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but too often the policy of the advocates for in power, and show themselves ;- but for this strong government to exasperate them by very reason, their real force is probably a great menaces and abuse ;-to defend, with inso- deal less than it appears to be. Many wear lence, every thing that was attacked, how their livery, out of necessity or convenience, ever obviously indefensible;-and to insult whose hearts are with their adversaries; and and defy their opponents by a needless osten- many clamour loudly in their cause, who lation of their own present power, and their would clamour more loudly against them, the resolution to use it in support of their most moment they thought that cause was going offensive and unjustifiable measures. This back in the world. The democratic party, on unfortunate tone, which was first adopted in the other hand, is scattered, and obscurely the time of Mr. Pitt, has been pretty well visible. It can hardly be for the immediate maintained by most of his successors; and interest of any one to acknowledge it; and has done more, we are persuaded, to revolt scarcely any one is, as yet, proud of its badge and alienate the hearts of independent and or denomination. It lurks, however, in pribrave men, than all the errors and incon- vate dwellings,-it gathers strength at homely sistencies of which they have been guilty. firesides,-it is confirmed in conferences of
In running thus rapidly over the causes friends, —it breaks out in pamphlets and jourwhich have raised the pretensions and aggra-nals of every description, -and shows its head vated the discontents of the People, we have, now and then in the more tumultuous assemin fact, stated also, the sources of the increased blies of populous cities. In the metropolis acrimony and pretensions of the advocates for especially, where the concentration of numpower. The same spectacle of popular excess bers gives them confidence and importance, and popular triumph which excited the dan- it exhibits itself very nearly, though not altogerous passions of the turbulent and daring, gether, in its actual force. How that force in the way of Sympathy, struck a correspond- now stands in comparison with what is oping alarm into the breasts of the timid and posed to it, it would not perhaps be very easy prosperous, –and excited a furious Antipathy to calculate. Taking the whole nation over in those of the proud and domineering. As head, we should conjecture, that, as things fear and hatred lead equally to severity, and now are, they would be pretty equally bal. are neither of them very far-sighted in their anced; but, if any great calamity should give councils, they naturally attempted to bear a shock to the stability of government, or call down this rising spirit by menaces and abuse. imperiously for more vigorous councils, we are All hot-headed and shallow-headed persons convinced that the partizans of popular gorof rank, with their parasites and dependants ernment would be found to outnumber their -and indeed almost all rich persons, of quiet opponents in the proportion of three to two. tempers and weak intellects, started up into When the one party, indeed, had failed so fafurious anti-jacobins; and took at once a most tally, it must seem to be a natural resource to violent part in those political contentions, as make a trial of the other; and, if civil war or to which they had, in former times, been con- foreign conquest should really fall on us, it fessedly ignorant and indifferent. When this would be a movement almost of instinctive tone was once given, from passion and mis- wisdom, to displace and to punish those under taken principle among the actual possessors whose direction they had been brought on. of power
, it was readily taken up by mere Upon any such serious alarm, 100, all ihe veservile venality. The vast multiplication of nal and unprincipled adherents of the prerog. offices and occupations in the gift of the gov- ative would inevitably desert their colours, ernment, and the enormous patronage and and go over to the enemy;-while the Throne expectancy, of which it has recently become would be left to be defended only by its regular the centre, has drawn a still greater number, forces and its immediate dependants-reinand of baser natures, out of the political neu- forced by a few bands of devoted Tories, mintrality in which they would otherwise have gled with some generous, but downcast spirits, remained, and led them to counterfeit, for under the banner of the Whig aristocracy. hire, that unfortunate violence which neces- But, without pretending to settle the nusarily produces a corresponding violence in merical or relative force of the two opposing its objects.
parties, we wish only to press it upon our Thus has the nation been set on fire at the readers, that they are both so strong and so four corners! and thus has an incredible and numerous, as to render it quite impossible that most alarming share of its population been the one should now crush or overcome the separated into two hostile and irritated parties, other, without a ruinous contention; and that neither of which can now bubdue the other they are so exasperated, and so sanguine and without a civil war; and the triumph of either presumptuous, that they will push forward to of which would be equally fatal to the consti- such a contention in no long time, unless they tution.
be separated or appeased by some powerful The force and extent of these parties is but interference. That the number of the demoimperfectly known, we believe, even to those crats is vast, and is daily incfeasing with a who have been respectively most active in ar- visible and dangerous rapidity, any man may raying them; and the extent of the adverse satisfy himself, by the common and obvious party is rarely ever suspected by those who means of information. It is a fact which he are zealously opposed to it. There must be may read legibly in the prodigious sale, and least error, however, in the estimate of the still more prodigious circulation, of Cobbett's partizans of arbitrary government. They are Register, and other weekly papers of the same general description : He may learn it in every | the people go on a little longer to excite in street of all the manufacturing and populous them a contempt and distrust of all public towns in the heart of the country; and may, and characters, and of all institutions of authority, must hear it most audibly, in the public and while many among our public men go on to private talk of the citizens of the metropolis. justify, by their conduct, that contempt and All these afford direct and palpable proofs of distrust ;--if the people are taught by all who the actual increase of this formidable party. now take the trouble to win their confidence, But no man, who understands any thing of that Parliament is a mere assemblage of unhuman nature, or knows any thing of our re- principled place-hunters, and that ins and outs cent history, can need direct evidence to con- are equally determined to defend corruption vince him, that it must have experienced a and peculation, and if Parliament continues prodigious increase. In a country where more to busy itself with personalities,—to decline ihan a million of men take some interest in the investigation of corruptions--and to appolitics, and are daily accustomed (right or prove, by its votes, what no sane man in the wrong) to refer the blessings or the evils of kingdom can consider as admitting of apolotheir condition to the conduct of their rulers, gy;-if those to whom their natural leaders is it possible to conceive, that a third part at have given up the guidance of the people, least of every man's income should be taken shall continue to tell them that they may from him in the shape of taxes,—and that, after easily be relieved of half their taxes, and twenty years of boastful hostility, we should placed in a situation of triumphant security, be left without a single ally, and in imminent while the government continues to multiply hazard of being invaded by a revolutionary its impositions, and to waste their blood and foe, without producing a very general feeling treasure in expeditions which make us hateof disaffection and discontent, and spreading ful and ridiculous in the eyes of many of our through the body of the nation, not only a neighbours, while they bring the danger nearer great disposition to despise and distrust their to our own door ;mif, finally, the people are a governors, but to judge unfavourably of the little more persuaded that, without a radical form of government itself which could admit change in the constitution of the Legislature, of such gross ignorance or imposition ? they must continue in the condition of slaves
The great increase of the opposite party, to a junto of boroughmongers, while Parliaagain, is but too visible, we are sorry to say, ment rejects with disdain every proposal to in the votes of Parliament, in the existence of correct the most palpable defects of that conthe present administration, and in the sale stitution ;- Then we say that the wholeand the tenor of the treasury journals. But, some days of England are numbered,—that independent of such proof, this too might have she is gliding to the verge of the most dreadbeen safely inferred from the known circum- ful of all calamities,—and that all the freedom stances of the times. In a nation abounding and happiness which we undoubtedly still enwith wealth and loyalty, enamoured of its old joy, and all the morality and intelligence, and institutions, and originally indebted for its ihe long habits of sober thinking and kindly freedom, in a great degree, to the spirit of its affection which adorn and exalt our people, landed Aristocracy, it was impossible that the will not long protect us from the horrors of a excesses of a plebeian insurrection should not civil war. have excited a great aversion to every thing In such an unhallowed conflict it is scarcely that had a similar tendency: and in any na- necessary to say that the triumph of either tion, alas! that had recently multiplied its party would be the ruin of English liberty, taxes, and increased the patronage of its gov- and of her peace, happiness, and prosperity. ernment to three times their original extent, Those who have merely lived in our times, it could not but happen, that multitudes would must have seen, and they who have read of be found to barter their independence for their other times, or reflected on what Man is at interest ; and to exchange the language of all times, must know, independent of that lesfree men for that which was most agreeable to son, how much Chance, and how much Time, the party upon whose favour they depended. must concur with genius and patriotism, to
If the numbers of the opposed factions, form a good or a stable government. We have however, be formidable to the peace of the the frame and the materials of such a governcountry, the acrimony of their mutual hostili. ment in the constitution of England; but if we ty is still more alarming. If the whole na- rend asunder that frame, and scatter these tion were divided into the followers of Mr. materials--if we "put out the light" of our Cobbett and Sir Francis Burdett, and the fol- living polity, lowers of Mr. John Gifford and Mr. John
" We know not where is that Promethean fire, Bowles, does not every man see that a civil
That may its flame relumine." war and a revolution would be inevitable? Now, we say, that the factions into which the The stability of the English constitution de. country is divided, are not very different from pends upon its monarchy and aristocracy; and the followers of Mr. Cobbett and Mr. Gifford; their stability, again, depends very much on or, at all events, that if they are allowed to the circumstance of their having grown natu. defy and provoke each other into new extrava- rally out of the frame and inward structure of gance and increased hostility, as they have our society-upon their having struck their been doing lately, we do not see how that roots deep through every stratum of the po. most tremendous of all calamities is to be litical soil
, and having been moulded and im. avoided. If those who have influence with pressed, during a long course of ages, by the usages, institutions, habits, and affections of march, and mix with the ranks of the offendthe community. A popular revolution would ers, that they may be enabled to reclaim and overthrow the monarchy and the aristocracy; repress them, and save both them and them. and even if it were not true that revolution selves from a sure and shameful destruction. propagates revolution, as waves gives rise 104 They have no longer strength to overawe or waves, till the agitation is stopped by the iron repel either party by a direct and forcible a:boundary of despotism, it would still require tack; and must work, therefore, by gentle ages of anxious discomfort, before we could and conciliatory means, upon that which is build up again that magnificent fabric, which most dangerous, most flexible, and most casa. now requires purification rather than repair; ble of being guided to roble exertions. Like the or secure that permanency to our new estab- Sabine women of old, they must throw themlishments, without which they could have no selves between the kindred combatants; ard other good quality
stay the fatal feud, by praises and embraces, Such we humbly conceive to be the course, and dissuasives of kindness and flattery. and the causes, of the evils which we believe Even those who do not much love or care to be impending. It is time now to inquire for the people, are now called upon to pacity whether there be no remedy. If the whole them, by granting, at least, all that can reasodnation were actually divided into revolution- ably be granted, and not only to redress their ists and high-monarchy men, we do not see Grievances, but to comply with their Destes, how they could be prevented from fighting, in so far as they can be complied with, with and giving us the miserable choice of a des- less hazard than must evidently arise from potism or a tumultuary democracy. Fortu- disregarding them. nately, however, this is not the case. There We do not say, therefore, that a thorough is a third party in the nation-small, indeed, reconciliation between the Whig royalists in point of numbers, compared with either of and the great body of the people is desirable the others—and, for this very reason, low, we merely—but that it is indispensable: since it fear, in present popularity—but essentially is a dream-a gross solecism and absurdity, powerful from talents and reputation, and cal- to suppose, that such a party should exist, culated to become both popular and authori- unless supported by the affections and approtative, by the fairness and the firmness of its bation of the people. The advocates of preprinciples. This is composed of the Whig rogative have the support of prerogative; and Royalists of England,-men who, without for- they who rule by corruption and the direct getting that all government is from the peo- agency of wealth, have wealth and the means ple, and for the people, are satisfied that the of corruption in their hands:—But the friends rights and liberties of the people are best of national freedom must be recognised by maintained by a regulated hereditary mon- the nation. If the Whigs are not supported archy, and a large, open aristocracy; and who by the people, they can have no support; are as much averse, therefore, from every at- and, therefore, if the people are seduced away tempt to undermine the throne, or to discredit from them, they must just go after them and the nobles, as they are indignant at every pro- bring them back: And are no more to be ex. ject to insult or enslave the people. In the cused for leaving them to be corrupted by better days of the constitution, this party Demagogues, than they would be for leaving formed almost the whole ordinary opposition, them to be oppressed by tyrants. If a party and bore no inconsiderable proportion to that is to exist at all, therefore, friendly at once to of the courtiers. It might be said too, to have the liberties of the people and the integrity with it, not only the greater part of those who of the monarchy, and holding that liberty is were jealous of the prerogative, but all that best secured by a monarchical establishment, great mass of the population which was ap- it is absolutely necessary that it should posparently neutral and indifferent to the issue sess the confidence and attachment of the of the contest. The new-sprung factions, people; and if it appear at any time to have however, have swallowed up almost all this lost it, ihe first of all its duties, and the necesdisposable body; and have drawn largely sary prelude to the discharge of all the rest, from the ranks of the old constitutionalists is to regain it, by every effort consistent with themselves. In consequence of this change probity and honour. of circumstances, they can no longer act with Now, it may be true, that the present alieneffect, as a separate party; and are far too ation of the body of the people from the old weak to make head, at the same time, against constitutional champions of their freedom, the overbearing influence of the Crown, and originated in the excesses and delusion of the the rising pretensions of the people. It is nec- people themselves; but it is not less true. That essary, therefore, that they should now leave the Whig royalists have increased that alienthis attitude of stern and defying mediation; ation by the haughtiness of their deponment and, if they would escape being crushed by the marked displeasure with which they along with the constitution on the collision have disavowed most of the popular proceedof the two hostile bodies, they must identify ings-and the tone of needless and imprudent themselves cordially with the better part of distrust and reprobation with which ihey have one of them, and thus soothe, ennoble, and treated pretensions that were only partly incontrol it, by the infusion of their own spirit
, admissible. They have given too much way and the authority of their own wisdom and to the offence which they naturally received experience. Like faithful generals, whose from the rudeness and irreverence of the terms troops have mutinied, they must join the l in which their grievances were frequently
stated; and have felt too proud an indignation, We, in short, are for the monarchy and the when they saw vulgar and turbulent men pre- aristocracy of England, as the only sure supsume to lay their unpurged hands upon the ports of a permanent and regulated freedom : sacred ark of the constitution. They have But we do not see how either is now to be disdained too much to be associated with preserved, except by surrounding them with coarse coadjutors, even in the good work of the affection of ihe people. The admirers of resistance and reformation; and have hated arbitrary power, blind to the great lesson too virulently the demagogues who have in- which all Europe is now holding out to them, flamed the people, and despised too heartily have attempted to dispense with this protecthe people who have yielded to so gross a de- tion; and the demagogues have taken advanlusion. "All this feeling, however, though it tage of their folly to excite the people to with. may be natural, is undoubtedly both misplaced draw it altogether. The true friends of the and imprudent. The people are, upon the constitution must now bring it back; and must whole, both more moral and more intelligent reconcile the people to the old monarchy and than they ever were in any former period; and the old Parliament of their land, by restraining therefore, if they are discontented, we may be the prerogative within its legitimate bounds, sure they have cause for discontent: if they and bringing back Parliament to its natural have been deluded, we may be satisfied that habits of sympathy and concord with its conthere is a mixture of reason in the sophistry stituents. The people, therefore, though it by which they have been perverted. All may be deluded, must be reclaimed by gen. their demands may not be reasonable; and tleness, and treated with respect and indulwith many, which may be just in principle, it gence. All indications, and all feelings of may, as yet, be impracticable to comply. But jealousy or contempt, must be abjured. Whatall are not in either of these predicaments; ever is to be granted, should be granted with though we can only now afford to make par- cordial alacrity; and all denials should be ticular mention of one: and one, we are con- softened with words and with acts of kindcerned to say, on which, though of the great- ness. The wounds that are curable, should est possible importance, the people have of be cured; those that have festered more deeply late found but few abettors among the old should be cleansed and anointed; and, into friends of the constitution, we mean that of a such as it may be impossible to close, the Reform in the representation. Upon this patient should be allowed to pour any innopoint, we have spoken largely on former oc- cent balsam, in the virtues of which he becasions; and have only add that, though we lieves. The irritable state of the body politic can neither approve of such a reform as some will admit of no other treatment.-Incisions very popular persons have suggested, nor and cauteries would infallibly bring on conbring ourselves to believe that any reform vulsions and insanity. would accomplish all the objects that have We had much more to say; but we must been held out by its most zealous advocates, close here: Nor indeed could any warning we have always been of opinion that a large avail those who are not aware already. He and liberal reform should be granted. The must have gazed with idle eyes on the recent reasons of policy which have led us to this course of events, both at home and abroad, conviction; we have stated on former occa- who does not see that no government can now sions. But the chief and the leading reason subsist long in England, that is not bottomed for supporting the proposal at present is, that in the affection of the great body of the peothe people are zealous for its adoption; and ple; and who does not see, still more clearly, are entiiled to this gratification at the hands that the party of the people is every day gainof their representatives. We laugh at the ing strength, from the want of judgment and idea of there being any danger in disfranchis- of feeling in those who have defied and ining the whole mass of rotten and decayed sulted it, and from the coldness and alienation boroughs, or communicating the elective fran- of those who used to be their patrons and dechise to a great number of respectable citi- fenders. If something is not done to concilizens: And as to the supposed danger of the ate, these heartburnings must break out into mere example of yielding to the desires of deadly strise; and impartial history will asthe people, we can only say, that we are far sign to each of the parties their share of the more strongly impressed with the danger of great guilt that will be incurred. The first thwarting them. The people have far more and the greatest outrages will probably prowealth and far more intelligence now, than ceed from the people themselves; but a they had in former times; and therefore they deeper curse will fall on the corrupt and suought to have, and they must have, more po- pereilious government that provoked them: litical power. The danger is not in yielding Nor will they be held blameless, who, when to this swell
, but in endeavouring to resist it. they might have repressed or moderated the If properly watched and managed, it will only popular impulse, by attempting to direct it, bear the vessel of the state more proudly and chose rather to take counsel of their pride, and steadily along ;-if neglected, or rashly op- to stand by, and see the constitution torn to posed, it will dash her on the rocks and shoals pieces, because they could not approve en. of a sanguinary revolution.
tirely of either of the combatants ! 77
(October, 1827.) The History of Ireland. By John O'Driscol. In two vols. 8vo. pp. 815. London: 1827.*
A Good History of Ireland is still a deside-, even a partial memorial of the truth. That ratum in our literature ;-and would not only truth is, no doubt, for the most part, at once be interesting, we think, but invaluable. 'revolting and pitiable ;—not easily at first to There are accessible materials in abundance be credited, and to the last difficult to be for such a history; and the task of arranging told with calmness. Yet it is thus only that them really seems no less inviting than im- it can be told with advantage-and so told, portant. It abounds with striking events, and it is pregnant with admonitions and sugges with strange revolutions and turns of fortune tions, as precious in their tenor, as irresisti-brought on, sometimes by the agency of ble in their evidence, when once fairly reenterprising men, -but more frequently by ceived. the silent progress of time, unwatched and Unquestionably, in the main, England has unsuspected, alike by those who were to suf- been the oppressor, and Ireland the victim; fer, and those who were to gain by the result. -not always a guiltless victim, -and it may In this respect, as well as in many others, it is be, often an offender: But even when the as full of instruction as of interest,--and to the guilt may have been nearly balanced, the people of this country especially, and of this weight of suffering has always fallen on the age, it holds out lessons far more precious, far weakest. This comparative weakness, inmore forcible, and far more immediately ap- deed, was the first cause of Ireland's misery plicable, than all that is elsewhere recorded the second, her long separation. She had in the annals of mankind. It is the very great- been too long a weak neighbour, to be easily ness of this interest, however, and the dread, admitted to the rights of an equal ally. Preand the encouragement of these applications, tensions which the growing strength and inthat have hitherto defaced and even falsified telligence of the one country began to feel the record—that have made impartiality al- intolerable, were sanctioned in the eyes of the most hopeless, and led alternately to the sup- other by long usage and prescription ;-and pression and the exaggeration of sufferings injustice, which never could have been first and atrocities too monstrous, it might appear, inflicted when it was first complained of, was in themselves, to be either exaggerated or yet long persisted in, because it had been long disguised. Party rancour and religious ani- submitted to with but little complaint. No mosity have hitherto contrived to convert misgovernment is ever so bad as provincial what should have been their antidote into misgovernment—and no provincial misgortheir aliment,-and, by the simple expedient ernment, it would seem, as that which is erof giving only one side of the picture, have ercised by a free people,—whether arising pretty generally succeeded in making the his- from a jealous reluctance to extend that proad
past enormities not a warning against, distinction to a race of inferiors, or from that but an incitement to their repetition. In tell- inherent love of absolute power, which gives ing the story of those lamentable dissensions, all rulers a tendency to be despotic, and seeks, each party has enhanced the guilt of the ad- when restrained at home, for vent and indemversary,
and withheld all notice of their own; nification abroad. -and seems to have had it far more at heart The actual outline of the story is as clear to irritate and defy each other, than to leave as it is painful. Its most remarkable and It may be thought that this should rather have has been made the pretext of its most sangu
most disgusting feature is, that while Religion been brought in under the title of History: But the truth is, that I have now omitted all that is properly nary and atrocious contentions, it has been, historical, and retained only what relates to the ne? from first to last, little else than a cover for cessity of maintaining the legislative and incorpo- the basest cupidity, and the meanest and most rating union of the two countries; a topic that is unprincipled ambition.
The history which purely political : and falls, I think, correctly enough concerns the present times, need not be traced under the title of General Politics, since it is at this farther back than to the days of Henry VIII
. day of still more absorbing interest than when these observations were first published in 1827. If at that and Queen Mary. Up to thai period, the petty time I thought a Separation, or a dissolution of the and tyrannical Parliaments of the Pale had, union, (for they are the same thing,) a measure not indeed, pretty uniformly insulted and desto be contemplated but with horror, it may be sup- pised the great native chiefs among whom the posed that I should not look more charitably on the bulk of the island was divided—but they had proposition, now that Catholic emancipation and also feared them, and mostly let them alone. least, of the motives or apologies of those by whom At that era, however, the growing strength it was then maintained. The example of Scotland, and population of England inspired it with a I still think, is well put for the argument : And bolder ambition; and the rage of proselytism among the many who must now consider this ques- which followed the Reformation, gave it both tion, it may be gratifying to some to see upon what occasion and excuse. The passions
, which grounds, and how decidedly, an opinion was then formed upon it, by one certainly not too much dis. led naturally enough to hostilities in such cirposed to think favourably of the conduct or the pre: cumstances, were industriously fostered by tensions of England.
the cold blooded selfishness of those who