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[357] between the tendency of Monarchy towards absolute
Chap. XLIV} 1770. March
power on the one hand, and the hereditary superstitions and tender affection of the country for the old social hierarchy on the other; fighting strenuously alike against the prerogative and against the people. But time which is the greatest of all innovators had changed their political relations. The present King found the Whig aristocracy divided; and he readily formed a coalition with that part of it which respected the established forms more than the principles of the Revolution. No combination could rise against this organized conservatism of England, but one which should revive ‘Revolution principles,’ and insist on a nearer harmony between them and the forms of the Constitution. As yet Rockingham and his adherents avowed the same political creed with the clan of Bedford, and were less friendly to reform than Grenville. When Burke and Wedderburne were allies, the opposition wore the aspect of a selfish struggle of the discontented for place; and the Whig aristocracy, continuing its war against the people as well as against the King, fell more and more into disrepute. A few feeble voices among the Commoners, Chatham and Shelburne and Stanhope among the Peers, cried out for Parliamentary reform; they were opposed by the members of the great Whig connection, who may have had a good will to advocate public liberty, but, like hounds which have lost the scent and wander this way and that, were ignorant in what direction to go, and too haughty to be taught by men of humble birth. The King, therefore, was strengthened by the divisions among those who really wished to practise a policy of liberty, and had nothing to fear from an opposition. The changing

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