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guides and the examples of their fellows, have displayed a pure and unselfish desire to promote the moral and material prosperity of the vast population amidst which their life has been spent; and that the world has seen few instances of purer and holier work than that which such men as Outram, as Sleeman, as the Lawrences, and a score of others have done in India in the present century.
The rule of the Company, as a whole, was both great and good; and, with all its shortcomings and all its faults, it deserved the commendation bestowed on the faithful steward in the parable. This result has been quite as much due to the capacity and conduct of the officers trained in the Company's service as to the men who have presided as Governors-General over the empire. With the exception, indeed, of Wellesley and Dalhousie, no Governor-General during the present century has impressed his personality on the history of India; and Dalhousie is not merely the last of the great Governors, he has probably made it impossible for the future to produce a greater GovernorGeneral.
'If, however, India is not, consequently, likely to produce in the future either a Wellesley or a Dalhousie, its future rulers may display qualities less brilliant and less dangerous, but at least as beneficial to the mighty province over which they are called on to preside. The men whom England has lately sent to govern India have, with few exceptions, displayed a deep and religious sense of the vast trust committed to them. They have laboured to promote the moral and material progress of the country; to elevate the masses; to fit them, in a constantly increasing extent, to discharge the higher duties of citizenship; and to entrust the best of the Indians with a larger share in the administrative and judicial duties of their country. To preserve peace, to maintain order, to promote justice-these are the arts of modern government, and by these arts, and not by conquests and wars, is the empire which the Company won to be preserved.
'If Dalhousie was the last, and in some respects the greatest of the old type of Governors, Canning was one of the first and one of the greatest of the new class of rulers. That he had defects in his character, and that his defects were attended with serious consequences, it would be absurd to deny. A Clive or a Wellesley, or even a Hastings or a Hardinge, would possibly have stamped out rebellion more rapidly, or confined a revolt within narrower limits. But neither Clive nor Wellesley, neither Hastings nor Hardinge, would have furnished subject India with so grand an example of the nobler features of the British character. The man who maintained his equanimity amidst panic, whose courage never quailed amidst disaster; who, conscious of his own virtue, moved calm amidst obloquy; who, amidst rage and tumult, in the hour of severity never forgot to be just, was a ruler worthy of the great country whose honour, in the hour of her supreme peril, was entrusted to his keeping.' (Vol. v. pp. 429-432.)
As the work proceeds we are more and more struck by the immense range of subjects which fall within it, for a history of England in the nineteenth century becomes of necessity a
history of the British Empire and of a great part of the world. It is at once a narrative of the past and a prospective survey of the future. Colonial history alone, and indeed the history of each British colonial establishment in various parts of the globe, would require volumes to do justice to the record. Mr. Walpole is compelled to confine to one of his concluding chapters a rapid survey of this prodigious theme; but he has pointed out in general terms the causes which led to the great outpouring of the British race to the continents of America, South Africa, and Australia, in the present age, beginning with a scanty emigration of some 5,000 labourers to the Cape in 1819, and rising to millions before the present time. At the beginning of this century the United States contained about 5,300,000, and Canada less than 500,000 inhabitants. In 1880 the United States contained more than 50,000,000, and British North America 4,500,000 people; and the vast region of Australia looms like the planet Jupiter in the imperial system, awaiting in the fulness of time the growth of future generations. The abolition of the close mercantile system, which treated the colonies as the satellites of the mother country, the establishment of free local institutions, and, above all, the facilities of cheap and rapid intercourse, have all conduced to these astonishing results, which will have a permanent effect, not only on the welfare of England but on the condition of the world, since at their present rate of progress the Englishspeaking race will soon far outnumber all the other civilised people of the globe. One cannot without anxiety take this. glance into the future; for if British institutions and British enterprise have led to this resuit, it imposes on those who have any influence on the policy and manners of this country an incalculable responsibility. The metropolis will continue to be the centre of social life and culture, even to independent States and nations; and the true part and duty of England is to retain and uphold the high standard of religious faith, of moral integrity, of intellectual activity, of truth and legality, which alone entitle her to serve as a beacon and a guide to the offspring of these islands.
We cordially concur in the concluding words of Mr. Walpole's preface, where he says:—
'When England is preparing to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of her Sovereign's accession to the throne, it may serve some useful purpose to dwell on the social condition of her people at the commencement of the present reign. Those who will contrast the account which the author has endeavoured to give of the England of that time with
VOL. CXLIV. NO. CCCXXXVI.
their knowledge of the England of to-day, will perhaps share the author's conclusion that the true monument of the present reign is not to be found in its military successes, its colonial developement, or even in its industrial achievements, but in the moral and material progress which the people have almost constantly made.'
And we are persuaded that the cordial efforts of all classes and the tendency of all our institutions to promote the welfare of the people is the cause of the exemption which this country has enjoyed from the political convulsions, contests, and changes which have affected some of the other nations of the world.
ART. VIII.-Letters and Despatches of Horatio Viscount Nelson, K.B. Selected and arranged by JOHN KNOX LAUGHTON, M.A. London: 1886.
F Southey's Life of Nelson were as satisfactory as it is popular, there would be less room for a book such as Mr. Laughton's. But Southey fails in many respects to give us the full picture of Lord Nelson's acts and character which he is commonly supposed to have done. His materials -chiefly the Lives of Charnock, Harrison, T. O. Churchill, and Clarke and M'Arthur-in no way approach the completeness of those now at our disposal. But the contempt and disparagement which he pours upon all these writers would alone suffice to shake our faith in any structure built upon them. Southey had difficulties of his own to contend with. The narrator of a sea story who walked among sea terms 'as carefully as a cat does among crockery' was at a terrible disadvantage. His undoubted genius could not supply the place of knowledge, which was not great enough or close enough to enable him to discriminate in the choice of his materials. Nor could he, for the same reasons, give proportionate weight to the sentiments of the man, and the admiral; nor to the circumstances which dominated Nelson's thoughts, or which his thoughts modified. He was entirely unable, from his position and antecedents, to separate that which was naval and general from that which was Nelsonian and particular. In more than one instance he has given us traits as peculiar to Lord Nelson which were simply part of his naval training, and were to be found not only in most naval men of his day, but still exist as part of the naval character. Thus his picture could not fail to be somewhat incomplete and possibly sometimes misleading.
Southey never seemed to grasp the main points of Nelson's tactical aims, but he is not to be so much found fault with on this account, as men at the admiral's elbow did the same; and others with full information have followed suit. Yet, as we shall see, these main points were always alike, and always so direct and simple that it is perversion of thought to surround them with a halo as though they were the outcome of profound intellectual effort. Southey has made little attempt-perhaps it was beyond him--to analyse the character of the great admiral in such a way as to show where the chief elements of his power lay. In his view there was such solidity, profundity, and rigidity about the character of Nelson that a lapse-or what Southey chose to think a lapse-was a complete break in the continuity. It was like a fault in geological stratification. The natural character was left where the fault showed itself, and it was taken up again, perhaps at a much lower level, after the unaccounted for depression. The freak of nature which broke the continuity had done its work, and nothing could ever bring those harmonious laminæ into connexion again. In a word, our impression is that Southey was not in sympathy with the subject of his biography. He wrote in formal sentences, cold and precise in structure, when had he been in any way stirred there would have been less formality and more warmth. No doubt he tells the story of a great sea officer, but hardly the story of the affec'tionate, fascinating little fellow, with a shock head, and the same honest, simple manners'† in the days of his greatness as before its dawn. Yet this was the light in which some of those who were most intimate with him held him in their regard.
In illustration of what has been said as to the lack of sympathy, we need only refer to the time-worn story of Caracciolo. It would, we think, have been impossible for a man in real sympathy with Nelson to have written as Southey did, impugning his motives on this occasion. 'Doubtless,' writes Southey, the British admiral seemed 'to himself to be acting under a rigid sense of justice; but 'to all other persons it was obvious that he was influenced by an infatuated attachment-a baneful passion which destroyed his domestic happiness, and now, in a second instance, stained ineffaceably his public character.' There is no reason to believe that such an idea as this would ever
* Rev. A. J. Scott.
† Lady Minto.
have gained a place in the public mind had Southey not put it there. Even Miss Williams does not go so far, and only finds fault with Lady Hamilton on the question of good taste. The treatment that Caracciolo met with at the hands of Nelson was entirely to be calculated on. A writer in the Westminster Review,' in the course of a notice of the Letters and Despatches,' struck the key-note of the whole matter, and rendered further discussion redundant when he pointed to Nelson's letter to Sir John Jervis, of July 9, 1797, which will be found at page 125 of Mr. Laughton's book. Sir John Jervis, in the face of strong remonstrance from his second in command, Vice-Admiral Thompson, ordered the execution on Sunday morning of certain mutineers sentenced to death the night before. Nelson thereupon wrote that he very much approved of' the action of his chief. And to Sir R. Calder he said, 'I am sorry that you should have to differ with Vice-Admiral Thompson, but had it been Christmas Day instead of Sunday 'I would have executed them.' Caracciolo was, in Nelson's eyes, a mutineer and a rebel taken red-handed. What had the English admiral ever said or done to lead to the belief that he would soften towards such a criminal? Rebellion and mutiny were to Nelson as the deadly sin. He who had committed it could only expect to be swept off the face of the earth in an instant when he came before the admiral's judgement seat. Later writers-and notably the author of 'Paradoxes and Puzzles '-have shown that there could not be a more mistaken idea than to make Lady Hamilton the relentless virago, and Lord Nelson the easily moved and softhearted judge. Lady Hamilton would have been on the merciful side had she been consulted; and Southey admits as much when he accepts Clarke and M'Arthur's statement that Caracciolo himself suggested the probability. But Southey insinuates the contrary view when, following his authority, he allows that no personal appeal was made to her. She was not to be seen,' he says, 6 on this occa'sion.' Of course she was not to be seen. Southey had himself given the reason, and a full answer to all his charges a few sentences back. 'Sir William and Lady Hamilton were in the ship; but Nelson, it is affirmed, saw no one except his own officers during the tragedy which ensued.' Lady Hamilton was not to be seen because these were public and official transactions with which she could not, by the customs of his Majesty's fleet, be in any way mixed up. In the whole of this narrative, Southey, in his want of