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a military government; and the despotism of a successful soldier is a lighter burden than the despotism of the multitude. Resistance, therefore, even to the uttermost, to such claims as these, may be contemplated without misgiving as to the result; for it may, and probably will succeed, and at the worst, its failure will be no worse than yielding. It is true that disunion or incapacity may ruin the fairest cause, and the fickleness of the fortune of war must never be left out of calculation. But defeat can only lead to submission at last; and there is no reason that the educated classes should place the heel of the multitude upon their necks, because their subjugation may in a possible but remote contingency be the result of an unsuccessful struggle.
But such an extreme decision is not likely to be required by events. It is scarcely probable that any earnest or united demand will be made by the working-classes for such a submission. It is only under the influence of transient fits of passion that the folly of demagogues is adopted by large masses of men,-least of all when those masses are composed of elements so practical as the English workman. He is not likely to turn away from pressing duties and solid gains to chase the phantom of so-called "enfranchisement.' The thirty-thousandth part in the choice of a Member of Parliament is not in itself a prize to kindle a warm enthusiasm. The results of a class victory in the Legislature might of course bring with it some material advantages. Taxes, that press now with partial weight upon the poor, might be piled exclusively on the shoulders of the rich. Public expenditure, which is now restricted to an exact correspondence with public necessities, might, when fed from the purses of the rich, be largely stimulated for the sustentation of the poor. The rights of property, even, might receive a new interpretation according to the rules of that political economy which prevails in the councils of the Trades Unions. These are the material spoils which might tempt the working-class to a contest for supremacy. But they could only be the reward of a long and doubtful struggle. However confidently the hope might be entertained that the class would win, it must be at a frightful cost of individual suffering. Social convulsions may dethrone the sovereign or humble the magnate ; but they are certain to starve the workman. And the reason of the working-classes themselves will convince them that only through a social convulsion can they set up a system of government which would place every other class in the nation under their feet.
The chances of victory are scarcely tempting enough to nerve them to such an enterprise as this. It would hardly have been a possibility worthy of mention, if the menace of it had not been
for many years past one of the favourite weapons of democratic agitation. But there is another alternative, which is less unpleasant to contemplate, and of which the probability is less remote. No one who regarded the true interests of the working men would counsel them to spend much of their energy in the pursuit of political privileges, which their numbers and their toilsome life render them almost incapable of exercising for the general welfare. But it is not impossible that they may learn to seek, as a point of honour, the concession of rights, to the real enjoyment of which they will be indifferent. They may not ask for supremacy. They will probably be shrewd enough to see that it can never be extorted, save by a convulsion less disastrous to their antagonists than to themselves. But they may ask for a share of political power proportioned to the share which their labour gives them in the country's wealth. Such a claim, if it be advanced, must be met in a very different tone from that which has been justly used to repel the intolerable claim of supremacy. It is probably in view of some such contingency that the Conservatives have always abstained from meeting any of the bills for the extension of the suffrage with a direct negative. To have done so might have countenanced the impression that they held to the Whig Reform Bill of 1832 as to a sacred charter, and that they had pledged themselves beforehand against all reconstructions of the representation which should include the working-class. Such an impression would have been no true rendering of their principles. Their doctrines are not adverse to the claims of any particular class, except when that class is aiming to domineer over the rest. And, therefore, there is nothing inconsistent with their principles in any system of representation, however wide its scope may be, so long as it does not ignore the differences of property which exist in this country, and maintains, with an even hand, the balance of power among the various classes of which the nation is made
up It would no doubt be a fortunate event, if any political coniuncture should enable us to escape without danger from the combination of pedantic uniformity and obtrusive anomalies which marked the legislation of 1832. For there is a very genuine and formidable objection to anomalies—not on account of the harm which they do, but on account of the disrepute in which they are often held. The evil with which they may be taxed is not objective but subjective. If the intellectual training of our age had not produced an unreasoning passion for symmetry, this generation might be content to look upon anomalies which practically worked well with as much equanimity as the shrewder but less philosophic generations that went before it. But there
is no question that that craving for logical accuracy and squareness, to which the French have been slaves for a century past, has become a powerful political factor among ourselves. Its influence varies at various times. Just now theories of all kinds are at a heavy discount, and few people believe much in any political science, except the rule of thumb. But there are still a faithful few who, if they could secure an audience, would still be philosophic politicians. Fifteen years ago such men were all but supreme. The fashion has changed and may change again. Practice and theory succeed each other among us by ebb and flow. A few years of successful practice breeds a whole crop of theories; and the failure of a few theories, here or elsewhere, brings the reign of humble experimental politics back again. The age of political symmetry may come upon us before we know it. Some obscure cause determines the intellect of the country for a period to this disease. It rages for a time with the fury of an epidemic, and does not spare the soundest brains. Hard-headed Englishmen seem for the time as if they were metamorphosed into German Professors. Even the oldest statesmen seem bitten with the fancy of grinding out Constitutions upon the calculating machine ; and the Universities pour upon us troops of rising statesmen, all armed to the teeth with formula for the logical government of mankind. The coincidence of such a malady with a period of popular excitement constitutes a danger to the constitution which it is difficult to overrate. It furnishes to the multitude precisely that auxiliary contingent from among the educated class which is necessary to their success.
Such a combination never can last long, for the causes are transitory which furnish both its constituent parts—the popular frenzy on the one side, and the scholastic Utopianism on the other. But while it lasts, the defences of the Constitution are exposed to a terrible strain. At such a time of trial it is of enormous importance to have made good any weak points at which the syllogisms or the ridicule of the theoretic politician could be directed with success. The removal of anomalies, therefore, if opportunity offers, is no ideal gain, though the actual improvement it may effect in the working of the Constitution may be imperceptible.
The occasion, however, for entertaining considerations of this kind has hardly arisen yet. There is nothing in the present attitude of the public mind to encourage any attempt at the adjustment of the Reform question upon principles which could be accepted as equitable by Conservatives. For the present our energies must be concentrated upon the defence of the Constitution from more immediate danger. Democracy, whether im
ported in bulk by Mr. Bright from America, or plausibly smuggled in in small packets by Mr. Baines, has not ceased to be formidable because its favour has happily declined. So long as a party not contemptible in its numbers, and powerful in its activity, is seeking, under cover of the cry for Reform, to give to the Trades Unions the election of the majority of the House of Commons, so long every minor care for subordinate improvements in the Constitution must be merged in the one anxiety to deliver our free country from this most odious despotism.
NotE to No. 233, P.
In our notice of Lord Derby's translation of the “Iliad' we took exception to B. 8, v. 100—
• The other steeds in dire confusion threw;' because we supposed the translator to imply that Nestor's was a fourhorsed chariot, a thing foreign to the 'Iliad :' while we were ourselves under the impression that there were only two horses in the chariot. We have subsequently learnt from some observations of Lord Derby's upon the passage that he understood it to mean that the wounded horse was one of three. We think that his Lordship has established his position most conclusively, both from the subsequent account in this book, and from a very similar passage in B. 16, v. 470; thus not only fully vindicating his translation of the verse in question, but also affording fresh proof of the accuracy and unwearied diligence of his researches.
HUNDRED AND SEVENTEENTH VOLUME OF THE QUARTERLY REVIEW.
Bees and Wasps, Aristotle on, 47.
Bible, origin and object of its division
Blake (William), wildness and origin-
and Leonilla, with various transla- ing his style, 2-psychological pecu-
liarities, 4-contrasted with Fuseli,
land, 263 – English advocates of imagiuative power of his woodcuts,
Confederates, Federals, Democracy.) Turner's, 13—enthusiasm for country
contains the cream of the Martialian 17--character as an artist, ib.-his
charges against Stothard and Flaxman
tions to the present, 469—composition Job, 19-ascribed his designs to direct
of the old Court of Delegates, ib. supernatural vision, 20-illustrations
of the Inferno, 21-curious writings
of, 33—the father of natural history, * Pilgrims,' 24-specimen of his illus-
statecraft of Murad Beg, ib.—flogging
murders of Englishmen, 485—Bok-
harian pilgrims in Constantinople,
in, 477–belief that the Frank travel- Bourue's (V.) Latin epigrams, 240.
Caxtonian novels, 368-Austin Cax-