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Government in Dublin. From January to April Mr. Gladstone's assurances that Home Rule meant true union drew over to his support many weak-kneed men. But the situation hardened on the introduction of the Home Rule Bill, which made it necessary for members, with their eyes opened to Mr. Gladstone's real policy, to take sides definitely for or against it. Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Trevelyan now joined Lord Hartington. The Bill was rejected, nearly a hundred Liberals voting against it. The country supported the House of Commons, and the Dissentient Liberals' rapidly contituted themselves into a powerful Liberal Unionist party.'
These events of half a generation ago have decided the subsequent course of English politics. The Liberal Unionist action of 1886 has been completely justified. It has been proved that the Union can be maintained, that law and order can be upheld in Ireland, that the British House of Commons is not at the mercy of the Irish Nationalist members, and bound for the sake of its own peace and efficiency to accept the disintegrating policy which Mr. Parnell or his successors would force upon it. Events have also shown that the rejection of Home Rule, and the defeat of the Home Rule alliance, have not condemned the country to a period of Tory stagnation. The Unionist administrations that since the General Election of 1886 have been in power have carried measures of wide reform which would have brought no little credit to any purely Liberal ministry. The statutes establishing representative local government in counties, and in London, and for providing free education, have taken away all reality from the taunt that Unionist is a new word signifying Old Tory. In simple truth the Liberal Unionist party has accomplished almost to the letter the arduous task which in 1886 Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain advised it to undertake. Thus plain
Whig principles' are still in the ascendant, denounced, no doubt, as heretofore by extremists of both the great parties, but forming nevertheless the ground-work of English political feeling amongst the large majority of educated, responsible men.
The triumph of the Unionist party, Conservative and Liberal, has in truth been so complete that their adversaries now hardly venture to keep the Home Rule flag fying. What, then, is to divide parties, if, by general consent of English politicians, the policy for which Mr. Gladstone fought is abandoned ? For our part we should gladly see the Opposition rid itself of the millstone that has so long hung round its neck. As yet it remains to be proved that it has so freed itself or can so free itself; and till this is shown, the country can put no confidence in the unionism of the Liberal party. Ño statesmen will get the support of the country, however they may label themselves or their followers, who cannot be trusted to maintain the parliamentary union of England and Ireland. Lord Rosebery is not the only leading Liberal who has come to recognise that with the electorate of Great Britain unionism is a sine qua non.
Circumstances and conditions have greatly changed with the political, literary, and scientific world since first
...."" The Review". Spread its light wings of saffron and of blue.' The functions of a quarterly critical journal in 1902 are not precisely those which it was the mission of the · Edinburgh' to perform a hundred years ago. There is certainly to-day no lack in quantity of criticism. Journalism has become the profession of a very large number of highly cultivated men and women, who justly pride themselves on their marvellous literary facility, and their readiness to turn to account the results of their own extensive reading. There probably never was a time when there was more ability of this kind available. Reviewing has, in recent years, become one of the regular functions of the daily press, and it is even the fashion for newspapers to publish reviews of books likely to interest the public on the very day that they appear! The monthly reviews, whatever the reason, do not concern themselves very largely with the discussion of general literature, and the weekly papers, which, as a matter of course, notice all the new books of any importance, though they often contain conspicuously able reviews, yet, from the necessary limitations of space, leave a wide field of usefulness open to quarterly critics. Books that have taken able and learned men years to write deserve to be pondered, not merely to be read, by those who would give a really adequate account of them, and would criticise them in the old and true sense of the word. It is one great advantage of the quarterlies, that even in these days of electricity they have time to think!
In the regions of science, and in the study of Nature, it is needless to refer to the gigantic strides that have been made. In a later article we discuss at length some of the results that have flowed from the life-long researches and patient investigations of Darwin. It is not without interest
made to lao not rep bodies, he because regulate
that in one of the very earliest numbers of the Review * we comment in the following words upon the theories of his father, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, as disclosed in his poem the "Temple of Nature.' 'Darwin seems to think himself ' warranted in concluding that there are no fixed or in
surmountable barriers between the different species of • animals. Half a century later came the epoch-making • Origin of Species'; and now after another fifty years we are able to take stock of the manifold results, direct or indirect, that have followed from the developement of the Darwinian theory. A third generation of Darwins has now made its mark in the study of natural phenomena, and already takes a front rank amongst those who are driving back the limitations of human knowledge.
Still, when all is said and done, no approach has been made to laying bare the great secrets of Nature. The heavens are not rendered less mysterious by the discovery that the heavenly bodies conform to rigid laws; nor is humanity more intelligible because in the animal and vegetable world fixed rules appear to regulate the variation of species. In the great controversies of the century both sides—the men of science and the men of religion-have learned something. The former have begun modestly to admit that their knowledge only carries them a certain way, and that beyond the large area in which they operate, they are no better qualified than others to lay down the law. * They didn't know everything down in Judee. On the other hand, if we may say so with all respect, the protagonists of supernaturalism have in these same controversies learned to lay greater store by common sense. They are learning to regard as friends the reasoning faculties of the human brain. They are ceasing to be afraid of every increase to our stock of demonstrated truth, and even to find in the highest exeroise of the reasoning powers divine,' additional cause for their belief in a region above and beyond this material world.
For the greater part of the first half of last century several of the great Whig magnates took an interest in literature and the arts, second only to their interest in politics. The names of Holland House, Lansdowne House, and Bowood, recall to every one a time when Whiggism and literature went hand in hand, and a society where Edinburgh reviewers were as much in their element as when enjoying
highstock of dem ceasing tasoning faculty are learnined to
ted truth afraid ofties of tharning to
* Edinburgh Review, July, 1803.
further north the more modest but not less hearty hospitality of the Duke of Craigcrook.' * The move southwards of the headquarters of the · Edinburgh Review' was, in truth, but the formal recognition of facts. Modern facilities of travel and communication have tended to establish in the capital of the United Kingdom whatever influences are intended to operate in more than local spheres. As Brougham, and Horner, and Sydney Smith, and many another of the early Edinburgh reviewers were drawn south, so it happened ultimately with the Review itself. Under modern conditions it was found that its energies could be best directed and its influence most widely exerted from London.
It is impossible without breaking through that rule of anonymity which has always been observed by the • Edinburgh Review' to show how closely the early advice of Lord Jeffrey has throughout been followed-viz., to keep its criticism as free as possible from the influence of mere literary cliques. As has been said, its contributors have always been very largely drawn from amongst those who are not exclusively men of the pen. Lord Houghton, who himself made known the authorship of many of his articles, is a typical instance of a man of literary distinction, who mixed, nevertheless, in political life and practical affairs, and who contributed largely to the Review. To his lot it fell to review 'Atalanta in Calydon,' 'The Spanish Gypsy,' and * Lothair,' as well as to contribute many papers discussing European and general politics. Elsewhere in the present day the rule of anonymous writing may no longer be observed. Here the old tradition prevails. In every profession and in every walk of life the most distinguished men have ever been ready, and even proud, to give us their help. But we can make no mention in these pages of contributors in the past who have not themselves chosen to disclose their identity, nor of those who in this, the second century of its existence, most ably support the 'Edinburgh Review.'
* So Sydney Smith nicknamed Jeffrey.
in this. I chosen to
Art. II.-1. Helen of Troy. By ANDREW LANG. London:
Bell & Son. 1882. 2. Völsunga Saga. Translated by MAGNÚSson and MORRIS :
The Story of Sigurd the Volsung. By WILLIAM MORRIS.
1877. 3. Epics of Ancient India. The Rāmāyana. Translated and
abbreviated by ROMISH CHANDRA Dutt. 1901. THE jeer of Mephistopheles, when Faust drinks the witch potion of the renewal of youth,
Du siehst mit diesem Trank im Leibe
Bald Helenen in jedem Weibe,' illustrates the degree to which the name of Greek Helen became the traditional symbol of a type. The sentence is but one of many kindred references. Helen was and remains the pre-eminent example of those women fair above others, untrammelled by spirituality within, and unshackled by the higher instincts of purity and uprightness, whose beauty sets in flames not Troy Town alone, but that far less impregnable fortress, the City of Mansoul. Fate decreed that, justly or unjustly, her character should be thus interpreted. And thus interpreted she stands as a prototype, evolved by later ages from a remote original; and doubtless here, as elsewhere, the source has been tainted by the streams which flow backward to the fountain head.
The Homeric story, told and retold, of the daughter of Zeus, the wife of Menelaus, the willing, or it may be unwilling, love-mate of Paris, has, from the days of Homer to those of Walter Savage Landor, been retinted and redyed, with colours as many as the fabulous woof of Joseph's raiment, in the legends and traditions which in successive generations clustered around her. From the very first indeed ill words were spoken concerning her, and good also. Mr. Lang, in the note appended to his 'Helen of Troy,' sums ap the conflicting testimony rendered by classical authors as they bear witness to her guilt or exonerate her from all blame. The harsh sentences of Euripides, the implied condemnation of Virgil, stand side by side with the plea of Isocrates on behalf of her all-excusing beauty, and the praises of Quintus Smyrnaneus. Every reader may compare for himself the various Homeric phrases which left her fame a riddle hard for alien nations to read aright. Priam's verdict of full acquittal, Helen's own sorrowful confession