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Raphael affairs—which are bad enough in all conscience, as tending to establish the passive endurance of ungentlemanly conduct, in consideration of active partizanship, as a principle-but to the manner in which the club has been vulgarised by recent infusions. Sheridan was black-balled three times by George Selwyn because his father had been upon the stage, and he only got in at last through a ruse of George the Fourth, (then Prince of Wales) who detained his adversary in conversation in the hall whilst the ballot was going on. What would George Selwyn say to some twenty or thirty of the names now upon the list! The Edinburgh Review is pleased to add: • It (the Carlton) is no mere new club established for the social meeting of gentlemen generally professing the same opinions, like White's or Brookes'.'* As regards Brookes', our cotemporary is right.
It would be strikingly unjust to Mr. Walker to pass over bis political papers, most of which have great merit; and our testimony to this effect will be allowed to be unimpeachable, when we state, that on the whole, he inclines rather to the old school of Whiggery, so far as a man who thinks boldly and clearly for himself can be fairly said to incline to any party. He begins by enumerating three principles of government—the democratic, the ochlocratic, and the oligarchic:
• By the democratic principle, I mean the principle of popular government fitly organized. By the ochlocratic principle, I mean the principle of mob-government, or government by too large masses. By the oligarchic principle, I mean the principle of exclusive government, or government by too few. The democratic principle is the fundamental principle of English government, and upon its effective operation depend the purity and vigour of the body politic. This principle has a tendency in two different directions, and constant watchfulness and skill are required to preserve it in its full force. Unless its application is varied as population increases, it becomes in practice either oligarchical or ochlocratical; oligarchical, for instance, in the ancient corporations of thriving towns, and ochlocratical in increasing parishes with open vestries. The oligarchic principle tends to make those who attain power, tenacious, arbitrary, and corrupt; those who wish for it, discontented and envious, and the rest fatally indifferent. Hence our long-standing and fierce party struggles on questions of reform-hence the ochlocratic principle so slowly called into action, and hence the headlong consequences; all of which evils would have been entirely prevented had the democratic principle been duly kept, or put in operation.
•Ochlocracy (which is derived from two Greek words signifying mobgorernment) is the most inquisitorial, dictatorial, and disgusting of all governments, and its tendency is to despotism as a more tolerable form
* Edinb. Rev., No. 125, p. 171.
of tyranny. It is an unwieldy monster, more potent in the tail than in the head, and is hardly stimulated to action but by the garbage or trash thrown to it by the base or the weak for their own base or weak purposes.'
But the pith of Mr. Walker's political opinions is to be found in an article entitled • Reform:'
• Reform is an admirable thing, though reformers are seldom admirable men, either in respect to their motives, or to the means they employ to attain their ends. They are ordinarily overbearing, rapacious, and inquisitorial, perfectly heedless how much suffering they cause to those who stand in their way, and only befriending their supporters for the sake of their support. They are often men of profligate habits, whose chief reason for busying themselves in public affairs is because they are afraid to look into their own. Their real delight is in pulling down both men and institutions, and if they could help it, they would never raise up either one or the other. When they do so, it is only from opposition, and never upon sound principles. They delight in the discomfiture of others, and take no pleasure in any one's happiness. With them everything is abstract and general, except the work of demolition, and there they will enter into practical detail with great zest. They are profoundly ignorant of the art of government, and they seldom get beyond a general fitting measure, little knowing, and not at all caring, whom it pinches. As their policy is to flatter and cajole the lowest, they reject whatever is high-minded and generous, and seek in everything to dehase the social standard. They are to the many what courtiers are to the few, and like them they misrepresent and vilify every class but that by which they hope to thrive. They are vain and self-sufficient, and think they thoroughly know what they have neither heads nor hearts to comprehend. There is this in them that is disgusting, that they are the reverse of what they profess, and they are the more dangerous, because, under plausible pretexts and with specious beginnings, they work to ruin. They rise into notice and importance from the pertinacious clinging to abuse of men often more estimable than themselves, and from the inaction of those who content themselves with wishing for the public good, instead of sacrificing a portion of their ease in order to secure it. They see their ends but indistinctly, and they are regardless of the means by which they advance to them. They will advocate the cause of humanity with a total want of feeling, and will seek to establish what they call purity, by corruption and intrigue. Freedom of opinion they enforce by intimidation, and uphold the cause of civil and religious liberty by tyranny and oppression. Nothing could exhibit the character of a reformer by trade more strongly than the attempt to overhaul the pension list. It was an attempt inquisitorial, un feeling, and unnecessary; and its object was to inflame and gratify the basest passions of the multitude. The amount, in a national point of view, was not worth thinking of; as a precedent it had lost all its force, and the only question was, whether a
number of unoffending individuals should be dragged before the public, and made a prey to uneasiness and privation for the mere purpose of gratifying malignity and prying curiosity. In something the same spirit was the attempt to make public the names of all fund-holders above a certain amount; and as a specimen of arbitrary feeling, there cannot be a better than the proposal to break in upon the sanctity of a private dwelling with "a vigour beyond the law.".
The subject of the thorough organization of self-government,' which Mr. Walker proposes as a panacea for all the evils of the State, is pursued through several Numbers, so that the full development of the theory would require a much larger space than we can afford. Suffice it, therefore, to say, that the principle maintained by him is that to which M. Tocqueville, in his admirable work on the institutions of the United States,* attributes the greater part of the good he discovers in them, as well as that which the great German jurist, von Savigny, is anxious to preserve as the best guarantee for patriotism. But perhaps we shall best convey some slight notion of its nature by stating that it is especially opposed to the centralization principle, the tendency of which, as we understand it, is to neutralize and eventually destroy all local or provincial power and influence of any kind enjoyed in right of station or property—(unpaid magistrates are particularly obnoxious to it)and vest the entire administration, local as well as general, in regular government functionaries or boards of salaried commissioners with their subordinates. There may be instances in which centralization is necessary, but against the unchecked extension of the principle Mr. Walker earnestly protests :
There are two vices inherent in the centralization principle, which are quite sufficient to render it odious to all true Englishmen. In the first place, it must necessarily create a tribe of subordinate traders in government, who, with whatever English feelings they might set out, must from the nature of things, they or their successors, become arbitrary, vexatious, and selfish. In the second place, as it would deprive the citizens of the invigorating moral exercise of managing their common affairs, it would soon justly expose them to the reproach of that Roman emperor, who, to certain Grecian deputies claiming for their country a restoration of political privileges, made this bitter answer, “ The Greeks have forgotten how to be free.” Freedom, like health, can only be preserved by exercise, and that exercise becomes more necessary as a nation becomes more rich. The inevitable tendency of the centralization principle, like the ochlocratic, though more insidiously, is to despotism. The first is the favourite of those who call themselves Liberals, and the last of the Radicals.
* De la Democratie en Amerique,' vol. i. c. 5. A careful study of this book will suffice to cure any thinking man of republicanism, if any thinking man can have contracted a taste for it. + Of the Vocation of our age for Legislation and Jurisprudence," sect. 5.
· Not to run the slightest risk of suffering Mr. Walker's scheme to be confounded with any of the absurdities of the present Cabinet, we subjoin the passage in which he pointedly excludes the inference :
• The ochlocratic, or mob principle, though it may appear to be founded on the principle of self-government, is virtually the reverse, and for this reason, that its tendency is to throw the management of affairs into the hands of a few, and those the most unworthy; whilst apathy and disgust keep the best as much aloof, as if they were by law excluded from interference. This is an inevitable result in the long run. It is witnessed continually in ochlocratically organized parishes and corporations, and has, from the first, been visible in different degrees in the new overgrown parliamentary constituencies. The excitement of the moment is producing a partial activity, but which is factitious, and not essential. The cumbrous machines will only be towed into action by party steamers, in the shape of clubs and associations, and, in ordinary times, will be completely water-logged, while corruption and misrule will gradually creep in undisturbed. It will require far more statesman-like contrivances to draw men from their business, their pleasure, and their ease, and induce them suffi. ciently to interest themselves in public affairs to keep public affairs in their proper course. The spirit of party will not accomplish this.
• Zealots in liberty are apt to suppose that it consists entirely in independence of all government; that is, that the less power is lodged with government, the more freedom is left to the citizens. But the most perfect state of liberty consists in the most complete security of person and property, not only from government, but from individuals ; and in this point of view, I apprehend, liberty is enjoyed to far greater extent in England than in any other country in the world. In this point of view, honesty and peaceable behaviour are essential to the enjoyment of liberty..... Whether a man has his pocket picked by a sharper, or by an oppressive impost; whether his plate or jewels are seized by an order of government, or are carried away by a housebreaker; whether his estate is cleared of its game by the king's purveyor, or by a gang of poachers; or whether he is confined to his house after a certain hour by a regulation of police, or by the fear of being robbed or murdered, -in neither predicament can he be said to enjoy perfect liberty, which consists in security of person and pro. perty, without molestation or restraint, provided there is no molestation or restraint of others. To attain this liberty, strong government is necessary, but strong without being vexatious, and the only form is that which, in the true spirit of our constitution, consists of a simple supreme government, presiding over and keeping duly or. ganized a scale of self-governments below it. It is by moral influence alone that liberty, as I have just defined it, can be secured, and it is only in self-governments that the proper moral influence exists. In proportion as the supreme government takes upon itself the control of local affaire, apathy, feebleness, and corruption will creep in, and
our increasing wealth, which should prove a blessing, will only hasten our ruin.'
We shall conclude with a sentiment in perfect harmony and exact unison with our own:
I like comfortable generous times. I loathe the base, malignant, destroying spirit now in the ascendant, chilling and poisoning as it works; and I would fain see the present age of calculation and economy pass away, to be succeeded by a glorious one of high-minded morals. To inspirit the rich, to enrich the industrious, and to ensure a sound and brilliant prosperity, what this great country wants, is not a sour system of paring and pulling down, but a statesman-like infusion of the splendour and energies of war into the conduct of peace-the same prompt and liberal application of means to endsthe same excitements to action—the same encouragements to those who serve their country.'
Mr. Walker has discontinued his labours during a brief interval, but he promises to resume them within a month or two, and we shall then be most happy to renew our acquaintance with the
Original.' We now take leave of him with the sincerest feelings of respect
Art. VIII.-Dramas. By Joanna Baillie. 3 vols. 8vo. London.
1836. THE name of Joanna Baillie commands attention from all true
lovers of dramatic poetry. No female, we assert without scruple, has ever struck at once into so high a vein of poetry, or obtained so much success in the noblest and most consummate branch of poetic composition—the tragic drama. We are not old enough to remember the sensation caused by the first anonymous appearance of the Plays on the Passions, but we have often heard it described; the curiosity excited in the literary circle, which was then much more narrow and concentrated than at present; the incredulity, with which the first rumour that these vigorous and original compositions came from a female hand, was received ; and the astonishment, when, after all the ladies who then enjoyed any literary celebrity had been tried and found totally wanting in the splendid faculties developed in those dramas, they were acknowledged by a gentle, quiet, and retiring young woman, whose most intimate friends, we believe, had never suspected her extraordinary powers.
There may have been some national pride, and some personal feeling of regard in the high-toned praise awarded to the ' bold enchantress' in one of Sir Walter Scott's earlier poems :
• Till Avon's swans—while rung the grove