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NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE
VOLUME I. FROM JANUARY-JUNE, 1833.
NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
THE POLITICIAN, NO. VIII. one part of the Cabinet the courage to ad
vance, as it strikes into the other moiety of The real strength of the Ministers Considered. the Cabinet the fear of proceeding. One
-Probable divisions in the Cabinet.-Mr. says—“We have now the power to forward Stanley's Faults and Merits. A view of the work of good government." The other the position of the House of Lords, and the says—“Things are gone too far, now is the necessity of avoiding a collision between the time to resist continued innovation;" with two Assemblies.—The probable Tactics of one it is the very moment to advance-with the Tory Peers.
the other to stand still. This, we have cause The world need not be informed that the to believe, is the real state of feeling amongst elections are now over-and an immense the ministers, (although, perhaps, it is more majority of what are termed the Whig party easy to point out the conservative than the returned to the reformed House of Com- progressing portion,) and thus, as we commons. Never had an English administration menced by saying, their seeming strength is a stronger body of supporters in the Repre- the cause of their probable disunion. We sentative Assembly. Never, therefore, to will not take the question of the Ballot as an the eye of the superficial did an English ad- example; we fancy (despite of mere popular ministration appear more powerful. But, rumours) that we shall find all the ministers examined a little closer, we shall find that agreed to resist that measure. So far there what seems the cause of their strength is is little fear of a schism; too much impornot unlikely to be the cause of their disunion. tance has been attached to some equivocal Anoverwhelming preponderance of members expressions of Lord John Russell, and of a are returned, engaged to the most popular few immediate partizans of the ministry. opinions, and the consideration of the most The threat—“If men are to be intimidated popular opinions is at once forced upon the from giving their votes, then, much as we government. The Ministers run every hazard dislike it, we must have the ballot,” ought of losing the majority they have obtained un- to be regarded merely as an electioneering less they consent to embrace the policy to manœuvre. It simply means_“If we are which that majority are pledged. The conse- not returned to parliament, we will punquence of this is an immediate discussion ish you with a new infliction of popular among the members of the Cabinet how far rights ;” and, being safely returned, the exto resist the Movement, or how far to ad- cuse for dispensing with the Ballot will bevance with it. Had the proportion of reform- " The bill has worked well. Let us wait.” ing members been less great, it is obvious Or, in other words, “we are now in a mathat there might have been less disagree- jority, what signifies further alteration?" ment among the ministers; for the more In truth, it is impossible to disguise from Liberal would have said to the more Con- ourselves the fact, that when ministers have servative—“With this House of Commons spoken of the Ballot, it has not been as a we cannot carry popular measures to the boon to the people, but as a punishment to extent we wish, and we are contented, there- the Tories. A man of ordinary discernment fore, with approaching to the boundary that may perceive, therefore, that the "animis you would appoint. The Conservative celestibus ire” are not likely to be kindled policy would have been embraced, and the by any extraordinary fervour for securing the very necessity of securing a dubious majori- Ballot, and that the intimidation which has ty would have made the Cabinet unanimous. not prevented the return of my Lord John But the amazing strength of the liberal party, Russell for Devonshire, will not be considered and the lengths to which they have carried sufficiently strong to warrant“ so dangerous their professions to their constituents, give l an innovation in our constutional customs."
But there is a question that cannot be dignity by as suddenly forsaking it. Yet blinked or delayed,—the question of Church this perilous friend would be a terrible foe: Reform; and the degree and nature of that he is the only man on the ministerial benches reform can scarcely be a matter of easy ar- capable of replying to Peel. To take his rangement with the ministers. From the counsels from the ministry would be an inline of conduct Mr. Stanley has adopted, calculable blessing,—to transfer his voice to from the unbending haughtiness of his char- the opposition would be an irreparable misacter,--and from engagements to the High- fortune. church Party, stronger perhaps than those With this embarrassing ally, popular of any other English member of the House questions become doubly difficult to the govof Commons, (save, it may be, Sir Robert ernment, and we are sure that there must Inglis,) it is difficult to imagine that he will arise many subjects for consideration on readily subscribe to the pecuniary emanci- which the opinions of Mr. Stanley will be in pation of dissenters and the diminished the one scale and the expectations of the "dignity" of the hierarchical salaries. The English people in the other,—the fear of the most obvious and the most imperiously de- hostility of the one, the evils of disappointmanded of all the ecclesiatical reforms (the ing the other! adjustment of tithes only excepted) is, that And here a new view of the political field the treasuries of the Established Church forces itself upon us. It may be recollected should only be supported by its members. that, in opposition to the generality of our No reform short of this will satisfy that vast contemporaries, we insisted that the necesand intrepid body of men, the Dissenters of sity of a creation of Peers, so far from being England, who, by siding with the people on removed by the passing of the Reform Bill, political, have won their confidence on ec- would become doubly imperious by that clesiastical matters,—so that not to satisfy event. We said, “ If the Upper Chamber the Dissenters will, we suspect, be not to cannot agree with this present House of satisfy the people. But this species of Re-Commons, how can you hope that it will form, however just and moderate, cannot agree with the next? Are you afraid of a possibly be agreed to by Mr. Stanley :—the collision now ?-be doubly afraid of a collisman who is pledged to support the enormities ion then ; at present there is one only ground of the Church of Ireland, cannot shrink from of dispute,—with your first Reformed Paradvocating the petty grievances of the liament there will be a hundred grounds. Church Establishment of England. He who Take now, therefore, the opportunity when thinks that the Catholic majority should pay the apparent urgency of the case excuses all the Protestant few in one country may be extraordinary measures ;—pour into the forgiven for asserting that the dissenting Upper House that necessary infusion of popminority should enrich the proponderating ular principles which will bring it into symdivision of the Legitimate Establishment pathy with the Lower;-make your Peers in the other. We can conceive no reform apparently for the passing of one great nawhich Lord Brougham would propose from tional measure and the escape from a probawhich it is not likely that Mr. Stanley would ble revolution; but in reality, also, not for dissent.* The latter gentleman stands, in the temporary occasion, but for permanent deed, in a peculiar position; he is equally ends ;--not for the punishment of the Lords dangerous as an enemy and a friend, -an because they have resisted the people, but admirable speaker, he is a bungling states- for their real safety because they should man; with great talents, he has no judg- harmonize with the people.” ment; no man debates better or legislates Our reader will perceive that we were right; worse ; clear, shrewd and penetrating in the the necessity for a creation of Peers remains House of Commons, he is blinder than a unaltered. Consider the Church Reform, mole in the Cabinet of St. James's or the the Taxes on Knowledge, the Abolition of councils of the Castle at Dublin. He de- Slavery, nay, the minor points of the opening tects every fallacy in an adversary,—he em- the East India Monopoly, and repealing the braces every blunder in a law,-nothing can Bank Charter._Is it likely that, on these be happier than his replies or more infelici- questions, the Tory majority of the Peers tous than his motions,-he hastens to com- will yield to the liberal majority of the Commence and never calculates how he is to mons? It would be madness to expect that proceed,—his Bills are brought into the England should once more witness the exHouse with a vast flourish of trumpets, they traordinary spectacle of a monarch beseechvanish in all the skulking obscurity of defeat, ing the majority of his hereditary counsel--he compromises the ministerial wisdom by lors,—to walk, amidst the hootings of a derirushing into a motion, and the ministerial sive people, out of their own legislative * Yet the Tories have affected to consider the alas! descendants !) of the Norman dictators
assembly, and the haughty successors (not, opinions of Lord Brougham as more congenial of the third Henry, preferring the prayer of with the sentiments of Mr. Stanley than those of any other Member in the Cabinet. It is easy to their Royal Master to what they solemnly see through their design in this representation. asserted they believed the dictates of their conscience, the safety of the constitution, House will be but a delusion; that, passing and the prosperity of the country ;--that hu- into the next stage of deliberation, it will be miliating spectacle cannot again occur, the assuredly frittered from its efficiency; that disgrace of it was too foul, and the ludibrium the spring found will never descend to the too galling. As vain would it be to expect mouths that are thirsting for the stream-but that the Peers, aware of the danger of being --their currents turn awry triumphant, would silently submit to perpet- And lose the name of action." ual defeats, would relinquish their immense And this suspicion itself is an evil of no inmajority over the Ministers they hate with considerable magnitude. When the people all the bitterness of a hostile party, and all distrust, even good becomes soured to them the vengeance of an insulted order,—and -benefits are derived from unworthy mothat the prudence, which never yet controll- tives; the most necessary delays exaspeed a powerful body, will make them vote rate them, and every unavoidable obstacle against the bias of their opinions and against seems to them to have been artfully arrangthe urging of their passions. A corporate ed on purpose to thwart their reasonable body is not like one man,-it is not equally desires. How, with such a House of Lords, open to the view of its own interest: the heat can that state of popular, suspicion and its of party, the contagion of example, the force consequent evils be avoided ? of numbers, will always stir it up, even in op- Thus, then, when we begin somewhat position to a prudent or a selfish policy. carefully to examine the real strength of the The “verbal fallacies” will decorate the administration, we find that it is not so firm cause it adopts,-it will be foolish out of “a as it appears—and that we have proved what sense of duty," and fall, by the hands of the we have set out by saying, viz., that the people, from “the noble resolution to combat very strength of its majority in the Commons for its rights."
may be the cause of its weakness in the We are sure that the justice of these re- Cabinet—it is probable that, ere long, some marks will be commonly acknowledged; of the present component parts will be sepand if so, our policy was right,—and for the arated from each other, and, by the laws of sake of the Peers themselves, the necessary political gravity, a few fly off to the natural creation of new Peers should have been affinities of Toryism, a few remain attachmade long since,-are absolutely requireded to the stronger attractions (suited to their now. To the ministers themselves, the several qualities) of office—of popularitywant of harmony between the two bodies of party spirit—or of liberal and conscienmust present difficulties almost insurmount- tious principle. able, and must be a new source of proba- In the above remarks, which relate to views ble disunion in the Cabinet. For, on the that the daily journals have of late entirely one hand, is a House of Commons all but neglected, we have not the remotest wish unanimous, pressing on for measures the either to call up new grounds of popular demost popular; on the other, a House of Lords, mand—of public disquietude, or to embarrass dark and lowering, and eager to inflict an the Administration. But we have desired instantaneous death, or, at least, a tyranni- only, in recurring to the obvious necessity cal mutilation, on the first popular bill that of harmonizing the two Legislative Assemis ushered into their assembly. What a di- blies at present so discordant, to anticipate, lemma for a government!-the bill that as is the duty of a prudent speculator on pleases one body must offend the other. State-affairs, a most important question Every new motion will carry in itself the which must shortly be agitated, and which seeds of a fearful dissension-every popular ought to be adjusted previous to a collision, benefit will contain the probability of a con- and not subsequent to it ;-in the former, it is vulsive struggle with the privileged order. an evil wisely remedied: in the latter, a And this must occasion endless disputes blunder clumsily repaired. And it is also among the members of the government;- our wish, in speaking of those difficulties there must be some among them who, in under which the ministry labour, and which, every new measure, will look to the Peers, in the general intoxication of an election, so and others who will consider rather the Com- favourable to liberal principles, have been mons. What different ends !—The poles somewhat overlooked, to prepare the peothemselves are not more asunder! The ple for accidents it is for their interest to forepeople, too, have cause to be apprehensive, see; for by continuing to insist on the great because, with such a House of Lords, the pol- reforms for which a Parliamentary reform icy of the less popular part of the Cabinet be- was required, they will give strength to the comes of, perhaps, preponderating influence; more liberal part of the Cabinet, and, in -it may also appear, in the eyes of a ministry case of a division, will retain their friends (who always must be more conservative than in office, and lose only the support of the a people), the wiser policy to lean to. Thus, lukewarm. The ministry must be supportsupposing the Peers remain at variance with ed by the people, because, if the people the people, there will be a general suspicion neglect them, it is to the aristocracy they that each popular bill introduced into the will lean. The ministry must be supported,