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sources of the country—its serviceable and statesmanlike minds and so far are men in

power from searching the country through for such minds, or men in parliament from promoting or permitting the search, that I hardly know if that minister has existed in the present generation, who, if such a mind were casually presented to him, would not forego the use of it rather than hazard a debate in the House of Commons upon an additional item in his

estimates.

Till the government of the country shall become a nucleus at which the best wisdom in the country contained shall be perpetually forming itself in deposit, it will be, except as regards the shuffling of power from hand to hand and class to class, little better than a government of fetches, shifts, and hand-to-mouth expedients. Till a wise and constant instrumentality at work upon administrative measures (distinguished as they might be from

measures of political parties) shall be understood to be essential to the government of a country, that country can be considered to enjoy nothing more than the embryo of a government, a means towards producing, through

changes in its own structure and constitution and in the political elements acting upon it, something worthy to be called a government at some future time. For governing a country is a very different thing from upholding a government. "Alia res sceptrum, alia plec

"trum."

OF STATE.

165

CHAPTER XXIII.

FURTHER RESPECTING

REFORM OF THE EXECU

TIVE AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A MINISTER

CLERKS.

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PRIVATE SECRETARIES.

It seems to be almost universally allowed, that in the choice of his private secretary a statesman may be guided mainly by considerations of personal intimacy, family connection, and the predilections of his wife and daughters. Yet is this an indulgence which a statesman who should thoughtfully consider his own interest would pause ere he permitted himself to accept ; an indulgence which a statesman who should consider the interests of his country, and appreciate in his heart the high duties to which he was called, would reject at once, as violating the

spirit of his vocation. That spirit which, binding up his country's welfare with his own, might inspire in the most selfish of human beings a generous impulse, in the most generous a pardonable if not commendable feeling of selfinterest, that spirit, I say, imperiously re

quires that he should surround himself on all sides with able and judicious men, whereby at every turn he may find himself met by prudent counsel and efficient aid. A word of warning in his ear at the moment of decision, a stroke of work done for him in a season of pressure, may affect the public service, the weal of individuals, the cause of justice, his own character and credit, in a way which could not but come home to his conscience, if he should sufficiently enlarge his understanding to perceive the consequences of his acts, to trace them truly, and to paint them in their just colours upon the moral sense.

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A minister's private secretary has the care and management, under his principal's direction, of all affairs relating to the disposal of offices and employments. It has been said

already that a statesman's most pregnant function lies here. Discretion, knowledge of mankind, public spirit, a spirit of justice, ears shut against private solicitation, ought to be regarded as essential qualifications, but not as the sole requisites for the office of private secretary; for along with these there should be as much of general ability as can be commanded. And it should never be forgotten that one of the most important benefits which a statesman can render to his country, is to make one service the cradle of another, and to place in such situations as these, and generally in all offices belonging to the establishment where his own business is transacted under his own eye, young men of promise, who may be bred up in them to the business of statesmanship, and thereby feed the

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