Puslapio vaizdai

hour-glass at the lord mayor's elbow to limit it.

There are other treasures of which they are proud as well, and these the town clerk guards more carefully in his vaults than did the warders lately the jewels in Dublin Castle. Here, for instance, is the original charter of the city, which the clerk displays with a fine civic pride. It is a little bit of parchment not larger than a man's hand, and on it there is written in the kind of Latin clerks used in England eight hundred years ago the concession to the inhabitants of the city of Dublin of the same liberties that were then enjoyed by the king's subjects in the city of Bristol, and depending from it on a plaited leather thong is the seal of Henry II, the wax of which has been hardening since 1171. Whatever rights those curious old characters and abbreviations record and testify were confirmed in the many succeeding charters that were necessary, since kings broke their word often; and of these the most interesting is the one granted by Elizabeth, a large and noble document illuminated in colors which the long sweep of time has hardly dimmed, and from this there hangs a silken cord and tassel which her Majesty was graciously pleased to take a moment in her royal hand in token of her assent to the document's provisions. The clerk will let you hold the great tassel a moment in your own hand if perchance you are subject to thrills and sensations to be derived from such possession.


BUT the rights and privileges all these charters attested were no more real than the pinchbeck and tarnished muniments and ceremonies with which they were long ago bestowed, and Dublin to-day has such feeble municipal powers-not as many, indeed, as an American city-that even her granting of the freedom of the city bestows no real liberty. Yet it is a high honor, and the roll of those who were considered worthy of it is another of the town's precious possessions, and much more interesting than most autographalbums. There are not many names in it, and of these only two are Americans. One is that of General Grant, whose bold, familiar signature adorns the head of a page, and the other is an autograph

of such trembling and nervous characters that it is difficult to decipher, and then presently you make it out as that of a man who ruled the first of the cities of his adopted country so long that doubtless he knew how to value the honor that was done him when the freedom of the metropolis of his native land was conferred on Richard Croker. The honor was bestowed, I believe, in recognition of his services to the Irish cause in raising a large fund for the home rule propaganda, and it must have had its own meaning and significance to one who long before had left his sad native isle as an emigrant, and had then returned after many years to receive such distinction from the first city and the first citizen of Ireland.

It is an honor indeed that for a while was refused to the most distinguished, the most beloved, the most successful, and in a way the most tragic of Ireland's leaders, and the story of that refusal is the keynote to all of Dublin's government and to the politics which in that city, as do national politics in ours, prevent the realization of complete efficiency.


THERE is of course only one public question in Ireland, and that is home rule. Every other matter waits on that, every other question hinges on that; it is as insistent as the "wet-and-dry" issue in the politics of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and, like that, short-circuits every other reform. Not only that, but it complicates English politics, and ever since Isaac Butts was worried into his grave, and the leadership of the Irish national party passed into the hands of Parnell, the policy of parliamentary obstruction which he instituted has imperatively put aside all other issues. It has tumbled out of power Conservative and Liberal ministers; Gladstone, Salisbury, and Asquith have bowed. to its imperious authority, and in sheer despair of ever being free to deal with other problems England has resolved, or seems to have resolved, to let Ireland go, that she herself may be released from the obdurate thraldom of a perplexity that will not give her peace.

This work came from Parnell's hands,

and it is not strange, therefore, that no man, perhaps not even the great O'Connell himself, was ever loved more rapturously in Ireland than was Parnell in his lifetime. His visits to that island were like the progresses of a royal prince, his grave in Glasnevin, with its simple cross, Protestant though he was, is always covered with flowers, and visited as often as the grave of the great liberator, whose cenotaph is raised high above it, and they will point you out old women in Ireland who marched out of church that morning on which Parnell, after the tragedy to which his romance lured him, was denounced from the altar.

It was at that turbulent time, now thirty-three years ago, when the Irish question once more arose in its most exacerbated and bitter form to menace the government Gladstone had only formed. Michael Davitt had organized the Land League, and, with Parnell's recognition of the agrarian agitation it undertook, the Irish were united. Evictions, boycotts, misery, and distress were rampant; there were all sorts of intimidations and outrages. Parnell had just returned from a tour of the United States, and with welldisciplined forces and a full war-chest, when the general elections came on, he went in person to Ireland to direct the campaign. John Dillon went with him, and at Cork they had been tendered the freedom of the city. The Nationalists of Dublin, to which city they were on their way, determined to honor them with a similar, though more significant, dignity.


ceptional laws that had oppressed them, he had declared that the two parties should alternately be represented in the office of lord mayor, a Nationalist to serve for a year, and a Unionist to serve for a year. His authority was such that he impressed this pressed this precedent on precedent on the city as though it were a veritable law, and down all the years for nearly half a century this custom prevailed, and this graceful forbearance was shown by a party that was always in control of majorities.

THE Lord Mayor of Dublin, at that time Mr., now Sir, George Moyers, was a Unionist, and that a man of his faith and politics could hold the chief elective position in a strongly Nationalist capital was due to the tolerance of Daniel O'Connell himself, who years before, just after Catholic emancipation, had worn the robes and gold chains of that office. He was the first reform lord mayor, as they say in Dublin, having been elected in 1841 under the Reformed Corporations Act, and no less in wisdom than in generosity after his great victory in freeing his countrymen and his coreligionists from the ex

It was late in October, 1881, then, that Parnell and Mr. Dillon were coming up from Cork; there was little time for preparation, and, indeed, none, it was thought, was needed. A requisition, according to law, was sent to the lord mayor to summon a special meeting of the council for the purpose of conferring the honorary freedom of the city on the two leaders; but in a letter addressed to the town clerk on the twenty-fourth of October the lord mayor astounded the Nationalists by "regretting" that he "could not comply with the requisition, as he had a serious duty imposed on him in those grave times of political excitement, and that as chief magistrate of the city he wished to avoid interference with the acts of the Government, upon whose shoulders the responsibility for the government of the country rested." Then the Nationalists, under some provision of law, called a special meeting of the council for the next day, when it was moved by Councilor Edward Dwyer Gray, M.P., and seconded by Alderman Meagher, "That the honorary freedom of the city be conferred upon Charles Stewart Parnell, M.P., and John Dillon, M.P."

The question was put, and a division taken, when by the strange misadventure of the absence of Nationalist members there appeared twenty-three votes for the motion, and twenty-three against.

Then Lord Mayor Moyers, elected, according to the old rule of O'Connell, by Nationalist votes, completed his offense by giving his casting-vote against the motion, and declared it lost, and Parnell and Dillon, coming up to the capital of the nation of which they were the leaders, were humiliated by the refusal to show them the finest honor an Irishman knows.

The action of the lord mayor aroused all the anger of those angry times, and the

feeling among the Nationalists in the city outside the council was as intense as that within the corporation. They called another special meeting of the council to consider a similar motion, this time with their forces all alined; but no sooner had the town clerk read the requisition than Councilor McEvoy, J.P., a technical spirit whose counterpart is to be found in all human councils, made formal objection to the manner in which the meeting had been convened. The notice had not been served on the town clerk in time, it was not signed properly, not dated, etc., and the lord mayor, sustaining the objection, the effort was abortive.

There were eight centuries of Irish wrath in the determination with which the Nationalists now set about the accomplishment of their purpose. Another special meeting was convened for the third of January, 1882. This time there were formal and strenuous objections from a Mr. Henry Edwards, "Freeman of the City," and Councilor McEvoy, dying in the last ditch, reiterated his former opposition, employing all the finesse of parliamentary obstruction. But one by one these outposts were taken, and a famous debate raged on the motion of Councilor Sullivan, M.P. (seconded by Alderman Meagher), that "the honorary freedom of the city be conferred upon Charles Stewart Parnell, M.P., and John Dillon, M.P., and that they be elected and admitted honorary burgesses of the Borough of Dublin, pursuant to the provisions of the municipal privileges of Ireland, Act of 1875."

Among the several amendments moved by the opposition, one most vividly recalls the issues of those times: "That inasmuch as the effect of now conferring the honour of the freedom of the city upon Messrs. Parnell and Dillon, avowed signatories of the No-Rent Manifesto, would be to stamp their action in that respect with the approval of the council, the further consideration of the motion be adjourned to this day six months." It was the crucial test. A division was taken on this amendment; yeas twenty-three, nays twenty-nine. Whereupon, as the record read, the amendment was negatived, and the original motion was put, and on a division there appeared for the motion twenty-nine, twenty-two against.

Thus the day was carried, and at last Parnell and Dillon had their honors; but, alas! by the never-failing irony of life, the two gentlemen upon whom the freedom of the city had just been conferred were at that very moment in Kilmainham jail!

Thus, where Unionist Lord Mayor Moyers, freeman of the city Edwards, and objector McEvoy were powerless, the fates themselves must intervene, and to contend against them the resources of the parliamentary art were drawn upon by Councilor Mayne, who, seconded by Councilor Gill, M.P., moved that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to Messrs. Parnell and Dillon, and that another copy be forwarded to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and he be “respectfully" requested to allow the gentlemen to attend at the city hall and sign the roll of honorary freemen of the city. But his Excellency was obdurate, and the two distinguished members of Parliament. remained in Kilmainham jail, their freedom of the city entirely honorary. Their day, however, came at last, for finally, on August 16, 1882, the Irish leaders having been released, a special meeting of the council was convened to give effect to the resolution, and Parnell and Dillon attended, were "received in state by the Right Honorable the Lord Mayor and the Corporation of Dublin," so reads the record, and having signed the roll, the new lord mayor, the Right Honorable Charles Dawson, M.P., presented to each of them a casket containing a certificate of the freedom that had now become more than honorary.

And he performed the ceremony with a joy and satisfaction, no doubt, in the new significance worn by the old event, for he was a Nationalist, and his party in the council and in the city had its revenge. The Nationalists determined to set aside the old precedent of O'Connell, and resolved that never again should a Unionist be elected Lord Mayor of Dublin until Ireland had home rule. From that day to this the mansion house has been occupied by an unbroken succession of Nationalists.


WHEN one waits upon the Lord Mayor of Dublin, one goes, of course, to the mansion house, a stately old building in

Dawson Street, and there, after waiting a bit in the somber hall, with suits of armor on its dark walls, and bristling trophies of spears and pikes, which for all I know may have been flourished in '98, though probably they were borne in Irish wars long before that time, one is shown into the long drawing-room, and presently the lord mayor enters, with the bars of a curious gold chain showing between the lapels of his frock-coat, the insignia of his office for every-day wear, and not comparable to that massive chain which adorns his Worship on state occasions, when he dons his formal robes. The neodemocratic spirit which pervades all the British Isles in these days has affected the mayors, and they all smile when their robes are mentioned; but they all have their portraits done in oil, in full regalia, to leave in their mansion houses behind them, and the great banquet-hall of the mansion house in Dublin bears its long record of these vanished glories, as the hall of state all round the gallery is hung with the coats of arms of the fifty-eight lord mayors since O'Connell's time. It is a part of the honor it has ever been deemed to be mayor of a city in the British Isles, and it has been an expensive honor always, for mayors are paid no salaries, and robes and chains and oilpaintings cost money, to say nothing of the banquets and the great burden of public entertainment.

In general my lord mayor is paid no salary, and the honor must suffice, and so the position has been reserved as a perquisite and privilege of the very rich. However, in Great Britain and Ireland there is just now a movement, or at least a discussion, and we have grown used to calling discussions "movements" in this country, to pay the lord mayors, so that the community may enjoy the services of the poor, or the poor may enjoy the distinctions of the community, as one by prejudice or principle cares to view it. Most of the British cities give their mayors no salary, while in others grants, or "allowances," are made to enable them to support the dignity of the position. The general condition, however, is such that it is quite out of the question for any one in the realm to become a mayor in England or Ireland or a provost in Scotland unless he is a wealthy man.

That is, the working-man, and most men of the middle class, and even women, since they are eligible to the mayoral seat, and several of them have served in that capacity in English towns, are debarred from the post. The style they are obliged to support, the functions and ceremonies of state, dinners, and balls, and the proud privilege of heading the subscription-lists of distinguished charities, all entail a lordly expenditure.

The British labor organizations have long been agitating for a reform in this practice, but they have not made much headway against the old and stubborn precedent. The Lord Mayor of London is paid, to be sure, £10,000 a year, but that sum is not sufficient to pay the fifth of his expenses, and the succession to that place is determined by so many aristocratic qualifications that no poor man ever imagines himself as aspiring to it. The Lord Mayor of Liverpool is allowed £2000 a year, and the corporation grants him in addition £800 annually for his horses and carriages. Bristol grants its mayor a thousand guineas each year, and the allowance of the Lord Provost of Edinburgh is £1000, and last year when the king and queen visited Cardiff, the corporation of the Welsh city voted the lord mayor £3000 to enable him to emerge from the social exigency without embarrassment.

Dublin allowed its lord mayor £3600 a year. The mansion house in Dawson Street has two acres of floor space, with halls of state and ball-rooms and picturegalleries, and the lighting and heatingsuch as the heating is-alone cost more than £500 a year, while there is the little item of £500 for the annual banquet. Dublin, old aristocratic town that it is, began to feel the impulse of the modern spirit, and though it had always been its boast that industry had never contaminated its scholarly atmosphere or disturbed its aristocratic calm, it even had a labor movement. The Socialists, I believe, had no foothold there, but only a few years ago the workers of the city did succeed in returning a sufficient number of their direct representatives to the council to enable them to elect the lord mayor, and they chose Alderman John J. Farrell to the place. The choice brought out a curious phase of human nature.


Now, the worthy alderman kept a newsagent's and tobacconist's shop in Talbot Street, and he was poor, and the moment he was elevated to the post of lord mayor, there occurred a phenomenon not without its precedent and counterpart in the history of the world. His late colleagues of the labor party, acting in accordance with a law of human nature, at once proposed to reduce the emoluments of his estate, and his political enemies gladly joining them, his official allowance was reduced from £3600 a year to £1600 a year.

The action was soothing to the class consciousness of his comrades, of course, and as no one is so fond of a joke as the Irish, it gratified his opponents; but my Lord Mayor Farrell was a sensible and practical sort of chap, and it would seem not without his own sense of humor and his due share of Irish wit. He closed the noble banquet-hall and all those vast and ancient apartments in the mansion house, the annual banquet was omitted, and instead of driving forth in the state coach, he appeared in a modest private carriage. But that was not all. There was a custom of ancient standing and high honor in Dublin, one which the radical labor alderman did not abolish, and that was the aldermanic levee at the mansion house, where every morning whisky and cigars were served by the lord mayor. But in this administration, when an alderman called at the mansion house, the hospitality was of the sort that suggests plain living and high thinking; the butler did not bear forth the stimulating tray of hospitality, and the doors of the long drawingroom were folded close. But this was an incident, one of those absurdities that will always mark the government of men as long as they are human and little.

The present Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Right Honorable Lorcan G. Sherlock, LL.D., though, like all mayors, he has to deal with human nature in every phase of its whimsical exasperations, has not had to encounter many such official expressions of its caprice as this. With him the position is not merely an empty and anachronous dignity; he approaches its duties in a spirit which we call the American spirit, by which of course, in our curious self

sufficiency, we mean to imply a certain brisk efficiency. But on the second thought which may serve the writer, as it may not always serve the speaker, I am not sure enough of the fact to say just that; we have the briskness, as we have the busy air, -the Emperor Domitian was busy catching flies,-but in city government we have not yet the efficiency. We lack that for many reasons, some of which inhere in our character as a people, others in what we call politics in the condition to which we have reduced it; but we have it not, and cannot have it for the reason principally that our cities are not autonomous, ruled as they are by rural majorities in state legislature and political bosses in league with public-service corporations. That is, our cities are not democracies, and Lord Mayor Sherlock, like many American mayors, is of the democratic school of political thought. Dublin, indeed, is like an American city in that it is not permitted to rule itself, as are the Scotch cities, for instance, or the English cities, or the German cities, and Dr. Sherlock is like our American mayors, or like some American mayors, in that he is struggling to improve his city against the obstacles of autocracy. He has brought to the office the long experience he gained as an alderman, and, besides, he was secretary to Timothy Harrington when that gentleman was lord mayor.


IN the mere outward form of its government Dublin resembles British cities generally. The city is divided into twenty wards, and each ward elects an alderman and three councilors, and the lord mayor is chosen from the aldermen for the period of a year. But, in contrast to the British cities, or even to some of our American cities, Dublin has the feeblest municipal powers. The city maintains its fire brigade, its technical schools, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, the splendid gallery of modern art, and controls the public markets. The lord mayor holds a petty court where creditors may sue their poor debtors, and he and certain of the aldermen constitute the Port and Docks Board. But, saving the power to do certain public works, this is nearly all. In most of the cities of Scotland and England, and

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