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his party; he did not act contrary to his opinion, but he did not care to form a true opinion.
This was the explanation of his joining the Tories. Not to join them was poverty then, to join them was wealth ; they were firmly fixed in office. As the satirist then sang,
“Naught's constant in the human race,
Except the Whigs not getting into place." As was the pleasant habit of that time, the Government picked out Mr. Copley, a clever young lawyer, and gave him a seat in Parliament; he accepted it, though he had no more formed opinion that Toryism was true than he had that Mohammedanism was true, He took up the opinions of the existing Government and advocated them; and to the end of his life would have thought it “nonsense and rubbish” to act otherwise.
Probably, however, he would have acted more profitably if he had acted more conscientiously: it really was a case when honesty was the best policy. If he had paid a fair attention to the subjects of his time, he would have been on what all parties now admit to be the right side; if he had had a sincere wish to improve and benefit mankind, he would have been forward in the ranks of the Liberal party, who were then employed in doing so. The chances of life were various, but most likely he would have had his reward : the Whigs wanted a first-rate judge who was also a first-rate politician; during their long period of power they have never possessed one. The Whigs have been in power, roughly speaking, fiveand-twenty years out of the last thirty: if Lord Lyndhurst had been their leader instead of the Tory leader, he would have had far more of what he valued,
- more power and influence, more wealth, and greater station ; he would have been among the foremost of the winners instead of being among the
foremost of the losers. There was nothing which he would have liked so much : there was nothing which he appreciated so much as success in the game of political life, nothing that he despised and detested like want of success.
It is pleasant to turn to a more favorable topic. Many duties Lord Lyndhurst may have neglected or despised or disowned; but one duty, and a neglected one, he performed better perhaps on the whole than any [other] man in his generation, -he had the most disciplined intellect of his time.
There is in every one of his productions evidence not only of natural sinewy strength, but of careful culture and intellectual gymnastic. Lord Brougham tells a story of finding him occupied over the integral calculus for amusement's sake, years ago. Every line of his speeches tells how well he understood and how well he acted on the manly principles of Greek oratory. Few men led a laxer life; few men, to the very end of their life, were looser in their conversation : but there was no laxity in his intellect, - everything there was braced and knit. Great oratory is but a transitory art; few turn even to the best speeches of the past, and even the best of these are so clogged with the detail of the time that they are dull and wearisome to a hasty posterity. Few will recur to Lord Lyndhurst's speeches; but those who do so will find some of the best, if not the very best, specimens in English of the best manner in which a man of great intellect can address and influence the intellects of others. Their art, we might almost say their merit, is of the highest kind, for it is concealed : the words seem the simplest, clearest, and most natural that a man could use; it is only the instructed man who knows that he could not himself have used them, and that few men could.
Such was the great man whom we have just buried : great in power, but not great in the use of power; a politician, not a statesman; a man of small
principle and few scruples. Of him, far more truly than of Burke, it may be said that he “to party gave up what was meant for mankind."* He played the game of life for low and selfish objects, and yet, by the intellectual power with which he played it, he redeemed that game from its intrinsic degradation.
* Goldsmith's “Retaliation."
TWENTY-THREE years ago, - and it is very strange that it should be so many years,- when Mr. Cobden first began to hold Free Trade meetings in the agricultural districts, people there were much confused : they could not believe the Mr. Cobden they saw to be “the Mr. Cobden that was in the papers.” They expected a burly demagogue from the North, ignorant of rural matters, absorbed in manufacturing ideas, appealing to class prejudices, - hostile and exciting hostility; they saw “a sensitive and almost slender man, of shrinking nerve, full of rural ideas, who proclaimed himself the son of a farmer, who understood and could state the facts of agricultural life far better than most agriculturists, who was most anxious to convince every one of what he thought the truth, and who was almost more anxious not to offend any one.” The tradition is dying out; but Mr. Cobden acquired, even in those days of Free Trade agitation, a sort of agricultural popularity. He excited a personal interest; he left what may be called a sense of himself among his professed enemies. They were surprised at finding that he was not what they thought ; they were charmed to find that he was not what they expected; they were fascinated to find what he was. The same feeling has been evident at his sudden death,
a death at least which was to the mass of occupied men sudden. Over political Belgravia — the last part of English society Mr. Cobden ever cultivated — there was a sadness : every one felt that England had lost an individuality which it could never have again,
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which was of the highest value, which was in its own kind altogether unequaled.
What used to strike the agricultural mind as different from what they fancied, and most opposite to a Northern agitator, was a sort of playfulness; they could hardly believe that the lurking smile, the perfectly magical humor which they were so much struck by, could be that of a “Manchester man.” Mr. Cobden used to say, “I have as much right as any man to call myself the representative of the tenant farmer, for I am a farmer's son, and the son of a Sussex farmer :'* but agriculturists keenly felt that this was not the explanation of the man they saw ; perhaps they could not have thoroughly explained, but they perfectly knew that they were hearing a man of singular and most peculiar genius, fitted as if by “natural selection” for the work he had to do, and not wasting a word on any other work or anything else, least of all upon himself.
Mr. Cobden was very anomalous in two respects. He was a sensitive agitator. Generally, an agitator is a rough man of the O'Connell type, who says any. thing himself and lets others say anything; “You peg into me and I will peg into you, and let us see which will win," is his motto. But Mr. Cobden's habit and feeling were utterly different: he never spoke ill of any one ; he arraigned principles, but not persons. We fearlessly say that after a career of agitation of thirty years, not one single individual has — we do not say a valid charge, but a producible charge, a charge which he would wish to bring forward against Mr. Cobden. You cannot find the man who says, “Mr. Cobden said this of me, and it was not true.” This may seem trivial praise, and on paper it looks easy ; but to those who know the great temptations of actual life it means very much. How would
*“I have as good a right as any honorable gentleman in this House to identify myself with the order of farmers: I am a farmer's son. . . . I am the son of a Sussex farmer" (Feb. 17, 1843).