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people as clogs upon the march of knowledge and improvement in the public counsels. Their only strength was in the hold which their hostility to the catholics gave them on popular prejudice and the mind of the king. But the no-popery principle, and the clubbed intellect of the party, not only failed to supply the materials of a cabinet, but could not even muster an opposition in the house of commons. The warfare of opposition consisted there in desultory and distempered sallies by disappointed subalterns of the late administration.

The chief strength of the seceders lay in the house of lords. Their attacks here were directed with all the asperity of the house of commons, and more concert and organisation. They found a powerful auxiliary where they could scarcely have expected it. Lord Grey made a formal declaration that he withheld his confidence from the new mi. nistry. This was an unexpected and serious blow. It shook the confidence of the public in the new arrangements. It was such a blow as lord Chatham, by a deliberate formal declaration of the same kind, gave the first Rockingham administration. The two cases have a striking resemblance. Both ministries were partial conquests over an exclusive and vicious system of government;- both had to contend with a court oligarchy and an adverse bias in the mind of the sovereign ; in both cases there was a present compromise of principles with a view to their future triumph; and a certain analogy of public station and personal character warrants the supposition that lord Grey, like lord Chatham, was influenced by personal ambition and impatient pride. The effect,

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however, was chiefly felt by his own party — the whig allies of Mr. Canning. The uncompromising consistency, high ground, and stately solitude of lord Grey, gave a seeming air' of littleness and desertion to those who had left his side to group themselves behind the minister.

A meeting of bishops was convened, soon after the elevation of Mr. Canning, at Lambeth palace, to receive from the archbishop of Canterbury and bishop of London the king's declaration that he was “ firmly fixed as his father had been in his opposition to the pretensions of the papists.” This assurance of the king, avowed and asserted in a tone of bold defiance by the bishop of London in the house of lords, justifies both Mr. Canning and the whigs in reference to the catholics. It was evident that emancipation, as Mr. Canning said, was a question which could succeed by winning, not by forcing, its way; and that any attempt to force would only throw it back. The catholics viewed it in the same light. Attempts were made, by the most violent opponents of emancipation, to urge the discussion of the catholic claims; but the catholics were not so simple as to take counsel of their enemies. The repeal of the test and corporation acts was another question with the compromise of which the whigs were reproached; but the question did not press, the grievance was light, and an overwhelming counterpoise was gained against practical exclusion and intolerance. The third subject of compromise and reproach was parliamentary reform ; but reform at the time was abandoned by the people as well as by the whigs. Under these

circumstances, some of the whigs took office after the minister had firmly seated himself, and the session had advanced towards its close. Lord Lans, downe became secretary for the home department; lord Carlisle, privy seal ; and Mr. Tierney, master of

; the mint.

As the ministry became more firm and compact, the opposition to it became, not more envenomed, for that could hardly be, but more ably directed. Mr. Peel threw aside his candour, his moderation, and his kindness, to take up the weapons hitherto used only by his subalterns around him. “ I rejoice,” said Mr. Canning, “ that the standard of opposition is raised openly. I prefer direct hostility to hollow professions and a pretended neutrality;" and the words were received with responsive cheers, which must have told Mr. Peel that intolerant toryism' was a hopeless cause. In the house of lords, however, the tories were numerous as well as adroit, and they obtained a victory by manœuvring and surprise.

Two questions only remained for consideration at the close of the month of May,— the statement of the finances in the house of commons, and the passing of the corn bill in the house of lords. Mr. Canning, as chancellor of the exchequer, brought forward the supplies and ways and means, on the 1st of June. His plan was, in substance, a continuance of the system of the preceding year; and it was sanctioned by the house almost as a vote of confidence in the minister. The corn bill was brought forward in the house of lords on the same day. It came recommended to the ex-ministers by the sancm


tion, if not authorship, of their late and lauded col. league, lord Liverpool ; no one thought of its being opposed by them: and it was, in fact, unopposed on the first and second readings. The committee is the stage in which a bill which could not be directly opposed, may yet be stabbed insidiously, or cut and hacked in detail. Several amendments were proposed and rejected. The duke of Wellington submitted an amendment, sanctioned, he announced, by Mr. Huskisson. The bill provided the admission of corn at all times upon payment of a duty proportioned to the average home-market price ; but the duke's clause would absolutely exclude warehoused corn until the average price rose to 66s. a quarter. This was destructive of the bill, and therefore resisted by lord Goderich, the ministerial leader in the house of lords. There were, doubtless, in the house of commons selfish or uninformed landowners, who would think only of their rents in the midst of an over-worked and famished population. These, however, were outnumbered by landowners more enlightened, and by the representatives of trading wealth and industry; and the government was enabled to make some progress in that house towards a system which should enable the labourer to subsist by the sweat of his brow. But in the house of peers all are lords of the soil, interested in keeping up the price of food; and selfish motives, combining with party spirit and the alleged sanction of Mr. Huskisson, obtained the duke of Wellington's clause a majority. Mr. Huskisson wrote to the duke of Wellington a letter, denying that he had given his sanction to the clause. The duke of Wellington, in

reply, persisted in asserting that the clause was sanctioned by Mr. Huskisson. A correspondence ensued. Mr. Huskisson pointed out to the duke where he was mistaken; and brought him, with difficulty, to acknowledge a mistake which was plain to the simplest understanding. But the duke of Wellington did not the less persevere in his clause:-in short, the seceders, whether from a lucky hazard or secret contrivance, found they had a majority against Mr. Canning; and so disfigured the bill of their dear and revered colleague, lord Liverpool, that it was abandoned by lord Goderich. The violence of war has its horrors, but it has also its laws and honour ; — whilst the unredeemed duplicity and meanness of party ambition and intrigue cannot be contemplated without unqualified disgust.

The tory party rather lost than gained by this defeat of Mr. Canning. Their rejection of the corn bill would leave the people exposed to the contingency of a famine during the summer; and their conduct was, on this account, regarded as factious and odious. To provide against a scarcity during the recess, a temporary bill was brought in by Mr. Canning, and passed expeditiously through both houses. The introduction of the second bill led to very free strictures on the conduct of the duke of Wellington. Some, among whom were Mr. Can ning, regarded his conduct as that of one who was an instrument in the hands of persons more crafty and expert in the tactics of party; whilst others declared that no extent to which ignorance on a given subject could be duped or practised on would excuse the duke of Wellington's persisting to take

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