Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,359 pages of information about Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete.

Already the Tories have declared themselves.  In the flush of anticipated success, PEEL at the Tamworth election denounced the French Revolution that escorted Charles the Tenth—­with his foolish head still upon his shoulders—­out of France, as the “triumph of might over right.”  It was the right—­the divine right of Charles—­(the sacred ampoule, yet dropping with the heavenly oil brought by the mystic dove for Clovis, had bestowed the privilege)—­to gag the mouth of man; to scourge a nation with decrees, begot by bigot tyranny upon folly—­to reduce a people into uncomplaining slavery.  Such was his right:  and the burst of indignation, the irresistible assertion of the native dignity of man, that shivered the throne of Charles like glass, was a felonious might—­a rebellious, treasonous potency—­the very wickedness of strength.  Such is the opinion of Conservative PEEL!  Such the old Tory faith of the child of Toryism!

Since the Tamworth speech—­since the scourging of Sir ROBERT by the French press—­PEEL has essayed a small philanthropic oration.  He has endeavoured to paint—­and certainly in the most delicate water-colours—­the horrors of war.  The premier makes his speech to the nations with the palm-branch in his hand—­with the olive around his brow.  He has applied arithmetic to war, and finds it expensive.  He would therefore induce France to disarm, that by reductions at home he may not be compelled to risk what would certainly jerk him out of the premiership—­the imposition of new taxes.  He may then keep his Corn Laws—­he may then securely enjoy his sliding scale.  Such are the hopes that dictate the intimation to disarm.  It is sweet to prevent war; and, oh! far sweeter still to keep out the Wigs!

The Duke of WELLINGTON, who is to be the moral force of the Tory Cabinet, is a great soldier; and by the very greatness of his martial fame, has been enabled to carry certain political questions which, proposed by a lesser genius, had been scouted by the party otherwise irresistibly compelled to admit them. (Imagine, for instance, the Marquis of Londonderry handling Catholic Emancipation.) Nevertheless, should “The follies of the Wise”—­a chronicle much wanted—­be ever collected for the world, his Grace of Wellington will certainly shine as a conspicuous contributor.  In the name of famine, what could have induced his Grace to insult the misery at this moment, eating the hearts of thousands of Englishmen?  For, within these few days, the Victor of Waterloo expressed his conviction that England was the only country in which “the poor man, if only sober and industrious, WAS QUITE CERTAIN of acquiring a competency!” And it is this man, imbued with this opinion, who is to be hailed as the presiding wisdom—­the great moral strength—­the healing humanity of the Tory Cabinet.  If rags and starvation put up their prayer to the present Ministry, what must be the answer delivered by the Duke of Wellington?  “YE ARE DRUNKEN AND LAZY!”

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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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