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with anything that comes to hand, caulking lapse of time; and the principles which are a shot-hole with the nearest hat, slitting to regulate our colonial policy for the future open the leather where the shoe pinches, must be discussed and laid down in such a putting in a casual patch when the rent in manner as to avoid any risk of a disruption the old garment becomes absolutely inde- of our empire or of dissension among brethcent and unbearable, cobbling up the old ren. The social problems which press upon
, house as the family enlarges, or the roof us for solution at home become daily knotdecays, or the walls crumble and fall away, tier, more urgent, and more complex; and adding here a buttress and there a shed, and it is essential both to our safety and our sometimes, in a crisis of severe pressure or welfare that they be neither evaded nor unwonted ambition, joining a Grecian colon- postponed. Finally, the duties of actual nade to a Gothic gable. In this strange administration become every year more difstyle we have proceeded almost for centu. ficult and laborious as our wealth and numries, till the incongruities of our dwellings, bers multiply, as our vision of what is our clothing, and our policy, have grown needed becomes keener, and as our standobvious even to our own'unobservant and ard of requirement becomes higher. Now, accustomed eye. We go on swearing for all these calls, but most especially for against the Pretender long after his last the last, we need statesmen not only of a descendant has been laid quietly in a foreign high but of a peculiar order of talent; and grave; guarding with testy jealousy against as these calls increase and enlarge we rethe power of the Crown long after the Crown quire both more numerous and more able has been shorn of its due and legitimate statesmen. Already it is felt that the work in authority; risking the loss of our liberties every public department is augmenting and from foreign aggression rather than support its difficulties thickening in a most perplexing an adequate standing army, because in past degree. We are opening our eyes to the times those liberties were threatened by a extent to which we have been misgoverned, standing army in the hands of a domestic and we are rapidly raising our conception tyrant, exacting oaths in a court of justice of what Government might or ought to be; as a security for truth long after experience day by day defects are being discovered and and reflection have shewn us that those who abuses are being ferretted out and exposed refuse oaths are the most truthful of all wit- in every ministerial office; and the voice of nesses, and long after our inconsistent liber- the country demands that they shall be reality has extorted from us the permission to medied at once and shall be precluded for every man to swear after his own fashion; the future. We need more and exact more
1 -and committing a host of similar sole- from our public men than at any former cisms, all sheying how entirely we are still period. What means have our public men governed by the ideas and traditions of an of meeting this need and these exactions ? obsolete and inapplicable age. In an era of and what is our immediate prospect of a new requirements and encircled by new con- supply of statesmen adapted to the functions ditions, we are drawing on the arsenals and and equal to the necessities of their posispeaking in the language of the past; and tion ? while young and mighty perils, from hither- Perhaps there has never been a period in to undreamed of quarters, are threatening our recent history where so poor a present the precious commonwealth, we are haunted had the prospect of being succeeded by a by the ghost of some ancestral enemy, or still poorer future. Generally speaking, are gibbetting the carcase and demolishing each of the great parties in the State has the tomb of some old danger that was long been able to muster a sufficient number of ago gathered to its fathers.
men to form a Cabinet capable of underOur present object is to awaken among taking the destinies of the country,men our countrymen some degree, not of uneasi- whose views, indeed, we might deem erroness, indeed, but of perception of our dan-neous, but of whose proved capacity there gers and our requirements, some serious and could be no question. Now, it is probable, anxious inquiry into the difficulties which that if an accident or an epidemic were to we have to meet and into our means of sweep off three or four of our oldest and meeting them. Our foreign and interna- most acknowledged leaders—whose end in tional relations are becoming strangely the natural course of events cannot be far complicated; and the principles which are distant—all parties together could scarcely to guide them in future require to be con- supply the fifteen ministers needed to comsidered and decided, that our due influence plete a cabinet, of individuals whose fitness be not impaired by weakness or vacillation. for such a position has been tried and is adOur relations with our offsets and depend- mitted by the nation. Our list of actual encies are changing and enlarging with the statesmen is alarmingly scanty; our list of potential ones is scantier still. Peel and Wel-, talent and bolder views of the more able lington—the great parliamentary and the Radicals, and to command the allied forces. great military genius of the age-have both He has high rank and aristocratic connexpassed off the stage. After a life of toil, the ions ; he is noted for firm purpose and conone has found rest and the other is hourly ciliating manners; he has shewn first-rate looking forward to it. Who remain to re- ability, both as a diplomatist and an adminplace them? Of the veterans who, by uni-istrator; whatever he has had to do he has versal consent, hold a first rank, there are done well; his views are sound, comprehenonly four-Lord John Russell, Lord Derby, sive, and generous; and he is free from Lord Palmerston, and Sir James Graham. those narrow trammels of connexion and (We need take no account of their contem- tradition which so often cloud the vision, poraries, for Lord Lansdowne, never bril- complicate the measures, and paralyze the liant, but always sensible and moderate, is energy of Lord John Russell. Moreover, now seventy-two years of age, and is weary, though a man of thoroughly broad and statesbroken down, and anxious for immediate manlike capacity, and nothing of a doctrinretirement; Lord Aberdeen amiable and aire, he is known to sympathize more largehonourable, but yielding and inefficient, is ly than any of his class with the opinions now sixty-eight, and may, without disrespect, of the more sober and reflective of the
popbe spoken of in the preterite tense; Mr. Her- ular party; he will be freer than any other ries and Mr. Goulburn both verging on their statesman to act as he deems right, because seventieth
year, were always more or less more exempt than any other from embarso.) But the four above named are all first rassing antecedents; and the skill and courrate men. We may dissent from their pol. age with which he has governed Ireland, icy, we may oppose their measures, we may afford a guarantee of his competency to the dislike their persons, but it is impossible far easier task of governing England. Hapnot to admit their full competency. Lord pily he is still young (52,) and may possiDerby is a gallant and brilliant nobleman ; bly be our pilot for nearly a quarter of a Lord John Russell' is a statesman of tho-century before his powers decay. His rough education and long experience and brother, Charles Villiers, fought the battle chivalric honour; Sir James Graham is un of the Corn-laws side by side with Richard questionably the ablest administrator in Cobden, and he himself was known to symParliament; and Lord Palmerston, beyond pathize largely with the people in that mem. rivalship, the most complete and skilful di-orable contest. plomatist of his time. But these four are all Mr. Gladstone is a man whom everybody of that rank and standing that remain to us; respects, and whom all who know him love. and Lord Derby, the youngest of them, is He has many of the qualities of an English such a martyr to the gout, as almost, if not statesman-wide knowledge, thorough trainquite, to disqualify him for the toils of office. ing, a conservative temper, and singular Far from being always ready for any call, caution. He is, moreover, a man of unhe can never foresée whether he will be able stained and lofty character, gentle and gento go down to the House on any given day, erous feelings, and a most sensitive and or whether he may not, for weeks at a time, elaborate conscientiousness. But the tone be as unfit for business as the first Lord of his mind is delicate and fine rather than Chatham. Lord John Russell, whose health strong; he is inclined to scholastic niceties was never strong, is now sixty years of age; which greatly impair his efficiency in politiSir James Graham the same; and Lord cal life; and though his mental and moral Paimerston is sixty-eight. When these qualities will always make him influential, men fail or disappear, as they soon must, yet his subtle and refining temperament who are they who will step into their places will prevent him from ever becoming a popby right of natural inheritance ?—the young- ular statesman. He may be a valuable ader statesmen of the second rank.
viser and a useful moderator, even perhaps It is in this class that our poverty is most a fair administrator, but scarcely a great apparent. It affords only three men quali- leader, fied by capacity and character for the chief Lord Grey raised great hopes of his fuoffices of State-Lord Clarendon, Lord ture eminence and usefulness so long as he Grey, and Mr. Gladstone. On these men was out of office. 6 Omnium consensu cawe may soon have to place our main reli- pax imperii, nisi imperasset.” Though alance. The first is already marked out by ways deplorably tainted with some of the the general voice as our future Premier. worst faults of the Whig aristocracy—their He, of all men, would be best fitted to narrow sympathies, imperious dogmatism, unite all that remains of vigour and adapta- and cold haughtiness of temper-he was a bility in the old Whig party with the rising laborious and thoughtful politician. His
e do not
views were always worthy of attention, [fested already in his writings comprehensive often original, sometimes bold and compre- views and a masterly logical faculty, and hepsive. He promised to become what seems resolved to devote himself to public England so much wants—a philosophical life. Lord Stanley, though an inferior man reformer. But office—that great test and to his father, and though he has most injutouchstone of genuine capacity-has not diciously and prematurely announced his atonly lowered his reputation, but we fear has tachment to the falling cause of protection, damaged it so effectually as to render him is said to possess very considerable powers, almost unavailable for future service. Not Mr. Frederick Peel is cautious, able, and only has he disappointed all hopes, made in-fond of work, and has avoided his father's numerable enemies, and done nothing well, early fault, ranking himself at once among but all his early defects seem to have been the moderate but advancing liberals. aggravated; and any such improvement as Here ends our list of rising and proxiwill again qualify him to become a leading mate statesmen from all the great parties statesinan can scar
arcely be hoped for from a which have hitherto divided political power man who is too impatient to listen, and too between them, and it must be allowed to be proud to learn,
an alarmingly meagre one.
We It may seem strange that in our survey mean that among the holders, past and of the prospective servants of the country, present, of the subordinate ministerial offiwe should pass over such members of the ces there are not several men of great abililate Cabinet as Sir Francis Baring, Mr. Fox ty, whose capacity to render good service to Maule, Lord Carlisle, and Mr. Labouchere. their country we in no way doubt. Lord But the first has never been esteemed a man Stanley of Alderley is a man of respectable either of much diligence or of great capacity, powers and business habits, and Mr. Wilson and is understood to have a rooted dislike is a politician and administrator of vast into the fatigues and annoyances of office. dustry and no ordinary talent; but the The second is a man of talent and industry, number of such men is not large, and they but has scarcely made his way into the cat- are not leaders, nor perhaps qualified to be egory of statesmen. Lord Carlisle, though so. “But,” it will be asked, " are there in he has been a laborious and most useful Parliament no other men of capacity and minister in his day, and though his genial eminence, who, if not yet finished states manners, genuine, wide, warm benevolence, men, are, at all events, fitted to become and ready popular sympathies, will always such ; who, though hitherto undreamed of make him an ornament and a source of con- for official posts, are yet only excluded by fidence to any Cabinet which he may join, is virtue of their opinions; and who, as the unquestionably not a man of commanding country gradually advances in the career of ability. He is an honour to his station and liberalism, will become the exponents of its his country, but he would be the first to views, and therefore the natural administraconfess his own incapacity for the position tors of its destinies ?"—We think not.* of a leader. Sir George Grey's health is Mere opinions exclude men only for a time: quite broken. Mr. Labouchere is a soft-character and habits of mind exclude them minded, philanthropic, and honourable man for ever. In the first case, their day inevi-one of that class of rich, cultivated, noble tably comes round: in the second, no lapse country gentlemen, of whom England has of years and no change of public sentiments so much reason to be proud; but his talents can float them in to power. Now there are are only moderate, and he has far too little at present five men of great weight, and ambition to allow us to count upon him as value, and prominence in the House of a permanent candidate for office. Two no- Commons, whom no one thinks of with blemen remain, of whom the highest hopes much hope-scarcely even without dreadare entertained by those who know them, as possible ministers. It seems generally and who will probably henceforth take rank felt, and not among aristocratic and official among our leading statesmen—Lord Gran- circles only, that, notwithstanding their unville and Lord Dalhousie. Both are in the doubted ability and vigour, their natural prime of life, and seem endowed with all the needful qualifications; but they can ** This was written before the formation of the scarcely yet be said to have been sufficient present Cabinet, the list of whose members has ly proved for us to predict their future with alter or qualify any of our observations. With the
amazed the world. But we do not feel disposed to any certainty. Of those younger still, exception of Mr. Herries, (who is passé), the only three have already appeared above the hori-known member of that Cabinet in the House of zon, and may become stars in time. All Commons, is Mr. Disraeli, of whom all that can be are men of talent, and of high name and said is, that, as far as he can be judged of by the past
he unites the maximum of parliamentary cleverness connexion. The Duke of Argyll has mani-I with the minimum of statesmanlike capacity.
and permanent place is in the opposition. under the almost insuperable defect of an They either have not the needful endow-incomplete early education. It is not that ments of statesmen, or they have qualities his knowledge is not far greater, and his and defects which neutralize and overpower comprehension of social questions often far these endowments. Mr. Disraeli is the ap- juster, than those of many men who are parent leader of a party, is undoubtedly its useful and even eminent in official life; but spokesman, and is by far the most brilliant he wants that indescribable enlargement and and formidable rhetorician in the House. refinement of intellect, the faculty for unHis prominence there, if backed by the derstanding other minds, and appreciating suitable qualities, would indubitably make hidden wants and sympathies, which is inhim a Cabinet minister and Secretary of dispensable to those who would aspire to State if ever the Tories, or their ghosts, the govern a nation of cultivated men, and Protectionists, came into power. The which an early acquaintance with the more House always fills to hear him speak; and elegant and profound branches of learning the fierce and polished sarcasms which he can alone confer. A man who could say launches on his opponents are the nightly that a copy of “ The Times” contained more delight of his associates. Yet no one ever wisdom and sound information than the dreams of him as a leading minister. The whole of Thucydides, even were it but in a country would not endure his appointment hasty explosion of spleen, must be wanting to any important post, and his undeniable in some of the most essential endowments Parliamentary claim to such is well known and sensibilities of a true statesman.—Sir to be a source of serious embarrassment to William Molesworth and Mr. Roebuck are his party. He is felt by all parties to be a not open to this objection: they are both mere adventurer,-a man without fixed men of finished training as well as of popuprinciples or deliberate and sincere public lar sympathies, and perfectly capable of aims,-a man to whom political life is a comprehending the acquirements of a coungame to be played (as respectably as may try like ours, and of taking wide and ample be) for his own advancement. Neither his views of the science of policy. But Sir character nor his abilities give him any William is rich and lazy-social rather than weight with any class or party. Moreover, ambitious; and though commanding the he is universally admitted to be destitute confidence of the people, would, we suspect, both of the statesmanlike capacity, the prefer being "proximate" to being actual
. statesmanlike knowledge, and the states-minister.—Mr. Roebuck's valuable qualities manlike sobriety and solidity of mind and are sadly clouded by certain constitutional morals. He belongs, not to the bees, but defects. He is bold, honest, and courageous to the wasps and the butterflies of public as few men are : but he is too apt to imaglife. He can sting and sparkle, but he can- ine that he has an absolute monopoly of not work. His place in the arena is marked these great gifts. He speaks truth both to and ticketed for ever.-Mr. Bright is a man constituents and to colleagues with an unof very vigorous though rough ability, his flinching conscientiousness that is too seldiligence is very meritorious, and he is grad. dom seen, but he takes care to put this ually gaining the ear of the House ; but his truth in its most unpalatable and irritating education is imperfect, his views parrow, his form. He is far less extreme in his opintone low, dogmatic, and somewhat vulgar; ions than in his manner of stating them ; he has nothing of the statesman about him, and if he had added the suaviter in modo to and we do not imagine that he can ever the fortiter in re, he could scarcely fail to soar above the position of a “Tribune of have been by this time far advanced on his the People.” No one looks to him for a way to high office. As it is, it seems to be moment as a future minister.—Mr. Cobden's generally admitted, even by those who think mind is of a far higher order, his views more him one of the most talented politicians of comprehensive, and his whole being and or the day and we confess ourselves to be of ganization cast in a far finer mould; but his this number—that his temper utterly preopinions and his language are too often ex- cludes him from entering any ministry ; treme, and he has the great misfortune of since it is a temper which not only makes being linked with a party altogether inferior him unnecessarily and often unintentionally to, and unworthy of himself; and it is to be offensive to those with whom he comes in feared that
contact, but colours his whole views of men “ He will lower to their level day by day,
and things. He is a sort of radical Lord What is fine within him growing coarse, to Grey; and it would, wo imagine, be even sympathize with clay."
less difficult to find a cabinet that would act
with him, than a cabinet with which he Morcover, he also, like Mr. Bright, labours I would not consider it derogatory to act.
Let us now sum up the strength of our con; of profound, systematic, thoroughavailable and regular ministerial army, rank going policy, like Strafford; of commanding and file, on which the country will have to and predominating genius, like Chatham; rely when the four worn and veteran states- of imperious and overbearing resolve, like men whom we first named have retired or Pitt; or of haughty and unbending will, died. We have three cabinets to provide like the Duke of Wellington,—we perhaps for—Tory, Liberal, and Medium. For the do not need now. Their age is past. They first we have literally no one : for the sec- would find no fitting scope, and no decorous ond we have Lords Clarendon, Granville, place in our democratic and balanced constiand Carlisle; with Mr. Fox Maule, Mr. tution. Much of their superiority would be Wilson, and Mr. Frederick Peel: for the thrown away, and much of their power third we have Lord Dalhousie, Mr. Glad- would be wasted in fruitless contest with stone, and Mr. Cardwell among the tried the municipal and self-ruling element in our men; Mr. Sidney Herbert, the Duke of national character. Nor do we need as we Newcastle, the Duke of Argyll, and possibly once did—and valuable as such would still Lord Stanley among the prospective ones.be-statesmen endowed with the special and The coalition of the whole set-proved men glorious gift of legislative genius, -men who and hopeful men—could scarcely form one possess a penetrating and unerring insight complete and competent ministry among into the character of the people, a thorough them: and such a coalition we have not knowledge of their wants, and that peculiar seen since the time of Pelham, and cannot organizing and arranging faculty, which can look for in these more earnest and conscien- adapt laws and decrees to these two guiding tious days. When Lord Derby has fallen conditions. The nation has now so many a victim to the gout, Lord John Russell to ways of explaining its own character, and feeble health, Lord Palmerston and Sir proclaiming its own wants, that no one who James Graham to the course of natural can read and listen needs to misunderstand decay; when Sir George Grey has sunk them, or remain ignorant of them; while at
} under combined illness and toil, and Sir the same time it abounds in men of quick Francis Baring and Mr. Labouchere have observation and of deep thought, whose yielded to their wish for ease and peace- united action in speech and writing even all of which events must happen soon, and more than supplies the place, which, in less may happen to-morrow—we shall have to free or less developed countries, is filled by construct a ministry fit to govern and to individual statesmen of paramount and comguide our great empire out of the scanty manding power. With us a hundred sensimaterials we have enumerated. We must ble and reflective men combine to do the have a Premier, a Chancellor of the Exche- work of one great man. Through the quer, three Secretaries of State, a First Lord mighty, pervading, unresting engine of the of the Admiralty, a Secretary or Lord Lieu- press, they instruct, persuade, inoculate, and tenant for Ireland, and a President of the guide the people, as formerly and elsewhere Board of Trade-eight in all, who must be a Clarendon, a Burleigh, a De Witt, a Hardmen of superior and tried capacity and char-enberg, or a Washington, might have done. acter, besides nine others of respectable abil. More and more the policy of Britain is ity; and we have, taking all parties toge- directed, its opinions formed, the tone of ther, only six adequate for chiefs, and about the national mind decided, its tendencies seven for secondary parts. Truls, our polit- developed, its legislation modified, amended, ical
army is in lamentable want of recruits. and matured, by its writers rather than by To some parties, however, this state of its formal and official politicians. In mataffairs presents no cause for uneasiness. ters of legislation, the unrecognised are often "In a country and an age so enlightened, far more influential than the recognised statesso free, so self-governing as ours, we do men of the day. In books and pamphlets, not,” they say, “need statesmen of lofty in newspapers and reviews, on a hundred and surpassing genius to rule us. We can noisy platforms, and in a thousand silent dispense with great men."" There is some studies, the great national work is carried truth in this view; but it is partial and on; and carried on, in all likelihood, with a superficial truth. We can dispense with far greater aggregate of national benefit, if great men better than most nations, but we with less rapid and exact attainment of the cannot dispense with them altogether, nor immediate end, than if it were entrusted to without mischief and without danger. Or a single statesman, towering far above the rather, we can dispense with the kind of mass. Even in parliament, it is probable greatness which we do not require, but not that sounder views are elicited, and more with that kind which we do require. Min. ultimate good effected by the crude and isters of vast philosophic capacity, like Ba- wild discussions and the bewildering and