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desire of the populace to increase the most universal strike to curb the powers of the head of the State, to power of the Capitalists? Suddenly make him a check and control on the the succession of 1911 strikes breaks Parliament supposed to be elected by out; our newspapers no longer devote the people, actually controlled and columns to the Lords' Veto and the selected by a plutocratic oligarchy. Diehards, indeed this question, the
Now this general tendency observ- question of the politicians, which acable in all nations who have handed cording to our newspapers was agiover their Government to the un- tating all England, this shrinks away checked representative system is in to utter insignificance under the stern strong evidence in England to-day. reality of the strikes. There is no doubt that Parliament It might perhaps be added that our does not hold to-day the high po- great national statesmen, when face sition it formerly possessed in to face with the real crisis of the popular esteem. Among all classes strikes, seem to shrivel into rather un
hears constantly expres- certain shifty po ticians, making many sions of contempt for Parliament and wonder with misgiving how they politicians. The proceedings and de would face the grave crisis of a Eubates no longer attract attention, and ropean War. the much-advertised "scenes” excite And combined with this loss of reno more notice than the "barracking" spect in which Parliament and poliof a crowd at a cricket match. The ticians are held is a feeling of bitter people feel that politics to-day lack resentment among the masses against reality; that various plutocratic inter- the worrying restrictive legislation ests have obtained control of both passed by Parliament-such acts, for Party machines; that it is all a rather instance, as the Children's Charter. sordid game divorced from reality, Such measures cause intense irritation, and out of touch with national feel- nor is the respect for the governing ing. That Parliament and politicians powers increased by revelations of are not in touch with realities was Ministerial gambling on the Stock Exconclusively proved in the strikes of change, especially as the working 1911, which took
the Labor classes recognize that those Ministers Party completely by surprise. Can who indulged in this pursuit would be the divorce between reality and polis the first to welcome and encourage retics go further than when we find a strictive legislation to put down gamprofessed Labor party, supposed to bling among the masses. “represent" Labor, so ignorant of its Of course, the South African War special electorate that it does not may be held to be the starting point know that the majority are seething of this loss of faith by the populace in with discontent and preparing a series our political machinery. That event of almost revolutionary strikes; and had results which we shall not be able while
to estimate for many years, but unpolitician is concentrated on the doubtedly one result was to reveal the "great democratic measure" to curb incompetence of the Government of the power of the Upper House, the the country, and to make men quesgreat Democracy, with scornful con- tion the whole system, especially the tempt of the ideals and victories of selection of programmes and candithe "Democratic Party" in the House dates by a couple of Central Caucuses. of Commons, is silently preparing a After all, many Tories condemned the "great Democratic measure" of an al- mismanagement of the war, yet they
the attention of every
could only give effect to their feelings the State over the representative chamby voting for a party they detested, bers. and many Liberal Imperialists who Therefore, it is reasonable to conapproved the war had to vote for men clude that in England we are bound who opposed the War. It was thus to see the same political phenomenon, that the average man began to ask especially when the Upper Chamber is why he should vote for either of two made elective, thereby coming under obscure carpet-baggers sent down by the complete control of the Caucus the Caucus. What voice had he, a Politicians. When the whole machinfree and independent elector, in the ery of government is thus controlled selection of either Candidate or in the by the Caucus, we are bound to hear selection of either programme? Such in England what is heard to-day in questions are being asked with in- France and the United States, a decreasing frequency to-day, and though mand for increased power for the head Mr. Lloyd George may represent him- of the State. Already to-day we hear self and his party as valiant assailants hints of a movement for reviving some of Capital and Capitalists, the people of the unused prerogatives of the are just beginning to realize that Mr. Crown. Yet such a movement must George is supported, and his party fi- be fraught with immense danger to nanced, by a host of millionaire capi- our monarchical system, as so much talists. When they realize this to the will depend on the personality of the full—and day by day the knowledge is Monarch. It is true that a very able spreading—we shall be face to face and popular King might revive many with something like revolution.
unused prerogatives, but the continuBut whatever the special causes in ance of their use would depend on the England, this distrust of the politicians continued succession of exceptionally is but an instance of a general phe popular and extremely able Kings—a nomenon common to all those nations dangerous basis for our monarchical which have adopted full representative system. Otherwise, the interference of Government for a considerable period, the King in politics would be bound including among the great powers to lead to an agitation against the France, England and the United Throne. States.
Yet it is evident that the demand Now, if we accept this proposition, for some check on the politicians, we can advance to another, namely: some increased power for the head of that among all those nations which the State will arise in England, and have adopted full representative Gov. if our monarchical system will not ernment for a considerable period, and cannot meet and satisfy this dethere is a growing demand among the mand, it would seem certain that our people that the head of the State should people will turn in despair from the have more power, enough power to throne, and observing strong Presicheck and control the elected cham- dents in France and America, curbing bers.
and controlling the often venal caucus Among the great nations this is evi- politicians, they will likewise demand dent in France and the United States. a President directly elected, and diAmong the smaller nations Greece rectly responsible to the people, may be taken as an example.
as a necessary check on the power of We must further note that Germany the representative chambers. and Austria acquiesce in the mainte- Therefore, in the immediate future nance of the power of the head of we may look for a revival of the Re
publican sentiment in England, but country in Europe where every symp-
will increase for some means of con-
cluding not only power of veto, but In considering this matter we must ultimately power of initiative, and note that it is only in those countries unless we give the people this power where Democracy has entirely or al- we shall be face to face with a formost entirely entrusted government to midable Republican movement
in elected chambers that the demand for Great Britain. a powerful Head of the State has Referendum or Republic—that will arisen. There exists one Democratic be the issue of the future. The British Review,
come an outworn game—at all events, Why do we speak of a new school of with some of the moderns. Dramatic dramatists? And in what sense do construction, though still considered they exhibit novelty, as compared with a counsel of perfection, is not recogtheir predecessors? Many of the con- nized among our contemporaries as ditions for the production of drama absolutely necessary to dramatic salare, we know, fixed and constant-the vation. conditions, for instance, which are in- But tbere are much more subtle difvolved in the presentation of a ferences than these between the newer centrated story or episode, carried out and the older school. It is a question by living personages, moving and talk- of temper, a question of manner, a ing before us. The dramatist cannot question of preferred subjects. The explain to his audience, he can only il- attitude towards the world has lustrate: he reveals character not by changed the attitude, in special, description but by action and dialogue: towards moral problems and social he has ouly a short time to produce questions. Those doubters and aghis effect, and therefore he must hit nostics who in the 'sixties and 'sevenhard and hit early. All these things ties were sealed of the tribe of Matwe know, for they constitute the dif- thew Arnold and Arthur Clough ference between writing novels and were more than a little sad about their writing plays. But there are other obstinate questionings. Their scepticonditions-or perhaps we ought to cism was not audacious: it was difficall them traditions or prejudices— dent, humble, melancholy. They were which are inessential, variable, de- very sorry that they could not agree pendent on mere custom and fashion. with the orthodox-it was their misIf a man ignores such as these, which fortune, not their fault. They ought his predecessor respected and of which to be condoled with, not reprobated. very likely he made a fetish, then on The more modern attitude is not so this ground he might be called a "new" much daring as incurious. Why should dramatist. There are, for instance, we bluster and say with John Stuart the prejudice for a happy ending, the Mill—"and if such a Being condemn use of soliloquies and asides, the me to Hell, to Hell I will go"? Really pecessity for "situations” at the end there is no reason for any fuss. All of each act, the idea that you must the fighting is over and done with. not introduce fresh personages in the We need not brandish our sceptical last act, but gradually allow the steel in the face of opponents whose course of your story to strip off the opportunities for offensive attack are unessential characters and leave you so strictly limited. Therefore the new towards the close with just the two school neither strives nor cries beor three vital characters who matter. cause it is persuaded that belief or unThese are all temporary and accidental belief is mainly a matter of temperafashions, so to speak, and a play is not
ment or of ancestry, for which the innecessarily better because it retains dividual cannot be held responsible. If them, or worse because it chooses to he is born a religious mystic, he will ignore them. Even Scribe's sedulous write poetry like Miss Evelyn Undercare for a pièoe bien faite has now be- hill or Mr. Francis Thompson; and if • The Living Ago June 28 and August 2, 1913. his nature is to be an agnostic, he will
like Mr. Thomas ferred to, Mr. Hankin's The Last of the Hardy. Things are what they are and De Mullins. The classic instance is in they will be what they will be. Why Maxime Formont's novel Le Semeur should we allow ourselves to be dis- (translated as The Child of Chance); turbed ?
but also some suggestion of the same One result of this temper or atti- spirit is found in Mr. Bernard Shaw's tude is that all the ethical and social Man and Superman. I am not conproblems which our fathers fondly cerned, of course, to pass any ethical and foolishly thought to be solved are criticism on these things; I merely regarded by their sons as entirely open note them as remarkable signs and evi. questions. There are no moral laws of dences of a modern temper. the absolute character which Kant And this naturally leads me to condelineated: there are a set of conven- sider the kind of subjects with which tions, some of them of considerable the new dramatist prefers to deal. authority, but many of them merely The great phenomenon of our time is transitory and more or less accidental, the Revolt of Woman, and it obviously depending on time and place and as- affords a splendid opportunity for the sociations. Did you think that it was dramatist. One of the most constant wrong for a girl to run away from her qualities in all dramatic work is the home? Op the contrary, it may be a implied antithesis between the human sign of a fine independence, as in the being and some great force, or forces, case of Janet de Mullins in Mr. Han- with which he is in conflict. These kin's play, The Last of the De Mullins. forces may be envisaged either as Did you suppose that when a prodigal great impersonal fate or necessity; or returned to his home, he came back in as the heritage of a particular kind of a chastened and a repentant state of character bequeathed from generation mind, having sown his tares and very to generation; or, once more, as the grateful that there was a home to wel- great mass of social prejudice and concome him? Oh no! He comes-as in vention, accumulated through many The Return of the Prodigal, also by Mr.
ages. The individual feels himself Hankin-to make what terms he can cribbed, cabined, and confined by with his outraged father and secure these forces which seem to be outside for himself a further period of indolent himself-or, at all events, outside his wastefulness at the paternal expense.
instinctive impulses—and the Did you imagine that a woman natur- course of the struggle in which he en. ally preferred wedlock to a looser gages to free himself from restraints bond of connection, in order, among and live his own life is of the essence other things, that her child should be of drama. Men have been all along legitimate? You are wrong. The man more or less in revolt, and in the strugshe chose for her lover might not suit gle have proved themselves either her for a husband, as in the case of heroes or villains. But it is a more the heroines of Hindle Wakes and Mr. delicate and interesting thing when Galsworthy's The Eldest Son. Indeed, woman dons her armor and goes into when the instinct for maternity is opposition, because her revolt touches, very strong, a woman will not care in a very immediate fashion, sacred who may be the father of her child. institutions like home and family. Let him fulfil his temporary function, Ibsen was one of the earliest to underand she will fulfil her lasting one. On stand the significance of this woman this point read again Janet's views in movement, and because he regarded the very illustrative play already re- woman the born anarchist bis