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IV. THE MODERN PENTATHLUM.
ace G. Hutchinson,
V. A DOUBTFUL ACQUISITION.
VI. THE KING OF SIAM. By B. A. Smith,.
VIII. NEW LIGHT ON BURNS. By James
LETTERS. By Alice Stopford Green, Nineteenth Century,
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When all thy soul with city dust is dry, Seek some green spot where a brook tinkles by:
But, if thy lot deny thee nook and brook,
heart for me.
Maids age and alter (my grief!) but lovemy own place,
You show no difference as the years go by.
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The neck that is white like milk, and the deep dark eye;
From The Fortnightly Review.
volving war or peace. No heresy is less easily forgiven than a departure from and wisely so, for a government going the party tradition of foreign politics, to war must be backed by the voting machine.
No one who has studied the drift of public opinion in England during the last month or two can have failed to observe that the policy of non-intervention has made great strides. Like all great revolutions, whether social or political, this change has shown itself by countless eddies on the surface, which, though calm now, needs but little to lash it into fury. The signs of the time clearly show that people are beginning to think that, however wise it have been at one time, Lord Beacons may field's Foreign Policy is a menace to our welfare, and must lead us into an European war. There is hardly a newspaper or magazine of any weight, metropolitan or provincial-the latter especially, being in the nature of things more in touch with the true people of the country-which has not lately ap proached this subject in an inquiring spirit and from the standpoint of acquiescence in a change.
But the undertow which produces the swirl above is not noticeable in press alone. In the lobby of the House the of Commons, in the smoking-room, or on the terrace, expression is now frequently given to some such view; and were not a seat in Parliament in almost every case a seat on a fence, instead of these views being enunciated with 'bated breath they would find practical expression in a hundred and fifty methods, and would bring about a fundamental change. But naturally on such a delicate question as our foreign policy an ordinary member is no more permitted to express his opinion than a sound Catholic on miracles. Discipline is essential; and the greater interest (their seats) contains the less (the country). But even a member of Parliament is supposed in some way to represent the general consensus dim of educated and intelligent opinion of his constituency, though his raison d'être, even with limited suffrage, is that which is neither. A man must almost always vote on party lines without shadow of turning on questions in- the country. Should we go to we
Now, this is an important point
essentially the Now, at the present moment, this is the days of Cromwell, has never been case. England, since so completely in the hands of one man as she now is, for a Conservative majority is from the nature of things slavish. An individual Radical or Liberal is permitted to differ occasionally from better than himself socially. his leader because his leader is often no But no one will deny that amongst Conservative members the commanding social position of Lord Salisbury, tensely aristocratic tendencies, and farreaching social influence have rendered his inthe present majority of the House mere puppets in his hands. To vote against him would be "bad form," and bad form, in a county, loses seats more surely than a breach of the Commandments up to and including the Seventh.
But there can be little doubt that if a bury's most recent and present policy plébiscite could be taken, Lord Salisout of harmony with the general opinabroad would be shown to be entirely ion of the country. Naturally this statement will be challenged; but any one who moves in the classes and masses, in contact with Society (big S) mercials, naval and military men; an society (small s): amongst papers and reviews, being honestly in a traveller and reader of foreign newssearch of the truth, unshackled by party opinion of any kind, and merely anxious to discover bonâ fide opinion ticle of the paid political agent, will as distinct from the manufactured arfind but two opinions: the first and by far the largest, that the country would its logical conclusion-namely, to supnot follow Lord Salisbury's policy to port the Turk against all comers, and Russia in particular; and the second tention of doing so. that Lord Salisbury himself has no in
the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, or for the "Federation of Europe?" But both these pernicious, effete, and misleading phrases are constantly thrust into the forefront as embodying the line of policy abroad to which England would adhere.
about at enormous expense, to maintain an "integrity" which we have no intention to maintain? Is the country ignorant of the fact that, with all this fluster and bluster, the Russian ambassador in Constantinople was all the time quietly preparing to knock this precious integrity to pieces without even referring the matter to us? Is Merv forgotten? Is the whole history of Central Asia relegated to Jupiter? No nation ever gained anything by to of leaving matters drift. Drifting means hurrying suddenly into Slow-travelling diplomacy may, to avert minor give the devil his due, wars; but it is one of the few true lessons that history teaches that all wars of the magnitude have been brought about by national impulsesor a sudden awakening.
The fundamental mistake in our foreign policy of the present is that we are not studying our own interests. It must be evident to demonstration that the whole business of Crete and Greece has been, in the first place, costly; in Are the second, useless to England. we embarking in fresh responsibilities? Are we saddling ourselves with some such undertaking as the wretched Cyprus affair, repudiated in the hour of Armenia's necessity with a speciousness of argument which all Europe has chicanery? Are we stigmatized as again playing fast and loose with the honor of the empire, and have the men who sit in our legislative councils the faintest glimmering of what British honor and good faith now mean from Calais to the Corea, from Archangel to Nothing an Englishman can Athens? ever taken seriously. say abroad is ForThere is no faith in us anywhere. eigners stigmatize us as the most immoral nation in the world as regards political pledges. Even an Italian feels he is leaning on a reed, whilst as to a Turk, he knows that it is actually a sword.
Now, this is an unwholesome state of
Therefore it seems clear that Lord Salisbury is out of touch with the feeling of the country, and that, with the exception of a few fanatics, no honest man on either side of the House of Commons, or in the whole body lords temporal and spiritual, thinks him to be so.
This being the case, let us consider
1 There are one hundred thousand Russian troops kept in readiness at this moment to disembark on any point in the Black Sea; in addition to ninety thousand on the Armenian frontier.
affairs-as unwholesome for a nation as it would be for an individual. We have no intention of keeping our word or of following up what we are now doing. As usual, we are waiting to see which way the cat will jump. We do not intend to put a farthing on tea, spirits, or tobacco, or to raise what is euphemistically called the income tax, but is the real war tax, to rescue one single Armenian from being butchered or his wife and daughter from violation. We have begun to hedge as usual by saying that after all he is only reaping the reward of his own misdoings. We are very philosophical over it, and are content to have our indignation done vicariously in Exeter Hall by gentlemen whom we think fools for tak ing so much trouble about it, or by others paid for the job.
Of course the complicated race movements which are working out the remodelling of the world are altogether unintelligible to the English people collectively, and it is not to be expected that they should grasp the meaning of the Slav Question, of the rapprochement between Russia and Austria; why the former, who wants to devour him bones and all, is so friendly just now with the Turk; why Austria is only a half-hearted partner in the Triple Alliance through the danger of Magyar unrest or the senseless ambition of the Prince of Bulgaria. Macedonia may be in Africa for all they know; the Berats may be something to eat, Yildiz Kiosk a dancing saloon; but the British people can, and do, gather in a broad sense that things are going wrong, that somehow or other we seem to say we shall fight for the Turk; that we are muddling and meddling everywhere; that the naval and military resources of the country are used for no possible advantage to the empire; that no one trusts us; that even our cousins across the water hate us, more or less; and that there is not a nation in the world who would not be glad to see us reduced to the state of Holland.
comic seems inseparable from the tragic. The unfortunate "Hundred" who have since been covered with ridicule for their manifesto to Greece, were in reality only acting on this supposition. They were "too previous," that was all. Had the tide of rolled the other way, or war itself been averted, they would have shone forth as models of prescience. Some of them doubtless had an inkling of what was in the wind-or rather what ought to have been; but they reckoned without their host. For at that particular conjunction of affairs Lord Salisbury, acting on his own initiative as regards the Cabinet, made an historic blundera blunder still too near us for its enormity to be fully understood, but destined to bear bitter fruit. And as it is a matter of history, it can no longer be considered unpatriotic to describe it.
This, perhaps, is the most pitiable part of the whole affair, and only further illustrates the fact that the
Before the actual outbreak of hostilities between Turkey and Greece overtures were made to Lord Salisbury, semi-officially, by Russia, which by the light of accomplished facts it is clear would have not only averted the war between the Greeks and Turks but would have practically solved the Cretan question. But from the moment that this well-conceived plan was rejected by Lord Salisbury England lost her influence in the councils of Europe, which up to that time had been gaining ground rapidly, in view of the magnificent display of naval strength we were exhibiting in the Mediterranean. But it was soon patent to Europe that it was not within the ability or courage of our prime minister to utilize England's sea power to enforce any policy of any kind. He could not rise to the occasion, and stood stripped at once of the mantle of England's great minister, Lord Beaconsfield, which by a mere chance had fallen on him. It is true that through one of those extraordinary intrigues which are always rife in Constantinople the French ambassador was let into the secret, but M. Hanotaux, on Russia's request, agreed to a "benevo lent neutrality" in the matter. Thus