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abandoned judges of our own country committed murder with their eyes open. The cause of this is plain. In France there was no constitutional opposition. If a man held language offensive to the government, he was at once sent to the Bastile or to Vincennes. But in England, at least after the days of the Long Parliament, the king could not, by a mere act of his prerogative, rid himself of a troublesome politician. He was forced to remove those who thwarted him by means of perjured witnesses, packed juries, and corrupt, hardhearted, brow-beating judges. The Opposition naturally retaliated whenever they had the upper hand. Every time that the power passed from one party to the other, took place a proscription and a massacre, thinly disguised under the forms of judicial procedure. The tribunals ought to be sacred places of refuge, where, in all the vicissitudes of public affairs, the innocent of all parties may find shelter. They were, before the Revolution, an unclean public shambles, to which each party in its turn dragged its opponents, and where each found the same venal and ferocious butchers waiting for its custom. Papist or Protestant, Tory or Whig, Priest or Alderman, all was one to those greedy and savage natures, provided only there was money to earn and blood to shed.
ed by prejudice, passion, or bigotry. But the the course adopted by Sir William Temple, by Evelyn, and by many other men, who were, in every respect, admirably qualified to serve the state. On the other hand, those resolute and enterprising spirits who put their heads and lands to hazard in the game of politics, naturally acquired, from the habit of playing for so deep a sitake, a reckless and desperate turn of mind. It was, we seriously believe, as safe to be a highwayman as to be a distin guished leader of Opposition. This may serve to explain, and in some degree to excuse, the violence with which the factions of that age are justly reproached. They were fighting, not for office, but for life. If they reposed for a moment from the work of agitation, if they suffered the public excitement to flag, they were lost men. Hume, in describing this state of things, has employed an image which seems hardly to suit the general simplicity of his style, but which is by no means too strong for the occasion. "Thus," says he, "the two par ties, actuated by mutual rage, but cooped up within the narrow limits of the law, levelled with poisoned daggers the most deadly blows against each other's breast, and buried in their factious divisions all regard to truth, ho nour, and humanity."
From this terrible evil the Revolution set us free. The law which secured to the judges their seats during life or good behaviour did Of course, these worthless judges soon something. The law subsequently passed for ereated around them, as was natural, a breed regulating trials in cases of treason did much of informers more wicked, if possible, than more. The provisions of that law show, inthemselves. The trial by jury afforded little deed, very little legislative skill. It is not or no protection to the innocent. The juries framed on the principle of securing the innowere nominated by the sheriffs. The sheriffs cent, but on the principle of giving a great were in most parts of England nominated by chance of escape to the accused, whether inthe crown. In London, the great scene of nocent or guilty. This, however, is decidedly political contention, those officers were chosen a fault on the right side. The evil produced by the people. The fiercest parliamentary by the occasional escape of a bad citizen is election of our time will give but a faint notion not to be compared with the evils of that Reign of the storm which raged in the city on the day of Terror, for such it was, which preceded the when two infuriated parties, each bearing its Revolution. Since the passing of this law, badge, met to select the men in whose hands scarcely one single person has suffered death were to be the issues of life and death for the in England as a traitor, who had not been concoming year. On that day nobles of the high-victed on overwhelming evidence, to the satis est descent did not think it beneath them to faction of all parties, of a really great crime canvass and marshal the livery, to head the against the state. Attempts have been made procession, and to watch the poll. On that in times of great excitement, to bring in per day, the great chiefs of parties waited in an sons guilty of high treason for acts which, agony of suspense for the messenger who was though sometimes highly blamable, did not to bring from Guildhall the news whether their necessarily imply a design of altering the golives and estates were, for the next twelve vernment by physical force. All those attempts months, to be at the mercy of a friend or of a have failed. For a hundred and forty years foe. In 1681, Whig sheriffs were chosen, and no statesman, while engaged in constitutional Shaftesbury defied the whole power of the go- opposition to a government, has had the axe vernment. In 1682, the sheriffs were Tories, before his eyes. The smallest minorities strug Shaftesbury fled to Holland. The other chiefs gling against the most powerful majorities in of the party broke up their councils, and re- the most agitated times, have felt themselves tired in haste to their country-seats. Sydney perfectly secure. Pulteney and Fox were the on the scaffold told those sheriffs that his blood two most distinguished leaders of Opposition was on their heads Neither of them could since the Revolution. Both were personally deny the charge, and one of them wept with obnoxious to the court. But the utmost harm shame and remorse. that the utmost anger of the court could do to them, was to strike off the “Right Honourable” from before their names.
But of all the reforms produced by the Revolution, the most important was the full esta blishment of the liberty of unlicensed printing. The censorship, which, under some form or
Thus every man who then meddled with public affairs took his life in his hand. The consequence was, that men of gentle natures stood aloof from contests in which they could not engage without hazarding their own necks and the fortunes of their children. This was
other had existed, with rare and short intermissions, under every government, monarchical or republican, from the time of Henry VIII. downwards, expired, and has never since been renewed.
We have recounted what appear to us the most important of those changes which the Revolution produced in our laws. The changes which it produced in our laws, however, were not more important than the change which it indirectly produced in the public mind. The Whig party had, during seventy years, an almost uninterrupted possession of power. It had always been the fundamental doctrine of that party, that power is a trust for the people; that it is given to magistrates, not for their own, but for the public advantage; that, where it is abused by magistrates, even by the highest of all, it may lawfully be withdrawn. It is perfectly true, that the Whigs were not more exempt than other men from the vices and infirmities of our nature, and that, when they had power, they sometimes abused it. But still they stood firm to their theory. The theory was the badge of their party. It was something more. It was the foundation on which rested the power of the houses of Nassau and Brunswick. Thus, there was a government interested in prepagating a class of opinions which most governments are interested in discouraging, a government which looked with complacency on all speculations tending to democracy, and with extreme aversion on all speculations favourable to arbitrary power. There was a king who decidedly preferred a republican to a believer in the divine right of kings; who considered every attempt to exalt his prerogative as an attack on his title; and who reserved all his favours for those who declaimed on the natural equality of men and the popular origin of government. This was the state of things from the Revolution till the death of George II. The effect was what might have been pected. VOL. III.-40
which has generally been most disposed to magnify the prerogative, a great change took place. Bishopric after bishopric, and deanery after deanery, were bestowed on Whigs and Latitudinarians. The consequence was, that Whigism and Latitudinarianism were professed by the ablest and most aspiring churchmen.
We are aware that the great improvements which we have recapitulated were, in many respects, imperfectly and unskilfully executed. The authors of those improvements sometimes, Hume has complained bitterly of this at the while they removed or mitigated a great prae- close of his history. "The Whig party," says tical evil, continued to recognise the erroneous he, "for a course of near seventy years, has principle from which that evil had sprung. almost without interruption enjoyed the whole Sometimes, when they had adopted a sound authority of government, and no honours or principle, they shrank from following it to all offices could be obtained but by their counte the conclusions to which it would have led nance and protection. But this event, which in them. Sometimes they failed to perceive that some particulars has been advantageous to the the remedies which they applied to one disease state, nas proved destructive to the truth of of the state were certain to generate another history, and has established many gross falsedisease, and to render another remedy neces-hoods, which it is unaccountable how any sary. Their knowledge was inferior to ours; civilized nation could have embraced with renor were they always able to act up to their gard to its domestic occurrences. Composiknowledge. The pressure of circumstances, tions the most despicable, both for style and the necessity of compromising differences of matter" (in a note he instances Locke, Sydney, opinion, the power and violence of the party Hoadley, and Rapin) "have been extolled and which was altogether hostile to the new settle- propagated and read as if they had equalled the ment, must be taken into the account. When most celebrated remains of antiquity. And these things are fairly weighed, there will, we forgetting that a regard to liberty, though a think, be little difference of opinion among laudable passion, ought commonly to be sub liberal and right-minded men as to the real servient to a reverence for established govern value of what the great events of 1688 did for ment, the prevailing faction has celebrated this country. only the partisans of the former." We will not here enter into an argument about the merit of Rapin's history, or Locke's political speculations. We call Hume merely as evi dence to a fact well known to all reading men, that the literature patronised by the English court and the English ministry, during the first half of the eighteenth century, was of that kind which courtiers and min sters generally do all in their power to discountenance, and tended to inspire zeal for the liberties of the people rather than respect for the authority of the government.
There was still a very strong Tory party in England. But that party was in opposition. Many of its members still held the doctrine of passive obedience. But they did not admit that the existing dynasty had any claim to such obedience. They condemned resistance. But by resistance they meant the keeping out of James III., and not the turning out of George II. No Radical of our times could grumble more at the expenses of the royal household, could exert himself more strenuously to reduce the military establishment, could oppose with more earnestness every proposition for arming the executive with extraordinary powers, or could pour more unmitigated abuse on placemen and courtiers. If a writer were now, in a massive Dictionary, to define a Pensioner as a traitor and a slave, the Excise as a hateful tax, the Commissioners of the excise as wretches,-if he were to write a satire full of reflections on men who receive "the price of boroughs and of souls," who "explain their country's dear bought rights away," or
"whom pensions can incite
Even in that profession we should set him down for something mor 2 D
democratic than a Whig. Yet this was the language which Johnson, the most bigoted of Tories and High Churchmen, held under the administration of Walpole and Pelham.
Thus doctrines favourable to public liberty were inculcated alike by those who were in power, and by those who were in opposition. It was by means of these doctrines alone that the former could prove that they had a king de jure. The servile theories of the latter did not prevent them from offering every molestation to one whom they considered as merely a 'king de facto. The attachment of the one party to the house of Hanover, of the other to that of Stuart, induced both to talk a language much more favourable to popular rights than to monarchical power. What took place at the first representation of "Cato" is no bad illustration of the way in which the two great sections of the community almost invariably acted. A play, the whole merit of which consists in its stately rhetoric,-a rhetoric sometimes not unworthy of Lucan,-about hating tyrants and dying for freedom, is brought on the stage in a time of great political exciteinent. Both parties crowd to the theatre. Each affects to consider every line as a compliment to itself, and an attack on its opponents. The curtain falls amidst an unanimous roar of applause. The Whigs of the " Kit Cat" embrace the author, and assure him that he has rendered an inestimable service to liberty. The Tory Secretary of State presents a purse to the chief actor for defending the cause of liberty so well. The history of that night was, in miniature, the history of two generations.
We well know how much sophistry there was in the reasonings, and how much exaggeration in the declamations of both parties. But when we compare the state in which political science was at the close of the reign of George the Second, with the state in which it had been wher James the Second came to the throne, it is impossible not to admit that a prodigious
improvement had taken place. We are no admirers of the political doctrines laid down in Blackstone's Commentaries. But if we con sider that those Commentaries were read with great applause in the very schools where, within the memory of some persons then living, books had been publicly burned by order of the University of Oxford, for containing the “damnable doctrine," that the English monarchy is limited and mixed, we cannot deny that a salu tary change had taken place. "The Jesuits," says Pascal, in the last of his incomparable letters, "have obtained a Papal decree condemning Galileo's doctrine about the motion of the earth. It is all in vain. If the world is really turning round, all mankind together will not be able to keep it from turning, or to keep themselves from turning with it." The decrees of Oxford were as ineffectual to stay the great moral and political revolution, as those of the Vatican to stay the motion of our globe. That learned University found itself not only unable to keep the mass from moving, but unable to keep itself from moving along with the mass. Nor was the effect of the discussions and spe culations of that period confined to our own country. While the Jacobite party was in the last dotage and weakness of its paralytic old age, the political philosophy of England began to produce a mighty effect on France, and, through France, on Europe.
Here another vast field opens itself before us But we must resolutely turn away from it. We will conclude by earnestly advising a lour readers to study Sir James Mackintosh's invaluable Fragment; and by expressing the satisfaction we have received from learning, since this article was written, that the intelligent publish ers of the volume before us have resolved to reprint the Fragment in a separate form, with out those accompaniments which have hitherto impeded its circulation. The resolution is as creditable to them as the publication is sure te be acceptable to the lovers of English history,
SIR JOHN MALCOLM'S LIFE OF LORD CLIVE.*
[EDINBURGH REVIEW FOR JANUARY, 1840.]
guage, has never been very popular, and is now scarcely ever read.
We have always thought it strange that, while the history of the Spanish empire in America is so familiarly known to all the na- We fear that Sir John Malcolm's volumes tions of Europe, the great actions of our own will not much attract those readers whom countrymen in the East should, even among Orme and Mill have repelled. The materials ourselves, excite little interest. Every school-placed at his disposal by the late Lord Powis boy knows who imprisoned Montezuma, and were indeed of great value. But we cannot who strangled Atabalipa. But we doubt whe- say that they have been very skilfully worked ther one in ten, even among English gentlemen | up. It would, however, be unjust to criticise of highly cultivated minds, can tell who won with severity a work which, if the author had the battle of Buxar, who perpetrated the mas-lived to complete and revise it, would proba sacre of Patna, whether Surajah Dowlah ruled bly have been improved by condensation and in Oude or in Travancore, or whether Holkar by a better arrangement. We are more dis was a Hindoo or a Mussulman. Yet the vic-posed to perform the pleasing duty of expresstories of Cortes were gained over savages who ing our gratitude to the noble family to which had no letters, who were ignorant of the use the public owes so much useful and curious of metals, who had not broken in a single ani- information. mal to labour, who wielded no better weapons than those which could be made out of sticks, flints, and fish-bones, who regarded a horsesoldier as a monster, half man and half beast, who took a harquebusier for a sorcerer able to scatter the thunder and lightning of the skies. The people of India when we subdued them were ten times as numerous as the vanquished Americans, and were at the same time quite as highly civilized as the victorious Spaniards. They had reared cities larger and fairer than Saragossa or Toledo, and buildings more beautiful and costly than the cathedral of Seville. They could show bankers richer than the richest firms of Barcelona or Cadiz; viceroys whose splendour far surpassed that of Ferdinand the Catholic; myriads of cavalry and long trains of artillery which would have astonished the Great Captain. It might have been expected that every Englishman who takes any interest in any part of history would be curious to know how a handful of his countrymen, separated from their home by an immense ocean, subjugated, in the course of a few years, one of the greatest empires in the world. Yet, unless we greatly err, this subject is to most readers not only insipid, but positively distasteful.
Perhaps the fault lies partly with the historians. Mr. Mill's book, though it has undoubtedly great and rare merit, is not sufficiently animated and picturesque to attract those who read for amusement. Orme, inferior to no English historian in style and power of painting, is minute even to tediousness. In one volume he allots, on an average, a closely printed quarto page to the events of every forty-eight hours. The consequence is that his narrative, though one of the most authentic and one of the most finely written in our lan
The Life of Robert Lord Clive; collected from the Family Papers, communicated by the Earl of Powis. By Major-General Sir JOHN MALCOLM, K. C. B. 3 vols. 8vo. London. 1836.
The effect of the book, even when we make the largest allowance for the partiality of those who have furnished and of those who have digested the materials, is, on the whole, greatly to raise the character of Lord Clive. We are far indeed from sympathizing with Sir John Malcolm, whose love passes the love of biographers, and who can see nothing but wisdom and justice in the actions of his idol. But we are at least equally far from concurring in the severe judgment of Mr. Mill, who seems to us to show less discrimination in his account of Clive than in any other part of his valuable work. Clive, like most men who are born with strong passions, and tried by strong tempta tions, committed great faults. But every person who takes a fair and enlightened view of his whole career must admit that our island, so fertile in heroes and statesmen, has scarcely ever produced a man more truly great either in arms or in council.
The Clives had been settled ever since the twelfth century on an estate of no great value near Market-Drayton, in Shropshire. In the reign of George the First this moderate but ancient inheritance was possessed by Mr. Richard Clive, who seems to have been a plain man of no great tact or capacity. He had been bred to the law, and divided his time between professional business and the avoca tions of a small proprietor. He married a lady from Manchester of the name of Gaskill and became the father of a very numerous family. His eldest son, Robert, the founder of the British empire in India, was born at the old seat of his ancestors on the 29th of September, 1725.
Some lineaments of the character of the man were early discerned in the child. There re main letters written by his relations when he was in his seventh year; and from these it ap pears that, even at that early age, his strong will and his fiery passions, sustaine 1 by a con |stitutional intrepidity which sometimes seened
hardly compatible with soundness of mind, had begun to cause great uneasiness to his family. "Fighting," says one of his uncles, "to which he is out of measure addicted, gives his temper such a fierceness and imperiousness that he flies out on every trifling occasion." The old people of the neighbourhood still remember to have heard from their parents how Bob Clive climbed to the top of the lofty steeple of Market-Drayton, and with what terror the inhabitants saw him seated on a stone spout near the summit. They also relate how he formed all the good-for-nothing lads of the town into a kind of predatery army, and compelled the shopkeepers to submit to a tribute of apples and halfpence, in consideration of which he guarantied the security of their windows. He was sent from school to school, making very little progress in his learning, and gaining for himself everywhere the character of an exceedingly naughty boy. One of his masters, it is said, was sagacious enough to prophesy that the idle lad would make a great figure in the world. But the general opinion seems to have been that poor Robert was a dunce, if not a reprobate. His family expected nothing good from such slender parts and such a headstrong temper. It is not strange, therefore, that they gladly accepted for him, when he was in his eighteenth year, a writership in the service of the East India Company, and shipped him off to make a fortune or to die of a fever at Madras.
ed by its garden, whither the wealthy agents of the Company retired, after the labours of the desk and the warehouse, to enjoy the cool breeze which springs up at sunset from the Bay of Bengal. The habits of these mercantile grandees appear to have been more profuse, luxurious, and ostentatious, than those of the high judicial and political functionaries who have succeeded them. But comfort was far less understood. Many devices which now mitigate the heat of the climate, preserve health, and prolong life, were unknown. There was far less intercourse with Europe than at present. The voyage by the Cape, which in our time has often been performed within three months, was then very seldom accomplished in six, and was sometimes protracted to more than a year. Consequently the Anglo-Indian was then much more estranged from his country, much more an oriental in his tastes and habits, and much less fitted to mix in society after his return to Europe, than the Anglo-Indian of the present day.
Within the fort and its precincts, the English governors exercised, by permission of the na tive rulers, an extensive authority. But they had never dreamed of claiming independent power. The surrounding country was governed by the Nabob of the Carnatic, a deputy of the Viceroy of the Deccan, commonly called the Nizam, who was himself only a deputy of the mighty prince designated by our ancestors as the Great Mogul. Those names, once są Far different were the prospects of Clive august and formidable, still remain. There is from those of the youths whom the East India still a Nabob of the Carnatic, who lives on a College now annually sends to the Presiden-pension allowed to him by the Company, out cies of our Asiatic empire. The Company of the revenues of the province which his an was then purely a trading corporation. Its cestors ruled. There is still a Nizam, whose territory consisted of a few square miles, for capital is overawed by a British cantonment, which rent was paid to the native governments. and to whom a British resident gives, under Its troops were scarcely numerous enough to the name of advice, commands which are not man the batteries of three or four ill-construct- to be disputed. There is still a Mogul, who is ed forts, which had been erected for the pro- permitted to play at holding courts and receivtection of the warehouses. The natives, who ing petitions, but who has less power to help composed a considerable part of these little or hurt than the youngest civil servant of the garrisons had not yet been trained in the dis- Company. cipline of Europe, and were armed, some with swords and shields, some with bows and arrows. The business of the servants of the Company was not, as now, to conduct the judicial, financial, and diplomatic business of a great country, but to take stock, to make advances to weavers, to ship cargoes, and to keep a sharp look-out for private traders who dared to infringe the monopoly. The younger clerks were so miserably paid that they could scarcely subsist without incurring debt; the elder enriched themselves by trading on their own account; and those who lived to rise to the top of the service, often accumulated considerable fortunes.
Clive's voyage was unusually tedious even for that age. The ship remained some months at the Brazils, where the young adventurer picked up some knowledge of Portuguese, and spent all his pocket-money. He did not arrive in India till more than a year after he had left England. His situation at Madras was most painful. His funds were exhausted. His pay was small. He had contracted debts. He was wretchelly lodged-no small calamity in a cli mate which can be rendered tolerable to a European only by spacious, and well-placed apartments. He had been furnished with let. ters of recommendation to a gentleman who might have assisted him; but when he landed Madras, to which Clive had been appointed, at Fort St. George he found that this gentleman was, at this time, perhaps, the first in import- had sailed for England. His shy and haughty ance of the Company's settlements. In the disposition withheld him from introducing him. preceding century, Fort St. George had arisen self. He was several months in India before on a barren spot, beaten by a raging surf; and he became acquainted with a single family. in the neighbourhood of a town, inhabited by The climate affected his health and spirits. many thousands of natives, had sprung up, as His duties were of a kind ill suited to his ar towns spring up in the East, with the rapidity dent and daring character. He pined for his of the prophet's gourd. There were already in | home, and in his letters to his relations exthe suburbs many white villas, each surround-pressed his feelings in language softer and