Chapter 160140719

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Chapter NumberVII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160140719
Full Date1881-01-29
Page Number36
Corrections0
Word Count1091
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleEndymion
article text

CHAPTER VII

The Duke of Wellington applied himself to

the treatment of the critical circumstances of 1830 with that blended patience and quickness of perception to which he owed the success of man; campaigns. Quite conscious of the diffi culties he had to encounter, he was nevertheless foil of confidence in his ability to control them. It is probable that the paramount desire of the Lmke in his effort to confirm his power was to rally and restore the ranks of the Tory party, disturbed rather than broken np by the passing of the Belief Bill. During the very heat of the struggle it was significantly observed that the head of the powerful family of Lowther in the House of Commons was never asked to resign his office, although both himself and his follow ing voted invariably against the Government measure. The order of the day was the utmost courtesy to the rebels, who were treated, as some alleged, with more consideration than the compliant. At the same time, the desire of the Whigs to connect, perhaps even to merge them selves in the Ministerial ranks, was not ne glected. A Whig bad been appointed to succeed the eccentric and too uncompromising Wetherell in the office of Attorney-General, other posts had been placed at their disposal, and one even, an old companion-in-arms of the Duke, had entered the Cabinet. The oonfidenee in the Dnke's star was not diminished, and nnder ordinary circnmstsnoes this balanced strategy would probably have been successful. But it was destined to cope with great and unexpected

events.

The first was the unexpected demise of the Crown. The death of King George the Fourth at the end of the month of June, according to the then existing Constitution, necessitated a dissolution of Parliament, and so deprived the

Minister of (hat invaluasle quality of time.neoes ssry to soften and win back his estranged friends. Nevertheless, it is not improbable that the Duke might still have sueoeeded had it not

[ been for the occurrence of the Frenoh insurrec

tion of 1830, in the very heat of the prepare* I tions for the general election in England. The Whigs, who found the Dnke going to the country without that reconstruction of his Ministry on which they had counted, saw their opportunity and seized it. The triumphant riots of Paris were dignified into " the three glorious days," and the three glorious days were universally recognised as the triumph of civil and religious liberty. The names of Polignao and Wellington were adroitly connected to* getber; and the phrase Parliamentary Reform began to circulate.

It was Zenobia's last reoeption for the season; on the morrow she was about to depart for her county and canvaBS for her candidates. 8he was still undaunted, and never more inspiring. The excitement of the times was reflected in her manner. 8he addressed her arriving gnests as they made their obeisance to her, asked for news and imputed it before she could be answered, declared that nothing had been more critical since '93, that there was only one man who was able to deal with the sitnation, and thanked Heaven he was not only in England, but in her drawing-room.

Ferrars, who had been dining with his patron Lord Pomeroy, and had the satisfaction of feeling that at any rate his return to the new Parliament was certain, while helping himself to coffee could not refrain from saying in a low tone to a gentleman who was performing the same office, " Our Whig friends seem in high spirits, Baron."

The gentleman thns addressed was Baron Sergius, a man of middle age. His oountonance was singularly intelligent, tempered with an expression mild and winning. He had attended the OongresB of Vienna to represent a fallen party, a difficult and nngraoionB task, bnt he had Bhown such high qualities in the fulfilment of his painful duties—so much knowledge, so much self-control, and so mnch wise and unaf fected conciliation—that he had won universal respect, and especially with the English Pleni potentiaries, so that when he visited England, which he did frequently, the houses of both parties were open to him, and he was as inti mate with the Whigs as he was with the great Dnke, by whom he was highly esteemed.

" As we have got our coffee let us sit down," said the Baron, and they withdrew to a settee against the wall.

" Yon know I am a Liberal, and have always been a Liberal," said the Baron; "I know the value of civil and religions liberty, for I was born in a country where we had neither, and where we have since enjoyed either very fitfully. Nothing can be mnch drearier than the present lot of my country, and it is probable that these doings at Paris may help my friends a little, and they may again hold up their heads for a time; but I have seen too much, and am too old to indulge in dreams. You are a young man, and will live to see what I can only prediot. The world is thinking of something else than civil and religious liberty. Those are phrases of the eighteenth century. The men whs have won these ' three gloriouB days' at Paris want neither civilization nor religion. They will not be content till they have destroyed both. It is possible that they may be parried for a time; that the adroit wisdom of the house of Orleans, guided by Tallyrand, may give this movement the resemblance, and even the character of a middle-class revolution. It is no such thing; the barricades were not erected by the middle class. I know these people; it is a fraternity, not a nation. Europe is honeycombed with their secret societies. They are spread all over Spain. Italy is entirely mined. I know more of the southern than of the northern nations, but I have been assured by one who should know that the brotherhood are organized throughout Germany, and even in Russia. I have spoken to the Dnke about these things. He is not indifferent, or altogether inorednlous, hut he is so essentially practical that he can only deal with what he sees. I have spoken to the Whig leaders. They tell me that trere is only one specific, and that a complete one— constitutional government; that with represen tative institutions secret societies cannot co exist. I may be wrong, bnt it seems to me that with these secret societies representative insti tutions rather will disappear."