In a sense what happens now is worse than the
old system, because it is a denial, though disguised, of democracy's principles.
The real snare of democracy is that it may not show the courage that autocrats often have. The dispensers of benefits yield to improper personal demands because they convince themselves, or excuse themselves by saying, that the demands have popular opinion behind them. Readers of Macaulay's well-known essay on the elder Pitt will remember his description of how abject Newcastle became when ho was convinced that popular opinion was growing in strength and that the " people were not in a mood to be trifled with." In the clutches of that conviction he acted as one without a will of his own. His only aim was to satisfy the needs of the hour, to live politically from hand to mouth :-
" Newcastle had recourse to Murray ; but Murray had now within his reach the favourite object of his ambition. The situation of Chief-Justice of the King's Bench was vacant ; and the Attorney- General was fully resolved to obtain it, or to go into Opposition. Newcastle offered him any terms, the Duchy a Lancaster for life, a teller-ship of the Exchequer, any amount of pension, two thousand a year, six thousand a year. When the Ministers found that Murray's mind Was made up, they pressed for delay, the delay of a session, a month, a week, a day. Would he only make his appear- ance once more in the House of Commons ? Would he only speak i favour of the address ? "
When a statesman is in that frame of mind ho feeds the monster of his own creation by abject gifts at the public expense.