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No. 3426 March 5, 1910
FORTNIGHTLY REVIEW 579
TIMES 586 As It Happened. Book VI. Crisis. Chapter V. What was Happen
ing Meanwhile. Chapter VI. More Meanwhile Happenings. By Ashton Hilliers. (To be continued.)
592 IV. Three Sides to a Question. By Jane H. Findlater NATIONAL REVIEW 603 V, History and Literature.
BLACKWOOD's MAGAZINE 612 VI. “Mamka." By J. Saturin
ENGLISH REVIEW 617 VII. A Winter Garden,
TIMES 627 VII. The Problem of Mars.
OUTLOOK 630 IX. House-Planning.
SPECTATOR 632 X. The Choice. By John Galsworthy
· NATION 635 A PAGE OF VERSE XI. The Yellow Dragon Flower. By Allen Upward
THRUSH 578 XII. Where. By Walter de la Mare
ENGLISH REVIEW 578 BOOKS AND AUTHORS
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THE YELLOW DRAGON FLOWER. Gazing round among the dead,
Thus our Colonel spake his mind:What far-off enchanted reign
“There is certain death ahead; Wards the kingly Weapon Tower?
There is certain shame behipd." Over what lost battle-plain
Fame should keep such moments green: Waves the yellow Dragon Flower?
Shot and shell Have I read, or did I dream,
Screg med and fell,
We held on to Khandarîn.
Now the Tartar reigns no more
Where the white-walled city stands-
Fifty thousand men who swore
They would raid the Empire lands. That wild ride to Khandarin?
From the town each flat-topped tower
Minaret or mosque between, O'er the mountain top whose snow
Blows a red flag like a flower. Shines above the barrack wall,
Flows the ensign of our Queen: Where the banyan clusters grow,
Witness where her sons have been. And the long palm shadows fall;
Chief and Khan In what valley far away,
Rode and ran
When we came to Khandarîn.
From the footprints of the brave
Springs the Yellow Dragon Flower; Chief or Khan,
Where their foes have found a grave Sound the ban;
Stands the Kingly Weapon Tower. Guard yourselves in Khandarîn!
- Did I dream, or have I known
In some dim aside of life, In that town what flat-topped towers,
Lacquered roofs and walls of stone; Minaret or mosque between;
Shared in that heroic strife: Where the Dragon standard lowers,
Or in opium trances been Flaunts defiance to our Queen.
Foremost man In those temples what fell rites,
When our van Blood upon the altar screen;
Scattered death in Khandarin! Dervishes and Kedeshites
Allen Upward. Dance before their gods obscene.
Blared and clanged;
Where is my love Men of what wild Tartar breeds
In silence and shadow she lies, Ride between those gateways tall,
Under the April-gray, calm waste of Where the lake with yellow reeds
the skies; Bathes the white foot of the wall.
And a bird above, Flew the word at break of day,
In the darkness tender and clear, Riding past the old canteen:
Keeps saying over and over, Love lies "There are men who will not pay
here! Tax and tribute to our Queen."
Not that she's dead;
Only her soul is flown
Out of its last pure earthly mansion:
And cries instead Rules in white-walled Khandarin?
In the darkness tender and clear, On our march for many a day
Like the voice of a bird in the leaves, From the misty mountain side
Love-love lies here.
Walter de la Vare. Spat the bullets where we lay;
The English Review. In their sleep our comrades died.
THE PEERS AS DEMOCRATS.
The Constitution is on trial. As I jority. They are prepared to abide by write, the jury of the nation is consid- the will of the people as it may be deering its verdict, and in a few days the clared at the polls in this January, cause célèbre, Lords versus Commons, 1910. They were not prepared to acwill have been decided.
The peers cept without inquiry the Radical-Sobroke with precedent and took the “rev- cialist pretence in 1909 at interpreting olutionary step" of referring a Finance the will of the people as expressed in Bill to the people. The Commons dis- 1906. Could resolution more demoputed their right, and reluctantly be- cratic than that be taken? And why came parties to the action. But it is in the name of democracy should the to be for the last time. The Radicals Lords pass such a Budget as that of have had enough of it. A Chamber 1909 without taking the view of less which dares to appeal from them to partial judges than Mr. Asquith, Mr. the people from whom they are sup- Lloyd George, and
Mr. Winston posed to derive their authority, must Churchill? It was aimed at interests go-always supposing the people should which the Radical-Socialist hates, al. give them the necessary new lease of ways has hated, always will hate. official life. The Lords, they say, are Landowners and license-holders are his out of touch with the democratic spirit peculiar aversions. If in the process of the time. They are a privileged of crushing both he crushed others inbody. They have presumed upon pow- nocent of any offence which could be ers which exist but must not be exer- brought home to either, what matter? cised. Progress, whatever that may The State would come into its own the mean, is impossible if this hereditary more quickly. On the showing of those pretension is to stand.
That the peers twin exponents of vituperative stateshave not rejected a measure which manship, Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. they could not in conscience be ex- Winston Churchill, the Lords threw pected to endorse; that they, the as- out the Budget because it touched their sumed enemies of the people, should pockets and their privileges. To put have insisted on consulting the peo- the action of the peers on the lowest ple, is too much for the Radical-Social- ground of self-interest, why should ist mind. If ever a privileged body they not defer the passage of a meastook a step which would commend it. ure which hits them financially as well self to the opposing force it surely is as others? A cardinal principle of dethis. Why object? Obviously, if the mocracy is that there shall be no taxLords are beaten-and they took the ation without representation, and that risk well knowing what the conse- the people alone shall tax the people. quences of defeat must be then the Judge the Lords by that principle. way will be clear for all Radical-So- They are called upon by the Commons, cialist schemes. The dreams of the as they have been called upon again visionary will indeed have come within and again recently, to pass a financial the compass of practical politics. measure aimed avowedly at them.
The peers, as a matter of sober fact, selves. They are to endorse, without have proved themselves much better a voice in the matter, the financial exdemocrats than any member of the pedients devised by their enemies, and Government or of the Government ma- if they dare say that the measure is unfair, is bad economy, and at least est and least worthy of the community should be sanctioned first by the na- who cannot call himself a peer does tion, they are told they are acting un- not suffer. Imagine a man like Mr. constitutionally. When the people are John Morley being made Lord Morley content to tax themselves, it would be of Blackburn, and then being told that preposterous for the Lords to refuse in return for the privileges of the to acquiesce, even though they felt peerage he must give up the precious that the tax were unwise. But when privilege of ordinary citizenship. A it comes to the taxation of the Lords. peer's solitary chance of making his at the bidding of any demagogue who influence on legislation felt is to speak may hold office, it is surely more than and vote in the House of Lords. His. flesh and blood, blue or otherwise, can political rights are controlled in a way be expected to stand.
which would not be tolerated by the Think of the absurd position in veriest tub-thumper and demagogue. which the peers are placed. Five. When an election is taking place, all sixths of them are among the best in- peers are bound and gagged: they must tellects in the land. The debate on the not vote, they must not speak. And Budget was the answer to their most now they are told that they must not uncompromising critics. It had even exercise their rights in Parliaweight, dignity, knowledge, eloquence, ment itself. As Lord Curzon said at experience, reason behind it to an ex- Brighton, "The idea that a peer's tent which the most thorough-paced mouth might be open as wide as he advocate of the Commons' supremacy liked up to a certain date, but from would hardly claim for the shifts and the issue of the writs was to be shut excitements of the proceedings in the like a clasp, was an obsolete idea Lower House. A peer may be in the which was doomed soon to disappear." House of Lords because he is the des- This antiquated custom may be a comcendant of someone ennobled long ago: pliment in its way to the influence of his descent is not necessarily proof the peers, but it is what Lord Curzon that he is not better fitted to gauge the calls it--arbitrary and absurd. needs of a State and the interests of From the Radical point of view it is a people than the man whose associa- one of our ancient customs that it tions have been those of the cottage would possibly be well to preserve. or the workroom. Other peers are in the preliminary skirmishes of the there as the reward of public service present campaign the peers took to the or of merit; others again have been platform in unusual numbers. They made peers because they were able to faced the music of mob organization contribute largely to the party funds, with a frank determination to place and as the Liberals themselves have their case before the people in entire made more peers than their opponents keeping with the spirit and the letter in the last seventy or eighty years, the of Lord Lansdowne's motion on the chances are that a careful investiga Finance Bill. If at times they added tion would show that Radical money distinctly to the gaiety and wit of for party purposes has purchased more meetings, they showed themselves elevations than Tory. It matters little quite equal to holding their own how they got there; the effect is the against all save the most resourceful same. Directly they are made mem- and experienced of platform orators. bers of the House of Lords they are Peers like Lord Lansdowne, Lord Cursubject to disabilities in the common- zon, Lord Milner, Lord Rothschild are wealthdisabilities which the mean- exceptional men; it is men like Lord
Hardwicke who show the latent and known resolutions of the Commons, wholly native quality which has to be one of 1671 which said reckoned with whenever the peers are
That in all aids given to the King by permitted to take up the democratic the Commons the rate and tax ought rôle. Some of our democrats will find not to be altered by the Lords. in noble lords rivals of no mean cali
the other of 1678bre; not men who tickle the ears of
That all aids and supplies, and aids the groundlings to catch votes, but
to his Majesty in Parliament, are the men who are prepared to take the
sole gift of the Commons; and all Bills common judgment when facts and rea- for the granting of any such aids and sons have been properly set forth. The supplies ought to begin with the ComDuke of Norfolk faced the hecklers of mons; and that it is the undoubted and Brixton, and Brixton voted Unionist. sole right of the Commons to direct, “It is an essential principle of democ- limit, and appoint in such Bills the racy that Government should be car
ends, purposes, considerations, condi
tions, limitations, and qualifications of ried on with the consent of the gov
such grants, which ought not to be erned. Unfortunately in practice this changed in the Lords. ideal is unattainable," writes Lord Robert Cecil. The Lords may at least
The condition of things to which that claim that they have taken a course
resolution applied, the condition of which is not inconsistent with that things nearly a century later which ideal.
Pitt had in mind, was vastly different The case against the peers rests upon
from the condition of things which oban ordinance almost as antiquated,
tains to-day. The Commons took their certainly as anachronistic, as some of
stand on their right to tax themselves, their so-called privileges.
and denied the Lords the right to any
No one is so keen as your modern Radical on
voice in the aids which they "cheer"ancient lights” when they seem to af- fully granted” to the sovereign.
By ford a pretext for his own privileges: the middle of the seventeenth century none so ready to denounce them when
a great change had come over the re
In he wishes to erect some structure in lations of Lords and Commons. his own interests. Mr. E. T. Cook, early days—for instance, in the “Statuone of the most level-headed, sober,
tum de Tallagio non concebendo" of and patriotic of Radical writers, takes
Edward I.—the King undertook that an extract from a speech by Pitt, the “no tallage or aid shall be levied withgreat commoner, and makes it the text
out the goodwill and assent of the for an article’ on what Sir Frederick archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, Pollock calls “the exorbitant action of knights, burgesses and other freemen the Lords within the limits of the Con- of the land.” As feudalism lost stitution as understood by our fathers." ground, the Commons began to assert Pitt asserted that taxation is no part of what they conceived to be their special the governing or legislative power. rights, and they were gradually suc“The taxes are a voluntary gift and cessful in conflicts with the peers, grant of the Commons alone. The con
whether it was a question of a controcurrence of the peers and the Crown verted election or of interference in to a tax is only necessary to clothe it elections.' The Petition of Rights in with the form of law.” Pitt was, of its preamble recites the statute of Talcourse, merely summarizing the well- lagio, and his Majesty's subjects "hum1 The “Saturday” Handbook.
8 The story has been admirably and con
cisely told by Mr. Edward Porritt in his "Un2 "Contemporary Review," January, 1910. reformed House of Commons."