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tion of the Slave Trade, must be supported by men of all parties who agree in disapproving of that traffic, without regard to the quarter from whence the proposition comes ; but an honest and rational abolitionist must feel very suspicious of whatever is done in this cause by men who were always the great patrons of the trade, and who clung to its last remains, with the eagerness of African merchants, at the moment when the voice of the whole people was raised to put it down. The same law becomes
different thing, if its execution is left in the hands of an enemy to its principles and spirit; and almost every branch of publick policy is connected with proceedings which must of necessity be entrusted to the servants of the executive government, and with events for which no legislative arrangement can provide. Thus, some very worthy, but mistaken abolitionists, who had flattered themselves that the law being once made, no ministers would dare to show any slackness in executing it, have been somewhat staggered always to find in the Colony Department, an avowed advocate of the West Indian body, and frequently to see in the colonies most exposed to slave trading, official men not very hostile to the traffic; nor were they much edified to find the interests of the abolition wholly overlooked in the first peace with France, though the loud and unanimous reprobation of the country soon forced the subject upon the attention of ministers, once the avowed patrons, and now the zealous enemies of the traffic. The state of Ireland affords another illustration. The injudicious supporters of the Catholic claims often rank themselves with the promoters of the outcry against party connexion. Yet who can deny that the Catholic question itself, if carried, would confer fewer advantages on Ireland, nay fewer immunities or benefits on the Catholic body, than the establishment of a ministry honestly and anxiously disposed to allay all sectarian animosities, and to give the Cathosics the whole advantage of the law as it at present stands ? While the professed enemies of that sect bear sway, and while one of the grounds of the preference shown to them by the Crown, is their inveterate hostility to the Catholic claims, it is manifest that emancipation itself, if carried, would amend the situation of the sister kingdom in little more than the name. А wise ministry, friendly to that body, was endeavouring in 1806 and 1807 to improve their condition by all practical favours which, under the existing laws could be shown to them, and to pave the way by gradual relaxations, for the complete repeal of the penal code. Like the Abolitionists, the violent Catholics cried out, “ Measures, not men ; ' and, joining in the attack which their worst enemies made upon their best friends, they have had
eleven or twelve years of oppression to warn them how they suffer themselves again to be blindly leagued against their own interests. The great subject of Economical Reform affords another illustration of the same doctrine. The extreme necessities of the country, and the loud cry which has gone forth from the whole people for retrenchment, has compelled the ministry to make some show of reformation in this particular. But as they are the known enemies of every such change; as their principle is to extend rather than diminish the Royal patronage; as their practice has been the indulgence of unexampled profusion in every branch of the public expenditure, no man of common sense could expect to see the cause of Economy thrive in their hands; and none but an idiot can have been disappointed at seeing how little has been effected by them in producing a saving of expense. Whatever relief the people have obtained from their burthens, is due to their own vehement determination to shake them off; and has been wrung from the gripe of their rulers in spite of the strongest efforts which could be made to retain the load upon the people's back. Generally speaking, a ministry favourable to the country, friendly to rational reforms, and despising patronage, would have carried through a variety of improvements which none but ministers can accomplish; and would have seized every practicable opportunity of retrenchment which the circumstances of the times afforded, independent of legislative enactments.
We trust that enough has been said to show, how honestly, and how rationally, a publick man may withhold his support systematically from one
class of statesmen, and cooperate generally with another. Hitherto we have only spoken of the principle of party union, as liable to be questioned by persons of tender consciences, or guided by original views of policy. But two other classes also take a part in such associations, whose cooperation is not to be rejected, although the motives of the one, and the faculties of the other, may be less respectable. Self-interest, which leagues so many with the Government, may rank some too with its opponents; and a number of persons, who have sense and information enough to see which side they should, upon the whole, prefer, may be very far from possessing the power to form an enlightened opinion upon each measure that is discussed. There is no reason whatever, why the aid of both these classes should not be received; nor is it the slightest imputation, either upon the chiefs or their cause, to seek such cooperation. The ministry can only be effectually resisted by such means; the ministry, round whom such hosts are rallied by all the basest propensities of our nature, and whose cause is supported too by the ignorance, the weakness, and the servility of multitudes. One of the great advantages of party union is, that it arrays in strength against bad rulers, mumberless individuals who, if left alone, are too weak to produce any effect; and that it brings good out of evil, by turning the weaknesses, and even the vices of mankind, to the account of the country's cause.
When we see by what means, and by what persons, the worst of ministers is always sure to be backed, can there be a more deplorable infatuation than theirs, who would fain see him displaced for the salvation of the State, and yet scruple to obtain assistance in the just warfare waged against him, from every feeling and motive and principle, that can induce any one to join in the struggle? Always reflecting on the fearful odds against the people, who can seriously maintain, that we ought nicely to investigate the grounds of each man's support who is willing to take our part? Who so silly as to ask whether one person is encouraged by his hopes-another by his vanity-a third by his love of action or to criticise this movement of the publick mind, as tinged with enthusiasm, and that as somewhat extravagant?
While men are men, these frailties must show themselves in all they do: And the wiseacres or puritans, who object to a party for availing itself of every support, without asking to what it may be owing, only contend in reality that the whole of those frailties should be marshalled on one side. This is, in truth, the perpetual error into which the enemies of party fall. The interested declaimers against its principles know it full well; and the wellmeaning purist, unintentionally lends himself to the artifice. In a word, as every ministry is sure of all the benefits of party union at all times, he who cries out against faction, only means that there shall be one faction unopposed. He commits the same error with the very amicable, but not very practical sect, who deny the right of self-defence; and forget, that unless all men were converted into Friends, their doctrine would end in the extirpation of half the human race.
We have said enough, and perhaps more than enough, on this subject.-Yet we canriot resist the temptation of transcribing a few lines from an author, whose genius entitles him to the highest regard from readers of every description, and whose political partialities may probably recommend him still more strongly to those who might be disposed to distrust our ratiocinations. Mr Burke, in the most temperate, elaborate, and deeply weighed of all his political publications, has the following admirable remarks on the subject of which we are now treating.
• That connexion and faction are equivalent terms, is an opinion which has been carefully inculcated at all times by unconstitutional statesmen. The reason is evident. Whilst men are linked together, they easily and speedily communicate the alarm of any evil design. They are enabled to fathom it with common counsel, and to oppose it with united strength. Whereas, when they lie dispersed, without concert, order, or discipline, communication is uncertain, counsel difficult, and resistance impracticable. Where men are not acquainted with each other's principles nor experienced in each other's talents, nor at all practised in their mutual habitudes and dispositions by joint efforts in business--no personal confidence, no friendship, no common interest subsisting among them; it is evidently impossible that they can act a public part with uniformity, perseverance, or efficacy. In a connexion, the most inconsiderable man, by adding to the weight of the whole, has his value, and his use; out of it, the greatest talents are wholly unserviceable to the public. No man, who is not inflamed by vainglory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours are of power to de-. feat the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. When the public man omits to put himself in a situation of doing his duty with effect, it is an omission that frustrates the purposes of his trust almost as much as if he had formally betrayed it. It is surely no very rational account of a man's life, that he has always acted right; but has taken special care, to act in such a manner that his endeavours could not possibly be productive of any consequence.'
Every profession, not excepting the glorious one of a soldier, or the sacred one of a priest, is liable to its own particular vices ; which, however, form no argument against those ways of life; nor are the vices themselves inevitable to every individual in those professions. Of such a nature are connexions in politics ; essentially necessary for the full performance of our public duty, accidentally liable to dege. nerate into faction. Commonwealths are made of families, free commonwealths of parties also; and we may as well affirm, that our natural regards and ties of blood tend inevitably to make men bad citizens, as that the bonds of our party weaken those by which we are held to our country.--Some legislators went so far as to make neutrality in party a crime against the state. I do not know whether this might not have been rather to overstrain the principle. Certain it is, the best patriots in the greatest commonwealths have always commended and promoted such connexions. Idem sentire de republica, was with them a principal ground of friendship and attachment; nor do I know any other capable of forming firmer, dearer, more pleasing, more honourable, and more virtuous habitudes.
Near akin to the last topick on which we have touched, is the benefit derived to the cause of sound and liberal principles,
by aristocratical influence being enlisted in the ranks of party,
power of great families is indeed a most necessary part of the array to which the people must look for their security against misgovernment. It is in vain to stigmatize this cooperation as the influence of a domineering aristocracy; to assert that the whole is a contention of grandees; and to pretend that the power of one is better than that of an oligarchy. Such are the clamours cunningly raised by the minions of arbitrary power; scarcely with less wickedness echoed by the wild fury of demagogues; and senselessly listened to by the unthinking rabble. But this description of persons is daily lessening in number, as the education of the poor advances: The delusion is therefore losing its influence, and the undue power of the Crown must soon be deprived of its best allies, the mob and their leaders. Every man of sense has long been convinced, that no two things can be more widely different, than the wholesome and natural influence of the asistocracy in a political party, and the vicious form of national government, which is known by the same name. That influence can only be exerted by the freewill of the party, and the people whose leaders and advocates those great families
As soon as the common operations of the party have raised them to power, they are subject to all the checks and controls which the frame of our constitution has provided, and which renders all danger from aristocratic influence wholly chimerical. But, in connexion with the party whose principles they share, and whose confidence they enjoy, those families exercise a large and a salutary influence. They afford a counterpoise from their wealth, rank and station, to the resources of force and corruption at the Crown's disposal: they are a rally ing point to the scattered strength of the inferior partisans, and a more permanent mass in which the common principles may be embodied and preserved among the vicissitudes of fortune; and, in the lapse of time, so apt to have a fatal effect among the more fickle and more numerous orders of society, they are eminently useful in tempering the zeal, as well as in fixing the unsteadiness of popular opinion,—and thus give regulation and direction, as well as efficacy, to the voice and the strength of
We are very far from wishing to deny, that the principle of party association has ever been abused; and the perversion of it has most frequently been, in the combinations of great families, united by no distinguishing opinions, and opposing
government upon no very intelligible grounds. The object, in these cases, seems rather to have been, the distribution of patronage; and the point of difference with the ministry was sometimes