Page images

in the country, ever slow to move, with so much vebemence, as tyranand unprepared in the first onset, nical and oppressive, when uttered but persevering, tenacious, and ge- by their opponents during that me nerally victorious in the end, gra- morable struggle. What a triumph dually regained their strength, and, to the cause of truth! how glorious amidst the general obloquy which a monument to Conservative printheir obvious incapacity brought up- ciples, to see that they have forced on the Whigs, silently resumed the themselves even upon their enemies, ascendency over public opinion, to and are regulating the thoughts of which their talents, their considera- those who elevated themselves into tion, their possessions, their private political power by their temporary virtues, and, above all, the truth of overthrow! their principles, so justly entitled We know not whether it should be them. We do not say, that the To- ranked among the subjects of con. ries, as a body, have yet regain- gratulation, that the Whigs, as a need their political influence; we are cessary consequence of this change quite aware that they have not as in public opinion, are fast sinking yet done so, nor have we any confi- into obloquy and contempt, and, as a dent hope, that, without some modi- political party, will probably, after fication of the Reform Bill, steady one or two general elections, be comor upright principles of government pletely extinct. Every person of ever can again come into action in common observation must have anthis country ;-what we maintain is, ticipated this result from their sucthat Conservative principles have cess in carrying the Reform Bill; again become, or at least are beco- that suicidal measure, which they ming triumphant; that the language looked forward to, as perpetuating of moderation, good sense, and ex- for a long period their political asperience, is again occasionally utter- cendency, and which is destined, to ed by Government, and generally all appearance, to be the first excaput forth by their adherents through- vation of their grave. The reason out the country; that, though still of this rapid decline is obvious, and styling themselves Whigs, they in may be observed operating, with reality have become more than half- more or less force, in every party Tories; that their infamous alliance which for selfish purposes has lent with the mob, to beat down the edu- itself in any age to anarchical procation and property of the kingdom, jects. After having achieved their is, for the present at least, at an end; first great revolutionary triumph, and that they are now more terrified they must do one of two things : at the frantic allies whom they made they must either advance, or stand buch efforts to bring into power, still. If they do the first, they are than the Conservatives, who, from rapidly brought into collision with the very first, foresaw and denoun- all the great interests in the state ; ced them. This being the case, there private ruin, public misery, stare is yet hope for the country; there them in the face; the dreadful con

hope, because the great but inert sequence of revolutionary projects mass who were carried away by the is forced upon the observation of the Reform mania, and supported Mi- most inconsiderate among them. If nisters in their Revolutionary pro- they do the last, they are instantly jects, under the influence of a per- denounced as changelings and defect delusion, have awakened to a ceivers by their former democratic sense of their danger, have broken supporters; and under the obloquy off from the peril and the disgrace beaped on them by the classes from of Radical alliance, and, though still whom they had so long heard only professing themselves Reformers, the voice of flattery, they rapidig and swearing by the Bill, the whole sink into contempt. The ConservaBill, and nothing but the Bill, are tives shun them for what they bare yet steadfast in their resistance to done; the Revolutionists execrate those ulterior projects of innovation them for what they have left unto which they gladly looked forward done ; and between ihe two they fall two years ago, and unconsciously to the ground. Society is divided are now using the very language and more clearly than ever, by the conarguments which they denounced, sequence of their triumph, into the

two great divisions of preservers the saviour of France; which brought and destroyers—the peril to all the Girondists to the scaffold; which classes puts an end to a neutral destroyed Bailly and the Duke of body; those who are foremost in Orleans by the guillotine; which the work of the last, can never long. precipitated Lafitte from the height maintain themselves at the head of of popularity into public ruin and the first. It is the charge of incon- private insolvency; which has desistency which invariably proves graded the modern Liberals of their ruin; the practical illustration France into the executioners of mi. which their own conduct affords of litary power. As individuals they the falsehood of their principles and may remain in office, for God for. the hollowness of their professions, bid that they should ever become which brings them into contempt; the victims, as their French predethe necessity of facing about and cessors were, of the passions which persecutiog their former allies, which they themselves had excited : but exposes them to the worst imputation as a party pursuing its own meaon public men, that of former deceit sures, they must rapidly sink into and present ingratitude.

oblivion; they must either go on How long did Neckar and the and become Revolutionists, or go liberal Ministry who doubled the back and become Conservatives. Tiers Etat, and convoked, on revo- Let us hope that they have yet lutionary principles, the National courage and principle enough left to Assembly, continue in power after adopt, and go through with, the latter they were hailed by the unanimous alternative. transports of France, as the saviours of their country ?-Not three months. III. But vain would have been all How long did the Girondists main- the reaction which had arisen in the tain their ascendency, even after public thought, fruitless would have the period when they had 14,000 been all the efforts of the Whigs to votes in Paris, and the Jacobins only arrest the torrent which they them22, in the choice of a Mayor for that selves had let loose, if the conduct city? Just six months. How long of the Conservatives had been differ, did Lafitte, the author of the re- ent from what it actually has, and volt of the Barricades, continue at they had been influenced, either by the head of regenerated France ? the passion for power which actuaWhere are now the Doctrinaires, the ted the English Whigs in 1831, or authors of that deplorable convul- the selfish alarms which mastered the sion ? Merged in the authority of French noblesse in 1789. If they Marshal Soult, converted into mili- had either joined in a factious oppotary despots, the aides-de-camp for sition to throw out the political an. carrying into effect the mandates of tagonists who had inflicted such the war council of the Tuileries. desperate evils on their country, or The cause of the rapid fall of all imitated the French emigrants who these parties, so powerful and irre- abandoned it in despair to its fate, sistible at the moment of their where would now have been the triumph, is the same, and being English empire ? Revile them as founded on principles of universal they choose-calumpiate them as application, may be always calcu- they may, the Whigs know, at the lated upon in similar convulsions. bottom of their hearts, that it is the It is the practical danger of carrying courageous conduct, and disintetheir principles into execution which rested patriotism of the Conservaforces them to pause; the impossibi- tives, which have bitherto proved the lity of maintaining their popularity, salvation of the country, and deliif they do so, which proves their vered them from the consequences ruin. The Whigs are not destined of the frantic body, whom, by Cato prove an exception to the prin- tholic Emancipation, and the Reciple which drove Neckar into form Bill, they have elevated into a contemptible exile at Coppet; such perilous importance. Without which forced Lafayette to seek re- going farther back than the 6th May, fuge from Jacobin vengeance in an 1834, where would the Whigs and Austrian dungeon; which put a the country have been if the Tories price on the head of Dumourier, had simply staid away on Mr Daniel Whittle Harvey's motion on the Pen- England after the passing of the sion List, and the majority of 80 Reform Bill, and France after the against Mr Strutt's amendment had convocation of the States-General. been converted, by their secession, Vain would have been all the efforts into a majority of ten or twenty in of the friends of order in this counfavour of it? By their own admis. try in the popular party, if the Con. sion, they would have been destroy- servatives here had done as the men ed; a Radical Ministry would have of property did in France, and emi. been installed in power ; all the grated, or retired in despair from great interests of the State would public affairs, and left the managehave been overturned, and a decided ment of the State to the Whigs and Revolution established in unbridled their Radical allies, who had ele. sovereignty. How often, during vated them to power. The moment the last and present session, have that Government endeavoured to ar. they been on the verge of dissolu. rest the movement,—the instant that tion, and preserved from destruction the obvious danger of their measures only by the efforts of the Conserva- to all the great interests in the State tives generously supporting them in had displayed itself, and forced them despite of all former discord? How to put a bridle on the march of Reoften would they have been fairly volution, that instant their power outvoted in the House of Commons, was gone, and they would have been but for such support, and driven reduced to a minority in the Legisfrom power by the very men whom lature which they themselves had they brought into Parliament? Not created. If the small but redoubt. once, but twenty times. It was not able and consistent band of the without reason, therefore, that Mr Tories had not existed as a reserve, Daniel Whittle Harvey said in the on whom they could, on all occaHouse, that the real government of sions, fall back in the Legislature; the country was to be found in the if the numerous, wealthy, highly eduHonourable Member for Tamworth; cated, and respectable Conservative it is the support of the Conservatives party, had not remained under all upon all questions, where Ministers the obloquy with which they were are not revolutionary in their pro- assailed, as a rallying force for the jects, which alone upholds the rick- friends of order in the country, the ety machine of Government, and reins of power must, in three months preserves the Whigs from destruc. after the meeting of the Reformed tion at the hands of the very men Parliament, have fallen into the whom they brought the nation to hands of the Destructive party; the the verge of ruin to introduce. timid majority of wavering Whigs What a glorious tribute to Sir Robert would have gone along with the Peel, and the whole friends of the ruling power, and a complete subConstitution, both in and out of version of all the great interests Parliament; and what a memorable of society must ere this have eninstance of the triumph of truth sued. and virtue, when a minority, hard- There is not a Whig throughout the ly numbering a hundred members, land, who is not secretly conscious bas, in fact, acquired, on most ques- that this is the case ; there is not a tions, by the mere force of public liberal or candid man of that party, talent and private worth, a prepon who will not admit that it is true, and derating influence in an assembly that, but for the support of the Tories, convened expressly for their de- they and the nation must ere this struction, and under the highest have been destroyed. It is impospossible excitement against their sible, therefore, to over-estimate the principles !

benefit the Conservatives have conIt is this circumstance which con- ferred upon their country, by simply stitutes the important and leading remaining at their post; disseminadistinction between the situation of ting, by the force of their talents,

Ninety-six Members voted with Sir Robert Peel on that occasion. If they had staid away, Ministers would have been in a minority of 16. If they had joined the other side, in one above a hundred,

and the weight of their characters, their own hand in the Metropolis, the principles on which the welfare and the gradual reduction of every of society depends; and replying by species of local authority or power deeds of public utility and private in every other part of the country. beneficence, to the load of falsehood Nothing is too high for them to aim and calumny with which they were at, nothing too low for them to stoop assailed by the political adversaries to, in the prosecution of this design. whom they have since so often saved While, on the one hand, they bring from destruction. To measure the in the General Registry Bill, the extent of these benefits, we have object of wbich was to concentrate only to look to France, where, from all the deeds of the kingdom, and the flight of the emigrants, the ultimately of the empire, in London, leaders of the Revolution were, which the good sense of Parliament from the first, left to .struggle in has just thrown out; on the other, defence of order with the Revolu- they condescend to grasp at the aptionists whom they had elevated to pointment of Procurators-Fiscal in power; or conceive what this coun- the several counties of Scotland; try would be, if Mr O'Connell, Mr and deem the stripping of the SheRoebuck, and Mr Daniel Whittle riffs of Scotland of their trifling paHarvey, were at the head of the

tronage, necessary to the maintenance Government, the land was prostrated, of the boasted popularity of the by the abolition of the Corn Laws, Whig Administration. While they the monied interest by the spoliation stoop with one hand to pick up the of the Funds, the Church by the appointment of collectors of assessed confiscation of its possessions. If taxes in North Britain, and take them these calamities have bitherto been from the Commissioners of Supply averted; if the Reformers can still for the several counties, on the other lay their heads on their pillows in band, they entertain the gigantic peace; if the Whig estates have been projects of concentrating the whole saved from spoliation, it is to no roads and poor's rates of the kingefforts of their own that they are dom in Government Boards, and indebted for their salvation, to no vesting in irresponsible Commissionmoderation of their supporters that ers of their own appointment, powers they owe their safety, but solely to in the administration of the immense the generous conduct and courage- revenues and interests of the poor, ous patriotism of their adversaries greater than are enjoyed even by that their escape from destruction the Judges of Westminster Hall. has been owing

The object of all these seemingly Every Government that does not, multifarious and contradictory, but like that of Louis Philippe, rest upon really uniform and consistent atabsolute force, must depend either tempts, is the same; viz. to vest the on the support of the property and whole patronage of the empire in intelligence of the nation, or on the the hands of Government, and supfleeting fervour of popular favour, ply, by the attractions and the subor the influence acquired by exten- servience of office, the want of sive civil patronage. Their revolu- support from either the Conservative tionary conduct on occasion of the or Movement parties in the kingdom. Reform Bill, has lost the Whigs the It is, in short, a design to spread a first; their incipient and vacillating Whig India Bill over Great Britain, attempts to contradict themselves, and barter away the liberties and and become Conservative, bas for- privileges of Englishmen, for seats at feited, or is forfeiting them the sup- Boards, and salaries in commissions. port of the second; they are driven, Sensible of the obloquy to which therefore, by absolute necessity, to they are exposed on the part of their the last; and hence the numerous, Radical supporters, on account of unnecessary, and useless commis- the necessary contradiction which sions with which they have over their present attempts to restrain spread the land; and hence the real the Movement afford to their forend of almost all their legislative mer efforts to forward it, numbers changes. Centralization is the great of the Ministerial supporters have object; the concentration of all offi- long resorted to the discreditable cial emolument and influence under and cowardly expedient of slinking off when a vote was approaching'in man must be prepared to gothe whole which they were to abandon their length of the Destructives, or join former professions, and throwing with the Conservatives, whether upon the Conservatives the burden Whigs or Tories, in resisting them. of rejecting, by their junction with Nothing else; the old idea Ministers, those anarchical measures of going a certain length in Reform, which were generally felt to be and no farther, will no longer answer ruinous, but few of the Movement either the purposes of patriotism or party had the courage openly to selfishness. resist. We rejoice to find that the As nothing can be clearer than Tories have at length put an end to that the country is already divided, this disgraceful shuftling; and by or is rapidly dividing, into these two making it a condition of their sup- great parties, and as the slightest portof Government upon the Pension attention to what is passing in the List, and some other questions where other States of Europe must be sufa narrow division was expected, that ficient to shew that ihese, and these the Ministerial supporters should only, are the classes into which sostand by their side in the contest, ciety is permanently severed, it fairly brought to light the insincerity deserves the serious consideration of of the claptraps which they threw every upright and patriotic man, of out to delude the people, and shewn whatever party, which of them he them up in their true character, that should now join. If he thinks that of professors of doctrines, for selfish all which has hitherto been found to purposes, at one time, which they constitute the strength of nations know to be so perilous, that they are and the safety of individuals can be compelled to resist their being car- dispensed with ; that the Christian ried into effect at another.

Church can safely be abandoned, The country is every day more and the precedent of spoliation be rapidly dividing into parties, and without danger established in the two onlythe Conservatives and the religious instructors of the poor; if Revolutionists. The juste milieu of he is satisfied that tumultuous masses the Whigs is destined to be as short of the lower orders are the proper lived as the reign of Lafitte and the bodies to discuss the intricate subauthors of the Revolution of the jects of political science, and can Barricades, on the other side of the safely be intrusted with the power water, has been. The pirate is every- of chaining down their representawhere hoisting his true colours; the tives to a particular course on every red flag of Revolution is generally important subject; if he is without unfurled by the Movement party. apprehension as to the consequences

The Dissenters have, by the mouth of ruining our landed proprietors, of four hundred representatives of and all the numerous classes who their body in London, declared that depend on the cultivation of the nothing will satisfy them but a com- soil, by the unlimited importation of plete separation of Church and State; foreign grain, and the reduction of in other words, a complete separa- its price to forty shillings the quartion of the Church from the Church ter; if he can calmly contemplate a property, and confiscation of the reduction of the public creditors, tithes to the consolidated fund. The and spoliation of the great Savings manufacturing operatives make no Bank of the poor, under the name of secret of their designs; they consist an equitable adjustment; without in a forced and most unreasonable doubt he will give his support in elevation of their own wages by every instance to the Radical or Demeans of Trades' Unions, and a total structive candidate, and endeavour, depression of the whole agricultural by all the means in his power, to body by means of the entire abolition advance the march of revolution. of the Corn Laws. How long the But if the reverse of this is the view Funds, the House of Peers, the Mo- which is now forced upon his connarchy, will survive such sweeping viction by experience; if he knows changes, must be obvious to the most that the religious instruction of the superficial observer. The peril being poor is the basis of the welfare not thus instant and undisguised, half only of individuals but nations, and measures will no longer do. Every is satisfied, that without a National

« PreviousContinue »