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THE RISE AND FALL OF THE LIBERALS.
We have this month to congratu because they were the fashion. But late our readers, that is to say, all the when, by one vigorous step of the good men and true who live under the noble Duke at the head of the Goo British flag in every quarter of the vernment, which, like every public act world, upon a most important change of his, was at once wise, decisive, and which has taken place in the constitue promptly to the purpose, the Liberals tion of his Majesty's Ministry. We have been deprived of official power, have at last, thank God, got rid of the and the people have begun to eak Liberals, and once more have the their sentiments to one another conhappiness to live under a pure Tory cerning them, it turns out that every government. Not a remnant, we re- one is well pleased at their dismissal; joice to say, of that bastard political and whatever the newspapers may say, sect, that cunning, cowardly, compro- there is throughout Great Britain an mising, conciliatory school, has been almost universal exultation at the rea left to divide and weaken the measures turn of a decided unanimous Governof the Cabinet. The Liberals aré ment. gone, one and all-root and branch Nor is this at all surprising, when have been plucked up and cast forth, we consider the character of the policy to the unspeakable relief of the coun. which those, calling themselves Libera try. If these people had been down- als, profess to adopt,-a policy which, right decided enemies, we might have whatever we may think of it upon felt some qualms of conscience, in re- general principles, seems particularly joicing with such exceeding great joy objectionable, when viewed with reupon their overthrow, but there never ference to the temper and disposition was anything bold, or decided, or of the people of Great Britain. The manly, or straight-forward, about disposition of a genuine Briton is to them; they were infinitely more dan- make up his mind upon what he ought gerous ; they hung about the Govern- to do, and having once determined ment, shifting and shifting, and leam that, to adhere to his resolution with ving everything as it were trembling a fixedness of purpose, which more upon a balance, so that one could not frequently proceeds to the length of tell what was to preponderate. Thus obstinacy, than deviates into vacillathe Government was weakened, its old tion and uncertainty. Now this is a friends were cooled or disgusted, its character quite opposite to that of the enemies were encouraged, and the Liberals, and much to be preferred pretty gentlemen, the Liberals, were before it; for while the Briton of the so busy in showing how vastly clever old school may possibly carry his printhey were themselves, that they did ciple to an extent which is not right, not perceive how fast the Government he of the new or Liberal school will was losing that, without which no Go- most probably tumble through sheer vernment can be useful, namely its weakness into what is wrong. In the energy. The satisfaction, and good Liberal there is a total absence of the humour, and confidence which this sound healthy firmness, which is aboverthrow of the Liberals has diffused solutely essential to eminent usefulover the country, are much greater ness; he yields this; he concedes and more general than any one could that; he compromises the other thing; havepreviously calculated upon. There he winds, and twists, and hesitates ; was throughout society a suppression and when he wants to accomplish a of feeling respecting these men, for thing, chooses rather to do it by a they had so praised themselves, and trick or stratagem, than by candour had got the newspaper press so much and plain dealing. You are never into their hands, that each individual, sure of him; you are doubtful as to however satisfied he himself was, that, his object, and quite uncertain as to as a political sect, none could be more the means he will adopt. Even his pernicious, yet had a notion that pube principles he yields to circumstances, lic opinion was somehow in their fa- and he is particularly deferential to a vour, and that for the present they yague impalpable something, which should be submitted to, like cigars or he is pleased to call “ the spirit of the big bonnets, or any other nuisance, age,” but which, on investigation, appears to be nothing more than the af- The injurious effect which the ine fected tone of the weak trash, which terference of such men must have had the press pours forth in such quantity. upon the British Government scarcely Your Liberal has no strong hold of needs to be pointed out. The effects anything; he has cast away the an- are obvious;
we lost our ground in the chórs of the old law, and national feel world, and instead of holding the high ing, and exclusive privileges of Bri-, station which under the guidance of a tons, as mere prejudices, and useless pure Tory
Government we had through shackles to his enlarged comprehen- unparalleled exertions obtained, we sion. He floats about upon the wide in some measure ceased to be either sea of the world's opinion, and is respected or dreaded by other nations. blown hither and thither by every gust How indeed could they see anything which may come from the various formidable in measures not built
upon quarters of the globe. He neglects experience, but suggested by theorists, the interests of the people round about and planners of visionary improvement, him, while he considers what may
careless alike of their own interests, most promote the prosperity of the new and of the encroachments of other kingdoms of the new world, and sacri- powers? What could they see to be fices the most important interests of respected in policy as unsteady as the his own country in a paroxysm of breath of popular opinion, which was general philanthropy and universal guided by those who forsook what was benevolence.
old and well known, and who were But in everything he does, he is evidently destitute of ability to con most anxious that he himself should ceive, or of strength and unanimity to appear; he is not only of opinion that execute, what was new and untried ? he knows better than all who have Foreign powers laughed at us, and gone before him, but that the world took advantage of our folly to obtain should see, that he is the person who for themselves those advantages which, has made the grand discovery that through our excessive“ liberality," we every one else was wrong; and this he had ceased to guard for ourselves. generally accomplishes, not in the Our treaties, misnamed treaties of ego hoc feci fashion of Mr Canning, reciprocity; our free importations of but by getting some other disciple of the things which formerly employed the same school to beslobber him our own industry; and unrestricted with nauseous flattery, for which he exportations of those things which on the next suitable occasion beslob- enabled other nations to triumph over bers his friend in return; and thus, us, where formerly we triumphed over sickening effeminate praises get forth them; our pledges to support the into the newspapers, and these people turbulent and discontented and une get a name amongst the million. All settled spirits in all parts of the world this time, however, nothing solid is -and our efforts to force liberty upon done ; your Liberal is the worst man an unwilling people at the point of the of business in the world ; it is true, he bayonet-all these things must have seems busy, but it is in making appeared, and certainly did appear, speeches, and devising plans and com- to the other nations of the world, as plicated refinements upon what works not only unwise, but absolutely ridi. well enough already, while the more culous. England, under the guidance arduous and important concerns of the of the Liberals, appeared as if governed State are frequently neglected, because by schoolboys, vain of their newly acthey afford no opportunity for display, quired knowledge, and eager to turn or for shewing
off the advantages of poetry and philosophy into practice, the new and improved system. To but destitute of the caution and firm, make amends, however, for the little ness which are only to be learned by he does, he is always ready to talk, experience. or if you choose, to 'write you an essay, At home, the consequences of “liberwhich is English in nothing but its al” government were not less unfortu. language, and not always even in that. nate. The people were injured in their His vanity is concerned in this, his property, by the concessions made to name is in the mouths of men, as a foreigners; and those who had not prospeaker or an author, and his childish
perty to lose, were disturbed, and set desire for popular attention towards on to " imagine vain things," by the kimself is gratified.
cookery, and quackery, and experie Vol. XXIV.
mental nonsense, of their political follow in his train. Upon Mr Huse idols. Fools were not crushed as they kisson, the force of early and long-supought to be, when they opened their pressed political feelings probably opemouths to pour forth their folly; it was rated ; the rest were weak enough to considered liberal to listen, and to con- be led by anything which was on the sider, and to speechify in return, and surface plausible. Thus was the Lia thus the folly spread and settled, in- beral party established ; and though stead of being checked and stopped at the country was, by good fortune, the very outset.
never wholly abandoned to their guiThe taint of Liberalism has infect, dance, yet, for some time after the ed the Cabinet in a greater or less de dissolution of the ministry, in April gree, from the accession of Mr Can. . 1827, they bore the chief sway in the ning in 1822 until the late turn-out. government. How long they might Upon Mr Canning the disease gained have stood under the leadership of so gradually like a consumption, until it clever a man as Mr Canning it is usecompletely destroyed a political cha- less now to inquire. The difficulties racter which was previously worthy of of his situation were too much for almost undivided admiration. In the him, and he died. While he lived, time of his true glory, no one despised his talents threw a glitter upon the or lashed the doctrines of the Liberals party; but when he died, and Lord more heartily than Canning ; but he Goderich was placed at their head, had one fault, or weakness rather, in then indeed they appeared in all their common with them-He was open to pitiable helplessness. If the affairs flattery, and led away by popular ap- they had to manage were of less implause. This was, perhaps, the con. portance, one might have described sequence of his inimitable talents as a
their conduct as laughable; but as public speaker. He felt the power he they were, it was quite disgusting, possessed, and was fond of the homage and it was soon found necessary to which it extorted. His weakness, get some men of sense into the places however, was seen by the Whigs, and of most of them, in order to put formed the germ of that union which an end to a state of things which they strove so assiduously to promote, was at once dangerous and ridicu. after they found that themselves, and lous. the policy which they had advocated It was extremely fortunate for the during the war, were sunk as low as country at that time that it possessed contempt and scorn could sink them. such a man as the Duke of Welling, Their system now was to give up a ton. We shall not enter upon so sugood deal themselves, to flatter Mrperfluous a task as praise of the Duke. Canning into giving up something, We are content to say, “ Look at his and thus to approach a mongrel spe
career, examine his whole progress, cies of policy, which was begotten by see what he has done, what he is now artifice on the one side, and indiscre doing, and let the facts speak for tion on the other, and was brought themselves.” It will be found that he forth under the foreign and affected has attempted nothing which he has title of Liberalism. Brougham was not been able to accomplish, and that at first unwilling to join in this yield- in all he has done he has earned from ing system. His fierce spirit recoiled his friends praise and joyful congra from submission to Canning, whose tulations, and from his enemies invosuperiority he would not acknowledge; luntary respect. When he, at the but at last he, too, like those spirits command of the King, formed a new from whom he sometimes appears to Government, he retained some of the borrow a portion of his energy, be- Liberals in their places, thinking, as lieved and trembled-he ceased to we conjecture, that while their expethreaten, and began to praise. The rience in the routinė of official busiTories were indolent, and if they saw, ness would make them useful auxilia. they made no effort to prevent, the ries, they would not venture to thwart great loss which they and the country or impede that line of policy which were sustaining by the change which every one who knew him must have was going on. The game, on the part known he would adopt. This, which of the Whigs, was cunningly played we imagine to have been the opinion ----they won, and Mr Canning was of the Duke in January last, was conlost. The great leader being gained formable to the course which subseover, others were easily induced to quent events took for some time; and
it was quite pleasant to see how ener- it was for the purpose of being handgetically Mr Huskisson worked in ed back to him again. He is quite support of a Government precisely op- thunderstruck that his words should posite in its principles to that which be taken according to their plain disit is known he wished to see formed in tinct signification ; and he sends to November and December last. There assure the Duke, “ that there is a was a little wincing, to be sure, on mistake in the matter. We almost his part and that of Mr Grant, on the think we see the look of astonishment introduction of the Corn Bill this sese and mortification in Mr Huskisson's sion ; but even this only proved, that countenance, when Lord Dudley rein the teeth of their own opinion, they turned to him and told him, that the were discharging their official duties, Duke said, “ There was no mistake at and carrying into effect the policy of all.” the Duke of Wellington.
We really wonder how Mr HuskisIt is evident, however, that with son prevailed upon himself to tell the men acting in this way upon con- story in the House of Commons, and straint, that perfect cordiality and un- we cannot be surprised at the general limited confidence could not exist, laugh with which the House received which must be so desirable amongst it. The "old stager" now found, that those to whom the Government of the he should make a real struggle to keep country is intrusted ; and, therefore, the office which he had pretended to it is not surprising, that when this resign,anda most pertinacious struggle want of cordiality broke out into an he certainly made; but still he could overt act of opposition, the Duke was not bring himself to forsake his old very stern and inflexible as to the ex- habits, and, instead of openly and clusion of the offender. In an unlucky plainly saying that he was sorry he hour for Mr Huskisson, he gave an had resigned, and that he would be imprudent pledge about the East Rete extremely happy to have his place ford Disfranchisement Bill. This again, he went on insinuating that he pledge he had to fulfil, because (as had not resigned at all. This would says himself,) he was
never do with the Duke; it is in vain on” to do so, and not because he to practise twisting of words or facts thought it his duty; and then having with him. We recommend his letters found himselfin a difficulty, he thought on this occasion to be read over and he would as usual get out of it by a over again by those who have a notion stroke of cunning. On this occasion, that a statesman cannot be a candid however, he mistook his man. He straight-forward honest man. They over-reached himself when he thought form a most excellent commentary to over-reach the Prime Minister. Mr upon Lord Bacon's text, that “plain Huskisson manifestly, and indeed we and sound dealing is the honour of may almost say by his own confession, man's nature.” The end of the whole intended that the Duke's anger for his matter is, that Mr Huskisson found disobedience should be swallowed up himself, in spite of all his ingenuity, in regret for his resignation, and that turned out of office, and another aphe would have sent for him, and sooth- pointed in his place; and then it would ed his irritated spirits, and entreate appear he thought of his ed him to stay. Never was man more summoned all his party to quit the completely disappointed ; he seems camp along with him. hardly to have been able to believe, We have heard much of the perthat he who had always managed mat
suasion made use of upon every offi. ters so cunningly and so successfully cial person, with whom this party had before, who had tried the very same influence, to quit their posts, and thus trick with other Prime Ministers and embarrass the Prime Minister ; and gained his point, should now have we know that several of those who utterly failed. He thought it the have resigned do not scruple to express strangest thing imaginable, that a ré- their regret, that the requisition of signation, written and signed with his their party almost compelled them to own hand, should be taken as a final do that which as individuals they resignation, without parley or expla. were not in the least inclined to; but nation'; and that when he said he we suppress the indignation which we placed his situation in the hands of might justly express on this occasion, the Duke, it was not understood that in consideration of the contempt which
66 called up
revenge, and such an endeavour from such a party present state of the Government: we . deserves. The Liberals were so puff. have but to echo the hearty congraed up with a false idea of their own tulations which are to be found in the strength, that they vauntingly decla- mouth of almost every honest man, red it was impossible the Government gentle or simple, throughout the councould go on without them, and that try. It is not merely in places where even if the official places were filled politics form the chief subject of conwithout their assistance, the first die versation, that these sentiments are to vision in the House of Commons would be found; it is not only in the clubs, show how completely triumphant they and in London streets, but at fair and were in that assembly. They reckone market, you see hale stout fellows ed without their host. The Tories, meeting with a more vigorous shake who had of late forsaken the House, of the hand than usual, and proposing sickened by the Liberalism of a part of an extra glass of ale to the health of the Treasury bench, yet unwilling to the Duke and the new Ministry. Such oppose a Government with the Duke is the triumph of honesty and plain of Wellington at the head of it, now dealing; the people are cheered at the rallied round a Ministry, to which sight of it, and England is herself they could give their full and hearty again. The pleasure which men of support ; and the Liberals, even in observation feel at the change, is prothe very
hour of their boasting, were portioned to the danger from which beaten into a ridiculous minority. The they see the country delivered; for it annals of Parliamentary conflictsscarce- was an alarming fact, that the system ly furnish an example of such a com
of the Liberals to entrap the young plete overthrow in a trial of strength men who were coming out into public between parties. The next day,- life, was pursued in many instances
with the success that too frequently « Their giantships were somewhat crest-fallen,
follows when flattery is applied to inStalking with less unconscionable strides.” experience.
There was a set within the doors of The country, already disgusted the House, a knot of " bustling bowith their folly, now laughed at their therbys with nothing in ’em” but a weakness, and the Liberals have sunk, confused mass of crude ideas upon we bope never to rise again. As to every subject, who went buzzing and the fellows who put forth shallow fizzing about, a-telling of the wonder. nonsense in the newspapers, about ful wonders of political economy, of “military government," they are harde their own philosophical and enlightenly worth noticing, except that, in this ed views, and pronouncing the subyerage of superficial knowledge, they may sion of our constitution, and of all our have some effect upon those who have ancient institutions, the sovereignst been taught to read, but not to think thing on earth for procuring the greatWe wish to tell these people, that a est happiness to the greatest núm. military government is one thing, and ber. a civil government, partly administer. They persuaded the young men of ed by military men, another. It is enthusiastic minds and unsettled opie impossible that, while our constitution nions, with assurances that it was the lasts, we can have a military govern- most old-fashioned and stupidest thing ment; but if it so happen, that the in the world, to think, or speak, or habits of vigorous observation, and of act, as their fathers did before them. prompt and decisive conduct, acquired They extolled the wisdom and the in a military life, are useful for civil wit of the rising generation, and then purposes, it would be the greatest con- they mixed in a few modern witlings ceivable folly not to make use of of their own brood, to act as decoys; them, merely because they have been smart young men for small affairs, previously serviceable for military pur- who come up from the semi-whig uniposes. This would be true at any time, versity, brimfull of prate and pedanbut at present its truth is particularly tic affectation. These deafened their obvious when the wavering and timor- less fidgetty companions with endless ous, yet rash policy of the Liberals, has argumentations about fiddle faddle, to put our affairs in such a state as nothing which the others listened with sad but the habits we have just described civility, and if they remained proof would recover them from. Upon the against the flattery of the old ones, at