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years, and 1915 will see the end of that period.

The Liberals have lost steadily in all recent by-elections, and if this may be taken as indicating a waning popularity, although the by-elections are not at all a sure forecast of what might happen in a general election, the Liberals, even if returned to power in 1915, might not be able to muster a sufficient majority to insure a reversal of the vote of the upper chamber. Should the Unionists triumph in 1915, they will find themselves in an awkward predicament, for to repeal an Irish home-rule bill will be almost as difficult as it was to secure the original enactment. From any point of view the Irish question is most serious and full of pitfalls for wary politicians, to say nothing of the gravity with which it must be regarded by every British citizen concerned as to the future of his country.

The cause of Ireland is a compelling brief. A conquered country to begin with, a country and a people bled to death by English tax-gatherers and non-resident landlords in the past, the list of grievances is appalling. In this case the sins of the English fathers are visited upon their sons, for within three generations one billion five hundred million dollars of Irish money has been spent in England over and above the amount expended on Irish necessities. The English workman is the Irish laborer's fiercest competitor, for with greater opportunity, better organiza tion, and no trade restrictions, English industry has driven Irish producers out of business. The reforms of the present and the promises for the future do not entirely compensate the Irish for what they have suffered in the past-evils of administration which have laid the country prostrate, pauperizing the Irish community almost beyond hope. A million of Ireland's best workers have gone to America in the last hundred years, leaving the weak and the incompetent to breed and occupy without the strength or initiative to combat the rigor of circumstance.


FOLLOWING close upon the heels of legislation for Ireland comes the English land question. The Liberal party has virtually pledged itself to the breaking-up of the big

estates, the control of tenancies in the interest of the tenants, the taxing of holdings reserved for pleasure and sport, and the worrying of landlords both urban and country by every possible device. The mere fear of this policy has already put vast areas of land upon the market, and the Duke of Bedford frankly gave his fear of future tax penalties and restrictions upon landlords as his reason for selling twenty million dollars' worth of real estate in the heart of London.

By common consent the question of imposing an import duty, or "tariff reform," as it is called, has been postponed until the Irish question is settled. The party in favor of a tariff for protection, revenue, imperial preference, and retaliation is as strong as ever, but so far it has been impossible to secure an expression of public sentiment upon this question alone. Recent elections have been contested upon a multiplicity of issues, many of them considered by the people, or at least put forward by the politicians, as of more immediate concern than a change in the fiscal policy. The cost of living has risen in England as much in proportion as in any other country. The middleman is even more the foe of the ultimate consumer in England than elsewhere, and old business methods are so firmly established that it is difficult to eliminate any of the tolls paid by produce on its way from the grower to the retail purchaser. To frame a tariff act for England which will not increase the cost of living, which will not destroy any part of the great distributing trade of the country, is a task worthy of the greatest economist. To tax foods or raw materials will not be practical or popular, and yet to develop imperial trade sympathies it is held by some to be necessary to base new colonial relations upon a preference in this direction.

The demand for votes for women is an insistent cry which will not be stilled. Militancy is quiet for the moment, as the real leaders of that movement are either ill or in exile. The great army of nonmilitants is still at work, however, and the issue cannot long be avoided.


THE most fearsome thing in the economic life of England to-day is the labor

situation, and this of course touches upon all the activities of politics. Relations between labor and capital have been seriously disturbed for years. With a certain grim courage the English employer has gone on doing business as though he had no fears for the present or future. Not one of them fails to realize, however, the slenderness of the barrier between industrial activity and industrial chaos. Every few weeks this barrier seems about to give way. Trouble breaks out here and there in varying degrees of seriousness, but by superhuman effort order is restored, or effective steps are taken to localize the disturbance. The British working-man demands more pay, less work, more food and comfort, and greater opportunity for himself and his children. Not being given this in the degree desired, he avenges himself by combining with his fellow-workmen for the purpose of securing more pay and less work. He concludes that as long as he is not given an equal chance, he will so arrange that his employers will get the least possible return for the money expended. This idea is not confined to those who work for individuals or corporations, for government employees have found the strike an effective weapon with which to secure additional privileges from a government in power by the grace of labor. Postal clerks, letter-carriers, and even the police have either struck or threatened to strike at critical moments. Syndicalism has been imported from France, though it is known in England as "Larkinism." The sympathetic strike and lockout have come about, and Larkin's banner, inscribed "To hell with contracts," has brought fear not only to employers, but to conservative and intelligent wage-earners who, while believing in unionism, have been quite ready to share the responsibility of agreement with those who pay the


The English nation is inured to labor trouble, but in the past, when labor organizations have been recognized and dealt with, mutually accepted agreements have been observed by the employee as well as by the employer. It was only in the last year that close organizations of highly skilled labor deliberately tore up their contracts with the employers and ordered a cessation of work because of their own grievances or in behalf of workers

elsewhere. The fact that this could come to pass without the serious disapproval of organized labor as a whole has been considered the most ominous sign of the moment in the English labor world. In the summer of 1913 it seemed for a few weeks as though the end of English industry was soon to come, but with that wonderful and effective faith in established order characteristic of the English mind and heart, every one, master and man alike, plodded along, and industry outlived the storm. Whether this will always be the outcome is an open question. Few believe it will be, but to "muddle along" is all men can do when faced with bewildering complexities, and to chart a course for English capital and labor which will insure even a semblance of peace for the future is apparently impossible with the conditions as they are.


THERE is another great question before the English people, and that is the future of India. England's greatest possession is credited with a population of three hundred million. The total white, or English, population is about one hundred and fifty thousand. For fifty years every effort has been made for the spread of education. The result is that a little over one per cent. of the population has benefited by these efforts, and this small percentage is found almost entirely among more or less important castes, but three out of the eight hundred sects more or less into which the population is divided. The Nationalist party has grown enormously in strength. This party advocates what it calls a democracy, though if India were self-governed, it would be controlled by the so-called upper classes, whose democracy is not that of the Western World.

The safety of English rule in India has lain largely in the separation of the people into different religious sects, generally speaking Hindu and Mohammedan. The recently established National University, and especially the Indian coolie trouble in Natal, have helped to bring all Indians together, and once thoroughly united through a cause and purpose,

their control by the English will be seriously threatened. It has been said recently that the government of India has now been

removed from Calcutta to Downing Street, and the English Secretaries of State for India have not always been men who have even visited that country, still less have been possessed of a close knowledge of Indian character and Indian affairs.

The English government of India has been the greatest example of successful

colonial administration the world has ever seen, and in return the possession of that country has largely constituted the basis of England's commanding position in the affairs of the whole world. The question. of the future of India is not one of today, but it may very possibly become the greatest question of to-morrow to the English Government. The loss of India would break the world power of Great Britain, and it cannot be held by any force of arms that England can muster. It must be held by statesmanship, and thoughtful Englishmen familiar with the peculiar needs of an Indian administration are pessimistic as to the value of present policies.

Not long ago the British colony of Natal in Africa, where many Indian coolies are employed, assessed a head-tax against these immigrants. The coolies struck work in protest against the demand. As a result, the great sugar and other industries of Natal have fallen upon hard times.

The cause of their fellow-citizens, be it just or unjust, has awakened keen sympathy and interest throughout India, and even Lord Hardinge, that experienced and clever administrator, now Viceroy of India, has openly expressed his sympathy as being with the Indian coolies in Natal. The feeling in India is that if England cannot so control a small British colony like Natal to the end that these coolies may be free from what they deem to be an imposition, the power of the mother country has been vastly overestimated in India. The cause of the Indian coolie in Natal has been used as a rallying-cry by the Indian Nationalists, and it has done more to unite Indian sentiment than anything which has happened since the English rule of India became an established fact. It is only fair to say, however, that the problem of a united India is nearer solution than it has ever been before, hence the unusual effectiveness of a common




SERIOUS questions have always confronted the English people, and at no time have there been prophets wanting who were ready to predict, in view of a current crisis, the speedy downfall of the empire. Each and every time has the British nation solved its problems after a fashion, and grown stronger with every passing year. The Government and the people have apparently thrived upon perplexities of such magnitude as have arisen to vex no other community in the world. year 1914, however, brings a supreme test to the home government of England. It is told of the late King Edward that, in prophesying as to the future, he once remarked, "My son will rule as king, and probably his son; but he may be the last king of this country." If this prophecy be found true, it will throw doubt upon the first clause in the title borne by the present King of England, for that is based upon the idea of the divine right of royal succession. It is now proposed to weaken the ties between "Great Britain and Ireland" by giving to the latter country a very large measure of self-government. The "British dominions beyond the seas" are now loyal subjects only by their own free will, and along economic lines have already completely separated themselves from England.


THE so-called upper classes of England long ago laid the foundations for the troubles of the upper classes of England today. They killed hope in the hearts of their humbler and less-fortunate fellowcountrymen. There is no polite compromise on foot to end this feud. It is a war against special privilege, with no particular animosity toward the possessor. The ownership of these lands has carried with it seats in the lawmaking body of the country in perpetuity. War has been declared upon this oldest and most cherished institution, and in the coming triumph of the new its downfall is already written. In this war of the many against the few can be found all of the problems of the Englishman at home, thinly disguised under various names, and he must settle these before he can fare abroad or attend successfully to other matters.





Author of "The Shanty-Man," "St. George Dragon," etc.

IS' MAME took her pipe from her mouth and gazed curiously up at the sky. It was darkened by an almost impalpable haze, yellow and dry, that had the quality of dust rather than of cloud. Between the trunks of the trees she could see the sun still high in the west; but it seemingly gave forth neither heat nor light. It had the dead aspect of the moon. Not a leaf stirred, and save for an excited twittering of the birds the world seemed soundless. A dusk as of coming night crept along the ground, bringing the women of Love-Lady Court to their doorways as at the close of the day. They stood about in an unusual silence, and, like Sis' Mame, gazed at the sky. Even the children were hushed, and moved about listlessly. Suddenly the long-drawn whistle of the night-singing toby-bird wailed from a thicket above the gorge. Sis' Mame chuckled.

"Dat liddie imp shore thinks da night's done come down," she muttered.

She turned toward the stairs that led out of the court as she spoke, and saw the head and shoulders of Jude Tomes appear over the edge of the ridge. As he caught Sis' Mame's eye he nodded.

"Mighty funny day," he called.

"So 't is, so 't is," she agreed. "Trouble 's er-hatchin'; it 's goin' tow walk in da dahk."

"It got so dahk in da hol' o' da vessel we was wukin' aboa'd dat we knocked off," Jude said. "Ah doan' lak da looks o' da sky an' Ah doan' lak da feel o' da a'r." Sis' Mame nodded her head.

"Heah dat toby-bird holler?" she said. "An' da lizards hab obbe come outen deir holes. 'Quake 's er-comin'; dey knows." Jude looked troubled, and went restlessly back into his house.

It was still half an hour before sunset when he appeared again at his door. No one in Love-Lady Court had thought of

supper, and the square-like opening in front of the houses was filled with people looking up at the sky, now overcast by masses of ragged, purple clouds the overlapping edges of which were of a pulsating reddish tinge from the continuous play of sheet-lightning above them. No rain had fallen, and there was still no wind, but now and then the earth was jarred by the vibrant roll of far-off thunder. Once a dish fell in a house, and a woman screamed with nervous terror.

On the earth it was black night, for no lamps had been lighted, and as Jude moved slowly through the silent groups, a woman came ponderously across the square, swinging her arms above her head and crying in a choking voice: "Da las' day! Da las' day!" At her cry, a wailing rose on all sides.

Sis' Mame backed away, and collided with Jude.

"'Scuse me, boy," she said. "Yo' sich er liddie pinch o' snuff, Ah did n't see yo'."

Jude was six feet two in his bare feet. He was in them now, though otherwise dressed in his best-pink silk shirt and stiffly starched white trousers. He was dressed for the Blue-bells' ball. Sis' Mame glanced him over and laughed.

"Ah 'm goin' faw tow git Lyde, so Ah dressed faw da ball befo'han'," he said, seeing her look. Lyde was his "beeder," his sweetheart.

"Da whirlwin' o' da Lawd's goin' dance tow-night, boy, not yo'," said Sis' Mame.

"No whirlwin' 's goin' tow keep Lyde an' me erpaht," he said. "We'll dance with it, den."

He turned and went down the stairs and took the path into the town, passing up King Street, and mounting the slope to the residential quarter. As he came to the house where Lyde worked as a waitress, he went around to the side gate and

stopped at the door in the latticed passage that connected the kitchen with the house. Presently Lyde came through with a tray. "Ah 'm er-waitin' faw yo', honey," he whispered.

She smiled, nodded, and passed on, a tall, comely girl who walked with graceful erectness, carrying her head proudly.

Jude went to a bench in the angle of the wall and sat down. Being tired, he lay down with his face to the wall and almost at once was asleep. He awoke at length with a start at the touch of a hand on his cheek.

He did not know how long he had slept, but the change he awoke to was appalling. There was still little thunder, but the play of the lightning was incessant, and looking out from the court, he saw a tall cocoa-palm that stood by the gate bowed down to the ground with the wind. All other upstanding vegetation on the lawn was swept away; the garden wall was down; the stone gate-posts were leveled. Above the roar of the gale, even as he woke, he could hear the crash of falling timbers as buildings were dismantled. The beat of the rain was like the throbbing sound of many drums.

"It come on jes lak dis," Lyde screamed in his ear, "jes lak turnin' ober yo' hand. It was still as er grabe, den all at once lak dis." He drew her close to him.

leaf and he caught her and drew her back to the wall, he knew that it had become their greatest menace.

"We gotter git out," he shouted. "We 'll go down tow da low lan', whah da win' will be lighter. Thank da Lawd, honey, we 're togedder!"

"Yas, honey," she said. It was their last speech together.

He caught her hand and, bracing himself, stepped forth, and stood at once face to face with his own insignificance. Nature caught him up and made a mock of his humanity; he who had gloried in his strength was as a puppet in the grasp of irresistible forces. It cowed him, sapped his courage, sapped his intelligence. As his defeated body was whirled through the night, beaten down to the earth, crushed against walls, there remained with him. only one sentient emotion: whatever might happen, he must hold fast to Lyde. In setting out, his thought had been to make his way to lower ground, where the force of the hurricane might be less and the low sugar-houses offer a possible protection.

There came a time when, after interminable hours, as it seemed, he recognized, with a sort of dumb stupor, that he had been driven down to the waterside and that the force of the gale was no less. In flashes of lightning he saw the roadstead before him, white with froth, and flattened by the gale that blew off the land. It was swept as clean as a man's palm, and he had a momentary wonder as to what had become of the ships that at sunset had dotted it with their ridinglights.

"We cyan't go yit, honey," he said, and looked up apprehensively, for the wall of the building he leaned against seemed to move on its foundation. It was throbbing like an agitated pulse. "We'll wait till it 's ober." They heard the crash of falling timber, and the kitchen went out into the darkness like scraps of brown paper. She put her hands over her eyes. "It'll nebber be ober," she sobbed. it would be the end. They had reached "It 's da las' day."

He did not hear her. He felt a grating jar through his body, communicated by the wall he leaned against, and rightly surmised that the roof had broken loose and had moved a little on its supporting walls.

He felt the grating jar of the wall again, and then an outward spring as the roof was swept away and fell with a splittering crash. A deluge of water, like a turned-on hose, swept them apart. Then as she was whirled away like an eddying


There came to him then a new thought: they would be driven into the sea. felt no fear, but only a dull apathy that

the beach now and directly in the path to a great rock. In the flashes of lightning it loomed before him as the one stable thing in his dissolving world, and he felt that if they might win to its leeward side, there they would find shelter and refuge. Bracing against the wind, and crouching close to the sand, he essayed to reach it.

In the intense blackness that followed a flash of lightning the rock disappeared, and dropping to the ground that he might not be borne past it in the darkness, he braced himself against the gale and the

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