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THE TOADY TREE.

IT is not a new remark, that any real
and true change for the public benefit, must
derive its vitality from the practice of
consistent people. Whatever may be accepted
as the meaning of the adage, Charity begins
at homewhich for the most part has very
little meaning that I could ever discoverit
is pretty clear that Reform begins at home.
If I had the lungs of Hercules and the
eloquence of Cicero, and devoted them at any
number of monster-meetings to a cause which
I deserted in my daily life whensoever the
opportunity of desertion was presented to me
(say on an average fifty times a day), I had
far better keep my lungs and my eloquence
to myself, and at all times and seasons leave
that cause alone.

The humble opinion of the present age, is,
that no privileged class should have an
inheritance in the administration of the public
affairs, and that a system which fails to
enlist in the service of the country, the
greatest fitness and merit that the country
produces, must have in it something
inherently wrong. It might be supposed, the
year One having been for some time in
the calendar of the past, that this is on
the whole a moderate and reasonable
opinionnot very far in advance of the
period, or of any period, and involving no
particularly unchristian revenge for a great
national break-down. Yet, to the governing
class in the main, the sentiment is
altogether so novel and extraordinary, that we
may observe it to be received as an
incomprehensible and incredible thing. I
have been seriously asking myself, whose
fault is this? I have come to the conclusion
that it is the fault of the over-cultivation of
the great Toady Tree; the tree of many
branches, which grows to an immense height
in England, and which overshadows all the
land.

My name is Cobbs. Why do I, Cobbs, love
to sit like a Patriarch, in the shade of my
Toady Tree! What have I to do with it?
What comfort do I derive from it, what fruit
of self-respect does it yield to me, what
beauty is there in it? To lure me to a
Public Dinner, why must I have a Lord in
the chair? To gain me to a Subscription-
list, why do I need fifty Barons, Marquises,
Viscounts, Dukes, and Baronets, at the
head of it, in larger type and longer lines
than the commonalty? If I don't want to
be perpetually decorated with these boughs
from the Toady Treeif it be my friend
Dobbs, and not I, Cobbs, in whose ready
button-hole such appliances are always
stuckwhy don't I myself quietly and
good-humouredly renounce them? Why
not! Because I will be always gardening,
more or less, at the foot of the Toady
Tree.

Take Dobbs. Dobbs is a well-read man,
an earnest man, a man of strong and sincere
convictions, a man who would be deeply
wounded if I told him he was not a true
Administrative Reformer in the best sense
of the word. When Dobbs talks to me about
the House of Commons, (and lets off upon
me those little revolvers of special official
intelligence which he always carries, ready
loaded and capped), why does he adopt
the Lobby slang: with which he has as
much to do as with any dialect in the heart
of Africa? Why must he speak of Mr.
Fizmaili as "Fizzy," and of Lord Gambaroon
as "Gam"? How comes it that he is
acquainted with the intentions of the Cabinet
six weeks beforehandoften, indeed, so
long beforehand that I shall infallibly die
before there is the least sign of their having
ever existed? Dobbs is perfectly clear in
his generation that men are to be deferred to
for their capacity for what they undertake,
for their talents and worth, and for nothing
else. Aye, aye, I know he is. But, I have
seen Dobbs dive and double about that
Royal Academy Exhibition, in pursuit of
a nobleman, in a marvellously small way.
I have stood with Dobbs examining a picture,
when the Marquis has entered, and I have
known of the Marquis's entrance without
lifting my eyes or turning my head, solely
by the increased gentility in the audible
tones of Dobbs's critical observations. And
then, the Marquis approaching, Dobbs has
talked to me as his lay figure, at and for the
Marquis, until the Marquis has said,
"Ha, Dobbs?" and Dobbs, with his face
folded into creases of deference, has piloted
that illustrious nobleman away, to the
contemplation of some pictorial subtleties

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