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nearly balanced, a brave nation may be encouraged justifiably to prefer the latter alternative; but when by resistance the sufferings of those engaged in it must be grievous, and the hopes of its success cannot possibly be great, it is not for those who are not to participate in the danger to counsel others to incur it. Under circumstances so unpromising, His Majesty cannot take upon himself to urge the people of the Tyrol and of the Voralberg to continue their resistance against an invasion by the combined armies of Bavaria and France. If, however, the remembrance of past happiness, the sense of recent wrongs, the expectation of renewed oppression, the character of the country, the habits and spirit of the people, shall decide them to persist, His Majesty cannot but give some testimony of the interest which he takes in the issue of a contest too unequal, he fears, to be availing, but which he knows to be just. He has therefore directed that arrangements should be made to afford such pecuniary aid as the difficulty of remitting money to a country so insulated will allow, and as the circumstances of the case may from time to time require. I am commanded by His Majesty to give you distinctly to understand, that in making this advance, the people of the Tyrol and of the Voralberg are not to consider it as intended by His Majesty either to create any obligation, or to afford any inducement to continue resistance an hour longer than they would otherwise be inclined to do if no such supplies were offered. It is not by pecuniary aid from without, that a contest of this description either ought to be encouraged or can be upheld; and His Majesty would not think himself justified in granting any such supply but under the full persuasion that there existed within the country an unquenched spirit, from the undiminished continuance of which any hope of success, if any shall exist, can alone under Heaven be derived.
SIR ROIBERT PEEL ON THE HOUSE
Earl of IIarrowly to the Right Hon. Sir Robert Peel.
I).EAR SIR IR. PEEL, o: ;o:
I am induced by our conversation of yesterday to take the liberty of sending you for your perusal a copy of a letter which I wrote some days ago to a Noble Friend. No line of conduct can, as we now stand, be free from great difficulties and objections; but in this, and in this alone, I see a chance of comparative safety. In the moment of success last Session,' I thought and said to some of those who congratulated me, “We have acted right now. This will do for once, but will not bear repetition.” If this be not done, if the Bill be not read a second time and amended, where are we? By what other means can we ward off destruction even for a time?
Believe me, &c.,
* The rejection of the Reform Bill by the House of Lords, October 7, 1831.
This letter is not preserved among the Peel Manuscripts, but since my first edition a copy has been communicated to me through the kindness of Charles C. Greville, Esq. It appears from the endorsement, in pencil, to be addressed to Earl Talbot, and not to Lord Wharncliffe as I had supposed. S.
Earl of Harrowby to Earl Talbot.
After our various conversations upon the Reform question, you may perhaps expect to receive a few lines from me upon the present state of it. We both agreed, when we last talked it over, that we were quite at liberty to take the line which at the time we might think best. The question now presses for decision as to what that line ought to be; and I should not answer the confidence with which you have honoured me if I did not state the bearings of my own mind, and as shortly as I am able the ground of my present opinion.
The new facts of the case since I came to town appear to be these—the increased majority of the House of Commons in favour of the Bill, and what I cannot know, but what I believe on sufficient grounds to actuate my own conduct, the carte blanche given to the Ministers by the King for the creation of Peers in order to secure the Second Reading of the Bill at whatever period they judge it necessary. Now if this be so, we are indeed reduced (as in fact we have been ever since the Bill was brought in) to a mere choice between evils. If Ministers are convinced that the Second Reading will be rejected, they will previously create Peers enough to carry it. What is the consequence? The Bill is carried without any amendment, and the House of Lords is swamped for ever. The Ministers also become absolute masters of the House upon all future questions. If the Government instead of previously creating Peers wait till they are beat upon the Second Reading, in order to have a little more semblance of justification, they have then nothing to do but to prorogue Parliament for a week, make their Peers, and then consummate the work of destruction. IIow can these, the greatest of all evils, be in any degree avoided ? Not certainly without incurring considerable evils, but such as appear to me to be far less than those I have stated. If the Ministers can be assured beforehand that a creation of Peers will not be necessary to ensure the Second Reading of the Bill, they are deprived of all excuse for swamping the House of Lords; and knowing the reluctance of many of the Cabinet to this measure, and the high disapprobation of some of their followers (the story of the Duke of Portland and his forty Peers is, by-the-bye, utterly false), I think it quite impossible that they should dare to do it. This evil is therefore avoided. A separation for the time of one portion of the 199 from another is un