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every man who dared to name himself calculated to secure their privileges and the friend of a cabinet which six happiness; and if it was incompatible months before had possessed the over with universal, or very general suffflowing confidence of the nation rage, then the limitation, and not the which had, by its sole strength, ac extension, was the right of the people.” complished a measure too strong for His lordship was still deplorably beall the powerful cabinets during the hind the “march of his age." In the last half century, and which, on the House of Commons, Mr Brougham completion of that measure, had gave notice of a motion for reform, seemed entitled to sit down in the full and, like Lord Grey, protested against security of acknowledged and esta being charged with extravagance on blished power.
the subject. He said, “ that he had Instead of this security the cabinet been represented, and that, from no saw all shaken without a conceivable good motive, as desirous of introducause. They saw the country covered cing a radical sweeping innovation, or, with more than metaphoric flame, and he might more correctly designate it, distress threatened by the spreading a revolutionary reform. This asserdestruction of years' provision. On tion, however, was devoid of truth. their entrance within the doors of Par He was resolved to take his stand on liament, they were met by a desperate the ancient ways of the constitution. defiance. Ministers found themselves Whatever might be the plan he would fighting the battle of the constitution propose, it would be propounded with alone ; for it was not merely now a a view to conciliate the friends of that conflict of party, but a subversion of constitution, as it existed originally in principle. The constitution was, for its days of purity and vigour." the first time, in danger.
A new The cabinet now saw its days numpower, unknown since the great re bered. On the 15th of November, on bellion, Radicalism, appeared in the the motion of Sir Henry Parnell for Legislature, ready for the wildest com a “ committee on the civil list," minismotions, and, contemptuous of all dis ters were left in a minority of 29, guise, demanding a republic.
233 voting for the motion, and 204 Whiggism made its assault without against it. On the next day, the delay. Lord Grey, in his speech on Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert the address, strongly objected to the Peel, disdaining to keep the emolulanguage of the royal speech, which ments of power without the honours, had characterized the Belgian insur announced that his Majesty had acrection as "a revolt." " All this cepted the resignation of their offices. sounded,” said his lordship, “like A new administration was formed, with threatened interference, while our Lord Grey at its head; Lords Melpolicy should have been, as in the case bourne, Palmerston, and Goderich, of France, non-interference." But as the home, foreign, and colonial this language was merely preliminary secretaries ; Mr Brougham as lord to the true principle of his speech. chancellor; Sir James Graham at “ We ought," said he,” to learn wis the admiralty; Lord Althorp. as dom from what was passing before chancellor of the exchequer; and the our eyes; and when the spirit of liberty Marquis of Lansdowne as president was breaking out all around, it was of the council. our first duty to secure our own insti Whiggism had now obtained power, tutions, by introducing into them a and it recklessly proceeded to adopt temperate reform."
measures for making that power perThus was sounded the trumpet, yet petual. It had once been aristocratic, with how feeble a tone compared to in the haughtiest spirit of aristocrathe rude and desperate blast of those cy. In its fall it had stooped to the who have since taken it into their lowest flattery of the populace ; it hands! « That reform, “ added his now pledged itself to the doctrines of lordship, "he did not found on any change. Of all public wants, a reform abstract right. We had been told of Parliament had been the least felt by that every man who paid taxes, nay, the nation. It had been a habitual who had arrived at years of discretion, pretext, a trick, a tub to the whale ; had a right to vote for representatives. always the refuge of Whiggism when The existence of such a right he ut cast out from power, and always conterly denied. The right of the people temptuously abandoned when power was, to have a good government, one was capable of being reached again.
Fox had always used it in his day of had England disdained to breathe the difficulty, as a mendicant affects the reform" air, without which it must crippled leg and the professional die." Even in 1830, with all the whine, but throws them both aside efforts of Whiggism in sight of power, when he has extracted alms enough to the petitions were but fourteen. But enable him to carouse. The Whigs at that moment, the French “ three had been the great boroughmongers, days" threw a new force into the the keepers of the key of representa- hands of party. The explosion which tion, the established dealers in all that moved the throne of the Bourbons constituted influence; and it was not from its foundation, laid open to the until Pitt broke down their corporate day the strength of those dark and commerce, their traffic in the consti- dangerous materials which lie under tution, that they had ever discovered the surface of all free governments; the virtue of appealing to the mob. the Whigs instantly turned from the
The Reform Bill was brought in. people to the populace, and the first We shall not now discuss this one-sided levy of revolution was in the field. measure. It has long since been stigma On the 1st of March 1831, the tized by the men who then proclaim. Reform Bill was brought in by Lord ed it a necessity of the state. It has John Russell. We pass over a disbeen scorned by Radicalism as a de- cussion now become obsolete, and al. ception, and denounced by Whiggism lude to it merely to show with what as a failure; its only supporters have strange facility Wbiggism can aban. been found in those who, accepting it don its gravest opinions for the conas the will of Parliament, obeyed it venience of the hour. Sir Robert as the law of the land. But no man Peel, in a speech of remarkable force, loved it either then or now-the after unanswerably proving the empti. Whigs took it as the child of Lord ness of the pretexts for reform, turned Grey's decrepitude, soon grew weary of the lash on the mover of the bill,-their nursling, and have fluug it on the • What,” said lie, “ was the language highway. The Conservatives are now of the noble lord in 1819, when the the only protectors of the Reform Bill. topic before the House was the dis
There never had been a measure franchisement of a corrupt Cornish less required, if we are to judge of the borough? It was this, that a general Decessity of public measures by the disfranchisement of the unconvicted only true standard-calm, consistent, boroughs must be considered as a reand continued public demand. The construction of the House of Commons. people had forgotten it for fifty years. Old Sarum had existed when MontesThe empire had gone through peace quieu pronounced the Constitution of and war-the whole succession of all England the nearest to perfection of that tries a government and a people, any which the most enlightened states without a sense of the privation. No bad ever experienced, -when Lord man had uttered a syllable of enquiry Somers, and the other great legislators for the “ Whig elixir," of which the and philosophers who flourished with first draught was to banish public him, bore attestation to its merits, it disease, and make national existence was open to the same objections which imperishable. This is not the history were since urged against it ; when of things essential to relieve the hun. Hampden lost his life, Rutland reger and thirst of states. With all turned the same number of representhe intrigue of Whiggism, driven to tatives as Yorkshire. He was not rely on this single topic for their last inclined, with the pseudo-merchant in hope of popularity, the preceding ten the fable, to cry new lamps for old,' years bad been totally unproductive. neither would he willingly throw our In 1821, there had been but nineteen political system into the wheel, on the petitions for reform ; in 1822, but chance of obtaining a prize in the lottwelve - a strong pressure on the tery of constitutions." screw, in 1823, bad forced them up • Such," said his powerful castiga, to twenty-nine ; but, like all ficti. tor, “ had been the noble lord's warntious impulses, the strain produced ing against the danger of rashly deexhaustion. From 1823 to 1829, not parting from the practical wisdom of a single petition was sent in—so care- mankind, during centuries of expe. less was the British empire of the rience; proffered too at the critical food which Whiggism declared to be juncture of the year 1819, when the the national bread. Thus evidently Six Acts' had passed, when the
Seizure of Arms bill, the Blasphemous king refused to create peers to coun. Libel bill, and the Newspaper Stamp teract this opposition, ministers rebill, were in actual progress through signed; returned ; and the opposing the House. If such was the line of peers withdrew. Finally the bill was the noble lord's argument in 1819, he, carried ; receiving the royal assent in his lordship's own language, would by commission, though the king had now call upon the House to prefer the been violently called on by the press solid ancient lamp of the Constitution and the populace to give the last siga to the tinsel of modern sophistry.” of his approval, by his personal pre
The second reading of the bill was sence at the ceremony. Thus, on the carried but by a majority of one 7th of June 1832, was the Reform among 603 members - the largest Bill made the law of the land. House on record-302 for the bill, Whiggism was now in full power, and 301 against it, and that one an indi a new and unbounded horizon was vidual who had formed a part of the opened to popular change. late ministry, and had even spoken
It is not within our purpose to go strongly against the first reading : into the detail of the subsequent years. within a few weeks after this fatal The course of Whiggism fully justified act, he died by his own hand.
all the fears and all the contempt of This majority was a virtual defeat the country. It was seen to be wholly of ministers. The bill was evidently incapable of decided counsel, and lost in this parliament, and on the 11th wholly influenced by the circumstances of May it was dissolved.
of the hour; not a great directing prinPopular agitation was now the sole ciple, guiding the various currents of the instrument, « The Bill, the whole Bill, national opinion into one large and and nothing but the Bill,” was the healthful movement, one regular and general watchword; as if the bill was beneficent tide ; but a feeble and halfthe exclusive purpose of Parliament, witted propensity to hazard every dan. Pledges were universally demanded at ger, and then fly from it at the moment the hustings. The right of the elec- it assumed a form; science, bewildered tors to bind the representative was un by every current that crossed its course; hesitatingly claimed ; and in this sub and courage, that, after the haughtiest version of the first principle of Parlia- boasts of piloting the national ship ment, a House was returned, charged through all tempests, was ready to run to give additional security to the Con- her on shore at the sight of the first stitution. That House soon showed cloud. how far it was disposed to tread be The Irish agitator, himself but the yond the bound of even its heated pre agent of the Irish priesthood, became decessor. On the 4th of July the se their chief counsellor for Ireland. cond reading was carried by a majo- He ruled them with a rod of iron, rity of 136, in a House of 598. But and a simple attempt to act without the peers were still unshaken—the his approval ruined the ministry. bill was thrown out in the Lords by a The growing violence of Irish conmajority of forty-one.
spiracy had made some restraint pal. În 1832 it was renewed, and car. bably necessary. A Coercion bill ried in the Commons by a majority was introduced. Its clauses were reof 110; 355 for the motion, and 239 probated by the agitator. The Chans for the amendment. A popular cla- cellor of the Exchequer instantly mour was then raised against the threw up office. The Premier folpeers. A popular leader in the House lowed his example with singular speed, declared that ministers had been arm. and the cabinet seemed to be extined with full powers for a creation of guished; but after a long and complex peers, and threatened them with im. game, still unintelligible if it were peachment unless they exercised those ever worth comprehending, Lord powers to carry the Reform Bill Althorp announced the formation of through the Lords. Such is the li. a new ministry out of the old mateberty of opinion, allowed by power in rials,with Lord' Melbourne at its head the dictation of the populace. Yet a réchauffé of the cabinet dish, of which the second reading was carried only the nation had become sick under its by a majority of nine, 181 against 175. old form. No culinary art of DownThe resistance in the Committee was ing Street could ever render it palatmore determined. Ministers were able again. But what office was prodefeated by a majority of 35. The vided for Lord Grey? If the philoso.
phers declared that the sight of a hero for help alike with all the passers-by ; struggling with the storms of fate now hanging on the skirts of the papist, was a sight for the gods, they had not now on those of the sectarian, now defined for what class of spectators a sending out a supplication to the Rabroken Whig, remorselessly flung dical, and content to live in depenfrom the place which it had cost him dence, and do the drudgery of all in half a century of feverish struggle to turn. reach-was to be the admiration or What, if the country has not already the amusement. But his lordship’s felt suffering as she has felt shame : fall was complete; he never returned What, if she has been, against all to power. The French orator who hope, marvellously protected from resaid that the Revolution, like Saturn, volutionary insolence
and foreign had devoured its own children, would aggression : What, if she has not long have reversed the figure for his lord- since experienced the national disease ship, and described him as the Saturn arising from this handling of contagion in his decrepitude, deprived of power, and decay--we can ascribe it only to mutilated, and fettered, to stand by the Great Disposer, who had made and form a part of the pageant of the her the depositary of religion and unfilial usurper who had dispossessed liberty for mankind, and who wills him of the throne.
that her mission shall not yet be closed. We must now have done. The One generous, bold, and combined succession of the Melbourne cabinet, effort would rescue the country. Minthe appropriation compact” of Lich- isters have virtually acknowledged fied House-the measures involving that they cannot carry on the business the discipline, revenues, and existence of the country ; their own House of of tho Protestant church in England Commons has voted them incapable ; and Ire'ard-the affected resignation they stand now only holding the of ministers in 1839—their restoration badges of office in their hands until by the new and anomalous agency of their successors advance to take them. the ladies of the bedchamber-are They stand now like servants distopics which history will pass over in charged from their master's presence, willing and contemptuous silence, and and waiting now only to strip off their which are almost too frivolous even liveries. They are utterly extinguishfor the slight and general sketching ed; and though the polypus will proof the periodical page.
pagate when cut to pieces, and the But the higher question presses on parts of the dissevered worm will creep the country- Is England to be hence away with equal vitality, we cannot forth governed by chance, or by the believe that the present Cabinet is constitution ? A breathing-time has capable of any further existence, how. been given to her to decide. She has ever writhing a reptile. The elections before ber at this moment the choice must decide, and well will it be for which may mould the whole future England if she there "does her duty." good or evil of her empire. On the We are convinced, that upon this one side stand the Conservatives, hour vast consequences depend. The headed by the first names of the coun state of Europe is threatening-the try, Wellington and Peel — experi- spirit of violence is growing in Ireenced in council, vigorous in adminis- land-Chartism and Socialism are artration, popular with every man of rogantly boasting of their designs honour—with every man who can among ourselves. Is this the proadmire eminent abilities, and with spect that will induce us to trust in every man who desires to see the first men who have sunk in times of genesoldier of Europe and the first states ral peace; who, in the midst of public man of England guiding the vast re- prosperity, have lowered the finances sources, inspiring the ardent mind, and by annual millions; and with the most fulfilling the mighty duties of England unusual confidence of the throne, and to the world. On the other hand, we the keenest alliance with the most da. see a shattered and unpurposed party ring portion of the people, after a ten a general gathering of the remnants years' trial, have fallen on their knees, of fallen cabinets_too feeble to stand and, not hoping to find approbation, on its own limbs, and therefore cling are scarcely venturing to ask acquiting for hourly support to others; too tal, at the great tribunal of the emunprincipled to regard the nature of pire. that support, and therefore bargaining
TEN THOUSAND A-YEAR.
* FORTUNA svo læta negotio, et
Nunc mibi, nunc alii benigna.
Hor. Carm. Lib. iii. 29.
While Mr Pounce and Mr Quod, self in tears with the fraud she was after their own quaint fashion, are practising upon the desolate and brodoing decisive battle with each other, ken-hearted old man. The Duke, as it were, in remote corner of the however, seconded by the physician, field of action ; while-to change the was peremptory on the point, believing figure-Mr Titmouse's pedigree is that otherwise the Earl's
recovery was being subjected to the gloomy, silent, impossible ; and as his Grace invariaand mysterious inquisition of the eccle- bly joined Miss Macspleuchan in scoutsiastical court, let us turn for a mo. ing the mere mention of the matter as ment to contemplate a pitiable figure, but the figment of a disordered brain, a victim of the infernal machinations the Earl was at length silenced if not of Mr Gammon-I mean the poor old convinced. He peremptorily prohibitEarl of Dreddlington. He was yet- ed Mr Titmouse, however, from entera month after the death of his unhappy ing his house-much more from appear. daughter, Lady Cecilia-staggering ing in his presence; and there was under the awful shock which he had little difficulty in causing him to apexperienced. Before he had been in pear satisfied that the sole cause of any degree restored to consciousness, his exclusion was his cruelty and proshe had been buried for nearly three fligacy towards the late Lady Cecilia : weeks; and the earliest notification to-whereas, with a sickening inward him of the melancholy occurrence, shudder, he was apprised of the real was the deep mourning habiliments of reason by Mr Gammon. Very shortMiss Macspleuchan, who scarcely ever ly after the Earl's illness, the Duke of quitted bis bedside. When, in a feeble Tantallan had sent for Mr Titmouse and tremulous voice, he enquired to interrogate him upon the subject of as to the cause of her death, he could his lordship's representations ; but Mr get no other account of it-either from Gammon bad been beforehand with Miss Macspleuchan, bis physicians, or the Duke, and thoroughly tutored Titthe Duke of Tantallan-than that it mouse—dull and weak though he was was occasioned by the shock of sud - in the part he was to play, and denly seeing his lordship brought which Mr Gammon made as easy to home seriously ill, she being, more him as possible. He started with over, in a very critical state of health. well-feigned astonishment, indignaWhen, at length, he pressed Miss tion, and disgust, as soon as the Duke Macspleuchan upon the matter, and had mentioned the matter, and said challenged her as to the real cause of very little (such were Gammon's pewhat had happened-viz. the blighting remptory injunctions)-and that little discovery of Mr Titmouse's illegiti- only in expression of amazement—that macy-she resolutely maintained that any one could attach the slightest he was labouring altogether under a importance to the mere wanderings of delusion-indeed a double delusion ; a disordered brain. 'Twas certainly first, as to his imaginary conversation a ticklish matter, the Duke felt, to with Mr Gammon, and secondly, as press too far, or to think of entrusting to his supposed communication of it it to third parties. His Grace very to Lady Cecilia. Her heart was smits naturally concluded, that what his own ten, however, by the steadfast look of superior tact and activity had failed in mournful incredulity with which the eliciting, could be detected by no one Earl regarded her from time to time; else. He frequently pressed Mr Gamand, when alone, she reproached her- mon, however, upon the subject; but