2 JUNE 1933, Page 6

I do not know who is destined to write the

official life of Horatio Bottomley, but if it is well done it should be a strange study in morbid psychology. Already there has been a tendency to make of him a sort of upside-down hero of monstrous romance with the picturesque villainies of a twentieth-century Jonathan Wild. It seems futile to try and trace in his character the contrasting elements of Jekyll and Hyde. I know of no other man who so persistently and deliberately lived up to the maxim, "Evil, be thou my Good." His outbursts of moral indignation which seemed to ring so true were part of the infernal paraphernalia for trapping victims in his net. Religion and patriotism were exploited for his own ends. He ruined his admirers in thousands. I happen to know well that he played no small part in destroying the political career of one of the most promising politicians of this century, the late Charles Masterman, by pursuing him with calumny in two by-elections after his promotion to the Cabinet in 1914. The disconcerting thing was-that hundreds of thousands of Bottomley's admirers knew perfectly well that he was, as I heard one of them call him, a "bad hat," yet went On 'listening to him and admiring him, and taking his advice.

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