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when the time had come for doing it. The philosophical Radicals did not know. Some of them did not seem to care. They were justly convinced of their own integrity and fully imbued with a belief in their own principles. So long as they neither said nor did anything inconsistent with the doctrines they professed, they were satisfied to hug themselves in haughty and splendid isolation. Their mentor or instigator outside Parliament was Francis Place, facetiously called by them " Father Place,' who, as already said, shocked Mr. Roebuck's youthful susceptibilities by being a tailor. He was plain-spoken even to bluntness, and beyond it. He seems to have been the author of that pleasant phrase 'the shortening of Charles the First,' which I have seen described as a modern Americanism. He did not cultivate the literary graces, and his letters are neither polished nor polite. He was a straightforward Radical, bent on going the hog, the whole hog, and nothing but the hog. On the 3rd of October 1836, he wrote to Mr. Roebuck, Men who think the resignation of the Whigs a reason for deserting the people are of no use to the people; fit only to keep a truckling set of Tories, under the name of Whigs, in office, and thus to drivel down, as low as it can be drivelled down, the whole nation into a state of contemptible imbecility. These are brave words, and they are a fair sample of what Mr. Place wrote to his friends in the House of Commons. He accused them of subserviency to Lord John Russell, and when one of them attacked the Whig Government he was in an ecstasy of delight. It does not seem to have struck him that nothing came of these bold performances, that they did the Whigs no particular harm, and that beyond affording personal gratification to Mr. Place they might as well not have occurred. Mr. Place and his associates, to adopt a French phrase, payed themselves with words. The Whigs left them to their amusement, and plodded

A Liberal Member of Parliament wrote to Mr. Gladstone in 1886 begging him to withdraw the Home Rule Bill, but adding that if it were not withdrawn, he should vote for it. He is said to have been surprised that his appeal was unsuccessful.

Mr. Mill, in his Autobiography, which some one described rather well as the history not of a man but of a mind, pays a warm tribute to his old friend Roebuck for services rendered to national education and to the self-government of the colonies. But both of these were Whig measures, and if the substitution of national for individual effort in elementary teaching be due to anyone before Mr. Forster, it is due to Lord Brougham. What Mr. Mill says of the philosophical Radicals in general is more accurate than what he says of Mr. Roebuck in particular. When measures were proposed flagrantly at variance with their principles, such as the Irish Coercion Bill, or the Canada Coercion in 1837, they came forward manfully, and braved any amount of hostility and prejudice, rather than desert the right, but on the whole they did little to promote any opinions; they had little

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enterprise, little activity; they left the lead of the Radical portion of the House to the old hands, to Hume and O'Connell.' Mr. Mill thought the result inevitable. “And now,' he adds, on calm retrospection, I can perceive that the men were less in fault than we supposed, that we expected too much from them. They were in unfavourable circumstances. Their lost was cast in the ten years of inevitable reaction. . . . It would have required a great political leader, which no one is to be blamed for not being, to have effected really great things by parliamentary discussion when the nation was in this mood. The moods of nations are affected by the activity of individuals. A philosopher may say that politics are a game not worth playing, that the mass of mankind do not understand what is good for them, but are at the mercy of office-seekers and charlatans. Probably that was not very far from being Mr. Mill's own opinion. But it is not a doctrine which a Member of Parliament can without absurdity profess. When ‘Father Place' abused his disciples for speaking too mildly or too seldom, he scarcely ever gave them any practical hints So long as they denounced the base, bloody, and brutal' Whigs, he was content, and even delighted. There was, of course, the Charter, which Mr. Place, in a letter to Sir Erskine Perry, claims to have drawn, with the assistance of Mr. Lovett, and which Mr. Wallas proves that he actually drew. The Charter received the approval of the Working Men's Associations, it was supported by the Northern Star and the Western Vindicator, the Chartists became a political party. Mrs. Grote assured Mr. Place that she would never consent to wag a hand or foot to awaken the great public up from its lethargy till those Whigs were sent a-packing.' Those Whigs were sent a-packing within three years from the date of Mrs. Grote's letter. But it was the Tories, not the Chartists, who sent them. The two great political organisations went on never minding. They behaved as if no such thing as Chartism had ever existed in the world. In 1842, after Mrs. Grote had had her wish, and the Whigs had been turned out, the House refused by an overwhelming majority to hear the Chartists by counsel. Mr. Roebuck spoke in favour of the motion. But as he took the opportunity of calling Feargus O'Connor a 'cowardly and malignant demagogue,' his advocacy was not of much avail. Mr. Roebuck's taste and capacity for invective were no doubt exceptional. But his unpractical and unbusinesslike methods he shared with his political allies. It is not that they were theorists. Theorists have changed the face of the world. Everybody knows Carlyle's outburst of rhetoric against some depreciation of mere theory. There was once a man called Jean Jacques Rousseau. He wrote a book called The Social Contract. It was a theory, and nothing but a theory. The French nobles laughed at the theory, and their skins went to bind the second edition of the book. The allusion is of course to the famous Tanneries of Meudon, a dry historic fact. Rousseau was perfectly consistent, because he was a speculative philosopher. He was not, and did not pretend to be, a practical politician. The philosophical Radicals did. But they fell between two stools. They would rightly struggle, and yet would wrongly win. Too virtuous to intrigue, they were not virtuous enough to be satisfied with the approval of their own consciences. The odd, and by no means attractive, letters from Mr. Place printed by Mr. Leader are a continuous series of grumbles and growls.

The Reformers in the House of Commons are not less deserving of censure than the Whig Ministers whom they have served.' 'I should be satisfied if I saw but six men who would despise the opinion of the House when circumstances made it necessary, and stood up for principle, i.e. for the people. It would be a guinea ill bestowed in hearing fulsome praises of the Administration, and resolutions ambiguously worded in the true Whig style, to secure the assent of those who may be committed by being present in supporting ministers in keeping down, as far as they can, the energies of the people, in causing them to have no confidence in public men. These are fair samples of Mr. Place's epistolary style, though it is varied by occasional hymns of praise over some attack upon the Whig. Government, for which the Whig Government did not care two straws.

In one of John Bright's greatest speeches, the speech he delivered at Bradford in 1877, when the statue of Cobden was unveiled, he said, with as much truth as eloquence, that the famous League had made it impossible for any one to be starved to death in this country through a famine made by law. The Leaguers knew their business, and did it. The philosophical Radicals, though they knew very well what they wanted to do, had no notion of how to do it. The principal item in the Charter which has been adopted, I mean the ballot, was carried by Mr. Gladstone, who never had anything to do with them, and at the time of the Monster Petition was a Tory. “A great Minister was converted, as Mr. Bright said, converted by argument and reason, to free trade. More lately Irishmen have shown what power can be wielded in the British Parliament by discipline and perseverance. Home Rule is a dangerous topic, and the controversy is not yet concluded. But does anybody believe that if there had been no Irish Land League in 1879, there would have been any Irish Land Act in 1881 ? A letter from Mr. Roebuck to Dr. Black, written in 1848, is a good commentary upon the measure of success achieved by himself and his friends :

I have received (he wrote] a printed paper signed by Lovett and others about their plans. If I can do anything to assist, I shall be glad, and really believe the present not merely a good opportunity for stirring, but one which imposes on the true friends of good government the duty of making some attempt to rescue the working classes from the danger to which they are now exposed. The late doings of the Chartists have been seized by the Whigs with delight, as they have afforded

them a pretext for expense, and given them a means of retaining office. They will now effect a junction with a large section of the Tories, and we shall have a deadset made at the persons who endeavour to change the representation in this country.


Mr. Roebuck here sums up the result, in a practical sense, of philosophical Radicalism. It led to Chartism, and Chartism perished in ridicule. There is of course another side to the question. The influence wrought by men's lives and conduct is not confined to the actions which they perform. The greatest British statesman of the eighteenth century, judged by the power which he has exercised and still exercises upon human thought, was Edmund Burke. Yet Burke never passed a statute, and seldom changed a vote in the House of Commons. The speech on Conciliation with America, perhaps the greatest ever delivered in English, did not even draw a full house. But then Burke, as Southey proudly said of himself, was

conscious that he laboured for posterity.' So no doubt was Mill. The few years which Mr. Mill spent in Parliament were not the happiest nor the most useful of his honourable and beneficent life. His treatise on Liberty does not rank with the Thoughts on the Causes of the Recent Discontents, which reverses the case of the bad French poet's Ode to Posterity by combining an ephemeral title with an imperishable substance. But Mill On Liberty is worth all the speeches that were made in the first reformed Parliament of Great Britain and Ireland. Mr. Grote has a permanent place in the history of learning and literature which is not affected by his political success or failure. But the party which derived its inspiration from the Radical tailor of Charing Cross aimed at immediate objects, and were far from despising politics of the day. It is therefore fair to contrast their brilliant abilities with their meagre achievements. The year 1836 furnishes a typical instance of their procedure. Before Parliament opened Mr. Roebuck wrote and published two pamphlets which he called respectively, Radical Support to a Whig Minister and The Radicals and the Ministers. Their object was to withdraw Radical votes from the Government of Lord Melbourne. But, as Mr. Roebuck’s candid biographer says, 'nothing practical came of the scheme. Radicals like Sir William Molesworth joined with Roebuck in insisting on a more determined and straightforward action on the part of the Ministers as the only way to obtain hearty Radical support. Yet the session ran its course, with the usual accompaniments of bitter words, but no deeds. The session ran its course, and the philosophical Radicals ran theirs. The chief result in both instances was the lapse of time. Sir William Molesworth, whose 'wealth and rank' dazzled Mr. Roebuck almost as much as Mr. Place's occupation disgusted him, pursued his own career. He edited the works of Hobbes, and died a Secretary of State under Lord Palmerston in his forty-sixth year. But long before that time the


philosophical Radicals had been broken up, and Mr. Roebuck was referring contemptuously to Molesworth and Co.'

Mr. Roebuck's services to Canada are well known, and they were neither the less creditable nor the worse rendered because he was paid for them. Sir John Hanmer, in 1836,' says Mr. Leader, 'asked the House of Commons to affirm that it was contrary to its independence, a breach of its privileges, and derogatory to its character, for any of its members to become the paid advocate of any portion of his Majesty's subjects.' It is, perhaps, rather surprising that sixty years ago the House of Commons should have rejected such a motion by a majority of nearly three to one. The Canadian problem was solved by a judicious mixture of firmness and liberality. The philosophical Radicals urged upon the Whig Government the claims of Canada to what would now be called Home Rule. But they were forcing an open door. Lord Durham, who had been the most Radical member of Lord Grey's Cabinet, receives the praise of Miss Martineau for the achievement. A cool and sagacious Liberal of the last generation used to observe that Lord Durham claimed credit for issuing a proclamation which was written by Charles Buller, and for suppressing a rebellion which was put down by Francis Head. Nobody had much to say for the Colonial Office, and poor Lord Glenelg was lashed with merciless severity by Lord Brougham. These events, my lords, must have given my noble friend many a sleepless day.' Lord Brougham had his laugh, and Lord Glenelg had his nap. But after all the dull unimaginative Whigs did put down a most formidable rising, and did give contentment to the French Canadians. They were too apt to think that they alone could govern the country. But they could govern it. They were born with official minds, and played with red tape in the nursery. Nothing but the French Revolution could have kept them out of Downing Street for five-and-thirty years. If Lord Melbourne had been a real Whig and not a half-converted Tory, or if Sir Robert Peel had not been head and shoulders above all his contemporaries, they might have remained there for an indefinite period. The swing of the pendulum was not invented till 1868, the year of the first election under household suffrage. Then Mr. Gladstone became a Radical, and Radicalism became a tremendous force in English politics. Time has vindicated most of the principles which the Benthamite or Utilitarian Radicals held. But they have been carried out by different methods and by other hands. Mr. Roebuck, who survived almost all his early associates, lived to support not merely the foreign policy of Lord Palmerston in 1850, but even the foreign policy of Lord Beaconsfield in 1878. He was too flighty and eccentric a personage to be a fair specimen of any party or any school. The moral of his career, if there be any, is hardly worth drawing. The moral of philosophical Radicalism appears to be that politics may be either practical or philosophical, but that they cannot

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