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cation, there can be no doubt of the principle in proof of which it was referred to. The coalition sought by many, to be effected between Mr Fox and Mr Pitt in 1784 and 1804, could only be grounded upon the necessity of giving the country a good and vigorous Government; and the junction of Lord Grenville and the Whigs in 1804, and afterwards in office, was dictated, as it was triumphantly defended, by their agreement on some great questions, and their disposition to sacrifice lesser points of opinion, and all personal considerations, to the important object of promoting those grand principles in which they coincided. But in all these cases, and in none more than the last, there were various differences of principle; not only were Whig and Tory, Alarmist and Reformer, to coalesce; but during the war, and for the sake of carrying it on to a better issue, they who were the authors of it, were united with its constant and sturdy opponents. Yet all men approved of the union, because lesser things should yield to greater, and upon one or two great questions there was a fortunate concurrence of opinion. It would be very difficult, however, in the present case, to find the subject upon which the new allies did not agree-Catholic Question-Currency-Free Trade-Judicial Reform-Foreign Policy-South American Independence-on all these they had for years fought side by side; on all these they had been combating together against the Ministers who lately resigned ; while, with the exception of Parliamentary Reform, upon which the members of the same party differed among themselves, there was not a single practical point of dissension to be descried. Any two, almost any one of those great subjects was important enough to justify a union, even had the parties differed upon most of the others; but when the agreement extended over the whole, can any man seriously maintain that it was not their duty to coalesce, if their cordial co-operation could alone secure the success of their common principles, and the exclusion from power of their common adversaries?
It has been said, that there is in the Cabinet, as now composed, an admixture of members unfavourable to the Catholic Claims, and reports have reached us of very strong, but not perhaps very well considered objections being taken on this head." Beside our former general argument, we shall content ourselves with two observations in reply. The first is, that three members in the whole Cabinet, and these in no way connected, either with the head of the Administration, or with the management of Irish affairs, do not alter the features of toleranoe and liberality impressed upon it by the union which has created the rest of the body. The other is, that such a criticism
proceeds with a strange air from the ancient friends and associates of Mr Fox, who, in 1783, took office with Lord Shelburne, differing from him, as he afterwards avowed, on many points, and extremely reluctant ever to join him, and with Lord Thurlow, whom he had all his life been opposing upon all points, and who had held the Great Seal during the American war. But still more marvellous is such a remark from any who held office in Mr Fox's last Administration! Is it really forgotten already how the Cabinet of 1806 was composed ? There was at its head Lord Grenville—the colleague and kinsman of Mr Pitt—the main promoter of the first war, and instigator to the second—the author of the letter to Bonaparte, which prolonged it from 1800—the stanch enemy of reform—the avowed friend and protector of the Wellesleys in India. Against him were to be set Mr Fox and Mr Grey, peacemakers, reformers, managers of Indian Impeachments. Then came Mr Windham and Lord Fitzwilliam, the administrators of Mr Burke's fury, as their new colleagues bad often termed them, and going as much beyond the Grenvilles in hatred of peace, as they exceeded the Foxites in fondness for war. It is true, that all these great men strenuously supported the Catholic Claims; but those claims were as vehemently opposed by other members of the Cabinet, by Lord Ellenborough, and by Lord Sidmouth, whose former accession to office had been expressly grounded upon his hostility to the question. Yet the exigencies of the State induced Mr Fox and Mr Grey to form parts of this Cabinet, where the interest of Ireland was so little consulted, that by common consent the subject was not to be mentioned, unless in order to bring forward a small measure, no sooner attempted than abandoned. It is true, that one great and righteous deed was done, in spite of all the divisions which variegated the aspect of this motley piece of Cabinet making; they abolished the Slave Trade; but not because they agreed upon this any more than upon those penal laws which they left unrepealed; for Lord Sidmouth, Lord Moira, and Lord Fitzwilliam, were determined enemies of the measure, and Mr Windham was perhaps the most zealous of all its antagonists, not to be a planter."
We have been meeting the two opposite objections made to the late coalition, by two very different classes of adversaries, the High Tories, who exclaimed against it as an unnatural and
* It will not be supposed that we are painting the Administration of 1806 as we ourselves view it; we are showing in what light the facts would justify its enemies in now representing it, upon the grounds on which some of its members are opposing the present Government.
VOL. XLVI. NO. 92.
unprincipled league for power, at the expense of consistency; and a few much respected members of the old Whig party, whose accusations were less precise, but who seemed to dislike it only because persons once their antagonists formed a branch of it; an objection to which every coalition must be equally liable. The answer to all these attacks is plain and simple. The inconsistency would have been in men continuing the conflict when they were no longer divided in their sentiments; the unnatural conduct would have been for men to attack their natural allies and join their natural enemies; the disregard of principle would bave been shown by those who sacrificed their public duty to personal views, and regardless of their pledged opinions, sought the gratification of personal feelings, not the less personal, nor the more amiable, because they were those of hatred, jealousy, or vexation.
But suppose we come down to a more humble level in the argument, and listen to the suggestion, why did the Whigs join Mr Canning, when, by holding out, they must have occasioned a total change? We are far from being satisfied that such a change was preferable to the united Ministry; we are sure the union was more acceptable to the country as well as to the court; but we answer the question as it is put, and after the manner of our nation, we answer it by propounding anotherWhat was to hinder Mr Canning from joining his former colleagues, and submitting to fill a second place, a submission which the Whigs would then have forced him to? If he found himself disappointed in the estimate he had formed of his new allies; if he found that all their regard for their common principles could not overcome their selfish lust of
power, or mitigate their equally selfish hatred of him, had he not a right to distrust them, and to prefer any government which perpetuated their exclusion? Then, suppose he had been driven out of office, was there no chance of his rejoining his former colleagues, and no possibility of this union effecting at court the downfall of a party, which had showed so little moderation as to gain no credit with the Sovereign, and so little regard for its long professed principles, as to lose all respect in the country? As for the only other event that can be stated, it may be spoken of, but it surely cannot be conceived possible; we allude to the Whigs joining those ministers who had resigned, and uniting with them in opposing their liberal colleagues. We at once Yonounce so prodigious an inconsistency impossible. It would
been abandoning all their principles either to storm the pment, or spite a former opponent, whose recent conduct all great questions of policy they had loudly applauded.
It was as impossible for them to think of such a course, as it now would be for those most eminent and respected individuals, whose alienation from the government we join the whole country in deploring, to unite themselves with men, whom they differ from upon every question of public policy, and to seek with them the overthrow of a Ministry, all whose principles they profess.
In the remarks which we have made, nothing, we trust, has escaped us, tending to evince the least disrespect for the principles of party, so essential to the existence of a free government. Those attachments arising from similarity of principle, are in truth the very ground-work of our argument. They have in all good times, and among the best men, been held pure and patriotic bonds of union; honourable to the individuals, profitable to the commonwealth. Nevertheless, it is impossible to deny, that in proportion as the body of the people become more enlightened, and take a more constant interest in the management of their own affairs, such combinations becoming less necessary, lose somewhat of the public favour; and we believe that at no period of our history, did, what is called Party,' enjoy less popularity and exert less influence with the bulk of the community. It may indeed be affirmed with safety, that the efforts and the personal weight of individuals, have, of late years, done far more to keep alive the power and authority of Parties, than the influence of party has done for the protection of their particular members. A new casting also of political sects has taken place; the distinctions, and almost the names, of Loyalist and Jacobin, Whig and Tory, Court and Country Faction, are fast wearing away. Two great divisions of the community will, in all likelihood, soon be far more generally known; the Liberal and the Illiberal, who will divide, but we may be sure most unequally, the suffrages of the Nation.
Nor is it in name only that this arrangement will be new; the people will be differently distributed; the coalition, which has been gradually forming among the public men whose personal respect and mutual confidence has brought about so fortunate a union, extends to the community at large. Some of the older questions, by which Whig and Tory were wont to be divided, retain all their importance; but, upon these, the Liberal party, of whatever denomination, are well agreed. Indeed, it used to be a saying of Mr Wilberforce, when he regarded the importance of those questions, compared with the ones they still differed about, that he would not answer to the name of Tory; conveying thereby, as that great man is wont, a lesson of his mild wisdom with the relish of attractive and harmless wit. The only consequence with respect to doctrines which such a junction can produce, is likely to be beneficial both to the State and to the progress of sound opinion. Extremes will be avoided; alterations in our system will be gradual; and the only risk which the existence, or the measures of a Liberal Government could run, will be avoided, -that of a reaction against them,when it is distinctly perceived by all men, that we are governed by individuals, whose great parts are under the control of sound discretion, and whose conduct is, in all things, tempered with the moderation of practical wisdom.*
* The affairs of the Peninsula are perhaps the topic most likely to bring on a conflict between the Ministry and its opponents. Of the latter, one class, the Ex-Ministers, can hardly, without the most reckless inconsistency, object to a policy in which themselves joined their deceased colleague ; the other, and we grieve to say, one or two of them are among the foremost names in the history of later times, can only object to the tardiness of English interference, which (we fully admit) would have been effectual some years back, and we believe would have been applied, had Mr Canning not been new in office. No man (we may really say no two men), in either House, can blame the interference of last December, whatever be the event. The course of our observations in the text did not lead us to discuss particular questions of policy, otherwise this must have claimed especial consideration. We greatly dread the design of the Portuguese expedition being too far pursued. Men in this Government are so apt to think only of Parliamentary effect, that we earnestly wish our Ministers may look to the principle of their conduct alone, and disregard the utmost clamour which the most inauspicious results can raise against them. It should never be forgotten, that the Interference was justified by one only consideration; we armed to keep foreign armies from overthrowing the Portuguese Constitution. On no other ground can we for an instant defend the armament. But if the people of Portugal, left to themselves, declare against that Constitution ; if they overturn it, or break in upon it, or submit to a tyrant, and aid him in his attempts to enslave them, or quietly yield to these attempts—the British army is not there to take either part, and its interposition would be a violation of all duty, and in defiance of all the principles of the armament itself. In truth, such an interference would justify France and Spain in fitting out an expedition against ours. We are there, be it ever remembered, not to support any form of Government, but only to defend the country against foreign aggression.