. THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON AND MR. PEEL.
STANDARD—What are the motives, we ask, which ought to determine a Minister in associating himself with, or in recoiling from, a colleague ? 1st. Con- fidence or want of confidence in the talent of the proposed colleague. 2nd. Con- fidence or want of confidence in his integrity. We are obliged to invert the moral order in this case, placing talent before integrity, because the number ofeases in , which we can provide against injuries resulting from want of good faith is infinitely greater than that of those in which want of talent in a public man can be com- pensated. Now try the :Minister in question by these tests. We suppose no man will be so silly as to insinuate a comparison between the talent of the Duke of Wellington and that of the member for Westbury—between the hero of Water- loo, the man who spoke the very best speech that Mr. Brougham ever heard, and the reformer of the nightly watch. The Duke of Wellington is the hest foreign minister that England has had since the days of Lord Chatham, and he is known and appreciated as such throughout Europe; and that circumstance alone may have determined those the most disgusted with his domestic government to ac- quiesce in his supremacy, at a time when the foreign relations of the country are so critically circumstanced as they are at present. Of what earthly importance are Mr. Peel's talents, such as they are, to any interest of the country at this moment ? But what are his talents ? As we have before had occasion to ob- serve, his whole public life is but a record of defeats, ending with that in which he acted against the principles which he said he maintained as strongly as ever at the moment. Without allowing much weight to omens, men may be excused for an unwillingness to act with one whose habit it is to be defeated. Now, to come to integrity : here the preference is claimed for Mr. Peel on grounds furnished by the Protestants; let us see with what reason. We have, it seems, " proclaimed the Duke of Wellington as a daring and successful conspirator against the constitution, whose past measures were detestable, and whose future designs are, if possible, still more mischievous. We have denounced Mr. Peel as his accomplice or instrument, and as a man in himself of no sort of importance." And. therefore, it is wrong, inconsistent, and so forth, to act with the Duke of Wellington, and to refuse to act with Mr. Peel. When Coesar sends to Cato and his little senate a message, disclaiming ambition and dangerous designs, what is the test proposed by the patriot—" Bid him disband his legions;" this done, that type of wisdom and integrity, as Addison has drawn him, promises to plead his pardon with the people. Why turn off the poor legionaries, instruments, col- leagues, persons by themselves of no sort of importance whatever? Cato would probably have said, with our Locke, that a heady minister, or a heady prince, however ill-disposed, could do little harm by himself. This is surely an explana- tion of what has been called the proscription of Mr. Peel. quite consistent with what the Protestant party is charged to have surmised against the Premier. It is shortly this—Your conduct has been bad, and it affords grounds of suspicion ; rid yourself, however, of the instruments of mischief, which can never be instruments
of good, and then we will believe that you did not, because we well know that you cannot, mean future evil. Whatever of ill design has been imputed to the Duke of Wellington is of a great and lofty character, the meditating acts which could not be done in a corner; which, therefore, an infusion of a fair proportion of honest colleagues into his Cabinet would obstruct, instead of promoting. To propose to him such an infusion is therefore putting his designs to an unequivocal test.
GLOBE—With all the ingenuity of this simile, it would not serve the Standard's purpose. If Mr. Peel were now allowed by the Standard to possess those great talents of which twelve months ago the Standard found indisputable evidence in
some twenty years of his public life, we should not find any inconsistency between its declarations concerning the unimportance of Mr, Peel, and its vehement ob- jections to his continuance in office—or any impropriety in the comparison between his loss and the disbanding of an army. Mr. Peel was then, in the
Standard's estimation, agminis instar. But our difficulty is in reconciling the proffers of our Cams, as the Standard reports them, with its present estimate. of the abilities of Mr. Peel, and we are not helped by its comparison.
If the Cato of Addison had said to Caesar, " turn off merely one of the feeblest
of your legionaries—I shall no longer distrust you—nay, I will consent to serve in his stead," he would have been scarcely worthy even of the " long wig, flow- ered gown, and lacquered chair," though he might have been more like, than the Romans, to the modern types of wisdom and integrity with whom our contem- porary is pleased to compare him. The thing will not bear an argument, with all the dexterity with which our contemporary raises it. If Mr. Peel is so unim- portant a person, this noise about him, because be has taken the same course as the Duke of Wellington, Mr. Goulburii, Lord Bathurst, Lord Westmoreland, and nearly all his former colleagues, is too absurd for a decent faction. If the Duke of Wellington is so dangerous a Minister, this readiness to join him if he will be guilty of an act of meanness is too compliant even for the Cato's under-corouets. " But if we are in office," say the types of wisdom and integrity, " we shall know that the Duke will not be mischievous. Let us into office, and we shall know , what he is about. We will trust him as far as we can see him, and therefore we are fit to be his colleagues, and he is fit to be our leader." If a Ministry which came together with these feelings could do no mischief, we should doubt much whether it could do any good. If the Duke of Wellington courted the alliance of men who profess this opinion of his past conduct and present intentions, we ima- gine that it would not be the course precisely suited to relieve him from the im- putation which his enemies bring against him—however much their actions belie their charge—of a dangerous affection for power. But at last we have the opinion ! of the Wellington Administration among the Tories, brought forward in a mode- rate shape. The Duke is the best Foreign Minister England has had since the time of Chatham; and though his conduct at home has been bad, foreign are this time of more consequence than domestic politics. The result is practically this—if he would but take in " a fair proportion" of honest (i. e. Tory) colleagues, he would be, under the circumstances, the best Minister that could be found. Though we imagine, by the same reasoning, it could be peoved that any Minister 7 who would take in the fair proportion would not be bad—the proportion is indis- pensable—" the fair proportion" is the test of merit. What the Duke of Wel- lington's foreign policy is we know less perfectly than what his domestic has been. We have, indeed, a reasonable hope that the same prudence, the same decision, ; the same repugnance to violence and blustering, which he has shown at home, j will lead him to a pacific, but firm and effectual, policy abroad. But this we know, that he has put England in a condition not to tear the result of any foreign combination. He has destroyed the germs of a civil war, and on this his fame must rest much more securely than on any effect of his foreign policy. The be- : nefits which will flow from it must be much greater, as well as more lasting, than any which can proceed from the most skilful adjustment of the balance of power,
which, in the natural course of events, must every dozen years need trimming anew. We are not sorry that he has not allied himself with men who rest their claims to consideration on their attempts to obstruct his most arduous and Useful labour. Of the exercise of their right to refuse to accept office, if they ever have an opportunity to exercise it, we shall, therefore, be very far from complaining. They may stickle for a fair proportion of the places in the Cabinet with perfect propriety, and we believe the majority of the nation to be satisfied that no pro- portion can be fairer than that which they at present enjoy; and as, after all, they confess that the Duke of Wellington's Administration, however much he has disgusted them, may be acquiesced in for the present for the sake of his foreign policy, we are perfectly content also that their wisdom and integrity should dis- play themselves as they do at present : \ve advise them onlyfor the sake of their own characters, not to accuse a Minister hereafter of, treasonable designs, under whom in the same breath they profess themselves rea# to serve. THE FRENCH MINISC.
Gus 8—It will be extremely difficult, in the patieent state of the public feeling in France, for such a Ministry to stand ; but it wdire too much to say that it will be impOssibfe that it can do so, if it displays a osition to mild and liberal mea- sures, and abstains from the fretful and ineffectual attacks upon the Constitutional system which were the habitual occupation of the Villele Administration. The great truth which must be the guide of an Administration in France is, that the Chamber of Deputies, and ultimately, of course, the electors who form that Chamber, must be the principal power in France ; and that though, for the sake of convenience and quiet, a willing deference will be paid by the body of the elec- tors to the royal will, so long as their rights and interests are not interfered with, it is impossible to govern France under the charter if they are insulted or attacked. Though the Bourbons under all the difficulties in which they have been placed since the Restoration—difficulties arising out of the unreasonableness and power of their friends as well as of their enemies—do not appear to us to have acted with any signal discretion ur ill-humour, yet the King probably retains much of that feeling which is dangerous to Monarchs under newly-granted constitutions— the feeling that, notwithstanding the limitations imposed upon their will, the Kings of France ought still to be absolute—that though they have granted a share of the government to the people, they should notwithstanding exercise the whole themselves. In France the power of the Crown must be less before it can be greater. Those concessions to the people which are necessary to the ease of the people--especially the reforms in the provincial and municipal administrations which have long been desired—must be made ; the Crown must ally itself with the interest which it finds most powerful in the country, and then in the course of years we may expect to see a quiet but powerful influence, like that which the Kings of England exercise, grow up in favour of the Monarch. It is some time, however, before the comparative strength of the different parties in a state, enjoy- ing for the first time representative institutions, can be ascertained. The struggle may be continued some time longer in France before it becomes obviously necessary for the Crown to act with, and not against, the Constitutional party ; but to this it must come at last—to this consummation events are, even now, rapidly tending.
Szarquaen-fhe more that the late change4n the French Ministry is considered, with relation to the general interests of Europe, the more cause will all the mem- bers of the European commonwealth, and the people of England especially, find to rejoice that it has taken place. The prince de Polignac is known to be a peace minister ; we will not use the invidious term that has been applied to him—arf anti-Russian, because we believe that the best friends of Russia are they who would arrest her progress in a pursuit, the object of which all Europe would arise to prevent her obtaining. Peace is the interest of all—but above all, it is the interest of Great Britain and France. It is true that, after the interval of thir- teen years of peace, these nations are not throughly restored to that undisturbed and secure condition of civil pursuit which is proper to a state of peace ; it is
• true that the consequences of all the blundering experiments of projectors let loose by a cessation from war, are now felt severely, and may be still more se- verely felt; but it is no less true that, for war, we are now less fitted than even for the kind of peace we have, and the very fact that we have arrived at a de- monstration of the stupidity of all—yes, of all—our schemes of political economy, is a proof that better prospects are opening, which nothing but war can obstruct. We are, Heaven knows, no friends to present measures, or the present Ministers ; but we have that confidence in the inherent energies and the native good. sense of the people of England, that we can never despair. We may not see our way to improvement, nor do we pretend to be so much more sagacious than our neigh- bours as to be able to anticipate the exact road bywhich we shall arrive at it : it is enough for us to see that we are escaping into light from the cold darkness of false science—that the nation at length sees how it has been misled, and duly de- spises its blind or corrupt misleaders. Let us avoid the entanglement and dis- traction of foreign broils, and we trust, under Providence, to the good sense of England to bring our country once more into the right path. But war, in addi- tion to its own proper burdens and evils, would condemn us, as one of its con- sequences, to another ten or twenty years' probation of quackery and distress.