14 SEPTEMBER 1833, Page 9



MORNING CHRONICLE—Even in the warfare waged against public characters, there is surely a measure to be observed. Because, for instance, Lord . Grey, like some other great men, is somewhat too partial, perhaps, to his own kindred (and we allude more particularly to the living bestowed on the Bishop of Hereford, on whom a Popular Government ought not to confer favours, because, though he is the brother of the Premier, he is the enemy of his Government), we ought not to overlook the many most important services he has rendered to his country, and the fair and honourable spirit by which he is actuated. To laud the Government everlastingly, would be doing it great dis- service; because praise, even when deserved, nauseates in the long run ; but the other extreme of constant censure—of allowing no merit— of constantly dwelling on errors and imperfections, is equally to be condemned.

STANDARD—We would suggest, as an amusing and not unprofitable task to the Morning Chronicle, to turn over its file for the last ten or fifteen years, and bring to the test of this charitable rule its conduct with regard to the late Lord Londonderry, to Lord Eldon, and, say, to the Duke of Newcastle. A similar exercise, in its own files, might be no less useful to the Globe. We suspect that the result, in the case of both journals, would be to cause the discovery, that the rule is ap- plicable only when Whigs are in power, but that no reserve is to he allowed where the object of attack is a Conservative. If it were not trespassing too far upon our respected contemporaries, we would, more- over, request them to mention when this kind of plea for amnesty to the vices and meannesses of public men was ever put forward in behalf of a Conservative ? As far as our memory goes, whenever the late Lord Londonderry was charged with cruelty—whenever Lord Eldon was charged with rapacitv—whenever the Duke of Newcastle was charged with the corrupt -disposal of boroughs, as once he was by the dirtiest fellow in the whole country, the reply made was, not that cruelty ought to be overlooked, or rapacity pardoned, or forgiveness ex- tended to sordid boroughmongering, but that the charge was a lie. And that these charges were lies was proved, in the first case, by reiterated decisions of courts of jusii.:e ; in the second, by the testimony of a long life of munificent acts ; in the third, by the noble Duke accused thrusting the lie down the throat of his slanderer. This is the Tory mode of meeting censure ; but it is a mode of which the friends of Lord Grey's Administration confessedly cannot avail them- selves, because it is a mode accessible only to those who are the ob- jects of a censure that is unjust. It is remarkable how long this im- munity to the crimes and meannesses of their public men has been con- tended for by the Whigs, and surely it is a kind of confession that crime and meanness form an inseparable part of the Whig mind. Six.and- thirty years ago, Mr. Canning versified, in the following excellent lines, the Whir, doctrine of that day, which the foregoing extract from the Morning Chronicle will show to be exactly the Whig doctrine of the present.

" Factions in all times Have had their tellies, Ministers their crimes ; Barris loves plunder. Merlin takes a bribe, What then? Shall candour these good men proscribe? No, ere we join the load accusing throng Prove not these acts, but all their conduct wrong."

" Lord Grey," says the Morning Chronicle, " is a little too partial, like Sir John Key, to his own kindred." Lord Plunkett," said the same journal some time ago, " is seldom heard of except in connexion with some shabby dispute about money. But then before we join

" The loud Accusing throng, Prove not these things, but all their doings wrong."

The argument is identical in both cases. Now we, as Conservatives, protest, absolutely, and without reserve, against this doctrine-

. " Content for good men's guidance, bad men's awe. On moral truth to rest, and gospel law."

Believing "the love of money to be the root of all evil," upon both ' divine and moral testimony, we believe, without other evidence, all persons who give themselves up to it, capable of all crimes ; and with. out running the risk of suggesting to what extent Lords Grey and Phiniaf hive surrendered themselves to this spring of all that is bad in human conduct, we assert that the Morning Chronicle, has confessed enough against both, to prove them wholly unfit to tt.ae smallest share in the administration of publie affairs. Away, the,,,, with all this cant about "constantly pecking at the character of Milnisters." We peck at no man's character, excelst as the substance 'Id that character is incor- porated with national interests. Who has ever found us retaliating upon Whigs by violating the santuary of Private life ? Have we ever made al- lusion to any man's private character, e7ecept in such cases as those of Mr. Stanley, Sir James Graham, Lord 'Ripon, and Lord Brougham, where the.excellence of the individual 'pound us to qualify our rebuke of the public man ? If we have 17.ot been in like manner able to alloy our censure of other political opponents, the fault is not ours but theirs. With respect to the noblemen whom we have named as the objects of unmixed censure, ti ere is so obvious a connexion between the special vice with which they are confessed to be tainted, and the ruinous mea- sures of which they have been the authors and promoters, that it is im- possible not to refer the one to the other. It is admitted that they love money more than they ought to do : place gives money, and their mis- chievous measures give a continued possession of place : the series of vincula is complete. And when it is thus manifest, that to private avarice we may owe public ruin, are we to be told that it is proof of a carping temper, and nothing more, when we point out particular in- stances of that fatal avarice ?

TRUE SUN—Nothing can well be more ludicrous than the charges which are for ever being brought by the Tories against the Whigs, for taking care of themselves while in office—for providing for their families—for securing as many of the good things of place as they possibly can. These charges are chiefly levelled at the unlucky head of Lord Grey. They may of course be directed with equal justice against the head of every Prime Minister that has flourished within the " memory of the oldest inhabitant" of St. James's. All the world knows that the maxim, " Take care of yourself," has been for a very great number of years the first grand principle of Premiership. The habits attributed to Lord Grey were the habits of all his predecessors—the regular moral livery worn by all Prime Ministers, time out of mind. The practices of which he is ac- cused, are almost as old as Government itself—quite as old as Toryism at any rate. That Lord Grey is guilty, in common with all his tribe, of the Ministerial offence of " nepotism," is not to be denied. We must not, therefore, be understood to say that the charges are ridiculous in them- selves, but only so in the mouths of their utterers. We acknowledge them to be just ; but we laugh at their very justice, when we look at the charge-makers. Who can see any one of the high and noble Tory- railers at the Whig provider for his family, without laughing at the gravity with which the " pot and kettle " principle is acted upon in the quarrels of these rival factions ? Who can recognize the face of any of these denouncers of Lord Grey's grasping and overweening cupidity, without recollecting how they and theirs got their own estates, powers, and position in society—without reflecting upon the means which they and their family have not blushed to adopt for ensuring their own aggrandizement—without taking one glance at the practices which they and their party have so long indulged in—and laughing in exact proportion to the seriousness of manners and virtuous indigna- tioxi of aspect assumed by the speakers upon these occasions.


STANDARD—We know, from Lord Brougham's position, that he must hate the Press. His Lordship has been all his life a teacher. Now, of all people, teachers resent most bitterly the attempt to teach them ; and the Press is a teacher. Lord Brougham is a candidate for public attention, and the Press is a rival candidate ; and all men hate their rivals. Lord Brougham is a novas homo, lifted into rank chiefly by the aid of the Press;; but it is the inseparable characteristic of such men to

" Scorn the base ascent by which they did arise."

Lord Brougham is, furthermore, a litera adventurer ; and of the genus

of literary adventurers, it is th ry e essential attribute that they most bitterly " hate the arts " which taught themselves to succeed. Finally, Lord Brougham is now a,,great man ; and, however a man becomes great—whether he be born great, or achieve greatness, or have great- ness thrust upon him jealousyof the present rank becomes the in- corporated and incommunicable temper of his mind. A great man almost grieves that they who are not 'great participate with him in the human form, and in the participation of the human faculties. To sup- pose, then, that creatures who are not great men, venture to engage in a competition for authority in matters of opinion is an offence of the greatest magnitude ; and this offence, the free and independent Press commits against the majesty of Lord Brougham and every other great man. Great men, allowing the usual exceptions, all regard the Press with jealousy and hatred ; because they believe, and believe truly, that the honest and independent Press obtains more attention, and, occa- sionally, exercises more authority, than they do.


TIMES—There can be no doubt that if any of the straggling and slovenly portions of the labyrinth of the law can be moulded into any thing like a regular and uniform shape, which would deserve to be called a code, it is that branch of it which governs the criminal proceed- ings of British tribunals. Thus limited, we are inclined to believe that " codification " is not only quite practicable, but very desirable ; for this, among a thousand other reasons,—namely, that the administra- tion of the criminal law devolves so frequently upon gentlemen who cannot be expected to devote much time to the perusal, or much pains to the comprehension, of those multifarious enactments which are scattered, not "few," but very "far between," throughout the statutes at large. With a Provincial Magistracy constituted like that of Eng- land, nothing can be more absurd than the present complicated condition of the laws which individual members of it, without the assistance of a legal adviser, are daily called upon to enforce—nothing more prudent than to collect and to consolidate such statutes into a form as syste- matic and of as small dimensions as may be compatible with perspicuity That there are other branches of the Statute and Common Law that ma; with great advantage to the public, and with vast convenience to the:practioner, undergo revision and consideration, with a view to the ,accomplishment of the same object, is, we think, quite as certain, though perhaps. not so palliable, because they are hot so commonly known or understood, as those of which . the administration. is more public, and which are most talked of; and we perceive with much plea- sure, therefore, that the powers of the Commissioners extend to in- quiring and reporting generally how far it may be expedient to deal with the whole of our statutory provisions, or with any part of them in the same manner as the commission directs them to proceed with reference to the law and practice relative to crimes. If, however, the experi- ment of "codification" should fail, still the inquiries of the Commis- sioners must, at least, be productive of much benefit in the solution of doubts and difficuties, in the removal of inconsistent and useless sta- tutes, and in the extension of that practice of consolidating all enact- ments that belong to one subject, which, so far as it has hitherto been carried, has been productive of the happiest-effects.

GLOBE—We have no doubt that the inquiry as to the expediency of consolidating the Statute Law, as well as the actual experiment of.

"codifying" the provisions of the Common Law concerning erlites and punishments, will necessftrp_y, :f tile labour assigned to the Corn- missioneta successfully performed, read to the farther inquiry as to the possibility of bringing into the statutory form some of the other important branches of the Common Law. The statutes have been passed from time to time to supply some defects, or to make some im- provement in the body of Common Law; 'as to which' the legal theory is, that it forms, or wiatild- have formed if no statute had ever passed, a complete set of provisions applicable to all the transactions of society. The statutes being, in fact, not so much parts of a structure as a suc- cession of patches or repairs, any consolidation of them, however skilful and however convenient for reference, will form any thing but a complete code. The Statute Law in many of its branches consists of exceptions ; for the general rules, as well as for the definition of the very terms employed, the Common Law must continually be referred to. This will be more obvious and striking when any branch of the Sta- tute Law is brought into a systematic form.