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the other must be uppermost. But, putting aside Ireland for the present, I pledge my character as a prophet, (and as yet I have had a lucky knack of guessing events,) that there is an Ireland far away that will supply us with controversies as fierce as those on the Appropriation Clause and the Municipal Bill. Early next session will come before Parliament the New Constitution of the Canadas! He knows little of Lord Durham, who cannot guess what that constitution will be;-he must have been a dull observer of Tory tactics, who cannot forebode what Tory hostilities that proposed constitution will provoke! There is another and a yet larger question, which I could wish to see the Ministry take up,-which, indeed, they are more than half inclined to take up,-the Question of National Education. It is said, by many, that this is too abstract a proposition for party zeal,-that the public are not ripe for it,that the difficulties are so numerous and complicated, that a government could not deal with them unless the people were at its back. These reasonings are erroneous. The question of education itself is abstract enough; but it is the question of religion, mixed up with education, which will render it a practical theme of party and passion. That religion must be united with instruction, every man who knows the English character must be convinced. The plan advocated by Lord Brougham and certain philosophers, of alluring all sects into schools, by banishing what all sects deem the most essential elements of knowledge, has memorably failed. To found schools on such a plan, would be to sow the land with sinecures. Religion must be taught; and thence arise all the struggles between the High Church and the Reformers which evince the real differences between contending parties. For if religion be taught at all, you must either confine all tuition of its doctrines to the Establishment, or you must show, as in Prussia, equal favour to each persuasion. The state, which supports one church in religious emoluments, must support all sects in religious instruction. Now it is one thing to give Dissenters permission to worship according to their conscience, and another thing to found schools and furnish funds for teaching children the principles of Dissent. It is this VOL. II.-9

distinction which the Tories will insist on; and in this distinction would arise feuds far deeper and more irascible than the public are yet aware of. So far, this question contains all the desired elements of party strife; I say "desired," for in this country no question is worth much to a party, if all parties are agreed on it! But we are told that the people are not yet ripe for such an appeal to its intellect. The people, I confess, (it is a strange fact, but a true,) seem rarely ripe for any thing, till the Government take it up; they are not ripe for it while the question lies in the able hands of Mr. Wyse; but they will talk of nothing else, the moment it finds its way into a bill introduced by Lord John Russell, and opposed by Sir Robert Peel. In fact, I am persuaded that the ministers could not invent a more advantageous party question, than a wise and large system of National Education would become; there is something in its very vastness, and its very daring, that would arouse and dazzle the public mind; it is the noblest, and most popular ground upon which to meet those powerful enemies who contrive to turn the very leads and gutters of the Church into batteries against political improvement; it is a measure that would reconcile the Dissenters with the Government, and all moderate Churchmen with the Dissenters; it is the question of all others most cherished and beloved by the intelligent leaders of the Working Classes, now deeply discontented; it affords hopes which the population would strain every nerve to realize; and the very opposition on the subject (which opposition is, in fact, what is really meant by " the difficulties,") would give warmth and zeal to the support. A wise party politician, it is true, will avoid exciting more than he can help the anger of the Church in this country; but here the vast national importance of the subject would rally round it a force of opinion against which no intolerance could prevail. The Church could not have had more advantageous ground than the Irish Appropriation Clause, nor be placed more hors de combat than in its resistance to the instruction of the nation. I have insisted the more on this question, because I think we are arrived just at that stage in opinion when a government, in taking

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it up, will appear just sufficient in advance of the day to be the leaders of an enlightened movement, without being so far ahead as to seem generals without troops.

But to return to the chances of Coalition. I have said enough, I think, to show you that all suspicions of such an event are unreasonable and unfounded. In addition to the arguments I have adduced, you will also take into consideration all the hereditary prejudices of party-all the bitter recollections of galling warfare-all the jealousies of individual emulation-all the pride of party ambition-all the dread of popular construction or misconstruction of the motives that could lead to a union so equivocal all the loss of friendship and confidence in those who could not be interwoven in the patchworkall the difficulties of explanation to constituencies ;-consider all this, and you will not in future pay much regard to those who, in shaping impossible junctions on the finest-spun plausibilities, appear like the young lady in Lilliput, to be threading an invisible needle with invisible thread.

But though, while this or any other government, containing the name and marrow of the Whig party, exists, there can be no junction with the Tories,-there may occur circumstances in which, to a partial degree, languid opposition may produce the same effects as an open league. This will not be the case while Lord Melbourne's ministry exists and while the Tories remain in the Wilderness in sight of the Promised Land. The position must be reversed before factions will become more mild. We must suppose the Whigs falling, rather than driven, out of office, either by a cold relinquishment of popular favour, or by an unmerited and systematic opposition of the Radicals; the first, their own fault, the last, that of their present supporters. We must suppose a new election favourable to Sir Robert Peel-the Whigs despairing of immediate return to power incensed with the Radicals-smoothed over and conciliated by the blandishing appeals of the new minister;-then, indeed, some would decline all "factious opposition" to the Queen's Government: some would insensibly yield to the magnetic influence of official gravitation; others might act in detached

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sects and coteries, and decline that general union without which oppositions are impotent. In the Lords, especially, the Liberals would lose ground considerably. Lord Melbourne himself might justly and generously plead gratitude to the Queen for the signal favour shown to his own experiments for governing the country, as a reason for not embarrassing Her Majesty by fruitless and vehement opposition to the only ministry she might be enabled to form. Most of his colleagues in the Lords might take similar views. Their loss in the Upper Chamber could not be replaced. There would cease to be the elements for forming a new Cabinet; and without the hope of victory, there is rarely much practical vigour in the campaigns of an opposition..

On the other hand, if the Radicals, whether justly or unjustly, were dissatisfied with the Whigs, many of the Radicals themselves, while retaining popular favour by advocating individual popular measures, might refuse to lend themselves to those wire-drawn and shadowy questions which are, in fact, the usual transits from opposition to office. The fate of the Appropriation Clause would always afford a plausible pretext for refusing to ferry over the Rubicon, men who, on a former occasion, not only gave nothing to the rowers-but made firewood of the boat. In fact, an opposition such as I have pictured, would soon be characterized by the violence of its speeches and the smallness of its minorities, the Radicals have a knack that way! Such a fate to the Liberal party appears to me the worst that could happen; and to prevent this fate ought to be the object of every man who honestly desires to continue the grand experiment of working out the Reform Bill through the agency of its first framers, and who wishes, that if the Government be changed, the change should operate, as it now gradually and progressively does, by incorporating the more liberal, and not the more intolerant party. Anxious for this object, the bulk of the Independent Reformers, whether of the House of Commons, or of the Periodical Press, have endeavoured, I think, with singular wisdom, to work out a double policy: first, to keep themselves clear from any unpopular errors committed by the minis

terial party, and to urge upon Government, with honest but temperate firmness, those measures which they deem desirable, and with which they identify their own political faith; secondly, to refrain from giving to the Tories, by any indiscretion of their own, the power of overthrowing the ministers;-so that if the Whigs should fall, (of which, so long as this Parliament lasts, I confess, however, I see no fear,) there may be no pretext for accusing the Radicals of their overthrow, and the whole Liberal Party may carry into opposition the energy and vigour of a united body. The great object of the Whigs should be to retain and augment favour of the people: it ought to be an equal object to the people not to throw away any support or dignity they receive from the aristocracy.

I know very well that some honest and sincere, but inconsiderate, men amongst us, the men of first principles,-who draw maps of reform in the closet, and wonder that it takes us longer to walk to Highgate in practice, than it takes them to cross the Alps upon paper;-I know that many of these politicians believe that it would be better for the popular cause not to have a patrician in its favour. "These Whigs,—these aristocrats," say they, "must be our enemies. Let us act without them." But Lord Bacon, rich in the experience of mankind, tells us truly, that no great movement of the people has ever been successful, unless a portion of the aristocracy were at its head. And this, indeed, has ever made the distinction between Riot and Reform. Lord Bacon, when he uttered that truth, was not thinking of examples in England alone. Those mighty storehouses of all social and legislative experiments, the Republics of Italy and Greece, furnished abundant facts for his inductions. Since his time we have augmented our experience. Parliamentary Reform was the child of the people, but it was well nigh starved to death, till it was put out to nurse with a large section of the aristocracy. Great national measures undergo an almost invariable process from the first germ to the final harvest. The primary ideas from which they expand are conceived and put forth by philosophers, they pass from philosophy into literature, become developed by discussion,-

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