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guns burst and inventors clamoured for inquiry, it has not even reformed the Ordnance Department.
The Liberal party has answered us with many voices. We wanted one thing done: the official Liberal has regretted that it was contrary to the traditions of the party. We wanted another thing, and the Laissez-faire Liberal has pointed out that the duty of Government was confined to protecting a man from his neighbours. We asked yet a third boon; and we were crushed by the Economical Liberal, who referred us to a manual of that Political Economy which had returned for our confusion from its short absence in another planet.
The Liberal party for years past has included all sorts of men, from the most truly conservative of all active politicians to the most vehemently radical. There were the born Liberals, who were liberal because their great-grandfathers were not worth buying; and the historical Liberals, who had read Macaulay. There were the jealous guardians of Liberty, who had absorbed the simple doctrine of Mill's Essay; and the passionate suppliants for constant promotion of popular well-being by the State. There were many faces and conflicting voices, many policies inconsistent as their authors; till the union, already reduced to an umbrella, has been rent asunder to the satisfaction of mankind. Whom are we to follow ? For whom are we to vote? The attitude of cynical abstention from politics is not pleasing to us. We are eager for a leader whom we can trust. Is he in Downing Street, or at Devonshire House, or in any division of Birmingham? Or will he appear a new man from a new quarter? At least we feel the pleasure of a revival of hope.
Let our leader, whencesoever he come, be a plain man! Let his look on life be simple and true; let his words be simple and clear! We are sick to death of ingenious ambiguities and the explanations of explanations. Let the good of his countrymen be dearer to his heart than even the triumphs of his party or the salary of his office. Let him give the best powers of his mind to study of the real wants of all classes of the people, and reserve for his lighter hours the examination of the party machine.
Let him be more eager to teach the people than to flatter them, to show them the objects most worthy of their pursuit than to make his competitors for office hideous and ludicrous in their eyes.
Is such a man impossible in political life? He is visible enough here and there in other professions ; and if he is impossible among successful politicians, then politics, as certain cynics have said, are at best a dirty business.
But we hope that such a leader is not only possible but existent somewhere for our good-how widely different from that Minister so firmly drawn by Mr. John Morley in his preministerial days, 'a Minister who waits to make up his mind whether a given measure is in itself and on the merits desirable, until the official who runs diligently up and down the backstairs of the party tells him that the measure is practicable and required in the interests of the band !'
Surely there must be many people in England who would prefer our leader, if they could find him, to this typical minister of Mr. John Morley; and surely an honest and able Briton with a sound political faith, whose actions are reasonably consistent and whose words are easily understood--surely this good plain man is not so hard to find.
Of such a leader we shall know where he was yesterday, where he is to-day, and where he will be to-morrow. We shall no longer sit trembling with our eyes on the weathercock, or crouching at the mouth of Æolus' cave wondering which wind will next be loosed upon us.
Our leader, happily free from the impulsive enthusiasm of age, will move on the way which he has pointed out to the completion of much-needed reforms—to the freeing of the land, the cleansing of the slums, the helping of the labouring poor.
Our leader will be sure of himself, and will not have forgotten his self of the week before last. He will know what he wants and what the people want. He will have freed his mind from cant of all kinds; he will not quote to-day the old political economy, and to-morrow whistle it down the wind; he will not busy himself to-day with social reforms, and to-morrow denounce his opponents for the crime of Socialism. To him we may hope that it will be clear that the laws of the old political economy are not rules of conduct, and that you cannot break them as you may break the ten commandments. The laws of political economy are statements of cause and effect like the laws of Nature. They are not true of human nature, but only of a single motive. They are the laws of the desire to be rich-a very strong motive, but happily no more the only motive of man than the stomach is his only organ. Among the complicated motives of humanity there is one which in the average Briton at least is not much weaker than self-interest itself-the love of fair play.
Let our leader appeal to the love of fair play which is found in every class of Englishmen. Let him show that it is neither a moral duty nor a physical necessity to pay the lowest possible wages, nor to extract the greatest possible rent; and let him ask if it is fair that an honest, hard-working man should have no chance of anything between the cradle and the grave but life in a pigsty and death in the workhouse. The fair-minded well-to-do Briton will answer that he would like to help his poor neighbour to a chance, even if it cost him a trifle. So of the foul courts of our cities it is fair to deal strongly with them, and fair, too, to compensate ground landlords for your strong dealing with their property. Love of fair play will uphold our leader in dealing with such evils as are a disgrace to the country, and he will smile superior to the accusation of Socialism. It is a government of Socialists which carries our letters for us and which limits the work of infants in our factories. It is not to be confounded with Communism, which preaches an impossible community of goods, and in pursuit of phantoms has realised battle and murder, the blood of women and children, and the grossest tyranny which the modern world has seen. We abhor revolution; we want a few obvious reforms. If the State can do the work best, in Heaven's name let the State do it. Here, surely, is the proper limit of State-interference.
But, it will be said, nobody cares for your little reforms now, for politicians are exclusively concerned with Ireland. The elections will turn on Ireland. Poor Ireland, food for elections, subject of big bow-wow debates, lever for the turning out of parties—that has been her fate, for how many years? And now, once again, she has been made the victim of Mr. John Morley's backstairs official, who announced this time that a Home Rule Bill was practicable, and required in the interests of the band.' Ireland more than England or Scotland, perhaps more than any place in the world, needs such a leader as we have asked for—a man of a consistent and intelligible policy, who may be trusted to stand and fall with his policy, and who will try to act fairly to Catholic and Protestant alike. It may
be that when these two last fantastic measures for the glory and comfort of Ireland are finally dead-dead, beyond all remodelling and reconstruction, dead, with all their lines, their main lines and their main outlines—it may be that then the question of Irish management of Irish business will be merged in the wider question of local government for England, Scotland, and Ireland. It certainly seems that the Imperial Parliament, even if a stop could be put to organised obstruction-even if a limit could be put to superfluous oratory-would still be unable to get through all its work. After all it is no small Empire which demands the attention of the Imperial Parliament; and it might well be relieved from the consideration of the precise hour at which the thirsty traveller in Rutland may procure beer on a Sunday. But let us not suppose that any change of machinery will give us wise and good government. In small council-chambers, as in great, it is the quality of the men that is important. Though the scheme of local governments be the most symmetrical in the world, of what worth will it be if in every local government the interest of the public be still of no importance in ccmparison with a party victory—if the men who lead have still no time to study the wants of the people, so busy are they with the calculations of the strength of sections and the duty of cutting their policy to fit the last report of Mr. John Morley's backstairs official ?
• The education of chiefs by followers,' wrote Mr. Morley, “and of followers by chiefs, into the abandonment in a month of the traditions of centuries, or the principles of a lifetime, may conduce to the rapid and easy working of the machine. It certainly marks a triumph of the political spirit which the author of The Prince might have admired. It is assuredly mortal to habits of intellectual self-respect in the society which allows itself to be amused by the cajolery and legerdemain and self-sophistication of its rulers.'
We, at least, are amused no more. We hail with renewed hope the spectacle of a hundred Liberal members refusing to be educated by their followers. We have had enough of legerdemain, enough of self-sophistication. Give us, we pray, a plain man to lead us, with a plain policy and a plain speech. So shall we be saved--and thousands of Mr. Herbert Gladstone's over-cultivated persons will be saved with us—from sitting with the shade of Machiavelli, and admiring with a cynical sneer the ingenious dodges of party politicians.
IN AN INDIAN JUNGLE:
A LEAF FROM MY DIARY.
We were at Hyderabad. It was the night of January 27, 1883; the most remarkable day of my journey in India was approaching, but my sleep was disturbed by disagreeable dreams and nasty mosquitos, the latter penetrating the delusive net.
As early as half-past four o'clock in the morning, however, we are seated in our carriages, on the road to the residence of Salar Yung, the Premier, who had preceded us, evidently to perform the ride more at ease than it would have been possible in our company, he being far from a “light weight.' It is still night, but a bright, cheerful moon is lighting our way to the rendezvous of the sportsmen. As soon as we are divided into the light carriages in waiting the start is made. The streets are silent and deserted, only through some half-opened balcony door a faint flickering light struggles into the street, the reflection of some nocturnal orgie within, whence the notes of a guitar or banjo, acompanied by the light tread of the nautch-girls, issue in the dead silence of night. Shortly the violent bumpings of the carriages indicate that we have quitted the precincts of the town; and as we proceed the road becomes worse and worse, great boulders and deep holes threatening every moment to upset the vehicles or cause the slender springs to snap.
The scenery, however, is here, as everywhere around the city, very striking, the undulating ground being strewn with huge blocks of stone, as if they had been tossed hither and thither by nature in some capricious mood. Some of the blocks are piled upon each other in such a manner as to cause a lively imagination to fancy them giants and trolls barring the way. According to Indian folk-lore, these blocks were brought hither, some 4,000 years ago, in this manner. The monkeys, which in the earliest of times in great numbers inhabited the lands beyond the Himalayas, seized on the remarkable idea of building a bridge between the mainland and Ceylon, and, headed by their leaders, they left their settlements in great numbers for the south, carrying with them from their mountains materials for their gigantic bridge. But the road became too long for them, and they were obliged, on reaching the spot where Hyderabad now stands,