Page images
PDF
EPUB

The

of the

a

was

The Election in itself, apart from the theme and the occasion. Mr. McKinley stood on his Significance personality of the candidates, had in it

doorstep, and from day to day harangued pilgrim something of the sublime. The summon thousands whom the railways brought to do homage Election

ing of a nation of sixty-five millions, from the uttermost parts of the Union. Money was more polyglot and multifarious in their origin than no object with the Republican managers, and there the conglomerate assembly of the day of Pentecost, to is obviously a great advantage in sparing your give a deliberate judgment about anything is in itself candidate the racket of a stumping tour across a an imposing thing But when the issue upon which continent. In Mr. Bryan's case—the cash being lackthis national jury is invited to decide is a question of ing--the mountain would not come to Mahomet, so currency-a question, that is, upon which experts Mahomet had to go to the mountain, and this he differ as much and as hotly as theological polemists did with vengeance.

Mr. Bryan justified upon the definition of the Trinity or the nature of his choice from the point of view of the stump. the Sacrament--the appeal is enough to impress the Never before has a candidate for the Presidency iinagination of the most heedless. Nothing, not made himself personally visible and audible to even Gettysbury and the suppression of the so many millions of the electors.

It marks a Rebellion, illustrates more characteristically the great change in American electoral methods. heroic matter-of-factness of our Ainerican kinsmen. Formerly the presidential candidate was kept almost The currency question having arisen, it in seclusion, as a kind of Mikado in incubation, until necessary to settle it, and as there is in a Republic the election was over. This year this tradition has only one Supreme Court of Appeal-the mass vote of been reversed. Both candidates being capable the whole nation--the case was carried thither and speakers it was decided they should do their argued out with painstaking minuteness in every detail own talking, and they did it with a vengeance. But before the million-headed jury. Yesterday, counsel for the sounding-board of the press all their talking on both sides having been fully heard, the verdict would, however, have failed to reach more than a was returned at the ballot box.

Whatever we may

fraction of the electorate. Thanks to the newspapers, think either of the issue or of the result, no one who every man, woman, and child, from Maine to reflects upon the immense difficulty of bringing a California, had ample opportunities long before the complex and obscure question like the currency home day of election for forming a judgment upon the to the minds of any popular constituency, can refrain merits of the question. It is probable that if all from hearty admiration for the splendid way in American children between ten and twenty had been which the American people have demonstrated, admitted to yesterday's poll, they would have voted as on a scale without previous example in the history of extensively and possibly not less intelligently than the world, how a self-governing democracy so large as the adult males who were permitted to cast their to need a continent for its habitation can debate and ballots. The same thing may possibly be said about decide in full Agora the most abstruse of political and

-miracles, apparently, being the order of the financial problems. It gives one a new hope for the day in the United States. human race. After this we need not despair even

According to the odds quoted in the of a national referendum on the doctrine of Filioque Uncertainty papers--but nothing is known as to hou or the nature of interstellar Ether.

Women

The

In either case

far the quotations were honestly collected

Ballot. we might at least expect the problem would be

over the whole area of the Union-Bryan debated with equal warmth, the issues stated and started first favourite, the votes being even with a pre illustrated with the same painstaking energy, and ference for Bryan. Then he gradually receded to two the verdict pronounced with equal confidence. The to one, then to three to one.

The day before the result might be wrong, but that may be said of every poll the quotation was four to one.

Betting is a re human judgment, even of that of the infallible Pope prehensible feature of an election, but the quotation himself.

of the odds at least have one advantage. They The contest, some account of which will stake with some approach to quantitative precision

be found elsewhere, appears to have been the prevailing estimate of respective chances. Judged Conducted.

one of the best conducted campaigns in by this test, Bryan receded steadily in popular electoral history. Both candidates were

estimation from the day after his nomination. good character, and from first to last they debated McKinley had all the money there was in the fight. the questions at issue with a seriousness worthy the The Republican machine worked with the steadiness

of the

How it was

men of

over

of a dynamo. An overwhelming majority of all the The most absolute sovereign in Europe was articulate forces of press and pulpit were on his side. whelmed with adulation by the Republic which is the From ordinary data it was Lombard Street to a heir and embodiment of the principles of the French China orange against Bryan. Yet so impenetrable Revolution. Amonarch whose every servant—if Orthois the secret of the ballot, so impossible is it to dox-must take the Sacrament at least once a year in divine in advance the preferences of the inarticulate token of their sincere belief in the mysterious dogmas million, that the best judges held their judgment in of the Filioque which divides the Eastern from the suspense, feeling only that if Bryan were returned, Western Church, was accorded more than royal honours it would be the landslide of a continent.

by a nation which, so far as it believes anything as No contest has been watched with more the eldest son of the Western Church, and so far as How it was

interest in England, despite the scan. regarded

its real belief goes, is Voltairean, free-thinking and in dalous failure of our press to provide any

materialistic. At Cherbourg, at Paris, and at Chalons, England.

adequate narrative of the great duel in the Tsar and Tsaritsa were overwhelmed by the the United States. Occasionally a correspondent

Occasionally a correspondent devotion and the enthusiasm of the whole people. would make a foray from New York, but the most These two nations-France and Russia-represent of them remained glued to their chairs in Broadway, the opposite poles of political and religious thought. cabling everything across as seen through the New They are the extremes of Europe, yet they have met, York press. In this country the general sentiment met and mingled with a warmth of enthusiasm has been that it would be better for England if hitherto without precedent. And why?

What McKinley were elected, despite his tariff-for Bryan's alembic has been powerful enough thus to dissolve election would, it was feared, create a panic inju the ancient traditions of national hate and to enable riously affecting all investments and all business. the two peoples to fraternise despite every conceivable Personally, writing this on the eve of the polling difference of race, religion, civilization, language, day, I should prefer to see McKinley returned by a and ideals? The alembic of fear. The dread of

war,

and small majority. Bryan's defeat would probably the distrust of a common neighbour—it is these devils dispose of Free Silver; and if he made any figure at all which have driven out the other devil of national with the odds against him, it would give the hide antagonism, and confronted the world with the bound Conservatism of the American plutocracy a Franco-Russian Alliance. much-needed shock. If McKinley won hands down, Wanted- They greatly mistake, and there are the Money power of trusts, railways, and combines

many such in Paris, who imagine that the of all kinds would feel so strong as to render by no

Franco-Russian Alliance advances France means impossible a quasi-revolutionary reaction. Pact of Peace. a stage on the road to the Revanche and The real permanent element behind Bryan is not revindication of Elsass-Lothringen. In reality its effect Silver, but Altgeld. And we may expect, if Bryan is precisely the reverse. It is, in effect, a virtual polls up, to see the two great parties in future guarantee of the Treaty of Frankfort by the signature arranging themselves somewhat on English lines. of Russia. The Alliance is defensive, not offensive, The Republicans will be even as our Unionists, the and it is based on the status quo. France is not to Democrats as our Radicals—with the difference that disturb the peace, either by attacking Germany about the Republicans are more Conservative than our Elsass or England about Egypt. Such at least is Tories, and the Democrats are hardly as advanced as believed in well-informed quarters to be the underour old Whigs.

standing underlying the new Pact, which, by salving Europe is still far from having attained French amour propre and consecrating the status quo, The Tsar's Visit

to that stage of pacitic civilisation under operates as a New Pact of Peace. Europe therefore which a whole continent can be summoned has two peace Leagues :

the Triple

Alliance France.

to the ballot-box to decide issues which and the Dual. The object of both is the same. They otherwise might have led to war. But in Europe last were formed for defensive purposes, to keep the month we have seen a rapprochement between East and peace and to maintain the existing territorial status quo West which, despite much croaking, seems to us a in Europe.

But when two associations are carrying hopeful and encouraging sign. When the Tsar and his on the same business side by side, the right thing to wife went to Paris, all France rose at them as the pit do is surely to combine. If England could play the used to rise to Garrick, and Europe found itself in the part of the honest broker, or better still, that of presence of a spectacle at once novel and startling. the go-between who arranges marriages, and could

Another
Alliance

or

to

[graphic]

great affairs to see any big thing come off without putting themselves in evidence. Prince Bismarck used to do this by the diplomatic machinery of the empire which he did so much to create. Being no longer able to control ambassadors, he inspires editors, and his Hamburg organ announced, in reply to the conclusion of the Franco-Russian Alliance, that in 1888 he had concluded a secret agreement with Russia, which was concealed from the knowledge of Austria, to the effect that each Power would preserve a benevolent neutrality in case the other were attacked. This agreement was kept secret by the special request of Russia, but when Russia in 1890 endeavoured to renew it, Count Caprivi declined, with the result that Russia, being rebuffed at Berlin, inade friends in Paris.

The There is no reason to doubt the accuracy Debatable of this story, nor is there anything in

e compatible with the Triple Alliance in the

making of a separate agreement with Russia. The only puzzle is why Caprivi refused to renew a treaty which accorded so well with German interests. Bismarck declares that, although Germany did not mention the fact of the agreement to Austria, there is nothing in the Triple Alliance, which is strictly defensive in its nature, to prevent either Austria or Italy concluding a similar treaty with either Russia or France. This no doubt is true, and that only brings up the question with more insistence than

Land of Europe.

From Le Courrier Français.]

10. tober 11, 1896. A CARTOON FOR THE TSAR IN PARIS.

[graphic][merged small][subsumed][subsumed]

induce the two alliances to wed, so as to constitute the United States of Europe, what a boon it would be for a world whose preparations for war rob peace of half its charm! Yet there is nothing impossible about such an alliance. We are constantly threatened with such a union against England. Why should England not try to bring it about against a much more deadly foe—the war system that drains the life blood of the peoples ? The Russo

One of Bismarck's English friends, speakGerman ing some time ago upon the astonishing

Treaty. indiscretions with which the retired statesman had kept reminding the public of his existence, Said that the phenomenon was neither new nor unfamiliar. Bismarck at Friedrichsruh was merely displaying the same weakness and incontinence of speech that characterised Napoleon at St. Helena. Last month the deposed autocrat of Europe once more reminded the Continent of the justice of that remark. It seems to be impossible for those who have taken part in

From Le Grelot.]

(October 11, 1896. THE ARRIVAL OF THE TSAR.

ever-why should not this alliance afford a basis of he proposed to coerce the Turk by a naval demona third alliance, which would include both the others ? stration at Constantinople. There is besides these If such an alliance were formel, we should have made the Anglo-Turkish Convention, by virtue of which, a considerable advance towards the realisation of the as long as we continue in occupation of Cyprus, we great idea of a federated Europe. All the Powers are are bound to defend the Sultan against any Russian agreed in maintaining the territorial status quo, and attack

upon his eastern frontier. There is also that might well become the basis of the fe leral union. an old treaty between England, Austria, and France, This, however, would probably be resisted by the entered into on the eve of the Crimean War, Powers who are dissatisfied with the distribution of guaranteeing the independence and integrity of the certain selvages of territory adjoining their do Ottoman Empire ; but this would have been minions. For instance, Denmark wishes to obtain regarded as practically superseded hal it not been the Danish speaking district of North Schleswig, referred to by Lord Rosebery as being in existence. to which indeed she has good claim by treaty. Add to this an alleged private treaty between France wishes to recover Alsace-Lorraine. Italy has Russia and Denmark, that in case of war between certain provinces lying to the north of Venice which Russia and Germany, Denmark will act as the ally she regards as forming part of Italia Irredenta, while of Russia in consideration for the restitution of Russia woull be very. glad to se9 Austria turned North Schleswig. If, therefore, the peace of Europe out of Bosnia and Herzegovina. These are practically is not sufficiently guaranteed, it will not be for want the only selvage questions that are in dispute. Is it of leagues and alliances. quite inconceivable that, sły, at the end of the

It is the existence of such agreements,

Lord century, the Powers might agree to declare these Rosebery's together with a mass of ctler under

Deliverance. selvage provinces as a debatable lind, all rights to

standings, not yet revealed even by the which shall be reserved and held in abeyance for a indiscretions of Friedrichsruh, which led Lord Roseperiol of ten years, during which the existing bery to speak as strongly as he did at Edinburgh, arrangements should be guaranteed by all the con in opposition to the proposal that England should, tracting Powers? This may s.em chimericul, biit in single handeu, endeavour to force the Dardanelles · view of the rapprochement between the autocratic and coerce the Sultan. Lord Rosebery's speech head of the Gree's Orthodox Church and the French a revelation to the country of a hitherto Republic, on the basis of the retention pri tem. unsuspectel vein of passionate moral fervour that by Germany of Alsace and Lorraine, it does not recalled in some of the passages of his speech seem to be entirely outside the range of political reminiscences of the greatest efforts of John Bright. possibility.

As a piece of lofty and absolutely conclusive It is curious to notice how many agree- reisoning, addressed by an expert to A Network

a great ments, secret and otherwise, either exist popular audience, it takes rank among the greatest Alliances.

[ocr errors]

of

or have existed quite recently in Europe. performances of any English statesman in this To begin with, there is the Triple Aliance between generation. Mr. Forster's famous speech at BradGermany, Austria, and Italy. There is the Franco ford in 1876, when he returned from his visit Russian Alliance. There is an Italian-Russian treaty to Constantinople, and Lord Derby's memorable concluded by M. de Giers when he was at Monza, deliverance when he left the Cabinet of Lord by which Italy promises Russia that in any action Beaconsfield on its surrender to the Jingo frenzy tiken under the provisions of the Triple Alliance in 1878, are the only two recent utterances of Italy will confine herseli to strictly defensive action. English public men that can be mentioned in the Then there was until 1890 secret agreement same breath with Lord Rosebery's speech at Edinbetween Russia and Germany, by which each agreed burgh. But for genuine eloquence, and, above all, to observe reciprocal neutrality in case they were for the ringing note of intense personal passion, Lord attacked by any other Power. Then there is--or Rosebery's speech threw the others far into the there is reported to be-a triple agreement between sha le. Lord Rosebery, while stepping down from -Austria, Italy and England, by which the three his pedestal of titular Leader of the Liberal Party, Puwers agree to act together in the Ottoman Empire, achieve l by this speech a much higher position than an understanding in virtue of which Austrii and he had occupied before among the personal forces Italy prepared to support the action of Lord Salis which mould the destinies of nations and direct the bury when, at the beginning of his Administration, policies of empires.

2

In this speech we have the real Lord The Real

ne “Interests distinctively British " is a

What are Lord Rosebery, in the vices of his virtues British phrase that is quite wide enough to Rosebery. and the defects of his qualities. The Interests ? cover everything which any of our Cruspeech would have been better without the passing saders could desire. Lord Derby on a memorable jibe at the internal Government of Russia, with occasion declared the first and greatest of all British which, as Lord Rosebery himself admitted, we interests was peace, and the second, it may be fairly have nothing to do, but which revived at once in maintained, although Lord Derby did not say it, is the Russian mind the old objection to the Liberal the maintenance of good faith, and the honourable Chief on the ground of his Semitic connections, discharge of those obligations into which we have and his too great friendship with the Bismarcks. entered. It is assumed by those who assail Lord It would also have been better, if only for the sake Rosebery that by “distinctively British interests” of taking away occasion from those who desire to he meant solely material interests, than which find occasion, if Lord Rosebery had remembered how nothing could be further from the mark. As a fierce a storm of

matter of fact, moral indignation

Lord Rosebery on had raged round

one famous occaLord Derby's use

sion imperilled of the words

the peace of 6 British in

Europe by the terests.” The

vehemence with introduction of a

which he main single phrase of

tained as Foreign half a dozen

Secretary the abwords in the

solutely nonfollowing passage

British interest would have drawn

a Gladst

of the port of the sting of al

Batoum. The bemost all the de

setting sin of Lord nunciations that

Rosebery, in the have been hurled

eyes of those who against their

have assailed him author :

most, is not a deSome of you belong

From Kladderadatsc'.] to a generation which

[October 18, 1896.

sire to narrow the has grown up almost LORD ROSEBERY'S RETREAT.—FROM A GERMAN POINT OF VIEW.

category of disignorant of the hor

tinctively British rors of war.

This noise can't be borne any longer. You seem to have for

interests, but to gotten, you who preach resolute and isolated action, what extend it and make it so exceeding broad that these horrors are; but you in this city at any rate can remember that old legend of the ghastly phantom that

there is hardly any quarrel in the world which could appeared over the Market Cross before the battle of Flodden, not be brought within its scope. and that summoned in awful tones King and Lords and Knights and Commons to appear within forty days at the

Lord Rosebery's speech was described by Judgment Seat in another world. Flodden was bad for Gladstone's the Daily Chronicle, with a licentiousness Scotland, but a European war in which we were engaged

Policy. of misrepresentation happily rare in the would transcend twenty Floddens. That angel of death who appeared — or was said to appear – in Edinburgh before English press, as an attack on Mr. Gladstone. The Flodden would appear in every hamlet, every village, every

description was so monstrous, that in order to give it town of the United Kingdom to summon your sons or brothers, the flower of your youth and manhood, to lose their lives in any colour, the report of the Chronicle's own representhis European conflagration. I do not say that I am unwilling tative at Edinburgh was mutilated so as to make his to draw the sword in a great and necessary cause. I have myself, while a Minister, incurred the risk of war (hear, hear).

description accord with the editorial calumny. His I do not believe that any British Minister, with reference to speech was in no sense an attack upon Mr. Gladstone, the vast interests consigned to his charge, can avoid the risk of war. But I say that any British Minister who engages in

but it was a very effective demolition of Mr. Glada European. war, except under the pressure of the direst stone's policy. The fact is, Mr. Gladstone's policy on necessity, except under interests directly and distinctively British, is a criminal to his country and his

the Eastern Question has been useful and right in so position.

far as it has helped to bring this country into line

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »