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tinctly seen can be as certainly attained.

STATESMANSHIP IN CONSTITUTIONAL In place of such men we have two dis


Ir is a common complaint that statesmanship is at a low ebb in England just now. What we have is of a poor kind, and there is very little of it. Among our public men there is abundance of political ability, of clever parliamentary strategy, of practical knowledge, of debating skill and eloquence, and a fair amount of administrative capacity. But the views and action of our public men, even the best of them, lack width, steadiness, and persistent harmony; and it is the union of these three characteristics in an adequate degree that gives to politics the quality and dignity of statesmanship. We miss men gifted with the faculty of taking a wide survey of the present or the future, a true perception of the enduring elements of a nation's greatness, a clear comprehension and an unswerving pursuit of those measures by which the objects thus disNEW SERIES-VOL. I., No. 2.

tinct classes, who rather caricature true statesmanship than imitate or approach it. There are some who have wonderful skill in gaining party victories-that is, in adapting immediate means to immediate ends; and there are others who are fanatically devoted to one object or one principle, and who pursue it as persistently as any statesman of any country, but they are doctrinaires, not statesmen. They are irrational devotees. They are not so much thinkers, as men possessed with an idea. We have two admirable illustrations of this among living celebrities, in the case of two men, of whom it is as impossible to speak without respect and gratitude as without regret and censure. Lord John Russell became eminent and powerful by identifying himself with the cause of parliamentary reform, at a time when reform was, of all measures, perhaps the one most essential to the well-being and progress of the country. He adhered


to his object through long, disastrous, and disheartening years; and when the tide turned and the victory was at last won, he rode into power with the flow. ing wave of popular strength, and as a just and appropriate reward became the prominent idol of the hour. His name was forever associated with his cause, not only in the minds of the people, but, unfortunately, in his own too. The question became in a manner his possession, his hobby, idée fixé. It haunted him, so to speak. He grew to feel that he owed it the homage of constant attention-perpetual, fidgety, fussy petits soins. From being the aim of a sound mind, it grew to be the crotchet of an infirm one. He seemed to be startled from his sounder condition by the clamor which greeted some unfortunate remarks which he once made about "finality." He took an opportunity not long afterwards of astonishing the soberer portion of the nation by announcing that he had been an advocate of parliamentary reform when he entered public life, that he was its advocate still, and that he trusted he should always remain so: in fact, that at one time before dinner he had felt very hungry, which was natural enough; that he had had a plentiful dinner, of his own ordering, and that now he felt more hungry than before-which did not sound very natural or healthy; and that he trusted his appetite would always continue as robust and insatiable as ever, which sounded hardly like good sense or sound morality. Since that memorable declaration he has been pertinaciously waving the old banner and crying the old watchword, without perceiving that his face was set in a precisely opposite direction, and that he was confronting an entirely different set of antagonists from those whom he routed in his youth; and has, in fact, been steadily, though happily unsuccessfully, endeavoring to undo his own work, under the delusion that he was completing it. At first he toiled to transfer political preponderance from the aristocratic to the middle classes-that is, from a fraction of the propertied and educated classes to the whole of them. Since then he has been trying to transfer political preponderance from the middle classes to the ignorant and the

working classes, and he calls both proceedings by the name of "Parliamentary Reform."

Our other persistent politician is Mr. Cobden. His consistency is far more real than Earl Russell's, and his errors and deficiencies are of a different order. It was given to him to gain a victory, perhaps even greater than that of parliamentary reform, and against a phalanx of foes even more formidable to begin with. He stood upon a simple truth, he fought for a distinct and definable purpose, he conquered by the pure force of demonstration. He was truly grand when he was fighting that battle; he has never been truly grand since. He saw that peace, the wealth and prosperity of the country, and the physical welfare of the masses, depended on liberating trade and industry from the shackles with which selfish aims and unwise fondness had bound them. He succeeded. The commercial, financial, and industrial results of the free commercial policy which he persuaded the country to adopt, have not only justified but far surpassed, not only his, but all other anticipations. No wonder that he should have felt that it was impossible to exaggerate the value of the principle he had proclaimed. His error has lain in seeing it alone, or in looking at it so exclusively and so intently as to see it out of its due proportions; in deeming that free trade would inevitably entail all other political blessings; in judging men and sovereigns according to their faith in his own creed. His intellect was a clear and powerful, but not a wide or philosophic one. He saw one side of human nature so vividly that he forgot it was only one side. He would have sacrificed, or risked sacrificing, every other public aim to freedom of commerce, believing, we doubt not, in his heart, that all other things would inevitably follow in its train. In his exclusive devotion to one object he has endangered many blessings and outraged many cherished sentiments. He has been blinded by the very concentration of his vision. He has forgotten, too, that there are national objects nobler and dearer than peace, richer and more prolific than commercial wealth, more essential even at times than cheap food or light taxation for the poor.

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