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in Ireland, and so it will continue to be while we treat it inequitably. Mr. Gladstone's Bill treats it inequitably. His Bill withholds from the Irish the power to endow or establish Catholicism. That, he well knows, is the one exception wbich his Liberal followers make to their rule, borrowed from Mr. Fox, that if men very much wish to do a thing we should let them do it. To endow Catholicism they must not be permitted, however much they may wish it. That provision alone would be fatal to any sincere and lasting gratitude in Ireland for Mr. Gladstone's measure. If his measure is defeated it would be fatal to repeat his mistake. Why should not the majority in Ireland be suffered to endow and establish its religion just as much as in England or Scotland ? It is precisely one of those cases where the provincial legislatures should have the power to do as they think proper. Mr. Whitbread's thoughtful Americans' will tell him that in the United States there is this power, although to the notions and practice of America, sprung out of the loins of Nonconformity, religious establishments are unfamiliar. But even in this century, I think, Connecticut had an established Congregational Church, and it might bave an Established Church again to-morrow if it chose. Ulster would most certainly not establish Catholicism. If it chose to establish Presbyterianism it should be free to do so. If the Celtic and Catholic provinces chose to establish Catholicism, they should be free to do so. So long as we bave two sets of weights and measures in this matter, one for Great Britain and another for Ireland, there can never be concord.
The land question presents most grave and formidable difficulties, but undoubtedly they are not to be got rid of by holding ourselves pledged to make the present Irish landlords' tenure and rents as secure as those of a landlord in England. We ought not to do it if we could, and in the long run we could not do it if we would. How greatly is a clear and fair mind needed here ! and perhaps such a mind on such a subject the Conservatives, the landed party, do not easily attain. We have always meant and endeavoured to give to the Irish landlord the same security that the English has. But the thing is impossible. Why? Because at bottom the acquiescence of the community makes the security of property. The land-system of England has, in my opinion, grave disadvantages; but it has this acquiescence. It has it partly from the moderation of the people, but more from the general conduct and moderation of the landlords. If many English landlords had borne such a reputation as that which the first Lord Lonsdale, for instance, acquired for himself in the north, the English landed system would not have had this acquiescence. In Scotland it has it in a less degree, and is therefore less secure; and, whatever the Duke of Argyll may think, deservedly. Let him consult the Tory Johnson for the past, and weigb, as to the present, the fact that Mr. Winans is possible. But it has it in a
considerable degree, though in a lower degree than England. Ireland has it in the degree to be expected from its history of confiscation, penal laws, absenteeism—that is to say, hardly at all. And we are bound in good faith, we are pledged to obtain, by force if necessary, for the Irish landlord the acquiescence and security which in England come naturally! We are bound to do it for a landed system where the landowners have been a class with whom, in Burke's words, the melancholy and invidious title of grantees of confiscation was a favourite ;' who would not let Time draw his oblivious veil over the unpleasant means by which their domains were acquired ;' who
abandoned all pretext of the general good of the community'! But there has been great improvement, you say : the present landowners give in general little cause for complaint. Absenteeism has continued, but ahl even if the improvement had been ten times greater than it has, Butler's memorable and stern sentence would still be true: • Real reformation is in many cases of no avail at all towards preventing the miseries annexed to folly exceeding a certain degree. There is a certain bound to misbehaviour, which being transgressed, there remains no place for repentance in the natural course of things. But a class of altogether new and innocent owners has arisen. Alas ! every one who has bought land in Ireland has bought it with a lien of Nemesis upon it. It is of no use deceiving ourselves. To make the landowner in the Celtic and Catholic parts of Ireland secure as the English landowner is impossible for us.
What is possible is to bear our part in his loss; for loss he must incur. He must incur loss for folly and misbehaviour, whether on his own part or on that of his predecessors, exceeding a certain degree. But most certainly we ought to share his loss with him. For when complaints were addressed to England, 'the double name of the complainants,” says Burke, Irish and Papist (it would be hard to say which singly was the more odious), shut up the hearts of every one against them.' All classes in Great Britain are guilty in this matter; perhaps the middle class, the stronghold of Protestant prejudice, most. And, therefore, though the Irish landlords can, I think, be now no more maintained than were the planters, yet to some extent this country is bound to indemnify them as it did the planters. They must choose between making their own terms with their own community, or making them with the Imperial Parliament. In the latter case, part of their indemnity should be contributed by Ireiand, part, most certainly, by ourselves. Loss they must, however, expect to suffer, the landowners of the Celtic and Catholic provinces at any rate. To this the English Conservatives, whatever natural sympathy and compassion they may entertain for them, must clearly make up their minds.
On the reasonableness of the Conservative party our best hope at present depends. In that nadir of Liberalism which we seem to VOL. XIX.-No. 111.
have reached, there are not wanting some signs and promise of better things to come. Lord Rosebery, with his freshness, spirit, and intelligence, one cannot but with pleasure see at the Foreign Office. Then the action of Lord Hartington and Mr. Trevelyan inspires hope: that of Mr. Chamberlain inspired high hope at first, but presently his attitude seemed to become equivocal. He has, however, instincts of government—what M. Guizot used to call the governmental mind.' But the mass of the great Liberal party has no such instincts; it is crude and without insight. Yet for the modern development of our society, great changes are required, changes not certainly finding a place in the programme of our Conservatives, but not in that of our Liberals either. Because I firmly believe in the need of such changes, I have often called myself a Liberal of the future. They must come gradually, however; we are not ripe for them yet. What we are ripe for, what ought to be the work of the next few years, is the development of a complete and rational system of local government for these islands. And in this work all reasonable Conservatives may heartily bear part with all reasonable Liberals. That is the work for the immediate future, and besides its own great importance, it offers us a respite from burning questions which we are not ripe to treat, and a basis of union for all good men. The development of the working class amongst us follows the development of the middle. But development for our bounded and backward middle class can be gained only by their improved education and by the practice of a rational, large, and elevating system of local government. The reasonableness and co-operation of the Conservatives are needed to attain this system. By reasonableness, by co-operation with reasonable Liberals, they have it in their power to do two good things: they can keep off many dangers in the present, and they will be helping to rear up a Liberalism of more insight for the future.
But is it possible, and is there time? Will not the great Parliamentary manager, with his crude Liberal party of the present, sweep everything before him now? The omens are not good. At Munich a few weeks ago I had the honour to converse with a wise and famous man, as pleasing as he is learned, Dr. Döllinger. He is an old friend of Mr. Gladstone. We talked of Mr. Gladstone, with the interest and admiration which he deserves, but with misgiving. His letter to Lord de Vesci had just then appeared. • Does it not remind you, Dr. Döllinger asked me, "of that unfortunate French ministry on the eve of the Revolution, applying to the nation for criticisms and suggestions?' Certainly the omens are not good. However, that best of all omens, as Homer calls it, ourselves to do our part for our country, is in our own power. The circumstances are such that desponding and melancholy thoughts cannot be banished entirely. After all, we may sometimes be tempted to say mournfully to ourselves, nations do not go on for ever. In the immense procession of ages, what countless communities have arisen and sunk unknown, and even the most famous nation, perhaps, is only for its day. Human nature will have in dark hours its haunting apprehensions of this kind. But till the fall has actually come, no firm English mind will consent to believe of the fall that it is inevitable, and of the ancient and inbred integrity, piety, good-nature, and good-humour of the English people, that their place in the world will know them no more.
A FEW MORE WORDS ABOUT NAMES.
THE plea that I made in the January number of this Review for the familiar forms of historic names has met with so much support, that I am encouraged to add some fresh observations; and I will take occasion to notice the only criticism of which I have heard. My contention was that, since a mass of names derived from all ages and languages has become embedded in our literature in familiar forms, it would cause needless confusion to recast the whole of them in the exact contemporary forms, and in the spelling of many different languages. Specialists are continually pressing us to write names in the forms found in distant ages, or in other tongues. The true answer is that which I set forth: that to admit all these separate claims (each plausible by itself) would turn our language into a chaos, and I appealed to what is almost the only effective argument in such a case, the laugbable consequences of adopting all these claims together. The Court which must decide this matter will be formed out of common sense, general culture, and the best types of English literature.
To that plea as a whole I have heard no answer. It is plainly one to which no answer on any single line is possible ; and where
to sit as judges. They are the persons on their trial. It is not a matter of research or any special learning at all. The question cannot be limited to any particular subject, to one language, or any one epoch. It must be argued as a whole; as a matter, not of research, but of literature. What will become of the English language, if all the schools of research have their way together? This question, I say, will ultimately be settled by common sense, general culture, and the practice of English literature in its best types.
The article by Mr. Freeman, in the April number of the Contemporary Review, is therefore no reply at all. He does not allude to the true question, the confusion in the language which general change would cause. He defends his own practice and deals with his own subject exclusively; and leaves Orientalists and Elizabethans to deal with theirs. He rates me for meddling with what I know nothing about. He makes a series of assertions about what I know and do not know, what I have read or have not read, and what he supposes I