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We say, that those who hold this principle to be sound, must be prepared to maintain, either that monarchs and aristocracies may be trusted to govern the community, or else that men cannot be trusted to follow their own interest, when that interest is demonstrated to them.
We say, that if men cannot be trusted to follow their own interest, when that interest has been demonstrated to them, then the Utilitarian arguments, in favour of universal suf frage, are good for nothing.
that the "greatest happiness principle" has not been proved; that it cannot be generally proved; that even in the particular cases selected by the Reviewer it is not clear that the principle is true; and that many cases might be stated in which the common sense of mankind would at once pronounce it to be false.
friend, the Westminster Reviewer, he, it must be owned, has as good a right as any man on his side, "Antoni gladios contemnere." But take the man whose votes, ever since he has sate in Parliament, have been the most uniformly bad, and oppose him to the man whose votes have been the most uniformly good. The Westminster Reviewer would probably select Mr. Sadler and Mr. Hume. Now, does any rational man think,-will the Westminster Reviewer himself say, that Mr. Sadler runs more risk of coming to a miserable end, on account of his public conduct, than Mr. Hume? Mr. Sadler does not know that he is not close on the moment when he will be made an example of; for Mr. Sadler knows, if possible, less about the future than about the past. But he has no more reason to expect that he shall be made an example of, than to expect that London will be swallowed up by an earthquake next spring; and it would be as foolish in him to act on the former supposition as on the latter. There is a risk; for there is a risk of every thing which does not involve a contra-perly limited, it will be barren. The "greatest diction; but it is a risk from which no man in his wits would give a shilling to be insured. Yet our Westminster Reviewer tells us, that this risk alone, apart from all considerations of religion, honour, or benevolence, would, as a matter of mere calculation, induce a wise member of the House of Commons to refuse any emoluments which might be offered him as the price of his support to pernicious mea
We have hitherto been examining cases proposed by our opponent. It is now our turn to propose one, and we beg that he will spare no wisdom in solving it.
We now leave the Westminster Reviewer to alter and amend his "magnificent principle" as he thinks best. Unlimited, it is false. Pro
happiness principle" of the 1st of July, as far as we could discern its meaning through a cloud of rodomontade, was an idle truism. The "greatest happiness principle" of the 1st of October is, in the phrase of the Americaa newspapers, "important if true." But unhap pily it is not true. It is not our business to conjecture what new maxim is to make the bones of sages and patriots stir on the 1st of December. We can only say, that, unless it be something infinitely more ingenious than its two predecessors, we shall leave it unmolested. The Westminster Reviewer may, if he pleases, indulge himself like Sultan Schahriar, with espousing a rapid succession of virgin theories. But we must beg to be excused from playing the part of the vizier, who regularly attended on the day after the wedding to strangle the new sultana.
A thief is condemned to be hanged. On the eve of the day fixed for the execution, a Turnkey enters his cell, and tells him that all is safe, that he has only to slip out, that his friends are waiting in the neighbourhood with disguises, and that a passage is taken for him in an Ame- The Westminster Reviewer charges us with rican packet. Now, it is clearly for the great-urging it as an objection to the "greatest hapest happiness of society that the thief should piness principle," that, “it is included in the be hanged, and the corrupt turnkey exposed Christian morality." This is a mere fiction of and punished. Will the Westminster Reviewer his own. We never attacked the morality of tell us, that it is for the greatest happiness of the gospel. We blamed the Utilitarian for the thief to summon the head jailer, and tell claiming the credit of a discovery, when they the whole story? Now, either it is for the had merely stolen that morality, and spoiled it greatest happiness of the thief to be hanged, in the stealing. They have taken the precept or it is not. If it is, then the argument, by of Christ, and left the motive; and they de which the Westminster Reviewer attempts to mand the praise of a most wonderful and beneprove, that men do not promote their own hap- ficial invention, when all that they have done piness by thieving, falls to the ground. If it is has been to make a most useful maxim useless not, then there are men whose greatest happi- by separating it from its sanction. On reliness is at variance with the greatest happiness gious principles, it is true that every individual of the community. will best promote his own happiness by promoting the happiness of others. But if religious considerations be left out of the ques tion, it is not true. If we do not reason on the supposition of a future state, where is the mo tive? If we do reason on that supposition, where is the discovery?
To sum up our arguments shortly, we say, that the "greatest happiness principle," as now stated, is diametrically opposed to the principle stated in the Westminster Review three months ago.
We say, that if the "greatest happiness principle," as now stated, be sound, Mr. Mill's Essay, and all other works concerning government, which, like that essay, proceed on the supposition, that individuals may have an interest opposed to the greatest happiness of society, are fundamentally erroneous.
The Westminster Reviewer tells us, that "we wish to see the science of government unsettled, because we see no prospect of a settlement which accords with ou interests." His angry eagerness to have questions settled resembles that of a judge in one of Dryden's
When we blamed
them for talking nonsense, they cried out that they were insulted for being reformers,-just as poor Ancient Pistol swore that the scars which he had received from the cudgel of Fluellen were got in the Gallia wars. We, however, did not think it desirable to mix up political questions, about which the public mind is violently agitated, with a great problem in moral philosophy.
plays-the Amphitryon, we think-who wishes | ex officio informations. to decide a cause after hearing only one party, and when he has been at last compelled to listen to the statement of the defendant, flies into a passion, and exclaims, "There now, sir! see what you have done. The case was quite clear a minute ago; and you must come and puzzle it!" He is the zealot of a sect. We are searchers after truth. He wishes to have the question settled. We wish to have it sifted first. The querulous manner in which Our notions about government are not, howwe have been blamed for attacking Mr. Mill's ever, altogether unsettled. We have an opisystem, and propounding no system of our nion about parliamentary reform, though we own, reminds us of the horror with which that have not arrived at that opinion by the royal shallow dogmatist, Epicurus, the worst parts road which Mr. Mill has opened for the exof whose nonsense the Utilitarians have at-plorers of political science. As we are taking tempted to revive, shrank from the keen and leave, probably for the last time, of this consearching scepticism of the second Academy.troversy, we will state very concisely what our It is not our fault that an experimental doctrines are. On some future occasion we science of vast extent does not admit of being may, perhaps, explain and defend them at settled by a short demonstration;-that the length. subtilty of nature, in the moral as in the phy- Our fervent wish, and, we will add, our sansical world, triumphs over the subtilty of syllo-guine hope, is, that we may see such a reform gism. The quack who declares on affidavit that, by using his pills, and attending to his printed directions, hundreds who had been dismissed incurable from the hospitals have renewed their youth like the eagles, may, perhaps, think that Sir Henry Halford, when he feels the pulses of patients, inquires about their symptoms, and prescribes a different remedy to each, is unsettling the science of medicine for the sake of a fee.
in the House of Commons as may render its votes the express image of the opinion of the middle orders of Britain. A pecuniary qualification we think absolutely necessary; and in settling its amount, our object would be to draw the line in such a manner that every decent farmer and shopkeeper might possess the elective franchise. We should wish to see an end put to all the advantages which parti cular forms of property possess over other If, in the course of this controversy, we have forins, and particular portions of property over refrained from expressing any opinion respect- other equal pcrtions. And this would content ing the political institutions of England, it is us. Such a reform would, according to Mr. not because we have not an opinion, or be- Mill, establish an aristocracy of wealth, and cause we shrink from avowing it. The Utili- leave the community without protection, and tarians, indeed, conscious that their boasted exposed to all the evils of unbridled power. theory of government would not bear investi- Most willingly would we stake the whole congation, were desirous to turn the dispute about troversy between us on the success of the exMr. Mill's Essay into a dispute about the whigperiment which we propose. party, rotten boroughs, unpaid magistrates, and
THE EARL OF CHATHAM."
[EDINBURGH REVIEW FOR OCTOBER, 1844.]
MoRx than ten years ago we commenced a sketch of the political life of the great Lord Chatham. We then stopped at the death of George the Second, with the intention of speedily resuming our task. Circumstances which it would be tedious to explain, long prevented us from carrying this intention into effect. Nor can we regret the delay. For the materials which were within our reach in 1834 were scanty and unsatisfactory, when compared with those which we at present possess. Even now, though we have had access to some valuable sources of information which have not yet been opened to the public, we cannot but feel that the history of the first ten years of the reign of George the Third is but imperfectly known to us. Nevertheless, we are inclined to think that we are in a condition to lay before our readers a narrative neither uninstructive nor uninteresting. We therefore return with pleasure to our long interrupted labour.
We left Pitt in the zenith of prosperity and glory, the idol of England, the terror of France, the admiration of the whole civilized world. The wind, from whatever quarter it blew, carried to England tidings of battles won, fortresses taken, provinces added to the empire. At home, factions had sunk into a lethargy, such as had never been known since the great religious schism of the sixteenth century had roused the public mind from repose.
In order that the events which we have to relate may be clearly understood, it may be desirable that we should advert to the causes which had for a time suspended the animation of both the great English parties.
|ing a government to which a revolution had given being. Both came by degrees to attach more importance to the means than to the end. Both were thrown into unnatural situations; and both, like animals transported to an uncongenial climate, languished and degenerated. The Tory, removed from the sunshine of the court, was as a camel in the snows of Lapland. The Whig, basking in the rays of royal favour, was as a reindeer in the sands of Arabia.
Dante tells us that he saw, in Malebolge, a strange encounter between a human form and a serpent. The enemies, after cruel wounds inflicted, stood for a time glaring on each other. A great cloud surrounded them, and then a wonderful metamorphosis began. Each creature was transfigured into the likeness of its antagonist. The serpent's tail divided itself into two legs; the man's legs intertwined themselves into a tail. The body of the serpent put forth arms; the arms of the man shrank into his body. At length the serpent stood up a man, and spake; the man sank down a serpent, and glided hissing away. Something like this was the transformation which, during the reign of George the First, befell the two English parties. Each gradually took the shape and colour of its foe; till at length the Tory rose up erect the zealot of freedom, and the Whig crawled and licked the dust at the feet of power.
It is true that, when these degenerate politicians discussed questions merely speculative, and, above all, when they discussed questions relating to the conduct of their own grandIf, rejecting all that is merely accidental, we fathers, they still seemed to differ as their look at the essential characteristics of the grandfathers had differed. The Whig, who Whig and the Tory, we may consider each of during three Parliaments had never given one them as the representative of a great principle, vote against the court, and who was ready to essential to the welfare of nations. One is, sell his soul for the Comptroller's staff, or for in an especial manner, the guardian of liber- the Great Wardrobe, still professed to draw ty, and the other, of order. One is the moving his political doctrines from Locke and Milton, power, and the other the steadying power of still worshipped the memory of Pym and the state. One is the sail, without which Hampden, and would still, on the thirtieth of society would make no progress; the other January, take his glass, first to the man in the the ballast, without which there would be mask, and then to the man who would do it small safety in a tempest. But, during the without a mask. The Tory, on the other hand, forty-six years which followed the accession while he reviled the mild and temperate Walof the house of Hanover, these distinctive pole as a deadly enemy of liberty, could see peculiarities seemed to be effaced. The Whig nothing to reprobate in the iron tyranny of conceived that he could not better serve the Stafford and Laud. But, whatever judgment cause of civil and religious freedom than by the Whig or the Tory of that age might prostrenuously supporting the Protestant dynasty.nounce on transactions long past, there can The Tory conceived that he could not better prove his hatred of revolutions than by attack
be no doubt that, as respected the practical questions then pending, the Tory was a reformer, and indeed an intemperate and indiscreet reformer, while the Whig was conservative even to bigotry. We have ourselves seen similar effects produced in a neighbour ing country by similar causes. Who woul
have believed, ufteen years ago, that M. Guizot | generally succeeds to morbid excitement. The and M. Villemain would have to defend property and social order against the Jacobinical attacks of such enemies as M. Genoude and M. de La Roche Jaquelin?
people had been maddened by sophistry, by calumny, by rhetoric, by stimulants applied to the national pride. In the fulness of bread, they had raved as if famine had been in the land. While enjoying such a measure of civil and religious freedom as, till then, no great society had ever known, they had cried out for a Timoleon or a Brutus to stab their oppressors to the heart. They were in this frame of mind when the change of administration took place; and they soon found that there was to be no change whatever in the system of gevernment. The natural consequences followed. To frantic zeal succeeded sullen indiffer
Thus the successors of the old Cavaliers had turned demagogues; the successors of the old Roundheads had turned courtiers. Yet was it long before their mutual animosity began to abate; for it is the nature of parties o retain their original enmities, far more firmy than their original principles. During many years, a generation of Whigs whom Sidney would have spurned as slaves, continued to vage deadly war with a generation of Tories vhom Jefferies would have hanged for re-ence. The cant of patriotism had not merely publicans.
Through the whole reign of George the First, and through nearly half of the reign of George the Second, a Tory was regarded as an enemy of the reigning house, and was excluded from all the favours of the crown. Though most of the country gentlemen were Tories, none but Whigs were created peers and baronets. Though most of the clergy were Tories, none but Whigs were created deans and bishops. In every county opulent and well-descended Tory squires complained that their names were left out of the commission of the peace; while men of small estate and mean birth, who were for toleration and excise, septennial parliaments and standing armies, presided at quarter sessions, and became deputy lieutenants.
ceased to charm the public ear, but had become as nauseous as the cant of Puritanism after the downfall of the Rump. The hot fit was over: the cold fit had begun: and it was long before seditious arts, or even real grievances, could bring back the fiery paroxysm which had run its course, and reached its termination.
Two attempts were made to disturb this tranquillity. The banished heir of the house of Stuart headed a rebellion; the discontented heir of the house of Brunswick headed an opposition. Both the rebellion and the opposition came to nothing. The battle of Culloden annihilated the Jacobite party; the death of Prince Frederic dissolved the faction which, under his guidance, had feebly striven to annoy his father's government. His chief followers hastened to make their peace with the ministry; and the political torpor became complete.
By degrees some approaches were made owards a reconciliation. While Walpole was at the head of affairs, emnity to his power induced a large and powerful body of Whigs, Five years after the death of Prince Freheaded by the heir-apparent of the throne, to deric, the public mind was for a time violently make an alliance with the Tories, and a truce excited. But this excitement had nothing to even with the Jacobites. After Sir Robert's do with the old disputes between Whigs and fall, the ban which lay on the Tory party was Tories. England was at war with France. taken off. The chief places in the administra- The war had been feebly conducted. Minorca tion continued to be filled by Whigs, and, had been torn from us. Our fleet had retire A indeed, could scarcely have been filled other- before the white flag of the House of Bourbo wise; for the Tory nobility and gentry, though A bitter sense of humiliation, new to the strong in numbers and in property, had among proudest and bravest of nations, superseded them scarcely a single man distinguished by every other feeling. The cry of all the countalents, either for business or for debate. A ties and great towns of the realm was for a few of them, however, were admitted to sub-government which would retrieve the honour ordinate offices; and this indulgence produced of the English arms. The two most powerful a softening effect on the temper of the whole body. The first levee of George the Second after Walpole's resignation was a remarkable spectacle. Mingled with the constant supporters of the house of Brunswick, with the Russells, the Cavendishes, and the Pelhams, appeared a crowd of faces utterly unknown to the pages and gentlemen-ushers, lords of rural manors, whose ale and fox-hounds were renowned in the neighbourhood of the Mendip hills, or round the Wrekin, but who had never crossed the threshold of the palace since the days when Oxford, with the white staff in his hand, stood behind Queen Anne.
During the eighteen years which followed this day, both factions were gradually sinking deeper and deeper into repose. The apathy of the public mind is partly to be ascribed to the unjust violence with which the administration of Walpole had been assailed. In the body politic, as in the natural body, morbid languor
men in the country were the Duke of Newcastle and Pitt. Alternate victories and defeats had made them sensible that neither of them could stand alone. The interests of the state, and the interests of their own ambition, impelled them to coalesce. By their coalition was formed the ministry which was in power when George the Third ascended the throne.
The more carefully the structure of this celebrated ministry is examined, the more shall we see reason to marvel at the skill or the luck which had combined in one harmonious whole such various and, as it seemed, incompatible elements of force. The influence which is derived from stainless integrity, the influence which is derived from the vilest arts of corruption, the strength of aristocratical connection, the strength of democratical enthu siasm, all these things were for the first time found together. Newcastle brought to the coalition a vast mass of power, which had