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a single one in his very small repertory that is in the least suitable for the new congregation; and for the first time in his life he finds himself called upon to stand alone with no one to consult, no one to lean on, no one to help him, and in so much a worse condition than the original Robinson Crusoe that the indigenous sons of the soil come and stare at him with an eye to their chances of getting a meal out of him, or making a meal off him, in the meantime doing, as the wicked always have done since the Psalmist's days, making mouths at him and ceasing not!

Talk of college dons being thrown away upon a handful of bumpkins! You forget that the cultured Academic has almost always some resources within himself, some tastes, some pursuits; and if he spends too many hours in his library, at any rate his time does not hang heavily upon his hands. When he goes among his people he will always have something to tell them which they did not know before, and something to inquire of them which they will be glad to tell him about. But your young city curate pitchforked into a rural benefice when all his sympathies and habits and training are of the streets streety, is the most forlorn, melancholy, and dazed of all human creatures. An omnibus driver compelled to keep a lighthouse could scarcely be more deserving of our commiseration. Ask him in his moments of candour and depression, when he realises that he has reached the limit of his earthly hopes, when he has been in his parsonage long enough to know that he will never leave it for any other cure, when he realises that he must (by the nature of the case, and by the unalterable law which prevails for such as he) wax poorer and poorer year by year, and that men may come and men may go, but he will stay where he is till he drops-ask him what he thinks of the bliss of a country living, its independence, its calm, its sweetness, its security, above all, ask him whether he does not think the great charm of his position is that he can never be turned out of it, and I think you will find some of these young fellows impatiently giving you just the answer you did not expect. I am sure you will find some among them who will reply: It is a useful life for a time. It is a happy life for a time. For a time there is a joy in the country parson's life which no other life can offer; but we have come to see that this boasted fixity of tenure is the weak point, not the strong one; it is movement we want among us, not stagnation; the Parson's Freehold is a fraud.'

Our vehement young friends in the first warmth of their conversion to new ideas are apt to express themselves with more force than elegance, and to push their elders somewhat rudely from behind. But they mean what they say, and I am glad they are coming to think as they do. As for us, the veterans who have lived through sixty summers and more, there is no cloud of promise for us in the horizon. We are not the men who have anything to gain by any VOL. XXII.-No. 126. U

change; we know the corner of the churchyards where our bones will lie. We do not delude ourselves; some of us never looked for any career when we retired into the wilderness. We asked for a refuge only, and that we have found.

Oh, Hope of all the ends of the earth, is it a small thing that for the remainder of our days we are permitted to witness for Thee among the poor and sad and lowly ones?

But you, the strong and young and fervid, take heed how you leave the life of the camp, its stir and throb and discipline, too soon. Take heed now, before the time you join the reserve, only to discover too late that you are out of harmony with your surroundings, that you are fretting against the narrowness of inclosure within which you are confined, that there is for you no outlook-none-only a bare subsistence and a safe berth, as there is for other hulks laid up to rot at ease. If that discovery comes upon you soon enough, break away! Make the change that will not come, and leave others to chuckle over their fixity of tenure, and their security, and their trumpery boast that no one can turn them out.' But let us have your testimony before we part-you and we. Bear witness Yes or No! Has the consciousness of occupying a position from which you could never be removed raised you in your own estimation, or helped you for one single moment to do your duty? Has it never kept you down? Frauds are for the weak, not for the strong-for the coward, not for the brave; they are for those who only live to rust at ease, as if to breathe were life; they are not for such as make the ventures of Faith, and help their brethren to overcome the world.





Ir affords me satisfaction to find that Mr. Lecky has not found it necessary to take exception to the chief part, and probably the most important part, of the paper in which I was allowed, two months ago, to touch upon the last published volumes of his history. For in that paper I have supplied, and have supplied thus far without challenge, a demonstration from Mr. Pitt's own correspondence that, in the earlier and wiser portion of his great career, his views of the best form of international arrangement between these two islands were based on the autonomy of Ireland, regulated in a manner essentially corresponding with that adopted in the defunct Bill, and the living and breathing policy, of the year 1886.

It is as a debt of courtesy to me that Mr. Lecky has, by way of exception, entered anew on the consideration of the passage of his history, in which he announced that the worst enormities of political corruption attaching to the eighteenth century fairly found their match in the offer of a Minister, on the occasion of a dissolution in the year 1874, to abolish the income tax. But, had I known the way in which this friendly office was to be discharged, I should have been too happy, as far as I was myself concerned, to release him from any obligation to a further performance. For while retracting none, and qualifying none, of the feeble tributes which I endeavoured to pay to his conspicuous distinctions, I have still to lament that, instead of withdrawing, he multiplies accusations alike arbitrary and unfounded. Having wandered out of a province which he knows into one which he does not know, he seems to suffer from an infirmity not unfrequently attaching to extremely clever men-this, namely, that when they have accidentally gone wrong, they can never find it out.

I shall endeavour in this short paper to distinguish between the important political issue raised between Mr. Lecky and myself, and the personal charges with which he has embittered it. Of these charges I will dispose at once, and as briefly as possible.

With regard to the dissolution of 1874, now dragged into the controversy, I am not at liberty to enter into the full particulars. 1 Nineteenth Century, July 1887, p. 52 2 Lecky, vol. vi. p. 300,

It is, however, totally untrue to say that it was due, in whole or in part, to any personal influence or pressure. To propose a dissolution is certainly the proper if not the exclusive duty of the Prime Minister. But, while this duty fell to me, the advice tendered to the Crown was tendered by the regular, and, I will add, the harmonious decision of the Cabinet.

Mr. Lecky's account of the pledge of 1853, which bound me not to miss an opportunity of repealing the income tax, is3 that I joined a ministry which had promised it should not be permanent."


The Aberdeen Administration, of which I was an original member, had made no promise whatever on the permanency of the tax. was in order to avoid egotism that I recited with extreme brevity the pledge of 1853. I am now driven, however reluctantly, into somewhat greater length. The great mission of that Government, as stated by the Prime Minister in the House of Lords, was to restore finance. The Tory party under the guidance of the Tory Government, and probably two-thirds of the Liberal party from conviction and preference, favoured the differentiation of the tax. The school of Peel was convinced that this meant financial confusion. The Chancellorship of the Exchequer was the post of danger. It was offered to me. I endeavoured to persuade my honoured friend Sir James Graham to take it. He had passed sixty, his health was no longer strong, and he declined. My first duty was to examine, with extreme labour, a subject which Mr. Lecky appears to comprehend by the facile method of innate ideas. My next was to ask the Cabinet to adopt a plan which handled the income tax in a manner known by us to be unacceptable at the time to a very large majority of the House of Commons. My third was to propose the plan to Parliament. Parliament threw aside the ruinous scheme of differentiation, and also gave the tax not as before for one year, but for seven, upon an elaborate argument from the Government to show that in all likelihood the impost could be dispensed with at a future date. It was a bargain of honour with the House of Commons. It is in my view a little strange to find that I ought to have forgotten it. But, is it not more than a little strange that my censor should convey this doctrine in the name of political morality?

He sneers indeed at the long dormancy of the pledge through fourteen years. But the pledge was one wholly conditional on the power to fulfil it. If, as is the fact, there was no power to fulfil it before 1874, then this persistent recollection of an ancient debt ought rather to have been regarded by an historian's scrupulosity and purity as a merit, than as a fault.

The topics with which I have further to deal are rather historical than personal. I come, then, to a part of the history of the case as it stood at the election of 1874. Each elector was told that, if he

Nineteenth Century, July 1887, p. 53.

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would support Mr. Gladstone, each individual among them would be freed from a specific pecuniary burden.' 'If Mr. Gladstone won the day, the income tax would cease." Mr. Lecky evidently supposes that the election was fought between Liberals offering, and Tories refusing, the repeal of the income tax. But this supposed historical fact is a pure historical fiction. The offer made on Saturday in the name of the Liberal Government was met on Monday by the leader of the Opposition with the statement, that he and his friends had always been for the repeal of the income tax. Therefore, as to their promises, both parties stood upon the same footing. Mr. Lecky is at liberty, I think, to blame us for having forced this offer from the Tories. But he has not done so. As to the election, he has stated that it was fought upon an issue, on which it was not fought. As to the promises, we were denied the opportunity of fulfilling. Our opponents had the opportunity given them by their accession to power, and did not fulfil. Our public censor has not a word to say against those who promised and did not perform, but he matches with the highest immoralities of the last century the case of those, or at least of him, who was denied the opportunity of performing.

It was of course to be foreseen that the Opposition would not be behind us in undertaking the repeal of the tax. Accordingly, on the 24th of January, in my election address, I had in advance stated my hope, with respect to the contemplated work, that undertaken and performed I trust it will be whether by us or by others.' That which it was rational to forecast was this. That our thrust at the income tax would be seconded by a like blow from the other side; that the two, between them, would strike it dead; and that we might thus secure for the nation relief from the most demoralising of all imposts, a readjustment of taxation perhaps the largest and most effective ever known, and a constraint to public economy far more effective than any amount of honest intention on the part of a minister or a ministry could supply.

Mr. Lecky observes that at the period of the election, while promising in terms to propose the repeal of the income tax, I said no more of a compensating charge on property, than that such a charge ought to be made in some shape and to some considerable and equitable extent.' He is right. And I was wrong in saying he had suppressed my proposal to enlarge the death duties. What I announced was, it appears, no more than this: that on the repeal of the tax property ought, in lieu of it, to be further charged' to some considerable and equitable extent,' and this it was which Mr. Lecky overlooked. He holds that there ought to have been joined with the announcement of the repeal a' clear and definite statement of equivalent burdens to be imposed.'

• Nineteenth Century, July, p. 52.

5 Ibid. p. 54.

• Ibid. p. 53.

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