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“ knuckle down" to America. The policy which accepted the arbitration seems to us to have been entirely wise, honorable, statesmanlike, and just. The fault to be found was with that earlier policy which gave the United States only too fair a ground for asserting their claims. But it is certain that Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues suffered in public esteem by the mere fact of their having accepted the arbitration which went so signally against England. They were somewhat in the position of a government who have to submit to rigorous and humiliating terms of peace. They may not have been responsible for the war. It may have been no act of their's which made the acceptance of the harsh terms a cruel necessity. It may not be open to any one to say that they had any practical alternative but to submit to the demands of the occasion. All this may be true. Yet none the less is the government to be pitied which has to submit to any terms of peace by which its people seem to be humbled. The Conservative party made it for a long time a great point againt Mr. Gladstone's Government that he had accepted the treaty of Washington. They did not always seem to reflect that a leading Conservative, Sir Stafford Northcote, had been made one of the joint commissioners in order that the arrangement might not seem the mere act of a political party. Perhaps in one or two instances the manner in which the treaty was vindicated may have helped to embitter the sacrifice. Mr. Lowe, for instance, put it as a clear saving of money, pointing out that a war would have cost much more than the expense of paying off the award. This was not the happiest way of commending the transaction to the sympathies of a proud and somewhat unreasoning public. However that may be, it is certain that the effect of the Geneva arbitration was to create a sore and angry feeling among Englishmen in general. The feeling found expression with some; smouldered in sullenness with others. It was unreasonable and unjust; but it was
not altogether unnatural; and it had its effect on the popularity of Mr. Gladstone's Government.
The opening of the session of 1872 was made melancholy by the announcement that Lord Mayo, the Viceroy of India, had been killed by a fanatical assassin in a convict settlement, on one of the Andaman Islands which the viceroy was inspecting. Lord Mayo had borne himself well in his diffa. cult position, and had won the admiration of men of all parties by his firmness, his energy, his humanity, and his justice.
"HE Liberal Ministry continued somehow to fall off in
popularity. They made a great many enemies. This fact was for the most part rather to their credit than otherwise. They came into office pledged to carry out certain reforms, and they did carry them out, regardless of the offence they gave to class privileges and vested interests. A great reforming administration must always count on making enemies, and enemies whose hostility will be subtle and enduring. The prime minister himself was personally too much absorbed in the zeal of his cause not sometimes to run counter to the feelings, the prejudices, the sensitive jeal. ousies of men less earnest and less self-forgetting. Mr. Gladstone was profoundly serious in his purposes of reform; and very serious men are seldom popular in a society like. that of London. The long series of bold and vigorous reforms was undoubtedly causing the public to lose its breath. People were getting tired of going on, as an ordinary walker gets tired of trying to keep up with some man who is bent on walking as fast and as far as he possibly can without rest or interruption. The inevitable reaction was setting in. It must have come in any case. No popularity, no skill, no cunning in the management of men, no quality or endowment on the part of the prime minister, could have wholly prevented that result. Mr. Gladstone was not cunning in
the management of men. He would probably have despised himself for availing of such a craft, had he possessed it. He showed his feelings too plainly. If men displeased him he seldom took the trouble to conceal his displeasure. He was too often “preoccupied," as the French phrase puts it, to think of petty courtesies and small social arts. It was murmured among his followers that he was dictatorial; and no doubt he was dictatorial in the sense that he had strong purposes himself, and was earnest in trying to press them upon other men. His very religious opinions served to interfere with his social popularity. He seemed to be a curious blending of the English High Churchman and the Scottish Presbyterian. He displeased the ordinary English middle class by leaning too much to Ritualism, and, on the other hand, he often offended the Roman Catholics by his impassioned diatribes against the Pope and the Church of Rome. One or two appointments made by or under the authority of Mr. Gladstone gave occasion to considerable controversy and to something like scandel. One of these was the appointment of the Attorney-General, Sir Robert Collier, to a Puisne Judgeship of the Court of Common Pleas, in order technically to qualify him for a seat on the bench of a new Court of Appeal-that is to say, to become one of the paid members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. The statute required that every judge of the Court of Appeal should have been a judge of one of the ordinary courts; and Sir Robert Collier was passed through the Court of Common Pleas in order that he might have the technical qualification. There was not the slightest suggestion of any improper motive on the part of Mr. Gladstone, or lack of legal or judicial fitness on the part of Sir Bobert Collier. On the contrary, it was admitted that Sir Robert Collier had helped the Government out of a difficulty by taking an appointment which several judges had declined, and which had not quite such a position as that which the traditions of his office en
titled him to expect. It seemed, however as if there was something of a trick in the act which thus passed him through the one court in order to give him a technical quali. fication for the other. A vote of censure on the Government was moved in the House of Lords, and the universal impression was that it would be carried. Some of the Opposition leaders did all they could to make it the means of injuring the Government, and even went the length of including in their complaints the fact that the Lord Chancellor had given an appointment as Judge of a County Court to the Mr. Beales who was President of the Reform League when the Hyde Park railings were thrown down. The vote of censure was, however, rejected by eighty-nine against eighty-seven. A similar attempt was made in the House of Commons, and was deteated; only, however, by a majority of twenty-seven, a small majority in the House, where the strength of the Government was supposed to lie. Another appointment which led to controversy was that of the Rev. W. W. Harvey to the Rectory of Ewelme. The law required that the Rector of Ewelme should be a member of the Convocation of Oxford, and Mr. Harvey, who kad been educated at Cambridge, was niade a member of Oxford Convocation-by Oxford, not by Mr. Gladstone--in order to qualify him for the appointment. In this instance, too, there was no question either as to the motives of the minister or the merits of the appointment. But as in the former case, there seemed to many persons something like a trick in the manner of obtaining the qualification. Each case gave a chance to Mr. Gladstone's enemies which they were not slow to use. He was accused of casuistry, which to many Englishmen seems a sort of crime, and of Jesuitry, which to some Englishmen seems the worst of crimes. It was part of Mr. Gladstone's curious fortune to be denounced by certain enemies as a Roman Catholic in disguise, at the very time when he was estranging and offending some of his