25 JUNE 1892, Page 24

The History of the English Constitution. By Dr. Rudolph Gneist-

Translated by Philip A. Ashworth. (William Clowes and Sons.) —Here we have in one volume Mr. Ashworth's admirable trans- lation of Dr. Gneist's important work on the English Constitution, which originally appeared six years ago in two volumes. The work (especially the concluding chapters) has been to some extent rewritten, in consequence of, among other things, the passing of the last Suffrage Reform and Redistribution Acts. It is curious and interesting, as evidence of the difficulty which even a thoroughly intelligent and cultured foreigner has in under- standing our political difficulties, to read :—" Ireland must be given that kind of constitution (Home-rule) which is practicable in the case of an essentially Celtic nationality, and a population split asunder by the contrasts of religion and race. The form of the future imperial dependency ' will, I believe, approach that of the Napoleonic Constitution,— a Parliament, the Members composing which are mostly appointed. by the Crown, and a prefectorial system with deliberating ' conseils,' which last are even now, in some parts of the country, attaining to greater independence ; and this leads us to hope that real self-government will, within the next generation, be attained. That the highly gifted Irish nation is, owing to its want of self- control, but little suited for the direct application of English institutions, is proved by the experiences of the United States of America." One can hardly help wondering what present-day Nationalists think of such Home-rule, and of such a view of "the highly gifted Irish nation." Non-partisan readers will note that the index to the one-volume edition of Dr. Gneist's work is very much superior to that given with the original edition.