Front Page Titles (by Subject) 37.: NEW MINISTERIAL PUBLICATIONS MORNING CHRONICLE, 31 MAY, 1828, P. 3 - The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXII - Newspaper Writings December 1822 - July 1831 Part I
Return to Title Page for The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXII - Newspaper Writings December 1822 - July 1831 Part I
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
37.: NEW MINISTERIAL PUBLICATIONS MORNING CHRONICLE, 31 MAY, 1828, P. 3 - John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXII - Newspaper Writings December 1822 - July 1831 Part I 
The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXII - Newspaper Writings December 1822 - July 1831 Part I, ed. Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson, Introduction by Ann P. Robson and John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986).
About Liberty Fund:
The online edition of the Collected Works is published under licence from the copyright holder, The University of Toronto Press. ©2006 The University of Toronto Press. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or medium without the permission of The University of Toronto Press.
Fair use statement:
NEW MINISTERIAL PUBLICATIONS
These satirical comments (see also Nos. 38, 39, and 40) were prompted by the actions of the Tory ministry formed in January 1828 by Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), the 1st Duke of Wellington, a target of Radical criticism. The unsigned article is Mill’s first contribution to the Morning Chronicle since September 1825. It is headed as title and described in his bibliography as “A squib on the Wellington ministry, headed New Publications—and two following paragraphs in the Morning Chronicle of 31st May 1828” (MacMinn, p. 9). A printer’s rule (here reproduced) appears in the Morning Chronicle after the 9th paragraph; it is followed by three further paragraphs. Assuming that the entry in the bibliography is accurate, we have excluded the final paragraph from the text, but included it in a footnote.
it is currently reported, that the Duke of Wellington, having become sensible of the detriment which his new Ministry is likely to sustain in public estimation, from the vulgar prejudice, that none except men of talents and information are qualified to administer the affairs of the State, has resolved to establish an office for the publication and distribution of works of a practical character, suited to the composition of the Ministry, and to the exigencies of the times. Doctor Croker being the only Member of the New Administration who can write,1 has undertaken the office of correcting the press; and the following works are confidently announced as shortly about to appear:—
The Dunce’s Manual, or Politics made level with the meanest Capacity: For the use of elderly Gentlemen appointed Cabinet Ministers at a short notice.
Bob Short’s Rules for Governing a State, whereby the whole Science of Government may be learned in a quarter of an hour, without hindrance of amusements, or knowledge of a bookseller.2
The Inutility of Ideas to Public Men, Stated and Exemplified: being an attempt to prove that none but persons totally ignorant of public affairs are competent to administer them. Under the immediate patronage of the Lords of the Treasury, and the three Secretaries of State.
A new edition of Erasmus’s Moriae Encomium, or Praise of Folly:3 with portraits of the New Ministers, beautifully engraven on brass, by George Cruikshank,4 and an Appendix, shewing the peculiar applicability of the author’s Principles to the Government of the British Empire.
Murray’s First Book for Statesmen: Being a Compendious Treatise on the Cavalry Exercise, for the use of Young Members of Parliament, and Candidates for Public Employment. By Lieutentant-General Sir George Murray, K.G.H. and T.S., Col. of the 42d Foot, and Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.5
Shoulder Arms! A Tyrtaean Poem,6 addressed to the Nobility, Gentry, and Clergy of Great Britain and Ireland. By Field-Marshal his Grace the Duke of Wellington, Drill-Serjeant to the Bench of Bishops, and to both Houses of Parliament.
Moderate Talents best fitted for Affairs of State: an Essay, shewing, from practical Experience, the Dangerousness of confiding political Employments to clever Men. Addressed to the moderately-informed. With Remarks on the unexceptionable Character of the present Administration, in this respect.—Also, by the same Author,
The Vanity of Human Learning; or, The Wonderful Worldly Wisdom of Knowing Nothing:7 wherein are set forth the manifold Advantages, in a practical Point of View, of Ignorance over Knowledge, and the Sufficiency of Reading, Writing, and the Manual Exercise, for the Education of a Cabinet Minister. With a comparative View of Mr. Canning, and the Duke of Wellington, Mr. Huskisson, and Sir George Murray, Turgot, and Sir Thomas Gooch:8 shewing the extreme Ignorance of the latter Statesmen, and calling upon all Persons of moderate Intellect to support them.
On the occasion of a recent schism in the Ministry,9 the Duke of Wellington is reported to have said, “There shall be but one head to my Administration.” Dr. Croker, who was accidentally present, was heard to mutter, “Fait, and sure now, that won’t be your Grace’s own, Duke dear.”
Another on dit of the day is, that in the course of the late Cabinet disputes, Mr. Huskisson formally accused Messrs. Dawson and Goulburn10 of a conspiracy to set the Thames on fire—which those Gentlemen indignantly denied, protesting that all their friends could avouch them to be altogether incapable of such a proceeding.11
[1 ]John Wilson Croker (1780-1857), M.P. and writer of Irish origin, one of the mainstays of the Tory Quarterly Review, was a friend and adviser to Wellington, who, on acceding to power, had him sworn as a Privy Councillor.
[2 ]Bob Short was the pseudonym of the author (or authors) of such works as Twelve Short Standing Rules, for Ladies [and Gentlemen] with Short Memories, at the Game of Whist (Salisbury: Fowler, 1801); Hoyle Abridged: A Treatise on Backgammon; or, Short Rules for Short Memories (London: Allman, 1820); and Hoyle Abridged: A Treatise on the Game of Chess; or, Short Rules for Short Memories (London: Allman, 1824).
[3 ]Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), the great humanist, friend of Thomas More, whose name is played on in the title of Moriae encomium (Paris: Gourmont, 1511), Englished as In Praise of Folly.
[4 ]George Cruikshank (1792-1878), the best-known caricaturist and engraver of the time.
[5 ]Mill is playfully conflating Lindley Murray (1745-1826), author of such well-known elementary texts as English Grammar, Adapted to the Different Classes of Learners (York: Wilson, et al., 1795) and An English Spelling Book; with Reading Lessons (London: Longman, et al., 1804), and Sir George Murray (1772-1846), general and statesman, Colonial Secretary in Wellington’s cabinet.
[6 ]Tyrtaeus, a Spartan general and poet (ca. 640 ), was known for his war-songs in the epic tradition; see Elegies of Tyrtaeus, trans. William Cleaver (London: Payne, 1761). The Morning Chronicle here reads “Tyriaean” rather than “Tyrtaean,” but the fragments of the Tyrian Annals do not suit the reference, and a printer’s error seems probable.
[7 ]Cf. The Vanity of Human Wishes (London: Dodsley, 1749), an imitation of Juvenal’s Tenth Satire by Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English poet and critic.
[8 ]Thomas Sherlock Gooch (1767-1851), M.P. for Suffolk, a supporter of Wellington and spokesman for the landed gentry. The concluding ironical “comparative View” in the subtitle reflects a common element in titles such as John Gregory’s popular A Comparative View of the State and Faculties of Man, with Those of the Animal World (London: Dodsley, 1765).
[9 ]A split in Wellington’s cabinet arose over the disfranchisement of the corrupt boroughs of Penryn and East Retford. Huskisson’s resignation as Colonial Secretary and leader of the House of Commons was followed by those of Lord Palmerston as Secretary of War, Charles Grant as President of the Board of Trade, and William Lamb (later Lord Melbourne) as Irish Secretary.
[10 ]George Robert Dawson (1790-1856) was Secretary to the Treasury; Henry Goulburn (1784-1856) was Chancellor of the Exchequer.
[11 ]The following paragraph (see the headnote to this item) concludes the article: “It has been observed, that a large proportion of the ’Squire Wrongheads, who were present at the annual bamboozlement called the Pitt Club—where fools entrapped by knaves assemble to honour (as they fancy) the memory of one who supported through life principles which they themselves now oppose with all their power—came from Essex, a county of well known vituline celebrity.” (The ultra-Tory Pitt Club was named for William Pitt [1708-78], 1st Earl of Chatham.)