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ed that he would restore things gone to decay, and maintain those restored -implying that he would extend the right of voting for counties to copyholders, for boroughs to L.10 householders.' As rationally might the Chancellor have said that his Majesty had sworn to establish Universal Suffrage! The absurdity of such interpretation of the Coronation oath, is equalled only by that involved in a subsequent assertion-made with considerable gravity—that a reform, that is, a popular—or rather as we say a democratic Parliament, will never suffer the nation to go to war! On this astounding foolishness of his Lordship's, his Examiner makes some excellent observations and quotations; but the author of the articles on Reform and the French Revolution, in this Magazine, settled that question to the head and heart's content of all men-so let them believe in the pacific character of a democratic government, who, in their old age, have abjured the astronomical heresies of the Newtonian system, and believe that our earth is the immovable centre of the universe, and its moon made of the greenest of cheese.
But Lord Brougham's opinion of democracy is hard to come at. We have heard him sneering at Lord Dudley for sneering at the statesmen of Birmingham-we have heard him reproving that nobleman, with much dignity, for deriding those by whom "moderation, respectful demeanour, and affectionate attachment to their Lordships' house, had been evinced in every one of their petitions." The selfsame men enter into a resolution, which their eulogist not only calls unlawful, but says, that " if unhappily the effect should proceed farther into the country, if they were not put down, the elements of government would be dissolved." Are there then asks his Examiner-two Birminghams, the one peaceful, moderate, attached to the constitution, the other unlawful, seditious, and condemned? And, gentle shepherd, tell me why-should have come out a Proclamation specially levelled "at those peaceful and affectionate Birminghamites—the rebellious children of a reforming Cabinet?"
Lord Brougham has said, “to me, who am a worshipper of the democra
cy, this was a tempting occasionfor here was Juggernaut, before whom 150,000 persons (read 20,000, meo periculo.-C. N.) were ready to prostrate themselves." On this fine burst of eloquence, (as it was called in some newspapers,) the author of the Reply beautifully remarks, that it is a strange confession from a Peer of the realm, the occupier of the Woolsack, and Speaker of the House of Lords, that he should worship the democracy at all, especially since it is asked in a former part of the speech, "Where was the man who had yielded less to the demands of the populace, than the individual now before their Lordships? And even much credit is there taken for having exposed their insanity, delusion, and folly." "But whatever"continues the acute and eloquent Examiner "whatever be the demon of his idolatry, or whether he be the idol of the people, the service confers but little honour, or little benefit, where blessings are mingled with maledictions, and the objects of adoration, and the faith of the worshippers, are equally fickle and insincere."
But we come now to that part of the Speech-and it is the poorest of it all-intended to prove that it would be justifiable for the Ministers of the King to recommend his Majesty to create a sufficient number of Peers to secure to themselves a majority for the Reform Bill in the Upper House of Parliament. Here his antagonist meets him in great power, and demolishes the incautious and presumptuous giant, who has come to the combat without armour and without arms. The author of the Reply bids us remember that this is no argument to shew that the measure itself is wise; it is to shew that, whether wise or unwise, it may be forced on the legislature. It is an enunciation of means for attaining an object, not a justification of the object to be attained. We shall now lay before the public the gist of this admirable writer's argument against the base and wicked doctrine, adverse to all principles of constitutional law, but no doubt now again to be preached by the brazen impudence of the revolutionary press.
Mr Pitt made twenty Peers in one batch, for a particular purposetherefore, so ought Lord Grey-his
Lordship having been, we presume, all his life an admirer of that statesman, and at its close being desirous to become his follower. Lord Grey has made twenty-five Peers already -coronation peers; but he has indignantly denied the imputation that they were made with a view to carry this measure. He has indignantly denied that which the Lord Chancellor defends, on Mr Pitt's authority-that same Lord Chancellor who once declared at an election dinner, or some such occasion, that he had written his own epitaph-" Here lies the enemy of William Pitt." An affecting specimen of the Christian spirit of brotherly kindness. These new Peers, Lord Grey says, are all men who will do honour to the Peerage; and it was by mere chance that they supported the Reform Bill.
The answer to all this is shortMr Pitt never made a single Peer for the purpose of carrying any par
ticular measure. Precedent is something even in high treason—but here, for a precedent, his Majesty's
Ministers must avert their faces from
the frowning aspect and knit brow of the son of Chatham.
But what is the law ?—The King of England has no right, by law, to exercise his prerogative for the purpose of annihilating the decision of Parliament and therefore he will not
so exercise it.
But they who argue for the right, say, it is admitted that it is within the King's prerogative to create Peers —and that being so, it must be within his prerogative to create them when, and to what amount, he pleases. It may be wrong-it may be an indiscreet exercise of the power; but the power existing in the prerogative, it cannot be unlawful to use it, in the absence of any positive law for its restriction.
Answer. These shallow persons arrive at their conclusion from the equivocal use of the words law and prerogative. They forget that law, in this case, means something other than what is written-and that prerogative can only be fairly, and therefore of right, exercised in compliance with that unwritten rule: They forget that there is no prerogative to do wrong; and that it is unlawful to attempt it. Why, even in the reign of Charles the First, Sir
Henry Finch, writing in support of prerogative, thus qualifies his argument," For, in them all it must be remembered, that the King's prerogative stretcheth not to the doing of any wrong."
Is then the act which has been attempted to be justified-wrong? Do not juggle the answer by any consideration of the merits or demerits of the Bill of Reform. But ask any reasonable lover of liberty, whether he can think it other than abuse, for a Constitutional King, who has been advised by his Ministers to consult his Parliament on the merits of a new law proposed to them, to take upon himself, by his sign-manual, to annul the decision of the Upper House of Parliament, because, in the exercise of that right, it differed from the opinion of his Ministers?
"No sober man can doubt about the answer which he should give to this question. But it has been laid down by a learned Judge, in a treatise on this branch of constitutional law, that there are three auxiliary rights of the subject, which serve principally as outworks or barriers to protect and maintain inviolate the three great primary rights of personal security, personal liberty, and private property. These are, first, the constitution, powers, and privileges of Parliament; secondly, the limitation of the King's prerogative; thirdly, the courts of justice for the redress of injuries. Now, if there be one definition of a wrong clearer than another, it is this, that it is that which would deprive us of a right. It would therefore be an injury for either of these constitu tional rights to be exercised for the de struction of another: It would cease to be a right when so exercised, and the work done would be a constitutiona wrong. This would be equally the case whether the legislative power of Parlia ment, the limited prerogative, or the ad ministration of the laws, happened to b the subject of aggression: because all ar equally constitutional rights.”
But to what a degree, asks thi truly constitutional writer, is thi wrong exercised, when the lav thus sought to be violently exerted is itself a reconstruction of the go verning power, and a fundamenta change in the constitution of on House of Parliament? When th Sovereign, in a limited monarchy should appoint a House of Peers for the special purpose of remodelling
the House of Commons, and thus at one blow destroying the legislature, to whose opinion it was the duty of his Ministers to submit, should call another into existence to obey the mandates of executive authority. It would be unmixed despotism.
But the question is set at rest for ever-in the minds of all conscien
"But the matter did not rest here. These twelve peers were created in 1711.
tious men-by the following perfect In 1719, Lord Sunderland introduced his refutation of a doctrine which only slaves would whisper in the ear of a tyrant; and therefore, whatever may be the "whisper of that faction," which from the lips of his Ministers may breathe around the throne, never can it find entrance into the soul of our King.
celebrated Peerage Bill. It is thus that
"These are sound principles of constitutional law. They have been once infringed; certainly only once, since the Revolution; nor is there any thing in the precedent worthy of imitation. After all the long and eminent services of the Duke of Marlborough, he was dismissed by the intrigues of his political opponents. The Tories had resolved upon effecting the disgraceful measure of the Peace of Utrecht, for some of the transactions connected with which treaty the Earl of Oxford and Lord Bolingbroke were afterwards impeached, and of which a noble and learned person is reported to have said, that it was a measure which the execration of after ages had left inadequately censured. But though a majority of the Commons were well inclined to relinquish the honour and interest of their country, and acquiesce in the measures of government, the House of Peers despised the favour of a court which was only to be purchased at so grievous an expense. Here then the step was taken. The minister of Queen Anne, the Earl of Oxford, immediately created twelve peers. In that day there were found twelve Eng-lish gentlemen base enough to lend their voices to a minister, to annihilate the independence of Parliament, and to take up the polluted ermine of nobility, as the livery of their own degradation. The story is thus told by the cotemporary historian. But they, finding the majority of the House of Lords could not be brought to favour their designs, resolved to make an experiment that none of our princes had ventured on in former times; a resolution was taken up very suddenly, of making twelve peers all at once; three of these were called up by writ, being eldest sons of Peers, and nine more were created by patent. Sir Miles Wharton, to whom it was offered, refused it; he
worse corruptions are engendered for the concealment and security of the old.' The object of this Bill was to maintain diate creation of thirty-one peers, and the the power of the minister by an immethe arguments principally relied on by its future limitation of the prerogative; and supporters, were drawn from the abuse of the prerogative by Queen Anne. This Bill was rejected in the Commons after it had passed the Lords; and it was defeated by the eloquence, and much more by the firmness and resolution, of Sir Robert Walpole. His conduct is a fine example of what may be done by a single man, who has courage equal to his abilities. this occasion, Sir Robert Walpole alone preserved.the constitution. At a meeting of the Whigs at Devonshire House, he found the whole body of those who ought to have been his zealous supporters, 'lukewarm, irresolute, or desponding; several peers secretly favouring a bill which would increase their importance; others declaring, as Whigs, that it would be a manifest inconsistency to object to a measure tending to prevent the repetition of an abuse of prerogative, against which they had repeatedly inveighed. Those who were sincerely averse to it, were unwilling to exert themselves in hopeless resistance, and it was the prevailing opinion that the bill should be permitted to pass without opposition.' At this meeting Walpole stood alone, and having used arguments and remonstrances in vain, at last declared, that if deserted by his party, he himself would singly stand forth, and oppose the bill. "This declaration gave rise to much altercation, and many persuasions were made to deter him from adopting a measure which appeared chimerical and absurd; but when they found that he persisted, the whole party gradually came over to his opinion, and agreed that an opposition should be made in the House of Commons.' The consequence of this conduct was, that the Peerage Bill was defeated in the Commons. That very
bill which passed the House of Lords with but one opponent, and which the opposition party, but for Sir Robert Walpole, would have allowed to pass in de
spair, was triumphantly rejected by a majority of 269 against 177.
"There are three speeches in that debate especially worthy of attention. They are those of Sir Robert Walpole, Sir Richard Steele, and Mr Hampden. Sir Robert says, the view of the ministry in framing this bill, is plainly nothing but to secure their power in the House of Lords. The principal argument on which the necessity of it is founded, is drawn from the mischief occasioned by the creation of twelve peers during the reign of Queen Anne, for the purpose of carrying an infamous peace through the House of Lords. That was only a temporary measure, whereas the mischief to be created by this bill will be perpetual. It creates thirty-one Peers by authority of Parliament; so extraordinary a step cannot be supposed to be taken without some sinister design in future.'
"Sir Richard Steele says, If the thirty odd, who are to be ennobled by this bill, are to be made up by present members of the House of Commons, such members are to climb to honour through infumy.... The prerogative can do no hurt when ministers do their duty.... As for any sudden and surprising way of creation, that lies before the legislature for censure; and the great diminution which all creations bring upon the King's authority, is a sufficient defence against the abusive employment of that authority this way.' And he ended his excellent speech with these words :-'Since there is so full a House at this debate, I doubt not but it will infallibly end according to justice, for I can never think the liberty of England in danger at such a meeting; but for my part, I am against committing this bill, because I think it would be committing of sin.'
"And now for a supporter of the bill. Let us see, without approving of his views, what were Mr Hampden's arguments on behalf of his friend Lord Sunderland. He said, If we now come to the House of Lords itself, this bill will confine the number of peers in it to what it is at present. Suppose, therefore, that the present and all succeeding kings should take a resolution not to add to the number of peers. No one, I presume, would tax such a resolution either with weakness or evil design, because it is evident that by this means, one way at least of forcing through the House of Lords what is agreeable to a court, though never so bad in itself, or of hindering what is disagreeable though never so good, is entirely cut off. It is our interest, and the interest of the public, that the consultations of that House
should be free, which they would not be said to be, at a time when the crown poured in a number of lords to carry a question The House of Lords, I say, in danger.. what will it become in time? Who would not envy our posterity the sight of double or treble the present number of peers? Or who would not applaud the figure our constitution must make at such a time, if it can be then called our constitution, when it is impossible to suppose that men of worth and virtue will be prevailed upon to help to fill that House, and when yet it must be supposed that others will do it, to answer the particular occasions of a court, or their own necessities or ends at the same time?'
"Now to these opinions of the great Whigs of the early part of the last century, opinions which derive a prodigious weight from the fact of the personal opposition in which those who entertained them were engaged, I will add one more opinion, and that of a man of very different political views and bias, and one who was bred in far other notions of the freedom and the constitution of his country. I will now give the opinion of a high prerogative lawyer of the court of James II.; of a chief justice, of whom it is said by Burnet, that he unhappily got into a set of very high notions about the King's prerogative,' and who, in compliance with those notions, led eleven judges out of twelve to sanction, by their decision, the dispensing power of the crown, a prerogative of setting aside the enactments of Parliament, and established the true basis and necessity of the Revolution. In a written and published defence of his own judgment, in the case of Sir Edward Hales, Sir Edward Herbert thus argues :
"Objection 3. But if the King have a power to dispense with one (law,) he may dispense with twenty, with an hundred, and so the statute may become of little force.'
"Answer. From the abuse of a thing to draw an argument against the thing itself, is no consequence at all. It is, as is resolved in the cases, a high trust reposed in the King: and if the King will violate his trust, there is never a one of his prerogatives but may be abused to the ruin of his people. To instance in one or 1. Every body will grant that the King can pardon murder and robbery; yet if he should pardon every murder and every robbery that is committed, it were better to live with the cannibals in America, than in our native country.
"2. There is no doubt but that the King may create any man a peer of England, and thereby give him a vote in Par
liament: yet if the King should abuse his power so far as to create ten thousand peers, or confer this honour upon every body who asks it, NO DOUBT IT WERE A
TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF THE LEGISLATIVE POWER OF THIS NATION.
"God forbid that our prudence should ever be exercised in devising the extraordinary remedies alluded to by Sir W. Blackstone, for evils which written laws do not provide against, because they do not contemplate revolution. But still, if it is to be done, and if the constitution, to which the allegiance of Englishmen is pledged, is to be violently outraged, the crime had better be committed by the delegates, not by the King's Ministers. They are, I suppose, ready for the task; they have bound themselves to the Bill; they have sworn an oath to the deluded populace some of them, it is true, have already violated that oath; but perhaps a majority will not forswear themselves. Let them vote the abolition of the peerage. It was what in effect they pledged themselves to on their respective bust ings, if they understood their pledge. If they spoke by rote, let them come forward, and repent their ignorance, and renounce their parrot promises; let them confess their folly and avoid their crime.'
We know not yet what course the revolutionary press, and the revolutionary party in the House of Commons, intend to pursue with respect to the Peers. Are they determined again to disgrace themselves by brutal abuse of their betters, in language that has long been banished from the less beastly societies of the lowest vulgar? Perhaps not. unaccountable county meeting in Essex, we think, where reforming members of Parliament gave each other the lie, in a style that is esteemed ungenteel in the least fastidious quarters of the parish of St Giles, it was revolting to look at in types words which we must believe were once on the lips of English gentlemen-we do not mean Daniel Whittle Harvey-words of vituperation and insult to the spiritual Peers-such as are no longer fashionable among the upper ranks of the swell-mob. Then, a few days ago, a huge buffoon on the Inch of Perth, we observed, indulged himself, to the disgust even of the Dreg-drabs, in the same sort of Zanyism, of which the expression gets more and more loathsome, as it gathers slaver from the lips of each additional driveller, in its descent at
last to those of some blackguard bauldy, who, half-idiot and halfknave, walks about without shoes or stockings, and partly because he is fatuous, and partly because he is lazy, vacant of all work, turns up a leering face to heaven, and half pretends to be, and half is, the village Idiot a rural or suburban Thersites, whom it is folly not to cause labour, and his broad back and shoulders
in cases of offences, that are a manifest deviation from the innocence of instinct into corrupted self-will, weakness not to belabour with rod or thong, inflicting thereon divers many and severe stripes.
We have lately noticed certain symptoms of the mean cunning of the Reformers, in pamphlets, and paragraphs, and letters from Candidus and Moderator, on the probable conduct of the Peers, when the new Bill is presented to them—they will pass it. Why? Because they have shewn, by rejecting the last Bill, that they would not be frightened; and 'twas on the whole, say the hypocrites, bravely done, to reject it, in the face of threatenings intended to intimidate. But having proved that they are not cowards-they will now, of course, yield to the desires of the people, and pass any Bill they demand. What thorough and utter baseness is there in this pretended liberality of sentiment towards the order on whom these libelling levellers have already flung all the filth they could gather from the jakes and sewers of their imagination! Yet perhaps they are not hypocritical, but sincere. They cannot give credit to the nursery-tales they have heard about a phantom called Conscience. Knowing themselves no other impulses of action but the lowest, they do not dream of the exist ence of a sense of duty to country and to God. Adherence to principle even unto the death, from honour, and love, and reverence, and religion, sounds to them like some strange and silly fable-a ribbon, a button, or a garter is but itself and nothing more, like the yellow primrose to the eyes of Peter Bell; and nothing do they know or feel of the ennobled worth of our Peerage, which glories with justified pride in all its badges, and would perish in preservation of that liberty which of yore it won, and