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only to crash to pieces at the unforeseen, and there was nobottom. Moreover, the present body on the side of the just leaders, who talk foolishly about to take a lead. There were the greatest struggle ever enough soldiers in Moscow and known, will be the first victims St Petersburg at the moment of the revolution. If they do of the outbreak to suppress not escape in the dead of night, the revolution, but the force their fate will be the lamp was dissipated, because nobody post and a cord. They will knew whom he should follow, die disgraced, and unhonoured and whither he should follow by the dupes whom they him. We do not believe that we deceived, and whom, either in shall be thus disorganised in the fear or in malice, they have hour of danger, but let us not sent along the wrong road. forget that in all the areas of And honest men, if any be disturbance there are lurking left, will not deplore the due foreign experts in revolution, punishment of their crimes. with their pockets full of foreign
To pretend that we are not gold, and with strict orders to in danger would be criminal involve Great Britain in the folly. The first definite step same irreparable ruin in which towards revolution, which would they have sunk Russia. Let ensure the utter misery and us, then, while there is yet time, damnation of the people, has distinguish between the lovers been taken. The revolution- of order and the noisy advoaries, who know not, poor souls, cates of rebellion. Some of whither they are going, cannot our friends we know; others be stayed by chants in praise are doubtful; and we still of democracy or by the rattling wonder why the super-patriot, of universal suffrage. They the perfervid enemy of revolumust be fought and vanquished tion, the right honourable Privy by their own weapons. Their Councillor, Mr J. H. Thomas, threat to hold up the country, put an ox upon his tongue in if it be repeated after the the House of Commons. We months of respite, must be expected from him an explanashown to be of no effect. The tion and a defence. For the rest, work of the community can we are not opposed to the respite be done with perfect efficiency and the subsidy, if only they by the vast majority, which are the last of their kind, if refuses to accept defeat at the only we have a guarantee that hands of a mere five millions. we shall know how to meet The handful of Jews and peas- the next assault. “It is no ants who destroyed Russia, loss of honour,” said Swift, and who murdered the best “ to submit to the lion, but and wisest of her citizens, suc. who, with the figure of a man, ceeded in their vile purpose can think with patience of only because the attack was being devoured by a rat."
It is a pleasant sight to Oftentimes he is provocative, see a philosopher in dressing and never so easily provocative gown and slippers discoursing, as when he discusses politics. without pedantry or technical “Another manifestation of the jargon, of the pitfalls which general failure to comprehend yawn before the feet of common the true nature of politics is the men. And this is what Signor persistent and ill-humoured deCroce has done in a little book mand that is made for 'honcalled 'The Conduct of Life,' esty' in public life.” Such is of which an authorised trans- the statement that he makes, lation by Mr Livingston (Lon- and though he puts the word don, Harrap) has just appeared. “honesty " between commas,
, Many are the subjects of which he does not tell us what he Signor Croce writes, and upon means by it. For when be each of them he has something defines it as “political capa
' fresh to say. Here are some com- city," he explains nothing. He ments upon “Our Dead”: “We merely makes a statement to are in reality nothing but what which nobody demurs. AU we do, and that is all of us men of sense demand “political we would have immortal. Our capacity” before all things in specific individuality is an ap- their politicians.
their politicians. They demand pearance labelled with a name ; also “honesty honesty it is, in other words, a mere is generally understood.
Inconvention. ... What is this deed, we should say that finanlife of ours but ‘a hastening unto cial honesty was the virtue death,' death of our individu- which no politician can dare to ality, that is, and what is do without. The politician has achievement save death in work, the control of large sums of which is at once detached from money-money which he holds him who does it to become in trust for the country; and something outside him and be- if he once show himself capable
And is not this a of putting his hand in the till, good sketch of those tolerant not even “political capacity ” persons who say they both would avail to save him. Moreforgive and forget! “In real
? “In real- over, the politician has unity," says Croce, “they have numbered opportunities of taknothing to forget, for at no ing bribes. He can sell offices time can they be said to have or contracts. He can sell bloodremembered ; they have never shed if the price be high condemned wrong-doing, but enough, or he can sell peace at have overlooked it thought a figure.
a figure. Therefore, the first lessly or frivolously." Such quality that should be asked men as these Croce, most justly, of him is honesty. Mirabeau, does not like. "We dislike we know, boasted that, though people,” says he, “who are not he was bribed, he was never conscious of any offence.” bought. But Mirabeau is not
the best of models that can erned, has never inquired too be held up to less highly closely into the morals of the endowed politicians, and his governor who confers the boon example does not persuade us of peace and prosperity upon to modify what should be the it. We would only point out first law of politics.
that an easy standard of morals Nor is it apposite to cite does not make a politician great three honest men-Lafayette, any more than a rigid standard Espartero, and Guglielmo Pepe, makes him little. A stateswho made “such botches in man should be esteemed for their respective countries.” They his statesmanship and for nothfailed, not because they were ing else. We in England may
. honest men, but because they boast statesmen of both kinds. were fools. Honesty, indeed, Pitt, the saviour of Europe, is the beginning and not the was a man of blameless charend of politics, and is useless acter. Against Lord Liverpool, of itself without political capa- who governed England through city. Financial corruption, the her most difficult period, and bane of government, has marked who was Prime Minister for democracy wherever that system fourteen years, no word of of politics has shown its head. scandal was ever breathed. He That is the conclusion of Lord was not very clever, but his Bryce's solemn treatise upon talent for management was popular government; and there universally acknowledged. “He is no doubt that, if there be was a patient and discreet not a cessation of dishonesty, man,” says a distinguished hispopular government is doomed. torian, “more fit for power But then, again, Croce asks : than many men then alive “Should not the public official whose intellects were more brilbe a man above reproach in liant. He knew how far he every respect, wholly worthy must defer to men of genius, of esteem? Can public affairs and he was not too proud to be left to persons not in them- learn new lessons in politics ; selves commendable ? ” Croce's but he betrayed no fear of answer to this conundrum is orators, and he behaved as if that in judging a politician's he knew that eloquence, if it public services we must forget was to rule Britons, must be his private vices, as we forget the outward sign of character. the vices of a poet when we He courted neither the Prince read his poetry. We agree nor the populace. By the conwith Croce. A statesman is so scientious exercise of authority rare a bird that we will not he did as much as any of his condemn him because the white successors, and more than any wings of his life are besmirched. of his predecessors, to make And, indeed, the world, only statecraft acceptable to virtoo happy at being well-gov- tuous citizens." Such was Lord Liverpool, and it was no draw days for fear of disappointback to him that he did not ment.” For five critical years sit up o' nights with the bottle of England's history he reand the dice-box. Nor have moved himself altogether from Englishmen ever frowned on the House of Commons. Wherepoliticians whose life was less fore we cannot agree with Croce austere than was Lord Liver- that Charles Fox“ was a valu. pool’s. They loved the cynicism able public servant,” or that of Lord Melbourne ; they were “England did well in giving proud of the gay extravagances him plenty of room in politics. of Lord Palmerston.
She gave him, in her wisdom, In choosing Charles James very little room indeed. But Fox as the fine example of if we are to esteem him as a “the roisterer and roué ” who gambler and a rake, which his was also a statesman, Croce contemporaries did, then we was not happy. For the truth must give him a high place. is that, though Charles Fox Herein he showed his true was the most distinguished rake grandeur. He was a great rake of his time, he was never a in the great age of rakes, an statesman, either good or bad. untidy macaroni, who astonIn the first place, his oppor- ished his radical friends by feats tunities of statesmanship were of endurance which they, simple very few.
His unfortunate souls, hitherto thought imposcoalition with North, the Minis- sible. He would address the ter who, he hoped, would ex- House after travelling all night piate his crimes upon the scaf- from Newmarket; he would fold, brought him little credit. make an eloquent oration after In the few months when he sitting fifteen hours at quinze. held office, at the end of his This is what the pious Jacobins life, he had time only to find described as genius. And then out that the policy of Pitt in at last, tired of being a pigeon, fighting Napoleon had been the he turned rook, set up a faroright policy. In opposition he bank at Brooks's, and won all was the factious enemy of his the money of the town. Everyown country. He sided always body who walked down St with the enemies of England, James's Street could see him which had ennobled his family at work with his decoys, until and conferred great wealth upon from the faro - bank he was it. He was transported with summoned for the brief spell joy when he heard of the of office that came to him in victory of Valmy. “No public 1806. It was these feats of event,” said he, “not excepting gambling which gave him his Yorktown and Saratoga, ever name and fame—these feats happened that gave me so much and his sensibility. If he got delight. I could not allow into" trouble,” he could talk myself to believe in it for some himself out of it, and his
friends boasted when he had told, of which the less failed to draw tears from their said the better. Some of the eyes. But these feats and this fencers wished to turn what sensibility had nothing to do should be a sham fight into a with statesmanship, which was real fight. Of the boxers one neither advanced nor kept back thought his teeth might prove by his famous dissipations. In a useful ally to his fists, and brief, Signor Croce is confusing used them. Though it is Mr things which have nothing to Fairlie's purpose to make the do with one another when he best of things, it is clear that pleads that politicians should the world is not yet highly be permitted to be rakes and enough civilised to make a gamblers. Though no obstacle habit of international sport. has ever been set in their As the combatants sometimes path, even when that path cannot hide their desire to carried them to cards and the win at all hazards, so the bottle, to say that they are spectators seem at Paris to better politicians because they have forgotten their simple like this freedom is like urging function, and to have become a young poet to imitate the combatants themselves. The vices — that may be all that spectacle of one boxer fixing he can imitate-of Lord Byron. his teeth in another, to a chorus Let us, then, ask of our
our of shouts and yells conducted politicians that they should by enthusiasts ready to resort understand their business and to force, is not pleasant to should remain, at all hazards, contemplate. And all this in financially honest. For financial the name of sport ! dishonesty is the same bar The truth is, the fraternity to a statesman which ribaldry of sport is like the brotherhood should be to a clergyman, or of man : it bears upon it the levity to a judge.
taint of Cain and Abel. There
are in international games the The official report of the seeds of anger and discord. As Eighth Olympiad, written by it was in Paris, so it was in Mr F. G. L. Fairlie, is sad London in 1908. The report reading. Beneath the opti- of the Eighth Olympiad—what mism of the author, who wishes a name says that "the inci
! to represent the orgy of ex- dent of 1908 would never have citement and bad temper which been heard of if reference to it was witnessed last year in had not been made in one of Paris as a triumph of sport, the leading newspapers.” there lurks a confession that it should be heard of again and all is not well with the again, since it is relevant to thing called, monstrously, the the decision, which must be Olympic Games. There were taken some time, whether the unhappy incidents, are so-called Olympic Games should VOL. CCXVIII. —NO. MCCCXIX.