18 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 3

In the division which took place just before midnight the

Government obtained a majority of 63 (311 to 248). This is taken to indicate that there will be no Dissolution this year, and that the Government will be able to carry on. Probably this is the correct view, but we own that if we were the Government, we should feel a little anxious at Mr. Chamber- lain's remarks about Dissolutions obtained by Constitutional means. We must put against this, however, the undoubted fact that, in spite of Mr. Chamberlain's bold words, he and all other Chamberlainites know perfectly well that their cause is at present doing very badly in the country, and has indeed' reached the lowest point touched since the policy was launched. Thus, though Mr. Chamberlain's eagerness and impatience of nature would welcome a Dissolution, his better judgment must make him hesitate and fear those. Ides of March which some nine months ago he is said to have named as the appointed time for an appeal to the people. SUILi lacrintae reran:. If the vital interests of the country were not involved, it would be difficult not to be stirred by a profound sense of pity at the position in which Mr. Chamberlain now finds himself. He has discovered too late that he kindled his fire, not on the dry ground, but on an ice-floe; that though it blazed so fiercely at first, it is now rapidly dying out; and that the fuel with which he hoped to keep it up has become sodden and useless. And in the light of that dying fire he sees the faces from which he expected help and encouragement growing, some distracted, others cold and hard.