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Ireland page 5

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Addresses were poured in to the Queen from all parts of the country, some congratulating her on the return of Lord Melbourne and Lord John Russell to office, others praying that she would again call to her councils the Duke and Sir Robert Peel. An address to these statesmen from Shrewsbury declared the indignation and contempt of the inhabitants at the calumnious charges made against them for factious ends.

The matter was discussed in the House of Lords on the 31st of May, when it was brought forward by Lord Winchilsea. Lord Melbourne, in reply, admitted that the difficulties with which he had to contend in carrying on the government of the country were still undiminished, at least by any abandonment of principle on his part, and that the Government would still be conducted on those principles on which it had originally been formed - namely, the principles of progressive reform. Lord Brougham again vehemently denounced the conduct of the ministers with reference to the ladies of the bed-chamber. " The name of the Sovereign/' he said, " had been put forward and tendered to the country in lieu of all explanations, and the private personal feelings of that illustrious Princess had been made the topic of every riotous meeting - of all the demagogues who have set to work to support a sinking administration. For themselves, the Ministers had nothing to say - no measure to propose, no defence to make of their policy, but the cry of ' The Queen! the Queen! the Queen! ' and to sum up all in the words of a kinsman of his noble friend and his private secretary - ' Sir Robert Peel's attempt to form a Government was defeated by two ladies of the bed-chamber.' "

The record would be incomplete of this singularly interesting episode in the history of England without a passage from a speech of Lord Macaulay, delivered on the first night of the session of 1840: -

" A change has come over the spirit of a part, I hope not the larger part, of the Tory body. It was once the glory of the Tories that, through all changes of fortune, they were animated by a steady and fervent loyalty, which made even error respectable, and gave to what might otherwise have been called servility something of the manliness and nobleness of freedom. A great Tory poet, whose eminent services to the cause of monarchy had been ill-requited by an ungrateful Court, boasted that -

'Loyalty is still the same,
Whether it win or lose the game;
True as the dial to the sun,
Although it be not shined upon.'

Toryism has now changed its character. We have lived to see a monster of a faction made up of the worst parts of the Cavalier and the worst parts of the Roundhead. We have lived to see a race of disloyal Tories. We have lived to see Tories giving themselves the airs of those insolent pikemen who puffed out their tobacco smoke in the face of Charles I. We have lived to see Tories who, because they were not allowed to grind the people after the fashion of Strafford, turn round and revile the Sovereign in the style of Hugh Peters. I say, therefore, that while the leader is still what he was eleven years ago, when his moderation alienated his intemperate followers, his followers are more intemperate than ever."

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