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ing as a babe would be if it were born miraculously endowed with the gift of fluent speech and no intelligence. If such an oracle declared that all men are born equally tall, and that, therefore, each of us has a natural right to be supplied, at stated intervals, with a uniform such as would suit a sevenfoot Pomeranian Guard, it would be no farther astray from the truth than the Radical and the Socialist are in their particular theory of equality and natural right. The truth, of course, is that no deduction which is sound, or even intelligible, is possible from purely ā priori ruminations. Carried to a logical extreme, the theory of Individualism, as Mr. Huxley says, ‘is merely reasoned savagery, utter and unmitigated selfishness, incompatible with social existence.' Similarly, the theory of Socialism is merely what may be called, paradoxically, reasoned insanity, a system of inflammatory delusions, equally certain, if it were allowed an experiment, to destroy what it seeks to amend. Nature, to men, means nothing more than men's experience; men's experience in the matters which we have been considering, the experience of all the centuries, is embodied in, and expressed by, the actual economic polities of civilisation at this moment; and they who would explain what Nature has to say about political rights should begin their enquiries, not by harking back to the time when there had been no experience at all, but by taking civilisation as it is, embodied experience, and endeavouring, without any bias from preconception, to discover whither it will naturally lead. There cannot be any rational philosophy of society which is not founded upon those principles and arranged according to that method. Perhaps, indeed, there is not, excepting at times, such as the present, when the prevalence of error is animated by moral passion misdirected, any great need for a philosophy of the subject at all. Nature is ultimately stronger than all philosophies, and cannot be vanquished by any which are at issue with it. Instead of going behind civilisation, behind barbarism, behind Nature itself, to discover what man and his rights are, it is better to take things as they are ; to realise that during the century which is now closing the progress of the nation, most

notably that of the labouring classes, has been such as the most.

hopeful Socialist at the beginning of the century would not have dreamt of promising from the institution then of the reforms which are urged now ; and to trust that the forces, which have produced this incomparable prosperity, will prove even more beneficent in the future.

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ART,

ART. VII.-The Life of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, to the accession of Queen Anne. By Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley, K.P. 2 vols. London, 1894.

“TT often seems to me as if History was like a child's box of letters, with which we can spell any word we please. We have only

to pick out such letters as we want, arrange them as we like, and say

nothing about those which do not suit our purpose.'"

When the most brilliant of our living historians threw off that bitter sentence about the work to which he has devoted his life, was he by chance thinking of the “glorious Revolution of 1688, the reigns of James II. and William III.” It is at all events certain that whoever follows Lord Macaulay in examining the original sources for the history of those reigns, on which he has employed his fascinating pen, finds himself beset with difficulties because of the freedom with which the great Whig historian has exercised his undoubted prerogative to take what he likes, reject what he likes, and so make the materials he has selected tell what tale he pleases. There are few characters which have been drawn with such masterly power as those of Macaulay's William III. and Macaulay's Marlborough. There the men stand. No! It would be more true to say that they live and move and have their being amongst us as they did nearly forty years ago, amongst the generation for which they were created. Not only in his brilliant volumes do they still exercise their power over us. The shorter historians—as, for example, Mr. J. R. Green—have been content to transfer to their own pages sketches drawn from those finished portraits. Dean Milman, in the sketch of Macaulay's career prefixed to the posthumous volume of the History, tells us that the book was written with the design of making ‘romance surrender up the province it had usurped. Its success in that respect is beyond dispute. The eight volumes are as delightful reading as even “Quentin Durward.’ Only it may be doubted whether in the course of the struggle the novelist and the historian have not changed weapons. The Louis XI. and Charles the Bold of Scott are the most accurate historical portraits that have ever been drawn of those two men. Powerful, on the other hand, as those two creations of a master-mind, our hero king and our traitor general, undoubtedly are, suspicions of their historical Veracity must have often haunted those who have merely studied the great historian himself. Taking no account of the innumerable facts which have been

* Froude's “Science of History” in “Short Studies of Great Subjects.” ingeniously

ingeniously if not very ingenuously omitted, in order to leave
without a blot the stainless character of the hero, one illustration
at least of the use of materials for the companion portraits of
him and of Marlborough is frankly shown us. The man whose
phlegmatic and un-English character had made him, great as he
undoubtedly was, always unpopular in England till one of the
most popular of Englishmen undertook his apotheosis, had les:
behind him a series of letters to his intimate friend Bentinck.
From these, and avowedly from these alone, his panegyrist
contrived to show that the King's inner character was full of
those heartier and warmer qualities of which duty and policy
restrained the exhibition to the world. The villain of the piece,
the foil to the great hero, had also left behind him a series of
letters, glowing with warm, simple, and hearty love for the
dowerless girl whom he chose for his wife, for the termagant
shrew to whom, through good and evil fortune, from the moment
he married her, he remained absolutely faithful. By an in-
genious sneer the fact that Marlborough “loved but one only,
and held fast to her,’ is made to add an element of weakness to
his character. By an immediate introduction of the great
advantage which in after-life Marlborough enjoyed from the
influence of Sarah over Queen Anne, a suggestion, too ludicrous
to be sustained by the most unscrupulous slanderer, if gravely
stated, is slipped into the reader's mind that, after all, Churchill's
love-match was based at bottom on as sordid a calculation as

any that the meanest of mankind ever made.
The wrong from which Mary suffered during the earliest
years of her married life is so used as to make it appear that
when, by the surrender to William of her rights to the crown, and
by the assurance of her absolute submission in all political as in
all other affairs to him, she had secured his tolerance, she had
actually gained that for which she, then ten years wedded, so
pathetically sued,—his love. Her touching letters of almost
slavish devotion to him, the wording of which often suggests her
having met with brutal indifference, or with sneers or scoldings
that cut her to the quick, are made to prove the generosity of the
husband who could inspire such devotion. Prudently none of
them are given. Not a hint escapes of that letter of Mary's in
which even she—who during all her long married widowhood
never allowed one word of reproach to trouble her hero, for the
neglect under which she pined, for the faithlessness which she
knew only too bitterly—lets slip the phrase that, because of the
neglect of her husband, she had in her very prime lived the life
of a nun. In direct contradiction of all evidence the hero is
said to have at least had the decency to conceal his amour. The
story

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story is swept out of sight by a furious attack upon the “spies and talebearers’ who conveyed information of it to Mary. “Spies and talebearers’] when the intrigue was carried on with one of Mary's suite under her very eyes, when it was so public that Anne had the rashness to reproach Portland for the way in which Elizabeth Williers gloried in her shame before Mary's face, when the huge gifts of lands which were made to the mistress out of James II.'s estate became a matter of Parliamentary remonstrancel These evidences of the freedom with which the great historian has selected his materials are, we say, patent to any one who examines for himself the story as it is told by him. Nevertheless it is not too much to assert that the readers of Macaulay are now divided into two great classes, those who have examined the original evidence on which his story is based, and those who are content to abandon themselves to the charm of his writing and the eloquent torrent of his invective. The popularity of the history as a work of art is hardly less than it ever was. Throughout society, in proportion as it is influenced by those who know the truth, scepticism as to Macaulay's treatment of facts is everywhere rampant. The “New Atalantis’ and “The dear Bargain” are works that are only to be found by some research and to be read only in a few libraries. The connection between those scurrilous pamphlets and the most popular of English historians is therefore only to be traced by the few. To those of us who have made the comparison, a physiological problem of no small interest is presented. What is certain is that Macaulay has, consciously or unconsciously, transferred to his own pages charges against Marlborough which he can only have taken from pamphlets, the writers of which he has himself denounced as “habitual liars' (vol. iv. page 579, edition of 1855). In one notable instance, —that of the muster-rolls after the battle of Walcourt, which Macaulay accuses Marlborough of having fraudulently caused to be made up, the charge is taken from a pamphlet in which James II. is spoken of as ‘a lover of his people, an encourager of trade, a desirer of true liberty to tender consciences,’ a “hater of all injustice and a true father to his country.' Apparently Macaulay's marvellous memory had this peculiarity, that while the materials he had gathered from all sources were in his well-ordered mind so arranged as always to bring the phrase he required, or the fact he wished to use, to the tip of his pen for the purpose for which he proposed to use them, the source from which they came was at the moment a matter of no importance. That this tendency has permeated

his whole history was exhaustively demonstrated shortly before
his death by a writer who warmly appreciated the great quali.
ties of the man whose lapses he exposed. Mr. Paget, the
author of ‘Paradoxes and Puzzles,' which is throughout a
careful examination of Macaulay's facts and of the authorities
on which they are based, was a strong Liberal. “It was not
without many a hard struggle,’ as he confesses, that he found
himself compelled by a dry examination of facts to admit that
he had been grossly deceived and misled by the man whom he
profoundly admired. So exhaustive is the analysis to which he
has subjected Macaulay's allegations on many points that it is
safe to say that any one, who in our time supposes that Macaulay
has habitually stated historical facts accurately or interpreted
them justly, has never studied Mr. Paget's work. All who,
like Mr. Leslie Stephens, or Mr. Saintsbury, have dealt with
the materials of this period, have confirmed the soundness of
Mr. Paget's conclusions. Yet there are still many caterers
for popular audiences, to whom “Paradoxes and Puzzles' is
an unknown book and Macaulay remains as an accepted
‘authority.’
Any one therefore who attempts in our day to write a life of
Marlborough is faced at once by the difficulty, that the biography
is inextricably involved in the political events of his time, and
that his part in those events has been already recorded by an
authority whose design was not to weigh them with a just weight
in an even balance, but, playing the part of artist and not of
arbitrator, to make a telling picture by throwing all the light
upon one of the great actors in the drama, all the black-
mess on the other. Nor is the difficulty lessened by the sac:
that Marlborough's character is not one that can be defended
after the fashion of Lediard or of Coxe. Blots that can never be
removed rest upon it. Exposed to a storm of slander in which
everything that he had done was twisted so as to appear merely
and only evil, he himself, except when he was legally chal-
lenged, preserved silence, while his widow, irritated almost to
madness, rushed into defence of him and of herself in lan.
guage which in itself repels any reader who would wish to render
her and her husband justice. It is time that we should at least
know the truth about a man who, whether for good or evil,
played one of the most conspicuous parts in all English history.
We therefore rejoice that Lord Wolseley has undertaken the
task of going carefully into the evidence on which the life of
the victor of Blenheim, as we at present know it, is based.
It was in the circumstances inevitable that Lord Wolseley
should restate much that was already, in its main outline, o:
ciently

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