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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, numberless 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 inay 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 cannot resist the temptation of transcribing a few lines from an author, whose genius cntitles 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 adinirable 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 defeat 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 degenerate 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,'
Year akin to the last topick on which we have touched, is che benefit derived to the cause of sound and liberal principles,
by aristocratical influence being enlisted in the ranks of party. The 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 Josing 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 are. 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 rallying 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 the people.
We are very far from wishing to deny, that the principle of party association has ever been abused ; and the perversion of it las most frequently been, in the combinations of great families, united by no distinguishing opinions, and opposing the 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
nothing more important to the community, than the particular channels in which Royal favour should flow. In such times as those, Swift might well be allowed to rail and to laugh at party, and to term it the madness of many for the gain of a few.' But in the present times, such a perversion of the principle is quite impossible. The powerful families are aware, that they can only retain their influence in the country, by acting upon high public grounds. The charge, indeed, to which they have been most exposed, is that of standing on too lofty ground, and refusing office when it was within their reach, because they could not obtain it with a recognition of their own opinions upon certain important questions of state. Certain it is, that a hankering after place never was so little the failing of an opposition as in our times.
As aristocratical influence has sometimes been abused, so it is impossible to deny that coalitions of parties have been formed repugnant to the universal feelings of the country; and, how.. ever justifiable upon principle, yet reprehensible in point of prudence--for this reason, that the general sense of the people could not be reconciled to them. The union of Mr Fox and Lord North, at the close of the American war, was a measure of this description; and its effects in alienating the public mind from these political leaders, were very unfortunate. Yet, that coalitions may be formed most honestly, and that the public good may frequently require them, is abundantly manifest. They are recommended by the same views which prescribe the formation of any one party, namely, the necessity of uniting together all who agree on certain highly important questions, and of sacrificing minor differences in order to secure some grand point for the country. If two parties have been long opposed, and the grounds of their difference were removed by the course of events, there can be no reason whatever for their not forming a junction in order to oppose effectually some third party, the success of which is deemed by them both to be pernicious to the common weal. The coalition, in such a case, is only a sacrifice of private animosities to the public good. No doubt, unions of this description may very probably lead to a great embarrassment, when their primary object is gained; for it is possible that the two parties may agree in little more than in the necessity of a change; so that when they come to act together in office, the views of each may hamper the other, and a feeble government of concessions and compromises and half measures may be established. But this is only a reason for carefully examining the grounds of the coalition, and coming, in the first
ToL XXX. NO, 59.
instance, to a full understanding upon all other views of policy: it is no argument against coalitions generally; and most certainly it affords no ground of invective against party in the abstract.
There is just as little reason for such invectives, furnished by the inevitable consequences of a successful opposition, namely, the accession to power of those engaged in it. This event was the avowed object of their operations; not for the sake of the emoluments and patronage connected with office, but for the sake of the principles which they professed, and which could only be carried into effect by the change of ministry. To rescue the country from the hands of men who were misgoverning and ruining it, and to place its affairs in the hands of men whose integrity was greater, and whose views of policy were sounderthis was the avowed object of the party. In pursuing this object, much good service may indeed have been rendered to the State incidentally-many useful measures forced upon the ministersmany pernicious attempts defeated-many bad schemes prevented from being even tried : All these successes would have been of great and lasting benefit to the country, even if the main object had failed, and the change of government had never been effected; and all these advantages to the State would have been the legitimate fruits of party in the strictest sense of the word. But a more extensive and permanent corrective to misrule was wanting; the country was to be saved from men whose principles were hurtful to its best interests, in order to be ruled by those who could safely be trusted with them. Can any clamour, then, be more vulgar or senseless than theirs who abuse, as place-hunters, the men who have been raised to power by the triumph of their own principles? Can any thing be more absurd than to oppose a ministry, and seek its downfal, for the mere sake of destroying it, without putting any other in its place?
The formation of a ministry on purer principles, composed of more trustworthy men, is the only legitimate object of all constitutional opposition. Whoever takes office on this ground, acts a truly patriotic part. He only can be charged with hunting after place, who assumes, for factious purposes, principles that do not belong to him; or abandons those which he had professed, when the avenues to office are within his view. Here, again, we must avail ourselves of the just and dignified expressions of Burke.
• Party,' he observes, “is a body of men united, for promoting, by their joint endeavours, the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed. For my part, I find it impossible to conceive, that any one believes in his own politics, or