Page images
PDF
EPUB

numerous

[ocr errors]

on

Theodore Parker has no work to do for God, now ?" she said. Another of Mrs. Stowe's stories is that of a boy, who, after being told that anger was very sinful, asked his mother how it was that the Bible said God was so often angry. She told him he would find that out when he got older. The boy thought for a while, and then said, “Mother, I have found it out: God is angry because He is not a Christian."

In the course of this old woman's gossip, as she herself calls it, she tells how Mrs. Somerville was not buried in Westminster Abbey, because the Astronomer Royal, with whom she had had a controversy on a scientific subject, refused to make the request to Dean Stanley, which he would have been only too glad to grant. Of Rosa Bonheur she says, " Her face was charming; such fine, clear eyes, looking straight into one's, and frank bearing; an English woman's honesty with Frenchwoman's courtesy.”

IN PRAISE OF JOURNALISM. Miss Cobbe delights and exults in the memory of her journalistic work. Journalism, as she says quite truly, is a delightful profession, full of interest and promise of increasing usefulness. So convinced of this was she, that when she was a professional journalist she never could go into a bank or lawyer's office without pitying the clerks for their dull, monotonous, ugly work. The calling, she thinks, is pre-eminently healthy, being, so full of variety and calling for so many different qualities. As a journalist for seven years, she never once missed an engagement, and was delighted to think that she proved, once for all, that a woman may be relied

as a journalist no less than a man. Although she wrote more than a thousand leading articles, and an *immense number of notes during her seven years on the Echo, she never wrote a line not in fullest accordance with her own opinions and convictions on any subject, small or great. This was the more remarkable as she was a Tory, and Arthur Arnold was a Liberal. Diligent worker as she was, she could not be said to have made much money by her writing. Altogether, she says, she thinks she made about £5000-a little more than her whole patrimony. At the same time she carried out of the editorial sanctum a complaisant sense of baving done a useful work in a kindly fashion. It is well when any one can look back upon so vivid and active a life and write as follows:

I have done very little in any other way than to try to put forward, either at large in a book or in a magazine article, or, lastly, in a newspaper leader, which was always a miniaturo essay, an appeal for some object, an argument for some truth, a vindication of some principle, an exposure of what I conceived to be an absurdity, a wrong, a falsehood, or a cruelty. I have not been the cause of other's tears ; so, I hope, I may say, I have given no brother or sister of the pen the wound, and often the ruinous loss, of a damaging critique of his or her books. If my writings have given pain to any persons, it can only have been to men whose dead consciences it would be an act of mercy to awaken, and towards whom I feel not the slightest compunction.

VI.-LITERARY REMINISCENCES, Among her scrappy souvenirs there is ample gossip about most of the distinguished people whose names were perhaps more familiar ten years ago than they are to-day. Here, for instance, is a story of Sir Charles Lyell:

Another time we had been discussing Evolution, and some of us had betrayed the impression that the doctrine (which he had then recently adopted) involved always the survival of the best, as well as of the “ fittest.” Sir Charles

left the room and went down stairs, but suddenly rushed back to the drawing-room, and said to me all in a breath, standing on the rug: “I'll explain it to you in one minute! Supnose you had been living in Spain three hundred years ago, and had had a sister who was a perfectly.common-place person, and believed everything she was told. Well, your sister would have been happily married and had a progeny, and that would have been the survival of the fittest; but you would have been burnt at an auto-da-fe, and there would have been an end of you. You would have been unsuited to your environment. There! that's Evolution ! Good-bye!

Dr. Colenso, whom she admired greatly, she describes as “an iron-grey man, with iron-grey hair, pale, strong face, fine but somewhat rigid figure, a powerful, strongwilled, resolute man, if ever there was one, and an honest one also, if such there have been on earth."

JOHN STUART MILL. Charles Kingsley was another of her friends, and they had a common feeling in their intense love of dogs. Another notable man with whom she had keen sympathy was John Stuart Mill, whom she loved, among other things, because he would allow his cat to lie on his table, and sometimes on his neck, while he was writing his books. Here is an account of her visit to him in 1869:--

We talked of many grave things, and in everything his love of right and his immense underlying faith impressed me more than I can describe. He thought the loss of reverence unspeakably deplorable, but an inevitable feature of an age of such rapid transition that the son does actually outrun the father. He added that he thought even the most sceptical of men generally had an inner altar to the Unseen Perfection while waiting for the true one to be revealed to them.

She met John Bright, with whom she sympathised more on canine than on political subjects, and she chronicles à touching story which Bright told her at dinner of a poor crippled woman in Llandudno whose handsome collie was drowned by her husband in order to spare the expense of keeping it. Bright's voice broke, she says, when he came to the end of the story, and they said little more to each other during that dinner.

TWO THOUSAND DINNERS. She was a great diner-out, and she calculates that in the twenty years she was living in South Kensington she went to two thousand dinners, great and small, and apparently enjoyed them all, nor suffered anything from gout and indigestion, which is a great tribute to the English cook. Dinner parties now, she says, are no longer so tedious or so drunken as they used to be. Dinners in the sixties used to last two hours and sometimes three, and every one took wine, but the ripple of gentle laughter in good company has decidedly fallen some in the last thirty years. She gossips pleasantly on about Matthew Arnold, another celebrated man who shared her cult of the dog.

LORD AND LADY BYRON. She met Lady Byron, Lord Byron's widow, who was short of stature, deadly pale, but of royal dignity. She quotes from a letter of Mrs. Hemans, written in 1819, a very vivid but unpleasant description of Lord Byron which was sent to Mrs. Hemans by her sister :

A more wretched, depraved-looking countenance it is impossible to imagine! His hair streaming almost down to his shoulders, and his whole appearance slovenly and dirty. Still, there is a something which impels you to look at his face, although it inspires you with aversion—a something entirely different from any expression on any countenance I ever bebeld before. His character, I hear, is worse than ever; dreadful, it must be since every one says he is the most

it may

dissipated person in Italy, exceeding even the Italians refused to attend the deputation to the Home Secretary themselves.

because Cardinal Manning was to be present, and Carlyle Among other items of gossip she mentions that Lord declared he would not appear in public with the Cardinal, Byron always slept with pistols under his pillow, and on who was " the chief emissary of Beelzebub in England.” one occasion threatened to shoot his wife in the middle of

CARDINAL MANNING. the night. A pleasant bedfellow, indeed!

Very different, indeed, was Miss Cobbe's own estimate DARWIN AND DOGS.

of the Cardinal. he quotes several of his letters, the She quotes from correspondence with Tyndall, Darwin, last of which, written in 1889, was as follows:Sir Henry Mayne, and other men. Darwin's " Descent of My last days have been so full that I have not been able to Man," with its theory of the nature and origin of Sense, write. I thank you for your letter, and for the contents of it. seems to ber of absolutely fateful import, but she did not The highest counsel is always the safest and best, cost us what quarrel with him until he became a chief priest of the

We may take the cost as the test of its rectitude. I vivisectors. She quotes an interesting passage from a hope you will go on writing against this inflation of vainglory letter written by Darwin to her in 1872, referring to an

calling itself science. article of hers in the Quarterly, which begins :

She was all the more grateful for Cardinal Manning's It seems to me the best analysis of the mind of an animal support, because the Pope, Pius IX., had refused to which I have ever read, and I agree with you on most points. allow his Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to I have been particularly glad to read what you say about the Animals to be founded in Rome, because man owed reasoning powers of dogs, and about that rather vague matter, duties to his fellow men, but he did not owe duties to the their self-consciousness.

lower animals. This abominable pontifical utterance in Since publishing the “ Descent of Man” I have got to

no way disheartened the benevolent Cardinal, and he got believe rather more than I did in dogs having what may be

round the difficulty, with his accustomed adroitness. He called a conscience. When an honourable dog has committed an undiscovered offence, he eertainly seems ashamed (and this

accomplished the feat at an Anti-vivisectionist meeting, is the term naturally and often used) rather than afraid to

held in Westminster Palace Hotel, June 10th, 1886:meet his master. My dog, the beloved and beautiful Polly, is On that occasion, when it came to the Cardinal's turn to at such times extremely affectionate towards me; and this speak, he began at once to say that much misapprehension leads me to mention a little anecdote. When I was a very existed as to the attitude of his Church on the subject of duty little boy, I had committed some offence, so that my conscience to animals. As he said this, with his usual clear, calm, troubled me, and when I met my father I lavished so much deliberate enunciation, he looked me straight in the face, and affection on him that he at once asked me what I had done, I looked at him! He proceeded to say: “It was true that and told me to confess. I was so utterly confounded at his man owed no duty directly to the brutes, but he owed it to suspecting anything, that I remember the scene clearly to the God, whose creatures they are, to treat them mercifully.” present day; and it seems to me that Polly's frame of mind on such occasions is much the same as was mine, for I was not

Manning did his very best to induce the General of then at all afraid of my father.

the Franciscans to support the anti-vivisection movement

for the love of St. Francis. But the Franciscan general SOME OF HER CORRESPONDENTS.

was dull and ignorant, and never helped in the least. She was delighted with Keshub Chunder Sen, who Miss Cobbe, with all her sympathies, has a considerable seemed to her worthy to rank with St. Augustine and capacity of vehement disgust, and she expresses herself St. Patrick. In outward appearance he was the ideal of pretty freely as to the lack of humanity on the part of a great teacher, and he was, she thinks, the most devout Jews and Catholic priests in these present pages. On man with whose mind she came in contact. And so the

the last day on which the Cardinal attended a committee good lady goes on, page after page, gossiping away con meeting, she has recorded the following anecdote :cerning Louise Michel and Thomas Lake Harris, whose

“Shall I tell your Eminence," I asked, “what Mrs. F. (now diseiple Alice she knew very well; of Longfellow and

Lady B.) told me Lord Shaftesbury said to her shortly before Dr. Jartineau, under whom she used to sit, and of whose

he died, about our committees here? He said that 'if our sermons she gives a considerable account.

Mr. Greg

society had done nothing else but bring you and him together, was another correspondent of hers, whom she con and make you sit and work at the same table for the same verted to her own views on a very vital matter; and object, it would have been well worth while to have founded she quotes several letters from Dean Stanley, chiefly it » »

"Did Lord Shaftesbury say that?" said the Cardinal, notable because of the bitter feeling which they with a moisture in his eyes. “Did he say that? I loved Lord express in relation to Cardinal Newman. She met Shaftesbury!” Renan when he was in England, and mentions that his face was exactly like a hog, stupendously broad across Lord Tennyson was not less sympathetic.

He came the ears and jowl. Renan told a charming story about to her house in Cheyne Walk and sat for a long time himself, to the effect that when he was last in Italy, over the fire and talked of poetry and the share melodious numbers of the poor came to him and asked him the words ought to have in it, and discoursed much on the lucky numbers of the lotteries, because they thought hatefulness of scientific cruelty. She met him frequently he was so near the devil he must know. Of Lord

afterwards and explained to him that his ideal of a Houghton she says he was extraordinarily rough and vivisector with red face and coarse hands was quite blunt.

wrong. As Lady Macbeth must have been small, thin, and THOMAS CARLYLE.

concentrated, not big, bony, and conscientious, so some Vr. Carlyle she met, but did not admire; she vivisectors are polished and handsome gentlemen, with regarded him as an anomalous sort of human fruit, a peculiarly delicate fingers for drawing out nerves, etc. flavour of the old acrid sloe with the heart of the thorny Tennyson's devotion to anti-vivisection continued to the Scotch peasant character which was always perceptible last. The last meeting of the poet with Miss Cobbe is in the plum. Not even Carlyle's opposition to vivisection thus described :reconciled her to him, and whatever credit he might have The last time I saw Lord Tennyson was one day in London, gained in her eyes in that respect was sacrificed when he after I had taken luncheon at his house. When I rose to

TENNYSON.

leave the table he shook hands with me at the door as we were his company claiming the Apostolical. Succession; and if that parting, as we supposed, for that season: he said to me, succession be founded on truth, mercy and love, with as good # Good-bye, Miss Cobbe. Fight the good fight! Go on, fight a right as Dr. G., Dr. M., or D.D. anything else. the good fight!” I saw him no more; but I shall do his It arose while I was a boy at Harrow School, about, I should bidding, please God, to the end.

think, fourteen years of age--an event occurred (the details of Those who regard themselves as his heirs are equally

which I may give you some other day) which brought painsound on Miss Cobbe's side. She says:

fully before me the scorn and neglect manifested towards the Mr. Lewis Morris has also written some beactiful and

poor and helpless. I was deeply affected, but for many years

afterwards I acted only on feeling and sentiment. As I striking poems touching on the subject of scientific cruelty, and I have reason to hope that a younger man, whom many of

advanced in life, all this grew up to a sense of duty, and I was

convinced that God had called me to devote whatever advanus look upon as the poet of the future in England, Mr. William Watson, is entirely on the same side. In short, if the Priests

tages He might have bestowed upon me to the cause of the of Science are against us, the Prophets of Humanity, the

weak, the helpless, both man and beast, and those who had

none to help them. Poets, are with us in this controversy, almost to a man.

Do not think for a moment that I claim any merit. If there LORD SHAFTESBURY.

be any doctrine that I dislike and fear more than another, it is. Miss Cobbe' was rather afraid of Lord Shaftesbury,

the “doctrine of works." Whatever I have done has been owing to his reputation for narrow evangelicalism. But

given to me; what I have done I was enabled to do; and all the moment she met him she found him with a large

happy results (if any there be) must be credited, not to the beautiful collie lying under his writing-table, and full of

servant, but to the great Master Who led and sustained him.

Why do you give “truth” to the men, and deny it to devotion to his daughter's Siamese cat. A firm friendship the women ? If you mean by “truth” abstinence from fibs, I was established between them on a basis of love to

think that the females are as good as the males. But if you animals, and she labours to remove the prejudice which mean steadiness of friendship, adherence to principles, conexists against him in many quarters. She declares he scientiously not superficially entertained, and sincerity in & was no bigot as to Sabbatarianism, even venturing good cause, why the women are far superior. to assert that if a lawyer has a brief for a case In thirty years we took off the streets of London, and sent on Monday, and has no time to study it on Saturday, he

to service, or provided with means of honest livelihood more would be justified in reading it up after church on Sun

than two hundred and twenty thousand " waifs and strays." day. Neither did he share the bigotry of teetotalism; on

I have ever believed in a happy future for animals; I this subject he made a wise remark, saying, “The teeto

cannot say or conjecture how or where, but sure I am that the

love, so manifested, by dogs especially, is an emanation from talers have added an eleventh Commandment, and think

the divine essence, and, as such, it can, or rather it will never more of it than all the rest.” He nominated seven bishops be extinguished. under Lord Palmerston, and Miss Cobbe says that when

Miss Cobbe never met George Eliot or Harriet Marappointing Arthur Stanley to the Deanery of Westminster, Lord Palmerston wrote to Lord Shaftesbury

tineau; with that exception she seems to have known saying that he would not make the appointment if he, pretty well every one who was worth knowing. Lord Shaftesbury, disapproved. Lord Shaftesbury wrote back cordially concurring in Lord Palmerston's selection, The foregoing extracts from these two fascinating for, notwithstanding Dr. Stanley's theological views, he volumes will give the reader some idea of the character was an admirable man, and a gentleman with special and career of one of the most distinguished women of our suitability for this post. The following is her account of time. Miss Cobbe is still with us, and if she is not quite the last she saw of the great Earl :-

so boisterous as in the olden days, she is still full of the The most touching interview I ever had with him was one Divine compassion which has made her the knight-errant of the last, in study in Grosvenor Square, not long before of the wrongs of our inarticulate brethren; and as long his death. Our conversation had fallen on the wocs and as life lasts, while a vivisector is to be found ready“ to wrongs of seduced girls and ruined women; and he told me

carve the living hound,” there will Frances Power Cobbe many facts which he had learned by personal investigation

be quick to launch the major excommunication. Nor is and visits to dreadful haunts in London. He described all he

it to be believed that this vehement spirit will evaporate saw and heard with a compassion for the victims, and yet a horror of vice and impurity, which somehow made me think of

into mist and nothingness when her cumbrous physical Christ and the woman taken in adultery. After a few moments'

frame is laid to rest. Rather will the dissolution of her silence, during which we were both rather overcome, he said,

body give fresh range to her ardent spirit, and her avenging “When I feel age creeping on me, and know I must soon die, ghost will haunt the masters of the Nine Circles of the I hope it is not wrong to say it, but I cannot bear to leave the modern Inferno. world with all the misery in it.

That, however, belongs to the future. For a long time to THE SHAFTESBURY LETTERS.

come we hope we may still have with us this stout Irish From the 280 letters and notes she had received from

Tory, who has been such a fighter for all Radical reforms Lord Shaftesbury between 1875 and 1885, I quote the

and such a scourge to the torturer of the inquisition of

to-day. following passages :

I have praised the book from which these extracts are May God prosper us! . These ill-uscd and tortured animals

taken. But Miss Cobbe has not deserved well of mankind are as much His creatures as we are, and to say the truth, I had, in some instances, rather be the animal tortured than the

in sending forth such a heterogeneous conglomeration man who tortured it. I should believe myself to have higher

of good things without even an attempt at or an nopes and a happier future.

apology for an index. Indexes are needed in all books, It is frightful to see that the open champions of vivisection

but in such a collection as this an index is so indisare not Bradlaugh and Mrs. B., but bishops, fathers in God, pensable that copyright should be refused until an index and pastors of the people. We shall soon have Bradlaugh and is supplied.

CONCLUSION.

IS A GREAT WAR IN PROSPECT ?

prevented from allying herself to England by the Triple By“ GERMANICUS."

Alliance. “Germanicus" thus sums up his reflections : – In the October number of the Deutsche Revive Ger A great war of the Continental Powers amongst themselves manicus” has an alarmist article entitled “Is a Great appears very improbable, and possible only as a result of inciWar in Prospect ? "

dents that cannot now be foreseen. But a war between France

and Russia on the one hand and England on the other seems A FRENCH ATTACK ON ENGLAND.

to us, not indced imminent, or, at present, even probable, but, “Germanicus” writes as one having knowledge of the nevertheless, possible, since a conflict of interests really exists political affairs of England, and_the other European between them, and France and Russia would have the greater Powers. After a general notice of France in her relations chances of victory. Disraeli, it is true, declared, in November, to her neighbours on the Continent, he turns his atten 1875, before the Russo-Turkish war, that England's resources, tion to England, and deals at some length with the possi should she be forced into war, were practically inexhaustible; bility of a French attack on this country, for, he says,

but the real question is whether she would have time to make

use of them. France hates the English more than she hates the Germans or the Italians, and the reasons of this growing

The economic prosperity of France since 1871 has shown

what resources she has at her disposal, and yet, after six hatred towards England are stated as our occupation of

months of war, Thiers had to admit to the National Assembly Egypt in particular and our opposition to French Colonial

at Bordeaux that “la France reconnait qu'elle n'a plus d'Armée." expansion generally. He adds :

At sea the conditions will be the same. The decisive battles We will not go so far as to say that the men now in power in will be fought by the great fleets in European waters. Two Paris are bent on war with England, but the step from

defeats in the Mediterranean would break the power of offensive public utterances and resolute action, regardless of England in that quarter, and even if they were all, would the interests of others, to actual conflict is often far from long, overthrow her dominion in Egypt, and annihilate her trade and no war would be so popular in France as one with with the Mediterranean ports and through the Suez Canal. England, especially as there are good reasons for entertaining It is impossible to foresee whether the present war between a hope of victory.

Japan and China will lead to consequences so far-reaching. ENGLAND WITHOUT AN ALLY.

The war is certain to be protracted, and it is likely that the Then follows a vivid description of England's position

European Powers will intervene when the antagonists are

exhausted. Then, however, the interests of England, which in the event of an enemy succeeding in intercepting her once, for the sake of peace, gave up Port Hamilton, but which food imports, and it is for this very end that the swift can hardly tolerate the acquisition by Russia of a footing in cruisers of both France and Russia are intended! In the Korea, will be called in question. case of a war with France“ Germanicus” further decides that England will have no ally, for, he continues :

ENGLISH CARICATURES OF NAPOLEON. When I was in London recently I was repeatedly asked, with CONTEMPORARY caricatures cast a most instructive sidesome anxiety, what attitude the Triple Alliance would be

light on the course of history, and Mr. J. Howe Adams' likely to take up in such a case. I answered, “ Probably one

paper in the August Cosmopolitan, on "the English of absolute neutrality. Germany undoubtedly would not lif

Napoleon," with its numerous illustrations, is as valuab'e her little finger to defend the interests of England.”

My questioners then invariably expressed regret at the shortsightedness of such a policy, since the Triple Alliance would be defenceless against a victorious France allied with Russia. I replied that this prospect had no terrors for us, as we believed that we should be perfectly able to defend ourselves against both our neighbours. It is, on the other hand, by no means certain that France would stand alone in a war with England. Russia may rest assured that neither Germany nor Austria-Hungary would draw the sword against her, provided she did not offer violence to Roumania or Bulgaria, or stretched out her hand to seize Constantinople. For this reason she will do neither the one nor the other.

RUSSIA UNREADY. Referring to Russia, “Germanicus” considers there is no immediate danger there, for the following reasons. Only one-third of her army is as yet equipped with the small-bore rifle, and the other two-thirds will not have the weapon till 1896. The Russian soldier is extremely brave, but the officers are poor and the administration corrupt. The finances, too, are in a bad way, and

BEELZEBUB GOING TO SUPPER. therefore the Tzar desires peace for a twofold reasonhis natural aversion to war, and the true state of the

as it is entertaining. Gillray was the French autocrat's revenue. At the same time “Germanicus” treats the

most merciless lampoonist. In one of_Gillray's best Tzar as a nonentity in the present situation, only telling cartoons, Napoleon is shown as a great French gingerhim that his Bulgarian policy was a failure.

bread maker, drawing out a new batch of kings, with a

heap of broken kings below, and Talleyrand kneading ENGLAND'S CHANCES OF SUCCESS.

dough in the background. The bitter hatred of the time But Russia might join France against England, and appears, perhaps, at its fiercest in the picture by Gillray threaten England in Asia. Italy, however, would be of Beelzebub going to supper, which we here reproduce.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE LIBERAL PARTY,

By Mr. T. H. ESCOTT. MR. ESCOTT, writing in the Contemporary Review upon “Cabinet Counsels and Candid Friends," discusses the question as to whether or not the Unionists can re-unite. He thinks that they can, but, in view of Mr. Chamberlain's non possumus, it is doubtful whether the members of the Whig families will, as Mr. Escott anticipates, after their sojourn in the Tory camp, return in the fulness of time to their ancestral alliance. Mr. Escott's idea, which is not very clearly expressed, is to be found in the following passage :

Ere Lord Rosebery or any of his colleagues can expect to win the consent of the “predominant partner” to an extension of Irish liberties, they are well aware that it is imperative for them to show how something in the nature of Home Rule can be granted without imperilling unity, and even how it can be made to strengthen the central executive for imperial purposes. The crux of the whole question, the sum and essence of the entire difficulty, are the necessity to be faced of defining, on the lines of the American constitution, what are imperial and what local concerns. That difficulty, however, is surmounted successfully by the French, by the Belgian, and by the Dutch constitution, laws; why should a similar feat be impossible here with all the wisdom, the experience, and the shrewdness of the “ mother of parliaments” to help us in its performance ? The supreme and most complex obstacle, of course, is land; but even this might be dealt with by the institution of an imperial civil law-that is, by a civil code with chapters on real and personal property, to be applicable, of course, as the essential provisions of an Imperial Federal Home Rule scheme must be, to every part of the United Kingdom. The task indeed is difficult, bnt problems exist to test the skill of statesmen in their solution. Nor would the enterprise be unworthy of that rare intellectual power in virtue of which Mr. Courtney, after having been the first mathematician of his day at Cambridge, became one of the most powerful journalists who ever wrote a leading article in Printing House Square, and which more recently has won for him the roputation of the clearest-visioned and most impartial Chairman of Committees in the House of Commons. Here, too, there would be a congenial field open for the display of their special aptitudes and knowledge, by Mr. James Bryce as well as by Sir G.O. Trevelyan, and even by the new Lord Chief Justice himself; nor, one may believe, would the legislation now sketched in outline be wholly abhorrent to the present leader of the Opposition of the House of Commons, and some at least of his more moderate followers. danger to be avoided and one that now besets all legislation is lest the scheme thus indicated should degenerate into a series of fragmentary and patchwork efforts, without accuracy, esprit de corps, or system. In safeguarding against these perils, the peculiar qualifications of the politicians just named would be invaluable, and might also be successful. Although the time may be approaching when it will not be premature for responsible Liberal statesmen to acquaint the public with the outlines of a policy of Imperial Home Rule, not perhaps dissimilar in some respects to that which we have ventured to adumbrate, it is not to be supposed that even for this the Unionist and the non-Unionist Liberals should co-operate successfully without much and long preliminary training in concerted action about other matters. The relation of the colonies to the mother country, the position of the Established Church in Wales, and possibly elsewhere; the struggle between secular and ecclesiastical parties, daily becoming more accentuated in the department of education; the relations of the House of Lords to the majority of the House of Commons on the one hand, to the voting strength of the constituencies on the other; all these, and the innumerable other instances of the chronic struggle between the champions and opponents of privilege, will sufficiently furnish forth the harmonising and unifying discipline that may be expected by slow and often imperceptible degrees to unite the Liberals under Mr. Courtney with their brethren under Sir William Harcourt and Lord

Rosebery. An absolute reunion of all professing the name of Liberalism could not, at this time of the political day, be accomplished even by Mr. Gladstone himself; and as yet we probably do not realise sufficiently the full consequences to our party system of his retirement; but it is scarcely premature to venture the opinion that where he failed, none of those who follow him are likely to succeed. While due attention to the facts and arguments now advanced does seem to warrant the conclusion that a partial and very gradual reconstitution of the Liberal party in the fashion here suggested may be among the eventualities to be counted with in the political future, the prospect of the Liberal party, as a whole, being restored to the condition in which it was before 1886 is as distant as ever from coming within the purview of practical politics.

AN IRISH VETO. All such discussions as to the reconstitution of the Liberal party on new lines are based upon the assumption that the English, Scotch, and Welsh Liberals can reckon without the Irish. This is a mistake. The Irish are an integral factor in any combination which places the Liberals in office, and we need not go further than the periodicals of the present month, to see that the Irish are already becoming restive. Mr. Justin Macarthy's plaintive lament in the New Review is noticed elsewhere, and in the New Ireland Review, an Irish parliamentarian, who is an enthusiastic admirer of the Home Rule Alliance, emits a menacing growl as to the way in which the conditions of the truce of God, between the Liberals and Home Rulers, have been fulfilled. The following is an interesting balance-sheet from the Irish point of view:DR. IRISH PEOPLE.

COXTRA CR. To 1 Home Rule Bill, passed through By 1 Parish Councils' Act for England the Commons by closure.

and Wales. 1 Evicted Tenants' Bill, do.

1 Employers' Liability Bill passed i Land Commission Report.

through Commons. 200 J.P.'s (more or less).

i Budget in relief of industry and 3 or 4 R.M.'s.

personal property. 1 Land Commissioner.

i Parish Councils' Act for Scotland. 2 County Court Judges.

1 Equalization of Rates' Act for 5 or 6 Clerks of the Crown.

London
Thorough Administration of the

Factory laws.
., Eight Hours' Day in Army Depart-

ments.
do. do. Naval Dockyards.
New Nary.
Premiership for the "Man of the

Future."
To Balance-Promises,

Two Years' Patronage of the
Quant. sufr.

United Kingdom and the Empire. The result is not satisfying ; nor, if expectation stimulates appetite, is it specially appetising.

In legislation, in education, in administration, he says there has been little or no change. If any period of Tory Government must precede Home Rule, the sooner it comes the better. Even a Unionist administration would do more for Home Rule than the apathetic stupor generated by the policy of drift.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The great

THE “ Boy's Own" AND “ GIRL's Own" ANNUALS. Readers of this Review hardly need the merits of these “ Annuals” pointed out to them. It should be enough to say that where a publisher asks six shillings for a boys' or girls' story no longer than the serials of which there are four or five in each of these handsome volumes, the Religious Tract Society charge only eight shillings apiece for these large books. Among the writers who contribute serials to the Boy's Oun are Mr. Paul Blake, M. Jules Verne, and Mr. David Ker; in the Girl's Own long stories will be found by Miss Sarah Doudney, Miss Sarah Tytler, and Miss Anne Beale. And each volume, it is needless to say, has many other excellent features, and illustrations almost to every page.

« PreviousContinue »