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diate recognition, becomes-in other things than comic things-of a
quality that must always be rare. Here is the union of precision
and freedom, penetration and reserve. As regards, so to say, the
official heroines of Copperfield, the interest of intelligence is with-
held from Dora and the charm of imperfection denied to Agnes.
You cannot make much of them. Little Em'ly is the true heroine
of Copperfield, and Browne has done her justice. In Copperfield are
instances of the occasional superiority of the etching—the artist's
completed endeavour-over the pencil drawing, the artist's earliest
thought. The vignette on the title-page may be mentioned in this
connection. The subject is the old boat, which was a house, on Yar-
mouth beach; Little Em'ly, a child, sitting outside it. In the
drawing the draughtsman has but suggested, in the print he has
realised; but the reason of it is to be found in the fact that the
effect sought to be rendered-the dreariness, yet freedom, of the
lonely living-place on the desolate coast-was more susceptible of
treatment by the etching-needle, by the biting of the acid, and by the
blackness of the printer's-ink, than with the lead-pencil, which works
more suitably in the pretty suggestions of fleeting grace.
In Cop-
perfield, the death of Barkis, when, "it being high-water, he went
out with the tide," is treated in a fashion worthy of that simplicity
of pathos which makes the printed page so memorable. The homely
sorrow of the subject recalls Cruikshank's treatment of the departure
of that Knight who died a-babbling of green fields; and when one
remembers that in the whole three centuries that separated Dickens
from Shakespeare no one so great as either came between them, it is
pleasant that a comparison should be possible between the pictorial
treatment of the themes of both. In David Copperfield, again, one
must remember, as one of the best features of the illustrations, the
youthful grace and alertness of the hero, on whom the artist has
bestowed a figure and carriage surely like Dickens's own at the same
age. In Dombey the drawing of Dr. Blimber walking out with his
"young gentlemen" excels in fine expressiveness the etching, good
as that is; and, desirable as the etchings are to possess, seeing that the
first drawings cannot be multiplied, it is to be feared the superiority
of the drawing must be again allowed in the lovely design of Little
Dombey sitting up in his high chair under Mrs. Pipchin's mantel-
piece, and in that of the devoted Florence doing Paul's exercises while
a stupid companion slumbers by the wall. In a word, the drawings
are often better than the prints, because, though Hablot Browne was
an expressive etcher and handled the needle artfully, yet his com-
mand was more curiously complete over one of the most delicate
tools ever invented for the suggestion of the artistic fancy-the
common lead-pencil.

With a reference to Bleak House we must close a survey of necessity brief. In Bleak House there is less than usual of the purely comic.

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It is in Bleak House that the range is greatest of all. Here, for the first time, architecture and landscape play their proper part. For the graceful disposition of a stately interior, before the days when decoration was an art, we may notice the Long Drawing-room at Chesney Wold. For weird if sometimes tragic suggestiveness, we may turn to the "Ghost's Walk"-the terrace under the windowsand to "A new Meaning in the Roman "-Mr. Tulkinghorn's room when Mr. Tulkinghorn has been murdered. In these the effect varies a little-but, for the encouragement of the baffled collector, it may be said not very substantially-not only in different impressions, but in different plates; for Hablot Browne etched more than one plateMr. D. C. Thomson, who is at work upon his Life, tells me he, at least on some occasions, etched three-of any given subject, and in such there was perforce a hint of change, which was a little gain sometimes and sometimes was a little loss. The critic who revels only in comic invention finds in Bleak House, no doubt, the beginning of disappointment with Hablot Browne's art. The novel did not demand in its illustrator that fertility of comic fancy which was required for the earlier novels, from Pickwick downwards. And it may well be that the moment of decline in purely humorous invention came to the artist just when it came to the writer. The books which Hablot Browne illustrated still later than Bleak House-Little Dorrit and the Tale of Two Cities-are, again, not of a kind to betray the artist's possible decadence in this matter. Very likely there was a something which no longer existed, but it was a something which they did not want. But to the critic who values Hablot Browne as much for the range of his imagination as for his comic force, and recognises that one of his specialities was that he was excellent at so many points, and so was not a specialist at all, Bleak House will always be among the most truly characteristic of his labours. It is memorable, and it makes Hablot Browne memorable in the history of book-illustration, just for a union of qualities too often separated. For while the plate called "Nurse and Patient" has a simplicity of grace hardly less marked than Stothard's-and a greater flexibility of vivacious line-a comedy more delicate and not less pungent than Gilray's or Rowlandson's is shown in the deferential timidity of Mr. Snagsby when " Mr. Chadband improves a Tough Subject," and that sense of the unfathomed mystery of a great city which belongs in fiction above all to Dickens, and in Art above all to Méryon, is displayed in the drawing in which the stately heroine of this sombre romance is found, in the dull morning, by the squalid grave which holds all that is left, except in her memory, of him to whom her love was secretly given. From Stothard's day to Charles Green's and Du Maurier's-from 1783 to 1883-there has been nobody but Hablot Browne possessing quite this variety with quite this excellence. FREDERICK WEDMORE.


In drawing towards the close of a long political life, extending over nearly half a century, I had occasion lately to review my position that I might see how I stood with reference to former opinions. I was really astonished to find how far I had drifted from old bearings in the direction of what is commonly called "Radicalism." I began political life more in sympathy with Sir Robert Peel than with any other modern statesman, and for a long while thought Mr. Gladstone somewhat too rash in his advances in a democratic direction; I finish it a warm supporter of Mr. Gladstone, and perhaps more in sympathy with Mr. Chamberlain, if I understand his views rightly, than with any other politician of the day.

If this merely represented the evolution of one individual mind it would hardly be worth recording; but evidently the same process has been going on in such a multitude of other minds as to shift the centre of gravity of political power a long way in the direction of advanced Liberalism. The Liberal party is already the strongest party in the country, and the advanced or Radical section the strongest section of that party, and that which, by common consent both of friends and enemies, has the largest prospects for the future. It may, therefore, not be amiss for one who has thought the matter out thoroughly to describe the reasons and experiences which have operated in converting him from the creed of Liberal Conservatism, or Conservative Liberalism, which means much the same thing, to that of Radicalism.

The essence of Radicalism has been well defined as trust in the people. The Conservative, holding with Carlyle that mankind are "mostly fools," believes that the guidance of a select minority is necessary to preserve a nation from popular excesses and errors which tend to its ruin. The Radical, on the other hand, believes that, although a majority of the individual units of society may not be particularly wise or well instructed, their instincts are generally sound; they follow, for the most part, the lead of others who are better informed; their conflicting errors neutralise one another, and on the whole a better resultant comes out than that which is deflected by the class interests and prejudices of a limited order. In a word, they apply to politics what the late Baron James Rothschild said of finance, that he knew some one who was stronger than all the high financiers of Paris put together, and that was "Monsieur Tout le Monde."

At the late meeting at Birmingham in honour of Mr. Bright, he referred to something I said to him two years ago in private conversation that I had been converted to advanced Liberalism mainly by

watching the course of events in the United States, where what was 1 said of Charles II. was exactly reversed, and although they often talked foolishly they always acted wisely. I believe every one who has watched the course of events attentively and impartially in that most democratic of countries must admit that upon all the most important issues, however obscured for a time by buncombe and talltalk, the final decision has been generally wise and successful.

Take the case of foreign policy, which is by far the most important factor in the statesmanship of a people: the American nation has hardly made a mistake. What absolute or aristocratic Government ever displayed greater energy than was shown by the United States in fighting out the civil war, or higher magnanimity than in terminating such a struggle without a single capital punishment? What other Government could have disbanded a million of victorious soldiers, and sent back generals like Grant and Sherman to private life, not only without difficulty, but as a matter of course? Consider the temptations to a forward policy presented by Mexico, Cuba, and Canada, and say what other Government could have been relied upon to set them aside without an effort, and follow, as it were instinctively, the counsels of moderation and wisdom. Forward policy died a natural death when it had done its proper work of annexing vast territories practically unoccupied, like California and Texas, which could only be won to civilization and turned to useful account by throwing them open to the energy and enterprise of citizens of the Great Republic. Again, the diplomacy of the United States, conducted since the days of Franklin by private citizens without any special training, has been splendidly successful. Difficulties with England, difficulties with France, difficulties with Spain, which might easily have been fanned into the flame of war by aristocratic diplomatists trained in official traditions, have been solved without bloodshed, in a manner satisfactory to the honour and interests of the American nation. I suppose history does not record a more signal success of diplomacy than the way in which the Alabama question was treated from first to last by the Government at Washington.

Upon other vital questions the decisions of the American nation have shown equal wisdom. At the conclusion of the war the temptation was immense to repudiate the debt, or at any rate partially repudiate it, by paying in the depreciated paper in which it had been borrowed. Nor were demagogues wanting who advocated this policy; but the sound popular instinct held fast by the good old maxim that "honesty is the best policy." A nation unaccustomed to taxes submitted cheerfully to a crushing load of taxation, and they were rewarded by a reduction of the rate of interest from six to three per cent., paying off half their national debt, and a return to cash payments.

The manner in which the Americans have dealt with the great and difficult questions of religion and education has been equally sensible and successful. It may be thought perhaps that the adoption of Protection is an exception to the usual good sense of the American nation. But it must be recollected that Protection grew up under the shade of the high duties imposed to reduce the debt; and, although Free Trade is a good thing in itself, it may be purchased too dearly if the price paid for it is repudiation. Moreover, Protection in a new country, and in its first stages, assumes a very seductive form, and is often really consistent with a rapid advance in national prosperity, as we see in our own colonies. Its bad side only develops itself when production has been stimulated to a point which supplies the maximum of home consumption, and when any bad harvest or check to trade leaves a surplus which cannot compete in the world's market with the products of countries where the cost of production and of living have not been artificially raised by protective duties. This point has apparently now been reached in the United States, and it is a pretty safe prediction that the course of events there will be in the future in the direction of Free Trade.

In the main act of their political life, the election of a president, the sterling good sense of the majority of the nation again asserts itself. For many years back none but good men have been elected, and in several cases, as those of Abraham Lincoln and Garfield, exceptionally good men-men who were a credit to the country, and who in their antecedents and character were eminently representative of all the best points in American life. Bad men, demagogues, and political intriguers have often been candidates, and for a time seemed to have the best chance, but the result of a vast amount of speech-making and canvassing has always been that the right man came to the front at the right time, and that any stain on the public or private character of a candidate was fatal.

There is another point which has weighed greatly with me in comparing the institutions of the United States with those of less advanced countries. In talking of political institutions, we are too apt to forget that the world does not consist entirely of men, and that women form half the population. Now from all I have ever heard or read of the United States, that is the country in which the condition of women is, on the whole, the best. In fact I think one might take an ascending scale from Turkey to the United States, and say that the social position of women runs parallel with the course of political freedom. The freer the country the more are women respected, treated with more deference, better educated, less fettered by conventional prejudices, and on the whole have what the Americans call a better time of it. I may add that the respect paid to women is about the best test of the intrinsic worth of the men of

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