6 MARCH 1880, Page 21


FAR the most striking paper in the Magazines of this month is an unsigned one in the Contemporary on the " Mysteries of Administration in Turkey," which, from internal evidence, must be written by one who knows Constantinople and its secret history well. The writer, though decidedly hostile to Russia, maintains that such good qualities as the governing class of Turkey once possessed have disappeared since Europe began to interfere in her affairs, that they have become hostile, servile, and suspicious to absurdity. It is, for instance, an immovable belief among a large class of Turkish politicians,—

" That a secret understanding between Russia and England existed from the beginning of the late war, that the opposition of the latter was merely a mask assumed to deceive Europe, and that this under- standing formed part of the policy by which England hoped ulti- mately to gain possession of Cyprus and Asia Minor, but that Russia having reason to complain of the bad-faith of England in certain re- spects, is now ready to break her part of the bargain, and assist Turkey against England to the best of her power. It will probably hardly be credited in England that such an absurd theory exists at Constantinople. Not only does it exist, however, but it is very widely spread. It is entertained in the most influential quarters, and a knowledge that such is the case is necessary, in order to enable 1111 to arrive at a proper appreciation of the tone and temper of the Turkish Government."

The profound belief that his reign is over has made the Turk fanatical, treacherous, and corrupt, intent only on staving off the evil day by every kind of promise which he never intends to fulfil, and on providing'a fortune against the general over- turn. Nothing can be accomplished without bribes, some of

which, says the writer, even reach the Sultan ; and the Ministers go the length of writing letters to forward petitions, with secret marks in the signatures to warn their colleagues not to -act upon the letters. The " reforms " so often promised will

never be attempted, and have so far ended only in increas- ing the direct authority of Abdul Hamid, a man at once timid and arbitrary, who keeps up a system of espionage on his own Ministers, and has reduced them by degrees to powerless agents of his own will. All affairs are managed by a Court cabal, which is so detested throughout the country that the writer believes the Sovereign's fears well founded, and main- tains that without a revolution everything will go from bad to worse. As a revolution would merely change one weak Sultan for another, the only nexus of the Empire being the reverence for the House of Othman, that is equivalent to saying there is no hope for Turkey. The entire paper will repay careful study, though we should like some proof that Russia is betraying the Turkish Armenians, in order that England may appear to be perpetually interfering. Is not that a little super-subtle for Russia's own interest, which consists in exciting the devotion of the Asiatic Christians under Turkish rule ? Professor von Schulte gives us a very dry but very valuable sketch of the bureaucratic system in Germany and Austria, with its legions of officials and thousands of titled persons; its high education, in Prussia, at all events; and its low rates of pay, about which, however, there must be some error in printing. The Professor is made to say that a legal official often begins his career with a salary of "no more than 15,000 marks." Should it not be 1,500 marks ? 15,000 -marks is £750 a year, and would be liberal for a commence- ment, even in England. The Duke of Argyll sends another exposure of "Ministerial Misstatements" about Afghani- stan. It is impossible to condense the Duke's argument, but it is impossible to read it without perceiving that at every • step the Viceroy has misrepresented the facts before him in official documents, in order to show that his own policy in forcing Residents on Afghanistan was not novel, and not gratuitous. The drift of the whole is that the Government of India intended to force the Ameer, and did force him, into a position in which they could, with some colour of right, insist by arms on his receiving a Resident at Cabul. The remaining papers of the number are a little dull, though Mrs. Pfeiffer's poem, "The Pillar of Praise," will find admirers.

Mr. Matthew Arnold has achieved a great feat in the Fortnightly. He has made an article on copyright in books exceedingly entertaining. We do not agree with him, but -we should be very sorry to excise any one paragraph of his article. His argument is, in brief, that no such thing as property does or can exist, that property is a creation of the law, and that as no law exists, Americans, or other English-speaking foreigners, are not bound by honesty to

create property in English books by passing one. They are

only bound by "delicacy," and they will not feel this delicacy, and ought not to feel it, if their new law is to make English reprints dear. We at home must first make them cheap, and this is to be done by publishing them as M. Levy did in Paris, in neat and pleasant, but cheap editions. With the coun- sel of cheapness we entirely agree, though owing to the existence of Mudie, and the dislike of the English middle- class to accumulate books in their houses, the change will be a difficult one ; but we cannot agree that morally property springs only from law, holding, for example, that a man's right to be paid according to agreement is a moral one, even if there is no law to enforce the contract, and therefore cannot

agree that Americans have a right to take the work of Eng- lish authors without a remuneration agreed to by that author That, in order to prevent extortion, a third party, a tri- bunal, might be introduced, with power to regulate price, we concede, just as we concede the right of the community to expropriate any property wanted by the community at a valuation. How the arrangement is to be made is matter for negotiators, but that it ought to be made we have no doubt whatever. It may be well, however, that the contrary argument should be stated, for the sake of exhaustion ; and it could hardly

be so well stated as by a sufferer like Mr. Matthew Arnold, who has never, he says, received in all 2100 for all the American reprints of his works. Lord Houghton sends a sketch of Dr. Wilberforce, which is kindly and appreciative, but fails to leave on the reader any distinct impression of the man as he appeared to so experienced a judge of men as Lord Houghton. This admirable story is new to us :—" In such a house as Lord Ashburton's, at the Grange, Wilberforce was seen at his very best. Memorable were the encounters of humour between him and that brilliant hostess. I have one especially in my mind. 'Mr. Carlyle and I have had a splendid ride over the downs ; we went through the mist like Faust and Mephistopheles on the Brocken." Which is which ?' asked the lady." Mr.

O'Connor Power's paper, on "The Irish in England," is eulo- gistic, but not instructive; and Mr. Pater's, on "The Beginnings of Greek Sculpture," though beautifully written, requires trained appreciation ; and we pass on to Mr. F. Harrison's able paper on martial law in Cabul. He distinctly repudiates the notion of accusing General Roberts of any delight in cruelty, and definitely exonerates the Governments both of England and India from having issued orders contrary to the rules of civilised warfare :—

" It is right to say at once, and it is a pleasure for me to say it, that nothing appears in the Blue-book which shows that the Govern- ment at home or in India ever ordered anything contrary to the rules of civilised war. The instructions issued by the Viceroy at the open- ing of the campaign (Blue-book, p. 97), were precise and carefully considered. Condemning the war as a whole, I am free to allow that these instructions are justified by the practices of civilised States. The General is told that in regard to the punishment of individuals, it should be swift, stern, and impressive, without being indiscriminate or immoderate.' The instructions from Simla may be criticised on grounds of policy, but they are not contrary to public law, nor do they authorise inhumanity of any kind."

But nevertheless, Mr. Harrison repeats and proves that the threats in the General's proclamations were indefensible, one of them, for example, declaring, on November 12th, that "he would hold out no promise of pardon to those who, well knowing the Ameer's position in the British camp, instigated the troops and people of Caul to take up arms against the British troops." And he shows distinctly that accounts of prisoners executed for instigating risings—that is, for what in Englishmen we should think patriotism—were sent home from many sources, most of them semi-official. The statements were made in the most definite way, by writers friendly to the General and officers, whose telegrams were edited by the Staff; and though all their statements may be inaccurate—the idea having possibly been to spread the report of executions without executing—still, some proof of the inaccuracy is required beyond the usual statement that General Roberts is an excel- lent officer, fighting for his country thousands of miles away.

He is a most brilliant officer, but that is no reason why he should not have thought a policy of terrorism likely to aid the policy he was ordered to carry out.

The first article in the Nineteenth Century is by Sir Spencer Robinson, late Controller of the Navy, and is an alarmist cry for more ships, with the thickest plating and very high speed. So long as France is not in the field, Sir Spencer says we are safe, as we could beat any three Powers; but if she were in the field, we might be outmatched. We have nominally sixty-nine ironclads, but from these we are told to deduct no less than thirty-eight, as out of condition or under repair, while ten more are plated with only four-and-a-half-inch armour. It is not a subject upon which the public can form an accurate judgment, but Sir Spencer appears to make out a fair case. Mr. Justin McCarthy is fair and moderate about Home-rule, as he always is ; but he still does not state broadly his line of division between local work and Imperial work, and still persists in his argument that the former Parliament of Ireland was loyal to Great Britain. Who doubts it ? A Parliament of English settlers in India would be the most loyal of bodies. The Irish Parliament was elected and filled by men who depended upon England for support against the majority, and who, in many important respects, such as creed, ideas on landed tenures, and view of foreign affairs, were iden- tical with Englishmen. The new Parliament would represent the majority, and would, on many essential subjects, be abso- lutely at variance with the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Viscount Melgund inveighs with restrained bitterness against the right of war correspondents to write as they please, and makes one curious point. He says other countries can endure thero, because in other countries the Press has little influence over opinion; but in England the Press is powerful. That is true, but like the argument from the occasional hostility of the Corre- spondents to particular Generals, points rather to allowing the War Office a veto on particular selections, than to a power of restraint to be vested in Generals in the field. Viscount Mel- gaud omits altogether to notice the great good a correspondent may do an army, merely by keeping it incessantly before the country. Mr. Fawcett's discussion on the next Reform Bill is grave and moderate. He is not in favour of breaking up historic boundaries in search of an impossible equality in the distribu- tion of political power, and strongly supports the representation of minorities. He makes, too, a very strong and, we believe, newpoint against single seats. If each district had a single Member, it would be necessary to break the cities into wards, and the representatives of single wards would be sure to be inferior men to the representatives of entire cities. That is un- doubtedly true and most effective, but we doubt about gutting the counties of small towns. The constituencies would be too homogeneous, and groups of boroughs lack corporate feeling, and indulge in intense local jealousies. Perhaps, however, the most valuable article in the number, which is not a striking one, is Mr. Kegan Paul's, on the City churches. Mr. Paul would not pull them down or disendow them, holding that they have still a function to perform. The City is empty on Sundays, but it is choked on week-days, and the City clergy should recognise that fact, hold short week-day services, and gather round them young men for week-day work :—

"I maintain that there is absolutely no place on earth in which a multiplicity of church services might be so well attended, or prove such a refreshment to the weary, such a healing to the worn spirit, as the City of London ; that there is scarcely any place in which a wise clergyman would have so great opportunities of usefulness among the young, the active, the intellectual, the sceptical, and the curious,—in fact, among just those classes at whom the parson hardly ever gets. Not long ago, an experiment of the kind I mean was tried at St. Ethelburga's, in Bishopsgate Street, on Wednesdays and Fridays, and, I think, every day during Lent and Advent. There was a short choral service at a quarter past one, lasting from twenty minutes to half an hour. The church was crammed at every one of these services ; and such also, I believe, has been the result in like cases. But there came a foolish outcry about Ritualism, to which the parson no less foolishly yielded, and the church was closed."

We also incline to believe that the destruction of the City churches is a hasty proceeding, which will ultimately leave a void that will have to be refilled. If England ever ceases to be prosperous, the suburbs will be thinned before the City is. The most valuable portion of Mr. Gladatone's review of "Russia and England is, we think, to be found on page 549, where the case against a favourite idea—that of handing over the Balkan peninsula to Austria—will be found stated with almost overwhelming force. Mr. Gladstone, however, over- rates the reluctance of the Hapsburgs to become Slavonic Sovereigns. An idea has for a century prevailed in the family that this is their true role, and is one main cause of the intense suspiciousness of the Magyars, who always expect to be over- whelmed by the Slavonic multitude.

Macmillan has a curious paper, by Mr. J. Theodore Bent, called, "Where did Edward II. Die?" Mr. Bent is inclined to believe Edward was not murdered in Berkeley Castle, but escaped from his prison, fled to Code Castle, and thence to Ireland, whence he finally fled to Avignon, where he obtained protection from Pope John XXII. He died at last a hermit in Italy. The evidence for this singular story is a letter from Manuele Fieschi, papal notary at Avignon, to Edward III., in which the King's flight is related in much detail. Fieschi, whose letter is undated, was undoubtedly an ecclesiastic of repute at Avignon, and had held a benefice in the diocese of York, and he professes to have gathered his facts from a confession made by Edward II. It is a slight, though very imperfect confirmation of the story that Edward II.'s brother, the Earl of Kent, either dis- believed in his brother's death, or said he did, and was accused by Edward III, to the Pope on that very ground of stirring up treason. The body buried in Gloucester Cathedral is, accord- ing to this story, that of a porter killed by Edward II., in his flight from Berkeley Castle.

The best paper in Fraser is a speculation on the prospects of the General Election, in which the writer gives the following as the exact truth about the British representation as it now stands :-

Opposition Members. Government Members. Total. County. Borough. University. Total County. Borough. University.

English ... 26 144


171 144 137 4 286 Welsh ... 7 14

21 8 1

9 Scotch ... 17 23

41 15 3


50 181 2 233 167 141 5 813

Government majority in England, Wales, and Scotland = 80.

He believes that fifty of these seats may be won for the Liberals, who, however, will lose nine or ten, thus reducing the gain to forty,—that is, on a division, making the two parties equaL There remains Ireland, and in Ireland he believes the Govern- ment will only retain thirty seats, thus leaving the Liberals with a clear but uncertain majority of seventy-three.

We see little in Blackwood this month, except the narrative of Lieutenant Palander, of the Swedish Navy, who commanded the 'Vega' in the recent exploring expedition which was orga- nised by Professor Nordenskiold to traverse the North-East Pas- sage, which is full of new information, told with a certain pic- turesque simplicity, like that of the earlier voyagers. The "Passages from the Note-book of a Staff Officer" at Sherpar are well worth reading, and we quote from them this very valuable and curious hint, which confirms the idea that Yakoob Khan's loss of authority was due to his alliance with the English :—

"The continued presence of little Musa Khan with what may, perhaps, be called the national party, lends colour to the pretensions and boasts in which they are understood, in spite of their recent defeat at Sherpnr, still freely to indulge ; and it is worthy of note- that the deportation to India of Muse Khan's father, the ex-Amir, has tended to create among Afghans far more friendly feelings towards the race of Dust Muhammad and Sher All Khan than were observable when Yakub Khan was, in appearance at least, the friend. and ally of England."

Three papers in the Cornhill are noteworthy,—Tourgnenieff's "Visions," a little story full of an eerie kind of power, but with the thought left a little too indistinct; "The Philosophy of Drawing-rooms," a clever and sensible article on furnishing,. intended to teach that the drawing-room should be the living- room; and an account of Yoshida-Torajiro, a Japanese teacher and rebel (he was an engineer by profession), who first stirred up his countrymen to replace the authority of the Tycoons by that of the Mikado, and so helped to bring about the Japanese- revolution. The writer tells us few of Yoshida's ideas, but depicts a man of extraordinary influence over his fellow-men, unusual energy, and an antique spirit of patriotism. He passed most of his life in prison, and was finally executed for treason ; but "his friends and pupils were the leaders in the final revolution."