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if room can be found for them. Among these we are not sure that we can place Alan Breck. He is delightful, but a delightful bit of Sir Walter's imagination. If the Master of Ballantrae does not survive, it will be partly because of hardness of touch. Except for the feeble impression that the character made upon the critics (who must, in some degree, be taken to express the general feeling), we should have prophesied a long life for Catriona. She is a perfectly delightful character, delightfully rendered.
The discussion of Stevenson's poetry we must leave till next week.
From The Nineteenth Century. FRANCE, RUSSIA, AND THE ENGLAND OF THE JUBILEE.
That popular feasts may have a political, national, even international import, every one knows who has not got so pedantically frivolous a soul as to deny even to street rejoicings their deep meaning. Just now the Jubilee has put it once more out of doubt. Jubilatum est. The great cycle of matchless celebrations is closed. For my own part, I should sincerely pity the man with mind narrow or sight short enough not to have discerned in this great spectacle, beside the picturesqueness, the state and splendor, the inmost sense of a people's festival. How much more should I not pity a man with a heart too low, with a fancy too mean, to be attuned to noble sensibilities, and to feel what in this Jubilee has appealed to generous natures and moved them to their depths. A great people have celebrated worthily the great reign of a justly beloved queen. It has been the glorification of a sovereign. It has been, chiefly, the selfglorification of a people. First, as to its splendid past. Then, as to its intoxicating present. Finally, as to its unique future.
Of course Victoria has been the rightful addressee and the lawful receiver o. all this service and of all this in
cense. Her loyal subjects have been right in extolling the private and public virtues which have so much altered popular feeling that there is some risk of forgetting how shaky was the throne when she ascended it. After the small-mindedness, the narrow obstinacy, the foolish prejudices and the grasping selfishness of a George the Third, for whom even the heart-rending melancholy of a life closing behind the
double-barred wall of blindness and of lunacy was not able to command our sympathy; after the craven profligacy of the fat, bald-headed Adonis, the betrayer of Mrs. Fitzherbert and of all the private and political friends of his youth, the only man able to make Queen Caroline interesting; after the bluff, coarse good-nature of an old Jack-tar; it wanted the girlish innocence, the maidenly graces of a seventeen-year queen to cleanse and freshen and sweeten the court atmosphere. Englishmen have not been slow in thankfully acknowledging how much the last half-century has owed of its prosperity and glory to what Victoria has done and yet more to what she has been.
Truly, an enviable praise! Yes, by what she has done and by what she has left undone Victoria has been the perfect constitutional queen. She has never been by an inch below her duties or above her rights. She has known how to be a loving, obedient, dutiful wife at home, in the circle of her domestic duties, and a sovereign lady by her own birthright in her kingdom. Sometimes she has let appear her inmost feelings-either in youth when, under the faithful guardianship of Lord Melbourne, she was become at heart more than half a Whig and she resented bitterly the stiff, uncourtierlike peremptoriness of Sir Robert Peel in the Bedchamber-Women's business or the deliberate, insulting niggardliness of the Tories in the vote of the prince consort's annuity-or, later, in her old age, when, under the fostering care of that Semite of genius, Lord Beaconsfield, she developed, as to persons and policy, the natural Conserva
tive prepossessions of her kingly trade. What influence has she not discreetly exercised on the external relations of her kingdom, either on account of the unparalleled experience of sixty years in the thick of the plot, or because of the unique position of the mother and grandmother of the heads of nearly all the great Western dynasties!
Certes, such a life is worthy of all honor, and even those of us who do not fancy it possible for people, when they have outgrown the anthropomorphic monarchical phasis, to turn back and to raise anew what at the best would be a Brummagem counterfeit of true royalty, cannot but look with some envy on the spontaneous, unanimous enthusiastic manifestation of loyalism Great Britain has just witnessed. However, it would be mere shallowness to rest satisfied with this personal aspect of the spectacle. After all, what people most willingly glorify is themselves. They are the true heroes of all sincerely popular feasts. So it was the other day. They have solemnized in London a kind of semi-secular retrospect. They have passed with a proud contentment the review of sixty years of change of radical, organic, thoroughgoing change-of revolution, political, social and moral, which have been also sixty years of perfect internal order, peace and prosperity. They have, above all, taken possession of a new fact; the Empire in all its greatness; and of a new feeling, Imperialism in all its intoxicating freshness.
Such has been the special originality of this Jubilee. Everywhere, among the pomp and the state of the gala functions, among the splendor of the court dresses and the military uniforms, the cynosure of all eyes has been the small group, modestly and sombrously attired in broadcloth, of the Premiers of the self-governing colonies. These men have been the lions of the season where so many lions of the first order have roared. They have been breakfasted, lunched, dined to death. They have been put to every sauce. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the French Canadian, who was their spokesman as
the prime minister of the Dominionthat is to say, of the first federation of autonomous colonies-has been put on his mettle to do honor to all the calls on his time, his strength and his eloquence.
In fact, what remains of the Jubilee, in the public mind, in the every-day preoccupations of the man in the street, is the advent of the Empire as a portent of the first order, as an immense force to be put to use, as a brand-new ideal to be gradually realized. It was natural, even legitimate between certain bounds, that the revelation of the Empire should be followed by the birth of Imperialism. It is already some time since some far-seeing, keen-smelling men have foreseen the new departure of public opinion, and have tried to get betimes a good footing on the new platform. Lord Rosebery has been one of the prophets of Imperialism. Sir Charles Dilke was, if not the discoverer, at any rate the godfather, of Greater Britain. Mr. Chamberlain, now so very far off from his salad days of radicalism and vestry politics, has, for good or evil, put his venture on board the good ship Empire. Everybody now has always been on the winning side, except the unfortunate Little-Englanders.
There is something very amusing in the strange perversion of facts with which parties or individuals try to make out they have never been shaken in the true faith. For instance, it is now accepted as gospel truth that Disraeli was the maker, if not of the Empire, at any rate of Imperialism. On the other side, the Manchester men, those doctors of a school now utterly repudiated, the Cobdens and the Brights, are reproached for their utter want of intelligence and sympathy for this great thing; they are accused of having looked with equanimity, nay, with pleasure, to a time not very far off when, by the accomplishment of a law of fate, the colonies would have conquered their independence and broken the Empire one and indivisible. pleasant manner, truly, to write history! These severe critics forget two
things; the first, that everybody-Dis- all-important subject to
Some colonial statesmen have given timely advice about this point. Mr. Reid, of the parent and model colony of New South Wales, has spoken some weighty words. It is to be sincerely hoped that they will be taken to heart by the destined leaders of a great movement, and that the dissociation of the Empire-perhaps a contingency not to be prevented, but at a very long distance-shall not be precipitated by the clumsy and self-seeking promoters of Imperial Federation. I have purposely confined my remarks thus far on this
the internal point of view. It seems to me that, if it is true, as I am quite disposed to believe, that the advent of the imperial factor is the accession of a new force and is perhaps to inaugurate a welltimed renovation of party and parliamentary politics, now in full decay and weighed down with the burden of antiquated dead questions, the first necessity is to prevent a wrong departure, and the perverted use, at home, in British policy of this new great power.
I do not mean that this upheaval of the imperial feeling has nothing to do with external politics. On the contrary I hope to show in the second part of these rapid considerations that it is possible to find there a kind of indication of the true orientation of British diplo macy, and that this new fact, so brightly put in evidence in the Jubilee feasts, so eagerly taken to heart by the public, is perfectly consonant with the most harmonious development of international relations. That is what I have now to try to point out after having taken a short account of this great historical event; the rising above the horizon in its full-orbed majesty of the British Empire and the simultaneous advent in the popular soul of the imperial feeling.
It would be rather too bad a joke to compare what is going to take place in St. Petersburg with what was done last June in London. The Neva has no mind at all to compete with the Thames. It was last year, at the crowning in Moscow, that the whole Russian people gave out the inmost feelings of their soul, and took the sacrament of loyalism. Nothing-not even one of those dreadful catastrophes which live forever in the memory of a nation-was wanting to consecrate this feast. This time it is not to be the public betrothal of a sovereign and a nation which embodies the thought and the will of one hundred and twenty millions of subjects, and of a people conscious of having but one head. Petenburg will see something of a
Cronstadt on a grander scale, a repetition of the never-to-be-forgotten days 01 the Parisian week. Truly, quite enough; first, because after all there is something heart-moving in the meeting of the representatives of two great States; and then because some things, when they are deliberately reiterated, gain a new significance and a larger import.
However, it is not my purpose to expatiate here once more on the rancoRussian friendship. Let it be sufficient for me to point out that the mere efflux of time is giving the lie to the prophets of misfortune, that years go by and that the unnatural coupling does not seem to slacken, and that, even among the upheaval and the earthshakings of an Eastern crisis, that alliance has kept solidly enough its ground. We may foresee with some degree of confidence that the personal intercourse of the heads of the two States will yet more strengthen it, and that the mob, always easy to be moved and enthused, on the banks of the Neva as well as of the Thames or the Seine, will give to the president of the French Republic a reception nearly as warm as that the czar had last year in Paris.
All that is very well, but what I want to show is how this tightening closer of the bonds of the Franco-Russian entente offers a new occasion for the drawing nearer of England. Assuredly it is not a mere fancy to find some analogy between the feelings recently ripened and brought to a head in England by the Jubilee and those Russia is accustomed to entertain. The two States are two, or rather are the two, great world-empires. While Britain has got her possessions disseminated over the whole surface of the globe, a magnificent estate on which the sun never sets, Russia, herself disproportionately distended, holds in a lump, attached to her side, her immense Siberian domain. England is queen of the seas, and has scattered down her colonies on the whole extent of the ocean. Russia is wedded to the land, continental to the core, and hems only the fringe of her garment with the
foam of billows. England is the free mother, or perhaps only the eldest-born sister, of free daughters or of equal sisters; Russia, herself held in the hollow of the hand of an all-powerful autocrat, has no liberal institutions, no selfgovernment for her most distant dependencies.
With all these differences, who does not feel the strange similarity of circumstances? Empire is fate, and England as well as Russia is more and more every day urged on, led away, carried away by the weight of dependencies. For both countries the problems of international politics are more and more stated in terms of empire. For both the great question is to live up to a great future without compromising the present or repudiating the conquests of the past. Both are struggling with this new power, Imperialism in England, Panslavism in Russia, which threatens to enslave or to embroil them. It would be foolish to close the eyes to the dangerous consequences involved in the advent of these new forces. They make undoubtedly, to some extent, for discord and war.
However, one thing is reassuring. There is no fatal antagonism, no preordained hostility between the two world-empires. On the contrary, each one of them has its appointed sphere and element. A rivalry between them would be madness. Long ago, a clearminded statesman ridiculed the very idea of a duel between the whale and the bear. In fact, there is only one ground-I do not say where such a struggle is natural, but where it is possible. India has always been looked on, either at Petersburg or at London, as the appointed theatre of a great Russo-English war. It remains to be seen if really it would be so very easy to gain access to this mountain-encircled peninsula. In any case India is, at the utmost, the possible ground; it will never become the legitimate cause of a war. There is no germ of a conflict in the possession of those three hundred millions of subjects. But then, where are, just now, these latent antagonisms, these causes of mutual suspicions,
which have so long embittered the relations of the two countries, and which yet prevent their cordial understanding?
Everybody-the first man in the street-will tell you. 'Tis all in this blessed word-not Mesopotamia-but the Eastern question. Not to go farther off, since the Crimean war there has been a settled attitude of diffidence and hostility between the two nations. What is strangest of all is that the two countries have accomplished a complete reversal of their Eastern politics, they have made a true chassé-croisé, they are now occupying each one just the position the other occupied twenty years ago, and was denounced roundly for occupying it-and yet they do not seem any the nearer a sincere reconciliation!
There was a time when the shibboleth of English diplomacy, the Alpha and Omega of wisdom and statesmanship in Eastern matters, was that old, battered formula, the integrity and the independence of the Ottoman Empire. This was the time when Russia, always on the alert, always wide awake in order to fall upon Turkey, favored by all means, foul and fair, the progress of the dismemberment of the Empire, promoted the formation and the emancipation of new vassal States, and looked fixedly on the dome of St. Sophia as on the landmark of her forward march. To-day we see England indignant because Lord Salisbury has not gone out alone to war with Turkey, and because he makes to the other powers, in the first rank of which is Russia, the sacrifice of postponing the liquidation of the estate of the Sick Man. Russia, who has made at Bucharest, Belgrade, Sofia, Athens too, the experiment of that freedom of heart which is the only form of thankfulness practised between nations, is become the guardian, the friend, perhaps the residuary legatee, of the Padishah. So it has come to pass that in this queer exchange of policies, the two governments have literally taken one
the place of the other, and, none the less, they continue to look on each other with a supreme, incurable diffidence.
Such a misunderstanding is not to remain forever, even if the present healthy habit of working in some kind of concert does not make away in the long run with such prepossessions. It is impossible for right-minded people to keep things upside down forever. After all, England has no sufficient reason to suspect Russia because Russia is gradually coming to something like the point of view of England ten years ago, and vice versa. And what is more, both countries, if you look under the surface, are not so very distant the one from the other. Granted that England feels herself more or less coerced by her conscience to try to hasten the liberation of the Christian nationalities in Turkey, she does not at all want the immediate disruption of the Ottoman Empire with all it involves. Suppose Russia as very much wedded as you can fancy to the new method of guardianship and supremacy in Turkey; you are not authorized to impute to her the wicked resolution to prevent the gradual emancipation of the vassal races in the East.
In fact, when you look to the results of a half century of history, what do you see? That famous conversation between the Czar Nicolas and Sir Hamilton Seymour is almost completely realized by events. We could easily fancy the Crimean war a figment of Mr. Kinglake. It has not changed an iota in the state of the world-I mean of the Eastern world. If the allied armies had not fought and bled and suffered the horrors of the great winter before Sebastopol, things would be exactly the same-except for the unhappy victims who fell on the battlefields of the Crimea with the proud illusion that they kept back the grandsons of Peter the Great on their way to the Bosphorus! Such a lesson must be taken to heart. What a warning, too, in the memory of 1877, when Lord Beaconsfield was nearly letting loose a great war in order to maintain the in