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be a dangerous acquaintance for Mrs. Million. But for Clifden, their lordships should bring their night-caps: his Irish jokes and his Irish brogue keep them alive, at least protects them from Morpheus.
18. Lord Liverpool's illness has fallen heavily on the minds of all Whigs and Tories. No individual was ever more respected. Brookes's fell all speculating on his successor. General belief, that Lord Wellesley, said to be the ablest man in a critical situation of the day, must resume the Foreignship in the Lords, and Canning take the Premiership in the Commons. Wellington and Peel chief obstacles; Chancellor's influence like his wig--rather antique. Althorpe expects to go in with Lansdowne. Althorpe is solid, but yawniferous in speech; Lansdown chaffy, but specious. Three to one no go with either. Somebody must be sent into the Lords; Bathurst an old woman; Harrowby an old man. My friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer would answer the business to a t—. I wish they would try my cousin, Dudley and Ward. If I mistake not, he is one of the ablest men in either House; rather uncertain, like every other wit, but has it in him, as Tierney says. Tierney is for the Chancellor of the Exchequer's going into the Lords, and for Huskisson to succeed him in the Commons. Not a bad arrangement. The Marquis of Hertford says he was offered office, but refused; a man of real talent; the first to distinguish the genius of Byron, and that, too, at the unliterary employment of a gambling table. Byron was then very young, just before his travels, and was black-balled four times before his friend Major Audney could introduce him to the Union, then held in St. James's Square. Audney and Lord Yarmouth played for three days and nights without ceasing, till they were up to their chins in cards; quarrelled the third morning, went off to Richmond to fight; became reconciled there, and returned to the game. Byron admired this, in which he partook intensity of excitement beyond any thing. Hertford declares that he was at once struck by the sublime, intense expression of Byron's countenance, when he became warm on the game; his rolling eye, quivering lip, and dilating nostril of intense excitement. This intensity is the secret of Byron's spell upon the passions of his readers; he has less poetry than his admirers would be willing to admit, but he atones for that by his intense feeling. Hertford at once said, that whatever he would attempt, he would exceed in, from the intense excitability of his mind. Jeffery said the contrary. Who was right? 20. We agriculturists mustered thickly yesterday---wouldn't hear a word of the Common Council petition presented by Alderman Wood against the Corn Laws---kept coughing the whole time---great fun. I declare I don't approve of the grant just now to the Duke of Clarence; but as Tierney voted for it, I wouldn't do less. Tavistock and Althorpe made a good stand. Poor Tavistock looks very thin in spirits and flesh I like him much better than Don Carlos, who thinks himself the genius of the age. What a pair of affected creatures were doing the Army Estimates last night---Palmerston and Col. Davies. The hemming and hawing and I am shauring of the
pair is actually disgusting, particularly in that Davies, who is less confident than the other affected creature.
23. The two ladies have been doing a bit of speechification--Miss Stanley and Miss Major Maberly. Such Master Slender pipes and manner. Maberly is getting more effeminate every day; and my Coz. Stanley is, I fear, incurable. Lord Liverpool still the sole subject of conversation. Mr. Tierney heard his maiden speech from the gallery, and declares it surpassed even the eulogies upon it. Lord Grey (then Mr. Grey) also heard it, and observed in the course of his speech, that were he not personally aware of the fact, he could not believe an oration so sound and eloquent could have been made at the first attempt. 'Tis a curious fact, that Lord Liverpool's first speech was in the style and tone of Mr. Canning's present; while Mr. Canning's first was like Lord Liverpool's subsequent efforts, more directed to the understanding than the passions.
26. A great Duke to take the chair at the meeting for a national monument to the Duke of York. By the way, his Grace is determined to be a Marlborough in the cabinet as well as in the field. Canning struggled bard against his continuing in the administration with the commander-in-chiefship. "An Arab lance," says Gibbon, "aimed at Mahomet, was near, and might have changed the destinies "of the world." Strange the effects of what they call chance, the remote connection with yet-mighty consequences of trifling incidents upon the fortune of families. By the chance of play, Marquis Wellesley won some fifteen or sixteen thousands in 1793, and out of his winnings provided for his brother Arthur, by purchasing a lieutenantcolonelcy for him in the 33d. His being enabled to do so, was chance, pure chance. In 1795, Colonel Wellesley embarked for service in the West Indies; and was driven back twice by contrary winds. IIIness prevented his embarking the third and last time. Would it be too much to say that a point of wind changed the face of Europe. Certainly not to say, if a breeze then struck up blowing off land, the Duke of Wellington, &c. &c. would, most probably, be now Brigadier General Wellesley. But for the chance connection occasioned by a contested election in Oxfordshire, of the late Lord Liverpool with Sir Edward Turner and the Lowthers, and other members of the Bute Leicester-house party, Mr. Jenkinson might have died a subaltern clerk, and the present Earl be a solicitor in the Court of Chancery. But for the Pretender, John Scott would never now have been Lord Chancellor of England: for his parents, in 1745, removed to Newcastle upon Tyne; and, by chance, settled in a hundred which has two university presentations, one of which, Wm. Scott (Lord Stowell) by great exertions obtained, and on that built his own and his brother's fortune. But for that chance change of residence, what might have been the condition in life of Lord Stowell and the Earl of Eldon! I could multiply such instances of the chance fortune of living great men beyond credibility. It does not detract from their merit; many men have had at least equal chances; none had more ability to turn them to advantage. By the way, I lost a hundred by
the Chancellor's decision in the Wellesley case-thought the letters would have saved him, backed by family influence. Heard Lord Eldon trembled from agitation when delivering judgment.
27. Was glad to see Mr. Plunket take the oaths yesterday.Will have a good speech on the 5th. By-the-bye, was rather surprised at Sir Francis's laconic denial of information to Mr. Peel; and the sonorous organ of Somersetshire presented three petitions with a few very happy observations. Gooch repeated two of my points without acknowledgement;-very unfair. Sir T. Lethbridge in great spirits from Col. Torrens having lost his election. Where, in the name of St. David, did the people of Dover make out Pollard Thompson? He is worse even than Lord Calthorpe; such a sing-song, psalm-chiming, nose-snuffling sermon as his speech, I never heard: such a conventicle preacher has not been seen for a century. The House laughed till they got tired of the monotony. Laid Lowther 5 to 2 Thompson was a Saint-would not take it. What a tedious business the discussion of flogging soldiers in the army was last night! The military men against it to a man. Sir H. Vivian spoke well for a soldier. Not a word in the paper to-day of his or General Duff's, or, indeed, of any of the speakers. Hobhouse spoke pertinently but ineffectively. Cam will never make an effective debater; he is too attentive to the manner, and lacks originality of thought and expression. He is very like, in his costume and figure, that Rev. Robert Taylor, the infidel man. I suppose there are other points of resemblance. Cam's eulogy the other night on Peel was unhappy and most invidious against Canning, who has settled Cam for life, by his contemptuousism. Besides, it was an insult to his constituents, to doubt their approbation's being flattering to any public man. I was sorry to hear such a left-handed attack upon him of the “ splendid" reputation; it was unworthy the friend and companion of Sir F. Burdett, me, and Byron.
(FROM GOETHE'S COUNT EGMONT.)
O what bliss beyond compare,
DIALOGUE 1.-ADAM SMITH AND DAVID RICARDO.
Mr. Ricardo. Mr Canning brings forward the question on Thursday (March 1), chiefly that the President of the Board of Trade may have the detail, reply of facts, and official documents, and to spare "Gaffer" Gooch and others the occasion of taunting the ostensible proposer of the changes with flagrant inconsistency of opinion. You see Gooch said in the House last night (26th), that he would rest the whole case upon Mr. Huskisson's letter to his constituents in 1814. That is but the signal gun of what will be fired upon the Right Honorable Gentleman throughout the discussion.
Adam Smith. Inconsistency and love of specious paradox infect the whole modern tribe of Political Economists. Look at their currency legislation---a crusade against experience and common sense. Even you, David, are not free from the taint. When that would-be Chancellor of the Exchequer, young Peel, was going it on the "col"lective," in 1819, you (erroneously maintaining the price of gold to be alone the true index of a depreciated currency) stated, this week, that the depreciation did not amount to more than 3 per cent., next week 10, and then fluctuated between 7 and 20; while Baring, Attwood, and Ellice (the Greek steam-boat jobber), took it, with more truth, to be from 30 to 50.
Mr. Ricardo. On that point, Doctor, I subsequently confessed my error, and the imperfectness of my data.
A. Smith. I know you did, I knew you would; but still your opinions were not the less inconsistent with your sounder ones upon the currency, nor less injuriously influential upon the decision of the legislature. Peel's bill, and its consequences, followed your declaration. You were, besides, like all Cockney writers, partial to the paradoxical phrase of a proposition. You dissent. Do you forget the manner in which you propounded a fact, explained by me in the "Wealth of Nations," that a rise in the price of labor (sometimes) lowers the price of a large class of commodities---a proposition, per se, paradoxical and untrue; but, taken into consideration with the quickness of returns on fixed capital, important and incontrovertible. Mr. Ricardo. I remember what you speak of; but deny your inference. The truth is, you, Adam Smith, a full, lucid, writer, not less than your humble disciple, a precise and somewhat elliptical scribe, are more talked of than read, and more read than thoroughly understood. But of this every standard author on any abstruse subject with which it is supposed every educated man is acquainted, might complain with equal justice. 'Tis the sin of the age---one, the seeds of which were sown by popular periodicals, and which, I fear, will be nurtured by their Literary and Scientific Institutions. But this is leading us away from the Corn Laws; upon which, allow me to say, the bias of your mind must render your opinion adoptable
cum grano salis. Your early rural excursions with the gypsies*, your rooted dislike to commercial legislators, your strong aversion from the "sneaking arts of underling tradesmen," and the flatteries of Turgot and Quesnai, make us rather suspicious of your arguments, where the " agricultural interest" is concerned.
A. Smith. I confess I agree with Cicero, that " Agro bene "culto, nil potest esse, nec usu uberius, nec specie ornatus;" but still I flatter myself with being philosophically impartial, and am ready to contend, that even upon your own showing, a case may be made against you-the Abolitionists. I will discuss the matter, intus et in cute, with you, when Mr. Canning's resolutions shall have been made known to us. At present, I mean to say a word or two explanatory on rents and currency, and will subsequently endeavour to prove to you, my Stock-Exchange-bias friend, David Ricardo, that according to your own views of both, and from your admissions, "that all tithes fall exclusively on the agricultural interest; that "tithes, a portion of the poor rates, and one or two other taxes, are peculiar to the growers of corn, and tend to raise the price of raw "produce to an extent equal to their peculiar burdens; and that "on every principle of justice, and consistently with the best in"terests of the country, the demand of the home grower to the "extent of his peculiar burdens, should be acceded to §"-that prohibitory duties are essential to the prosperity, I will not say of the agricultural interest alone, but of all the great interests of the empire. Mr. Ricardo. I shall have no objection to your conclusion, if well founded: : my motto has always been with him in Juvenal-patriæ sit idoneus, et utilis agris. Besides, I have laid it down as a principle, in my Protection to Agriculture, (pp. 12 and 13.) "That any cause "which operates in a country to affect equally all commodities, does "not alter their relative value, and can give no advantage to a
foreign competitor; but that any cause which operates partially on one, does alter its value to others; if not counteracted by an adequate duty; it will give an advantage to the foreign competitor, "and tend to deprive us of a beneficial branch of trade," thus rendering your task easier.
A. Smith. I will begin with an observation that cannot too often be repeated, namely, that Political Economy is not a science capable of mathematical proof, nor, consequently, of mathematical certitude; that its agents are as changeable and soaring as the passions and interests of man; as variable and complicated as the qualities of the soil from which he draws his subsistence; that its general principles, therefore, as in moral science, admit of extensive interpretation, and of numerous exceptions, and receive their distinctive
The immortal Author of the Wealth of Nations was stolen away when a child by a group of gipsies in Leslie Wood, near Strathendy, and was with difficulty rescued by his uncle; who thus (says Dugald Stewart) was the happy instrument of preserving to the world a genius, which was destined not only to extend the boundaries of science, but to enlighten and reform the commercial policy of Europe.
Par. Heb. vol. viii. p. 455.
Protection to Agriculture, p. 15. § Ib. p. 16.