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friend, the Westminster Reviewer, he, it must be owned, has as good a right as any man on his side, "dntoni gladios conlemnerc." 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 kuow 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 contradiction; 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 otTered him as the price of his support to pernicious measures.
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.
A thief is condemned to be hanged. On the eve of the day fixed for the execution, a •nrnkey enters his cell, and tells him that all is safe, that he has only to slip out, that his friends are waiting ir. 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 suited, 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, ar'.- fundamentally erroneous.
We say, that those who hold this principle to be sound, must be prepared to maintain, either that monarclis 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 ciear that the principle is true; and that many cases might be slated in which the common sense of mankind would at once pronounce it to be false.
We now leave the Westminster Reviewer to alter and amend his " magnificent principle" as he thinks best. Unlimited, it is false. Properly limited, it will be barren. The "greatest 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 American newspapers, " important if true." But unhappily it is not true. It is not our business to conjecture what new maxim is to mak.e 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 p'.eases, 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 as 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 the"y had merely stolen that morality, and spoiled it in the stealing. They have taken the precept of Christ, and left the motive; and they demand 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 promoling the happiness of others. But if religious considerations be left out of the question, it is not true. If we do not reason on the supposition of a future state, where is the motive! If we do reason on that supposition, where is the discovery?
The Westminster Reviewer tells us, that "we wish to sec the science of government unsettled, because we see no prospect of a settlement which accords with our interests." His angry eagerness to have questions settled resembles that of a judge in one of Dryden's plays—the Amphitryon, we think—who wishes 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 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 attempted 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 no! admit of being settled by a short demonstration;—that the subtilty of nature, in the moral as in the physical world, triumphs over the subtilty of syllogism. 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.
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 whig party, rotten boroughs, unpaid magistrates, and
ex officio informations. When'wc blamed them for talking nonsense, t.iey cried out iliat 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.
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 explorers of political science. As we are taking leave, probably for the last lime, of -this controversy, we will state very concisely what our doctrines are. On some future occasion we jnay, perhaps, explain and defend them at length.
Our fervent wish, and, we will add, our sanguine hope, is, that we may see such a reform 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; ami 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 whieh parti cular forms of property possess over other forms, 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 pewer. Most willingly would we stake the whole controversy between us on the success of the experiment which we propose.
Mom than ten years ago we commenced a tlceich of the political life of the great.Lord Chaiham.f We then stopped at the death of George ihe Second, with the intention of speedily resuming otv 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, (hough 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^ our long inteiTupted 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 or 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. The Tory conceived that he could not better prove his hatred of revolutions than by attack
• Corruponieneo of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. 4 Toll. 8vo London. 1810.
Letters of Horace WalvoUy Karl of Orford, U Sir Borate JCui. 4 vola. 8vo. London, 1643-4.
♦ 8m pags SDft.
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 arras; 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 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 sec nothing to reprobate in the iron tyranny of Stafford and Laud. But, whatever judgment the Whig or the Tory of that age might pronounce on transactions long past, there can be no doubt that, as respected the practical questions then pending, the Tory was a reformer, and indeed an intemperate and indiscreet reformer, whi e the Whig was conservative even to bigot y. We have ourselvei seen similar effects pn duced in a neighbour ing country by stmila/ causes. W1k. Woom SO
, have Delieved.lifteen years ago, that M. Guizot and M. Villemain would have lo defend property and social order against the Jacobinical titacks of such enemies as M. Genoude.and VI. (le La Roche Jaquelinl
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 segan to abate; for it is the nature of parties .o retain their original enmities, far more firmy than their original principles. During many ^ears, a generation of Whigs whom Sidney vould have spurned as slaves, continued to vage deadly war with a generation of Tories vhom Jefferies would have hanged for republicans.
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.
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, headed by the heir-apparent of the throne, to make an alliance with the Tories, and a truce even with the Jacobites. After Sir Robert's fall, the ban which lay on the Tory party was taken off. The chief places in the administration continued to be filled by Whigs, and, indeed, r.ould scarcely have been filled otherwise; for the Tory nobility and gentry, though stror.g in numbers and in property, had among them scarcely a single man distinguished by talents, cither Cor business or for debate. A few of them, however, were admitted to subordinate offices; and this indulgence produced 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 Rnssells, 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 nnjust violence with which the administration of Walpole had been assailed. In the body politic, as in the natural body, .morbid languor
generally succeeds to morbid excitement The 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 mo change whatever in the systtm of government. The natural consequences followed. To frantic zeal succeeded sullen indifference. The cant of patriotism had not merely 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 Stuartheaded 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.
Five years after the death of Prince Frederic, the public mind was for a time violently excited. But this excitement had nothing to do with the old disputes between Whigs and Tories. England was at war with France. The war had been feebly conducted. Minorca had been torn from us. Our fleet had retired before the white flag of the House of Bourbon. A bitter sense of humiliation, new to the proudest and bravest of nations, superseded every other feeling. The cry of all the counties and great towns of the realm was for a government which would retrieve the honour of the English arms. The two most powerful 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