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be realised, the consciousness of a life with infinite aspirations unfulfilled, the knowledge of aims endlessly desirable, yet not loved, the thought of action that might have been wide and high as the universe, now expended fruitlessly and thwarted by an evil will? You know the name, which so lightly comes to man's lips, given by all religions to this sphere of darkness. I do not see that science can erase it from the portal. If the soul at last identifies itself with the environment and this with itself, an evil soul must have around it an environment of horror. I admit that all this depends upon the existence of free-will and the reality of sin, concerning which we must interrogate, not the men of physical science, but those to whom good and evil have appeared the supreme realities of life and the struggle between them the supreme struggle for existence. It was a fine saying of Joubert's and a true: "One should be fearful of being wrong in poetry when one thinks differently from the poets, and in religion when one thinks differently from the saints."
SAVILE. There comes my doctor, no saint, but a staunch materialist. He is just in time; for if you go on I shall perhaps have to say of you as Duclos said of some of his friends-in a different connection, indeed-" Ces gens-là finiront par me faire aller à la messe." ST. GEORGE. Would that be a great misfortune? testimony is worth anything, take it in the old lines
If my own
"Plurima quæsivi: per singula quæque cucurri:
W. S. LILLY.
HOME AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS.
FOR Some reasons the Ipswich election must rank as the most important event in the domestic politics of the month. The mere fact that it ended in a Liberal victory, and in a gain of two votes on a division for the Government in the House of Commons, is unimportant in comparison with the method by which this result was obtained and the principles which the whole incident illustrates. In an ordinary way by-elections are of little significance, and are for the most part commentaries upon the vicissitudes of public favourindications, not too trustworthy, of the waning or the waxing strength of administrations. But the contest at Ipswich and its event point a moral of a far more suggestive character. This is the first occasion upon which, since the general election of 1880, the issue between Conservatism and Liberalism of an advanced type has been definitely put before a constituency. Hitherto there has been no tangible proof that democratic sentiments were steadily gaining ground; Ipswich has afforded conclusive proof that they are. The Liberal candidate, Mr. West, had no sooner come forward than the working men of the borough told his canvassers that they could not pledge themselves until they were acquainted with the views of Mr. Jesse Collings. Mr. Collings himself was not in better odour with the Liberal managers at Ipswich than with the older chiefs of the Liberal party at Westminster. Here, as there, he is considered an extreme and therefore a dangerous man. But the working classes see matters in another light. Neither Mr. West nor his most intimate political friends are men of extremist ideas. They are, however, the first to admit that but for Mr. Collings's assistance they would have had no chance. Directly he took part in the struggle the victory was as good as won. His passionate and sympathetic appeals to the working classes secured for him an influence which no Liberal has ever possessed before in the borough. It is to be trusted that Liberal candidates will lay to heart the lesson which this election affords. Let them be sure that Englishmen are instinctively disposed to trust those who hold clearly-defined views and who act with the courage which they ought to inspire. Whiggism is exhausted, and the lukewarm, the half-and-half, the moderate Liberals are a survival of the old Whigs. They stir no feeling; they rouse no enthusiasm. It is to timidity, to tepidity of political belief, rather than, as is frequently said, to the misgivings generated by strong declarations of opinion, that Liberal defeats are very often due. What Mr. Collings has achieved at Ipswich should remind candidates that, if they will take the line which he has done, and not fear to
trust the working classes, they will win many constituencies that must otherwise remain hopeless.
The public meetings held, and speeches delivered, during the last few weeks conclusively establish that electoral reform is the question of the day, and that it must engage the attention of Parliament next session. The earnestness with which Lord Randolph Churchill-who has done more for the Opposition by his addresses at Edinburgh than his titular chiefs by their collective efforts throughout the whole recess argued against any extension of the franchise, shows that he is alive to the gravity of the topic. The reform agitation has, in fact, since we last wrote, advanced by leaps and bounds. It now occupies the first place in the first rank of public questions. Nothing can reduce it to a subordinate position. First, the Franchise Bill must be introduced at the beginning of the Session; must, in other words, have precedence of all other measures-which is, of course, by no means the same thing as saying that it must monopolise the session; secondly, it will not be accompanied by redistribution; thirdly, it must include Ireland. This is what we have always advocated, and our predictions are now in a fair way of being fulfilled to the letter. There is no difference of opinion among Liberals. Mr. Forster upon this point agrees with Mr. Chamberlain. Lord Hartington, it was supposed, had signified his distrust or disapproval of the policy. A few days later he confessed to a consciousness that he might have gone too far, and specifically explained that he was raising no objections, but only reckoning with difficulties.
While the Ministerial programme is thus clear there is equally little doubt as to the tactics which the Opposition will adopt. Lord Salisbury, Sir Stafford Northcote, Sir Richard Cross, and half-aother responsible leaders of Conservatism, have shown their hands betimes. Their strategy is to be one of vexatious. obstruction and irritating delay. By some means or other, the business of Reform is to be shelved. The Government are to be prevented, if possible, from introducing a Reform Bill, or, if not that, so many obstacles are to be placed in the way that it will be abandoned as hopeless. Attacks upon foreign policy and colonial policy will be spun out as long as possible and repeated as frequently, in the hope that a measure for enfranchising the excluded classes may not be sent up to the House of Lords this year. These expedients are intelligible, and might even be successful if the Conservatives were correct in their assumed belief that the country is indifferent. But no moderately shrewd observer of the political atmosphere can study the signs of the times without perceiving that the tide is setting strongly in the direction of a great extension of popular liberties. What is now a unanimous
demand may easily become the forerunner of a vehement agitation if the concession, called for alike by justice and expediency, is not made in time. Of course we shall be told that the Liberal party are not united, and by way of proof we shall be referred to the attitude of Lord Hartington. If, it will be said, his colleagues in the Cabinet insist in pressing on Parliament a Reform Bill unaccompanied by a measure for the readjustment of electoral power, and meting out to Ireland the same measure as to England, the Secretary of War will have no alternative but to resign, and the disruption both of the Government and of Liberalism will be an accomplished fact. It is inconceivable that sober Tories, however stout their devotion to their creed, should credit this idle talk. It is the sort of gossip which obtains circulation in smoking-rooms and finds acceptance at dinnertables across the walnuts and the wine. All the arguments drawn from the probabilities of the case are against it. The contingency, thus extravagantly discounted, resolves itself into the question whether Lord Hartington is prepared to efface the political influence of himself and his order. He belongs to a great and puissant family; the power which in this capacity -to say nothing of his own signal abilities, services, and patriotism-he possesses, would be neutralised if he were to place himself in opposition, first, to the not ambiguously declared will of the English people; secondly, to his party, and to the statesmen with whom he has always acted, and with whom he is intimately associated. For what would happen if he were to retire upon the proposal to include Ireland in the new Reform Bill? Upon what co-operation could he count? Into what camp could he go? The time for "caves" has passed. He might, indeed, secure one other occupant of the sinister recess-Mr. Marriott. But surely even the adhesion of the Tory member for Brighton, who masquerades as an eccentric Liberal, would not induce him to commit political suicide. The idea that he would join the Tories is too preposterous to be seriously discussed. They indeed would welcome him, but it would be impossible for him, educated in his traditions, and with such a past as his, to live or act with them. Moreover, as has been already remarked, the ridiculous rumours of Lord Hartington's secession rest upon no other basis than that in a single speech he declined to ignore the difficulties of the task which the Government were contemplating. A week after this speech was made he deliberately used language that can only be interpreted as a quiet remonstrance against the precipitate inferences which had been drawn from it. It is true that the cabinet contains few Radicals, but if these are weak in Downing Street, they are strong in the support of the vast mass of electors.
In Egypt, as well as in the business of parliamentary reform, a
menace has been detected to the unity of the Liberal party and of the Government. Affairs on the Nile, it is asserted, have now reached a pitch at which Ministers themselves have misgivings as to the policy they have enunciated, and are about to execute a retrograde movement. Nothing has occurred since we last wrote to change or weaken the determination of the Cabinet. We know now, as we knew then, that there are troubles in the Soudan, and that the Egyptian Government have undertaken an enterprise for which they are wholly unequal. But everything which comes to us from this remote quarter is uncertain. The rumours of the annihilation of Hicks Pacha's army are repeated and confirmed one day only to be refuted the next. There could be no more significant commentary upon our ignorance of the Soudan and all that passes in it than this prolonged conflict of intelligence. The announcement that Turkish or Indian troops are about to land on the shores of the Red Sea for the purpose of waging war against the Mahdi have been supplemented by positive declarations that the English Government have determined to change their policy, and not only indefinitely to postpone the evacuation of Cairo, but largely to increase their force. It cannot be said too strongly that these asseverations lack even the shadow of truth. The Soudan is not our affair. On the contrary, it is our affair that the Khedive and his ministers should be dissuaded in the most practical manner from hazardous ventures such as that in which they have thus far disastrously engaged. Mr. Gladstone and other cabinet ministers have repeatedly said, and in the most categorical way, that their determination is to leave Egypt as soon as possible. But no time for giving effect to this intention has been unconditionally announced. The policy of the Cabinet is before the world. The opportunity for its execution is unhappily delayed. Ministers have laid down certain broad principles and given certain pledges which they must redeem, but events alone can fix the date for their redemption.
In the course of his Edinburgh addresses Lord Randolph Churchill told his hearers that there were only two topics worthy of their attention: Egypt and Ireland. As regards the latter, the sole novel incident is Mr. Parnell's harangue in the Rotunda when the national tribute was presented to him. The speech which upon this occasion he delivered must be deeply regretted by the wisest of his friends, as well as by all friends of Ireland. The sole hypothesis on which it can be explained is an apprehension that his power of agitation is slipping away from him, and that unless it is recalled his occupation will be gone. The more closely we examine the condition of Ireland, the more reason there will be found for entertaining this view. The small farmers are settling down to enjoy their gains under the Land Act. This measure is doing its work. We do not