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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 searching scepticism of the second Academy. It is not our fault that an experimental science of vast extent does not admit of being settled by a short demonstration;-that the 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 in the House of Commons as may render its that, by using his pills, and attending to his votes the express image of the opinion of the printed directions, hundreds who had been middle orders of Britain. A pecuniary qualidismissed incurable from the hospitals have fication we think absolutely necessary; and in renewed their youth like the eagles, may, per-settling its amount, our object would be to haps, 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.
leave, probably for the last time, of this controversy, we will state very concisely what our doctrines are. On some future occasion we may, perhaps, explain and defend them at length.
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 forins, and particular portions of property over other equal portions. And this would content us. Such a reform would, according to Mr. Mill, establish an aristocracy of wealth, and leave the community without protection, and exposed to all the evils of unbridled power. Most willingly would we stake the whole controversy between us on the success of the ex
If, in the course of this controversy, we have refrained from expressing any opinion respecting the political institutions of England, it is not because we have not an opinion, or because we shrink from avowing it. The Utilitarians, indeed, conscious that their boasted theory of government would not bear investigation, were desirous to turn the dispute about Mr. 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.]
tions; 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.
Mons than ten years ago we commenced a |ing a government to which a revolution had sketch of the political life of the great Lord given being. Both came by degrees to attach Chathami. We then stopped at the death of more importance to the means than to the George the Second, with the intention of speed-end. Both were thrown into unnatural situaily 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.
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 them selves 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 re former, and indeed an intemperate and indiscreet reformer, while the Whig was conservative even to bigot y. We have ourselves seen similar effects produced in a neighbour ing country by similar couses. Who would
have believed, fifteen years ago, that M. Guizot | generally succeeds to morbid excitement. The and M. Villemain would have to defend pro- people had been maddened by sophistry, by perty and social order against the Jacobinical tacks of such enemies as M. Genoude and M. de La Roche Jaquelin?
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 systein 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 whom 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 fol lowers 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 retired indeed, could scarcely have been filled other-before the white flag of the House of Bourbon. 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 enthusiasm, all these things were for the first time found together. Newcastle brought to the coalition a vast mass of power, which had
descended to him from Walpole and Pelham. I did him too much honour. Such matters were The public offices, the church, the courts of beyond his capacity. It was true that his poor law, the army, the navy, the diplomatic ser- advice about expeditions and treaties was vice, swarmed with his creatures. The bo- listened to with indulgence by a gracious roughs, which long afterwards made up the sovereign. If the question were, who should memorable schedules A and B, were repre- command in North America, or who should be sented by his nominees. The great Whig ambassador at Berlin, his colleagues would families, which during several generations had probably condescend to take his opinion. But been trained in the discipline of party warfare, he had not the smallest influence with the and were accustomed to stand together in a secretary of the treasury, and could not venfirm phalanx, acknowledged him as their cap-ture to ask even for a tide-waiter's place. tain. Pitt, on the other hand, had what New- It may be doubted whether he did not owe castle wanted, an eloquence which stirred the passions and charmed the imagination, a high reputation for purity, and the confidence and ardent love of millions.
as much of his popularity to his ostentatious purity, as to his eloquence, or to his talents for the administration of war. It was everywhere said with delight and admiration that the great Commoner, without any advantages of birth or fortune, had, in spite of the dislike of the court and of the aristocracy, made himself the first man in England, and made England the first country in the world; that his name was mentioned with awe in every palace from Lisbon to Moscow; that his trophies were in all the four quarters of the globe; yet that he was still plain William Pitt, without title or riband, without pension or sinecure place. Whenever he should retire, after saving the
silver candlesticks. Widely as the taint of corruption had spread, his hands were clean. They had never received, they had never given, the price of infamy. Thus the coalition gathered to itself support from all the high and all the low parts of human nature, and was strong with the whole united strength of virtue and of mammon.
Pitt and Newcastle were co-ordinate chief ministers. The subordinate places had been filled on the principle of including in the government every party and shade of party, the avowed Jacobites alone excepted; nay, every public man who, from his abilities or from his situation, seemed likely to be either useful in office or formidable in opposition
The partition which the two ministers made of the powers of government was singularly happy. Each occupied a province for which he was well qualified; and neither had any inclination to intrude himself into the province of the other. Newcastle took the treasury, the civil and ecclesiastical patronage, and the disposal of that part of the secret service money which was then employed in bribing members of Parliament. Pitt was secretary of state, with the direction of the war and of foreign affairs. Thus the filth of all the noisome and pestilen-state, he must sell his coach-horses and his tial sewers of government was poured into one channel. Through the other passed only what was bright and stainless. Mean and selfish politicians, pining for commissionerships, gold sticks, and ribands, flocked to the great house at the corner of Lincoln's Inn Fields. There, at every levee, appeared eighteen or twenty pair of lawn sleeves; for there was not, it was said, a single prelate who had not owed either his first elevation or some subsequent translation to Newcastle. There appeared those members of the House of Commons in whose silent votes the main strength of the government lay. One wanted a place in the excise for his butler. Another came about a prebend for his son. A third whispered that he had always stood by his Grace and the Protestant succession; that his last election had been very expensive; that pot-wallopers had now no conscience; that he had been forced to take up money on mortgage; and that he hardly knew where to turn for five hundred pounds. The duke pressed all their hands, passed his arms round all their shoulders, patted all their backs, and sent away some with wages, and some with promises. From this traffic Pitt stood haughtily aloof. Not only was he himself incorruptible, but he shrank from the loathsome drudgery of corrupting others. He had not, however, been twenty years in Parliament, and ten in office, without discovering how the government was carried on. He was perfectly aware that bribery was practised on a large scale by his colleagues. Hating the practice, yet despairing of putting it down, and doubting whether, in those times, any ministry could stand without it, he determined to be blind to it. He would see nothing, know nothing, believe nothing. People who came to talk to him about shares in lucrative contracts, or about the means of securing a Cornish corporation, were soon put out of contatenance by nis arrogant humility. They
The Whigs, according to what was then considered as their prescriptive right, held by far the largest share of power. The main support of the administration was what may be called the great Whig connection-a connection which, during near half a century, had generally had the chief sway in the country, and which derived an immense authority from rank, wealth, borough interest, and firm union. To this connection, of which Newcastle was the head, belonged the houses of Cavendish, Lennox, Fitzroy, Bentinck, Manners, Conway, Wentworth, and many others of high note.
There were two other powerful Whig connections, either of which might have been a nucleus for a formidable opposition. But room had been found in the government for both. They were known as the Grenvilles and the Bedfords.
The head of the Grenvilles was Richar Earl Temple. His talents for administration and debate were of no high order. But his great possessions, his turbulent and unscrupulous character, his restless activity, and his skill in the most ignoble tactics of faction, made him one of the most formidable enemies that a ministry could have. He was keeper