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Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 5/Representative men - Progressive statesmen: Canning, Huskisson, Peel

< Once a Week (magazine)‎ | Series 1‎ | Volume 5

Progressive Statesmen.
canning: huskisson: peel.


It is a curious thing at this time of day to have one's memory directed back to the period when we were struggling with confused ideas about what sort of men should govern us. Very confused our ideas were as to the proper quality of Ministers of State. From school lessons on history we brought notions of the peril of rule by the minions of Courts, of whom old-fashioned histories have so much to tell. We thought nothing could be so dangerous as a low-born favourite, undertaking all sorts of political offices, and setting his poor relations to govern the people. Then, again, we read and heard a good deal of the evil of aristocratic assumption in the sphere of political action. Great old families, or great families who were not old, or venerable in their origin, had a way which should be well watched of taking for granted that they were to govern the country, without any question of their fitness to do so. The time was just coming in when some new question occasionally arose which aristocratic statesmen were ignorant of, and which might apparently have been better managed by some clever and well-informed middle-class man who understood it in its true bearings; and then we asked one another why we never had that sort of minister. Those were the days when Lord Eldon would boast in the same hour that England was a country in which "every man"—not merely any but every man—might raise himself from the lowest origin to the highest offices in the State—avowing himself a proof of the fact—and yet that the British Constitution was the best in the world because it kept out low people from meddling with State affairs, and gave all substantial power to the élite of the nation. The confusion in Lord Eldon's mind was a type of that in the general mind. I have known the most opposite moods and views held on successive days by the same persons at that period. A reformer whom Lord Eldon would have called revolutionary for a speech about Old Sarum, might be heard grumbling in Westminster Abbey at the admittance of a monument to Watt among the Edwards and the Henrys. One of the commonest forms of the confusion was ill-usage of Mr. Canning and Mr. Huskisson as "political adventurers," almost in the same breath with complaints that the country was governed by men who could have no knowledge of popular needs and interests.

That Mr. Canning and Mr. Huskisson were in the Government in defiance of slights and of talk about their being political adventurers, showed to those who could read the signs of the times that a period of political progression had set in. There were other people besides Lord Eldon who were spending their lives in trying to hold back society, at least, if they could not move it back. Metternich was three years younger than Canning and Huskisson. They were born on the 11th of March and the 11th of April, 1770, and Metternich in 1773. We have seen, in an earlier retrospect,[1] what became of Metternich's passion for standing still when it was not possible to go back. We will now glance at the state of affairs which arose from our having statesmen who were able to see that they must move on.

It might be, and it was, alleged that there was much nonsense in the cry about these men being political adventurers. If they had not independent fortune, no more had Pitt, who was living on less than 300l. a-year when he first became a minister, and who had made preparations for resuming his career at the bar when, at seven-and twenty, he expected to go out of office. But he was the son of a minister. A minister might get into office either by hereditary propriety, or by great claims of birth or fortune; but Canning and Huskisson had neither the one sort of qualification nor the other. If ability was suggested as a third resource, there was a good deal of hesitation about admitting it, because, if free access to the seats of power was allowed to sheer ability, there was no saying what changes might not follow. A set of low people from the regions of trade and manufactures might seat themselves in places hitherto regarded as reserved for the aristocracy of the country. It was too late for practical objection, however. There they were—Mr. Canning and his friend; and they were there because there was work to be done for which they were the right men.

George Canning's lot was that of the orphan. His father, who was of a good old provincial family, died when the child was only a year old; and his mother's position was not equally good: so that there was some colour for the talk of his being of low origin. Mr. Huskisson's father was a farmer of fair landed estate. Neither of them had any tendency to political fortune-hunting. Canning was educated for the bar; and it is said to have been Sheridan who persuaded him to leave it for politics; and Huskisson's connections, tastes, and habits of business fitted him so precisely for filling posts of public business which were financial or administrative, if not political, that his vocation seemed as natural as that of any member of any of the professions.

When he was only twenty, he had a considerable name in Paris for his opposition to the great paper-money scheme of the day. He was in Paris through his uncle being physician to the embassy there. He was invited to be the ambassador's secretary; and when he returned with the embassy to England in 1792, he was at once thrown among the leading political men of the day. He saw Pitt and Dundas frequently; and the latter asked him to undertake a small but very troublesome office, —that of investigating the claims of French emigrants, then crowding into England. His talents for business at once became so evident that henceforth he was in his right place only when he was in office. He was not a man whom the most suspicious critic could ever imagine to be intriguing for power. He had a passion for economical questions, and a hearty liking for the dispatch of business, while to questions of foreign and party politics he brought only half a heart. He did not manage his political relations very well, in truth. His attachment to his friend Canning guided him well through the critical points of Canning’s career. He resigned with him, kept out of office with him, and acted consistently with him during Canning’s life; but, after his death, the devoted public servant and private friend damaged his own reputation through his tendency to be absorbed by the practical business of his office, to the neglect of nice points of political observance which are all? important to the eyes of political leaders. Mr. Huskisson wanted to have trade disincumbered of the protective system, and to get the business of the Woods and Forests, or of the Colonies, carried through without interruption; and changes of ministry were annoying and perplexing to him, as interrupting the nation’s business. He showed that he could sit with very various administrations; and people said this was what might be expected of a political adventurer. He was unconcealably disappointed when the Duke of Wellington took him up short about resigning in 1828, and compelled him to do it: and again there was the same sneering comment; but it was the very devotedness of the man which got him into these scrapes. He was as timid about responsibility, and modest about his own consequence, as he was bold in his political economy and “impracticable” with all tritiers about the business of the country. He hesitated: too much about troubling the nation with personal difficulties; and he could not make anybody understand what the risk would be of giving over his free-trade schemes into other hands than his own.

His latter years were thus not his best, in regard to political position: but a future generation was sure to make up for everything by understanding the magnitude and weight of his enterprises, and clearly perceiving that such a man as himself, drawn from his rank in life, and furnished with the knowledge which belongs to that rank, was wanted 1 for the great work of liberating the commerce, and reforming the fiscal principles of his country.

That a middle-class man was wanted for the special work appears also from the fact that Mr. Huskisson was himself in a progressive state, as well as the guide of the nation in a forward course. Long after he had perceived that a protective policy was an injury to all the parties that lived under it, he sustained the highest duties on corn that were proposed from any quarter. He believed that while any manufacture or department of commerce was protected, there must be stringent corn-laws to prevent the price of wheat falling below 80s. This was at the time of the peace: and it took him a dozen years more to satisfy: himself that the price of corn depends on so; many elements that to fix a legislative price is only to increase the risk and confusion. In 1821, he had got so far as to advocate, in a Report on the Condition of Agriculture, a reduction of the corn duties: and from that time forward he had the whole landed interest of the country for his enemies.

In another year or two there seemed to be scarcely anybody left on his side, beyond his personal friends. The silk and woollen manufacturers regarded him as a man with a head full of crochets and without a heart in his breast. He felt his evil reputation very painfully; and his emotions gave a higher quality to his speeches on free trade topics than appeared in any other part of his oratory. He made his subject so plain that he always converted somebody; and there were occasions when he converted almost everybody for the moment. In inland towns, the merchant or manufacturer would tell his wife at dinner, or his partner in the counting-house, that here was another speech of Huskisson’s,—more puzzling than ever. It seemed, in the reading, to be as plain and incontestable as any sum in Cooker; yet scarcely anybody but Huskisson himself believed a word of it. This was only for a time, however. Bit by bit he won a little freedom for trade,—got the Combination-laws relaxed,—and obtained some scope for the exportation of machinery. Timid as he was about some kinds of responsibility, he had no fears of the consequences of relaxing prohibitory and protective duties; and he stood calm and confident when hon. members shook their fists in his face, and called him the destroyer of their constituents, and the malignant fee of the landed interest. He had the pleasure of pointing out, before he died, the happy results of his policy, as far as it had had room to work; and he felt the comfort of gaining over more supporters from year to year. He was sustained by some of the best newspapers, of both parties in politics; and he ventured to tell his friends that he held a whole handful of free-trade, and had as yet only opened his little finger. He was quite unaware that his entire handful was only a sample, in comparison with the freedom which would be given within thirty years of his death. It was with deep satisfaction that he learned, in the last spring of his life, that there had been an exportation of silk goods from Bristol, and that the Macclesfield manufacturers now admitted him to have been the best friend to their industry. What would he have said if it had been foretold to him that in thirty years precisely from that time, the last penny of protective duty would be removed from our financial schedule; and that parliament would have ceased to be importuned with complaints of agricultural distress, because agricultural improvement would have placed the landed interest almost beyond the accidents of fortune, while free trade in food would have released the nation from all fear of famine! Such a prospect would have amazed him almost as much as his enemies. He had not learned everything in his own line: but he was a progressive statesman in a day when to be that was to be unpopular with high and low. Of his various offices his Presidentship of the Board of Trade is the one which will be remembered as his proper seat. As he sat there, with his thoughtful face, and his prominent eyes, shrewd and gentle at once, and his business-like manners, he was in fact the master and the servant of a new generation and of many nations,—the teacher and the helper by whom British industry has been made free, and colonial wealth and security have sprung up with magical speed; and even France and other countries are letting go their corn-laws and other burdens, and allowing themselves a fair chance in the race of industry.

On the 18th of July, 1827, the two friends bade each other good-bye for the recess, after the stormy session they had had to pass through, on Mr. Canning’s accession to the Premiership. For him there was little prospect of holiday; but Huskisson was going abroad. He went up to Canning's bedside; and he observed that his friend seemed to need the trip the most of the two: but Canning replied that it was only the reflection from the yellow bed-curtains that made him look ill. This was their last meeting. The Huskissons turned homewards from Switzerland on hearing of Canning’s serious illness: and on the road they heard of his death. Mr. Huskisson believed his own political career to be closed. He no doubt lamented afterwards that he allowed himself to be overpersuaded by the King and Lord Goderich to take office among Canning‘s enemies. He had shrunk from endangering the continuance of Mr. Canning's policy; and the consequence of his infirmity of purpose was the retirement of all the “Canningites" from the ministry within nine months of the death of their chief. He upheld to the lost his friend’s policy towards the Catholics, assisting and witnessing their emancipation in 1829. From that time the tide of progression in politics flowed strongly; but Huskisson‘s task in life was just done. He voted in the next session for a limited measure of parliamentary reform; he witnessed the death of the obstructive King George IV., and presently after died himself. It was by an accident on the railway,--the opening of the Liverpool railway; but the accident itself was occasioned by his frail and feeble condition of health and nerve ; and it was as well that he should go to his rest before that tremendous series of reforms was brought forward which would have been too much for him. Each progressive statesman reaches his limit within perhaps an assignable time. Mr. Huskisson had done a great and singular work, and placed it beyond the reach of reactionary mischief. However heartily therefore he was mourned, it was from natural emotion at the loss of such a man in such a way, and not from any calculation of what more he might have done for us, if he had lived another ten years.

In contemplating the man it is impossible to overlook the light thrown upon his character by the devotedness of his wife. She was always his best support and aid in his work. She never recovered from the shock of his death: but she lived several years, eager to be spared till she should have secured his fair fame by the publication of his speeches under every advantage, and provided for his having such honour as noble monuments could give. The statue in the Liverpool cemetery, among others, is her gift.

In the one friend, progressive statesmanship took the form of practical insight into the great material interests of the community. In the other, it manifested itself by diplomacy and oratory in the interests of liberty, international and domestic. A middle-class man was requisite in the one case as in the other, though it was as true as ever that an aristocracy like ours has been, and continues to be, an indispensable safeguard of our liberties. The state of European society during the period which succeeded the peace was one which required the advent of what haughty people would call a political adventurer; a man who came fresh upon the scene, without hereditary entanglements. So Canning was there, with his genius, and his generous sympathies, and his ambition which had nothing sordid in it, and his unequalled powers of expression, by which to convey to the general mind and heart the needs, the aspirations, and the peril and promise of the time. It was impossible to put him down among the demagogues, as some people tried to class Mr. Huskisson with the bagmen. Old men remember how the demagogues abused him as an aristocrat, and how regularly he appeared in lampoons and caricatures as “the spouter of froth” on behalf of tyrants. It was at once necessary for the haters of political adventurers to accept Mr. Canning as a scholar and a gentleman, while the most crusty radical of that seditious time had “to own the soft impeachment" of a mutual sympathy on behalf of oppressed peoples, in both hemispheres. Thus was Canning the statesman for a progressive period, when the fate of nations might hang on the quality of the man who should virtually rule this country.

At the critical time of 1822, when the European peoples were trying to wrench themselves from under the heel of the Holy Alliance, we were so near losing Canning from his proper place, that nothing but the fitness of things could have kept him here. He had bidden good-bye to his friends generally, and had everything ready for going to India. Many grieved that he should go where his special gifts would be half wasted. Some of us may remember how we read in the daily papers of his last movements, as we had before read his last words in parliament. We read that he was at Liverpool, among his old constituents,—staying at his friend Gladstone’s. There he was indeed,sitting one day for hours at his chamber-window, looking over the sea. There was a little boy playing on the strand that day; and perhaps he glanced up at the window, and may remember the face that looked out there. That little boy was the Mr. Gladstone of our day. Mr. Canning was pondering some news which was on the way to the King in Scotland. Lord Londonderry had destroyed himself; and there might now be an opening for changing the political aspect of all Europe. He did not know,—nobody knew what would be done next. The King dreaded above everything the necessity of accepting Canning as a member of the Cabinet: Canning himself told his Liverpool friends, when the news was in all months, that he had no knowledge whatever "of any arrangements likely to grow out of the present state of things." There was no other man, however, the Liverpool people said; and they were confident he would not go to India. The unprogressive politicians about the King put off to the last moment their invitation to Canning. It was on the 12th of August that Lord Londonderry died, and it was on the 11th of September that Mr. Canning became Foreign Secretary. He had then only five years to live; but, instead of going to India, — the India of the old Company, — he did such things at home that his son is now in India, carrying that empire through its transition from the rule of the Company to an immediate dependence on the Crown and parliament; — a piece of progression which was not at that time contemplated.

The King had special reasons for wishing Canning at the ends of the earth. Canning had been early a faithful friend and adviser of the Princess of Wales; he would never join in any of the measures of her enemies; and when he found that her affairs were closely implicated with the acts of administration at the time of her trial as Queen, he resigned his office at the Board of Control. It could not be at all agreeable to the King to have for his Foreign Secretary the old servant who had left the government for such a reason, two years before: but there was no alternative.

In spite of "the Anti-Jacobin," and other protests of Canning's against the revolutionary ailments of the public mind, during his early life; and in spite of his devotion to Pitt, and his opposition to Pitt himself on the question of parliamentary reform, Canning was now regarded as a progressive statesman, and disliked in high places on that account. He had worked hard to bring about the Irish Union, relying on the virtual pledge that the disabilities of the Catholics should be removed; and he was understood to be bent on the removal of those disabilities. Yet more, he was on the side of each nation which was unhappy under effete or cruel rulers, and this description comprehended so many of the governments of Europe, that the King trembled for the consequences to his own ease, and for the effect on his intercourses with his Imperial and Royal brethren.

The foreign policy of England did in fact turn into a new channel when Canning succeeded Castlereagh. It was believed that the latter, if he had gone to the Congress at Verona, would have protested against certain despotic designs, as Wellington did when sent by Canning; but the fact was universally known that the deceased minister was in sympathy with the monarchs, whereas his successor was in sympathy with their betrayed and outraged subjects. Canning's intentions were trusted; his acts were liberally construed; his speeches were idolatrously read by the liberals in every country who would have bitterly mocked at every act and word of Castlereagh's. Canning did not excite to insurrection. On the contrary, he rather precluded it by opening prospects of relief by better means. His dispatches are very quiet, and brief, and clear; and the more quiet and clear his words were, the deeper was the emotion they excited among anxious listeners.

What, then, was his policy? and what his purpose? It is enough to say here that his policy of Peace, at a juncture of such interior and his purpose was, in the first place, up the Holy Alliance. He proved himself a progressive statesman by holding these views in such a practical way as that the continental rulers at once found that they would have no aid from England in any scheme of aggression whatever, — against any neighbour, or in coercion of their own subjects, native or newly attached. As the South American provinces were actually released from Spain, Canning treated them as free. Everywhere he accepted clear facts, and acted upon them, instead of wasting time and breaking hearts over political fictions. It required a progressive statesman to do this. So much for his policy, in which he might easily be a representative man. In regard to his oratory, he was altogether exceptional. Statesmen constitute a class; but orators do not, nor ever can. The power is unique in each case; and all that we have to do here with Mr. Canning's eloquence is to note that it was the organ of the diffusion over the world of his progressive statesmanship. In all wild places there was somebody who could recite some speech of Canning's. In countries where there was no press for the multitude, the multitude had means of reading what he had said. Wherever Englishmen travelled, they were looked at with interest and kindness as countrymen of the Minister who had willed that Princes should keep their word, and that peoples should have a hearing for their claims. If it seems to us now that there was nothing very remarkable in all this, — nothing more than we are now thinking and doing in the case of Italy, — the observation is itself an evidence of what Canning did for us. He excited the civilised world to rage on the one hand, and to transport on the other, by a policy which is to us, at this day, a matter of course; and he opened up- the path to the point we have reached.

There was but too little time. When, in the spring of 1827, he became Prime Minister by Lord Liverpool's illness, it seemed a great blessing to the world. But there were persons enough, who did not think so, to deprive the world of the blessing. The opposition he had to contend with was perhaps the most outrageous on record; and it destroyed him. Everybody who had ever been quizzed by him, disappointed or mortified by him; everybody who feared his courage or his power, or who was tired of hearing him praised; all the foes of progression in general, and of the progressive statesmen of the day in particular, were encouraged to pursue him in full cry. They did it to the death. When he said it was the yellow curtains that made him look ghastly, he was in a ghastly condition. He was too much worn with other opposition to make any stand against disease; and he died, after an agonising illness, on the 8th of August, after five months' tenure of power as Premier.

The part of a Progressive Statesman has not been made entirely easy in this country, even by such pioneers as these. There was much to be undergone by the next who followed this pair of friends. Sir Robert Peel had, in one respect, a harder task to fulfil than either Canning or Huskisson. He had to be converted to progression himself before he led a progressive policy. This was his difficulty; as that of lack of aristocratic position and fortune had been the impediment in the path of his friends: and Peel perhaps suffered the most of the three. In rank he was about on a level with Canning and Huskisson: but his great fortune, and his having been expressly trained for political life from his youth up, prevented his being taunted as a political adventurer, even if people had not been tired of the useless sarcasm.

All the three had to live and learn; but Peel alone had the difficult destiny of changing sides on great questions of policy. His father represented the characteristic British class of high Conservative traders. He gained a great “stake in the country," as our grandfathers were fond of saying; and he was ambitious that his son should increase the security of such a stake, and glorify the order of men who held it. All influences were brought to bear upon the child first, and then the boy, and the young man, to make him consider himself destined to an illustrious public career, and in the service of Toryism as it existed at that day. His heart and his father‘s would have failed them for fear if they could have known, when he left Oxford, what a set of measures he would be immortalised by. They would have prayed that he might rather die obscure.

When he entered parliament at one-and-twenty, graced by extraordinary university honours, and independent in fortune, he was on the winning side in every way. It was in 1809, when Percival was minister, and Castlereagh and Canning were his colleagues, that Peel began his career; and when the murder of Mr. Percival caused a recomposition of the ministry, Peel had become well enough known as a man of business to be appointed to the Irish secretaryship. 0‘Connell's party called him Orange-Peel: O'Connell himself pursued him with insult till they came to a challenge; and if there was an Englishman who could be pointed out as the representative of an anti-Catholic policy, it was Peel. He was honest in his opposition to the Catholic claims; but he was not satisfied with the method of governing Ireland; and here perhaps a close observer might have found a basis for speculation as to whether Peel would prove to be a stationary politician, after all. He made the best speeches against Catholic emancipation, session after session; but then, he did not relish or approve of, the sectarian quarrels in Ireland; and he had a notion that a sound popular secular education would be the best thing for the country. The smack of the pungent orange flavour was wanting in this Peel, his party observed: and when 1829 came, there were persons who said they had long ago thought what would happen.

In other questions he was assumed to be sound, as he himself took for granted he must be. His taste was rather for practical reforms than for high-flying political doctrine: but that he was sound in the faith, nobody doubted. He was so modest and diligent, and so respectful to the leaders of his party um nobody looked for the signs and tokens in him of the future political reformer. He was an administrative and economical reformer; but so much the less likely was it that he should occupy himself with liberalism in any shape.

So Lord Eldon and other Tories, who dreaded the vigour of Canning‘s genius, at the critical period of 1818, exerted themselves to bring in, to Canning‘s exclusion, the trustworthy Mr. Peel as member for Oxford. Oxford was thus provided with an anti-Catholic representative who would be a better Conservative in all ways than the restive and irreverent Canning could ever be. So thought the Eldons and Sidmouths to whom Canning appeared simply restive and irreverent, and Peel a model of discipline and deference as a partyman. They were sorry that he was steady in resigning his Irish secretaryship: but they should get plenty of work out of him by-and-by. Meantime he supported the Liverpool Ministry with all his force; and he was doing useful things in matters of currency and finance. His Bill for the resumption of cash-payments bears the date of 1819; and he was occupied with that class of questions till after the collapse and crash of 1825-6. He became Home Secretary in 1822, in the place of Lord Sidmouth, on which appointment it was observed by his party that “the substitution of the one for the other could have no effect on the course of administration." The outgoing minister regarded him as a docile pupil and creditable successor. He wrote of him that “nothing could have been more becoming and creditable” than Mr. Peel’s behaviour in entering the Home Office. The old gentleman was unaware that Peel's notions of administration were as unlike his as the projects of a social reformer are unlike the devices of a detective policeman.

Canning and Peel were alike in their shrinking from all implication with the scandal of the period. No doubt Canning's mind wrought upon Peel's, both in regard to foreign politics and Catholic emancipation, though they were regarded common horror of parliamentary reform was a strong bond between them: and Peel was certainly coming round to the conviction that the Catholic disabilities could not be maintained. When Canning must lose Peel as a colleague, on account of the Irish question. On that occasion he declared that Peel was the only man who behaved well to him in his hour of difficulty, and that he regarded Peel as his political heir and successor. As Canning's difficulties and popularity at that time were caused by his reputed Liberalism, the declaration must have been abundantly startling to the patrons of the young Peel of twenty years before.

The time was at hand when Peel was to find what it was to be born into an untenable position, and to have to struggle over into another. When his great speech of 1829 was read by every fireside in the kingdom, the universal remark of both parties was that there was no conviction in his mind: he had acted from a regard to expediency only. He said so himself. between two evils; and he chose the lesser, without any pretence of liking it. the key to the rest of his life, if he and hi critics could have understood it. It cost him much anguish had essentially changed with the necessity of a progressive policy. His business in life was to discern, in spite of early prepossessions, political necessities a little sooner than people in general, and to adopt them with a good grace, and adapt them skilfully to practice, without affording the smallest countenance to political profligacy or levity. It was a task of extreme difficulty, and not at all of supreme honour. He was satisfied, happily, with a lot of singular usefulness, invested with a doubtful or damaged glory. He gave us peace with Ireland; he gave Ireland a renewed existence; he retrieved our finance by a series of measures from the Bank Act of 1819 to the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, which might, in each instance, have cost him the sacrifice of his career and of his political reputation. No witness of his first change ought to have been surprised at any subsequent one, because, in each case, his sense of duty was clearly concerned. He was the sincere and devout high-priest of expediency, in that province of human life in which expediency is both the obligation and the rule of duty. He suffered acutely under the various kinds of censure and insult that his position exposed him to; but he rose in character as well as repute, in proportion as his function became clearly understood by himself and others. Before his death he was incomparably the first statesman of the time; and at home his influence was almost equally great, whether he was in office or out of it. His career was hot what his father, and his friends, and he himself had imagined: and it was what he would have recoiled from in horror, if he could have had a prevision of it; but it was great in its way, and will be immortal as an illustration of a critical period in the history of Europe. He seems not to have spent any words or thoughts on this point—so deeply interesting to us watchers of the world’s history. Peel’s memorable concluding aspiration, when leaving office, affords full insight into his own view of his own career. He hoped to be remembered at the cottage dinner-table, where the poor man was henceforth to eat sweeter bread— “no longer leavened by the sense of injustice.” He will be remembered there for generations to come. But he will also stand conspicuous in history as, by force of circumstances and by his wisdom vanquishing his will, the great Progressive Statesman of his age, whose work it was to lead on his country while other countries were standing still, or rushing-all ways but the right; and whose everlasting honour it will be that the polity conducted by him grew stronger in compactness, loftier in intelligence, and more expansive in prosperity, while the political edifices of the Metternichs, and Bourbons, and Romanoffs, whom he knew so well, were crumbling into ruin, with or without previous explosions of revolution. The fact affords some hint of what England owes to her Progressive Statesmen. Harriet Martineau.


  1. See Once a Week, Vol. II. p. 211