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party organization . The Tories and Wingsaristocracies , and the nominees of aristocraciesare , as parties , composed necessarily of a mass of mediocrities , and the crowd comes naturally under the protection of two or three " leaders , " conspicuous among the many for reliableness and Parliamentary aptitude . But the [ Radicals are all clever or crotchetty—and they are , therefore , an army of captains—a squadron of field-marshals—a " clump of spears , " each spear wielded by an independent knight , which , when the battle begins , is certain to radiate into nAventurous isolations . Well , what is the avail
of a battalion of Brights—a corps of Cobdensriding separately at the closed squares of the compact oligarchies , who , though they make the mistake which the Marquis of Bockingham pointed out , of fighting one another for a monopoly of that which would suffice for them both , if they had but the sense to unite , have always the discretion to conjoin when a riskful Radical foray is really meant ? The individual distinction is apparently great . A Sir William Molesworth reads his speeches and unfurls his cambrics witli great eclat ; and
archaeological members speculate , as he talks Benthamism in italics , whether it isn't a pity Manchester has displaced philosophical Radicalism . The strangers ' gallery , when Mr . Roebuck sits down , says , " Gad , he did give it ' em , didn ' t he ? " Manchester , when crushed into the Free Trade Hall , is convinced that Mr . Bright carries all before him at Westminster , and sees in neat Mr . Milner Gibson the personification of a hero of debate . The smoking-room receives Bernal Osborne after a speech with a shout , and declares that that last " mot" will live for ever . Bristol Berkeley does Thersites to the admiration of a placid ten o ' clock
house ; and even the Marquis of Blandford might long to have seen such an orator over nuts with Windham , a looser model Whig of the revolutionary epoch . When Sir Joshua Walmesley delivers his elaborate and gentlemanly protest against the British Constitution , there is not one who does not admire the sad earnestness of the man ; and Squires like Tyrrel would confess that this was an improvement upon the vehemencies of Orator Hunt . But , in the long run , cut bono ? Each Knight has his own banner , and cries his
own cvy ; and tko party is sneered at , and the principle does not get on , for the fire is insufficient for all the irons thrust in . Party completeness is sacrificed to personal glory , and the result is that the Radicals have not carried a single point ( for Free-trade was not a Radical test ) in their whole history . Owing their advent to Parliament to the Whigs , the- Radicals have lived in the traditional supposition that , crowded as their ranks always have been wiLh abilities , and really heading a popular movement , their only function was to oppose . Radicals opposing
and Whigs proposing ; and ho leaving to the Russell and Greys the merit and the honour of whatever instalmentof advance was accomplished . Take for instance the records of the " Reform " attempts from the date of the ' Charter " to the lust " Hume ' s motion , " and candour must admit that whatever the faults of tlio people , the boitowh of the Rufl ' rago question are mainly attributable to the bad " leading" in Parliament . Mr . Cobdon , in hifl letter thin week to Sharman Crawford ,
HuggentB an organization and a party to get the ballot . Will Mr . Oobdeu begin tho Hacrifictia necessary to hucIi an organisation , and forego idioH . yncracieH—81 iy ' " ol" n # V () y ^ aivsP Supposing the Radicals agreed together to attend to but thin one question for the whole of next SesHi ' on F I . Vobably they would drive ; . Lord Derby from power , and iho Whign into conviction , in three ; months ; and in three yeara after they had got the ballot , they would havo attained moat other things they now vaguely aim at .
The moral of thin argument about the KadicalH in , that no member can be a parliamentary uer-HOimgo unle . NH ho combine with Ihh individual improHBivenoHS the pn-Htigo of distinct party power and portion . By-and-byo , when the llouBo of Commons conHJHtH of men all equally amenable to the rigid public judgment of oxtenoivo conatilwmmcH—that is to my , when votes begin to bo given , not for chwHOH , but for the nation—the consideration of the tuctiquo essential to the senate may be of a very different character . Hut , in theHo days , it is the ambition of utter ignorance to dosiro an " independent" scat in the House of Commonh ; and when the louding journal wan telling Mr . Cardwoll and Sir
not obeyed , is a vague , distant , apprehension that does not tell ; and meanwhile Manchester is only one man . What the House of Commons needs is not to be told by wise men what is best , or by democratic men what is just ; but what , the balance of parties being so and so , can be done , acted upon , resolved by the impending division . Lord John Russell is listened to , not for his individual opinion , but because the House knows he is a man who has calculated what is possible and practicable under certain circumstances—because it knows there are a hundred or two at his back whom he may not have verbally consulted , but whose prejudices and passions he has accurately estimated , and who are , therefore , certain to
James Graham , the other day , that they ought to soar above sectional politics , and aim at the lofty functions of parliamentary arbitrament between contending factions , the leading j ournal was advising precisely that course which has made the Radicals impotent , and which , adopted , since the break-up of 1846 , by the Peehtes ( Wilkeites sans the two young Wilkes ) , has relieved Mr . Disraeli from all envious apprehensions of Mr . Gladstone . The hon . gentleman who rises to tell what he individually thinks of a submitted motion is talking mere abstractions . If he be a Mr . Bright , speaking for vast middleclass Manchester , he speaks with a certain effect ; but what those thousands may do if their will is
follow him into the lobby . Nobody supposes , when Mr . Disraeli suggests an argument , that he is hinting at his own convictions . His merit as a House of Commons leader is , that he abnegates all convictions of his own ; his genius , as a tactician , consists in compromising with the convictions of others . Lord John Russell would be of no account , as an individual , on the 11 th of November next , if he wrote to the electors of the city of London that henceforth he would be " independent , " and talk what he believed . Mr . Disraeli would disappear as a politician if he ceased to be the manager of his party . The weight of Sir James Graham in a debate arises , not from a general belief that Sir James Graham is at all as clever a man as the
newspaper writer the morning before on the same topic , but from a knowledge that circumstances may arise to hand power to Sir James , and that lie , anticipating and providing for tliis , ia not speaking lax truisms , but sentences to be practically applied hereafter to the official working of the empire . Here is all the difference between the position of statesmen like Sir James and moralists—say , as Mr . Cobdcn . Mr . Cobden talks out his beliefs in the sharp , clear , crisp sentences that delight a public meeting ; and in talking these , ho trusts to accident for a following—for
the response , which response he does not expect in the House itself . Very likely the House teels that the response will bo heard some years hence ; but the House has as little to do with tho men before the ago a « with the men behind the age . The House , as I said in a former paper , admires intensel y Mr . Maoaulay delivering an essay ; but they admire more , because it is " business , " a Mr . Wai polo delivering a plan . Thero is only oiio instance in late history of a statesman standing alone in tho House of Commons , and that is in the case of Sir Robert Peel , who did not leave ,
but was left by his party ; and oven his vast individuality and personal potency did not onablo him to sustain his prestige and his prominence . With the minor gods , individuality is idiotcy—Sibthorpeisni . A . mediocrity not speaking by party lights is an insufferable spectacle ; and unhappily it is a spectacle distinctive of radicalism , all tho Radicals who arc not eleven- being erotchotty . Our 10 warts and Aglionbys and Anstoys insist upon their separate commandsand then ; is tho eatastrophe of a count-out . Tho British empire has no tune to give ; itself up to Aglionbys and Ansteys . The sheerest vanity
alone explains this non-subsidence into a practical party . Certainly them are motions which must l > o brought forward , though they may hot bo carried ; but tho selection should depend on the decision of a party " caucus . " An honest Radical member would consider first how tho wishes of his constituents could bo practically forwarded ; and his own distinction would bo conditional upon tho success of tho whole party . SheHield run have ; no pride ; in seeing Mr . Itoebuck ahlmrred ; but it ooulel have ; ne > objection to being sueweiwsful in its politics . Ami oven Mr . Roebuck has of late confined his onortf JOH to criticism—he ; never proposes . Ho has given up his
old Radical rule , derived from Diogenes—of nrav ing to statues in order to accustom himself to hi refused ! ue Gentlemen , newly elected by trusting hundreds and rehearsing in your studies the great orations with which you will astound the senate tako these hints to heart ; select your leader , appoint your whipper-in , and then cultivate taciturnity and cease to have a will . Believe me , that you will not be less than you expected ; and your cause will become much greater . You would not go into court , because you know a certain
pro verb , to plead your own suit ; and you ou ght not to go into the House of Commons to do that for your exclusive self , which a Disraeli or a Russell , or an Osborne , or a Bright , or , ( if you are an Irishman ) , a Keogh , or Duffy , ( all men built for leadership , ) may be found , upon conditions , to say with effect for you . If you are clever , your cleverness will tell twice as well if you speak as one of many , for then your cleverness is not an abstraction , but a power ; and if you are only a plain , passable , week-day man , you will , if you
are a partisan , find yourself respected , whereas if you are so impertinent as to come forward as an individuality , you will be despised , and , if it ' s late , hooted into an ignominy your wife will never forget , if you do . Let the new Radicals , then , ( as other polities take care of themselves ) ascertain , before November , if Radicalism be incapable of an organization . Some of the new men are , is is said , investigating this curious philosophical
point ; and a correspondence is reputed to be going on between advanced Englishmen and progressing Irishmen , which may lead to the creation of a powerful body in Parliament pledged to do popular work . The Manchester banquet , announced for the penultimate week in October , may mean a Conference . The hero of the feast will be he who has most crotchets to give up , and let us anticipate a strife in denudition between Mr . Hume and Mr . Cobden ! The . apple to him who is least laden .
852 THE LEADER . [ Saturday ,
[ IN TIII 8 1 > ErABTMISWT , AS AU OPINIONS , IIOWBVUB HXTBIIMB ABE ALLOWED AN EXl'BEHSION , TUB K 1 MTOB HMCEHHABll- x HOLDS IUMbELlf EEHl'ONBIBUS JfOll NONE . ]
There is no learned , man bah will confess ho hath much profited byreadm ^ controvoi'siCH hiaacnacauwaKi il and ms mdtfmcnt sharpened . Ji , l . hen , , t be pro ¦ t ^ for him to read , why should , it not , at least , be tol uaoiu for hia adversary to write . —Mii / row .
T II E T E M V E K A N C K C A U S E . ( To Lite Editor of the Leader ) ^ Edinburgh , Augunl 1 !) , l" ^ - Sin , —In your paper of the 14 th instant , I J " 'J J ' road ii very able article <> u " The danger * ol the \ perance cause , " by " Ion ; " and while a « l ""™) !( l [ £ £ tli « ability of tlio writer , I most distinctly « li ««; i him in tlio opinion which ho clearly and exp licitly - vocates . 1 wan not prepared to see such H ^" lliu "; " j enunciated in what may justly he called the ' . ' <>' of Progress . " Cv .-lv « !«„• ' very truly says , « Theory Jh ^'" , ^^ uneles * unless practice applies it to hie . truism acknowledged by all , although rarely acleu 1 by any . lint how Hiir . li a truth can ho aj . phejl U > ^ abstinence , or moderation cither , iH wore ^ IJia make out . It is certainly quite true that t « ti < a . ^ nence has millcred much from designing mine and ignorant real friend * : this , however , cannot . the principle in tho slightest degree in tho « y «*« > ^ thinking men ; ami bemuse such has unlorlu aU y ^ U , « cane , it eertahdy dooH not become Uijwu w themselves « reformers , " " l « n » *™> *» " . ^ knaveries or follies m argument ngain » t p ^ which , eveti its most inveterate enemies cannot u
Leader (1850-1860), Sept. 4, 1852, page 852, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1950/page/16/