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the matter of land tenure there is surely nothing to alarm them into defection. This exception may perhaps be called a large one, but the apprehensions of change are as yet most indefinite. That existing restrictions of an irksome kind will be removed can hardly be doubtful, or that such removal will be as much to the advantage of landlord as of tenant. If any restrictions should be imposed on the landlord, there seems as yet at any rate no cause to imagine that the country will see reason for making these more than good landlords are already willing to impose on themselves. Whatever the proposed changes may be, they will at least be discussed in an atmosphere as different as possible from that which enveloped the Irish measure. The abnormal political and social conditions of Ireland are happily not present here to influence the decision of such matters by the deliberate judgment of the people of Great Britain. The bulk of this people are not, like the Irish, tenant-farmers, and, as arbiters in such a question, would desire only that the land should be worked to the best advantage of all concerned in it (that is, ultimately, the whole population) with the least possible interference with the laws of political economy. These can hardly be held to include either the law of primogeniture or the law of distress. The relief of the landlord from the necessity of overburdening his estate to make provision for the otherwise disinherited members of his family, and the increase of security for tenants, have both the same object of facilitating the mutual approach of capital and land. And to such comparatively limited extent as English landlords are absentees or leave improvements to be made by their tenants, this would seem to be generally owing to the restrictions of settlement which prevent the consolidation of their dispersed estates and the free employment of capital now diverted from returning to the soil from which it came.

As to the extension of the county franchise, this has been already accepted by the Whigs, mindful of their mistake in 1866, and recognising the fact that, after all, it is impossible that it should be enough for any class of the people with important class interests merely to be spoken for, itself being denied a voice. Nor have they failed to acknowledge the need of a reorganisation of county government, whenever that pressing question can be attended to ; and this is a matter in which their position and experience will give them both peculiar authority in any loyal co-operation with a measure of reform, and peculiar credit for whatever success may be obtained. Their support of the Ground Game Bill was an encouraging sign that Whig country gentlemen are not disposed to deal illiberally with their rural neighbours.

The question of far the greatest moment and urgency at the present hour, the restoration of order in Ireland, ought assuredly, by all the most sacred obligations of patriotism, to be no party or class question. But whatever demand may of stern necessity be made for stronger and more summary expedients for restoring order, there is

to thwart this demand, as has been repeatedly proved by the prompt dealing of the Governments of the Eastern States of the American Union with turbulence and anarchy there. Habitual remissness in the execution of justice, under whatever constitutional plea, must always be especially to the detriment of the poor and powerless (such as most of the victims of crime in Ireland have been), whose stay and strength abide only in the maintenance of the supremacy of law.

Besides these considerations it is obvious that the Whigs at present possess one great security which ought to go far in tranquillising their anticipations. There is only one possible successor to the present Prime Minister, and he happens to be also successor to the headship of one of the greatest and most typical of Whig families, as well as an acknowledged representative of some of the best and strongest qualities of moderate Liberalism in the true sense of that often-abused phrase. While he appeals less than the present Prime Minister to the enthusiasm which is one element in the national character and in the political forces of the country, he does appeal most powerfully and peculiarly to other elements more equable and permanent, and therefore in their totality at least equally influential.

If, indeed, the Whig landowners were ever, through some calamitous blindness, to forsake their ancient flag, one of two consequences, both of evil import to the community, would follow. It is possible, though not probable, that they might maintain an independent political position apart from the two great parcies of the State. This would be the signal for the formation of numerous groups of politicians, and these would soon begin to be distinguished by personal and sectional interests which would deprive party government of all its most redeeming qualities. It seems to have been conclusively shown on the Continent and in English Colonies that the existence of two great parties, and virtually two only, with grounds of difference irreducible to rivalries of persons and cliques, is necessary to this somewhat artificial mode of conducting public affairs, if the tone and conduct worthy a great State are to be retained. Such has been the normal condition of our own Parliament, though with temporary aberrations, among which it is to be hoped that the formation of the Irish group of Land Leaguers may before long be classed. The permanent splitting up of Parliament into groups would, above all, increase the power of commercial organisations, already menacing to the Commonwealth. Not that there are not fully as many instances of individual public spirit to be found among wealthy men of commerce as among wealthy landowners. But the former are far more numerous, and have far more opportunities of working in the dark, or under responsibilities subdivided into nothing. Our polluted air and waters bear a melancholy witness against the recklessness of trade. And at

a

of England is not to be imperilled in order to enrich the SouthEastern Railway Company.

But the continuance of the Whigs as an independent group, supposing them to have seceded from the Liberals, seems less likely than that they would, sooner or later, lapse into the Tory ranks. Should this happen, it would need no extraordinary skill in forecasting the future to show that they would be bringing ultimate disaster on both themselves and their new allies. If it be said that this ought to be no cause of regret to a Liberal (and there are some analogously who fail to understand how Liberals can at once think Lord Salisbury injurious to his own party, and yet honestly regret his influence with it), it is to be answered that party triumphs may easily be too dearly bought at the cost of social discord and the degradation of political issues. No doubt the Tory stronghold of the House of Lords would not long be tolerated if the speeches, as well as the majorities, were always on one side. On the other hand the Whig seceders would be followed by such of the parasitic nouveaux riches as still disguise their affinity to Toryism. But this would be the ominous beginning of a new party struggle, which happily has never yet appeared in its nakedness in England ; a struggle of the poor against the rich. In such a struggle the victory of either side would be the ruin of both. If England has been hitherto, on the whole, eminently untormented by the animosities which such a suggestion implies, there is no country where they might become more intensified than in this, where the rich are notoriously very rich, and the poor very poor; where the town population is so large in proportion to the rural ; where the rural population have so much less fixed interest in the soil than elsewhere to constitute them a conservative safeguard. But surely there should be no need to evoke these spectres, nor yet to recall admonitory examples of other nobilities; the French, for instance, who, with all their excellent qualities in private life, yet in the public view seem only to oscillate deplorably between the lethargy of a political and social non possumus and the sordid excitements of the Union Générale. Their own traditions are the strongest compulsion on the Whigs, and remind them that their place must be in the Liberal ranks, even if the march lead them now and then over somewhat unfamiliar ground. They have never confessed themselves the slaves of abstract theories, whether concerning freedom of contract or any others. As to the idea of their being intimidated by the fear of possible material sacrifice, this is to credit them with very little of the spirit of their forefathers of the long years of Whig depression and Tory ascendency. Not that anything here said is to be understood as admitting the assumption that coming change must necessarily involve such sacrifice, nor yet as implying that (to quote the exact words of the · Edinburgh Review')'political subjects must obey every gust of the popular will, impelled by the passions or interests of the

6

mankind but to drift with the tide.' But, to be guided at all, a ship

. must be moving as winds and currents will allow, not floating idly at her moorings. • As long as the pages of Burke,' says the · Edinburgh,

to which even Mr. John Morley, one of the chief scorners of the Whig party, pays no unwilling homage, hold their place in English literature, it cannot be said that Whig principles are without a voice or influence in the world. And the very fact of this homage paid to

' Burke by Mr. Morley and by so many classed commonly as Radicals, may be taken to signify that there is no insuperable division between them and Whigs. If the latter, like Burke, in Mr. Morley's words quoted by the reviewer, "value the deep-seated order of systems that work by the accepted uses, opinions, beliefs, and prejudices of a community,' they have to remember that these uses, opinions, and the rest are always in the process of making, and must, in practical politics, be reckoned with and accepted, though not blindly yielded to, in the present as well as in the past. If such remembrance and its consequent conduct are indeed properly consistent, as has been here maintained, with Whig principles, then those who contend that the Whigs must sooner or later abandon their incorporation with the Liberal party have to show, firstly, that a supposed risk of their material interests alone will outweigh the promises of an honourable political ambition and the constraint of great traditions; and, further, that even their material interests will be so far misunderstood by them that the way chosen in order to preserve these interests for the present will be that most likely to impair them in no distant future.

ERNEST MYERS.

NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS. Communications to the Editor should be addressed to him at 39 Paternoster Row, E.O.

As the Magazine has an ample staf of Contributors, MSS. are not invited without previous correspondence, and uninvited MSS. cannot be returned except at the convenience of the Editor. No copies of Verses can be INDEX

TO

VOL. XXV. NEW SERIES.

AMONG THE Tors, by B. Burford Raw- French Privateers (The), by J. K.
lings, 486

Laughton:

I. Jean Bart, 343.
Basuto, by Alfred Aylward, 329

II. Du Guay-Trouin, 498
Belief (Primitive) and Savage Meta-
physics, by A. Lang, 734

· IIangman's ROPE (The), 768
Bowles (Caroline), Robert Southey and,

Health, The Seed-time of, by B. W.
206

Richardson, M.D., 28
Burmah, A Visit to the Queen of, by Hospitals, The Case of the Special, by
Mrs. Rowett, 632

B. Burford Rawlings, 720

How far is the Present House of Com-
CASE (The) OF THE SPECIAL HOSPITALS, mons represented in the Roll of the
by B. Burford Rawlings, 720

Long Parliament? by C. W. Kennedy,
Cervo, by J. Theodore Bent, 107

438
Claim (The) of Tenant-Right for British

How Gilbert Sherard fared in the
Farmers, by the Hon. George C.

Flood, by Lady Verney, 307
Brodrick, 145

Human İdeal (The)," by Edmund
Clôture, 253

Gurney, 214
Coalition, The New, 519

IDEAL, The Human, by Edmund Gurney,
Correspondence (The) of Niccolò Paga-

214
nini, by J. Theodore Bent, 464

In_Trust: the Story of a Lady and her

Lover:
DARWIN (Mr.) on EARTHWORMS, by
Professor F. A. Paley, 46

Chap. XXXIV. The Heiress's Trial, i
Dryden, John, by John Dennis, 179

XXXV. A Simple Woman, 12

XXXVI. The Last, 20
EARLIEST Scottish UNIVERSITY (The),
by Principal Shairp, 704

Ireland, The New Departure in, 656
Earthworms, Mr. Darwin on, by Pro-

Irish Land Act (The) of 1881: its
feșsor F. A. Paley, 46

Origin and Consequences, by the Hon.
Education (National), National Necessi-

George C. Brodrick, 91
ties as the Bases of, by B. W.

Irregular Warfare, by Alfred Aylward,

618
Richardson, M.D., 745
Ellis (William) and his work as an

JANET FISHER, by A. Mary F. Robin-
Educationist, by Florence Fenwick

son, 173
Miller, 233

"John Inglesant,' by Samuel Rawson
Exchange no Robbery; or, Fated by a

Gardiner, 599
Jest, by Miss Betham-Edwards, 129,
361, 446, 586

LABÉDOYÈRE's Doom, by the Rev.

Malcolm Mac Coll, 72
FLORENCE, Life in Old, by J. Theodore 'Lady Maud' (The), by the Author of
Bent, 643

• The Wreck of the Grosvenor,' 261,
France, M. Léon Say on the Prosperity 395, 531, 667

of, and the State Purchase of Rail- Lamb (Charles) and his Friends, by

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