21 NOVEMBER 1891, Page 18

Lord Hartington made a striking speech at Crieff on Thursday,

which was directed partly to the same end as Mr. Chamberlain's, but still more to warn the Gladstonians and Sir William Harcourt that the uniform victory of Liberalism over Conservatism of which they boast is only assured where Liberalism is moderate, and keeps within the limits which do not excite reaction and stimulate resentment. Doubtless the victory of Puritanism over the cause of the Cavaliers was a victory of a sort of Liberalism, but it was a victory of a tyrannical sort of Liberalism, and there- fore provoked a great reaction, a reaction fatal to the bitter dogmatism by the aid of which the Puritan victory was gained. Lord Hartington did not take that illustration, but dwelt rather on the many failures of so-called democracy in France,—failures which have arisen from overstraining the Radical spirit till it has become an intolerant spirit alien to the wider Liberalism. It was a thoughtful and impres- sive speech, and Lord Hartington might have illustrated it by the absolute inability of the Nonconformists, who were at one time, and indeed to some extent still are, typical popular Liberals, though typical popular Liberals rather of the middle class than of the masses, to admit that a system of State education could ever be tolerated. They considered it a gross departure from the principles of true freedom. Yet from that view of theirs they have already had to recede. Still more the Red democracy of the Continent is not only not assured of ultimate victory, but is assured of ultimate defeat. It is inconsistent with the principles of human nature.