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all restraints, and hoped for other and gayer colours. Bethe best. So there were strikes fore we fold our hands and and threats of strikes, and that gloomily take for granted the industrial discontent should be ruin of England, let us look merged in revolution, there about us and see how the other were vague talks of “ direct nations are faring. We cannot action.” In a few years the measure ruin itself except by leaders of the Trade Unions, comparison, and when we are not the Unions themselves- assailed by the insults of those were completely out of hand. who delight to prophesy our They spouted treason as they downfall, we shall best recover chose, and told the working men our courage and composure by of England that their best hope surveying our rivals, and by for the future lay in universal asking ourselves whether, after destruction.
all, our state of mind and policy They have been met with is not better than theirs. soft words and subsidies, and Would we change places with they have been grateful for France, which tries in vain to neither subsidies
soft find a stable Government, which words. As the authority of witnesses, without hope, the the Government has perished fall in value of the franc, which in such things as are controlled permits the Communists, at by the Home Office, so it has their free will, to murder honest perished in the affairs which citizens who have fought for touch the Empire. As a result their fatherland ? May we not of winning the war we have say, without earning the relost Ireland, partly at the in- proach of Pharisaism, that we stigation of the United States, have a Government which rewhich has always been our presents the country, and which, secret enemy. We have weak- if it show energy, is secure for ened our position in Egypt. the next four years? Do not We have so grievously be- our judges administer justice devilled India that it is all but fearlessly and without the ina lost dominion. These are terference of the State ! What some of the disasters which need have we, then, to look victory has brought upon us. askance at the future? From these disasters we may Nor bave we any need to estimate the condition of Eng- envy Germany, which, in spite land. And it is not surprising of her industry, rises slowly that all the foreigners—and from her bed of depression, they are many--who are ill- and which, before the coming affected towards us are loudly of Hindenburg, suffered from and openly rejoicing.
the same insecurity which beYet the gloomy picture that sets France. We, at any rate, is everywhere painted of our are able to balance our budget, decline is but a partial picture. and to pay the annual tribute It might well be painted in which the United States exact.
To be solvent six years after tion would find room in our the signing of a peace is a thinly populated dominions for solid reason, if not the only thousands of men and women, reason, for satisfaction. Noth- who, not by their own fault, ing could irk us more bitterly are workless and hopeless tothan to be under an obligation day. Thus we should at once to the United States, and strengthen both the motherland happily we have already put and the dominions. upon our back the burden of These difficulties, unemployre payment. This could not ment and over-population, are have been done without great not insuperable. Superable, sacrifices, and while we would also, is the laziness of our exact a scrupulous economy working classes. The English from our Ministers, who have working man is not, and has contracted the bad habit of never been, a model of inthin king in millions and in tens dustry. Froissart discovered of millions, we may take a and recorded many centuries lawful pride in the scrupulous ago the plain fact that Englishzeal of our taxpayers. Were men did not love work. But it not for two causes of suffer- if Englishmen do not love work, ing we should have no reason they possess in a high measure to complain of our lot, which the quality of rising to a great we still think more fortunate occasion. Under stress they than the lot of other countries. can do more in a short time
In the first place, the number than others. They will, if it of men and women unemployed be necessary, forget the imin Great Britain might well perative claim of looking on daunt a braver nation. That while others play football ; and they are unemployed is due if only they could get over the partly to high taxation, partly wicked habit of “ca' canny,' to over-population. The weight which they pretend is a political of taxes laid upon us takes principle, and is, in truth, an away vast
of money excuse for idling, all will be which might be spent in new well. Especially all will be enterprises, and there will come well if the politicians do not a time
when our Ministers surrender their authority at discover that it is not the the mere dictate of numbers, wisest policy to kill the goose if they do not admit that no that lays the golden eggs. class, save the working class, Again, over-population is not has any right to justice or conan incurable disease. On the sideration. They will, perhaps, one hand, if we have not room insist some day that there shall for our people to move in, we be the same law for the poor have a perfect right to exclude as for the rich, that when the aliens who take refuge (and sedition
the garb of the dole) upon our shores. liberty of speech it shall be A vigorous plan of emigra- as severely punished as it de
When these principles the beginnings of their race. are respected, and when the The blood of true and faithful Trade Unions are brought back citizens flows in their veins, within the restraints of law and moved by their blood, they from which Mr Asquith and will one day kick out the pestihis friends released them, then lent aliens, whose business it is Englishmen may defy the to deceive honest Englishmen opinion of the world with an and to destroy a country which easy mind and a clear con- they cannot understand. Not science. They may even restore long ago an English archæoloa proper discipline to Egypt gist was excavating in his and India, which the inconti- county a famous fort. There nence of the Radicals has was within the fort an alleystirred to disaffection and re- way, which ended in a circle. volt.
While he pondered on the pur. Above all, we may look to pose of this, an aged peasant the future with equanimity, related, what his grandfather because we know that England had told him, that it was there is safely anchored to the past. the soldiers used to drive in Whether they are conscious of their cattle. And his grandit or not, the most of English- father had learnt it from his men are willingly obedient to grandfather, and so through tradition. They feel at once countless generations from the proud and secure in what has Roman invaders. Thus the gone before them. What has thought of the peasant was been, they say, shall be. To carried back to the truth over ask them to make a sudden a thousand years, and who change in policy or habit is shall change the mind and like recommending them to the character of a people to which surgeon's knife. They move all history is but as yesterday? slowly in mind and body. The United States cherish When they have made a re- other methods of life and volution—it rarely happens to thought than these. Their eyes them—they very soon retrace are fixed upon what they call their steps. Quick to see their progress." They have a firm error, they acknowledge, in act belief in the march of mind, as in word, that the accumu- and for them mind marches lated wisdom of many cen- always, if it march in the right turies is better able to ease direction, towards dollars. Mr their ills than the patent medi. Hoover has lately said, in the cine of the last political quack preliminary report which he that came along. And when made as Secretary of Commerce, in confidence they go back to that “the standard of living in the past, they do not go back the United States was the highmerely to the last Government est in the country's history, or to the last century; they and therefore the highest in all go back, all unconsciously, to history." Why he wrote the
last seven words we do not Mr Hoover, “are accumulating know. Surely it is recognised at an unparalleled rate." That all the world over that the must be a source of vast satisUnited States can be compared faction to the citizens whose only with themselves. What standard of living has surpassed have they to do with history? all known standards Before they came into being highest in the country's history, history was not, and they have and therefore the highest in marked their own marvellous all history.” And yet when progress by the breaking of all they are celebrating their maknown records. You see them terial splendour, when they are with one hand pocketing dollars, letting the whole world know with the other distributing how great they are, how much “ideals " to the dark and awe- greater they shall be, are there struck Europe. Think of the no reflections which check their glory of being the only com- pride, is there no humility petitor in the race of wealth which suggests that perhaps, and comfort, and of outdis- even with the highest standard tancing your last achievement aforementioned, all is not well at every lap! Surely the career with the United States ? of these States is without The higher they climb, the parallel, and if only gold can farther they travel from the do the trick, in a few years all rare chance of self-knowledge. Europe will be on its knees in Not for them the maxim which front of the United States, descended from Heaven: Know begging for the crumbs that thyself ! With their outward fall from the heavily laden table eye fixed upon the ladder of of successful materialism.
progress, whose every rung is Perhaps it is not quite so marked by a vast increase easy as Mr Hoover thinks to of dollars, how sball their measure to-day's standard of mind's eye turn inward upon living with that of yesterday. themselves ? Ever since they The Athens of Phidias, Icti- revolted against England, which nus, and Pericles saw the Par- once was their mother-country, thenon rise upon the Acropolis, and no longer is the motherwhence it still looks down in country of their cosmopolitans, its beauty. The great Augustus they have been growing in found Rome wood, and left it arrogance and wealth. A warnmarble. How shall we com- ing was given them many pare these achievements, these years ago by Francis Parkman, high and pure standards of life, their own historian. with the triumph of which Mr who in the weakness of their Hoover stands in awe, and dissensions," thus wrote Parkwhich, he assures us, places man, “needed help from Engthe United States hors concours land against the savage on in the history of the universe ? their borders have become a "Our national savings," says nation that might defy every
foe but that most dangerous ing the rank and file may have of all foes-herself, destined been, they were led by officers to a majestic future if she will who did not understand their shun the excess and perver- business. But nothing will sion of the principles that made serve them but to go about her great, prate less about the and to tell all and sundry that enemies of the past, and strive they were the authors of vicmore against the enemies of tory. They believe one the present, resist the mob other, though nobody else beand the demagogue as she re- lieves them, and they will end sisted Parliament and King, by making themselves supremerally her power from the race ly ridiculous. That they should for gold and the delirium of give a comic interpretation prosperity to make firm the of the letters A.E.F., and foundations on which that pros- repeat that it means After perity rests, and turn some fair England Fails,” cannot disproportion of her vast mental tress us. We know too well forces to other objects than what our sufferings were and material progress and the game what were our achievements of party politics."
to care a jot what the AmeriSuch was Parkman's warn- cans say. But what of them! ing. The United States did Who shall respect those who not heed it. They went on respect themselves so little as their way towards wealth gaily, to babble such things as and without knowing what they these ? But they have “the meant what they did. highest standard of living in Though they have attained the the country's history, and therehighest standard of living ever fore the highest in all history." seen, they have guided their We are not likely to forget this lives by other standards equally eloquent statement. We can dangerous. Their vanity per- but ask whether it profit a suades them to believe that, if man to gain the whole world they be present when any deed and lose his own soul. is done, they did it. It is this In private, as in public, the strange hallucination
hallucination which Americans lack delicacy. In causes them to boast aloud that public they proclaim aloud that they won the war. That they they won the war. In private, did nothing of the sort is proved in spite of their grandeur, in by the number of the killed spite of their “ highest standard and wounded in each of the of living," they addict themAllied Armies, by the plain selves to the collection of record of events. They achieved souvenirs. The souvenirs which less than the smallest of the they collect belong naturally British dominions. It may not to others. This fact does not be their fault. They came late deter them from the chase. into the war, untrained and un- Many of them, no matter where instructed, and however will- they are entertained, think that