No paper in the new Nineteenth Century will be read with greater interest than Mr. Keir Hardie's sensational article on "Labour at the Forthcoming Election." We cannot go into
the question of the financing of the Labour party, beyond noticing that Mr. Keir Hardie regards the payment of Members by the State as a negligible question in view of the flourishing condition of the Labour party's funds, and that he is confident that the affiliation of the members of the
Co-operative movement is only a question of time, and on a basis of an assessment of 5s. per 2100 on dividends would add 225,000 a year to the Parliamentary Fund. The significance of the article resides in the passage in which, after condemning the exclusion of Sir Charles Dilke from the Cabinet as a concession to Nonconformists and place- hunters, be continues :—
" I venture to predict that this deliberate act of boycott will, if persisted in, prove the Achilles' heel by which the Government will come by its death wound. Some of his Parlia- mentary friends are of the office-hunting type and their silence may be bought. Others however, are of a curiously detached type, and, although nominally Liberals, will follow as far and as fast as he cares to lead in a wrecking policy; but even those who are made of sterner stuff will for a time hesitate to imperil the existence of the Government in the quarrel of their colleague. But Sir Charles Dilke has a tenacious memory and draws with long traces, as the Government will one day discover, unless, that is to say, it is understood that he is to be included in the recon- structed Cabinet which is to follow on Sir Henry Campbell- Bannerman's elevation to the House of Lords."
We may note in regard to this passage that while Protectionist journals like the Globe and the Morning Post are at one with Mr. Keir Hardie in complaining of the exclusion of Sir Charles Dilke from the new Ministry, the Daily Chronicle has protested vigorously against the wrecking policy thus frankly outlined. Mr. Keir Hardie, for all his confidence, is not without the misgiving that the Labour party may be drawn into the maelstrom of some infructuous political agitation,- e.g., the reform of the House of Lords. He therefore urges upon them the need of concentrating their efforts on the things that matter,—the enfranchisement of women, the free breakfast. table for school children, the amending of the Unemployed
Workmen Act on Socialist lines, the secularising of schools, and the imposing of a graduated tax, not only upon in-
comes, but also upon sources of income.—Lord Dun- raven's paper on "Moderate Reform in Ireland" should be read in connection with that of Lord Rathmore in the National _Review. We may note here Lord Dunraven's effective method of dealing with the opposition offered to Devolution by the extremists on either side. "Extreme Nationalists object because they fear as an inevitable result
the indefinite postponement of their ideal—independence. Extreme Unionists object because they fear as an inevitable result the rapid realisation of their bugbear—independence.
They cannot both be right, and it is no unreasonable to suppose that, in extending the principle of local self-govern- ment, a point of natural equilibrium will bereached somewhere between the two extremes." Lord Dunraven's remarks on the attitude of the Nationalist leaders are also worth careful consideration :—
"It is curious that Irishmen, who know that Great Britain in all her strength cannot coerce Ireland, imagine that Ireland in all her weakness can coerce Great Britain. They forget that at the back of all parties and party manceuvres and party require- ments is public opinion; and that public opinion on all matters that it deems essential to national safety will assuredly prevail. 'As long as Great Britain has a leg to stand on she will refuse to be forced or bribed into acquiescence with anything hostile to her vital interests. She may be converted—she cannot be coerced. The length to which Ireland may possibly go towards the realisation of extreme Nationalist ideals depends largely upon the strength of the confidence which Great Britain reposes in her."
—Mr. W. B. Robertson sends a really illuminating paper on the Octroi system, with special reference to Paris, and predicts that the good example of Lyons in abolishing these irksome imposts will be followed ere long by the French capital.—We may also note a sympathetic study of the late Lafcadio Hearn by Mrs. Arthur Kennard, and Mr. Herbert Paul's appreciation of the new Government. As becomes a strong Liberal, Mr. Paul's verdict is highly favourable; but at least he has mastered one essential in the art of praise,— abstinence from effusion, or "slopping over," as Artemus Ward has it.
The most lively reading in the National Review is, as usual, provided in the editorial "Episodes of the Month." Mr. Ma.xse's pronounced views and disconcerting candour made him a somewhat awkward ally while the Conservatives were in office ; but in Opposition he is entirely in his element, and Mr. Balfour's Leeds speech has completely reassured him as to the statesmanship, or, in other words, the essential Chamber- lainism, of the ex-Premier. "Unionists can now at last close their ranks and fight under the banner raised by Mr. Balfour." The situation created by Mr. Balfour's resignation is genially described as one in which a "famished Opposition, who had long been clamouring for what was now within their reach, were reduced to a state of hysterical excitement by the amazing turn of events." The editor admits that the personnel of the new Cabinet is somewhat better than was generally expected, but applies the epithets "blackguardly," "offensive," "abominable," to the record of three of its members, and heaps scorn on most of the Under-Secretaries. —Not content with the flowers of invective scattered on the new Premier in the "Episodes of the Month," the editor, publishes a hostile survey of Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- man's political career under the title of " ' The Pattern Englishman' and his Record," and an "intercepted letter" purporting to be addressed to the various members of the Cabinet by its new chief. The latter is composed in a comparatively genial strain, attributing to the imaginary writer a vein of gentle cynicism mixed with some excellent common-sense. The advice to the Foreign Minister to reorganise and encourage the Consular Service, to the Board of Trade to start a Home Industries Department, and to the Lord Chancellor to abolish the jobbing methods by which certain nearly sinecure places connected with our judicial system are filled up, is excellent. —Lord Rathmore con- tributes a long paper on "Devolution," in which he offers an
uncompromising opposition to the scheme of Lord Dunraven as a quack medicine based on an imperfect diagnosis of the conditions of the country. He has certainly the better of the argument in dealing with Lord Dunraven's contentions that the prosperity of Ireland was increasing down to the year 1845, and that proofs of her present decay are to be found in the statistics of emigration and lunacy. As to the Devolution scheme, Lord Rathmore argues that its successive modifica- tions clearly point to a separate Irish Parliament with a separate Executive attached to it as its ultimate goal, and he refuses to be convinced by the assurances of Mr. Asquith, Mr. Haldane, and Sir Edward Grey that there is no chance of a Home-rule measure being brought forward in the coming Parliament. —Sir Edward Law (late member of the Viceroy's Council) replies to the article by Sir John Strachey and Sir
Richard Strachey, "Playing with Fire," which was dealt with in these columns on December 2nd. Sir Edward Law contends (1) that the joint authors of the article have completely mis-
apprehended the scope and nature of the recent change of procedure, under 'which, in his view, the subordination of the Commander-in-Chief and of the Departments dealing with military affairs to the civil Government has been completely maintained ; (2) that the old procedure of the Military Depart- ment had been condemned by every Commander-in-Chief in India, from and including Lord Roberts, down to the present day, and that the Report of the Committee on Indian Army Administration in 1905 had shown the necessity of a change ; (3) that Mr Brodrick was bound to indicate the lines on which reform should proceed, and that be and the Cabinet acted with due consideration for Lord Curzon; (4) that Lord Curzon's appeal to public opinion after his resignation to support his opposition to the decision of Ministers involves dangerous political consequences. We do not find Sir Edward Law's article convincing, but its moderation should ensure for it a patient hearing.
A good deal of light is thrown on certain aspects of revolu- tionary Russia by two articles in the new Contemporary. The first of these, signed "Z. C. K.," is devoted to an analysis of the
Socialist movement, and to an estimate of the success which has attended the attempt of its leaders to inoculate the masses with their anarchical and secularist views. The failure of the rising in Poland was clearly due to the divergent aims of the Socialists and the "patriots"; the former desiring to establish a proletarian Republic, the latter to achieve autonomy without
prejudice to the priests. The strike was ultimately terminated by a journalistic coup d'etat, the Polish Gazette declaring that Germany would flood Poland with her soldiery unless the railway strike, by which she was losing heavily, did not cease within twenty-four hours. An interesting feature of the article is the writer's recognition of the fighting qualities of the Jewish Socialists in Poland. Speaking generally, the writer admits that the chief obstacle in the way of the Socialists is the Army. They have secured the Russian working men, they have made considerable headway with the peasants, but the evidence furnished by events which have occurred since the article was written seems to show that the forces of reaction can still count on the soldiery. "Z. C. K." agrees with Dr. Dillon, who con- tributes his usual paper on foreign affairs, in the view that
the course of absolutism is nearly run, and that whatever happens Czardom must fall. But while "Z. C. K." inclines
to the view that Socialism, if it avoids anarchy and terrorism, may possibly achieve its end and establish a proletarian Republic, Dr. Dillon apprehends the growth of a distrust of the intellectuals on the part of the peasants which may be the beginning of a reaction ending in a dictatorship.—The other Russian article is from the pen of Mr. J. Gordon Browne, and deals with the conflict between the Tartars and Armenians in
Transcaucasia. Mr. Gordon Browne, who spent two months in the heart of the disturbed districts last autumn, writes with a judicial impartiality which renders his conclusions all the more noteworthy. He has no illusions as to the Armenians, and quotes many damaging admissions as to their faults of manner, of heart, and of charanter made by Armenian writers. But he has no hesitation in condemning the Russian adminis- tration for complicity in the outbreaks at Baku and else- where, and sums up the situation in the following passage :—
"My own impression, gained after considerable experience of both parties, is that if the .Government were to stand aside altogether and allow the two peoples to fight out their quarrel to the bitter end, the Armenians, although outnumbered by two to ow) (1,500,000 against 3,000,000), would ultimately prove the victors, thanks to superior education, brain power and moral fibre."
—M. Jean Finot's paper on "The Will as a Means of Pro- longing Life" is a curious study of l'art d'être centenaire, and a welcome counterblast to the " too-old-at-forty " theory. The root of the matter, according to M. Finot; is that, instead
of dying by auto-suggestion, we should endeavour to live by it, his inquiry into the lives of centenarians convincing him that an optimistic belief in their strength has helped them to
bear the weight of their years. But psycho-therapeutics is
not enough ; we must put ourselves under the most powerful influence of all, that of work, and not give ourselves time to grow old.—Mr. S. P. Kerr, writing from the Nationalist
standpoint, undcr the heading "Stands Ulster where it Did?"
contends that the Ulster Parliamentary party exerts a con- stantly dwindling influence both at home and in Parliament, and draws hopeful auguries from the gradual approximation of the demands of North and South.
The first article in the Fortnightly is "The End of the Age—I.," by Count Tolstoy. The writer, like so many prophets who have gone before him, sees in revolution the beginning of a new era for mankind. Not only is Russia to be affected, but the whole of Christendom. Count Tolstoy's eyes are . intently fixed on his own country, and the rest of the• world is out of focus for him ; but this does not prevent him from generalising. We are told, for instance, that "Japan is at the present time perhaps the most powerful State both on land and on sea." The reason of their strength is that the Japanese are not Christians. We are told, too, to regard the late war as the "temporary historical symptom" which is to bring about the "new age." When we try to discover of what this "new age" is to consist we are lost in mist. Russia—that is . to say, its peasantry—we are asked to believe, is in a better state than the rest of Europe because the people, "having never participated in power, have not been depraved by such participation." They are uncorrupted because they have never used "coercion," and so are in advance of Constitutional peoples. The freedom now beginning in Russia is real freedom, and has nothing to do with taxes or elections. "Freedom, not imaginary, but actual, is attained not by barricades nor murders, not by any kind of new institution coercively introduced, but only by the cessation of obedience to any human authority whatever." It would be most interesting if in the sequel Count Tolstoy would leave his abstract speculations and denunciations, and tell us how actual life is to be carried on without "any human authority whatever."—The object of " Excubitor's" article on "The German Naval Bill" is to show that the German Government has realised that its two previous Bills, and the whole course of action which they produced, were wrong. The new policy is to build larger battleships with heavier guns, because it has been realised that the small battleships which Germany has built would be of little use under modern conditions. How great are the conse- quences of this mistake is realised when we are told that if the new programme of big ships is carried out, harbours, docks, and the Kid Canal will all have to be recon- structed. The German Government will have to meet the criticism of the country when the latter discovers that its efforts to create a Navy have been directed wrongly. England, on the contrary, has realised the importance of big ships, and has increased the size of ships and guns, a procedure justified by the lessons of the Japanese war with Russia. With regard to the relative strength of the two Navies, "Excubitor" points out that the German Fleet "is no stronger to-day in comparison
with the British Fleet than it was in 1897 and there is no longer a great Russian Fleet of unknown value in the background of European movements." The writer has some sensible things to say on the want of wisdom on our part in showing irritation at the growth of the German Fleet, and he sets forth a table showing the great superiority of our Channel and North Sea Fleet over the whole of the German Navy. —Mr. Sidney Lee writes of "Pepys and Shakespeare," and gives us incidentally much curious information as to the elaborate scenery of the Restoration stage. Mr. Lee says that it was this sudden craze for stage effects which caused the scandal of the adaptations of Shakespeare's plays begun by D'Avenant. Pepys seems to have appreciated Hamlet, and set "To be or not to be" to music, and Mr. Lee speculates as to whether in this musical setting is preserved any record of Shakespeare's voice. Betterton, whom Pepys admired so mach, was trained in the part of Hamlet by D'Avenant, who is said to have "derived hints for the rendering from an old actor, Joseph Taylor, who had played the raiz in Shakespeare's own day, and had been instructed in it by the dramatist himself."
Blackwood has some most entertaining reminiscences of "Old Galway Life." The accounts we get of duelling recall the early chapters of Barry Lyndon, as the follow- ing incident in the career of an aunt of the writer shows. The young lady was 'accustomed to ride pillion behind a groom. The man one day started off in furious haste, and would give no answer as to his obvious hurry, except " Ach, list be May, Miss Margaret, and I'll take ye for the most
ffigant ride ye ever had in your life." At length the goal was reached, which turned out to be a position of vantage for looking on at a duel. But the mod exciting moments were at elections. At such times during riots special distinction was won by the men of the Claddagb, descendants of Spaniards who settled in Galway in Elizabethan times. These men showed their Southern origin, and refused to mix with the Irish, but were formidable from the well-directed stones they hurled from their slings. The hero of many elections was Colonel Martin, who helped to bring to justice the notorious Fighting Fitzgerald for keeping his own father a prisoner in an underground dungeon chained to a tame bear! Perhaps the most picturesque Parliamentary candidate was Sir Valentine Blake. He was unable to leave his castle except on Sundays, on which days there was no serving of writs for debt. To avoid this embarrassing position he became a candidate, as a Member of Parliament could not be arrested. Sir Valentine spent the day of the poll in a boat on a lake—writs did not run upon the water—while a friend besought the electors of Galway not to leave Sir Valen- tine "to pine in his seclusion," but to make him a free man by their votes. The appeal was irresistible to a high-spirited people, and Sir Valentine headed the poll.—The motive of a striking short story entitled "The Kings of Orion" is the fascinating legend that when they were driven out of their constellation they were given habitations in the souls of men on earth. The point is, that besides his ordinary nature, a man may also have inside him the soul of a king. This idea is worked out somewhere in East Africa, where the Governor of a Colony is a man of learning, but quite unpractical, who spends all his time dreaming about making a great Empire in Central Asia. While he dreams his African province falls into rebellion; but to the astonishment of his friends, the king in him comes out, and the situation is saved by the unsuspected heroism of the dreamy Governor.—Admirers of Mr. Joseph Conrad will find a most powerful study of the psychology of the sea in a paper called "Initiation," in which the relentless and re- morseless qualities of the sea are finely described.
An article in the Monthly Review signed Eveline B. Mit- ford tell the strange tale of the passion for relics, which began as early as the third century. It was not till later, in the Middle Ages, that the great development of the industry brought vast wealth to the Church. The possession of a famous relic was a great source of revenue to the place where it was deposited, and often rival churches fought for the authenticity of the remains of some saint. The demand for relics increased, and with it the supply. Greeks seem to have produced numbers of remains, which were brought from Palestine to Europe by returning Crusaders. Such objects as the grilled flesh of St. Lawrence, feathers from the wings of the Archangel Gabriel, and hairs from the beard of Noah were made to meet the demand. So great was the desire for these things, that the non-Christian potentates of the East did a thriving trade in the religious products, which they exchanged for hard cash Ltd political concessions. We are told that at the present day there are "seventy veils of the Virgin Mary, each pronounced to be the true one, and twelve heads of St. John the Baptist." Now, as in the Middle Ages, multiplication of specific objects does not appear, to detract from the reverence paid to them.—Dr. Sven Hedin describes his attempts to start on a journey into Persia from some of the coast towns of the Blacir Sea in October Last. One Russian port after another was tried, but the disorders made progress impossible, and at last the traveller had to take ship to Trebizond and start from there. This Turkish town seemed a haven of rest and order after Russian experiences, though there were some difficulties in landing on account of an incomplete passport. The police objections were finally overcome, chiefly because the traveller was a countryman of Temir Bask that is, Charles XII. of Sweden.—Mr. Shan F. Bullock describes one of those in- teresting Irish experiments of which we have heard a good deal of late. Under the auspices of Sir Horace Plunkett an attempt was made to improve the material and sanitary condition of the people of Dromore. Two ladies settled there and gave lectures in the art of washing faces and cleaning houses, and from these elements went on to the more complicated questions of cottage gardening and cookeu.
We are told that in a year and a half the progreas has been great, and that Dromore is no longer dirty and slovenly. Let us hope that this better state of things will continue when the teachers are no longer there.
"The Government and its Opportunities" is the title of, the first article in the Independent Review. The writer truly, nays that the most important thing at present is for the Liberals 'to obtain "that majority which will be large enough to enable them to hold the fort until this madness of Tariff ; :Reform is overpast." Whit policy will best gain the con- . fidence of the country, and make it desirous of retaining a 'Liberal Government in power, is, no doubt a matter for speculation. The writer of the article before us is very anxious for a forward land policy ; but he should remember, what so many people holding his views seem to forget, that land is not all owned in large pieces. The small proprietor exists, and must be taken into account. We agree that one of the great problemsahead is how to get more small holdings, so that there shall be a career for the labourer to look forward to, and "prospects" which may induce the beat men to remain on the land. A diffioulty which the Radical politician seldom alludes to is the question of farm buildings. If a large farm is broken up, who is to pay for the several sets of buildings needed for the now small holdings ? If the landowner erects them, he must raise the rent to pay interest on the capital expended, with the undesirable result that a small farm would always be a dear one.—Mr. Brailsford writes of the state of affairs in Macedonia in view of the acceptance by the Sultan of the modified plan forced upon him by the Powers. The outlook is not hopeful. Lord Lansdowne's original scheme was a very good one, and would have given relief to two million oppressed peasants. Now that it has been modified, and the head of the Commission is a Pasha, the Commis. sioners will have no power to enforce their views. In cases of dispute Hilmi Pasha can refer the matter to Constantinople, and thus unless the Powers protest effectually Turkish rule will go on as before. Mr. Brailsford says that when the Macedonians realised the intentions of the Powers they set aside plans for a fresh revolt, but now they recognise that so little has been done they may think a rising is their only chance.