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finely practised, may do to supplement another, there must still be things it cannot do. Surely no one who has at all studied the complex ways in which we get the kind of experience on which much of our moral and other apprehensiveness is founded will think speculations of this kind wire-drawn. I should myself fancy that if there were anything pragmatical (to use a rough-and-ready word just as it occurs to me) in a man's nature, it would be rather aggravated by such a calamity as blindness,—supposing the nature to be, like Mr. Fawcett's, one of great resisting power in other respects. But any feeling of regret at this would be lost in the admiration created by the gallant stand made by a high-strung nature against such a great misfortune,

It would no doubt be a crude thing to say that Intellectual Radicalism of the old school is played out. The Cobden Club would certainly maintain that never were the principles of Cobden so widely influential as they are now : and in the person of Mr. Fawcett we have an Intellectual Radical of the old tradition, who has made his power felt in the House of Commons, and who could, in case of need, make an appeal to the country at large which would be listened to. But for all that, it is the fact that watchwords of Mr. Fawcett's school are not the things to conjure by that they once were. In the debates, and still more in the close quarters of the Select Committees, you can plainly discern how loosely the old harness sits on the Liberal mind. Some of us can see now, and many more will in a few Fears see all the grotesqueness of the kind of comment which has lately been applied to Mr. Bright. Take a short specimen from an article which appeared in the Economist last November :

"Everybody will feel the liveliest satisfaction that one of our greatest orators, most imaginative political thinkers, and at bottom, we firmly believe, most sensible public men, should be able to return to his place in parliament. Mr. Bright is, with all his reputation for passion and vehemence of speech, a thoroughly sober, and, in a certain sense, even conservative politician..

His presence in parliament, and his presence as an independent member, will do more than anything else to moderate that irritability of desire for change which has attacked some of the younger members of the party, and has gained a certain influence also amongst the people. If any single man can check the premature and eccentric attacks on the constitution which have lately sprung into fashion, Mr. Bright is the man. Besides this, he has gained all his influence by his thorough-going Radicalism. ... [Yet] we may be sure that, on the whole, [his] authority will be used on the side of moderation. The great 'tribune of the people,' as he used to be called, has mellowed in later life into a statesman who, though he has not deserted one of his old principles, has gained the reputation of standing on the ancient ways in his mode of supporting them.”


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One can scarcely go wrong in assigning the authorship of these sentences ; they seem to be from the pen of one of our ablest and most accomplished politico-literary men; and they have a sort of truth, they have even a sort of much truth in them. But that state of mind in the people and in Parliament to which they point is a very odd one. There is something very “Conservative” about Mr. Bright, and its roots are in his morale, quite outside of his political beliefs. Still for all that, principles were made to be used, and if they lead naturally up to “eccentric attacks upon the Constitution,” so much the worse for the Constitution. That is what Intellectual Radicalism personified would have to say about the matter. As a question of expediency, I should myself very strongly condemn such “eccentric attacks," especially when made from an economic point of view; being profoundly certain that a nominally "pure” and rigidly economical system of public expenditure would be a nest of unclean birds, a centre of abomination. If you refuse to permit liberal constructions and a good deal of winking in practice, you may make up your mind to part even with common honesty ; for that virtue will not dwell within hail of economic purity of the sort that Intellectual Radicalism loves. It would be a happy thing for England—and her colonies, if the many wise words which have been written on these matters by Mr. Helps bad much chance of being considered.

Deferring to another paper some sentences upon some of the final causes of the confusion into which the Liberal cause is just now thrown, I pass on to say a word or two about Mrs. Fawcett. She

Ι has not yet taken the oaths and her seat, but really it is hardly possible to think of her except as an absentee member of the House. The forms which her political energy and ability have taken happen to suggest things which lie near to the roots of some of our confusions just now. Take the question of giving women votes. at once confronted by a dilemma that remits us to the certain but forgotten truth that Government means force. To the citizen at home it means, and means only, If you do so-and-so, or omit to do so-and-so, we will fine, flog, hang, or imprison you. To the foreigner, it means, you do so-and-so, or omit doing so-and-so, we will deal with you by means of torpedoes, mitrailleuses, and rifled cannon. No doubt the hope of Humanity is that we may all some day form a sort of genial committee of general welfare ; and we may use government as an organising power for certain non-aggressive ends; but always the government element is obviously one of force. The Post Office is a Government institution ; but it is supported in its position by penalties which imply force in the background. Now suppose in a community consisting of eleven thousand women and nine thousand men the eleven thousand women out-voted the men in favour of going to war, how are the nine thousand men to be compelled to fight? I rather think the collective manhood of that community would say to

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its collective womanhood, “ Vote away, my dear, but I shall not fight; and if you are too troublesome, I shall carry you up to bed and turn the key on you.” Again : it is easily made out (and no one more firmly holds it than I do) that the rights of human beingsmen, women, and children—are equal ; but how does it follow that babies should have votes? The principle of indirect representation stands admitted till they do have them. Besides, there may be a great many open questions concerning representative government itself, which forbid our treating the right to vote as an essential part of political equality. Again : we should all be equal in the eye of the law; but it does not follow that the way to carry this out is to give a woman every right that a man has, in money matters or in others. Suppose (I am thinking of a passage in Blackstone) it was the common law of England that a man might beat his wife with a stick no stouter than his thumb, would it follow that women should immediately be invested, by statute, with a similar right, or would it not rather be said that it was desirable to prevent beating on both sides ? I am of opinion that, so long as the bases or first assumptions of certain laws of ours remain what they are, to give women equal rights” in every case with those of men, would lead to most flagrant injustice as against the latter. These are, of course, only the roughest hints of what is suggested to me by the turn things are threatening to take in these days of intellectual mob-law, and flogged-up factitious public opinion. But I do not profess to have thought these matters out fully in their new aspects; and I am dead beaten when I find that the same type of Radical will support compulsory secrecy of voting applied to all for the “protection” of a certain number, and then go and oppose the Payment of Wages Bill. It is an inhuman idea ; but I should almost have liked to see Mr. Bright forced to come up to the House and vote in every grave division of the last two sessions. It would have been a real pleasure to see him “stand upon the ancient ways," and, laying his hand on his heart, vote away upon certain very modern questions. We shall never quite forgive him for being so unwell just when we wanted to put him through his paces—as a Conservative member,


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P.S. Since the foregoing was in type, I have read the following in the newspapers :-“THE COBDEN CLUB.—The Committee of the Cobden Club have decided that, in the presence of the grave events connected with free trade on the continent of Europe and in the United States, it is advisable that an International Conference on the subject should be held in London in the early part of next year, and that in consequence the usual dinner should be deferred for the present." I am glad to find the Cobden Club has the grace to put off a dinner in the presence of these “ grave events.”

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Kismet, my Rose! Revenge is sweet,

And yet old memories quiver ; You shan't be trodden in the street, I'll drop you in the River.



ST. STAVEN'S, APRIL 1ST, 18—. Ir was Father O'Swill, at the instigashun of the Divil himself, an' no other for it's an infernal shcrape I'm in threw his interfairencegot me to this place, an' I only wish I was well out ov it, with me head on me shoulders an' me money in me pockets, an' no conshtituents to the fore whin I go back to me native land. Sorra a day is it but I get a letther askin for assisthance, or a free order on Molly Geoghegan-which, by the powers, I'd like to see the "bearer" presint till her at the bar in Rashkillen !

I say it was Father O'Swill, may the d-, -I mane may the saints-axin their pardon for me shlip ov the tongue-confound him, that took hould ov me an' compelled me to stand for Parliment for the anshunt borra ov Rashkillen, in the County Slayo; by the same token the place where, whin Sir David McSwaney was standhin agen Captain Tranter, the English agent ov the Molloy esthates, the bhoys, havin adjourned the elecshun by carryin away the hustins an' drownin the offishuls in the black pool o' Slomore, there was what they called a parlimintary inquiry. I remimber the thing well, for though I was only sixteen years ov age, I followed the crowd that did it, and saw the whole ov the prosadings at a disthance, though I regret to say I wasn't able to identhify any of the perpethraitors. Iver since that time till the last elecshun, by the blessin ov God an' the faithful oversight ov Father O'Swill, we've had quiet elecshuns, seein nobody venthured to stan but his nominee.

As bad luck would have it, immejitly afther Parliment met, our mimber, The O'Swagger-pace be to his sowl-died from natheral causes; his horse havin taken a ditch, an' a hedge, an' a nice bit ov stone wall, but findin a hape of stones beyant that agen, was unable to surmount all the obstacles, an' knocked O'Swagger's head with the little brains he had in it, poor fellow, into worse than smithereens. O'Swagger was a Home Ruler, an' regularly voted with siven other pathriots for the Repale ov the Union, an' a Parliment at College Green. He also took an active part in the Pope's brigade, which, Father O'Swill says, is the only Christhian body in the Houses ov Parliment but I doubt if iver he has seen them on the spot. No sooner was poor O'Swagger undher the sod than the Rashkillenites began to quarrel over his grave-worse luck to me.



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