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The Tory evergreens being divided between
Let me see. I need not say any thing of Peel; for since the Chancellor's departure, he is more entirely and completely the lord and master of that queer place than any man has been since the death of Pitt. Even Pitt had his Fox to grapple with, and Canning had his Brougham; but now there is no competition-not even the semblance of a rivalry. Neither need I be talking about Croker to you-you well know, that nothing but his position in the government, and yet out of the Cabinet, could have prevented him from being the first speaker of his time long ere this time of day. His dealing with Jeffrey was like the wolf dandling the kid. He tore him to pieces with the ease-I wish I could help adding, with the visible joy-of a demon. The effect was such, that after ten minutes, the Whigs could not bear it. They trooped out file after file, black, grim, scowling, grinding their teeth, in sheer imbecile desperation. A great lord of the party, who sat just before me under the gallery, whispered to his neighbour, "God-damn-him," with a gallows croak, and strode out of the place, as if he had been stung by a rattlesnake.
I have heard Croker in days past, and can easily conceive what he must be now that the fetters of office no longer cramp him. His action struck me as somewhat brusque-but his voice is a capital one, and he is not likely to be at a loss for words or ideas. What a blasted disgrace to the party that they kept him out of the Cabinet, and set over his head, among others, so many, comparatively speaking, sheer blockheads-some of whom, moreover, have deserted us in τροφεύγοισι!
Aye, aye, that's but one leaf out of the black volume, that may now, I fear, be safely christened their Doomsday Book. Only to think of such blind, base, self-murdering iniquity! heigh ho!
Mr William Bankes was extolled in the Quarterly, I saw. But that, perhaps, might be accounted for.
I assure you he deserved a deuced deal more than they said of him, nevertheless. I own I had taken up a prejudice against him, considering him as a mere dandy-traveller, sketcher, reviewer, diner-out, &c.; but, to my infinite astonishment, I saw a plain, unaffected, gentlemanlike, but utterly undandylike, person rise on the second bench, and heard him deal out with equal ease, in the same clear manly tone, delicate banter, grinding sarcasm, lucid narrative, pathetic excursus, and splendid peroration. The effect was, I presume, almost as unexpected by others as by me-for he has spoken very seldom-but it was great and decided; and why William Bankes was not Irish Secretary, or something of the sort, ten years back, if it was not prevented by his own indolence or shyness, I am at a loss to account for in any manner at all creditable to our quondam high and mighty masters-now our humble brethren in the-to them-new calamities of independence.
Why, I think the practice of our present rulers ought to be considered before we speak too harshly of the late ones. When out of place, they were always held up by us, as well as others, as a set of persons who really did behave well to their own followers, and therein affording a marked contrast to the Tories. And to be sure they did so. Praise and pudding they grudged not, neither did they spare. Their reviews were encomiastic, their houses were open, their fêtes were brilliant, their private patronage unwearied and thoroughgoing-their adversaries, as in dignity bound, adopting in all these particulars the diametrically opposite line. But now that they are really in, now that the real loaves and fishes are in their disposal-what, after all, do we perceive in their doings, that ought to make us think with new regret of the obtuse shabbiness of their predecessors? In
so far as I can gather, they have condensed the good things within as nar. row, as aristocratic, nay almost as familiar a circle, as could well have been chalked out for their adoption by the worst enemy of their sway. Is it not so-how did it strike you on the spot?
Very agreeably. When I heard such a tallowfaced cheeseparing of a beardless, bucktoothed ninny as Lord Howick yelping down the law, God help him! for the Colonial Empire of Great Britain, and found, on enquiry, that he was not generally considered as greatly more idiotic than most others of the new Under-Secretaries, junior Lords of the Treasury, &c. &c. my spirit rejoiced within me, and I snuffed the air six inches farther above the surface of the terraqueous globe.
I sincerely hope, when the right folks get back, we shall see- -You smile, I perceive
They get back! My dear Christopher, how can you talk such nonsense? No-no-no-no-Ante leves ergo
Sooner the ass in fields of air shall graze,
Or Russell's tragedy claim Shakspeare's bays;
Than Tories rule on British soil again!
I bet you a riddle of claret they are in power again in two months. Of that I have very little doubt;-would to God I could be as sure of their behaving themselves as they ought to do after the thing is done!
Upon what, in the name of Jupiter, do you build your hopes? I met with nobody in London who even hinted at the possibility of such things; and since I left it-you see what majorities!
Never mind. I put not my faith in princes-for that would be forgetting the words of Holy Writ; but, begging your pardon, I still put my faith in Peers. The Committee will cut the Bill well down yet before it goes to the Lords, and the Lords will do the rest of the business, and Lord Grey will resign next morning, and William the Fourth, nolens volens, will send for Sir Robert Peel, and Sir Robert Peel will make up a Cabinet within eight-and-forty hours, and deliver a plain, perspicuous oration, detailing what Reform he is willing to patronise, and dissolve the Parliament
And what then?
Why, nothing uncommon. The majority of the House of Commons are not-not being fools, mere fools they cannot possibly be-sincere; and they will be delighted to find their Bill destroyed, and they will vapour and palaver, and do nothing. By that time, moreover, the horrible stagnation in every branch of internal trade, for which the nation has to thank Lord Grey, and of which people even in lofty places are already beginning to feel the effects, will have come to such a pass as to command attention in all quarters to something much more interesting, as well as important, than any reform. By that time, again, there will be no Peers in France, and the Duke of Orleans will be safely housed in his old villa at Twickenham, (which, like a sensible man, he has, I am told, always refused to let)—and there will be war by land, and war by sea--and there will be a bit of a dust at Manchester or elsewhere, and it will be laid in blood, and the new Parliament will be chosen in peace and jollity, and consist, with few exceptions, of gentlemen-and Peel's Reform-bad enough probably, but still something bearable as compared with this iniquity-will be introduced,
and we shall jog on pretty much in the old way again-that is, conquer right and left as long as any body dares to keep the field before us, be too grand not to sacrifice all we have gained at the cost of our own gold and blood whenever a peace is to be made, and then, Europe being once more settled, buckle ourselves once more to the glorious task of unsettling England-that is to say, adopt Whig measures-on, and on, until the national appetite is at last so depraved that it calls out for some radical bolus, and nothing can save us, or our children rather, from bolting the murderous crudity, except, at the distance perhaps of twenty years, just such another series of sayings and doings as, please God, will for ever illustrate, in Tory annals, the memory of the autumn of 1831.
Ha! ha! ha!-well, I wished to hear what your unbiassed opinion might be-and, forgive me, told a little bit of a fib by way of eliciting it in its full splendour. The fact is, you have just adopted the view I found most common among people of all parties in the capital-Whigs, Tories, Radicals, all alike. The only chance, every one seemed to think, of any serious disturbance, was connected with one great man. able member became inaudible.).
(Here the honour
[N.B. The changes of voice were not to be mistaken, but the substance escaped.]
If he does, it will be against the grain. It does very well to talk about certain things-but we all know what life he leads, what company he keeps, what tastes he cultivates, and I tell you he is no more the man to be up and doing in such a business than you or I, or any other old hero of the Flatfoots-Corporal Casey himself included.-(Sings.)
TUNE-Dearest Helen, I'll love thee no more.
In the summer, when flowers in the woodlands were springing,
O then, what despair was thy lot, Captain L'Amy,
The oaths that ye swore-the oaths that ye swore!
Stap my vitals, adzooks! burn my gown, blast my wig, now
In thy service is o'er-in thy service is o'er;
And you, my dear lads, none will ever surpass ye,
We have gather'd our laurels upon the Crosscausey,
Weel eneugh, sirs. But hear till me-dinna hinner me frae singing. I'll sing you a sang, an auld ane frae my Jacobite Relics; an' though the folks are now beginnin' to surmeese that I made the feck o' the auld Jacobite sangs mysell, ye're no to gie a shadow o' insinuation that I made this ane, else, should the King chance to be introduced to me when he comes to Scotland, he might cast it up to me.
Would you know what a Whig is, and always was,
To shew that he came from a home of worth,
For all that was sacred: so thus was created
Spew'd up amang mortals from hellish jaws,
Till he fills the creation with crimes of damnation,
He is the sourest of sumphs, and the dourest of tikes,
He will fawn on your face with a leer on his snout,
If you give him a ladle or rough paritch-stick,
But masters and misses his heart downa bide.
Kick him out, cuff him out-mind not his din,
For he'll funk us to death if you let him bide in.
In the meantime there can be no sort of doubt that, considering they
have been in office only eight months, they have done about as much to disgrace themselves as any preceding set, the Talents excepted, ever were able to accomplish within as many years. This is consolatory.
The unvarnishing of Whig reputations, under but so brief an exposure to the biting air of Downing Street, has, indeed, been proceeding at a fine pace; let them make out the twelvemonths, in God's name!
No man more cordially wished to see them in than I did; and, but that I now see in their endurance the imminent ruin of Old England, God knows no man would less wish to see them out. But their proceedings have changed things more important than my little private wishes as to the locumtenencies of Whitehall; and, to be honest, I now almost begin to blame myself for the hand I had in turning out their predecessors.
Never repent of that. They neglected their duty, and you did yours. Not being either a Rowite or a Secondsighter, you could not foretell the consequences of the Wellingtonian downfall-and in personal respect to the immortal Duke himself, I am sure the worst of your enemies can never pretend to say you were deficient. The cursed Currency concern of 1819 was, after all, the father of the national distress-the national distress was the parent of the national Discontent-Discontent has in all ages been the progenitor of Delusion-and Delusion alone could ever have given breath and being to such a monster as the Durham Bill. Do you watch the turn of the tide, and do your duty when the Tories come in, as steadily as you did before they went out. It is to be hoped they have got a lesson-and that neither by the patronage of Whigs, nor the adoption of Whig measures, will Tories again, at least in our time, undermine at once their own power, and, what is of rather more importance, the constitution of their country. But whether the lesson be or not taken at headquarters, my dear North, never do you shrink from your old rules—“ stare super antiquas vias”"nolumus legis Angliæ mutari"-" respect the landmarks"-and "let weel bide !"
Fear God and honour the king!-quand même.
Quand même! Quand même! Quand même! Ah! North,
"Hence spring these tears-this Ilium of our foes:
So says Dryden-and such, I fear, is the case at present in too many quarters; but it will never be so with us. We know our duty better-and we understand, I venture to say, the facts of the case better. In spite of Sir James Scarlett's law we pity, but at the same time, in spite of Lord Grey's bill, we honour; and the time will come for us to vindicate, defend, liberate, and uphold.-I confess I witnessed certain scenes-Ascot-Drury Lane-even the Painted Chamber-even the House of Lords itself-with feelings of deeper pain than I could have believed any things of that nature could have had power to stir up, now-a-days, in these old tough heartstrings.
"A deathlike silence, and a drear repose ?"
An unanimous, bellowing, blustering, hallooing mob, a divided, distrustful gentry, an insulted but unshaken peerage, a doomed but determined prelacy-these are strange signs, and sorrowful.
A vulgarized court, a despairing Family, and a trembling Crown!
England has unquestionably seen no such danger since the meeting of