelings up in the genuine substance of what he said to
opposition to those of the country ; Si Had my memory been better, I might Lord Wellington fût venu à Paris have added much more, but where I felt a doubt of its accuracy on any subject I sup
comme voyageur, je me serais fait un pressed that subject altogether." [As a plaisir de lui témoigner les égards dûs matter of fact his memory was remarkably à son grand mérite ; mais je n'aurois retentive and accurate.] "I have not pas été content que vous le m'envoyasaltered the original MS. lest, in endeavor- siez comme ambassadeur." The Bouring to put what was written solely for my bons were not calculated to be popular own satisfaction and amusement into a with a people like the French. Maform better adapted for the press, I should dame d'Angoulême, he had heard, was take away anything from its authenticity.”
plain and awkward. With such an example before him the present editor has been careful to leave the lange de la paix du moins une femme
elle ou jolie.” The king and manuscript untouched. Two three
Monsieur were too much influenced by passages which, as reflecting on persons then living, were suppressed in the printed priests. The Duke d’Angoulême, he edition of 1823 are now inserted and ap- had been told, was weak, " et le Duc pear in print for the first time. These have de Berri a fait dernièrement, à ce que been enclosed in brackets. One or two l'on dit, bien des sottises." Besides small foot-notes on matters which have they (the Bourbons) had been the infallen obscure have also been added ; and struments of making a peace on terms with these it seems best that the editor's to which he (Napoleon) would never functions should end.
have consented ; giving up Belgium, And now let us carry ourselves back to a which the nation had been taught to December evening in 1814. A young
Englishman, unknown except as the nephew dominions of France, and would never
consider as an integral part of the of Lord Grenville, and thus kinsman of William Pitt, has seized the opportunity quietly consent to be stripped of. given by the Peace of Paris, to go abroad,
"You had gained enough by the peace and has found himself at Elba. There he in securing the internal quiet of your has received from General Drouot (Drouot, empire at home, in the recognition of
« Il fallait pour
your sovereignty in India, and in hav-placed several of them about his court, ing the Bourbons, instead of me, upon but he was obliged to do it very cauthe throne. The best thing for En-liously : “Car toutes les fois que je gland would perhaps have been the touchois cette corde les esprits frémispartition of France ; but whilst you soient, comme un cheval à qui on serre left her amply the means of being for- trop les rênes.' He felt that France midable, you have, by what you have wanted an aristocracy : “ Mais il fallait taken away, mortified the vanity of pour cela du temps, des souvenirs ratevery Frenchman, and produced feel- tachans à l'histoire. J'ai fait des ings of irritation, which if not em- princes, des ducs, et je leur ai donné de ployed in foreign contests, must break grands biens, mais je ne pouvois en out into revolution or civil war.” He faire de vrais nobles," on account of spoke not from what he had heard : the meanness of their connections. " Car je n'ai de nouvelles que des He meant, however, gradually to have gazettes, ou ce que m'en disent les intermarried them with the old nobilvoyageurs ; mais je connois bien le ity, as he had done in some instances : caractère Français ; il n'est pas or- “ Et si les vingt ans que je demandois gueilleux comme l'Anglais, mais il est pour la grandeur de la France n'eussent beaucoup plus glorieux ; la vanité est été accorilés, j'aurois toujours fait pour lui le principe de tout, et sa vanité beaucoup ; mais le sort en a disposé le rend capable de tout entreprendre.” autrement." The king, he thought, The army were naturally attached to ought to follow the same plan, instead him (Napoleon), - Puisque j'étois leur of advancing so much those who, for camarade. J'avois eu des succés avec the last twenty years, have been “ eux, et ils savoient que je les récom- terrés dans les greniers de Londres.”' pensois bien ; mais ils sentent main- He knew that a king might have his tenant qu'ils ne sont rien. Il y a à friends like another man, and is natpresent en France 700,000 hommes qui urally desirous of rewarding those who ont porté les armes, et les dernières have shown an attachment to him ; campagnes n'ont servi qu'à leur mon- “ mais il faut agir selon les circontrer combien ils sont supérieurs à tous stances, et, après tout, Paris vaut bien leurs ennemis. Ils rendent justice à la une messe. In England the king valeur de vos troupes, mais ils mépri- may indulge private partiality in the sent tout le reste."
appointment of his court officers, beThe conscription furnished annually cause there he is only a part of the three hundred thousand men, of which government. " Le Roi chez vous peut he never took above half. No class être malade, même un peu fou, et les was exempt ; but the higher might get affaires n'en vont pas moins leur train, substitutes from the lower, for which puisque ça s'arrange entre le ministère they paid four thousand francs. The et le parlement; » but in France the common people will now feel that all sovereign is the source of everything, the soldiery must come from them, and importance is attached to his least without the same bounty or chance of actions. “Il est connu comme dans promotion as before. It had, however, un palais de cristal, où tous yeux sont been his system, to give every encour-tourné vers lui.”' agement to such of the superior orders He considered the House of Peers as were willing to serve, and for this as the great bulwark of the English purpose he had established corps of a constitution, which he thought would higher description : Car je sais que be overturned if there were in the c'est dur pour un gentilhomme d'être country materials for making such mis au lit avec un soldat.” He was another assenibly, equal in all respects always desirous of bringing forward to the present. " Mais en France je the old families, and had many young vous ferois quarante sénats tout aussi men of the ancien régime in his army, bons que celui qu'ils ont.” On my obwho behaved very well. He had also serving that I thought he laid loo much