AFTERMATH OF WAR
A NEW year, and a new age. Pitt and Fox were dead, with all the protagonists of the old King's reign; North and Shelburne, Dundas and Thurlow, Windham and Nelson, old Jenky and Horne Tooke. Some of Queen Victoria's prime ministers were in office, others just cognizant of a strangely divided world. William Lamb had lost his seat in the election, Peel was secretary at Dublin, Aberdeen (bashfully covering his face at Grenville's praise) had made his maiden speech, Palmerston was Secretary at War, Johnny Russell on the eve of election for the family borough of Tavistock. A precocious Disraeli was exhibiting 'pronounced Toryish' views at his private school, while a three-year-old Gladstone had been perched on a chair at Liverpool to say 'ladies and gentlemen' to admiring Canningites.
In 1813 the party, into which Gladstone was born and which Disraeli was to revive, though full of divergence had one common objective, to end war with victory. Opposition, on the contrary, were not only divided amongst themselves on this point, but divided from the nation. While Grey and the Hollands hoped for a negotiated peace or even 'a moderate check to the Allies', good Romilly groaned over 'shows and illuminations and fireworks' as demoralizing to popular morals; Whitbread asked for continued war rather than allow France even temporarily to continue the Slave trade, exasperating moderate men like Althorp who could not understand 'how Whitbread can bring himself to think that the prolonging the miseries of Europe is a humane or Christianlike measure'.* When Napoleon broke out of Elba, Grenville was with Government, but Grey opposed war, Whitbread mustered a vote of 38 pacifists in the Commons. Though ministers knew well what the price of renewed war would be--indeed, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said____________________