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of the objects desired by each of these sections, they one and all acquiesced in the appointment of a Prime Minister with whom individually they had possibly but scant sympathy. Thus, if our view is correct, Lord Rosebery's rise up to the time of his attaining the position of Premier has been due in the main to a succession of fortunate accidents. We do not deny for one moment that it is his own ability, his own efforts, and his own qualities which raised him to a position that entitled him to avail himself of these accidents; but it can hardly be said that he owes the Premiership entirely, or even mainly, to his own merits. In one of Béranger's eulogies of Napoleon he says that, thanks to the great Emperor, Wellington became un héros du hasard. It may be said with far more of truth that the accident of Mr. Gladstone's resignation at the particular crisis that it occurred made Lord Rosebery ‘a Prime Minister of chance.” Mathematicians tell us that there is no such thing as luck, that at all games all players in the long run have much the same cards, and that the only real difference between one player and the other lies in the skill with which they play their cards. However this may be, Lord Rosebery had no cause to complain of the cards dealt him by Fortune at the outset of his Premiership. Mr. Gladstone's unexpected retirement, while the glamour of his great reputation still remained attached to the party he had led; his own selection by the retiring Premier in preference to older and more experienced colleagues; the fact that, whether by design or accident, he had held himself aloof from any prominent identification with the policy of Home Rule; the repute attaching to him in the public mind, not so much for what he had accomplished, but for what he was deemed capable of accomplishing; the various objections under which his possible competitors respectively laboured, and from which he himself was free; the credit given him by his political opponents for public spirit, sound judgment, and patriotic sentiment, were all advantages in his favour; advantages which he himself, we believe, would be the first to admit he owed as much to accident as to his own merits. What use has he made of these advantages? The question is one that as yet cannot be answered fairly. So far his administration has not been a conspicuous success. Still less, however, has it been a signal failure. Our own impression is that, though the Ministry may be weaker collectively than when Mr. Gladstone retired, the Prime Minister has gained ground. A Premier who is a devotee of our national sports, and who won the Derby within a few weeks of his becoming the head of the Government, appeals to an element in our English character character which is all the stronger for having been less of late years deemed hardly worthy of political notice. If the Athenians grew weary of hearing Aristides called ‘the just, Englishmen may be pardoned if, after a surfeit of Gladstonian statesman. ship, they look kindly on a Premier who takes life not too seriously, and who is not always calling attention to his own earnestness of purpose. The banter in which Mr. Gladstone's successor is fond of taking refuge may or may not be of a very high order of wit, but it is of a kind understood by the people to whom it is addressed. His reticence and reserve when called upon to commit himself as to the policy of the Government, commend themselves to English taste, and convey the impression of latent force. Moreover, with the exception of the incident to which we have already alluded, he has made no serious mistakes, and has succeeded in convincing the public that though political exigencies may compel him to support Radical measures, he is desirous of maintaining the general lines of home and foreign policy under which the United Kingdom has grown into being. An unfriendly critic might urge that Lord Rosebery cannot continue much longer sitting on the fence. At present, however, he retains the support of his party without forfeiting the belief entertained by the general public, that he has in him the making of a statesman.
But though from various causes, not the least of which is the personality of Lord Rosebery, the Ministry has contrived to hold together longer than was expected at the date of Mr. Gladstone's resignation, the disintegrating forces at work have come more and more into prominence. The leading Ministers have little or nothing in common. Even when they are not actually hostile to each other, they have no sympathy with each other's ideas. It would be difficult to conceive of three politicians so different in views, politics, and aspirations as Lord Rosebery, Sir William Harcourt, and Mr. John Morley, So long as the Liberal Ministers were overshadowed by Mr. Gladstone's great individuality, it mattered little whether they agreed or disagreed between themselves. But with Mr. Gladstone removed, these divergences and discrepancies between his subordinates may easily become formidable. The Ministry are bound together by no common policy, by no legislative programme, by no popular party cry. The one thing on which they are at union is as to the necessity of their re. maining in office in order to carry out certain aims, to each of which, however strongly advocated by individual Ministers, the bulk of their colleagues are indifferent. Alexander is gone, and his generals are fighting each for his own hand.
- Meanwhile Meanwhile a coalition Ministry which is unable to coalesce is faced by a strong, united, and loyal Opposition. The most noteworthy feature in the history of the past Session has been the steady growth of the alliance between the Conservatives and the Liberal Unionists. It is not only on the question of Home Rule that the latter have found themselves to be in closer accord with their former opponents than with their late associates. The disappearance of Mr. Gladstone from Parliament has removed a personal link between the Liberal Unionists and their old party, whose existence rendered any overt fusion between the two wings of the Unionist party almost an impossibility. The second and hardly less remarkable feature is the steady growth not only of party but of public confidence in Mr. Balfour's leadership. Whatever doubt there may have been at an earlier period, there is no possibility of question that, whenever the Unionists return to power, Mr. Balfour and no other must be their leader in the House of Commons. Mr. Chamberlain again has very markedly raised, not only his personal reputation, but that of the party which he leads, and of which to a great extent he is the creator. The Duke of Devonshire's withdrawal from the House, owing to his elevation to the peerage, has conferred on Mr. Chamberlain the nominal as well as the actual leadership of the Liberal Unionists. There have been no secessions from the Unionist ranks. The only important loss we have to deplore is the absence from illhealth of Lord Randolph Churchill. Fortunately there is cause to hope he may still return with recovered strength before the General Election; and that thus at the next, and as we hope the final, battle for the cause of the Union, the services of the ablest of platform orators and the most fearless of party
politicians may not be lost to the Conservatives. Time is on the side of the Union. Every month that passes discloses more and more how little claim either Parnellites, Healyites, or Dillonites have to represent Ireland; how hollow is the pretence that the heterogeneous Ministerial majority is entitled to speak in the name of the United Kingdom. The course adopted by the Opposition of allowing the Irish Nationalists and their English associates “to stew in their own juice' has been justified by the result. Throughout the last Session the Opposition might at least on one occasion have secured the defeat of the Government. Overtures, we have reason to believe, were made to the Unionist leaders to frame a resolution condemning the general policy of the Ministry in reference to Uganda, phrased in such terms as to secure the support not only of Imperialists but of Little Englanders. But these overtures
tures were declined, and, as we deem, rightly declined. Our case is so strong that it can afford to stand alone, and we are content to wait in patience till the internal squabbles of Mr. Gladstone's successors demonstrate the futility of attempting to carry out a policy which even Mr. Gladstone, in the heyday of his power, had proved unequal to force upon an unwilling country. Where Alexander failed, his generals are doomed to encounter certain and disastrous defeat.
and coins, 514, 515—his power of deciding character by intuition, 515, 516. Barrera, Don C. A. de la, ‘Life of Lope de Vega,’ 490. Batten, Dr. J. H., Principal of Haileybury College, 228—retirement, 229. Bluntschli, Herr, Tue Character and Spirit of Political Parties,’ 245–on the true nature of a political party, ily.—account of the four “natural political parties,’ 246. Bode, Dr., his descriptive Catalogue of Rembrandt’s pictures, 369. Booth, Charles, ‘Labour and Life of the People,’ 463—his proposal for universal pensions, 465, 475–classification of the population of London, 469—“Endowment of Old Age,’ 475 —his advocacy of limited and experimental socialism, ib. — ‘The Aged Poor: Condition,’ 476, 481. Bosanquet, Bernard, extract from ‘The Civilization of Christendom,’ 463. Bryce, Mr., on party government in the United States, 260. Buchan, 387–its boundaries, 388– “Land o' Cakes,’ ib.—one of the great early Celtic divisions, 389– the principal seat of four noble families, ill.—geological composition of the district, ill.—the coast-line, 390—deposit of cloalk flints, 391– peat-mosses, ib-traces of forests, 392—relics of man and beast, 392, 3.03—evidences of sanguinary strife, 393—the “Book of Deir, 394– etymology of the name Deer, 395– history of old churches, 39.6—the early saints, ib. — invasions and battles of the Norse pirates, 397– expulsion of the Danes, 398—the Norse or Danish element, ill.—war of succession, 399 – power of the Comyns, ib.-decadence of the old Celtic Church, 400–Ellon, the civil centre, 401—fall of the Comyns, ib. —quaint prophetic distichs, 403–