網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

election. The ties of party are with trying to set by the ears the immensely, nay, absurdly strong in four recognised nationalities within England, so that men will

con- the kingdom, his last effort has been stantly submit to very great sac- to set up an additional nationality, rifices of personal opinion sooner and to persuade the great country than incur the reproach of dis- of York that she, too, has some loyalty to their party by refusing interest separate and apart from to follow the policy of its leaders. that of the rest of England. YorkBut when, as in the present case, shire, forsooth, returned a majority those leaders are divided, and the of Gladstonians as her representaquestion of policy is one which tives at the last election, and therevitally affects the very existence fore, according to Mr Gladstone, of the United Kingdom, something Yorkshire has in some inscruteven stronger than party ties able manner been wronged by should awake in the breast of the fact that collective England every Briton who is worthy of the happily returned a majority of name. There would be no greater Unionists. This, however, is only mistake than to suppose that the one more example of the mischief contest was finally decided at the which would arise from the adopelection of 1886. Those who were tion of Mr Gladstone's views. defeated have too much at stake to Everywhere they tend to division accept as final the verdict which and disunion. Carry them out to was then recorded. Every effort their legitimate conclusions, and we will be made to obtain the reversal must have a separate Parliament of that verdict ; and to defeat such and Government in every county, efforts loyal men must be firm, if not indeed in every hundred or resolute, and united.

wapentake, or even in every parish Our opponents are never weary of a county. It is indeed the idea of telling us that they are as much of self-government gone mad, which for the Union as we are, but that seems to have taken possession of it is a real union of heart and soul this eminent statesman's brain. which they desire. And yet, with Self-government is doubtless in itthese professions in his mouth, Mr self an admirable thing, but, like Gladstone, with strange inconsist- other admirable things, it may be ency, takes every opportunity of spoiled by overdoing; and that every pointing out to the several nation- part of a country should govern alities of which the United King- itself, irrespective and independom is composed, that they have dently of the other parts, is, of separate and divided interests, and course, a state of things incompatthat it is England which is unduly ible with the existence of that outweighing and overbearing the country in the shape of a great and opinions of Scotland, Ireland, and united empire. To common-citizenWales. One would have imagined ship in such an empire Mr Gladthat a statesman who really desired stone apparently attaches no value, a union of heart and soul between or if he values it at all, it is as the people of these islands, would something quite secondary and inhave rather loved to dwell upon ferior to the possession of a disthe interests which they possess in tinct and separate nationality, howcommon, and the many reasons ever helpless and unimportant the which exist for such a union. Mr latter may chance to be. But it Gladstone, however, presers to take is in the aggregate of nationalities, a contrary course, and, not content closely united by common bonds

our

of interest, of affection and loyalty, been restrained if it had not been that we Unionists find the strength abused to an extent which rendered and glory of the country which we its restraint a matter of necessity love.

But in spite of obstruction, of In our eyes, the nationality of waste of time, and of the delay of every one of Queen Victoria's sub- useful legislation, we have such conjects is to be respected, but the fidence in the goodness of our cause nationality of the United Empire that we do not for a moment doubt is an object of still greater re- its triumph over every obstacle spect and admiration. It is for which the ingenuity of faction can this that Unionists contend, and devise. Lord Salisbury's Governit is this which they intend to ment has received its mission from preserve. Nor will we be diverted the country, and that mission will from our purpose by all the arts be duly fulfilled. The first two which unscrupulous faction may months of the year may not have employ to embarrass or defeat seen all that work accomplished our efforts. When adver- which loyal and patriotic men saries declare that many useful could have desired ; but they have legislative measures are impeded, at least proved to the Government and many desirable reforms are that public opinion is upon the side delayed, because “ Ireland blocks of patriotism and loyalty, and that the way,” we reply that it is not in a resolute determination to reIreland, but the mischievous and press disorder in Ireland, to upill-considered legislation which the hold the authority of the Crown, objectors themselves have proposed and to vindicate the majesty of the for Ireland, which is “ blocking the law, they will receive the cordial way,” even after its emphatic re- and unilinching support of the jection by the constituencies at the Unionist majority in the British general election. When these men Parliament. affect to regret the waste of time which has brought the House of P.S.-It is impossible to close Commons into contempt, we an- our review of these two. months swer that it is upon their own without one word in reference to shoulders that the responsibility the new Secretary for Ireland, and rests ; and that the conduct of the the treatment to which he has Parnellite obstructives in the Im- been already subjected by those perial Parliament, in which they Nationalists who are so anxious figure as a minority, has amply to prove their fitness for the disjustified that decision of the elec- charge of legislative functions. torate which has refused to estab- Mr Balfour, quitting the congenial lish them as a majority in a separ- duties of Secretary for Scotland, ate Parliament at Dublin. More for which he had already evinced time may yet be wasted, for not an aptitude and ability which proeven the " closure can entirely mised a great success, promptly put an end to the exuberant ver- responded to the call of duty, and bosity which finds its way into stepped into the post rendered popular assemblies such as the vacant by the unfortunate illness House of Commons, and obstruc- of Sir Michael Hicks Beach. In tion will die hard-being, in fact, the first answers which he returned an evil which has sprung from that to the questions asked by Parnelfreedom of debate which is in itself lite members, Mr. Balfour displayed good, and which would never have a calm courage and determination

on

which at once aroused the wrath conspicuously unfair as to call for of those parliamentary bullies who notice. On Monday the 21st, the are striving to overawe the House Irish and their Radical allies forced of Commons by their vulgar brag- the House of Commons to sit gadocio. Accordingly, the through the whole night and far night of Friday the 18th of March, into Tuesday. The discussion was when Mr Dillon had succeeded upon the Estimates, and had there in dragging the case of Father been a real wish to discuss an Irish Keller before an unwilling House, question, opportunity could have Mr Balfour was contradicted, in- been found therein. But these terrupted, and subjected to insult- honest and kindly opponents waited ing language which would have until Mr Balfour, after a long sitdisgraced Billingsgate. We grieve ting, had gone to bed, and then, to say that it was not only Irish raising a discussion which could Parnellites who took part in this lead to nothing, insisted upon his shameful behaviour. Perhaps no presence, and refused to go on with better could have been expected the business until he had been of Mr Labouchere, who has never sent for. Mr Balfour is not beshown the slightest respect for the lieved to be strong, and it apdignity and character of parlia- pears to be the desire and intenment; but the citizens of York can tion of the genial Nationalists to hardly be proud of the part played wear him We trust and by their representative, Mr Lock- believe, however, that they are wood. This gentleman, owning to reckoning without their host. “the very small experience of the Even after the long sitting on House which he possessed," took Monday, and the lack of time to upon himself to lecture Mr Balfour make any preparation for Tuesupon the way in which he “had day's debate, his reply to the lachosen to deal with the question," boured invective of Mr J. Morley accused him, forsooth, of "want of was spirited, pointed, and full of respect” to Mr Dillon, and of ap- vigour. Mr Balfour has given proaching the subject “in a dicta- evidence that he has a brave heart torial spirit.” This impudent at- and determined spirit, and will tack probably had no effect upon not be daunted by the unworthy Mr Balfour, but certainly did not course taken by men who are unreflect anything but discredit able to cope with him by fair and

author. It was both legitimate argument. For ourwanton and unnecessary, besides selves we are proud of our fellowbeing most ungenerous, when we countryman, and confident that consider that it was made upon a the public opinion of Great Britain man who had only filled his present will applaud his bold tone and office for some three days, and in courageous bearing, whilst all loyal whose speech there was really no- men will uphold and support him thing which could in the least jus- and his colleagues in their resolulify Mr Lockwood's bitterness. Nor tion to enforce obedience to the was it on Friday only that Mr Bal- law in every part of her Majesty's four was treated in a manner so dominions.

upon its

[blocks in formation]

now

It was a coming of age, and yet the peculiar position of being not a coming of age. The hero in received by his father and mother honour of whom all these festivities in a house which was not theirs were, was a brown and bearded man, but his, and of standing in the who had been absent in all sorts of place of the head of the family, dangerous places since the moment while the natural head of his own when he was supposed formally to branch of the family was put aside. have ended the state of pupilage. The character of the people made That had been later than common, this as little embarrassing as it was since the will of his uncle, whom possible for such a false position to he had succeeded, had stipulated be, but still it was not easy ; and that he was to come of age at as the young man was full of delitwenty-five. He was

near cate feeling and susceptibility, notthirty when he came home, beard- withstanding an acquaintance with ed as has been said, bronzed, with the world unusual in his circumdecorations upon his breast, and a stances, he had looked forward to it character quite unlike that of the with some apprehension. Perhaps young hero to whom such honours it would be wiser to say that he are usually paid. His position thought he was acquainted with altogether was a peculiar one. The the world. He had been “knockestates of the family were not en- ing about" for the last ten years, tailed, and Mr. Bellendean of Bel- seeing all the service that was to lendean, the uncle, had passed over be seen, and making acquaintance his own brother, who was still with various quarters of the globe. living, and left everything to his He thought he knew men and life. nephew; so that Norman was in In reality he knew a little of Scotland, a great deal of India, and had there's a reason. Come along, or a trilling acquaintance with some you'll have all the vagrants at of the colonies; but of London, your heels," his more experienced Paris, all the capitals that count companion would reply. They had for anything, and all the life that thus a little difficulty in getting counts for anything, he was as him safely through the streets at ignorant as a child.

his first arrival. Home was strange This combination is one which to him; it was a place where all was not at all unusual in Scotland the men were honest and all the a generation since, and produced a women true. He was ready to kind of character full of attraction, believe everything that was said the most piquant mixture of ex- to him in the new England which perience and ignorance, of sim- somehow was so unlike the old plicity and knowledge, that can be which he had seen only in passing conceived. A man who had an so long ago. eye as keen as lightning for the The party he had brought down wiles of an Eastern, were he prince with him consisted of two or three or slave, but could be taken in brother officers, unnecessary to with the most delightful ease by dwell upon here; an older friend, the first cab-driver in the streets ; Colonel Hayward, whom he had who could hold his own before a known very well and served under, durbar of astute oriental politi- and who had now retired from the cians, but was at the mercy of the service, who joined young Bellenfirst flower-girl who offered him a dean in Edinburgh, being already rosebud for his button-hole, or in the North; and a young man gamin who held his horse. He about town called Essex, who had had the defects as well as the made a tour in India a year bevirtues common to a dominant fore, and was very willing to rerace, and probably was imperious pay the kindness shown him then and exacting in the sphere which by taking care of his military he knew best ; but this tendency friend and steering him through was completely neutralised by the the dangers of London. Essex, confusion which arose in his mind who had a mild handle to his name, from the fact of finding himself and was Sir Harry, would have suddenly among a population en- liked to prolong the period of his tirely made up of this dominant tutorship, and lead his young solrace, to whom he could be nothing dier about into pleasures and wonbut polite, whatever their condition ders unknown. But the claims might be. He was very polite and of Bellendean and the great festivifriendly to the railway porters, to ties concerted there were supreme. all the people he encountered on And then it was drawing towards the journey home, and reluctant the end of July—a period when phito give trouble to the pretty fair losophy becomes easy. It was thus chambermaids at the hotels, or to a party of four or five young men, pass without inquiring into their chaperoned, if the word is applistory, the women who begged or cable, by the vieux moustache, the sold trifles on the streets. "A steady old soldier, as ready for a respectable - looking woman, and frolic as any of them, who was yet, English by her accent," he would as he assured them, old enough to

“We must stop and inquire be their father, who arrived at the into it. There must be a reason, Bellendean station, where flags you know." “Oh yes; probably were flying, and the militia band

say.

« 上一頁繼續 »