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abandon England. History is stultified by political jumps in a retrograde direction. Men of the present age can really not be expected to view with the same eye Egyptian, Montenegrin, Afghan, Boer, Zulu, and Irish independence on one side, and the kneading and knitting together of Italian, German, or British unity of empire on the other. People are too cosmopolitan to-day, and too undogmatic, to rate all these things at the same value. Welsh and Scotch feeling has been happily merged into British national feeling. Introduce single ownership of land into Ireland, get rid of the Irish members, let the Dublin government be as independent as possible of interference from Westminster, hang all dynamiters and moonlighters, and wait patiently till the Irishman has become an Englishman. And if you find resolute personal government answering in Dublin, then inquire whether the Empire would not be better off if some slumbering prerogatives of the Crown were dragged into life again in London, or if the fashion were at least introduced of not expecting the Crown to change its Secretary for Foreign Affairs, its Secretary for War, and its First Lord of the Admiralty, unless an express petition of Parliament be presented to this effect. With Lord Salisbury or Lord Rosebery as a permanent inhabitant of Downing Street, with Lord Wolseley as permanent Minister of War, and with Mr. J. Chamberlain or Lord Randolph Churchill in permanence at the Admiralty, you would in course of time get your money's worth for the millions you spend towards upholding the Empire.

The head of the State need not wield much power in a country ruled by an aristocracy. But the chief of a democratic nation must be able to exert real influence. If President Cleveland were not in possession of more strength than either Queen Victoria or President Grévy, the United States would by this time be in a greater mess still than France or England. Parliamentary government as hitherto understood and practised in England does not agree with the prevalence of democracy and with universal suffrage.3 Those who have

In order to persuade your readers to take up Gneist's articles, I shall quote a few sentences from them. P. 319, he writes: Es bestehen keine Pflichtgenossenschaften mehr. Alle kommunalen Corrective zur Ermässigung der gesellschaftlichen Interessenkämpfe sind beseitigt. Die Parteiregierung ist nunmehr abhängig von unberechenbaren Combinationen gesellschaftlicher Interessen, von den Vorurteilen der neuen Wähler, von Agitation und taktischen Künsten, denen auch Disraeli und Gladstone ihre Stellung verdanken.' And elsewhere he says: 'Neue Gesetze waren jetzt nötig, da bei dem Uebergang in eine neue Ordnung der Gesellschaft sich die alten Kohärenzen lösen und durch neue ersetzt werden müssen. Diese Aufgabe hat das englische Parlament ebenso wenig zu lösen vermocht wie die konstituirenden Versammlungen des Kontinents, weil aus dem Streit der gesellschaftlichen Klassen über ihren Anteil an Gemeinde und Staat solche Gesetze überhaupt nicht hervorgehen.... Verteilung der persönlichen und Vermögenslasten des Staats unter die gesellschaftlichen Klassen und Abstufung des Anteils am Staat, der politischen Rechte, hiernach, kann nur eine Dictatur oder ein starkes Königtum.' And again: 'Die grossen Klassenkämpfe des Kontinents infolge der Neugestaltung der heutigen Gesellschaft werden der britischen Nation leider nicht erspart bleiben.'

introduced the latter are under the moral obligation of strengthening the Executive, whether it remains a monarchical one or whether it becomes a republican one.

It is neither a Tory nor a partisan of State socialism who takes the liberty of making these remarks. I am a Liberal; I consider the extension of local self-government in a liberal sense desirable. Were I an Englishman I should not oppose a reform of the House of Lords nor the disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales— perhaps also in England. I look upon property in general-not in land alone as having duties to perform as well as rights to enjoy. I should be radical enough to welcome a measure putting an end to all speculation in land, and municipalising land in towns to such an extent as to render expropriation for purposes of public health and comfort more cheap and easy, and so as to secure healthy dwellings for all classes, playgrounds for children, baths for the poor, broader streets, handsome parks and places devoted to gymnastic exercises for the whole nation.

In preaching the necessity of a stronger government for England and of a still stronger government for Ireland, I am guided principally by two convictions: 1. That the future universal brotherhood of mankind is only accessible by fortifying the nations that have shown some capability of reconciling liberty with order, of promoting knowledge and tolerance, and of furthering humanity. I think these nations ought to be united in a common bond for the purpose of overthrowing or holding in awe barbarous kingdoms and empires, and resisting the anarchical tendencies of individuals and small nationalities. 2. That while no better political system has as yet been discovered than the one of popular representation and the reign of enlightened public opinion, yet at the same time the incompetence of the old parties and of the prevailing system of government in England is discrediting the representative system all over the world.

May a national party soon arise in England! And if troubled times, if dangers from within or without necessitate a popular dictator, let it be a man who could see O'Donovan Rossa or No. 1 hanged on a gibbet without shedding tears. Let it rather be a man who holds with the Bible that selfishness lies at the bottom of human nature, or with Larochefoucauld that envy, hatred, and self-indulgence are the ruling passions in man, than one who imagines that we have already attained the millennium, and that love will reign unchal

Gneist expects the advent of a Radical era in England, then the resumption of power by the propertied classes, and lastly a reconstruction of those communitates or commons the inner coherence of which, and their coherence with the House of Commons, are the distinguishing features of the British Constitution, and since the disappearance of which (viz. the commons and their coherence) the Constitution does not work any more satisfactorily.

lenged, if only the masses will make their voice better heard, and if the intelligent classes will keep their mouths shut.

Party allegiance has accomplished grand things in England during the last sixty years. It has done its duty. Let it go. Make a present of it to the Liberals in Germany, who are sadly in want of it at present. Be manful enough to cast it to the winds, now that it is playing havoc with the British Empire. Desert the tattered flags without a pang and rally round new standards. Do not question the nobility of character of your former leader, nor his wonderful gifts, but think of the words once addressed by Mirabeau to the Dutch: Malheur aux peuples reconnaissants! . . . Ils corrompent par une excessive confiance jusqu'au grand homme qu'ils eussent honoré par leur ingratitude!'

If Home Rule does not give the Irish full independence, it does not give the Nationalist party what they want; it will not satisfy them. If they want new land laws and remedy of abuses, they are far surer to obtain these objects with than without English assistance. But if they want to develop and confirm their specific Irish nationality and to uproot all British influence-which the teaching of history renders a very plausible supposition-then the interests of England and Ulster must outweigh those of the National League.

King Philipp is at the gates! Squabbles must cease, or Europe and India are in danger of becoming Russian!

Heidelberg: August 1887.





POLITICAL meteorology does not offer us a field for the loftiest or most arduous exercise of thought; but yet it has both its interest, and its justification. The country is, in principle, a self-governing country. This principle, indeed, though fully recognised, had until lately been only applied to practice in a manner extremely partial and fitful. Even now it is still struggling out of its swaddling clothes, and probably nothing better than a more or less effective approximation to an acknowledged law is in the nature of things attainable. Still, the mind of the constituency, for working purposes, if not

The fountain light of all our day,

A master light of all our seeing,1

is yet an indication powerful in its own sphere, and common sense will not dispense with the duty of watching its indications. They are the elements of a case with which we have to reckon; and, as the seaman watches for the signs of weather, it is for us, if we do not wholly exclude the future from our plans of thought and action, to note the omens afforded by the times.

Moreover, the constituency itself has undergone within twenty years the most important of all its historical modifications; and is itself, in respect of these changes, on its trial. Upon a superficial survey the first impressions are, at least in one capital point, unfavourable. A rapid view may suggest that we have become involved in the instability, which has often been the reproach of popular governments.

Said Dante to Florence

Fai tanto sottili

Provvedimenti, che a mezzo Novembre
Non giunge quel che tu d' Ottobre fili.2

After the accession of the House of Hanover, and again before the first Reform Act, Whigs and Tories respectively had each, speaking in the rough, a lease of power for half a century. But stability such as that, when judged by its results, no one wishes, or at least avows a wish, to recall. After the Act of 1832, it took nine years (1833-41) to produce a Conservative majority. Sixteen more years elapsed before 2 Purg. vi. 142.

Ode on the Recollections of Childhood.


the numerical superiority of professing Liberals was fully restored in 1857. We then passed through seventeen years, and in 1874 we saw the second Tory majority. These are long periods, and exhibit a slow, or at all events a leisurely, oscillation of the pendulum.

But now let us reckon from 1868, when household suffrage came into partial operation. The election of that year gave a Liberal majority exceeding 110. In 1874 this was sharply converted into a minority stated by me nine years ago in this Review at 48, but placed higher in other reckonings. Whatever its precise figure, it was summarily converted in 1880 into a minority nearly the same as that of 1868. On the dissolution of 1885, the last and greatest enlargement of the franchise took effect. The Irish Nationalists fought in close accord with the Tory party. The Liberals, who had had a majority of fully fifty over their combined forces in the preceding House of Commons, were reduced to an exact moiety of the House, now enlarged from 658 to 670. That election bore testimony to their solidity, and gave them a majority of 86 over the Tories. But when the Parliament was again dissolved in 1886 the smouldering scandal' of the schism on Home Rule 'broke and blazed.' While the entire nominal strength of the Liberal body was reduced to about 270, nearly seventy-five of these soon proved to be in fact, for present purposes, a portion of the Tory phalanx. The united forces of the Government were thus raised to 390. The House was composed of four minorities. Of these by far the largest was the Tory contingent, as it reached 315 or 316; while the Liberals in opposition sank to (say) 195; by a great deal the lowest point at which their strength had ever stood, and the lowest in truth to which either of the two great parties had ever declined since the Reform Act, with the single exception of the Parliament of 1832. In that Assembly, Sir Robert Peel found himself the leader of a band of adherents certainly not exceeding one hundred and fifty. He spoke of himself, or was understood to speak of himself, as thereby in a great degree deposed from the ordinary duties of opposition.

We have thus, in eighteen years, had five Parliaments returned, wholly or partially, by household suffrage; and every one of them has differed essentially in political complexion from its predecessor. We shall presently see whether there is reason to suppose that the sixth household suffrage Parliament, still in the womb of the future, will add to those already before us a fresh reversal of judgment on appeal.

The main reason, I conceive, against convicting the present constituency of instability, on such evidence as is now in our possession, is to be found in the great specialty of the case-namely, the enormous force of a great and singular disturbing cause. The Parliaments of 1830, 1831, 1832, and 1835 exhibit differences even more violent, and in a shorter space of time, than those of 1868-86. The Tories fell from about 350 to 140, and rose again to 270, in less than five

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