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of the ideas which he may attempt to put violent. Hence there is no panic, and as forward. He is divested of the influence there is no panic, the action of the Govwhich belonged not to him but to his for-ernment is steadier and calmer, and even mer duties. The imagination of the peo- in moments of danger there is none of ple cannot apparently bridge the chasm that tremulous vibration which in France between M. Thiers, the President, and seems to unsettle everything when a M. Thiers the mere member of the Left Government falls. Official weakness is Centre. He carries little or nothing with oftener due to excessive fear of consehim to his new position but his power quences than to want of sagacity. When of speech. You might almost say of the stake is too great, the player will a French statesman that naked he en- vacillate ; and that is just the case in tered office and naked again he left it France. Changes of Government are too — the prestige he acquires in it attaching revolutionary. They involve too much not to him but to the functions he dis- excitement, and being too big, the nerve charges.
of the Government seems to go at the It is easy to see how this feeling, mere prospect of them. Thus, the weakwhile it appears to strengthen the office ness of the Opposition really involves of a Minister in France really weakens first the arbitrariness and next the weakthe Government. It renders it virtually ness of the Administration. If M. Thiers impossible that there should be any inter- were now far more important than he is, mediate degrees between the Minister and Marshal MacMahon and the Duc de and the irresponsible politician. In Eng- Broglie were far less important than they land there are many such intermediate are, there would not be the same hectić degrees. The opinions of the adminis- excitement about official proceedings, trative class, even when out of office, which is another way of saying that there have a weight of an order altogether would be more calmness, prudence, and different from that of the opinions of pol- sense. The one great condition of force iticians who are not credited with any in a parliamentary Government is the official prestige. Mr. Disraeli, who real existence and influence of “Her speaks with the authority of a man who Majesty's Opposition.” If France could might any day be charged with the duty ever organize a real parliamentary Oppoof governing, and who therefore is not sition as powerful and semi-official as supposed to say in Opposition what he ours, we should no longer sear periodic will not adhere to on entering office, spasms of revolutionary ardour. wields a public influence of a kind really intermediate between that of a Minister, and that of such a member of Parliament as Mr. Bentinck. This gradual shading off of the Minister's authority into the
From The Spectator. mere private member's, through the vari- THE CAUSES OF REVOLUTION IN ous stages of ex-Ministerial ability and competence, really lends a vast addition- The author of a striking paper in the al strength to Government. In the first new Quarterly on the lessons of the place, what the Ministry and the leading French Revolution,
paper deformed Opposition bench agree about doing is only by its excessive and therefore uncertain to be done under any Govern- scientific dislike of modern Democracy ment, and this gives Ministerial action as typified in the Commune, tries to trace confidence and strength. In the next to a single source all the modern disasplace, the existence of a powerful and ters of France, and finds it in the passion recognized Opposition puts a great re- for Equality. We very much doubt if it straint on foolish Ministerial actions, and is to be found there, although it has bemakes the transition between one Gov- come almost a habit to make some such ernment and another much milder than text the ground-work of a political serit is in France, where a sort of revolu- mon. Equality before the law the French tion is needed to throw off the dead- do like, as do the English -- who have weight of an unpopular Government. with a single exception secured it too — Now, as only a far less political exertion and something also of equality in exteris needful in England in order to change nal address, but we doubt their caring so the Government than that which is need- very much for equality by itself. Frenchful in France, so the expectation of the men have always conceded to officials change is far less alarming, and the not elected a prerogative which to Eng. cliange itself when it is made is far less lishmen seems oppressive. They have
always conceded direct privileges to sol- new Government goes literally wild diers. They have always conceded as- under discussion. It cannot conceive cendency to the Church of the majority. either of liberty of the Press, or “* liberty They have always maintained, with ex- of the Balcon," or liberty of the Tribune, traordinary fierceness and malignity, the that is to say, of either the right of rights of property, where not feudal, and free printing, or free meeting, or free dehave always shown a disposition to bow bate. Members of the minority in down before wealth not yet manifested France have never been thoroughly to the same extent in Great Britain. A heard. They have always been suprich man is a potent man in France, pressed, either by threats, or insults, or while here, at best, he is a conspicuous factious uproar. On Tuesday, for exone. Titles, as the Quarterly Review ample, this new Government, with its admits, have proved indestructible, and strong and despotic majority, full conno income-tax has had a chance of legis- trol of the Executive, command of the lative support. It is true, a party in Army, and state of siege in Paris, brought France, energetic, domineering, and in- in a mad Bill, which commanded the clined to fight, has always pleaded the Twenty-five who represent the Assembly cause of equality ; but physical force, during a recess to prosecute any newswhether expressed through the vote or paper criminally which reported a speech the bayonet, has always been on the side calling for the dissolution of the Assemwhich promised what Frenchmen believe bly. It was a scandalous proposal, for it to be material order. Is it not rather the would authorize a sentence of four morbid self-esteem, or sensitiveness, or months' imprisonment on a journalist sense of honour common to the French who reported a grave speech of the kind character, and not the worst quality in it, by Marshal MacMahon, President of the which has produced the difficulty de- Republic; or an approving sentence by the scribed by the Reviewer of combining Comte de Paris, the wished-for King; or Order with a free Monarchical or a Con- an eloquent piece of advice from M. servative Republican form of govern- | Thiers, who may be elected by fifty department? Frenchmen are, except under ments; or a roaring diatribe by Jacques tremendous pressure, absolutely incapa- Bonhomme, delivering his mind in a dirty ble of bearing with the cardinal condi- cabaret. It was a sheer act of despotism, tion of political progress, free discussion. and was acknowledged to be one." Well
, The Kings who were obeyed for a thou- of all men, M. Gambetta was the man to be sand years never permitted it, even Louis heard about that, for he had been DictaXVI. sentencing Beaumarchais to im- tor, he was not very favourable to the prisonment for an imaginary lampoon. Press, and he was known to advise a The statesmen have always fancied, as policy of calm. He began his speech, regards the Press, that they are dishon-saying nothing all through but what Mr. oured by an attack, and while the Pom- Bernal Osborne might have said of his padour sent authors to the galleys for enemies, amidst their approving laughter; cutting jokes, Robespierre left in his but what he said seemed unendurable to desk a plan for guillotining all but friend- the Right, who put up M. Ernoul to ly journalists in one batch.
It was answer it, and failing as their friends adamong the most curious proofs of the mit they always fail in Parliament, creatsmall amount of French feeling in Napo-ed such a fearful hubbub that at last the leon III. that he never, as Emperor, sitting was closed. We do not say the severely punished a journalist, the usual Left did not join in the riot, on the consentence being four month's imprison- trary, they broke out of M. Gambetta's ment in St. Pélagie, to be taken when hand, and raised a clamour which would you liked as a first-class misdemeanant; have justified M. Buffet in putting on his that he enjoyed though he suppressed hat, but that is not the point. Every caricatures of himself, and that he con- President of a French Assembly -- Grévy stantly pardoned Rochefort, whose half- included — has had to put on his hat and childlike, half-poisoned epigrams would declare the sitting concluded. The dishave lashed Bismarck into fury, and cussion for which the Assembly is creatmade an English Minister long for un- ed always strikes either the minority or constitutional privileges. He bore a free majority as a deliberate insult, and has press, really free, for five months under always to be brought in some fashion to Ollivier, and was the only Frenchman an end. If it is in the Press, the paper who ever did so. Thiers suppressed two is put down ; if in a meeting, the speakpapers, and winced under attack, and the 'ers are criminally prosecuted ; if in the
From The Pall Mall Gazette.
Assembly, the session is declared closed, how long she waited, without loss of one or members howl till they are hoarse. jot or tittle of her passion. The very notion that discussion does no harm, but good, that if debate is free, all can hit as hard as they like, is as foreign to the Deputies' minds as the idea of obeying their elected Speaker, whether he is right or wrong, reserving a THE DISRUPTION OF PARTIES AND THE right to remove him if he is intolerably
IRISH REPRESENTATION. partial. It is this inability as of public The disorganization of the present school-boys to bear public scolding which House of Commons is now so complete seems to us the danger of France, and that no parallel to it can be found except not any desire for a potential equality. by going back to events only just within It is not inability to bear argument. A the memory of the elder men of this genbureau will listen calmly to statements eration. The “irst House of Commons which cut like sword-thrusts without a elected after the first Reform Bill had a yell, and the members of a Conseil de very strong resemblance to the House, Famille will sit like judges under a storm | elected in 1869, and it included the same of insult, weeping, and protestation, but vast majority which went to pieces in the the French cannot bear to sit under hard same way. It has become evident that words publicly. Then they sound like English parliamentary institutions, which insults, to be answered by the sword, and are never so much put to the strain as it is only by an allusion to the singular after great organic changes such as ocbasis of common-sense in the French curred in 1832 and 1867, will only work character that we can explain why weap- with decent regularity and smoothness ons are never actually drawn in the As- under two sets of conditions. The assembly. Why do the majority not kill sembly which really governs the country the minority out, and so terminate the has no counterpart in any similar body fracas? It would not be one whit more in any country as respects the múltituunfair. Scenes of this kind are fatal to dinousness of its composition, and it can France, for France has no idea of free- be made to transact the business of govdom except under an Assembly, and no ernment with exactness when one side idea how to keep that Assembly, if free, has a very great majority over the other. in decent order. It has never elected a In that case the House of Commons, so ruler absolute within a limited preroga- to speak, works itself. The House of tive. No Assembly there submits to Commons can again be worked under rules when once insulted by free debate, very different circumstances, when both till France, raging with contempt, elects sides are very nearly balanced, when the a tyrant, and then breaking loose from two 'great parties sit watching one anhim, begins to rage again through an other like hostile armies, and when all Assembly in an everlasting sterile round. the resources of parliamentary manageThe Government Bill in this case is a ment are systematically and patiently monstrous oppression, but still it is the used to seize the smallest chance of adBill of the majority, and the Left should vantage and to prevent a surprise. Neithaccept it as such, instead of howling like er state of things now exists. Mr. Gladdemons over their defeat. They are stone's great majority is practically gone, nearly equal to their foes, their own right not so much from the discontent of small of speech in the interior is clear, and they sections such as the pure Whigs or the can influence opinion by quiet talk almost pure Nonconformists, as from the unconas strongly as through the Press. Their cealed disaffection of the Irish members, majority is inevitable if no coup d'état is who are said to be so constantly on the tried, and a coup d'état requires the sup- look-out for opportunities of joining the port of an army which, be it what it may, Opposition that they positively frighten is not devoted to the dynasties whom the the Conservative leaders. On the other majority wish to enthrone. They are hand, the period of skilful tactical manmad, to abandon the policy of Order agement has not yet arrived. On the which M. Thiers impresses on them, aud Liberal side, at all events, the evidence to wince, and rage, and foam under in- points to the extremest slackness or unsults which fall on their more trusted skilfulness, or rather the tactics are those leader, with his Genoese blood, like flakes of generals at the head of a beaten and of snow. They cannot wait, they say, or dissolving army. they will lose their fervour. Ask Venice It is a favourite topic of consolation with men of both political parties that the anything like a closer approximation of next general election will set all this the Papal and Nationalist party to the right. We do not share the belief. The Conservative. Among the least of them increasing disposition of the Irish mem- we place the sense of obligation to the bers to organize themselves as a sepa- Liberals; for, in fact, the repudiation of rate party, and to make terms with either all gratitude to them is the first and funside indifferently, seems to us one of the damental tenet of the Home Rule faction. most serious symptoms of our times. But, to many important sections of the We have the smallest possible faith in Conservative party, the alliance above the prognostications of ardent partisans pointed at would be absolutely hateful. about the composition of the next Par- It will be long before the Church of Engliament, but certain broad assertions may land looks back with patience on the disbe confidently made. The representa- establishment of the sister Church, and tion of Scotland will be very slightly the stanch band of Irish Protestant Conchanged, if at all. In England there will servatives, for which the more old-fashin all probability be a very considerable ioned portion of the English territorial transfer of seats from the Liberal to the aristocracy has strong affinities, would Conservative interest. The British rep- regard measures adapted to “Irish ideas” resentation will therefore be very near- simply as the abomination of desolation. ly divided between the two great politi- But there are various reasons why the cal parties, and it is immaterial to con- approximation we have spoken of should sider which of them is likely to have an not be considered out of the bounds of advantage over the other; the difference possibility. In the first place, all politimust be small. The state of the Irish cal tendencies are becoming more and representation will therefore be all-im- more cosmopolitan, and those of the portant, and it is tolerably clear what its English Conservatives like the rest of colour will be. All its members will be the world. Outside England, Conservapledged to some form oí Home Rule, tism, Catholicism, and Clericalism are inand a few of them to a form of it distin- terchangeable terms; and strong as are guishable from Fenianism only by the the historical influences which separate faintest shades. It is even possible that them here, they are noi all-powerful; for one or two seats now held by Protestant when an English Conservative nobleman Conservatives will be won by Home has been grappled by the long filiments Rulers. Beyond the limits of the North- of the Roman Catholic converting maern Province, however, every single Irish chinery in this country, he obviously member will have openly or impliedly finds no difficulty in continuing to vote acquiesced in the claims of the Catholic with the Conservative party. Indeed, Episcopate to dictate Irish policy. There careful observers may remark that from are some, no doubt, who see no danger time to time a Roman Catholic prelate in all this to Liberal ascendency. When takes care to make the prospects of his Home Rulers first made their appear- Church safe by laying down that its alance in the House of Commons they are liance with Liberalism in this country is known to have delighted the Liberal temporary, accidental, and provisional. * whips.” They might have strangę But a still more powerful influence which opinions on some points, but they voted tends to modify the relation of the Papal remarkably straight. But that is all and Nationalist members to existing changed; and while the whole Irish rep- parties is the strong attraction of the resentation is drifting towards Home “ Irish idea” policy for large classes of Rule, it is also more and more divorcing minds. The historians of Ireland tell us itself from English Liberalism, and show that this is an old story, and that if Ireing a more and more pronounced incli- land, her life and her notions, have often nation to set up in political business for been abhorrent to the English nation, itself. We expect not only that these they have constantly been attractive in the tendencies of the Irish members will be highest degree to Englishmen as individcome more and more marked in the new uals. There are all sorts of elements in Parliament, but that they will become the thought and feeling of the present their distinctive tendencies. If this ex- day for which such a policy has affinities. pectation is fulfilled, we say again that It commends itself to the sentimental reno graver political symptom has appeared spect felt by numbers of men for the newin our time.
born theories of the rights of nationalWe are very far from insensible to the ities. It falls in with the equally powerful many difficulties which seem to forbid ' laissez-faire, or devil-take-the-hindmost, set of principles. It saves trouble, it ap- Nothing of the kind occurred.
The peals to the emotional side of character, 'numbing sense that they were fighting and it has an air of novelty and original- the irresistible — the feeling which Theoity. By one of these characteristics it dore expressed when he said he could not hás laid hold of Mr. Gladstone ; by an- be expected to resist weapons like the other it may lay hold of Mr. Disraelí. rockets, which kept searching out his
palisading seems to have struck the Khivese, and from first to last they never offered serious battle to the invaders. If
the desert turned them back, well. If From The Spectator.
not, God had ordered the victory of the THE CONQUEST OF KHIVA.
Infidel. If a body of Khivese cavalry The grand fact made evident by the approached the Russians they were driven conquest of Khiva, now officially ascer- off by a few rockets, which they probably tained, is the weakness, moral and physi- had never previously seen, and which will cal, of the soldiery of Central Asia. With sometimes drive horses mad with terror. their flight before inferior foes expires a If the Russians threatened a fortified superstition which has lasted down from place, the garrison, after receiving a shell the siege of Vienna in 1529, the belief or two, decamped in a body, and at last that at some always receding point in Khiva itself was surrendered uncondiCentral Asia there would be found an tionally without a shot, and with an intiarmy capable of defeating Europeans. mation that the Khanate also was at Somewhere or other there must be force Russian service. The defence was that in those regions, which had twice sent of men whose hearts were broken. The out their myriads to ravage Europe. Turcomans are not cowards, they have When a new country was conquered, say fought well in intestine wars, they belong by Clive, with 3,000 men, or a ""hidden" to tribes whose life is passed in the saddle capital entered like Pekin, by a few bri- and on the desert, who under competent gades of English and Frenchmen, or a leaders once conquered “the world," who vast State like Persia compelled to sub- do not differ in any outward condition mit to Outram and his few men, or Japan from the Kashgarees, who seem to be compelled to alter her whole policy by a building an empire in Yarkund, and who, few war-ships, the inferiority of the Asi- if we have not forgotten Mr. T. Prinsep's atic organization was acknowledged, but paper about their fathers, he deemed forthe superstition only altered its locale. midable to the Indian Empire. They had One-half of the English people still speak fair arms, and strong walls, and large of Afghanistan as if it were some mighty numbers. They are only dismayed by State, whose friendship or enmity were of the contact with civilization, fly before it the last importance; and if Sir H. Raw- as we should all fly before genii ; as Thelinson or Lord Lawrence were to tell them odore fled before Lord Napier of Magdala, what they know, that 10,000 men would as the army surrounding Lucknow fled conquer Afghanistan and hold it as se- before Havelock and his brigade, or as curely as 7,000 police hold London, they hitherto the Anamese have fled before the would be simply disbelieved. Think, say French. So far as we can judge from the unreflecting folk, of the hills and the accounts as yet published, there is nothvalleys, which are really easier, far easier ing except the danger of differences with in a military sense, than those of Ceylon. England to prevent General Kaufman About Persia and Turkey the people are from annexing all Central Asia, and holdno doubt more or less disenchanted, but ing it as safely as the Governor-General about Central Asia the old opinion till of Tobolsk holds Siberia. Bokhara actuyesterday still held firm. The people, ally assisted him. The desert has been fanatically brave, were defended by their fatal to one column, but it has not stopped deserts, by their rude but strong fortifica- the march of three other columns, and tions, and by their readiness to die at with that march the deadly charm of the their Khan's summons. We ourselves, Steppe is disenchanted. The Europeans who certainly ought to have known better, are rulers of the Steppe Road, they are believed that the Khan would defend masters of the spell which fetters the Khiva as the old Sikh Moolraj, would desert, the artesian well, and if Russia is have thrown bis horsemen on the artillery, resolute to maintain her possession, the as we did at Chillianwallah, and have died route from the Caspian to Khiva can sword in hand upon the ruins of his fort, never be closed again except by war. As as Turkish Pachas have so often done. 'feudatories, or allies, or subjects, all of