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the case before us; at least, in several of the late volumes of our critic there has certainly been a great preponderancy of evil.
On subjects relating to government, the prevailing language of the Critical Review now is of the most mischievous tendency. All persons, who credit the statements of these reviewers, must believe, that our liberty is abridged, our property wasted, our honour sacrificed, our lives sported with ; and that all our public affairs are conducted in nearly the very worst manner possible. In considering what the British Constitution “ actually is in its present living form and vital operations,” such, these distributors of “ impartial justice,” say, " are the exorbitant patronage of the crown, and the defective representation of the people," that “corruption" has been suffered to proceed to a most alarning height, and “ to stalk abroad with an unblushing front :” that “the malignant gangrene has eaten its way into the very bosom of the legislature :” that this " prodigality of influence has no other object than to corrupt the virtuous principle of the country :" that it “ does not reward the old and laborious servants of the people, but the profligate and unprincipled of every age and description, who are willing to truckle their patriotism for gold, and sell their conscience for a job:" that the possession of such a patronage is “a disgrace and humiliation to the
possessor of the crown:" that “in the present state of the country, almost every act of the government is made a job,... an infamous burter of moral principle for the wages of sin that in opposition to all this, a good government rules by love;" that " the affections of the people are the only force which it needs;" and that to maintain the contrary is to confess “ that the government itself is rotten at the core :” that from what we see take place in procuring a "seat in parliament,” nothing is left for us to suppose, but that a man's vote in that house is a saleable commodity, and that his
poz litical conscience
be trafficked, like a bale of goods, for a certain quantity of patronage, or a certain sum of gold;" &c. &c. (Vol. 11, P. 411-414.)
It is added, that “no man who directly contributes to the payment of taxes," should be left " without a vote in the choice of his representative:” that “to deprive any part of the property of the country, paying taxes, of the right of suffrage and the privilege of representation, is to do the grossest injustice to the possessors;" to inflict on them « the badge of servitude, and to hold over their heads the scourge of oppression;" and that “ the money which is taken out of their pockets,” in the form of taxes, is "the forced offering of slaves ;" that “ to expose any particular part of the community to political disabilities and disadvantages merely on account of their religious creed or their speculative tenets, is to be guilty of high treason against God; ... and is as impolitic and absurd as it would be to enact that no man should be either barber, tailor, or shoemaker, who disbelieved in the existence of the antipodes.” (Ibid, and Vol. 12, P. 214.)
The readers of this Review are further informed, not only that our cabinets have " no rational and just principles in the selection and appointment of ministers, generals, and civil or military agents;" and that " the influence of private and party views” outweighs all
considerations of merit; but, that “ IMBECILITY, VICE, AND FOLLY,
Nor must we suppose that our governors have not betrayed, at once, weakness and wickedness the most extraordinary on other important occasions.
“ No dog,” the Critical Reviewers say, experienced from the most savage master, such a complication of cruelties as the Irish, in different periods of their history, have suffered from the English government. And these cruelties have often been accompanied with the breach of the most solemn contracts, and with every violation of truth, of justice, and of mercy, which has been at any time practised by those who most despise the sympathies of humanity, and the rules of moral obligation." (Vol. 12, p. 174.) So, speaking of the pernicious effects of a distillery and its productions, which are a prolific source of revenue, these critics say:
“ The life of man, in the calculations of politicians, is thought of little moment when compared with the gratificutions of avarice or ambition." And, lest their readers should suppose, that in any case our government is influenced by motives of kindness and hunanity toward its subjects, it is added: “ Perhaps if the small por had in a similar degree been an object of taxation, the philantrophy of the treasury would rather have rewarded Dr. Jenner for suppressing, than diculging his discovery.” (Vol. 12, P. 86; 14, p. 212.)--The war in which we have been so long and painfully involved, is represented as the result of ambition, avarice, selfishness, and the lust of tyranny; and as bighly unjust and unchristian. All persons who do not join the cry of Pence! Peace !” are
- the advocates of the war-faction," and “vultures who fatten on the carrion of war.” Peace, under any circunstances, they tell us, “can hardly be so disastrous as war;” because, in any case,
it is "the cessation of slaughter and a sabbath from the shedding of blood.” But,
"we know, it is repeated, " that the lives of men are reckoned for little or nothing in the calculations of our mercenary politicians.” Were it not for "the folly and wickedness of our ministers, a peace, it is insinuated, might be inade with Buonaparte “likely to be more permanent than any peace we ever made with any of the Capetian kings." But, it is added, "we have never yet fairly tried whether he be willing to remain «t peuce. WE DO NOT YET Know whether his anomalous constitution do not unite the military urdour of Alerunder with the PACIFIC PROPENSITIES of AUGUSTUS!!” (Vol. 12, p. 541-546.) ----The “income tax;"' they say, " is the opprobrium of English finance;” that "no man pretending to a regard for civil liberty, or to a shadow of independence in the choice of parliamentary representatives, can avoid EXECRATING THE AUTHORS AND A BETTORS OF THIS TAX:” that “the additions latély made to it by its extention to small incomes, are the WANTON CRUELTIES OF INEXPERIENCED IGNORANCE," and
66 WRING EQUITABLE AND COMPASSIONATE HEART.” (Vol. 8, P. 4:30.)
In “ the present pensioned-list of men who are appointed to direct the helm of the state in this stormy period, we are apt,' say these critics, “to think that we see, what we had never before observed, the abstract qualities of selfishness, fatuity, and ignorance, personified!” (Vol. 11, p. 439.) These men, we are informed, krushing forth from their entrenched camp of sophistry, venality, and corruption," "completely outwitted” the late ministers, and obtained their post by “ machinations more sinister and nojurious ihan those which hags are said to practise on the coast of Lapland." These monsters, since they came into office, have devised and prosecuted measures of “ cruelty and injustice, which were yet exceeded in the annuls of iniquity:” measures which were not only in other respects most impolitic and absurd, but which bave reduced us to the “ extremity of disgrace," "completed the alienation of neutrals, ercited the indignation of friends as well as foes,” and rendered our country
THE SCORN, THE HATRED, AND THE BYE
They are “sordid, purblind, penny-wise and pound-foolish politicians; " "sworn enemies” of all improvement, and utterly incapable of it themselves. 6. To endeavour to make them either wiser or better by instruction or reproof, is,” we are told, “ like an attempt to communicate sight and feeling to stocks and stones.” &c. &c. (Vol. 11, P. 295, 115, 12, P. 174, 510; 13, P. 191, 213; 14, P. 42.) Such is this honest critic's miethod of speaking of an administration in which a Canning and a Perceval, an Eldon and a Mulgrave, occupy exalted stations! an administration who in the leading principles of their procedure tread in the
steps of the illustrious Pitt; and whose zeal to do their utmost for us has only been equalled by their rigid adherence to what is honourable, and their laudable readiness to afford assistance to every other nation struggling in support of its independency: an administration voluntarily selected by our most upright and patriotic“ king, åt that dignified moment of his reign, when, under circumstances the most critical, his virtue and intrepidity remained inflexible, although assailed by those who had been forced upon
OF THE WORLD.
him as his advisers: an administration who, in conjunction with this best of sovereigns, are our only, bulwark against the demolition of our venerable church, and the rekindling of the flames of Smithfield.
Let not the reader, however, suppose, that equally outrageous abuse has not been lavsihed upon every other administration which passes under the review of these journalists. That prodigy of talents and disinterested patriotism, the illustrious Pitt, with his associates in office, are honoured with their full share of it. They
“miserable junto, who had acted with him in his last most inglorious and unfortunate administration." His counsels were « mischievous;" his measures “ have dissolved the ancient constitutions of Europe." Under his infatuated domination ridiculous system of forming coalitions against France" commenced; our taxation became oppressive; our rights were perverted; the war was continued to gratify those who “ bellowed for loans and contracts;” and Britain left' " hovering on the edge of an abyss;” on the very verge of irremediable ruin : &c. &c. (Vol. 8, p. 177—191; 11, P. 294; and above.)
Nor, if we may credit these reviewers, were the ministers who succeeded Mr. Pitt in the smallest degree better, but in many respects most grievously worse. No, Sir, those ministers of whom we now hear such exalted panegyrics, whose general conduct" these critics have now the impudence to say had their “warmest approbation,"; and whose immediate recal to their stations they now represent as the only possible chance for the salvation of our country; (Vol. 14, p. 36.; 11, p. 439.) - these very ministers were, in 1806, when actually in office, as vehemently abused by them, as ever Mr. Pitt had been, or as it is possible for any
ministers of his majesty whatever to be. Mr. Pitt, their remarks then were, “ has been succeeded by a motley body, whose oratorical virtues have been melting down from the first moment of their approach to St. James's,” On the appearance of the work which was recognised as "the manifesto of the new administration,” the people, we are told, “ crowded to view the errors and evils from which, they hoped, they were immediately to be delivered. But weeks and months glided away, and not the slightest symptom
of alteration appeared; nay, the public discovered that is changing men they had little hope of materially changing measures; that in the movements towards foreign negotiations; in measures to produce internal union; in the system of taxation; and in the disposal of places and appointnients; though the name of the lale minister was traduced, his spirit still influenced and ruled the country: and the pamphlet was then generally considered a apology for doing nothing.' “ Instead of treading back the steps of the former minister," in regard to the propositions of Buonaparte, Mr. Fox, it was said, “ adopted his plan and his language;" that “ he imitated the conduct of Mr. Pitt in a proceeding which he had bitierly reprobated;” and that in proportion as the peril of vux situation had increased, the error of Mr. For respecting Prussia was « enhanced beyond that of the former minister respecting Spain." Nothing," it was added, " could be more erroneous
» than the
ONLY THE FAILINGS OF HIS
expectations of the people from these men, "and the nomination of the new ministry proves to be a nomination of new persons only." These successors of the late ministers were said to be “the advocates of similar errors, and the puppets of similar machinery.” Speaking of “their conduct to foreign nations, in domestic arrangements, and in those which regard the colonies,” which must include all important measures, it is said, that “in most of these circumstances they followed implicitly the steps of their predecessors,
. with the additional absurdity of appealing to European powers buttoned up in the pockets of Buonaparte." They are charged also with "adding to, instead of wiihdrawing, the burdens and oppressions” of the people; and with "commitling the adjustment of these galling evila to ú young and inexperienced minister, who adopts
PREDECESSOR." (Vol. 8, P. 178 — 186.)
Now, when these gentlemen are again bawling in opposition to government, our critic speaks much of their rise and salutary measures ;” and reflects with unbounded complacency on " that liberal, enlightened, and comprehensive scheme of foreign as well as domestic policy which they had determined to pursue;
I2010 he tragically bemoans their dismissal from those places of power, " from which," he tells us, “it is not probable that they would have been dismissed, if (angelic creatures, who would have supposed it!) they had been less disinterested, less upright, and less Now, in short, these dismissed ministers possess
"all the talents," and all the virtue, and are the last hope of the empire. (Vol.11, P. 325, 439; 14, P. 42.) – When they were in office, his account of them, it appears, was the very reverse of this.
His language respecting thein then was: “ Whatever self-adulation may allege. whatever the flattering flippancy of their newspapers may affiru; their efforts, their measures, and their actions prove them INCOMFETENT, when brought to the lofty and gigantic standard of the Tuilleries."
Nay, then he had the assurance to tell us, that this very ministry did not possess the wery elements of political science.” Then he laments, that “while a weak premier is lavishing expense on the decoration of palaces to which he knows not who pay shortly succeed: while a *** is rummaging the three kingdoms for the smallest circumstances of patronage or power; the ministers for foreign affairs, on each side the water, are playing the parts of the spider and the fly:" and insinuates, that no nieabs are einployed for our salvation, « beyond the sonorous orations of the minister for foreign affairs, the buffoonery of a dramatic minager," or “the puns of the war minister;” beyond “shameless self-udulution, consisting principally of Irish gascovade.” Then is their .. whole system of procedure scoiled at as infinitely absurd; and they are represented as “ trusting their domestic safety to catamarans," "combining the wonderful effects of discipline and iudiscipline against troops covered with șcars and intoxicated with trophies; showing " Buonaparte the different consequences of contending with a military orator and military pedant, and with a Sydney Smith; "affecting, by a tawdry species of oratory, to make heroes of shop