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out of a system which throws the responsibility for the good government of India wholly on a body so likely to be alien, apathetic, unsympathetic, as the English Parliament. But the whole question was one of comparative danger and convenience; the balance of advantage certainly seemed, even as a matter of speculation, to be with the system of more direct government. It is a mistake, too, to suppose that it was the will or the caprice of Lord Palmerston that made the change. Rightly or wrongly, it is certain that almost the whole voice of English public opinion cried out for the abolition of the East India Company. It was the one thing which everybody could suggest to be done, at a time of excitement when everybody thought he was bound to suggest something. It would have required a minister less fond of popularity than Lord Palmerston to resist such an outcry, or pretend that he did not hear it. In this, as in so many other cases, Lord Palmerston only seemed to lead public opinion, while he was really following it. One other remark it is also fair to make. We have had no indications, as yet, of any likelihood that the administration of India is to become a thing to be scrambled for by second and third class parliamentary politicians. The administration of India means, of course, the viceroyalty. Now there have been, since Lord Canning, five viceroys, and of these, three at least were not parliamentary politicians at all. Sir John Lawrence never was in Parliament until he was raised to the peerage, after his return home from India. Lord Elgin may be fairly described as never having been in Parliament, unless in the technical sense which makes every man on whom
er's title is conferred a parliamentary personage; and the same holds true of Lord Lytton, who had no more to do with Parliament than was involved in the fact of his having succeeded to his father's title. Lord Mayo and Lord Northbrook, to whom perhaps an invidious critic might apply the term second or third class parliamentary politicians, on the ground that neither had obtained very high parliamentary
distinction, proved nevertheless very capable, and indeed excellent administrators of Indian affairs, and fully justified the choice of the ministers who appointed them. Indeed, the truth is that the change made in the mode of governing India by the act which we have just been describing, was more of name than of reality. India was ruled by a Gov. ernor-General and a board before ; it has been ruled by a Governor General, called a Viceroy, and a board since. The idea which Mr. Mill had evidently formed in his mind, of a restless and fussy Parliament forever interfering in the affairs of India, proved to have been a false impression altogether. Parliament soon ceased to take the slightest interest, collectively, in the affairs of India. Once more it came to be observed that an Indian budget, or other question connected with the government of our great empire in the East, could thin the House, as in the days before the mutiny. Again, as before, some few men profoundly in earnest took care and thought on the subject of India, and were condemned to pour out the results of their study and experience to a listening under-secretary and a chill array ofgreen leather benches. At intervals, when some piquant question arose, of little importance save to the court official or the partisan, like the project for conferring an imperial crown, brandnew and showy as a stage diadem, on the wearer of the great historic emblem of English monarchy, then, indeed, public opinion condescended to think about India, and there were keen parliamentary debates and much excitement in fashion. able circles. Sometimes, when there was talk of Russian ambition seeking, somehow, a pathway into India, a sort of public spirit was aroused, not, perhaps, wholly unlike the manly emotion of Squire Sullen, in the “Beaux Stratagem," when he discovers that a foreigner is paying court to the woman he has so long neglected. But as a rule the English Parliament has wholly falsified Mr. Mill's prediction, and has not intruded itself in any way upon the political admin. istration of India.
He last chapter has told us that Lord Palmerston in.
troduced a measure to transfer to the Crown the government of India, but that unexpected events in the mean while compelled him to resign office, and called Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli to power. These events had nothing to do directly with the general policy of Lord Palmerston or Lord Derby. At midday of January 14th, 1858, no one could nave had the slighest foreboding of anything about to happen which could effect the place of Lord Palmerston in English politics. He seemed to be as popular and as strong as a minister well could be. There had been a winter session called together on December 3d, to pass a bill of indemnity for the government, who had suspended the Bank Charter Act during the terrible money-panic of the autumn, and the failures of banks and commercial firms. The bank was authorized, by the suspension of the Charter Act to extend its circulation two millions beyond the limit of that act. The effect of this step in restoring confidence was so great that the bank had only to put in circulation some £900,000 beyond the limit of 1844, and even that sum was replaced, and a certain reserve established by the close of the year. Most people thought the government had met the difficulty promptly and well, and were ready to offer their congratulations. Parliament adjourned at Christmas, and was to meet early in February. The Princess Victoria,
eldest daughter of the queen, was to be married to the Prince Frederick William, eldest son of the then Prince of Prussia, now German Emperor, and it was to be Lord Palmerston's pleasant task, when Parliament resumed in February, to move a vote of congratulation to her Majesty on her child's marriage. Meantime, however, on the evening of January 14th, Felice Orsini, an Italian exile, made his memorable attempt to assassinate the Emperor of the French. Orsini lost himself, and he drew the English Gov. ernment down at the same time
Felice Orsini was well known in England. After his romantic escape from a prison at Mantua he came to this country and delivered lectures in several towns. He described the incidents of his escape and denounced Austrian rule in Italy, and was made a lion of in many places. He was a handsome, soldierly-looking man, with intensely dark eyes and dark beard, in appearance almost the model Italian conspirator of romance. He was not an orator, but he was able to tell his story clearly and well. One great object which he had in view was to endeavor to rouse up the English people to some policy of intervention on behalf of Italy against Austria. It is almost impossible for a man like Orsini to take the proper measure of the enthusiasm with which he is likely to be received in England. He goes to several public meetings; he is welcomed by immense crowds; he is cheered to the echo; and he gets to be under the impression that the whole country is on his side and ready to do anything he asks for. He does not understand that the crowds go for the most part out of curiosity; that they represent no policy or action whatever, and that they will have forgotten all about him by the day after tomorrow. Of those who went to hear Orsini, and who applauded him so liberally, not one in ten probably had any distinct idea as to who he was or what cause he represented. He was an Italian exile who had escaped from tyranny of some sort
somewhere, and he was a good-looking man; and that was enough for many or most of his audiences But Orsini was thoroughly deceived. He convinced himself that he was forming public opinion in England, that he was inspiring the people, that the people would inspire the government, and that the result would be an armed intervention on behalf of Lombardy and Venetia. At a meeting which he held in Liverpool a merchant of that town, who sympathized cordially with Orsini's cause, had the good sense to get up and tell Orsini that he was cruelly deceiving himself if he fancied that England either would or could take any step to intervene on behalf of the Italian provinces then held by Austria. Orsini at first thought little of this warning. After a while, however, he found out that the advice was sound and just. He saw that England would do nothing. He might have seen that even the English Liberals, with the exception of a very few enthusiasts, were entirely against his projects. They were in fact just as much opposed to the principle of intervention in the affairs of other states as the Conservatives. But Orsini set himself to de. vise explanations for what was simply the prudent and just determination of all the statesmen and leading politicians of the country. He found the explanation in the subtle influ. ence of the Emperor of the French. It happened that during Orsini's residence in this country the Emperor and Empress of the French came on a visit to the Queen at Osborne; and Orsini saw in this a conclusive confirmation of his suspicions. Disappointed, despairing, and wild with anger against Louis Napoleon, he appears then to have allowed the idea to get possession of him that the removal of the Emperor of the French from the scene was an indispensable preliminary to any policy having for its object the emanci. pation of Italy from Austrian rule. He brooded on this idea until it became a project and a passion. It transformed a soldier and a patriot into an assassın.