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This ill-concealed hostility to Christianity was as offensive to the Reformers as to the men of the Catholic reaction, and the Romanist controversialists, who, from Reginald Pole onwards, attacked Machiavelli, often without reading him, may be matched by an equal list of Protestant assailants. The latter had an additional motive of hatred. Our author was, they thought, the instructor in statecraft of their opponents, the instigator of their treacherous cruelties and persecutions. His writings were the favourite study of Catherine de' Medici and of her son, Henry III.; therefore he was held responsible for the massacre of St. Bartholomew.

Next came the philosophers who believed in the natural goodness of human nature, and that to remove the artificial restrictions which cramped and distorted original righteousness was the proper function of the reformer; to these men Machiavelli's doctrine was naturally repugnant. They inveighed against him, or if they defended him it was on the ground that he did not mean what he said, that, as Rousseau declared, his object was to paint the tyrant in his true colours, in order that the people might recognise and flee from such a monster. While accusers rose up on all sides, the defence was long neglected. The statesmen who read, appreciated, and profited by the works of the Florentine secretary were naturally not disposed to proclaim themselves his disciples; and the writers who borrowed from the stores of his wisdom acknowledged their obligation by a few words of guarded praise.

During this century, on the other hand, Machiavelli, as we have already remarked, has had no reason to complain of the hostility of his critics. They agree for the most part in seeking to extenuate and excuse his faults, however much they may differ in the explanation of his motives. For while some maintain that he took a purely scientific interest in the study of statecraft, and therefore leaves aside all considerations of morality; others, and these are the majority, defend what is most questionable in his writings on the ground that his aim, the liberation and unity of Italy, is high and unselfish, and that if he seems unscrupulous in the choice of means, he is to be excused, partly on the ground of necessity, partly because he shared in the lax morality of his country and of his age. There are even scme who still offer the old apology, mentioned by Cardinal Pole, that he conceals his true opinions-that, hating despotism, he satirises the tyrants he describes, and seeks by revealing the hideous secrets of their policy to warn the people against them, or even by his insidious advice to incite them to further atrocities and so to bring about their ruin. Lastly, it has been maintained that The Prince was little more than a rhetorical exercise; that Machiavelli merely wished to show the Medici how clever he was, and how useful a servant they would find him.

No one who has read The Prince and Discourses carefully, and who

has compared them with Machiavelli's other treatises and letters, can maintain that he is speaking ironically, or giving advice which he imagines to be injurious. If he were, how can we explain the reiterated exhortation to princes to secure the affections of their subjects, to affect virtues even if they have them not, never to be more cruel than the occasion requires? But it is unnecessary to seck for arguments against an opinion so far-fetched and untenable, and so at variance with Machiavelli's own statements.

All the other explanations probably contain more or less of the truth. Machiavelli, as we have seen, himself tells us that his object, at any rate in the composition of The Prince, partly was to recommend himself to the Medici and to obtain employment by showing his cleverness, partly-for his own instruction and to divert his thoughts from painful meditation-to note down all that he could collect from the ancients and from modern experience touching the circumstances which enable men to acquire and retain political power. On the other hand, he again and again insists that the expulsion of the foreigners, the formation of an Italian kingdom, and the introduction of constitutions which would gradually prepare the people for freedom, would be not only the justification but the glory of any prince who, by whatever means, might raise himself to sovereign power in the peninsula. In the statement of the motives of his writings, as in all else, Machiavelli is perfectly straightforward. Hypocrisy was not his vice nor that of his countrymen, with the Inquisition and the Jesuits it was conferred on Italy as a last benefit by the Roman Church.

Machiavelli was not then wholly either a disinterested patriot or a mere student of political phenomena, or an intellectual condottiere seeking to prove to his customers the sharpness of the weapon he offered for hire. But above all, I would insist that he was not the originator of a new system of statecraft. It is true that no book has ever been more diligently studied by the rulers of mankind than was The Prince by the statesmen of the sixteenth century; but it would be difficult to show that it had any great influence on their conduct. The policy of Catharine de' Medici was not more Machiavellian than that of Lewis XI.-indeed far less so, if we use that word in its true and better sense; nor did Philip II. or Alva, Elizabeth or Cecil, surpass Ferdinand the Catholic or Richard III. in unscrupulous pursuit of the objects of their ambition.

On the whole, we may perhaps conclude that the mischief which Machiavelli may have done by exalting expediency at the expense of morality, and by sanctioning revolutionary violence, has been fully compensated by the impulse he has given to patriotism; while his influence on political speculation has been altogether salutary, since he first returned to the method of Aristotle, and appealed to the teaching of experience and of facts. P. F. WILLERT.


As there can be no necessity of recapitulating in this paper the contents or clauses of the Bill with which my name is identified, I shall content myself with stating generally the arguments in favour of it Although the literature of land reformers is plentiful, the references to urban householders are singularly few. About ten years ago Mr. John Macdonell, in an able and suggestive book on the "land question," incidentally recommended the enfranchisement of urban leaseholders; and Mr. John T. Emmett, in the Quarterly Review about the same time, had an article in which compulsory enfranchisement was more fully advocated. Mr. Emmett subsequently followed up his attack on leaseholds by an article in the British Quarterly in 1879. The late Mr. Joseph Kay, in his Free Trade in Land anticipated the movement which I represent, for at the outset he observes, "I propose to show . . . what those laws are which at the present time oppose free trade in land, and prevent many of the great estates coming into the market." Among them he specifies "the laws which allow the landlord, without selling any portion of his estate, to let portions for long terms of years-from 99 to 999 years and to subject them to all kinds of covenants which affect those portions for generations after the death of the landowner, and after a change of circumstances under which the leases were made."

The late Mr. John Stuart Mill, in the last paper which he wrote, "The Right of Property in Land," speaking of the landlord as an improver, says, "Giving all the weight to this consideration which it is entitled to, the claim it gives to the landlord is not to all the possible proceeds of the land, but to such parts of them only as are the result of his own improvements, or of improvements made by predecessors in whose place he stands. Whatever portion of them is due, not to his labour or outlay, but to the labour and outlay of other people, should belong to those other people." I am quite aware that Mr. Mill was at the time arguing in favour of the interception by taxation of the future unearned increase in the rent of land; but though it may be arguable that the increase which is absolutely unearned should be subjected to special taxation, it is clear that a very large share of the increase is due to the labour and outlay of the leaseholder or his representative. We have therefore the great authority of Mr. Mill upon our side. If we can only establish the position that public policy requires unification of ownership, we may further quote in support of our claim Mr. Mill's declaration that "the principle of property gives the landowners no right to the land, but only a right to compensation."

Land is a natural monopoly, and when large portions of it are locked up in the hands of a few great landowners there can be no such thing as absolute freedom of contract. Very recently I visited a town in which the only plot of land that does not belong to the great landlords of the district is the site of the board school. At the rapidly-growing town of Grays, in Essex, the same state of things exists; and such examples might be multiplied. A man who wishes to build a house or a shop in such places must build on the landlord's conditions or not at all. The only freedom he has is the freedom to go away. Thus men are forced into accepting terms which are in their essence confiscatory. The leaseholder is compelled to take all risks. He may let his house to a fradulent tenant, or he may be unable to let it at all for a year or two, but he must still pay his ground-rent regularly. The leaseholder is compelled to take all burdens. After he has built his house the State may pile upon him all kinds of new rates to pay for main drainage, embankments, street improvements, hospitals for infectious diseases, board schools, dwellings for the poor, &c.; but he can recover not a farthing from the freeholder, who is absolutely relieved of his proportion of the expense. I may add that the leaseholder is charged, as the owner of his house, for purposes of income-tax, although three-fourths of the purchase money is borrowed, and when he dies and bequeaths his property to his heirs it is taxed far more heavily than the property of the ground landlord. It is to the interest of the State to encourage men to acquire their own houses, but instead of doing so it actually discourages them. The freeholders would not be willing or able to buy up the leaseholders, and if they were, such a change would not be advantageous to the State. It is the capital of the lessee which has enhanced the value of the land, on whose improvement the freeholder has spent nothing whatever. At the commencement of a building lease, the value of the fee-simple of a plot of land on which a £500 house has just been built would be something under £200. At the outset, therefore, the interest of the lessee is greater than that of the lessor, while a considerable portion of the value of the lessor's interest has been created by the lessee's capital.

The leasehold system is one of the greatest contributory causes to the wretchedness of outcast London. All the slums are held on lease. Repeatedly, when some fever-den has attracted the notice of the sanitary authorities, it has been proved that the property is held for a short term by a man who neither can nor will rebuild the houses for the benefit of the ground landlord. Let me call in evidence the Special Commissioner of the Times. He says: "In many cases the houses built under leasehold tenure have been let and sublet until, by the time when they reach the stage of dilapidation which permits them to afford shelter to the lowest class, the land will soon revert to the owner. In such a condition of affairs there is no

one who can profitably rebuild. Let it be supposed that a lease has twenty years to run. The lessee may, in that case, be able to afford to patch it up, but if he were able to rebuild the requirements of the Building Acts would deprive him of every prospect of profit. The walls that were once nine inches thick would have to be fourteen inches, with other changes in proportion." It is true that our term of twenty years would fail to help leaseholders of slums, but it would make the creation of fresh slums impossible.

I am quite aware that there are a class of speculators in the fag ends of leases whose management of their property is simply infamous. In some cases they have deliberately allowed the tenements to fall into a ruinous condition in order that they might be condemned and extravagant compensation awarded. There is reason to believe that in the future this course will become far more difficult. Almost invariably, however, these speculators do as little as possible in the way of repairs, and exact the last farthing from the unfortunate tenants. For the practices of such people I know not a word of excuse; on the contrary, I agree with Mr. Chamberlain that they deserve punishment rather than compensation. The longer and heavier the indictment brought against them the better. Yet be it remembered that these wholesale dealers in fever-dens are the creation of the leasehold system. But for that they would have had no exist ence. It is sometimes urged, by the way, that the covenants of the leases compel the leaseholder to keep the property in decent repair. The value of that argument may be estimated by the condition. of the London slums. The covenants of leases at the best are but a poor substitute for permanency of interest; when once a neighbourhood has deteriorated they are no protection whatever to the tenants.


There are, however, leaseholders who are not speculators. A person who has come into the possession of urban leasehold property by inheritance—especially if a woman-often finds the position a hard She is dependent upon the property for a living, and it is so dilapidated that extensive structural repairs are needed, though rebuilding would be better still. She has no independent income, and no one will look at such a mortgage. What can she do? There was recently an outbreak of epidemic disease in a slum in the north of London. A number of people died, and a rigid inquiry was made. The first day's inquiry created no small sensation. The revelations made were simply disgusting, and everybody was ready to hang the wicked leaseholder without judge or jury. But on the second day the wicked leaseholder was represented at the court, and the plea which he advanced was certainly a strong one. He admitted that he was the temporary owner of the property in question, but showed that within a very few years his interest in it would absolutely cease. He proved not only that it would not pay him to rebuild for the benefit of another man, but that if he expended a sufficient amount upon

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