10 MARCH 1906, Page 23


TIM most striking paper in the new Nineteenth Century is Lord Hugh Cecil's appreciation of Mr. Gladstone,—showing, amongst other things, what virtue may reside in a belated review. Lord Hugh Cecil insists, and we think rightly, that Mr. Gladstone owed more to will and self-discipline than to his great natural gifts. No one, he observes, ever suspected Lim of selfishness or envy. But the paper is far from being an

unmitigated panegyric, though in dealing with. Mr. Gladstone:a. inconsistencies, and the pain and embarrassment they entailed on his followers, he finds some extenuation in the fact tha

the mischief was largely due to a simplicity, of character, "Mr. Gladstone could not see himself as others saw him, could

not in imagination suppose himself a Liberal Unionist and. realise how things would look from- that. point of view."

Incidentally, in dealing with Mr. Gladstone's Catholicism, Lord Hugh Cecil develops an interesting and original, argument, designed to .show that "while love of country and love of Church may dwell as kindred in the same breast, the ardent Catholic cannot feel towards his country as though he

had never known something more august and more inspiring still." As he puts it,—

" The Catholic may be a good patriot—none the worse because his 'patriotism is in proportion, and therefore under the control of a cool head ; the man who knows no higher enthusiasm than, for his country sometimes lets his patriotism run beyond all limits and becomes what is called a Jingo ; sometimes (it may be) the want of a perfectly adequate object for his noblest sentiments deadens his nature inte4ie1fish, individualism. From this point of view one may conjecture that the decay of religious belief is- among,the causes for the fervour—sometimes the unreasonable and disproportionate fervour—with which Imperialist sentiment is entertained. Those high things which are the true and appro- priate objects for our strongest and purest loyalty are out of sight; the hungry instincts, seeking satisfaction as they scan, fix themselves on the imperfect ideals of., national greatness. This unnatural nourishment loads and distends them, and zeal is surfeited into fanaticism."

—Mr. Wilfrid Blunt's personal recollections of Lord Randolph Churchill add some interesting sidelights to his son's biography, especially in re gard to his attitude towards Home-rule. The general impression left, however,

is that personal ambition was his ruling passion, and that in the last resort his convictions, as well as his instincts, were generally subordinated to political expediency. When Mr Blunt pressed him in April, 1885, as to the meaning of the. term "Tory Democracy," he laughingly replied: "I don't know myself, but I believe it is principally opportunism." The

autobiographic interest of the paper is also considerable, as ex- pounding Mr. Blunt's peculiar political creed. Lord Randolph, it seems, actually persuaded him to join the Primrose League, and, so far as Mr. Blunt knows, he may be still a "Knight Humbugger."—Lord Avebury, who writes on "The Future of Europe," puts forward a plea for the reduction of armaments, and suggests that "representatives of the Navies of England, France, Germany, and Russia might meet and agree on a common basis, not, of course, as binding on, but as a suggestion to, their respective Governments." He takes an optimistic view of the results of the recent movement to foster friendlier relations with Germany, but, in our opinion, goes much too far in justifying or palliating Germany's suspicions of our alleged hostile attitude.

The editorial notes in the National Review this month are somewhat tinged with melancholy. The result of the General Election is a blow to our prestige. The Radical flood has increased the tension in Europe and produced a wave of depression in Greater Britain. Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- man "pursues the British Empire in South Africa with a malignant hatred." Still, the situation has its redeeming features. Mr. Balfour has come into line with Mr. Chamber- lain, and the Crown and the House of Lords remain.— Professor W. J. Ashley contributes a temperate and illumina- ting paper on "Trade Unions and the Law," in which he contends, that the law, as recently declared in the

Taff Vale and Dena.by Main cases, is in its most vital features historically new and "Judge-made." While, then, he admits that the principle of the Taff Vale judgment—

viz., that power involves responsibility, and therefore corporate power corporate responsibility—is right and may have a salutary effect on Trade-Union organisation, he regrets other recent developments of judicial opinion for two reasons,—first, that the arm of the law is invoked to hinder proceedings on the part of the Unions which are fairly defensible if once the

principle of Unionism is accepted—i.e., combination to im- prove working conditions—and. second, that the law of capitalist combination cannot permanently remain different

from that of labour combination. This point is developed in the following interesting passage :—

" If anything is clear to the economic observer, it is that the trend of modern business is towards capitalistic combination in some form or other; that this brings with it social benefits as

well as social evils ; and that it is one of the directions in which England must look for help in its struggle with foreign competi- tion. From the fact that our judges are now seeking to set limits to the combination of labour, some draw the corollary that they should seek to set limits also to the combination of capital. But the experience of America again is dead against such a policy. The long series of attempts to control the trusts by the courts has ended only in forcing upon them closer forms of con- solidation. And it would be one of the most unsatisfactory results of the recent development of judicial opinion in this country if, directly or indirectly, it led to a like barren attempt to control capital. Capital may need ultimately to be controlled, just as labour may need to be ; but, if so, it will have to be in other ways than by the appeal of the courts to a supposed common law."

—" Can We Trust the Admiralty ? " is the title of an article by Mr. Arnold White, who is clearly disposed to answer his question in the affirmative. We may note, however, that in his treatment of the vexed question of the education of officers he fails to state one of the strongest objections to the new scheme,—viz., that while professing to enfranchise the

engineers, it excludes, by the enforcement of the 'Britannia' scale of fees on all who enter the Navy, the entire class from which the naval engineers have hitherto been drawn.

—The Archbishop of Armagh contributes an eloquent paper on Edmund Burke, in which, while rightly empha- sising his lack of humour, he insists on the peculiar union of sarcasm with pathos which he had at his command.

Mr. Maurice Low sums up the situation in American politics as amounting to an open warfare between the President and the Senate, in which Mr. Roosevelt, who has more at

stake than his opponents, must win in the present Session or not at all.—The most amusing thing in the whole number is Mr. George Peel's delightful comment on the extra- ordinarily accurate prediction of the result of the General Election made to him by Lord Elcho in October last :—

"Since the fulfilment of these words, I have naturally been at pains to ascertain the cause and method of the inspiration. But on this point his Lordship maintains a Delphic and Dodonwan silence, and I feel as much baffled as was the Emperor Julian at the shrine of Apollo. In antiquity there were three methods of divination. One was by incubation, or enkoimesis. You sacrificed a ram or goat—in this case it would be a whole-hogger —and slept on its hide. Or the divine afflatus was atechnos, that is, the recipient could not explain anything about it, like the Central Office. Or else it was entechnos, that is, you did it after inspecting entrails, or by-products, or by-elections. Or, perhaps, there is prophecy in the primrose, as there was of old in the tamarisks of Beersheba, or the oak of Shechem, or the bark of Ygdrassil, or the leaves of Dodona, or the beech-tree of Joan of Arc, or the tops of the mulberry-trees which prompted Israel to war. I can say nothing, except to repudiate the theory of Aristotle, who ascribes prophecy to indigestion."

For reasons already familiar to our readers, we cannot endorse Mr. Wybergh's plea, advanced in his article on "The Transvaal and the New Government" in the March Contemporary, in favour of resting the electoral system on the basis of population and not the number of voters. With this reservation, we find ourselves in general accord with his temperately written and most instructive paper. While careful to disclaim any hostility to capital or capitalists as such, and while abstaining from any personalities, Mr. Wybergh clearly indicates his conviction that "the financiers are not the Transvaal," and asserts that their desperate efforts to represent themselves as the sole exponents of loyalty, Imperialism, and public spirit are now beginning to be understood and discounted in the Colony. Mr. Wybergh condemns, as we have condemned all along, the precipitate folly of the thirty millions contribution. As he puts it, "the essence of any proposal for a contribution is that it should be voluntary, initiated in the Colony itself, and by the whole Colony through its elected representatives." None of these conditions was present in the unfortunate arrangement made by Mr. Chamberlain with the financiers, and Mr. Wybergh expresses the hope that the Liberals, "as part of a sane, honest, and sympathetic Colonial policy, will at once, and of their own motion, repudiate the agreement wrung out of the Colony by Mr. Chamberlain, leaving it, as they can do with perfect confidence, to the sense of public duty in the Transvaal to make what voluntary contribution may seem to be equitable." Beyond this, and the suspension of Chinese im- portations, Mr. Wybergh hopes the Liberals will do nothing pending the grant of responsible government, the further delay of which be strongly deprecates. For the rest, we.may note Mr. Wybergh's effective protest against the charge of disloyalty levelled indiscriminately against any policy which certain interested people may happen to dislike, and his assertion that whereas the result of the General Election has calmed chagrin in financial circles, it has brought relief and hope to - the public at large.—Mr. H. C. Thomson, writing on Chinese labour, analyses the correspondence between Lord Selborne and Mr. Lyttelton, and shows that the amendment of the Ordinance in 1905 constituted an essential variation of the contract entered into in China. "The permission to flog was a breach of the Convention with the Chinese Government; the authority to deduct fines from the labourers' wages is a variation of the contract with the men." The correspondence, in short, proves "the powerlessness of the Colonial Office to- maintain a sufficient supervision over the actual working of the Ordinance ; the fact being that it is not safe to entrust any man with such exclusive powers over others." His con- clusion is pithily expressed in the following paragraph :—

" There is an old Spanish proverb which says, 'A silver mine means misery; a gold mine ruin.' The Transvaal mines have cost this country a vast sum already ; they need not be allowed to make her bankrupt in honour. The British Empire in the East is built up on a tradition of adherence to a given word, cost what it may, and if faith in that tradition be lost it will shake the very foundations of our power."

Mr. Massingham, under the beading "The Revival of Parliament," rejoices over the democratisation of the House, and argues in favour of a large extension of the scheme of internal devolution of which the Grand Committee on Law and Trade are the nucleus. He further predicts a revolt from the recently adopted time-table, and a reversion to the custom of a meeting in October, coupled with a brief Christmas adjourn- ment and a closing in July rather than in August.

The quick changes in the opinions of Mr. Balfour must be distracting alike to editors and writers of magazines. In the Fortnightly the speculations in the first article on "Mr. Balfour and the Unionist Party" are rendered useless by the letter to Mr. Chamberlain; and the postscript to the article, which was written after the publication of the letter, is the only thing that counts. The writer points out that Mr. Balfour's career has been one in which persistence and surprises have been prominent, and that by these means he has been able to survive. He is now recommended to study the Labour Party, and to become the executor of Mr. Chamberlain and undo the work of Peel in 1846.—Sir Oliver Lodge advances a power- ful plea for a more sympathetic spirit in "The Scientific Attitude to Marvels." The ordinary man of science is too apt to neglect "certain not very rare though rather elusive phenomena" because "an apparently capricious element, an unknown psychological influence, is introduced into the midst of his Physics." The humanist is also in a difficulty because chemical, physical, and biological details with which he is unfamiliar enter into the subject of investi- gation. The ordinary man is no better equipped, for he is apt to believe that, in the case (say) of telepathy, no manifestations are worth troubling about unless they reveal the number of a five-pound note, or some such result. Sir Oliver Lodge urges that the nature of the manifestations should not bias the inquirer, and that a real and scientific investigation of " marvels " should be carried on.—" The Press in War Time," by "A Journalist," is a timely reminder that in- calculable harm might be done by the publication of news at the beginning of a war. It is useless to wait till war takes place ; the subject must be dealt with in peacetime. The plan

proposed is that the publication of news of naval or military movements should be made a penal offence unless authorised by responsible authorities. An Order in Council could put the Bill into force when the Government considered it

necessary.—Mr. Henry James writes a paper of impressions of Boston, in which be compares his recollections of past years with the present. He seems to find a modern varnish applied to the place, overlaying the old Puritan city.

The first book of "Drake : an English Epic," by Mr. Alfred

Noyes, is published in Blackwood. Froude in writing of the Elizabethan seamen says that it is strange that no English poet has sung the marvellous tale of Drake. and

his exploits. This poem seeks to remove the reproach. In.

spirited verse we are told how Drake is taken to a private interview with Elizabeth, who sends him out to harry the power of Spain, although she intends outwardly to remain at peace. The conversation is overheard by a spy of Burleigh's, with the result that Doughty, that enigmatical figure, becomes one of Drake's companions. The narrative proceeds in a

straightforward way, though not lacking in the pictur- (toque and decorative elements appropriate to epic verse.

Au anonymous writer pieces together extracts from the journals of Captain Johnson in which he wrote the tragic story of the Kabul tragedy of 1841. The writer survived the disaster, as he was held as a hostage by one of the chiefs, and managed to escape with the other hostages to General Sale's army. The terrible part of the story is the record of lost opportunities through the fatal incompetence of General Elphinstone, who was ill and broken down and utterly unfit for command, and at the same time incapable of acting on the advice of his more competent subordinates. These journals are written in a perfectly clear and simple fashion, and bring us very closets the tragedy, with its awful crescendo of horror. First comes the insurrection in Kabul, the half- hearted defence of the English army with its divided counsels, the retreat, or rather rout, through the snow, and finally the catastrophe at Gandamak :—

"Our Troops at length got to the top of the Pass, where a barrier of trees and bushes had been formed across the road. The Ghilzis were lying in wait for the result among the hills. This was soon apparent. The greatest confusion ensued—again were the horrid yells of the enemy heard, and again were more victims added to those who had fallen. 'Onward' was still the word. About a mile further a second barrier was encountered, and the results [were] similar to those of the former, the enemy still pursu- ing in increased numbers close upon the rear. Whennear Surkab some officers, seeing all chance of escape was over, pushed on by themselves for Jelalabad, every one of whom, with the exception of Dr. Brydon, were killed. Three (among whom was Captain Hopkins of the Shah's 6th, and one whose friendship I had enjoyed for years past) had reached within sight of Jelalabad when attacked and murdered."

Writing in the Monthly Review, Colonel Alsager Pollock discusses "The Officer Question." The great difficulty of obtaining the most competent men is that their selection for promotion is often made by incompetent superiors. Instead of selection, we are advised that rejection is the best way of securing the survival of the fittest. Colonel Pollock's plan

would ensure that "no officer should be allowed to continue in the Army unless he is clearly fit to perform duties suitable to his actual rank, and believed fit, so far as reports and examina- tions can testify, to undertake those of the rank above his own." With reference to military education, the writer of this able and interesting article considers that it is an error to " drive " good and bad alike, giving a general distaste for study. Instead,

prizes should encourage officers to advance in knowledge of their profession. At the same time, those who fail to attain a required standard of proficiency should be compulsorily retired from the Army.—Mr. A. E. Keeton writes a graceful study of the genius of Mozart appropriate to the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the composer's birth, which took place in January. The writer bids us realise how great was Mozart's work by remembering how little modern music there was when he began to write. In this sense his task was a far harder one than that

of Beethoven, who found s,o much ground already cleared for him, for Mozart fully inspired and humanised the musical forms which had been newly developed, though Haydn had, Of course, begun the process.—Mr. L. Villari gives a terrible account of the treatment of the Jews in the late disturbances in Russia. It is hard to believe that any good can come out of a governing class which assisted the population to massacre and plunder the Jews, so that attention should be diverted from the demands of the reformers. We are told that at Rostoff, after the shops had been plundered, "ladies and gentlemen of the best Russian society went out to make purchases." The fire brigade looked at the burning houses, and then went home ; and the police pointed out houses to the rioters who were destroying, saying : "There are no Jews here ; move on, please." Mr. Villari acquits Count Witte's Government of inciting the mob, but says that this Govern- ment was entirely disregarded by the local authorities, who had power to keep order had they chosen to do so.

In the Independent Review Canon Barnett discusses the education question, and propounds a plan by which the local education authorities should be able to buy, not all. Voluntary schools, but only those which are the only buildings in the school area. He would then let the local authorities settle

the question of the religious teaching themselves. Canon Barnett says he does not anticipate that this would cause strife, though it must be confessed the plan is of the nature of scattering apples of discord. There would seem by it to be no finality ; aggrieved minorities would be able perpetually to start the controversy anew. No doubt the plan would make the problem easier for the Government, ps they, would simply put on some one else the settlement of the principal difficulty. But is not a national settlement more easily accepted than a local one —The possibilities of trans- lations are always interesting. Whether an author can be made to deliver his messwe in a foreign tongue we suppose largely depends on the nature of the work translated. The newest translation of King Lear into French by "Pierre Loti " and Emile Vedel is discussed by Miss Marjorie Strachey. We are given instances, and we must agree with the writer that the work has been done most inefficiently. It is pointed out that the great difficulty of rendering Shakespeare into French is the adequate translation of the compound adjectives in phrases like "the temple- haunting martlet " and "angels trumpet-tongued." "In French, the composite adjective must be decomposed, so that, ,in place of the compact vigour of the original idiom, we must be satisfied with such weak expressions as 'the martlet that haunts temples,' or such grotesque ones as 'angels with tongues like trumpets." Another difficulty is how to trans- late the effect of the pointed use of a Saxon word "standing out on a Latin background."