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observers also formed the opinion that of the liquor traffic, the Liberal party in Harcourt had no clear political views of his general had not made up its mind to any own, and was merely a sort of free lance policy other than a policy of mere inaction. ready to accept employment under the I mention these two subjects in particular most convenient leader. He had entered because they have an especial value in the House of Commons as a Liberal, and throwing light upon the change which took even before he accepted office had always place more lately in Harcourt's political ranked himself as a regular supporter of attitude. Probably at the time when he the Liberal party, but he often made first entered the House of Commons he speeches in opposition to the views of had not concerned himself much with the extreme Liberals or Radicals—speeches Home Rule question, and had allowed such as might well have been made by himself to take it for granted, as so many some eloquent member of the Tory party. even among Liberal politicians and newsMany of the more advanced Liberals had papers would have told him, that the Irish for some time no confidence whatever in Home Rulers were aiming at the break-up Harcourt's Liberalism, and were often of the Empire. In the same way it is quite engaged in sharp controversy with him. possible that he may have given little or My own impression is that, up to a certain no attention to the demand for some new period in his career, Harcourt had not regulation of the liquor traffic, and disformed, or troubled himself to form, any missed the whole subject as a crotchet of very settled opinions on the rising political Sir Wilfrid Lawson. When, however, he questions of the day. Upon all the old began to study the political life of the subjects of political debate, on the con- House of Commons as an active and a troversies which divided political parties rising member, and when he found that in a former generation, his views were, no his inclinations and his instincts were doubt, quite settled, but then there were leading him into politics and away from many new subjects coming up for discus- law, we can easily understand that he set sion, bringing with them new occasions himself to study with candid judgment for political division, and it is quite the new questions which were beginning probable that on some of these at least to divide the Liberal party. I have often the new Solicitor-General had not quite heard Sir William Harcourt accused of made up his mind. He had been a close inconsistency and even of time-serving, student at Cambridge, and had been because of his sudden conversion to the elected professor of international law by principle of some political movement that University; he had practiced law as which was at last coming to be accepted an advocate, and had begun to make a by the great Liberal leaders. I do not reputation for himself as a writer. It is see any reason whatever to believe that quite probable that he had not yet given Harcourt can fairly be reproached with any special attention to some of the new inconsistency, or can be justly accused of questions which the growing development any ignoble motive for his adoption of of social and political conditions was call- the newer and more advanced opinions. ing up for Parliamentary consideration. The explanation seems to me quite clear.
Harcourt appears to have accepted as The university student, the practicing advo a matter of course, when he entered the cate, the professor of international law, House of Commons, the recognized prin- adopted a new career and devoted himself ciples inherited by the Liberal party. to an active part in the work of the House But there was then, as at most other of Commons. Then it was that he studied periods of England's constitutional his- for the first time with earnestness and tory, a new and advancing Liberal party impartiality some great developing quesbeginning to make its influence felt, and tions which had previously been mere not satisfied to abide by the mere tradi- names and shadows to him, and thus he tions and established canons of the older came to form the conclusions which guided Liberalism. Only a very few even of the his subsequent career. If Harcourt had advanced Liberals were yet prepared to been thinking chiefly of his own political support and encourage the Irish demand advancement, he might have done better for Home Rule, and on such domestic for himself by following the example of questions, for instance, as the regulation Disraeli, and taking a place among the Tories, where intellect and eloquence attention to the fact that out of the whole were more rare than on the other side of
body of Irish representatives elected by the House, and where promotion was
the constituencies on the same basis of therefore more easily to be won.
voting, less than a dozen members deHarcourt had probably not given much clared themselves uncompromising advoattention to great financial questions until cates of Home Rule. I drew Gladstone's he came under the influence of Gladstone. attention to the fact that the suffrage in Up to that time he had, perhaps, not Ireland was so high and so restricted that assumed that such subjects were likely to the whole bulk of the Irish population come within the scope of his practical were disqualified by law from giving 2 work; but when he had to study them, he vote at any election. Gladstone appealed began to discover that he had within him to me to say whether he had not long been the capacity for a thorough comprehen- in favor of an expanded suffrage for the sion of their real meaning and develop- whole Kingdom, and I told him that I nient, and as the result of the study he cordially recognized his genuine purpose, became, when the opportunity offered and that whenever we got a really fair itself, one of the most successful and and popular suffrage he would then find enlightened financial Ministers of his ample proof that the great bulk of the time. In the same way he had, perhaps, Irish people were united in their demands never given any serious thought to the for Home Rule. Not long after, it came question of Irish Home Rule, and had about that Gladstone and his Government fallen quietly into the way of regarding it, saw their way to a measure of reform in accordance with the common opinion which gave the whole Kingdom an exof most Englishmen just then, as some- panded and popular suffrage, and at the thing naturally associated with a rebellious next general election the great majority desire for the breaking up of the Empire. of Irish members opposed to or lukewarm When, however, he was led to study it as about Home Rule disappeared altogether a question of reasonable import, he grew from Parliament, and their places were to be a convinced and a hopeful advocate taken by avowed and genuine Home of the cause. For a long time after he Rulers elected mainly because they were had taken office under Gladstone he found earnest advocates of Home Rule. Out himself brought into an incessant opposi- of the hundred and three members who tion and even antagonism to the small constitute the Irish representation, we had group of Irish members, who then repre- then nearly ninety who were proclaimed sented the Irish national demand, and and consistent Home Rulers. This result compelled to fight against the obstruction did much of itself to make Gladstone a which these Irish members were raising convert to Home Rule, and it had natunight after night, as their only means of rally the same effect on Harcourt, who was enforcing public attention to a serious far too intelligent a man not to accept the consideration of Ireland's national com- lesson taught by the Irish constituencies, plaints and claims. He became converted and to admit that the demand for Home to the cause of Home Rule, just as Glad- Rule was a genuine national demand, and stone did, by having the question forced as such entitled to the serious consideraupon his consideration, and thus being tion of real statesmen. The conversion compelled to ask himself whether there of Harcourt I have always, therefore, rewas not some real sense of justice inspir- garded as sincere and statesmanlike, and ing the Irish agitation.
of the same order as the conversion of I shall always remember a conversation Gladstone himself. The first business of I once had with Gladstone on this subject statesmanship is to recognize established of Irish Home Rule. It was in one of the facts and to act upon their evidence. inner lobbies of the House of Commons, Once the demand had been proved to be and Mr. Gladstone began it by asking me national, neither Gladstone nor Harcourt how I could regard Home Rule as a na- was the man to deny it a full considerational demand, seeing that only a very tion; and the same full consideration made small number of the Irish representatives the one man and the other an advocate in the House were actively in favor of of Home Rule. such a measure. Gladstone called my In the days before the great constitutional change which I have described, the any inclination to abuse his power when change which resulted in the adoption of he was strong and we were at our weakest. a popular suffrage, in the days when our My recollection of the days when we were small band of Irish Nationalists was still fighting against Harcourt is tinged with doing battle inch by inch against the no bitterness. He was always a formidaGovernment, we had many fierce strug. ble fighter, but he fought fairly when he gles with Harcourt, then a leading mem- still had to fight against us. ber of the Liberal administration. We It is not surprising that Harcourt should had to admit that we found in him a have been for some time regarded as a powerful antagonist. He was ready in powerful debater and nothing more. He reply, resolute in maintaining his position, was one of the foremost debaters in the and he gave us, to say the least of it, as House of Commons, even at a time when good as we brought. He was ever alert, that House had more commanding dehe could answer attack by attack, he could baters in it than it can claim to have just at carry the battle into the enemy's ranks, present. He cannot be ranked among the and the ablest of our debaters had his great orators of the House. He is wantbest work to do when compelled to stand ing in imagination, and without the gift up in Parliamentary contest against Har- of imagination there cannot be eloquence court. But I always observed that in of the highest order. Even in the mere our private dealings with Harcourt, on making of phrases he has seldom shown questions which came within the range of originality, and it has often been remarked his administrative functions, we always of him, as it was remarked by Disraeli of found him considerate, kind, and even Sir Robert Peel, that he never ventures generous. There are frequent occasions on any quotation which has not already when a Minister of the Crown had to be well established its popularity. Sir Willapplied to by an Irish member for justice iam Harcourt's best qualities as a speaker in the dealings of his official department, consist in his clearness of exposition, his where individual questions of right and unfailing fluency, his masterly array of wrong having nothing to do with the gen- forcible argument, and the fact that he eral subject of Home Rule came up for never allows his eloquence to soar over consideration.
now speaking of the heads of his audience. I should be questions which were not to be settled by inclined to say of him that, although he mere debate in the House of Commons, is unquestionably a great Parliamentary but which belonged to the ordinary and debater, yet his intellectual capacity, his practical dealings of the department with faculty for balancing evidence, acquiring this or that individual case. I can remem- and comparing facts, appreciating tendenber many instances in which I had to make cies, and coming to just conclusions, are some such appeal to Sir William Harcourt, greater even than his powers of speech. and I always found him most ready and I may say that one who listened to Sir willing to consider fairly the nature of William Harcourt during the earlier stages any individual grievance, and to prevent of his Parliamentary career might very the administration of the law from being naturally have been led to quite a differperversely turned into an engine of ent conclusion, and might have set him oppression. I know that many of my down as a clever maker of speeches and colleagues as well as myself felt thankful not a statesman. But such an observer, to Harcourt for his prompt interference supposing him to be endowed with a fair where a genuine grievance had been amount of intelligence, would have gradbrought under his notice, and for his ually changed his opinion as he followed resolve to see that justice must be done Harcourt's political career. Every time to the obscure sufferer from official that Harcourt has been in office he has tyranny. When the Liberal Government
more and more given proof that there is and the Irish National party came to in him the genuine quality of statesmanwork together for Home Rule, we, the ship. He served as Home Secretary Irish National members, had nothing on under Gladstone, and was afterwards our memory which could prevent us from Chancellor of the Exchequer, first in one regarding Harcourt as a genuine Liberal of Gladstone's administrations and afterand a sincere friend who had never shown wards in the Government of Lord Rose
bery. There can be no question that he tions, a man who thinks before he speaks proved himself to be one of the greatest and speaks because he thinks. financial Ministers England has had in Indeed, the seriousness of Harcourt's recent times. His famous Death Duties convictions on some subjects of National budget, introduced while Lord Rosebery importance has brought him more than was Prime Minister, created one of the once into disfavor with his constituents. most vehement controversies own to He holds very strong and advanced views the political life of the present genera- on the subject of local option--that is to tion. Yet the great principle which Har- say, on the right of localities to say court embodied in his dealing with the whether they will or will not allow the question of death duties must now be sale of intoxicating drinks within their regarded even by his political opponents confines, and to state what conditions are as resting on a basis of absolute morality to be imposed on the traffic if it is perand justice. The principle merely was mitted at all. Sir William Harcourt went that the amount of taxation which any further on this subject than som even individual pays to the State in considera- among his colleagues who were in favor tion cf his having obtained property by of the general principle as a principle, but bequest shall be greater in proportion did not see the necessity for pressing it according as the acquired property is to immediate action. One of those colgreat in amount. In other words, Har- leagues said to me that in his opinion court's policy maintained that a man who Harcourt might very well have allowed comes in for a large property as a bequest the question to stand over for eight or shall pay a larger proportion of taxation ten years, and perhaps by the end of that to the State than a man who comes in for time the habits of the population would a small property, and that the same prin- have improved so far as to render the ciple ought to prevail through our other passing of any strong restrictive law unsystems of direct taxation. The whole necessary. I am quite certain that Harcontroversy simply turns on the question court's earnest resolve to deal boldly with whether the rich man ought or ought not this subject if he should be allowed the to pay a larger proportion of his income opportunity had much to do with the to defray the national expenses than the condition of feeling in the Liberal party poor man-whether the citizen who has which led to his resignation of its leaderonly income enough to enable him to main. ship. We may look forward with confitain his family decently ought to be called dence to the formation of a new Liberal upon to pay towards the maintenance of the Government in which Harcourt will have State on just the same scale as that ordained a commanding position, and when that for the man who can live in lavish luxury. time comes we may take it for granted The boldness and originality of Sir Will that, in spite of whatever opposition on iam Harcourt's venture in his budget of either side of the House of Commons, he 1893, the energy and argumentative power will once more attempt to deal with the with which he carried it to success, have question of local option. undoubtedly secured for him a place in Most of my American readers know the front rank of England's financial that Sir William Harcourt's second wife Ministers. The later years of Harcourt's was the daughter of Lothrop Motley, the career offer a strange commentary on the famous historian who was for a time estimate generally formed of him when he Minister to Great Britain, and died at began to be conspicuous in Parliament. Harcourt's country residence in 1877. At the former period he was commonly The eldest son, Lewis Vernon Harcourt, regarded as a clever but somewhat super- who was born in 1863, has also married ficial man, as one whose qualities were an American lady. The younger Harrather flashy than sound, as a ready maker court, whom I have known since his boyish of telling speeches designed to produce days, is endowed with much of his father's an immediate effect and destined to be talents, and I have always thought that if utterly forgotten the day after to-morrow. he had devoted himself entirely to political Harcourt's later years of public work have life he might make for himself such a proved him to be a serious Parliamentary career as his father has already accom
a man of strong and deep convic- plished. During contested elections i
have been more than once associated with although his acceptance of it would have the youngerHarcourt in -“stumping” made “Lulu” the heir to a peerage. Sir some parts of the country on behalf of William Harcourt, we may well hope, has the Liberal Government then engaged in yet good work to do in the House of the cause of Home Rule, and I have the Commons. There is nothing about him clearest memories of his remarkable organ- which suggests the idea of advanced izing capacity, his ready eloquence, and years or of decaying powers, whether his skill in replying to questions and argu- mental or physical. The curious attack ments and in convincing skeptical voters. of weakness which lately came over so I take it for granted that every one who many members of the Liberal party never has known Lewis, or, as he is commonly touched his robust intellect and resolute called, “Lulu” Harcourt, must have character. No man could render more delightful recollections of his bright com- valuable services than he may be expected panionship. We have all heard that Sir to do in turning to account for genuine William Harcourt studiously consulted Liberalism the reaction already beginning his son when the offer of a peerage was to set in against the reign of the Tories made to him by King Edward, and that and the Jingoes. I cherish the belief “Lulu” was resolute in supporting his that the best of Sir William Harcourt's father's desire to refuse the honor, even work is yet to be done by him.
HIS New Year's Day, 1903, smiles Settlement sent around to the Young
sunnily on a curious, uncomfort- Women's Christian Association and other
able, unnecessary condition of institutions to see if they could sell any affairs. The richest country in the world coal to help out the Settlement's shortage. has its commerce, its manufactures, and The “ Young Woman's," as it goes among its homes practically at the mercy of a its frequenters, has the right sort of an few operators in fuel. This article is engineer, who buys its coal by the boatwritten in a writing-room of a hotel, load and gets it at $3.20 a ton this season because the home order for fuel paid for of scarcity. His dynamos burn “buckten days ago has not been delivered, and wheat” fine coal just as the great electric the domestic shortage allows fire only power and light companies use it. There nights and mornings. My lawyer, in good is coal en route, we are told, but the mere practice, yesterday owned to highly pessi- transit after the stagnant months of strike mistic feelings in view of the fact that he almost blocks trade. The ocean liners had just paid for twenty-eight tons of coal contract by the year for coal, and each at fourteen dollars a ton. He does not steamer of the crack lines must have at know how fortunate he is to get it at all. least two thousand tons for a week's run. New England churches suspend service, Five million families must have at least New England manufacturers are walking a half ton a month each or shiver. That the floor in dread of being compelled to is the least amount by which one small shut down their mills for want of coal fire can be kept with economy. Multiply just when our export trade needs nursing it and see what amount must be moved to hold its own. People sent Christmas weekly to keep this country going. The hoxes of home cake, nuts, and confec- coal-trucks must roll steadily each hour tionery to friends, and the prettiest bon- of night and day on the railroads to keep bonnière was full of nut coal, carefully our American world of business and its washed and dried. With the cover closed cooking fires supplied. Chill is as deadly the enamel box went on with the dessert- as freezing, though its effects are slower. a joke which has had a famous run these The colds taken in fireless street-cars, in holidays.
chilly rooms and draughty shops, swell At the first cold snap the University the death-rate under various other names