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pulled the Grovernment through many difficulties ;
but there would be difficulty in carrpng such a
measure. Other professions Vv^ould be jealous,
and the House of Commons would hardly
consent. But what if the bishoprics, and the
deanships are abeady there ? Yv^hat if the palace
be already in existence, and the 5,000/. a year
already duly paid ; duly paid for Civil ser^nces.



262 THE THREE CLERKS.

only "unfortunately kept altogether out of the
reach of the Civil servants 1

Is not this at present pretty much the case ?
Has not the Chancellor of the Exchequer
5000/. a year and a palace ? a dingy palace indeed,
but still a palace ? At this suggestion up rise
with loud screech the eloquent bulwarks of our
constitution, and explain to us, not for the first
time, how impossible it is that there should be
any amalgamation between parliamentary and
permanent Civil services. With similar screech
were the Catholic claims repelled, reform of Par-
liament taboed, and corn-laws defended.

When shall we as a people cease to think that
the existence of an evil is its sufficient excuse ?
Touching this Chancellorship of the Exchequer,
let us see whether it be in any way possible that a
clerk commencing with 100/. a year should attain
to so high a place. Would not such promotion
be a great advantage if possible ? Would it not
in itself go far towards curing the ill complained
of? If a young clerk, commencing at 100/. a
year, might, by due diligence and proved genius,
become a Chancellor of the Exchequer, then
ambition and energy would be tempted towards
Downing Street.

It may be surmised that in selecting the head
financier of the country, it would not be amiss to
provide that the man selected should know some-
what of finance. Such an opinion is not orthodox,



THE CIVIL SERVICE. 2G3

but nevertlieless can hardly be gainsaid. At
present the men selected know nothing on the
matter, unless it chance, which is rarely the case,
that he have before held some kindred office.
The excellent literary baronet who now rules the
budget is doubtless a useful man ; the somewhat
speculative member for the university of Oxford
is most eloquent, most energetic, most talented, a
man indeed of highest genius : his predecessor in
the office is also a man of genius, one, who if he
have not mastered finance, has at any rate mas-
tered his party, and won for himself a considerable
name. But were any of these financiers when
they entered into the office, or indeed had their
antecedents made it possible that they slioidd
have become so ? This evil would, at any rate, be
cured by the appointment of a man who had
been educated in the duties to which he was
called.

Eut a Chancellor of the Exchequer must be a
politician, and have a fixed line of politics. He
must have a seat in parliament. He must go in
and out with a certain party. He must therefore
be a man of fortune, he must possess influence in
the country, and on all these accounts cannot
be selected from the office clerks.

That the Chancellor of the Exchequer shall be
a politician may or may not be necessary. Some
time since it was thought necessary that the
Chancellor of England should be such, and now



264 THE THREE CLERKS.

it is not so tlioiiglit. But granting this necessity,
why should not a clerk in the Exchequer Office
be a politician ? No doubt such clerks are
pohticians. All good men are so more or less.
Men by the time they reach the age of forty
years have declared pretty plainly to those around
them what is in them, and what are their modes
of thought. We cannot think that there could
be much evil, but rather much advantage in
having occasionally selected for high government
offices, men who have not too peremptorily bound
themselves to one way of thinking on public
matters. Alas ! does not such peremptory bind-
ing generally lead to unbinding as peremptory,
not without some cost of character, and also some
national disgrace ?

The seat in Parliament is doubtless necessary,
and such seat, according to the constitution,
cannot be at the command of government clerks.
It cannot be at their command unless special
pro^dsion be made to that effect. But that there
is any valid objection to such provision we believe
has never been clearly stated. It is an ancient
myth of the constitution that no man shall vote
or debate in the House of Commons, unless he
be sent thither by the Commons. Clearly this is
a myth. Till the other day a large proportion
of these Commons were sent to this House, not
by any of the people, but by some great land
magnate. And even in these reformed days, the



THE CIVIL SERVICE. 265

great land magnates have very much to say to it.
Ask the still operative shade of Dod if this be
not so ; Dod, whom no man ever contradicted.
Who, again, returns the members for Devonport,
for Portsmouth, for Chatham, for Dover? It is
notorious that the Government returns them, and
yet the constitution lives on.

It might sometimes almost be vdshed that this
constitution of ours might be put an end to,
lest it should put an end to us. If the con-
stitution be made for us English, and not we for
it, surely it cannot be meet that the constitution
should deny us any benefits, of which a new
course of policy may be capable. It is only
necessary for the nation to say that the holders of
certain ofiices should be ex officio members of the
Parhament, and the evil is at once vanquished.
Even the constitutional bugbear may be respected
if the nation should so will, for the necessary
object would be gained if their Chancellor of the
Exchequer were merely a talking and not a voting
member.

But the Chancellor of the Exchequer must go
in and out with other ministers — granted. And
must, therefore, be a man of fortune. This surely
is another myth. Because a man has been
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and is no longer so,
liis vital powers are not paralyzed ; he is not
physically prevented from earning his bread. But
it is absolutely a myth. Had not the country

VOL. II. N



266 THE THREE CLEEKS.

the rich benefit of Lord Lyndliurst's services as
Chief Baron after he had occupied the woolsack ?
Was not Sir Thomas Fremantle for some time
Chief Secretary for Ireland, and does he not now,
no doubt worthily occupy, some subordinate office?
Is not Lord Monteagle Chief Teller of the
Exchequer, or holder of some equally unintelli-
gible position, although he acted for some years
as Chancellor of the Exchequer ? Yes ; but Lord
Monteagle is not degraded by any labour. His
place is a sinecure. The work we presume leaves
the stain, not the wages !

There is nothing that is not mythical in the
arguments as to the necessity of employing men
of fortune for all high offices; mythical, mys-
terious, and most mischievous. The choice of
the country in her servants is thus narrowed with-
in the closest confines, and the energy, genius,
and talent of the people are banished from the
noblest employment of mankind. It is so in
no other country. In no other country is it now
necessary that state power and private wealth
should go hand in hand together. In Venice
such usage existed, but Venice has fallen.

In what does this necessity consist ? If a
Cabinet retire, the Chancellor of the Exchequer
must retire with his brethren and thus lose his
salary. Granted. Let us grant also that he
cannot return to the same office which he before
held. He is not disgraced because he has gone



THE CIVIL SERVICE. 267

out with the ministry. He is fit for any of the
numerous positions for which Grovernment finds
it so difficult to get men of adequate talent ; and
if none such be ready for him, the country will
not begrudge a suitable maintenance to men who
have thus achieved high position, and have thus
lost it.

A great minister, however, should be a man
of great influence in the country. Yes, of such
influence as his talents and character may com-
mand. With other influence in such offices, the
country may well dispense. Few men now-a-days
wish to see the Cabinet filled with dissolute
marquesses, only less dull than marquesses
generally are, or with earls and barons recom-
mended to public notice by long pedigrees and
large domains.

For these remarks the Chancellor of the
Exchequer has been spoken of, not because his
office should be more than others accessible to
government clerks. It was necessary to speak
of one, and he is specially looked upon as the
head of this service of which we are speaking.
The first Lord of the Admiralty, or the Secretary
for the Colonies, might, with equal benefit to the
constitution, have entered the service of the
Crown, the one as a midshipman, and the other
as a clerk.

" For al] high government offices rich men have
been and must be chosen !" Does not this seem.






268 THE THREE CLERKS.

to be reason and argument enough for tlie
majority of men ? It is shocking to many minds
that such time-honoured rules should be broken
through. Could the original causes of such rules
be seen, they also would, in the majority of cases,
be equally shocking, and to as many.

Stringent rules such as these, binding as the
laws of the Medes, are not in themselves a bless-
ing ; nay, they are rather a curse, if their
peculiar use is not discernible and cannot be
defined. It might be that gentlemen should
agree among themselves to employ none as
butlers but such as had red hair. Butlers would
be difficult to get, and the price of red-haired
men would rise in the market. But if it could
be shown by evidence that the flavour of the
wine was mellowed by such an arrangement,
gentlemen might not be considered wrong. But
what if evidence would show no such result ?
Wliat if it were clear that neither that nor any
other beneficial result could come from a selection
so narrowed?

It has been suggested that some dozen seats
in Parliament should be at the disposal of the
Crown to enable the Government to secure in
high places the services of men who have shown
peculiar fitness for such offices. That the full
number of such dozen seats should ever be filled by
the Crown, or even the half of the number, would
be improbable. It is not intended that Cabinet



THE CIVIL SERVICE. 269

Ministers should, as a rule, be selected from
government clerks ; but that there should be no
bar ta the advancement of a government clerk, if
he show himself capable of great things ; that
thus some places of high honour may be open to
this profession as well as to others, and that
energy and ambition may thus be invited to serve
the Crown. Men who have any choice in the
matter will not be willing to come into Parlia-
ment on a footing which will render their seat
dependent on the dui-ation of a ministry.

So much for the lay bishoprics Avhich one
would wish to see placed within the reach of the
Civil servants of the Crown. As to the lay dean-
ships and prebends, to these we think they have
a peculiar right, which should be held to be in-
defeasible. !N"ot only should it be possible that
government clerks should reach these, but it
should be impossible that any one else should
do so.

These are the offices which are held by per-
manent Civil servants ; by Civil servants who
do not, and need not, and, we believe, cannot sit
in Parliament ; Avho do not go out when the
Government is changed, and who are the work-
ing heads of the public offices.

If it be rational that the bench of judges
should be recruited from the ranks of the bar,
or the bench of bishops from the ranks of the
working clergy, it is also rational that these



270 THE THREE CLErvKS.

situations should be filled from the ranks of the
Civil servants.

It may probably strike many men with sur-
prise to hear that such is not the case : to learn
that there is a service in which the lieutenants
and captains never rise to be colonels, in which
the colonels have never served as lieutenants and
captains ; yet such is strictly the case.

There are. very many situations such as these
alluded to. Enough of such exist to make the
Civil Service quite other than the despicable pro-
fession it is, were they bestowed as they ought to
be. There are in all offices, even the highest,
secretaries and under secretaries, chairmen and
deputy chairmen, commissioners, inspectors, and
such like, who have no more to do with the
politics of a government than a junior clerk in
the War Office. Nothing appertaining to the
peculiar tenets of the party that is in, as opposed
to the tenets of the party that is out, in any way
forms part of their "v^ork.

But this promotion, which appears to be ' so
natural a thing in the church, the army, the
navy, and at the bar, is at present considered to
be quite out of the question in the Civil Service.
Were the present judicious chairman of the

Board of to resign to-day, there would

exist no idea of looking for his successor among
the officers of his establishment. Poor fellows !
They are so remarkably deficent in that ambition



THE CIVIL SERVICE. 271

of tlie lack of which the Government complains,
that it may be doubted whether any among them
would dare to raise their eyes to the supreme
seat. As a matter of course the Grovernment
would put in a partisan of its own.

In those published papers respecting the re-
organization of the public service, to which
allusion has before been made, this state of things
is not only not denied, but excused. Grovern-
ment clerks are really so bad that fitting men
cannot be found among them to fill these second-
rate ofiices. Besides, we are told that few public
servants would feel the appointment of some
barrister of known eminence to an important
position like that of an under Secretary of State !
Let us turn the tables, and say that few barris-
ters v/ould feel the appointment of some Civil
servant of known eminence to an important
position like that of the Master of the Eolls 1
O shades of Leeches and Langdales, how would
ye rest in your graves were your seats defiled by
some wretched produce of a government ofiice 1

By no means send a government clerk to the
Holls. He will probably not do well there, and
will at any rate be a usurper. Neither should
you send the barrister to the Colonial Ofiice. The
one transfer should be as illeoritimate and as
improbable as the other. Civil servants should
not be indifierent on the matter, let the barrister
be of ever such kno^vn eminence. It would be



272 THE THREE CLERKS.

well that they should be as indignant at such
invasion into their territories, as the barrister
would be in the other case.

But what if government clerks are not fit for
these high offices ? This is arguing in a circle.
The rewards for good work are taken away, be-
cause men do not work well ; but the men do
not work well, because there are no rewards for
good work. One result follows the other. It is
for the employer to offer the reward, and all the
experience of the world's history shows that the
good work will be forthcoming.

The trial has not been made ; nevertheless it
is lamented on the part of Government that
energy and ambition do not crowd into the
Civil Service. Can any lament be more gratui-
tous or more absurd ? In the same breath it is
stated that the ijros of the Civil Service lack
ambition, and that the rewards of the Civil Ser-
vice are to be given away from them ! Is it pos-
sible that, under such circumstances, ambitious
men should enter a service, or that any but the
least ambitions ought to do so?

So much for the rewards of meritorious con-
duct in the Civil Service. Much, also, has of
late been said as to the present inefficacious
mode of recruiting public offices, and consider-
able attention has been given to the preparation
of some better plan, by which the existing evils
of patronage may be avoided. Eut it appears



THE CIVIL SERVICE. 273

tliat we have hardly yet settled what may be the
best means of achieving the object which we
have in view.

It has been of late admitted that the excellence
of French officers of all ranks, especially those of
the staff, has been owing to their careful train-
ing in those sciences which warfare peculiarly
requires. The same has been admitted with
regard to Sandhurst — great complaint having
been made that men were appointed to our staff
who had not been educated at that seminary.

There are, we need not say, colleges especially
devoted to preparing men for clerical pursuits ;
there are Inns of Court for legal studies ; schools
for medical instruction, for civil engineering,
for our artillery and royal engineers. There are
schools of design for young artists, colleges for
instructing governesses in their future duties,
missionaries in their future duties, milliners in
their future duties, and even cooks. We would
recommend the establishment of a college for the
Civil Service.

Let this be done; let provision be made for
the instruction of government clerks, and rewards
set apart for their encouragement, as is now done
for all other professions. Let this be done, and
we shall not again be told that admission into
the Ci\dl Ser^dce is sought after only hi/ the indo-
lent and the incajoable. Others Avill then go into
it, besides those who fear competition with their

N 3



274 TIIS THREE CLEFxKS.

cotemjjoi^aries, or those whose physical infirmities or
indolence of temperament unfit them for active exer-
tions. Men will go there, not to obtain a liveli-
hood with little labour and no risk, but to strive
manfolly and faitlifiilly for such, rewards as men
in this world seek to get by faithful work. It
might then be expected that the service of the
Crown would be. sufficiently important to attract
to itself some of the ablest of the youth of the
country, and that keen emulation ivoidd then prevail
among those tvho entered it.

Reader, the words in italics are not mine.
They are those which have been selected by two
eminent men as most proper to describe the Civil
Service ; two eminent men selected by the Crown
for this purpose. As to the actual truth of these
words no opinion is now offered ; but may it not
justly be considered that such a state as that
thus ascribed to the Civil Service is the natural
result of the treatment which that service has
received ?

One other matter of degradation may be
pointed out, to which the Civil Service, or at
least a large proportion of it, is most unneces-
sarily subjected.

In the past ages of the constitution it v^as
considered dangerous that any servant of the
Crown, employed either directly or indirectly in
collecting the revenue, should vote at an election
for a member of Parliament. It was thought



THE CIVIL SERVICE. 275

that there should he no connection hetween him
who had to collect and him who had to spend
the puhlic funds. The danger to us in these
days appears somewhat unsuhstantial.

It may, however, have heen, that in olden
days servants of the Crown Vv^ere too much under
Crown influence to be trusted with the franchise.
Such, at any rate, is not now the case. The
Civil Ser\T.ce should he on a par with other pro-
fessions, and sp useless a disgrace should he
spared. The matter was, we believe, brought
under the notice of that great upholder of par-
liamentary fixings. Lord John Eussell ; though,
if we remember rightly, no sufB.ciently plain
remedy was included in the Bill which he sub-
mitted to the House some time since. It may
be hoped that soon after these pages are printed,
some steps may have been taken towards re-
moving so absurd a restriction.



CHAPTEE XIII.



OUTERMAN V, TUDOR.



Charley sat at his office on the Saturday after-
noon, very meditative and miHke himself. What
was he to do when his office hours were over? In
the first place he had not a shilling in the world
to get his dinner. His habit was to breakfast at
home at his lodgings with Harry, and then to
dine, as best he might, at some tavern, if he had
not the good fortune to be dining out. He had
a little dinner bill at a house which he frequented
in the Strand ; but the bill he knew had reached
its culminating point. It would, he was aware,
be necessary that it should be decreased, not
augmented, at the next commercial transaction
which might take place between him and the
tavern keeper.

This was not the first time by many in which
he had been in a similar plight — but his resource
in such case had been to tell the truth gallantly
to his friend Mrs. Davis; and some sort of viands,
not at all unprepossessing to him in his hunger,
would always be forthcoming for him at the Cat
and Whistle. This supply was now closed to
him. Were he, under his present circumstances,
to seek for his dinner from the fair hands of



OUTEllMAN V. TUDOR. 277

JSTorali Geraghty, it would be tantamount to
giving himself up as lost for ever.

Tins want of a dinner, however, was a small
misfortune in comparison with others which
afflicted him. Should or should he not keep his
promise to Mrs. Davis, and go to the Cat and
Whistle that evening ? That was the question
which disturbed his equanimity, and hindered
him from teasing Mr. Snape in his usual viva-
cious manner.

He had positively phghted himself that he
would go to the Cat and Wliistle, and he felt
that there would be something mean in his
breaking such a promise to a woman ; and yet
he knew that if he did go he should be lost.
He had not the moral courage which would
have enabled him to explain to Mrs. Davis and
her barmaid that he had been making a fool
of himself and them ; and that, wrong as he
might have been in Vv^hat he had done, it was
cjuite out of the question that he should marry
Norah Greraghty. He knew well that to do this
would be above his power, that he would be a
weak tool in these women's hands, and that, in
all probability, he would not leave tlie house till
he had bound himself to his ruin in some irre-
coverable manner.

And here let it not be said that Charley must
be altogether despicable in beuig so weak ; that
he is not only a vulgar rake in his present



278 THE THREE CLERKS.

habits, but a fool also, and altogether spiritless,
and of a low disposition. Persons who may so
argue of him, who so argue of those whom they
meet in the real living world, are ignorant of the
twists and turns, and rapid changes in character
which are brought about by outward circum-
stances. Many a man who has given token to
the world of admirable firmness, has given token
also of weakness as deplorable, if the world had
only known it. And many a youth, abandoned
by liis friends to perdition on account of his folly,
might have yet prospered, had his character not
been set down as gone before, in truth, it was
well formed. It is not one calf only that should
be, killed for the returning prodigal. Oh, fathers,
mothers, uncles, aunts, guardians, and elderly
friends in general, kill seven fatted calves if
seven should unfortunately be necessary.

And then there was a third calamity. Charley
had, at this moment, in his pocket a certain docu-
ment, which in civil but still somewhat peremp-
tory language invited him to meet a very cele-
brated learned pundit, being no less than one of
Her Majesty's puisne judges, at some court in
Westminster, to explain why he declined to pay
one Nathaniel Outerman, a tailor, the sum of &c.
&c. &c. ; and the document then went on to say,
that any hesitation on Charley's part to accept
this invitation would be regarded as great con-
tempt shown to the said learned pundit, and would



OUTERMAN V. TUDOR. 279

be treated accordingly. Now Charley had not paid
the shg'htest attention to this requisition from
the jndge. It would, he conceived, have been
merely putting his head into the lion's mouth to
do so. But yet he knew that such documents
meant something ; that the day of grace was
gone by, and that Mr. Kathaniel Outerman
would very speedily have him locked up.

So Charley sat meditative over his lock entries,
and allowed even liis proposed vengeance on Mr.
Snape to be delayed.

" I say, Charley," said Scatterall, coming over
and whispering to him, " you couldn't lend me
half- a- crown, could you?"

Charley said nothing, but looked on his brother
navvy in a manner that made any other kind of
reply quite mmecessary.

" I was afraid it was so," said Scatterall, in a
melancholy voice. And then, as if by the bril-
liance of his thought he had suddenly recovered
his spirits, he made a Httle proposition.

" I'll tell you what, Charley, you might do.
I put my w^atcli up the spout last week. It's a
silver tm^nip, so I only got fifteen shillings ;


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