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POSTSCRIPT TO THE LONDON REVIEW, NO. 1. 1835 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume VI - Essays on England, Ireland, and the Empire 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume VI - Essays on England, Ireland, and the Empire, ed. John M. Robson, Introduction by Joseph Hamburger (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982).
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POSTSCRIPT TO THE LONDON REVIEW, NO. 1.
London Review, I (equivalent to London and Westminster, XXX) (Apr., 1835), 254-6. Heading and running titles as title. Signed “A.” Not republished. Identified in Mill’s bibliography as “The Postscript to No. 1 of the London Review” (MacMinn, 44). There are no corrections or emendations in the copy (tear-sheets) in Somerville College.
Postscript to the London Review, No. 1
since our article on the political state of the country was sent to press,[*] the experiment which, when that Article was written, was but in an early stage of its progress, has been completed. By the result of that experiment, it is ascertained, first, that even with all the defects still inherent in our representative system, the crown and the aristocracy can no longer force upon the nation a ministry against its will; and, secondly, that the nation will not endure a conservative ministry. The time, indeed, is not come for a ministry of thorough Reformers; and the Tories, as little as the Whigs, now profess themselves thorough anti-reformers. Tories may grant reforms; and Whigs, as the people well know, will often refuse them, or pare them down into insignificance. But there is this difference between the two parties: the Whigs at least profess to love reform; the spirit of examination and change which is abroad is no subject of lamentation to them; they declare themselves gratified by it, and take credit to themselves for having helped to produce it. The Tories, on the contrary, look upon that spirit with avowed suspicion, most of them with absolute terror; they make no pretence of sympathizing with it; and whatever concessions they are willing to make to it are made avowedly to necessity.
By such persons the nation has now declared, in a manner not to be misunderstood, and which has carried conviction to the minds even of those to whom such a fact is least palatable, that it will not be governed. It will not have for ministers men who confess that their hearts are not in the cause of reform—who lay claim to support, not for what they will, but for what they will not, do, to forward the amendment of our institutions. Men who would govern this country from henceforward must not be men who thought our institutions perfect five years ago, and who declare that their opinions have not changed. They must either have the sincere belief, or the decent pretence of a belief, that those institutions were and are imperfect—that there are changes, which are not merely necessary evils which the people unthinkingly demand, but a good in themselves.
This is a lesson, not without its value to those who still needed it. In all other respects, the prospects of the nation appear to us, after this change, exactly as they appeared three months ago. The progress of reform appears to us certain; and we know full well that it will be slow. Any ministry which can be formed out of the scanty and inefficient materials afforded by the present houses of parliament will leave much to be desired—much to be criticised—much to be pardoned. We do not call upon the thorough Reformers to declare enmity against them, or to seek their downfall, because their measures will be half-measures, often not more than quarter-measures; nor even because they will join with the Tories in crying down all complete reforms, and will fight the battle of half-reform with anti-reform artillery. This the thorough Reformers are prepared for, and we believe they will disregard it. But we do implore them not to implicate themselves in the responsibility of a half-reform policy. They may support a ministry, where it deserves support, with far greater effect out of office; and they will retain the inestimable advantage of being at liberty to advocate what, as members of a cabinet, they would not have it in their power to carry into effect. Let them not allow themselves to be circumvented by the time-serving doctrine, that it is imprudent to propose anything which has no chance of immediate success. All great things which have ever been accomplished in the world, since Opinion became the ruler of it, have been accomplished by attempting things which for years, or generations, or ages after the first attempt, had not the remotest chance of success. Whoever, as a statesman, acts upon any other maxim, aims not at the glory of himself exercising any influence over the fortunes of his country or of mankind, and aspires only to register decrees, in the framing of which he voluntarily declares himself unworthy to have any voice.
If the ambition of the thorough Reformers be not limited to this paltry object, they will penetrate themselves with the conviction, that it is for others to consider what can be carried through the House of Commons; but that they are there to stand up for what is good in itself, let who will be minister, and however small a portion of the House may go along with them.
From the ministry we neither expect nor demand all this; nor has the time yet come when so manly a course would be consistent with their remaining a ministry. But there is one thing which is not too much to require of them. We cannot expect that they will propose measures which are in advance of the House of Commons; but, unless they would be utterly contemptible, let them not, this time, confine themselves to such as they trust will be agreeable to the House of Lords. That this was the principle, the systematic principle, of Earl Grey’s ministry, we have the public testimony of Lord John Russell, in a speech to his constituents in Devonshire; and Lord Melbourne’s answer to the Derby address was in the same spirit.[*] If the new ministers act upon a similar principle; if, as often as they believe that the House of Lords would throw out a measure of improvement, they mutilate it, or refuse absolutely to introduce it, and perhaps even assail it when introduced by others; if they again place themselves as a barrier between the Lords and public odium, and, to shield the real culprits, take upon themselves the responsibility of withholding from the nation its just demands,—their administration will assuredly not last one twelvemonth. Recent events are proof more than sufficient, if proof had been wanting, that it is impossible to please the Tories and the people both. The people will not have the Tories, even on a promise to act like Whigs; and ridiculous indeed would the expectation be, that they would tolerate Whigs who should again make it their avowed principle to act like Tories.
[[*] ]James Mill, “The State of the Nation,” London Review, I (L&WR, XXX) (Apr., 1835), 1-24.
[[*] ]John Russell, Speech at Totnes (2 Dec., 1834), The Times, 8 Dec., 1834, p. 1; William Lamb, Speech at Derby (1 Dec., 1834), ibid., 5 Dec., 1834, p. 3.