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This general principle he applies to a connection which, he says, ought to possess Government One of the chief arguments adduced by Burke in favour of governing the country by a connection, that is, a party of men not dependent on the Court, bound together by mutual confidence, common affections, and common interests, is, that it had been governed by such a connection during the most fortunate periods of the preceding reigns since the revolution. Here he brings forward a maxim often applied by him in the succeeding parts of his political
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life :--that it behoves statesinen to reason from experience and example, and not from abstract principles. The connection by which he proposes the country to be go. verned is the Whig aristocracy, a combi‘nation of those families which had mest powerfully supported the revolution and consequent establishments. Such a combination he supposes to be primarily essential to the well-being of the state. Generally abborrent of speculative innovation in politics, he declares himself inimical to a change, or what its advocates call a reform in the con-, stitution and duration of parliament.
Thus we see Burke has, from his political outset, been a FRIEND TO ARISTOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, AN ENEMY TO PARLIAMEN, TARY REFORM, AND TO METAPHYSICAL INNOVATION IN POLITICS,
It may be said that, although the country had prospered when government was in the hands of the Wnig connection, it would not follow, that it was the CONNECTION that pro
duced that prosperity. It may also be said, that the country, in fact, had not prospered to the extent which Burke assumes. It would be difficult to prove that the Duke of Marlborough's victories (had they becii as useful as they were brilliant) proceeded from his connection with the Whig party. To many it will be doubtful, whether the proceedings of the Whig connections, after their re-establishment in power by the accession, were not guilty of as oppressive and impolitic acts as any attributed to the Court junto, when Burke wrote. Many may think the proceedings against the Tory Lords, by the Whigs, as unjustifiable and unconstitutional as those against the popular favourites at the supposed instigation of the Court junto, and conceive the prosecution of Lord Oxford and of Atterbury to have been at least as contrary to natural justice and to constitutional principle as the prosecution of Wilkes, The purity of the longest of all Wbig Administrations has been questioned on fully as strong grounds as the purity of any Ministry formed at the 'in
stance of the Court junto. Corruption appears from history to have prevailed as much under the Administration of Sir Robert Walpole, as under those of Bute, Grenville, 'or Grafton. The Whig Ministers, during the first war of George II. did not contribute very much either to national honour or advantage. The most able and · successful Minister England had known was not a creature of the Whig aristocracy, but a statesman recommended to his SOVEREIGN'S CHOICE BY HIS PERSONAL ABILITIES AND THE FAVOUR OF THE PEOPLE. He was even obnoxious to some Whigs of the highest rank, but overbore them by the highest TALENTS. Following, therefore, with Burke, experience, as the surest guide in the conduct of affairs, we do not find the Whig combination, which he proposes, most likely to extricate the country from the alledged evil. A Whig junto might be better than a Court junto. Independent Whigs would probably be better disposed to promote the interest of
their country, than dependent Courtiers ;..but all Whigs are not independent. The index
pendence of many of the members of the connection was by no means clear. Whig great men had retainers, as well as Court great men. Where evil of any great kind, and in a great degree, prevails, the remedy does not lie in any particular junto, but in the UNITED SENSE AND VIRTUE OF THE COMMUNITY.
I am aware, that it has been the received doctrine among Whig parties ever since the revolution, that public affairs ought to be managed by a certain party, which its members called the Whig connection. In the reign of Queen Anne, the Whigs, from the accession of the Duke of Marlborough to their measures, and the great abilities of many other characters belonging to them, constituted a most powerful and efficient Administration, under whom, and their leader, the most splendid exploits were performed; and most glorious victories were obtained. The atchievements arising from the genius of individual Whigs, acting in concert, reflected a lustre on the whole party,