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but glorify themselves for the deeds of ficulty; for the apprehended famine, whose their ancestors, or loll in the shades of their coming shadow had scared Sir Robert olives and vines, and leave to nature the Peel into surrendering the last out works of task of feeding and clothing them.' Enter- monopoly, was still impending; the failure tainments awaited him at Cadiz and Malaga, of the State trials to crush agitation was and by the end of the year he had com- still fresh in men's minds; and though less pleted his tour in Southern Spain. energetic and threatening than in former

At Genoa, on the 16th January, 1847, days, O'Connell still lived. Everywhere the Marquis d'Azeglio presided at the feast interrogatories were put to Mr. Cobden wherewith the descendants of the old mer- about the condition of Ireland and its fuchant princes of the Gulf welcomed him to ture. Twenty years are come and gone their shores. A still more inspiriting ova- since then, and English statesmanship durtion was given in his honour at Rome, in ing that time, to its shame be it spoken, has the following month, which, considering that never dared to look that question in the it took place almost under the walls of the face. The month of April was spent in Vatican, and apparently without provoking Florence, where he was received with open the slightest jealousy on the part of the arms by the men of letters, and many of the newly-elected Pope or his advisers, seemed foreign residents of that delightful city. The to him the most charming proof of the first public dinner said to have been ever wide-spread sympathy for Free-trade prin- given there, was that in his honour, under ciples which he had seen in the course of the presidency of M. Peruzzi; La Farina, his travels.'* Among other notabilities, he the historian, Prince Poniatowski, and was introduced, during his stay in Southern many other individuals of distinction, being Italy, to the Count of Syracuse, a younger present, The report of the proceedings member of the Bourbon family of Naples. was delayed for some days, and was not He found him, 'for a king's brother, a very permitted to appear until the consent of the clear-headed, well-informed man.' Pio No- Grand Duke had been formally signified, in no received him on the 22d of February, consequence of his name having been men1847, at an audience which lasted a good tioned in some of the speeches ; yet his was while. He was habited in a simple dress of considered, and in point of fact actually white flannel, spoke unaffectedly and with was, the best beloved and respected of the much earnestness of the good work which old governments of Italy. Leghorn was had lately been accomplished in England not wanting in hospitality to the traveller, by the abolition of the Corn Laws, and and there he found once more, for the first dwelt with especial emphasis on the means time since he had quitted England, the whereby so great a change had been effect- greeting of fellow countrymen of his own ed. His visitor called his attention to the class and calling, who could appreciate more desecration of hallowed memories in Spain, vividly than many of his Southern enterwhere bull-fights were constantly held, as tainers the amazing difficulties he had had the public advertisements declared, in hon- to encounter in his long struggle for the our of the Virgin, or the patron saint of the emancipation of commerce, and the specific locality. The Pope said he was obliged for worth of what he had done. At Turin he the suggestion, and promised to mention the spent many pleasant and instructive days. matter to his Nuncio. On the day after Among the first who called on him were this interview, Mr. Cobden dined with the Scialoja, and Charles Cavour, - a young ill-fated Count Rossi, then French Ambas- man,' as he observed, ' with a sound, pracsador at Rome. At Naples he was much tical head.' . The incipient statesman clutchstruck by what he saw in the Pompeian ed eagerly at the opportunity of learning Museum. In a couple of hours spent in all he could from lips so ready to impart inthese rooms, I became better acquainted with formation. He had recently visited Eng. the ancient Roman people than I could have land, and studied her industrial and politibeen by reading all the histories 'ever writ- cal institutions; and although as yet he did ten about them.'$

not pretend any more than the rest of his King Ferdinand desired to see him, and class to see his way to national independtried to make him believe that he too had ence, he already believed in the possibility become a proselyte to Free-trade, as did of working up to constitutionalism and to most of the men of political and literary agricultural and commercial freedom in distinction at his Court. They asked many Piedmont. The administration was still inquestions about the solution of the Irish dif- deed in the hands of the ultra partisans of

resistance; and the king, who had never re** Diary,' 1847. † 'Diary,' 13th February, 1817. I 'Diary,' 4th March, 1847.

covered his early disenchantment with popular efforts, was too weak and wavering to contrasted so strongly and so strangely with originate any measure of importance in the what he had experienced abroad. That he direction of progress. Cavour spent most never condescended to notice it outside the of his time with Mr. Cobden or his family inner circle of friendship and intimacy, during their stay, and frequently accompa- does not touch the question — how such folly nied them in their walks and drives into and such injustice came to pass ? No prothe country; and with his uncle, the Mar- posal was made to him to join the administraquis Cavour, with whom he then lived, and tion; and though he gave it his general supMM. Balbo, Collobiano, Polloni, Battista, port, his remonstrances against certain measBignon, the future minister attended the ures which he disapproved, were on more than banquet on the 24th May, to do honour to one occasion, repelled in a tone and in terms the Apostle of Free Trade. A like cele- little short of insulting. In the discussions bration followed in the ensuing week at on the Alien Act, and on the Bill which for Milan, and also at Venice. At Vienna he the first time constituted open and advised was treated with every mark of distinction speaking on political subjects sufficient by Prince Metternich, as at St. Petersburg proof of "treason-felony ;'on many items of by Count Nesselrode. At Berlin, Hum- domestic expenditure, and on many imboldt, Ranke, Eichhorn, Bodelschwing, and portant points of colonial policy; on the most of the eminent men engaged in the memorable affair of compensation to M. administration, were prompt in paying their Pacifico; on the Ecclesiastical Titles' Bill, respects : and he was entertained at dinner and generally on the question of Parliaby the king. His long tour ended with a mentary Reform, he differed from the visit to Hamburg; and by the middle of Whigs: and the estrangement thus engenOctober 1847, he found himself once more dered continued to the end, without bitterat home. It was a moment of extreme de- ness or resentment on his part, but not withpression and anxiety: The deferred fam- out consequences which it would lead us too ine had more than decimated the popula- far to enter into here. tion of Ireland; and gold had been sent out By many, whose prejudices he offended of the country to buy corn in such quanti- in the earnest pursuit of objects he deemed ties, that the Bank of England was, under politically just, he was called a demagogue, the Act of 1814, compelled to raise the They saw the proofs of his popularity, and rate of discount to 10 per cent., and was they measured his self-love by their own; only enabled to reduce it to 8 per cent. by they felt that the self-made man was able to a Treasury minute suspending the opera- wield a power which, with all the adventition of the statute.

tious aids of birth and wealth and station, In Parliment he never took any part in they could not gain; and they could not debates respecting the currency; and in persuade themselves that the exercise of private he used sometimes to say playfully, this power had not created an appetite . When a man begins by telling me that we which must ever yearn and crave. They can do nothing right until the Bank Char- felt the keen edge of his argumentative eloter is annulled, I always suspect that he is a quence in debate: and they would not little mad, at least on one point; and so I believe that the man who could thus overtry to turn the conversation.' He had throw opponents did not love the encounter voted for Peel's Bank Act in 1844, hoping and exult in victory. They knew not the that it would be an improvement on previ- man, or the spirit that animated bim. ous legislation ; but after twenty years' ex- There never was any one who had in him perience he inclined to regard it as a fail- less of the love of ambition, or the lust ure, and to anticipate that, whenever of triumph. He neither feared nor shunned pressure or panic should cause its suspen- the fight; and he rejoiced with child-like sion a third time, it must be virtually aban- glee in the success of his cause.

But it was doned.

the triumph of the cause, not of Coben, In the new Parliament which met in Nov- that he fought for; and far from relishing ember 1847, Mr. Cobden took his seat as the opportunity of giving battle, or exulting member for the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the humiliation of adversaries, he would for which, in his absence, he had been cho- readily, at any moment, have secured sucsen, and for which he continued to sit for cess by the timely conversion of opponents the ten following years. It was not in hu- to sound views, rather than have hazarded man nature that he should be unconscious of the result of public contention. To say the comparative neglect and disparagement, that he did not value personal influence, wherewith he was treated by the privileged founded as his was, on personal ability and politicans of his own country, and which worth alone, would indeed be untrue; and

to say that he was insensible to the tribute what of bellicose enthusiasm, rallied him of popular sympathy and admiration, would gently on being what he called dull; and be idle. But the gratification these were strove to rekindle his spirit, by anticipating capable of affording him was essentially the weakness and waywardness in blundertransitory and subordinate to that which ing which their adversaries were certain to other and more enduring instincts craved. betray, and by holding forth the promise of He delighted in quiet, and he loved love. inevitable triumph. He was not to be In the happy faces of the children who roused from his dejection, however, and he never feared him, and the genial talk of said calmly — I know you can enjoy it all, friends with whom he never differed sharply, and perhaps it is so best; but I hate havit was his delight to pass his time. Society, ing to beard in this way hundreds of wellso-called, rather bored him; and public dis- meaning, wrong-headed people, and to face play was to him, a matter of penance, not the look of rage and loathing with which of pride. The proceedings he originated they regard me. I had a thousand times in the House of Commons were not nu- rather not have to do it; but it must be merous; and the total number of his speeches done.' there, considering the length of time he sat It was in this spirit that in 1854 he took in that assembly, will be found to have been, a course that for the time undoubtedly lessby comparison with other notabilities, but ened his general popularity, by opposing few. In some degree this may perhaps be the Russian war. From his first entrance accounted for, by his extreme aversion to into public life he had questioned the fortaking part in debate, without having fully eign policy of Lord Palmerston, primarily matured what he had to say, and the best and especially with reference to the mainteway of putting it,' as he was wont to phrase nance of the Ottoman Empire; and when it. But a good deal must likewise be set at length that long-slumbering question down to the account of his reluctance to came to issue, the complete antagonism beprovoke angry dispute with men, towards tween them was more than ever revealed. whom he could never bring himself to feel In the spring of 1856, there befell him a anything like hostility. He might laugh at calamity whose lingering shadow overcast their follies and make merry with their in- all his remaining years :consistencies, in his own limited circle of intimate friends; but when urged to expose

One fatal remembrance, one sorrow that their errors publicly, and to resist the im

throws

Its bleak shade alike o'er our joys and our policy they recommended, he was rarely

woes; known to indulge in sarcasm or scoff; for

To which life nothing darker or brighter he thought that a legislator's words, like

can bring, those of a judge, should, as Bacon says, be

For which joy hath no balm, and affliction wise, and not taunting. At heart he dis- no sting.' liked conflict; and there was for him no pleasure in inflicting pain. His blows were His only son, a youth of singular promheavy when they fell, and, roused by a ise, and endeared to him by every tie of sense of indignation at oppression or injus- pride and affection, was suddenly struck tice, he dealt them with a will. Yet he down by illness at Weinheim, where he oftentimes — oftener than the world at large was at school ; and the same letter that could easily have been persuaded — gen- brought intelligence of the fact, conveyed erously forbore. He not only could make also the tidings of his death. It was long begreat allowance for educational and social fore the bereaved father recovered from this habits of expression, thought, and action heavy blow. By degrees indeed he learned not in accordance with his own, but he resignation ; and, consoled by the sympathy practically did so; and while no man was of a numerous and attached circle of friends, less swayed by the influence of society he manfully strove to battle with his grief, around him, he was content with the enjoy- and to soothe that of those loved ones who ment of his own simple-minded liberty, needed his example and his care. without cavilling at the fopperies, affecta- In the autumn of the same year a contions, or antipathies of those who he knew gress was summoned to meet at Brussels, of disliked him.

the friends of international interchange and One evening, as he drove to the House amity, at which bis recent bereavement of Commons, to take part in a debate rendered it impossible for him to appear. which it was expected would be of the sharp- In declining, about the same period, a kind est, his companion, who probably looked invitation from friends at Paris, he alluded forward to the coming struggle with some with his usual unselfishness to the weight that

hung upon his own spirits and those of his den's timely interposition, Sir James Graham domestic circle :-We must throw upon would have given way at Carlisle. The our friends as little as possible of the bur- wrong thus inflicted would, it was supposed, den of our grief; for who has not his own be soon repaired by some other constitshare of sorrow at some period of his life uency; but months rolled by, and the nato endure ? The same circumstance will tional reproach of his exclusion from the prevent me from going to Brussels, as I legislature was not effaced. He felt that should have otherwise liked to do. His exclusion deeply. In a letter addressed to interest in the progress of opinion was the writer in the following year, who had not, however, quenched even in affliction. inquired after his health and pursuits at In the same letter he seemed to revive, as Dunford, he wrote, in bitterness of heart, he thought of the efforts then making in that — He was learning to promote the hapBelgium by the mercantile community piness of pigs, and to give them better food there, to promote the great cause with which than they had had before ; and he had this his name

was identified : • We cannot encouragement — that they could not make help admiring the noble attitude of that lit- him feel that they were ungrateful.' It was tle kingdom, in thus offering its capital and not until the general election of 1859 that its public halls as the place of rendezvous he was restored to his place in Parliament, for kindred minds from all parts of the being chosen, during his absence in Ameriworld.

I have been a good deal ca, member for Rochdale. Before his restruck with the energy and talent dis- turn to England the new Parliament had played by the iron-traders of Belgium, in met; and by the combination of parties intheir agitation. It seems a bonâ fide move- augurated at a meeting held at Willis' ment in which the manufacturers and mer- Rooms, Lord Derby and his friends were chants are taking a leading part. The best driven from power, and Lord Palmerston thing they can do for the cause of Free Trade was again placed at the bead of affairs. is to carry out the principle in their own coun- Seats in the Cabinet were conceded to Lord try; and thus set a good example to their Russell, Mr. Gladstone, and Mr. M. Gibson, neighbours.

who, in 1858, had aided in the overthrow of The culminating point of his opposition the noble Viscount's former Administration to Lord Palmerston,

as a minister, was not by their votes of censure on the Conspiracy reached until the famous controversy re- Bill; and it was announced that the Presigarding the lorcha, called the Arrow, the dency of the Board of Trade was reserved seizure of whose crew, while bearing the for Mír. Cobden. On his arrival at LiverBritish flag, in the Canton river, led to the pool he learned for the first time the adbombardment of the town by Admiral Sey- ministrative change, that had taken place, mour's fleet, and to a great destruction of and received the Premier's invitation to join property and life. Lord Clarendon, with his Government. In an interview with Lord the sanction of Lord Palmerston, praised Palmerston a few days afterwards, while acand thanked the English authorities, civil acknowledging in frank and courteous terms and military, in China, for their prompti- the value of the compliment, he stated fully tude and vigour. A vote of censure, on the the reasons why he felt it would be incompatground of inhumanity and needless violence, ible with his sense of self-respect, and his was carried in the House of Lords; and on character for consistency, to take confidential the motion of the member for the West office under the man whose policy he had alRiding, supported by Mr. Gladstone, Sir ways opposed as wasteful and dangerous. James Graham, and Mr. Sydney Herbert, Lord Palmerston would have had him recona similar condemnation was carried in the sider the matter; but he declined, saying that Commons by a majority of sixteen. Par- his resolution was fixed, and that he thought liament was dissolved. The West Riding, any other course would only involve them it was believed, would not again return the both in embarrassment and ridicule. Those man who had conferred on its industry so who never wished to see him in the Cabinet many benefits, and he was asked to stand affected to take this refusal as proof that he for Huddersfield, where, to the surprise and was an impracticable man who could find mortification of his friends, he was defeated fault with the work of others, but who would by a ministerialist whose local influence never himself incur the responsibilities of was great. The current of popular feel- official life. Nothing could be more foring ran so strong that Messrs. Bright and eign to his disposition or feeling than such Gibson

unseated at Manchester; an inference, and an occasion soon arose Messrs. Layard, Miall, W. J. Fox, and for its disinterested refutation in a way others lost their seats; and but for Mr. Cob-I equally unexpected and remarkable.

were

The suggestion having been publicly public curiosity off the scent, than by sugmade by Mr. Bright, that the first step to- gesting gravely, that the blunderer who had wards a reduction of armaments, and the watched at the gate of St. Cloud might have cultivation of more intimate ties between mistaken Lord Brougham for Mr. Cobden. England and France, would probably be It is not, perhaps, surprising that he was dot found in a Treaty of Commerce between proof enough against the fascination of the two countries, M. Michel Chevalier manner and of calm indomitable will that wrote to Mr. Cobden assuring him of the has contributed so much to the creation, favourable disposition of the Imperial Gov- and still more to the consolidation, of all ernment, and encouraging him to urge upon but unlimited power in the present ruler the English Administration the expediency of France. The interview had been desired of making the attempt. After due reflec- by his Majesty; and it was valued at the tion he resolved to do so. Lord Palmerston moment by the ardent Free Trader, not as and Mr. Gladstone entered into bis views, a compliment to the reputation he had aland authorized him to visit Paris, using his ready earned, but as the expression of a own discretion in feeling his way with those sagacious wish to be further informed by in authority there, towards the attainment competent authority how the revenue of a of so desirable an object. Accompanied by country might be secured with lightened his family, he took up his residence for the taxation, and how the wages of labour might winter in the French capital, and put him- be enhanced while invested capital, long self in communication with the ministers of used to the artificial shelter and forcingNapoleon III. For some time little pro- beds of protection, was exposed to the allgress was made. The wall of prejudice in penetrating breath of free competition. Befavour of prohibition and protection looked sides the political hazard attendant on any higher and more hard to scale when near failure of a financial experiment, Napoleon its base than it had done at a distance. Men III. had, by the necessity of his position, to like M. Rouher and M. Fould appreciated incur the greatest amount of personal rethe importance, moral and material, of mul- sponsibility we had almost said peril — tiplying ties of reciprocal profit between in the matter. No one believed, and no one the two nations; but others holding equal could be made to believe, that the idea of or higher political rank dissented from revolutionizing the commercial system of them, and discountenanced as far as in France originated with any minister or any them lay the project of a treaty. Weeks party in or out of doors. What Turgot bad were consumed in preliminary discussions; so memorably tried and failed to do in the and in weariness of spirit, the untitled, days of Legitimate Absolutism, there was unsalaried, and unpretentious plenipoten- no man who would venture officially to retiary of England oftentimes was ready to commend under the new order of things. despair. He was supported, however, by Republicans and Constitutionalists had althe consciousness of being engaged in an ways been divided in opinion about the endeavour to accomplish an unmixed good, theory of trade ; and the traditions of the and by the noble ambition of showing that, First Empire all seemed to bar the way. without being disciplined in diplomatic The compact weight of vested interests lay forms, a man who thoroughly understood heavily in one scale; and there was little the interests of his country might be its of any weight in the other but a conviction best diplomatist.

of truth and right and policy in the mind of One evening, on his return home, he ask- the taciturn and undemonstrative sovereign. ed a friend whom he found awaiting him, What must have been the incisive force, whether he could guess in whose company unaided and self-adequate, that wrought in he had spent the last hour. You must keep such a mind as that of the Emperor's such it a secret,' he said, laughing; ' by which a conviction! What would we not give for I mean that you must really tell nobody. a snatch of the first conversation, to be folFor although, as you know, I hate myste- lowed up in due time by others of like imries, it would make me very uncomfortable port, between two men so utterly and inif the thing were talked of. His companion tensely opposite in their ways of thought guessed in vain, and was at last told that and action ! On more than one occasion the volunteer envoy had had an interview invitations to the Imperial table were profwith the Emperor. Strange to say, a ru- fered, and a wish was intimated through mour of the fact ran through the clubs and the proper quarter that Mr. and Mrs. Cobcafés the same night; and his confidant den might be included among the autumnal being questioned on the point, could hit guests at Compiègne. But the repugnance upon no more innocent way of throwing to court ceremony and state of every kind

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