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lutionist! he had actually entered into negotiations with the “rebellious subject” of his dear friend the Sultan. Well, then, it was not etiquettethen it must have been commercial interests. Have we the clue at last? Nahmik Pacha, the second envoy to London from the Sultan, offered magnificent commercial privileges and benefits for the English trade. We know the Levant and Turkish faith. Then, commercial interests did not guide the noble lord—what could it be? But really this is asking too much-Professor Anderson's tricks would lose all their piquancy were he to show us how they are done.
On the 24th of August, 1833, Lord Palmerston was not acquainted with the death-blow to Turkey, the treaty of Hunkiar-Skelessi. Afterwards he confessed that he had heard of it, though not officially; but on the 8th of February, 1848, Anstey proved that the Sultan had sent a copy of it to Palmerston, but the Turkish envoy had received it back from Palmerston through the Russian ambassador, with the advice to choose better counsellors in future. It is evident, then, that Palmerston had strongly supported the treaty, which eventually laid the foundation of the Crimean war, and raised him to the premiership to overthrow the policy which he had laboured so long and persistently to carry through. Surely the whirligigs of time bring strange revenges !
In the East, then, the English minister (Russell asserted expressly that he was an English, not an Austrian, Russian, &c., minister, and “ Brutus is an honourable man”) carefully guarded the interests of Russia; and what did he in the West ? His leading principle was “to constitutionalise West and South against the absolutist North and East.” Indeed! and yet he carried through the Danish succession, by which the rights of German princes were so disgracefully assailed. And what excuse had Palmerston for a measure of which Lord Malmesbury thanked God that it was not his work? The answer is, “ Because it is England's business to prevent the
duchies from being separated from the kingdom.” The Upper and Lower House were satisfied with this new reading of the law of nations, and Palmerston acquired the applause of all well-disposed persons.
The foreign conjuring tricks of Palmerston, about which so many piquant details might be extracted, especially with reference to the opium trade with China, at length gained him the object of his ambition. His behaviour in the coup d'état business was terribly punished: he became first, home minister, and finally premier. His activity in the home department was much admired: he prevented a certain number of chimneys smoking; he tried, by a reform bill for the Civil Service, and the Board of Health, to spread the seeds of bureaucracy over the old land of the Sachsenspiegel-he, the only Anglo-Saxon peer in England—and to make himself renowned by Bonapartising Great Britain. Thus he played the reformer at home, while the dragon seeds of his foreign policy were producing a fearful
of Balaklava. Blanched by age, but not by his conscience, still firm, erect, and talented, he went on his way triumphantly, until the Queen was compelled to choose the least incapable of the incapables to form a ministry. Then he rose to the acme of his ambition, and held his ground against a world of sorrow, shame, disgrace --the terrible Bluebeard, as Dickens designated him-and made the House laugh when they asked about the dead, and told Layard to his face
that he never jested; and all the brave weaklings who had sworn his fall -Layard, Disraeli, Roebuck, Bulwer—fell through, while he kept his ground. The same Proteus and Procrustes, who banished Napoleon and his descendants eternally from France, and dedicated all his powers to the aggrandisement of Russia, survived the day when the nephew of the great uncle would force him to humiliate Russia.
The celebrated Palmerstonian policy, after an existence of fifty years, had not a friend left. Radical leading-article writers proved repeatedly that Palmerston ought to be hanged as guilty of high treason against England. The Nemesis of his own deeds had reserved a still more poignant punishment for him. He lived in a state of hostility with the whole world, and was watched with the greatest jealousy by every cabinet. At home he managed matters somewhat better : he contrived to upset every attempt at reform, and when driven into a corner he escaped by a compromise, as, for instance, when he attempted to convert the Upper House into a species of “First Chamber” by his life peers. His promised reforms ended, as usual, in smoke: he would make a trivial sacrifice, such as Sunday bands, but he would go no further. It was time that the old bad system should be overthrown.
But he did away with one thing—the war. "The permanent peace, honourable to all parties," was announced to the people by myriads of rockets and Bengal lights. Unfortunately, this permanent peace was converted into a general diplomatic war with Palmerston at the Paris conference. The treaty of Paris was falsely understood immediately after its signature. Palmerston haughtily declared that his explanation was the correct one, and a conference was quite unnecessary.
The Russian court was of a different opinion, and insisted in opposition to Palmerston. Napoleon supported the Russian views, and thus gave a startling blow to the alliance. Palmerston, much embittered at this defeat, summoned the many-tongued rumour to his aid, and reported publicly that Napoleon was Russianised, and that the ladies of the Russian imperial family were travelling about to Russianise the whole of Europe. The Moniteur protested against this interpretation, and suggested that the alliance, even the peace of Europe, was at stake. Palmerston, the “ English” minister, according to Russell, became a Russian one once again, like the “ spy against his will.” That no peace with Russia was really made, was proved sufficiently by the Persian war, which was brought about by Russian instigation.
The result, then, of Lord Palmerston's fifty years' administration was, that he had not a single friend left, save, perhaps, Dost Mahomed. During that period he was the most brilliant representative of the “governing classes” that hold the reins of power. He could always find convenient tools to carry out his designs, and who favoured every variety of policy except that which, according to the old proverb, is the best. His jubilee was celebrated in his dismissal
, and England will long have to deplore the short-sightedness which left such a man so long at the head of affairs.
So far, our German friend. Although we are not disposed to accept all his conclusions, still it is gratifying to find that continental liberals are awakening from the delusion under which Lord Palmerston held them so
long. The champion of constitutional liberty has been utterly unmasked at last; and the moment of his fancied triumph was but preparing his overthrow. So far we agree with our author entirely: that Lord Palmerston's policy was fated to alienate us from the whole world. He it was who imperiled the French alliance : in the consciousness of his power he was arrogant to the extreme, and cared little for the dignity of his country so long as he could realise his own ambitious dreams of dictatorship. It was, perhaps, fortunate that he held the reins of power just long enough to prove to the nation how close he could bring them to the verge of a precipice; for his own personal aggrandisement he would have set the world in flames, and, like Nero, have calmly fiddled as he watched the conflagration. With Lord Palmerston, England has gone through the worst phase of a dangerous and corrupt government: in every quarter we were exposed to humiliation, because the premier wished to satisfy some personal pique at the expense of the people. And when, at length, the outraged sense of the nation forced the premier from his exalted position, and he retired from office, leaving his successors a bitter legacy of difficult complications, in which only the greatest caution could escape a collision, Lord Palmerston, we regret to find, remained true to himself. The Cambridge House cabal has not been surpassed in audacity since the days of the first great cabal, except that the members in this instance were far inferior in ability. On no occasion was an opposition placed in such a humiliating position as that into which Lord Palmerston, with his frantic desire for place, forced the Whig party on the late debate. One ardent partisan after the other deserted the Opposition ranks so soon as any doubt of the result began to be entertained, until at length Lord Palmerston and his colleagues found the necessity of a compromise, which the present government, fortunately, was strong enough to decline. The defeat was thorough and most humiliating, and we trust it will be long before the Whigs have the courage to try such an attempt again. It is indubitable, however, that it has greatly strengthened the hands of the present government, for it has revealed a split in the camp of the Opposition which was as annoying to them as it was unexpected. The Li beral party have acted in a manner worthy of their name; they saw the necessity of supporting the government, in order to prevent the Whig obstructives from returning to power, and they carried out their mission nobly. The speech of Mr. Bright on the vote of censure, apart from its literary merits, was one of the severest blows the Whig party ever received; for, following as it did Sir Robert Peel's guerilla warfare, it added a fresh confirmation of the interested views that governed the purely Whig party. The Opposition speakers tried in vain, by their verbiage, to conceal the true animus which impelled them to make these repeated and unfair attacks on the ministry; but a few pointed remarks from the representative of the liberal party settled the question. One by one the supporters of the Opposition fell away, until the Whigs found themselves so utterly denuded of their strength, that they were compelled to appeal to the compassion of their noblyminded foemen, to hide the disgrace which they had voluntarily drawn on themselves.
It is to be regretted that the Whigs have so ignobly returned the kindness evinced towards them: evening after evening is wasted in wretched
recriminations, while the business of the House is at a stand-still. The tactics which convert party questions into personal matters were admirably exposed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer's allusion to a late duel in France. In truth, the system pursued by the Opposition bears great affinity to that disgraceful duel. Fortunately, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a cunning master of fence, and is not compelled to rely on one botte, as was the case with the unhappy M. de Pène.
But how is this to end? Can the interests of a great nation be internally compromised by the ill-disguised spite of a few disappointed placeholders? The Whigs had held power so long that they had begun to regard office as the heirloom of their party, and they were bitterly disappointed when they found it torn from them—still more disappointed when they discovered that the Tory party was not yet utterly annihilated. With every factious movement they have made, they have but strengthened the present government in the eyes of the nation, and the only consolation is that if they continue their spiteful opposition, they will end by turning the entire nation against them. But the Tories cannot hold tenure of office on such conditions as these, and it is beneath the dignity of a great nation to have a party in opposition too weak to carry any effective measure, and yet strong enough to impede the course of true government.
The remedy appears simple enough, and yet it is one that must be deprecated: an appeal to the country at the present moment would certainly secure the government a triumphant majority, but it naturally hesitates ere it agrees to such a decisive measure. But if the Opposition persistently continues its present tactics, and tries sedulously to thwart every government measure, no alternative will be left; and if the purely Whig party suffer an ignominious defeat at the hustings, they will have no one to blame but themselves. In the mean while, let us feel grateful for the blast of fresh air which the change of government has introduced into the constitution, for we may feel sure that, whatever changes may occur, whatever government may follow the Tory administration, we shall be saved from any further purely Palmerston ministry, and the country at large ought to feel grateful to the present holders of power, even if they should only bring about such a consummation as that.
As far as we are concerned, we hope to see a Tory government holding the reins of power for a lengthened period; for there appears a better prospect of those moderate reforms we all desire from the present government than from any we have had during the last ten years
. And if the Tories display a wish to satisfy the wants of the day, and while listeniug to the demands of the many do not yield to the cries of the oligarchy, whether absolutist or democratic, we do not see what more the nation should or would desire. And that the present government is prepared to do so, every measure already passed is a sufficient guarantee. At any rate, every day that the Whig party is kept out of power is so much gained by the country.
THE STORY OF THE GHETTO.
The triumphal arch of Titus is probably the most interesting of all Roman antiquities to the stranger, because the history of the Jews and Jerusalem is so intimately connected with the Christian religion. On the frieze of the arch may still be seen the river Jordan under the form of an old man borne along in triumph, and within the arch, through which no Jew was ever yet known to pass, the holy vessels of the temple are carved, among them being the seven-branched candlestick, the golden table, the ark of the covenant, in which the law was preserved, and the silver trumpets for the year of jubilee. Nearly eighteen hundred years have rolled on since this arch was erected by Titus, and nothing is left of the Rome, once mistress of the world, but ruins and dust, and the symbols of the old religion, which has passed away like a dream. On walking a short distance from the triumphal arch, in the direction of the Tiber, the visitor will enter the Ghetto, and find the seven-branched candlestick carved on many of the houses. It is the same which he had first seen ou the arch of Titus, but here it is the symbol of a still living religion, and the descendants of those Jews whom Titus led in triumph prove their vitality by keeping up that old religion in an unmutilated form. Here, too, is the Aula Octavia: its mighty pillars and arches tower over the Ghetto. On this spot Vespasian and Titus instituted their solemn triumphal procession over the Jews, while a Jew, the companion and flatterer of Titus—Flavius Josephus, the well-known author-stood by and looked on. He did not blush to be present at the humiliation of his nation, or to narrate it in the highest terms of flattery. We owe to the ignoble Jewish courtier a description of the solemnity.
Through the historical connexion subsisting between the people of Israel and the Romans, who destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the Jews over the world, the Ghetto of Rome is the most curious of all the Jewish communities in Europe. Other bodies, as, for instance, the Spanish and Portuguese Jews of the middle ages, and the Amsterdam synagogues that emanated from them, may be more remarkable for their scientific and dogmatic researches, but not one possesses the antiquity and historical succession of the community in Rome. They do not deserve our notice, however, through any learned disquisitions about the Talmud and the Cabala, but the Roman Ghetto is, as it were, a second Goshen, and its history is that of the incredible perseverance of a small slave community enduring persecution from generation to generation. Since the days of Pompey the Great, Jews have dwelt in Rome ; repeatedly expelled by the first Cæsars, they ever returned, and from the time of Titus to the present day they have retained their abiding-place, and nestled here in the most dangerous spot they could select; menaced by the Romans, who had destroyed Jerusalem, and then by the popes, as representatives of that Saviour they had crucified. From the time of Pompey they have endured abuse, contempt, dishonour; and, as a crowning disgrace, were confined like unclean pariahs within the Ghetto. Their history is a dark passage and foul page in the annals of Christian humanity. Still they lived on hopelessly, yet not without hope, for such is the predominant