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but too often the policy of the advocates for strong government to exasperate them by menaces and abuse-to defend, with insolence, every thing that was attacked, how ever obviously indefensible;--and to insult and defy their opponents by a needless ostentation of their own present power, and their resolution to use it in support of their most offensive and unjustifiable measures. This unfortunate tone, which was first adopted in the time of Mr. Pitt, has been pretty well maintained by most of his successors; and has done more, we are persuaded, to revolt and alienate the hearts of independent and brave men, than all the errors and inconsistencies of which they have been guilty.
in power, and show themselves;-but for this very reason, their real force is probably a great deal less than it appears to be. Many wear their livery, out of necessity or convenience, whose hearts are with their adversaries; and many clamour loudly in their cause, who would clamour more loudly against them, the moment they thought that cause was going back in the world. The democratic party, on the other hand, is scattered, and obscurely visible. It can hardly be for the immediate interest of any one to acknowledge it; and scarcely any one is, as yet, proud of its badge or denomination. It lurks, however, in private dwellings,-it gathers strength at homely firesides, it is confirmed in conferences of friends,-it breaks out in pamphlets and jour
In running thus rapidly over the causes which 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 num power. 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 balare 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 gov of 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, too, all the ve servile 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 necessarily produces a corresponding violence in its objects.
Thus has the nation been set on fire at the four corners! and thus has an incredible and most alarming share of its population been separated into two hostile and irritated parties, neither of which can now subdue the other without a civil war; and the triumph of either of which would be equally fatal to the constitution.
The force and extent of these parties is but imperfectly known, we believe, even to those who have been respectively most active in arraying them; and the extent of the adverse party is rarely ever suspected by those who are zealously opposed to it, There must be least error, however, in the estimate of the partizans of arbitrary government. They are
But, without pretending to settle the numerical or relative force of the two opposing parties, we wish only to press it upon our readers, that they are both so strong and so numerous, as to render it quite impossible that the one should now crush or overcome the other, without a ruinous contention; and that they are so exasperated, and so sanguine and presumptuous, that they will push forward to such a contention in no long time, unless they be separated or appeased by some powerful interference. That the number of the democrats is vast, and is daily increasing with a visible and dangerous rapidity, any man may satisfy himself, by the common and obvious means of information. It is fact which he may read legibly in the prodigious sale, and still more prodigious circulation, of Cobbett's 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 towns in the heart of the country; and may, and must hear it most audibly, in the public and private talk of the citizens of the metropolis. All these afford direct and palpable proofs of the actual increase of this formidable party. But no man, who understands any thing of human nature, or knows any thing of our recent history, can need direct evidence to convince him, that it must have experienced a prodigious increase. In a country where more than a million of men take some interest in politics, and are daily accustomed (right or wrong) to refer the blessings or the evils of their condition to the conduct of their rulers, is it possible to conceive, that a third part at least of every man's income should be taken from him in the shape of taxes,-and that, after twenty years of boastful hostility, we should be left without a single ally, and in imminent hazard of being invaded by a revolutionary foe, without producing a very general feeling of disaffection and discontent, and spreading through the body of the nation, not only a great disposition to despise and distrust their governors, but to judge unfavourably of the form of government itself which could admit of such gross ignorance or imposition?
The great increase of the opposite party, again, is but too visible, we are sorry to say, in the votes of Parliament, in the existence of the present administration, and in the sale and the tenor of the treasury journals. But, independent of such proof, this too might have been safely inferred from the known circumstances of the times. In a nation abounding with wealth and loyalty, enamoured of its old institutions, and originally indebted for its freedom, in a great degree, to the spirit of its landed Aristocracy, it was impossible that the excesses of a plebeian insurrection should not have excited a great aversion to every thing that had a similar tendency and in any nation, alas! that had recently multiplied its taxes, and increased the patronage of its government to three times their original extent, it could not but happen, that multitudes would be found to barter their independence for their interest; and to exchange the language of free men for that which was most agreeable to the party upon whose favour they depended. If the numbers of the opposed factions, however, be formidable to the peace of the country, the acrimony of their mutual hostility is still more alarming. If the whole nation were divided into the followers of Mr. Cobbett and Sir Francis Burdett, and the followers of Mr. John Gifford and Mr. John Bowles, does not every man see that a civil war and a revolution would be inevitable? Now, we say, that the factions into which the country is divided, are not very different from the followers of Mr. Cobbett and Mr. Gifford; or, at all events, that if they are allowed to defy and provoke each other into new extravagance and increased hostility, as they have been doing lately, we do not see how that most tremendous of all calamities is to be avoided. If those who have influence with
them a contempt and distrust of all public
In such an unhallowed conflict it is scarcely necessary to say that the triumph of either party would be the ruin of English liberty, and of her peace, happiness, and prosperity. Those who have merely lived in our times, must have seen, and they who have read of other times, or reflected on what Man is at all times, must know, independent of that lesson, how much Chance, and how much Time, must concur with genius and patriotism, to form a good or a stable government. We have the frame and the materials of such a government in the constitution of England; but if we rend asunder that frame, and scatter these materials-if we "put out the light" of our living polity,
"We know not where is that Promethean fire, That may its flame relumine."
The stability of the English constitution de. pends upon its monarchy and aristocracy; and their stability, again, depends very much on the circumstance of their having grown natu. rally out of the frame and inward structure of our society-upon their having struck their roots deep through every stratum of the po litical soil, and having been moulded and im. pressed, during a long course of ages, by the
usages, institutions, habits, and affections of the community. A popular revolution would overthrow the monarchy and the aristocracy; and even if it were not true that revolution propagates revolution, as waves gives rise to waves, till the agitation is stopped by the iron boundary of despotism, it would still require ages of anxious discomfort, before we could build up again that magnificent fabric, which now requires purification rather than repair; or secure that permanency to our new establishments, without which they could have no other good quality.
march, and mix with the ranks of the offenders, that they may be enabled to reclaim and repress them, and save both them and themselves from a sure and shameful destruction. They have no longer strength to overawe or repel either party by a direct and forcible attack; and must work, therefore, by gentle and conciliatory means, upon that which is most dangerous, most flexible, and most capa. ble of being guided to noble exertions. Like the Sabine women of old, they must throw themselves between the kindred combatants; and stay the fatal feud, by praises and embraces, and dissuasives of kindness and flattery.
Even those who do not much love or care for the people, are now called upon to pacify them, by granting, at least, all that can reasonably be granted; and not only to redress their Grievances, but to comply with their Desires, in so far as they can be complied with, with less hazard than must evidently arise from disregarding them.
Such we humbly conceive to be the course, and the causes, of the evils which we believe to be impending. It is time now to inquire whether there be no remedy. If the whole nation were actually divided into revolutionists and high-monarchy men, we do not see how they could be prevented from fighting, and giving us the miserable choice of a despotism or a tumultuary democracy. Fortunately, however, this is not the case. There is a third party in the nation-small, indeed, in point of numbers, compared with either of the others-and, for this very reason, low, we fear, in present popularity-but essentially powerful from talents and reputation, and calculated to become both popular and authoritative, by the fairness and the firmness of its principles. This is composed of the Whig Royalists of England,-men who, without forgetting that all government is from the people, and for the people, are satisfied that the rights and liberties of the people are best maintained by a regulated hereditary monarchy, and a large, open aristocracy; and who are as much averse, therefore, from every attempt to undermine the throne, or to discredit the nobles, as they are indignant at every project to insult or enslave the people. In the better days of the constitution, this party formed almost the whole ordinary opposition, and bore no inconsiderable proportion to that of the courtiers. It might be said too, to have with it, not only the greater part of those who were jealous of the prerogative, but all that great mass of the population which was apparently neutral and indifferent to the issue of the contest. The new-sprung factions, however, have swallowed up almost all this disposable body; and have drawn largely from the ranks of the old constitutionalists themselves. In consequence of this change of circumstances, they can no longer act with effect, as a separate party; and are far too weak to make head, at the same time, against the overbearing influence of the Crown, and the rising pretensions of the people. It is necessary, therefore, that they should now leave this attitude of stern and defying mediation; 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 they 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 in which their grievances were frequently
We do not say, therefore, that a thorough reconciliation between the Whig royalists and the great body of the people is desirable merely-but that it is indispensable: since it is a dream-a gross solecism and absurdity, to suppose, that such a party should exist, unless supported by the affections and approbation of the people. The advocates of prerogative have the support of prerogative; and they who rule by corruption and the direct agency of wealth, have wealth and the means of corruption in their hands:-But the friends of national freedom must be recognised by the nation. If the Whigs are not supported by the people, they can have no support: and, therefore, if the people are seduced away from them, they must just go after them and bring them back: And are no more to be excused for leaving them to be corrupted by Demagogues, than they would be for leaving them to be oppressed by tyrants. If a party is to exist at all, therefore, friendly at once to the liberties of the people and the integrity of the monarchy, and holding that liberty is best secured by a monarchical establishment, it is absolutely necessary that it should pessess the confidence and attachment of the people; and if it appear at any time to have lost it, the first of all its duties, and the neces sary prelude to the discharge of all the rest, is to regain it, by every effort consistent with probity and honour.
Now, it may be true, that the present alienation of the body of the people from the old constitutional champions of their freedom, originated in the excesses and delusion of the people themselves; but it is not less true, that the Whig royalists have increased that alienation by the haughtiness of their deportment
We, in short, are for the monarchy and the aristocracy of England, as the only sure supports of a permanent and regulated freedom: But we do not see how either is now to be preserved, except by surrounding them with the affection of the people. The admirers of arbitrary power, blind to the great lesson which all Europe is now holding out to them, have attempted to dispense with this protection; and the demagogues have taken advantage of their folly to excite the people to withdraw it altogether. The true friends of the constitution must now bring it back; and must reconcile the people to the old monarchy and the old Parliament of their land, by restraining the prerogative within its legitimate bounds, and bringing back Parliament to its natural habits of sympathy and concord with its constituents. The people, therefore, though it may be deluded, must be reclaimed by gentleness, and treated with respect and indulgence. All indications, and all feelings of jealousy or contempt, must be abjured. Whatever is to be granted, should be granted with cordial alacrity; and all denials should be softened with words and with acts of kindness. The wounds that are curable, should be cured; those that have festered more deeply should be cleansed and anointed; and, into such as it may be impossible to close, the patient should be allowed to pour any innocent balsam, in the virtues of which he believes. The irritable state of the body politic will admit of no other treatment.-Incisions and cauteries would infallibly bring on convulsions and insanity.
We had much more to say; but we must close here: Nor indeed could any warning avail those who are not aware already. He must have gazed with idle eyes on the recent course of events, both at home and abroad, who does not see that no government can now subsist long in England, that is not bottomed in the affection of the great body of the people; and who does not see, still more clearly, that the party of the people is every day gaining strength, from the want of judgment and of feeling in those who have defied and insulted it, and from the coldness and alienation of those who used to be their patrons and defenders. If something is not done to conciliate, these heartburnings must break out into deadly strife; and impartial history will assign to each of the parties their share of the great guilt that will be incurred. The first and the greatest outrages will probably proceed from the people themselves; but a deeper curse will fall on the corrupt and supercilious government that provoked them: Nor will they be held blameless, who, when they might have repressed or moderated the popular impulse, by attempting to direct it, chose rather to take counsel of their pride, and to stand by, and see the constitution torn to pieces, because they could not approve entirely of either of the combatants!
stated; and have felt too proud an indignation when they saw vulgar and turbulent men presume to lay their unpurged hands upon the sacred ark of the constitution. They have disdained too much to be associated with coarse coadjutors, even in the good work of resistance and reformation; and have hated too virulently the demagogues who have inflamed the people, and despised too heartily the people who have yielded to so gross a delusion. All this feeling, however, though it may be natural, is undoubtedly both misplaced and imprudent. The people are, upon the whole, both more moral and more intelligent than they ever were in any former period; and therefore, if they are discontented, we may be sure they have cause for discontent: if they have been deluded, we may be satisfied that there is a mixture of reason in the sophistry by which they have been perverted. All their demands may not be reasonable; and with many, which may be just in principle, it may, as yet, be impracticable to comply. But all are not in either of these predicaments; though we can only now afford to make particular mention of one: and one, we are concerned to say, on which, though of the greatest possible importance, the people have of late found but few abettors among the old friends of the constitution, we mean that of a Reform in the representation. Upon this point, we have spoken largely on former occasions; and have only add that, though we can neither approve of such a reform as some very popular persons have suggested, nor bring ourselves to believe that any reform would accomplish all the objects that have been held out by its most zealous advocates, we have always been of opinion that a large and liberal reform should be granted. The reasons of policy which have led us to this conviction, we have stated on former occasions. But the chief and the leading reason for supporting the proposal at present is, that the people are zealous for its adoption; and are entitled to this gratification at the hands of their representatives. We laugh at the idea of there being any danger in disfranchising the whole mass of rotten and decayed boroughs, or communicating the elective franchise to a great number of respectable citizens: And as to the supposed danger of the mere example of yielding to the desires of the people, we can only say, that we are far more strongly impressed with the danger of thwarting them. The people have far more wealth and far more intelligence now, than they had in former times; and therefore they ought to have, and they must have, more political power. The danger is not in yielding to this swell, but in endeavouring to resist it. If properly watched and managed, it will only bear the vessel of the state more proudly and steadily along;-if neglected, or rashly opposed, it will dash her on the rocks and shoals of a sanguinary revolution.
The History of Ireland. By JOHN O'DRISCOL.
A GOOD History of Ireland is still a desideratum in our literature-and would not only be interesting, we think, but invaluable. There are accessible materials in abundance for such a history; and the task of arranging them really seems no less inviting than important. It abounds with striking events, and with strange revolutions and turns of fortune -brought on, sometimes by the agency of enterprising men,-but more frequently by 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 in the annals of mankind. It is the very greatness of this interest, however, and the dread, and the encouragement of these applications, that have hitherto defaced and even falsified the record—that have made impartiality almost hopeless, and led alternately to the suppression and the exaggeration of sufferings and atrocities too monstrous, it might appear, in themselves, to be either exaggerated or disguised. Party rancour and religious animosity have hitherto contrived to convert what should have been their antidote into their aliment,—and, by the simple expedient of giving only one side of the picture, have pretty generally succeeded in making the history of past enormities not a warning against, but an incitement to, their repetition. In telling the story of those lamentable dissensions, each party has enhanced the guilt of the adversary, and withheld all notice of their own; -and seems to have had it far more at heart
the second, her long separation. She had been too long a weak neighbour, to be easily admitted to the rights of an equal ally. Pre tensions which the growing strength and intelligence of the one country began to feel intolerable, were sanctioned in the eyes of the other by long usage and prescription;-and injustice, which never could have been first inflicted when it was first complained of, was yet long persisted in, because it had been long submitted to with but little complaint. No misgovernment is ever so bad as provincial misgovernment-and no provincial misgov. ernment, it would seem, as that which is exercised by a free people,-whether arising from a jealous reluctance to extend that prond distinction to a race of inferiors, or from that inherent love of absolute power, which gives all rulers a tendency to be despotic, and seeks when restrained at home, for vent and indemnification abroad.
to irritate and defy each other, than to leave
It may be thought that this should rather have been brought in under the title of History: But the truth is, that I have now omitted all that is properly historical, and retained only what relates to the necessity of maintaining the legislative and incorporating union of the two countries; a topic that is purely political and falls, I think, correctly enough under the title of General Politics, since it is at this day of still more absorbing interest than when these observations were first published in 1827. If at that time I thought a Separation, or a dissolution of the union, (for they are the same thing,) a measure not to be contemplated but with horror, it may be supposed that I should not look more charitably on the proposition, now that Catholic emancipation and Parliamentary reform have taken away some, at
The actual outline of the story is as clear as it is painful. Its most remarkable and most disgusting feature is, that while Religion has been made the pretext of its most sangui nary and atrocious contentions, it has been, from first to last, little else than a cover for the basest cupidity, and the meanest and most unprincipled ambition. The history which concerns the present times, need not be traced farther back than to the days of Henry VIII. and Queen Mary. Up to that period, the petty and tyrannical Parliaments of the Pale had, indeed, pretty uniformly insulted and des pised the great native chiefs among whom the bulk of the island was divided—but they had also feared them, and mostly let them alone.
it was then maintained. The example of Scotland, I still think, is well put for the argument: And among the many who must now consider this question, it may be gratifying to some to see upon what grounds, and how decidedly, an opinion was then formed upon it, by one certainly not too much disposed to think favourably of the conduct or the pretensions of England.
least, of the motives or apologies of those by whom At that era, however, the growing strength and population of England inspired it with a bolder ambition; and the rage of proselytism which followed the Reformation, gave it both occasion and excuse. The passions, which led naturally enough to hostilities in such cir cumstances, were industriously fostered by the cold-blooded selfishness of those who
In two vols. 8vo. pp. 815. London: 1827.* even a partial memorial of the truth. That truth is, no doubt, for the most part, at once revolting and pitiable;-not easily at first to be credited, and to the last difficult to be told with calmness. Yet it is thus only that it can be told with advantage-and so told, it is pregnant with admonitions and sugges tions, as precious in their tenor, as irresisti ble in their evidence, when once fairly received.