the living source of the robustness of the commonwealth." "He believed that the Tory party would yet rue the day when they did so, for they had acted contrary to principle — the principle of opposing everything like central government and favouring in every possible degree the distribution of power." In short, Disraeli was preaching a feudal ideal, with patriarchal benevolence as the basis of social relations. But such an ideal was impossible in those days, when an industrial working class and an industrial middle class had come into existence. This middle class, Disraeli maintained, was the basis of the new constitution. It had received political station "without making simultaneous advances in the exercises of the great social duties"—a charge by no means devoid of truth. Hence it was detested by the working classes. The trial of Chartist leaders before the Birmingham magistrates had demonstrated that. "He was not ashamed to say, however much he disapproved of the Charter, he sympathised with the Chartists. They formed a great body of his countrymen: nobody could doubt they laboured under great grievances, and it would indeed have been a matter of surprise, and little to the credit of that House, if Parliament had been prorogued without any notice being taken of what must always be considered a very remarkable social movement." Disraeli concluded with a characteristically scathing denunciation of the Ministry, and gave place to the honest but prosy Hume. His speech is well worthy of study. Had he been possessed of constructive genius equal to his insight, Disraeli would have been a statesman indeed. But there was in his speech too great an air of detachment; it was too objective, regarding Chartism as an interesting phenomenon of which he alone had grasped the true meaning, and not as a tremendous human convulsion involving the welfare of a million struggling and despairing beings; an affair of flesh and blood, of bread and butter, not an affair of party politics or Tory Democracy.
Hume made a brave speech in favour of the Charter, but O'Connell declared that the Chartists had ruined the Radical cause by their insane and foolish violence, whereby they had alienated all the middle class. Several other speakers followed, but, apart from Russell and Disraeli, scarcely any who voted against the motion took part in the discussion. Summer days are scarcely suitable for serious debate, and members were not interested. The ignominious fall and still more