Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Whigs and Tories

December 15, 1826 - from Scott's Journal:

"...Our discussion went off very decently; no discussions or aggravating speeches. Sir John Jackass seconded the Whig's nominee. So much they will submit to get a vote. ... The Tory interest was weak among the old stagers, where I remember it strong, but preferment, country residence, etc., has thinned them..."

James Boswell provided this Samuel Johnson description of the difference between a Whig and a Tory (Life of Johnson):

"A wise Tory and a wise Whig, I believe, will agree. Their principles are the same, though their modes of thinking are different. A high Tory makes government unintelligible; it is lost in the clouds. A violent Whig makes it impracticable: he is for allowing so much liberty to every man, that there is not power enough to govern any man. The prejudice of the Tory is for establishment: the prejudice of the Whig is for innovation. A Tory does not wish to give more real power to Government; but that Government should have more reverence. Then they differ as to the Church. The Tory is not for giving more legal power to the Clergy, but wishes they should have a considerable influence, founded on the opinion of mankind: the Whig is for limiting and watching them with a narrow jealousy."

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