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ston profited by this example? If he has, he will know, and he will show that he knows, that to secure his position he needs but to prove his fidelity to the national idea, that peace must be con. quered by a repression of Russia with. in safe boundaries, and to throw him. self in full confidence upon the sense of the country. He may thus attain to security from intrigues in the Court, divisions in the Cabinet, and factious coalitions in Parliament; and such is the common opinion of all observant men. But having already premised that we see no reason to doubt the sincerity of the Premier's confession of faith at Guildhall, we may be asked what further proofs can be required? Those wbose sight and hearing are not dulled by the sinoke and noise of Lon don will be at no loss to recognise, in the answer to the question, the all but unanimous opinion of the public upon the principles that should at this crisis direct a British Government and their judgment upon the practices of the present administration.
At the very root of the matter lies the subject of public expenditure ; and the cheerfulness with which the people have submitted to the heavy pressure of the last two years, while it entitles them to be respectfully listened to, ought not to be misunderstood. It is the will of the nation that the war should not be pinched; but while they set no bounds to useful outlay, they ex. pect a war minister to waste not, while he wants not. The main object in the popular mind is the war ; but the people do not accept the war as an excuse for recklessness and lavish profusion in the civil · departments of the State. Wise men see, in the necessities and pressure of war, the soundest and most practical reasons for undertaking internal reforms, and the urgency of the tax-gatherer now popularises such wisdom. Retrenchments, that in the abundance of peace were languidly asked for, perhaps opposed on grounds of tenderness for vested interests, or a generous distaste for cheese-paring, are now thought of as though their sum would fit out a floating battery, or set another squadron in the field. Jobs, that a little while ago were but the subject of a passing sneer or jest, are now pointed to with bitterness as a wasting of the bread of the poor We have no time now to write a re
port on Administrative Reform ; but we will mention an instance or two in point, not of gigantic malversations, but of such blots as are continually hit in the daily converse of the people. Thus we have heard a number of intelligent men, casually assembled together, pros nounce a unanimous verdict of "guilty of intent to render war impossible," against the minister, upon evidence which satisfied them that a case occurred in which military stores were carried by waggon from the Tower to Euston-square, thence by railway to Liverpool, from Liverpool to Dublin by steamer, and then by railway, wag. gon, and boat to Cork, Queenstown, and so on board a store-ship. The statement is, we have reason to believe, perfectly correct, and it involves the charge of a public outlay of about £8 10s. per ton, for a transit which could have been effected by a steamer that plies regularly from the Tower wharf to Queenstown, at a cost of thirty shil. lings. In larger and more numerous circles more generally known facts are cited in support of a similar conclusion. Men find, for example, seven commissioners on the Board of Inland Revenue, which has been repeatedly acknowledged to be over-manned, and they see a vacancy in it filled up at this time of public distress, and by an individual whose appointment cannot be considered in any other light than as a gross job. Only last month, a barrister was provided for by making him one of seven magistrates who are charged with police duties in Dublin ; while in Liverpool, we believe, at least as much magisterial work is performed by a single stipendiary. As to the jobs of retirement and pensioning accomplished in the Irish Post-office, Poor Law and Board of Works Departments within the last year, they are known to every one, and their name is legion. A minister, bold enough to throw himself upon the people, would find in most of these cases and in hundreds of others—the surest means of proving the sincerity of his own policy. If it was seen that he was disposed to husband the public resources, he need feel no fear of opposition to his war estimates. Viewed by this light, a season of war is of all others the most proper for civil retrenchments and reforms: it enables the minister to do, with the aid of the people, what in
peace he could not perform by reason trained soldiers into the line. On the of the cupidity of partisans.
other hand, the mere authorisation of But the nation also looks for guaran volunteer corps has always been in these tees for the honest and vigorous pro kingdoms, a sort of levee en masse, from secution of the war in the military ad which, in addition to some social bene. ministration itself; and here again fits that we think we could show na. there is much to try their faith. We turally attend such organisations, & do not propose to advert to many large per centage of the best recruits points on which the public opinion has might be expected to be continuonsly been very freely expressed, as, for ex. supplied. In a word, we can conceire ample, the organisation of the several no measure that would be more likely war departments, promotion, or the than this to convince the nation that strategic conduct of the war, but shall the Government is thoroughly in ear. content ourselves with mentioning one nest in its war policy, and to impress or two untoward arrangements which upon the mind of the Czar a convie, show so remarkable an ignorance of tion that the pation is ready to support the public feeling as to look very like a fighting ministry at all bazards. In. an intentional disregard of it. Even stead, however, of rousing the ardour with the command of money, war can of the masses, in these extraordinary not be carried on without men; and times, by a somewhat extraordinary next to financial arrangements, a sound exhibition of military pomp and cir. recruiting system is the main require cumstance, the authorities take unusual ment. But this latter has no solid pains to hide the glitter of arms. A basis, except in the military spirit of red coat is seldom seen in our cities; the country, and to curb and stifle the sound of the spirit-stirring drum this seems almost to have been the ob- is rarely beard in the streets of our ject of some measures of the Govern, market-towns; and men scarcely know ment. Thus the recent regulation, by of the existence of British soldiers which militia officers are subjected to but by dismal lists of killed and wound. dismissal, as a penalty for encouraging ed, and vacant seats in almost every their men to volunteer into the army, family circle. is, no doubt, a mere blunder, but why Finally, it is not to be denied that a bas it not been repealed ? Lord strong impression prevails in the counPalmerston may possibly be ignorant try that there is too much of the that it has been committed, or he may peace-at-any-price element within the not know that the reduction of officers cabinet ; and the recent endeavours to in a ratio with the diminution of the introduce more by the successive offer strength of their corps must bave the ef- of the Colonial Office to Lord Stanley fect we have stated. Nevertheless, we and Mr. Sidney Herbert, have unhave heard the circumstance adduced in questionably shaken, though perhaps proof of his philo-Russianism. To our slightly, the popular faith in the antimind, however, he seems chargeable Russian disposition of Lord Palmerwith a still graver error of omission, in ston. To us those events certainly so far as he may have shared in the res seem to contain additional proof that fusal of the Aberdeen ministry to re- the Premier's knowledge of the state spond to the general offer of the country of popular feeling is defective. The to form volunteer corps, and we own support of men pledged, like those we wecannot comprehend why that error is have named, to anti-popular views of persisted in. Such organisations would the war and of foreign policy genebe much cheaper recruiting agencies rally, would bring him not strength than militia regiments, and they would but weakness; their active opposition be, at least, as efficient. A militia would rally the nation around him. raised by voluntary enlistment, in fact The general acquescence in we may scarcely differs from a regular army. alınost say approval of his ultimate The regiments become influenced by committal of the colonies to the care an esprit de corps that indisposes the of Mr. Labouchere, ought to convince men to exchange from them; the con bim that the people will not object to nexion between them and their coun- bis clothing any lay-figure with the ties is but slight, and the interest of robes of office, provided only it be not the higher officers is, at all times, ad suspected that the Russian uniform is verse to the volunteering of their worn underneath. But in truth it
would seem as if the training and ex. perience of all our public men, during forty piping years of peace, had nar. rowed their ideas of the policy and means of government, to a scheme of party tricks and combinations, and caused them to forget that the reality of national danger has power to evoke influences before which faction must wither. The great majority of the people, in ordinary times, look with indifference, or with the placid inte. rest of the beholder of a dramatic spectacle, upon the intrigues and even upon the honest struggles of profession. al politicians. Roman Catholic Emaneipation, Parliamentary Reform, the Abolition of Slavery, the Repeal of Restrictive Customs' Duties, were all carried by the exertions of individual leaders, and by a skilled employment of the machinery of associations and leagues. But for such agencies, not one of those changes would have been effected at this day. While peace seemed durable, and a millennium of industrial exhibitions-veritable towers of Babel - was in course of initiation, the requirements of faction establish ed a Peace Congress; but where is the machinery by which the country has been roused to a determination to resist Russian aggression, and to fight to the last in defence of national independence? There is no war congress, no anti-Russian league, no constitu. tion-preservation society, with staffs of hired chairmen, clerks, and lecturers, labouring day and night to stir society to its depths of cupidity, pas sion, and vanity. The trading patri. ots and professional politicians are all of counsel for the other side ; but the natural instinct of freemen, conscious of danger to their hearths and forums, has banded the whole nation together as one man, and set at nought the craftiest devices of faction. The same overruling force of public opinion that has brigaded together in the field the English Protestant, the French Roman Catholic, the excommunicated Sardinian, and the faithful follower of the Prophet, has obliterated from the popular mind of England all respect for the old distinctions of party The ancient rallying-cries of faction are no longer intelligible to the masses. Consistency is now taken to mean fidelity to the national cause in com bination with any faithful associates :
inconsistency, the offence committed by Lord John Russell at Vienna, is vacillation, feebleness, or treachery in dealing with the enemy, under what every party-flag the operation may be conducted. If Lord Palmerston has strength of vision to enable him to penetrate the mists that surround Lon. don clubs, and cliques, and offices, and to perceive the signs of public opi. nion, he will know his course; he will require resolution and a strong will to enable him to shape it safely. The ob. vious difficulties with which he will have to contend will be, the Parliamen. tary opposition of the avowed peaceparty directly, and the indirect, but much more dangerous, hostility of rival factionaries, some of them fully pledged to the Russianism of Messrs. Bright and Cobden ; others riding at single anchor, and ready, at a moment's notice, to slip and hoist the flag either of Russia or England. That this category may include a large number of members of the House of Commons, will be admitted by the candid reader, who recollects the parrow escape of the country from utter disgrace, last ses. sion, by a majority of but three carrying the resolution guaranteeing the Turk, ish loan. In the anti-national minority upon that occasion, Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Walpole voted, and thereby laid the foundation of those rumours of the coalition of the first-named gentle. man with Messrs. Bright and Glad. stone, to which some degree of cortoboration has been lent by the tone of a journal supposed to be influenced by his inspiration. Whether or not the articles of alliance have been signed between those high contracting parties will probably not be certainly known until the meeting of Parliament, and the occurrence of the first opportunity to strike a blow at the minister. It is, however, undeniable that the leader of the House of Commons, under Lord Derby's administration, did, as one of his latest acts last session, lead the opposition to the guarantee of the Turkish loan, to which the honour of the nation was pledged; and the fact demands the gravest consideration of those members of the Conservative party, who may still remain so imperfectly acquainted with the state of public opinion as to imagine that party juggling in the House of Commons will be permitted to make or unmake
a ministry. The time requires among honest men the time always requires plain speaking, and we feel that we should imperfectly discharge the duty we have undertaken, if we did not warn all whom it may concern of the extremely dangerous character of any such delusion. Again, we repeat, the nation requires that there shall be a Government strong enough to prosecute the war to its proper termination
a peace secured by weakening the aggressive power of Russia and push. ing back her frontier to a defensible barrier line. A few electiou agents and local place-hunters may desire to carry Lord John Russell, or Lord Derby, into office; but the intention of the people is wbat we have stated, and no other. It is plain then to our mind, that the lines of duty and of self-interest coincide, as well in the case of independent members of Parliament, as in that of Lord Palmerston. Patriotism requires, and regard for their personal position ought to sug. gest to respectable men - Conserva tives, Whigs, or Radicals - that, at least so long as the nation considers the object of the war not to be attain ed, they should own no allegiance to any party but that of the country, and
that they should prove their fidelity to that flag, by the most scrupulous abstinence from every act of factious opposition, by the most explicit and candid statements of their views upon all proper occasions, and by a straightforward and ready support of all measures of the Government calculated to advance the great work in hand, or which they cannot show to be likely to retard it. Such a course would, we hope, often bring our most respected Conservative friends into the same lobby with Lord Palmerston; they may be assured that it would never lower them in the estimation of any respect. able portion of their constituents. "Nor should Lord Palmerston's tactics be in any respect different. He will soon learn, if he will be but true to himself and go straightforward, whether fac. tion or patriotism prevails in the House of Commons. If it shall turn out that he cannot, by the loyal aid of the present representatives of the nation, administer public affairs in accordance with the national wish, it only remains for him to give the constituencies an opportunity of selecting wiser and honester men-he must DISSOLVE Par. liament.
INDEX TO VOL. XLVI.
Ainsworth, W. Harrison, Ballads, reviewed,
volution of 1848, by an Officer of the
Part' y., 566.
from the Fall of Napoleon, in 1815, to the
Vol. IV., reviewed, 1.
Day and Night Songs, reviewed, 229.
the Winepress ; II. On Gold and Wine,
Dramatic Writers of Ireland, Notices of :
Atkinson, Joseph, 147.
Educational Reform, 499.
Ballads from the German : The Oak Har-
vest - The Fire-Bell of Cologne - The
Monk of Heisterbach, 496.
621; Part II.-Irish Rivers, No. XIII,
Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac
Newton, reviewed, 308.
History, Vol. II., reviewed, 273.
Fall, the, of Day, Stanzas, 297.
Canada, the Rail in, 127.
114; Brictric of Bristol, a Chronicle in
with Essays, Literary and Political, re-
Geological Surveys; their Objects and Utility,
Lonely Landscape, 164; Chap. II., Glen-
Darkbrothers, the Old House of — Part I.,
598; Part II., 664.