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vern well if he were wise, for fear of provok A king, says the Reviewer again, would go. ing his subjects to insurrection. Therefore, the true happiness of a king is identical with the greatest happiness of society. Tel! Charles II. that if he will be constant to his queen, sober at table, regular at prayers, frugal in his ex penses, active in the transaction of business if he will drive the herd of slaves, buffoons, and procurers from Whitehall, and make the he will have a much greater chance of reign happiness of his people the rule of his conduct, ing in comfort to an advanced age; that his profusion and tyranny have exasperated his subjects, and may, perhaps, bring him to an end as terrible as his father's. He might an
The Reviewer has not attempted to give a general composition of the "greatest happiness Frinciple;" but he has tried to prove that it holds good in one or two particular cases. And even in those particular cases he has terly failed. A man, says he, who calcu-swer, that he saw the danger, but that life was lated the chances fairly, would perceive that not worth having without ease and vicious it would be for his greatest happiness to ab-pleasures. And what has our philosopher to stain from stealing; for a thief ruus a greater say? Does he not see that it is no more pos risk of being hanged than an honest man. and a merry one more than a long life and a sible to reason a man out of liking a short life dull one, than to reason a Greenlander out of his train oil? the thief and the tyrant differ from ours; but We may say that the tastes of what right have we to say, looking at this world alone, that they do not pursue their greatest happiness very judiciously?
It is the grossest ignorance of human nature chances differently from us, merely because to suppose that another man calculates the he does what, in his place, we should not do. Every man has tastes and propensities, which he is disposed to gratify at a risk and expense, which people of different temperaments and habits think extravagant. "Why," says Horace, to play in the Campus, and to anoint himself "does one brother like to lounge in the forum, in the baths, so well, that he would not put himself out of his way for all the wealth of the richest plantations of the East; while the other toils from sunrise to sunset for the purpose of increasing his fortune?" Horace attributes the diversity to the influence of the Genius and the natal star: and eighteen hundred years have go-taught us only to disguise our ignorance be neath a more philosophical language.
ple?" The question is not whether men have some motives for promoting the greatest happiness, but whether the stronger motives be those which impel them to promote the greatest happiness. That this would always be the case, if men knew their own worldly interests, is the assertion of the Reviewer. As he expresses some doubt whether Mr. Bentham has demonstrated this or not, we would advise him to set the point at rest by giving his own demonstration.
It would have been wise, we think, in the Westminster Reviewer, before he entered on a discussion of this sort, to settle in what human happiness consists. Each of the ancient sects of philosophy held some tenet on this subject which served for a distinguishing badge. The summum bonum of the Utilitarians, as far as we can judge from the passage which we are now considering, is the not being hanged.
That it is an unpleasant thing to be hanged, we most willingly concede to our brother. But that the whole question of happiness or misery resolves itself into this single point, we cannot so easily admit. We must look at the thing purchased, as well as the price paid for it. A thief, assuredly, runs a greater risk of being hanged than a labourer; and so an officer in the army runs a greater risk of being shot than a banker's clerk; and a governor of India runs a greater risk of dying of cholera than a lord of the bedchamber. But does it therefore follow that every man, whatever his habits or feelings may be, would, if he knew his own happiness, become a clerk rather than a. cornet, or goldstick in waiting rather than vernor of India?
Nothing can be more absurd than to suppose, like the Westminster Reviewer, that thieves steal only because they do not calculate the chances of being hanged as correctly as honest men. It never seems to have occurred to him as possible, that a man may so greatly prefer the life of a thief to the life of a labourer, that he may determine to brave the risk of detection and punishment, though he may even think that risk greater than it really is. And how, on Utilitarian principles, is such a man to be convinced that he is in the wrong? You will be found out."—"Undoubtedly." You will be hanged within two years." expect to be hanged within one year."-"Then why do you pursue this lawless mode of life?" -"Because I would rather live for one year with plenty of money, dressed like a gentleman, eating and drinking of the best, frequenting public places, and visiting a dashing mistress, than break stones on the road, or sit down to the loom, with the certainty of attaining a good old age. It is my humour. Are you answered?" VOL. V.-89
Reviewer, even if we admit his calculation of We think, therefore, that the Westminster the chances to be right, does not make out his case. chances more grossly than any person who But he appears to us to miscalculate for the happiness," says he, "of a member of ever acted or speculated in this world. "It is the House of Commons to govern well; for he never can tell that he is not close on the moment when misgovernment will be terribly punished: if he was sure that he should be as lucky as his predecessors, it might be for his happiness to misgovern; but he is not sure." that he shall not be torn in pieces by a mob, or Certainly a member of Parliament is not sure guillotined by a revolutionary tribunal, for his opposition to reform. Nor is the Westminster Reviewer sure that he shall not be hanged for writing in favour of universal suffrage. We may have democratical massacres. also have aristocratical proscriptions. It is not very likely, thank God, that we should see either. But the radical, we think, runs as much danger as the aristocrat. As to our
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 We now leave the Westminster Reviewer to act on the former supposition as on the to alter and amend his "magnificent principle" latter. There is a risk; for there is a risk of as he thinks best. Unlimited, it is false. Proevery 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 happiness principle" of the 1st of July, as far his wits would give a shilling to be insured. as we could discern its meaning through a Yet our Westminster Reviewer tells us, that cloud of rodomontade, was an idle truism. this risk alone, apart from all considerations The "greatest happiness principle” of the 1st of religion, honour, or benevolence, would, of October is, in the phrase of the American as a matter of mere calculation, induce a wise newspapers, "important if true." But unbapmember of the House of Commons to refuse pily it is not true. It is not our business to any emoluments which might be offered him conjecture what new maxim is to make the as the price of his support to pernicious mea- 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.
The Westminster Reviewer charges us with urging it as an objection to the "greatest happiness principle," that, "it is included in the Christian morality." This is a mere fiction of his own. We never attacked the morality of the gospel. We blamed the Utilitarian for claiming the credit of a discovery, when they had merely stolen that morality, and spoiled it in the stealing. They have taken the precept of Christ, and left the motive; and they de mand the praise of a most wonderful and beneficial invention, when all that they have done has been to make a most useful maxim useless by separating it from its sanction. On religious principles, it is true that every individual 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?
The Westminster Reviewer tells us, that
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 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 suffrage, are good for nothing.
We say, 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.
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 American packet. Now, it is clearly for the greatest happiness of society that the thief should be hanged, and the corrupt turnkey exposed and punished. Will the Westminster Reviewer tell us, that it is for the greatest happiness of the thief to summon the head jailer, and tell the whole story? Now, either it is for the greatest happiness of the thief to be hanged, or it is not. If it is, then the argument, by which the Westminster Reviewer attempts to prove, that men do not promote their own happiness by thieving, falls to the ground. If it is not, then there are men whose greatest happiness is at variance with the greatest happiness of the community.
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 govern-"we wish to see the science of government ment, which, like that essay, proceed on the unsettled, because we see no prospect of a supposition, that individuals may have an in- settlement which accords with our interests." terest opposed to the greatest happiness of His angry eagerness to have questions settled society, are fundamenta erroneous. resembles that of a judge in one of Dryden's
plays-the Amphitryon, we think-who wishes | ex officio informations.
When we blamed
to decide a cause after hearing only one party, them for talking nonsense, they cried out that and when he has been at last compelled to they were insulted for being reformers,-just listen to the statement of the defendant, flies as poor Ancient Pistol swore that the scars into a passion, and exclaims, "There now, which he had received from the cudgel of sir! see what you have done. The case was Fluellen were got in the Gallia wars. We, quite clear a minute ago; and you must come however, did not think it desirable to mix up and puzzle it!" He is the zealot of a sect. political questions, about which the public We are searchers after truth. He wishes to mind is violently agitated, with a great prohave the question settled. We wish to have it blem in moral philosophy. sifted first. The querulous manner in which we have been blamed for attacking Mr. Mill's system, and propounding no system of our own, reminds us of the horror with which that shallow dogmatist, Epicurus, the worst parts of whose nonsense the Utilitarians have 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 quali dismissed 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 draw the line in such a manner that. every feels the pulses of patients, inquires about their decent farmer and shopkeeper might possess symptoms, and prescribes a different remedy the elective franchise. We should wish to see to each, is unsettling the science of medicine an end put to all the advantages which parti for the sake of a fee. 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
Our notions about government are not, however, altogether unsettled. We have an opinion about parliamentary reform, though we have not arrived at that opinion by the royal road which Mr. Mill has opened for the exat-plorers of political science. As we are taking 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.
THE EARL OF CHATHAM.*
[EDINBURGH REVIEW FOR OCTOBER, 1844.]
MORE 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 Chatham. 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 situa ily resuming our task. Circumstances which tions; and both, like animals transported to
it would be tedious to explain, long prevented an uncongenial climate, languished and degenerated. The Tory, removed from the sun. shine 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.
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.
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 We left Pitt in the zenith of prosperity and put forth arms; the arms of the man shrank glory, the idol of England, the terror of France, into his body. At length the serpent stood up the admiration of the whole civilized world. a man, and spake; the man sank down a The wind, from whatever quarter it blew, serpent, and glided hissing away. Something carried to England tidings of battles won, for-like this was the transformation which, during tresses taken, provinces added to the empire. the reign of George the First, befell the two At home, factions had sunk into a lethargy, English parties. Each gradually took the shape such as had never been known since the great and colour of its foe; till at length the Tory religious schism of the sixteenth century had rose up erect the zealot of freedom, and the roused the public mind from repose. Whig crawled and licked the dust at the feet of power.
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.
If, rejecting all that is merely accidental, we look at the essential characteristics of the Whig and the Tory, we may consider each of them as the representative of a great principle, essential to the welfare of nations. One is, in an especial manner, the guardian of liberty, and the other, of order. One is the moving power, and the other the steadying power of the state. One is the sail, without which society would make no progress; the other the ballast, without which there would be small safety in a tempest. But, during the forty-six years which followed the accession of the house of Hanover, these distinctive peculiarities seemed to be effaced. The Whig conceived that he could not better serve the cause of civil and religious freedom than by strenuously supporting the Protestant dynasty.nounce on transactions long past, there can The Tory conceived that he could not better be no doubt that, as respected the practical prove his hatred of revolutions than by attack-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 would
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 grandfathers, they still seemed to differ as their grandfathers had differed. The Whig, who during three Parliaments had never given one vote against the court, and who was ready to sell his soul for the Comptroller's staff, or for the Great Wardrobe, still professed to draw his political doctrines from Locke and Milton, still worshipped the memory of Pym and Hampden, and would still, on the thirtieth of January, take his glass, first to the man in the mask, and then to the man who would do it without a mask. The Tory, on the other hand, while he reviled the mild and temperate Walpole as a deadly enemy of liberty, could see nothing to reprobate in the iron tyranny of Stafford and Laud. But, whatever judgment the Whig or the Tory of that age might pro
•Correspondence of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham.
4 vols. 8vo. London, 1840.
Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, to Sir Horace Mann. 4 vols. 8vo. London, 1843-4.
See page 22,