5 JUNE 1909, Page 25


n. Ra.aolaa Cox, M.P., deals faithfully with the Budget In the Nineteenth Century. While his criticisms are severe, they are free from any partisan bias. Both political parties, as he points out, are equally to blame for the present embarrassment in our national finances—the Tories first started the cry of old-age pensions—and "all along the line there is an ever-increasing tendency to look upon the State as a raileh-cow providentially created for the benefit of those who are disinclined for the bard struggle which the com- petition of the world involves." He notes, again, that while during a large part of the Victorian era England was fortu- nate in possessing a series of statesmen—Peel, Gladstone, Northcote, Harcourt, Goechen, Hicks Beach—who were Inspired with the ideal of economy, no one now replaces them. (Lord Welby in the Contemporary Review says practi- cally the same thing, though he consoles himself with the reflection that of two costly programmes the Liberal is the Memoir of Robert Herbert Story, D.D. By his Daughters. Glasgow :J. stacLohoss and Bons. [1.0s. 431 net.j wiser and more patriotic.) Mr. Harold Cox has much to say that is interesting and instructive about our confused methods of national account-keeping, and his analysis of the phrase "social reform" is both shrewd and salutary. The new policy is condemned in an excellent phrase when he says that "by spending our taxes on doing for individuals what they ought to do for themselves, we shall diminish the taxable revenue of the country at the very moment that we are increasing taxa- tion."—Major-General Sir W. G. Knox has some suggestive observations to make in an article headed "A Glance at a War Horizon." In some respects unduly alarmist, he nevertheless does well to insist that unreadiness invites aggression, and there is point in his condemnation of the unnecessary duplica- tion of departmental machinery for the two Services,—e.g., hospitals, victualling, intelligence, &c. Towards the close of his paper General Knox illustrates the importance of the study of secrecy in war by some striking examples drawn from his experiences in South Africa.—In "Forewarned but not Forearmed" Colonel Lonedale Hale contrasts the feelings of Prussia of 1869 towards France with those of Germany of 1909 towards Great Britain, drawing largely from the reports of Stoffel. The method and the moral are those of a paper with the same title in the United Service Magazine which we notice later on.—Professor Arminiue Vambericontributes some interesting personal recollections of Abd-ul-Hamid and his Court. Professor VambEry was engaged to teach his : sister, Princess Palma Sultan, French when Ramid Effendi was a boy of sixteen. Thirty years later he was his honoured guest at Yildiz Kiosk. The picture of the sly, prying youth— a harem sneak and informer—is far from pleasant. Abd-ul. Hamid, according to Professor Vamb6ry, had no literati tastes, but was good at figures and an expert horseman. Other qualities noted are those of parsimony, suspicion, indecision, and incapacity to inspire affection.

In the National Review Mr. H. W. Wilson in "How Bismarck Made Three Wars" takes for his text the famous Chancellor's own frank admission that he had advised all three, "the Danish, the Bohemian, and the French," with its interest- ing addition : "Every time I first made myself clear whether the war, if it were successful, would bring a prize of victory worth the sacrifices which evet7 war requires, and which now are so much greater than in the last century." The short historical summary which follows allows Bismarck full credit for his passionate devotion to Prussian interests. Mr. Wilson is not so much concerned to reprobate his methods as to warn his countrymen against inviting their resumption. Apart from two or three sentences, the article is instructive enough ; but the conditional comparison of Mr. Asquith to M. 011ivier is most unfair. Nor do we think it judicious to speak of a conflict with Germany so absolutely as a foregone conclusion. There is a very great peril, but that peril can be removed by preparation. War is only a foregone conclusion when we make it so by our refusal to perform a national duty.— " Bismarckienistn in Business" is the title of a curious paper signed " Vidi," in which the writer with great particularity charges the firm of Krupp with systematic resort to the issue of false telegrams in order to counteract the effect on foreign Powers of international field-gun competitions in which they bad been unsuocessful.—Mr. Frederick Rennet in "New Signs in Russia" describes the rise to power of M. Stolypin, "the strong man of a quasi-autocracy," in whose capacity and integrity he has full confidence. In particular, he applauds his scheme for holding the Army and the land together by instructing soldier-conscripts in farming, and his encouragement of agricultural associations in which owners, farmers, and peasants work together. "Of the two charges brought against all Russian administration, cruelty and corruption, the latter is the greater danger. There are about a hundred and fifty million Russians who are neither gaolers nor in gaol." Mr. Rennet asserts that by his energetic per- sistence in stamping out corrupt officialdom M. Stolypin has at last won the goodwill of non-political Russians.—The two papers on "Shall Women Vote P" and "Love and Avarice," written by " Ouida," mom than twenty-five years ago, and now published for the first time, are inspired by a truculent spirit of anti-feminism combined with a good deal of brutal common-sense.--Lord Cran- worth contrasts village life in the present day with that of forty years ago to the great advantage of the tempus

aetum. He attributes this deterioration first to the deprecia- tion of land value coupled with the increased burdens placed on the land, and secondly to education plus the cheap litera- ture and the " yellow " Press. Lord Cranworth is pessimistic as to the future. The small holdings hitherto provided are mostly too small, and the starvation wages of the labourer cannot be raised so long as farmers and landlords have not got the money.—" A Country House Critic," writing on " 'Society' and Politicians," deplores the decadence and futility of the upper classes, and appeals to our old "Political Families" to drop "smart Society" and "recon- struct in their own homes domestic and social traditions in which their sons and daughters will be trained, as in old days, to fulfil their duty to God, their country, and their neighbours."—Mr. Montagu Wood, with a lavish parade of alliterative polysyllables, sets forth the disabilities of an Oxford career. The gravamen of his indictment is that "Oxford has come in truth to be identified as a hotbed of prigs," that she is "out of touch with modern requirements, and the trumpet note of new generations knocking at the doors fails to arouse her somnolent garrison to the dis- carding of musty archaisms and the doffing of hebdomadal phylacteries." Quit: tulerit Gracchos?

In the new Contemporary Lord Welby discusses the Budget in a spirit of general approval tempered by grave reserva- tions. Thus it is evident that he is very far from sharing the extravagant expectations of revenue from site values held out by Liberal politicians and writers, for the simple reason that they cannot be realised, and he shows a certain amount of scepticism as to the low estimate of revenue for the current year. The collapse of the Post Office revenue fills him with serious misgivings, and prompts the question : "Have rash concessions crushed the growth of the revenue, and has the Treasury lost the power of saying no to irresponsible suitors?" Even severer is his criticism of the heretical attitude of Mr. Lloyd George towards the Old Sinking Fund :—

"He repudiates the principle that surplus should be applied to reduce debt, and he appropriates it instead to ordinary expendi- ture in a manner that evades the constitutional rule of a vote in supply, and which practically conceals from the public the fact that the public expenditure is greater than appears in the Budget. He substitutes a complicated arrangement for a sound and simple rule of finance which a child can understand, and this complicated arrangement is apparently devised solely to bolster up a fund for which he will not ask Parliament to provide the necessary money. It is difficult to conceive a more unsound, a more clumsy, a more mischievous devioe. In the last forty years the surpluses have amounted altogether to near ..57,000,000. According to the Chancellor this sum should have been laid out on current expenditure, more or less behind the backs of the House of Commons. It is of the same nature, but if possible worse than the loans of the late Government for current services." As one trained in the old and, as he believes, sounder system of finance, Lord Welby deplores the lavish expenditure on which we have embarked, "in which there is little to choose between the Conservatives at one end of the scale and the Labour Party at the other."—M, Alexander Mar, a Russian publicist, writes on "French Labour Unions v. the State" in a tone of 'uncompromising hostility towards the Government, which, in his view, has governed up till now on aristocratic or oligarchic principles under "tears like M. Clemences,u, satraps like M. Sitnyan." "The postal strikes have proved that the political system is shaken, and might possibly be overthrown by co-operation of the C.G.T. with the State officials." The failure of the strike, he argues, does not prove the strength of the Radical system; it was merely due to lack of experience, and as an "essay of social mobilisation" it is of ominous significance as foreshadowing the deba'de which may be brought about by the co-operation of working men and State employees.—Canon Wilson's survey of public-school education in England and its changes in the last fifty years, written for the French periodical, L'Education, is full of autobiographical as well as of general interest. Canon Wilson's qualifications to treat this theme need no endorsement front us. As Assistant-Master at Rugby from 1859 to 1879; and Head-Master of Clifton from 1879 to 1890, he exerted a powerful and stimulating influence on two great public schools. It is, therefore, reassuring to find so great an authority acquiescing cheerfully in the changes 'brought about in the last half-century in the curriculum and aim of the public- schools, and looking forward with hope and confidence to the future. Though the intellectual

aim has changed, "the changes have not interfered with the general ideal of the public school as a place for forming character and training faculty,—that is, the capability of learning to do thoroughly and efficiently whatever duty may require."—Mr. Edwin Pears contributes a further paper on the recent developments in Turkey. He points out that while for the moment the Army of Macedonia has saved the situation, the greatest danger before the Constitution arises from Moslem fanaticism. Mr. Pears, however, draws reassuring auguries from the attitude of the Ulema and the new Sheikh-ul-Islam, who, like both his predecessors, belongs to the Liberal school of Moslem ,theology. In common with other well-informed observers, Mr. Pears thinks highly of the intelligence and education of the Turkish officers. They are almost the only Turks who have lived abroad ; many of theta have acquired habits of discipline in Germany, and "it is amongst them that a Constitutional Government could probably find suit- able provincial Governors." Incidentally Mr. Pears makes the interesting suggestion that "just as Turkey has been sending some of her best soldiers to be trained in soldiering in Germany, she should send men intended for the Civil Service to be trained in India under the Indian Government."

The brilliant writer who signs himself "J. L. G." analyses the general situation in the Fortnightly Review. A great deal is made of the collapse of our recent diplomatic structure, brought about by the knowledge of the Central Empires that we have not the force wherewith to back our diplomacy. The writer quotes the Manchester Ouardian, which realises that our military weakness might lead France into complica- tions. But this same paper seems to expect that the Young • Turks will be grateful for our sympathy unbacked by anything substantial. With regard to the great and increasing cost of maintaining our Imperial position, "J. L. G." asks : "Did we • really expect that we could permanently keep under the British flag at a cheap price a quarter of the world ? "- Mr. Edmund Gosse has brought together various recollections and notes from diaries of his intercourse with Swinburne during the "seventies." We get a strange picture of the poet, with his big head and sensitive nervous organisation. which so quickly changed from quiet to the extreme of excitement. The only person of whom Swinburne stood in awe was his uncle, Lord Ashburnhatn, although a real affection and sympathy existed between the two. The poet was one of the few people who were allowed the run of the marvellous library collected by the older man, and Mr. Gosse tells us of Swinburne coming back from a stay at his uncle's house " with dazzled eyes, babbling of illuminated bestiaries and old MS. romances in Burgundian French," As to the poet's complete lack of the musical sense we are told the following amusing story. "A lady, having taken the rest of the company into her confidence, told Swinburne that she would render on the piano a very ancient Florentine ritornello which had just been discovered. She then played' Three blind mice,' and Swinburne was enchanted. He found that it reflected to perfection the cruel beauty of the Medicis." Mr. Geese describes the poet reading his own works aloud, often with great effect and beauty. "But sometimes, in reading, he lost control of his emotions, the sound became a scream, and he would dance about the room, the paper fluttering from his finger-tips like a pennon in a gale."—Mr. Galsworthy contributes a "Novelist's Allegory," in which the function of the novelist is compared to that of a man with a lantern.

Blackwood contains several interesting papers of description and narrative. A. touching story is told of a French prisoner of war who becomes the devoted friend of the Prussian who wounded him at Mars-la-Tour. Although the French soldier could be reconciled, his sister remained unmoved by years of devotion to hereelf by her brother's friend.—Professor James Sully takes us a delightful summer's day expedition up to the source of the 'Umbrian river Clitumno in company with the local Canonico, who proved as excellent a companion as he was a learned guide to the sacred river. The description of the pool where the stream rises below the limestone rock makes one feel that few things touch the imagination more than the source of a river, especially if it be one famous in historical tradition.—Another picture of travel takes us from the rockbound coast of the Adriatic over inhospitable mountains to Janina. Mr. Orlo Williams describes well both the scenery and the people. — An anonymous writer describes how'

be made the acquaintance of a derelict Englishman living at Belgrade, who told him of his experiences connected with the forwarding of despatches from England to Constantinople during the Crimean War. One of these stories is recorded for us. It tells bow, on a certain occasion, a handsome young Irishman came to Belgrade as a Queen's Messenger. He dined with the Englishman at a café, and during the meal let an Austrian banknote fall on the ground, placing his foot upon it to prevent it being blown away. A party of Austrian °Moors were dining at an adjoining table, and one of these, delighted to pick a quarrel, came across and poured forth torrents of abuse, saying his Emperor, whose portrait on the banknote had been trodden underfoot, was insulted. The inevitable scene followed, ending with a challenge. The Irishman told his friend that lie could use neither sword nor pistol, and had not the least intention of fighting. However, the officers insisted on a combat and seconds were appointed. The next morning the Austrian second and the Englishman called at the Irishman's hotel and found him asleep. When he was awakened and told that the duel must take place, he merely handed to his friend a paper, telling him to read it and show it to the Austrian. Never had challenge a more absurd ending. The document in question was a copy of one which had been sent the night before by the French Messenger to Vienna. It was addressed to the Archduke and Colonel of the tegiment whose officers had begun the trouble. The writer elated that, as a Messenger in her Britannia Majesty's service, it would be beneath his dignity to take notice of the wanton insult offered to him, but he requested the Archduke to convey his challenge to the whole regiment, beginning with the Colonel; the Archduke was of course excepted on account of his exalted rank. The best of the joke was that the Archduke was well known as an opponent of duelling, and the Colonel was nearly ninety. Instead of the officers wanting to fight, they came as a deputation to know if it were possible to withdraw this strange challenge. But it had already started for Vienna, and no one knew which the officers feared more, the wrath of the Archduke or the laughter of the Viennese cafés.

The English. Beview contains a portion of a novel by Id'. Stephen Reynolds which, to recall Mr. Galsworthy'a Image, he would no doubt claim to be a lantern. How- ever, it throws anything but an undistorting ray, since its preposterous theme is meaningless except for its pro- fanity. A youthful degenerate, son of a shopkeeper, by faith moves a hill from Wiltshire to London. The affair Is seized upon by the proprietor of the Halfpenny Press and exploited financially. The youth is keenly interested in making money out of his miracle; he also ruins a girl in his father's employment, and then takes up with another. This all goes on to a sordid accompaniment of alcoholic Mayors and Aldermen. We are, as our readers know, sincere admirers of Mr. Reynolds's book, A Poor Man's House, and gladly recognise the power of his style, the vividness of los descriptions, and the skill and sound sense of much of los social diagnosis. That he can if he likes do good and useful work makes us regret very deeply the spirit of his new venture.—M. Camille relletau writes on "La Pali et la Suerre en Europe," in which he talks a good deal of the influence of the makers of warlike material, and of Colonial expeditions carried out for the sake of those who make the expensive things necessary to tropical enterprises. Also 11- Pellet= takes the view that the sums spent in prepare- Lon for war are not in proportion to success. France *Pent more before war began than the German States, Russia than Japan. One would almost think that the article Was written before either the South African or Japanese War to judge by what the writer says of the unknown effects of Bnickeless powder and concealed artillery.—In the editorial eurvey of the month it is shrewdly remarked that the person wbo really benefits by old-age pensions is the employer of labour. The dole system " gives the employer not only the opportunity, but even some moral excuse, to pay lower wages.

• • . No living wage can be proper that is insufficient to afford provision for old age or against sickness."

The chief article of general interest in this month's United Service Magazine is one entitled "Forewarned yet not Fore. armed,"

by"Miles." The article deals in detail with the well-known Reports of Colonel Baron Stoffel, who was appointed French Military Attashe at Berlin in 1866. Almost continuously from the date of his appointment up to the declaration of war in July, 1870, he pointed out to the French Government in clear and closely reasoned Reports the superiority of the Germans, both from the point of view of the Army and the nation, over the French. These Reports, says "Miles," are of the utmost value and interest to us at the present day both by their perception of the true situation and by the exact manner of their fulfilment. We most strongly advise our readers to study this striking article, for there is something almost uncanny in the way in which question after question is discussed in a spirit which exactly resembles the discussions of to-day. Take for example this quotation :— "The following was written in April, 1838. 'It induces me to say a few words on that curious question, the disarmament of the Great Powers, a subject that is occasionally discussed, and with which the newspapers are now specially occupied. What a want of common sense there is in the articles with which those journals feed the public! What ignorance of the institutions of the foreign countries1 They do not even ask what is meant by the disarmament a a Power, and they confound this word with the disoharge of soldiers. No precise definition of the word disarmament has ever been given. First, as no two Powers have the same military organisation, it cannot mean the same for all Powers. Now that which our newspaper writers do not dream of is, that a partial or complete disarmament may be conceived, that is to say, is possible in France, Austria, Italy, and England, in a word, for all Powers. But it is absolutely impossible for one, and that one is Prussia. The word disarmament can apply to Prussia in no sense whatever. Why P On account of the principle of universal compulsory service, the fundamental principle of Prussian military institutions, and, it may be added, of the social customs of the nation. It may be easily seen from the foregoing that the word disarmament can apply to Prussia in no exact sense, and that of all European Powers Prussia alone, on amount of her institutions, is unable to disarm. If Prussia has to disarm, she must alter her institutions, and no person thinks of asking her to do BO: " Another pregnant criticism of Baron Staffers is concerned with the institution in 1868 of the French National Guard " Mobile." After criticising the defective organisation of the law under which the Guard "Mobile" was created, Baron &offal goes on :— " But, say some, the National Guard Mobile' may be drilled during war itself. To which it is only requisite to reply : How if the war be of short duration ; if France is smitten with sudden disaster at tho outset and finds herself suddenly invaded, how can you then give these young men, assembled in haste, that cohesion, discipline, and instruction which is so requisite ? One proof amongst a thousand is furnished to me by what is written in France on the new military law, and upon the institution of the National Guard Mobile' in particular. They write in the military newspapers, and elsewhere, and they say in the army, that the National Guard Mobile' will give Franco a very formidable force, and that it will equal, if it does not surpass, the Landwohr of the Confederation of North Germany. It is deplorable when men thus deceive themselves from ignorance or lie to themselves from presumption."

We are far from saying that our Territorial Army ought to be compared to the Guard "Mobile." At the same time, the comparison is one not to be rejected too hastily.