18 JANUARY 1879, Page 2

The Marquis of Ripon seems to be none the less

of a Liberal for having become a Roman Catholic. In an address delivered to a Liberal meeting in Harrogate yesterday week, he remarked that while other people became Conservative as they grew older, he became, with every year of his life, more and more attached to the Liberal principles with which he started. His attack on the policy of the present Government was keen and earnest. " We were living," he said, "in the times of the Arabian Nights,'—all was Oriental. And if we had not much genius, we had many genii." All was

" glamour and magic," but when you came to sound the real mean- ing of Lord Beaconsfield's policy, you found that if any military- Power were to covet the possession of Amsterdam or Antwerp, and Russia wished to aid in the project, she would only have to threaten the frontier of Asia Minor, " to ensure the troops of England being sent to a distant land, just at the time when they ought to be at home to defend our nearest interests." The chief feature of the Afghan policy of the Government had been pure self- will. Lord Northbrook had warned Lord Salisbury that if England pursued the policy of forcing British Residents on Afghanistan, she would, "at the first opportunity, throw Afghanistan into the arms of Russia." The prediction had been strictly fulfilled, but the self-will of the Government had overborne not only the late Viceroy, whose foresight had thus been verified, but all the highly experienced Indian officials whom he had consulted, and by whose judgment he had been guided. However, there is nothing surprising in the discovery that a Government of " glamour and magic,"—a Government by "genii,"—is also a Government of caprice and of self-will.