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the moral code as it applies to others does not apply to usall this seemed to be considered the becoming national characteristic of the English people. It would be almost superfluous to say that this did not show its worst in Lord Palmerston himself. As in art so in politics we never see how bad some peculiar defect is until we see it in the imita. tors of a great man's style. A school of Palmerstons, had it been powerful and lasting, would have made England a auisance to other nations.
Certainly a statesman's first business is to take care of the interests of his own country. His Juty is to prefer her interests to those of any other country. In our rough and ready human system he is often compelled to support her in a policy, the principle of which he did not cordially approve in the first instance. He must do his best to bring her with honor out of a war, even though he would not himself have made or sanctioned the war if the decision had been in his power. He cannot break sharply away from the traditions of his country. Mr. Disraeli often succeeded in throwing a certain amount of disrepute on some of his opponents by calling them the advocates of "cosmopolitanism." If the word had any meaning, it meant, we presume, that the advocates of " cosmopolitanism” were men who had no par. ticular prejudices in favor of their country's interests, and were as ready to take an enemy's side of a question as that of their own people. If there were such politicians—and we have never heard of any such since the execution of Anacharsis Clootz—we could not wonder that their countrymen should dislike them, and draw back from putting any trust in them at a critical moment. They might be held to resemble some of the pragmatical sentimentalists who at one time used to argue that the ties of family are of no account to the truly wise and just, and that a good man should love all his neighbors as he loved his wife and children. Such people are hopeless in practical affairs. Taking no account
of the very springs of human motive, they are sure to go wrong in everything they try to do or to estimate. An English minister must be an English minister first of all; but he will never be a great minister if he does not in all his policy recognize the truth that there are considerations of higher account for him, and for England too, than England's immediate interests. If he deliberately or heedlessly allows England to do wrong, he will prove an evil counsellor for
he will do her harm that may be estimated some day even by the most practical and arithmetical calculation. There is a great truth in the fine lines of the cavalier-poet, which remind his mistress that he could not love her so much, loved he not honor more. It is a truth that applies to the statesman as well as to the lover. No man can truly serve his country to the best of his power who has not in his mind all the time a service still higher than that of his country. In many instances Lord Palmerston allowed Eng. land to do things which, if a nation had an individual conscience he and every one else would say were wrong. It has to be remembered, too, that what is called England's interest comes to be defined according to the minister's personal interpretation of its meaning. The minister who sets the interest of his country above the moral law is necessarily obliged to decide according to his own judgment at the moment what the interests of his country are, and so it is not even the state which is above the moral law, but only the statesman. We have no hesitation in saying that Lord Palmerston's statesmanship on the whole lowered the moral tone of English politics for a time. This consideration alone, if there were nothing else, forbids us to regard him as a statesman whose deeds were equal to his opportunities and to his genius. To serve the purpose of the hour was his policy. To succeed in serving it was his triumph. It is not thus that a great fame is built up, unless, indeed, where the genius of the man is like that of some Cæsar or Napoleon,
which can convert its very ruins into monumental records. Lord Palmerston is hardly to be called a great man. Perhaps he may be called a great “man of the time."