13 JANUARY 1906, Page 3

The electioneering campaign during the week has been dis- figured

by several regrettable incidents. The Prime Minister was refused a hearing at Shrewsbury, Mr. Lyttelton and Mr.% Lloid-George were howled down at Leamington, and disorderly scenes have been frequent in London and in the,. provinces. Worse than this, a singularly disgrace- ful attempt has been made to discredit the candidature of Mr. Balfour in East Manchester by the circulation of a scurrilous leaflet, in which an alleged incident in the life of one of his ancestors is made the ground for a violent attack on the, ex-Premier himself. Mr. Balfour's opponent, Mr. Horridge, and his agent have promptly, emphatically, and clearly with absolute sincerity, repudiated all responsibility for the leaflet, and all knowledge of those who issued it, and we hope they will be able to follow up their reprobation by tracing the anonymous slander to its source and unmasking the offender. The use of these poisoned weapons not only revolts the British sense of fair play, it is a blunder as well as a crime. In this context we cannot refrain from expressing our pained surprise that Mr. George Meredith in his tirade against Mr. Chamberlain, published in Friday's papers, should have descended to vulgar personalities. A states- man's nose may be fair game for a caricaturist, but a great writer like Mr. Meredith should leave it alone in a letter to a Parliamentary candidate. It is no excuse to say that Mr. Chamberlain has often shown a preference for violent and provocative language. Both sides should recall Burke's famous appeal, "Let us remember so to be patriots as not to forget we are gentlemen."