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sun and soil, unhampering institutions, what remains ? Equity remains, which and a deft and intelligent labor class and is to give like for like, the same for the capitalist class, is bound to scab upon a same, neither more nor less. But this country less fortunately situated. It is equity, society, as at present constituted, the good fortune of the United States cannot give. It is not in the nature of that is making her the colossal scab, just present-day society for men to give like as it is the good fortune of one man to for like, the same for the same. And as be born with a straight back while his long as men continue to live in this combrother is born with a hump.
petitive society, struggling tooth and nail It is not good to give most for least, with one another for food and shelter, not good to be a scab. The word has (which is to struggle tooth and nail with gained universal opprobrium. On the one another for life), that long will the other hand, to be a non-scab, to give scab continue to exist. His will to live least for most, is universally branded as will force him to exist. He may be foutstingy, selfish, and unchristian-like. So ed and jeered by his brothers, he may be all the world, like the British workman, beaten with bricks and clubs by the men is 'twixt the devil and the deep sea. It who by superior strength and capacity is treason to one's fellows to scab, it is scab upon him as he scabs upon them treason to God and unchristian-like not by longer hours and smaller wages,
but to scab.
through it all he will persist, going them Since to give least for most and to one better, and giving a bit more of most give most for least are universally bad, for least than they are giving.
MOORE records in his Diary a break their testators' brains.” This was probfast at Jeffrey's where Sydney Smith ably not a direct prophecy of Froude or spoke of Sir T. Lawrence having bled Purcell. Even before their day, which to death owing to the ignorance of a ser- Coleridge would have distinctly not revant in not properly adjusting the band- joiced to see, lives had been taken under age: “On my remarking the additional the guise of being written. That literary ill luck, after such a death, of falling into tragedy, however, no man need have the hands of such a biographer as Camp- feared to see repeated in John Morley's bell, he started up and exclaimed theat- biography of Gladstone. It was certain rically, “Look to your bandages, all ye in advance that nothing but poised judgthat have been blooded; there are bio ment, measured estimate, and perfect graphers abroad!'”
taste, with fair though pungent phrase The modern biographer abroad, to say and characterization, should we get from nothing of his lack of skill in dressing the biographer of Cromwell and Cobden, wounds, has torn open so many that one the interpreter of Diderot and Voltaire commonly experiences a certain involun- and Rousseau, of Walpole and of Burke, tary trepidation on taking up a new Life. and, latterly, the political orator whom Nor does the fact that the biography is the best of England hear gladly. His official necessarily relieve the apprehension.
1 The Life of William Ewart Gladstone. “ Literary executors,” said Cole- By John Morley. In three volumes. New ridge, “ make sad work in general with York: The Macmillan Co. 1903.
old chief never gave a better proof that, struggle for Italian unity, the rescue of contrary to the general opinion, he was the bleeding provinces from the Turk, a good judge of men than in the choice we may well admit the demand for full of a literary executor. The appeal to handling, since with them Gladstone had Mr. Morley’s discretion, to speak for the a militant and fiercely debated connecmoment of that quality alone, was of the tion. Indeed, there is one theory of the slightest from the transparent openness function which Mr. Morley may have of Gladstone's manner of life. “No- defined to himself that would justify all body ever had fewer secrets." There his bistorical longueurs. It is possible were no pathological passages in his that he designed his great work, not preletters or journals of which to make a cisely as a " huge Whig tract” of the public clinic. Even the asterisks de Macaulay order, but as a conscious connoting omitted sentences in his corre tribution to the propaganda of Liberalspondence, as printed, hide, Mr. Morley ism, - using that word in no party sense, assures us, “ no piquant hit, no person but as signifying the movement to enality, no indiscretion.” There will be franchise the spirit of mankind. The no place, then, for the future digger-up careful translation of all the citations of the original manuscripts, on scandal from Greek, Latin, and even French and bent. We have before us the “real ” Italian, would look as if his volumes were Gladstone, without that abused word at sent out in the hope of being understandall possessing its now customary conno ed of the common people. Their sale by tation of something derogatory or repel- popular subscription in England points lent.
the same way.
If the actual aim were One formidable difficulty obviously to make all plain to short memories and confronted Mr. Morley from the start. meagre reading, there is constructive exHow was the biographer to disentangle
which would otherwise be the hero from the history of his time, of voted both superfluous and tedious. which he was so great a part? The life Thirty years ago, John Morley as the could not be made intelligible apart from biographer of William Ewart Gladstone its political setting; on the other hand, would have seemed the most palpable to make the latter stand out full and misfit. Even today, many have had clear would be to run the risk of throw grave doubt on one point. Would not ing the man himself too much into the the Life reveal much less than perfect shadow. It cannot be said that the sympathy between writer and subject bulky volumes wholly escape the double on the religious side ? How could an peril. It would be unfair to apply to avowed agnostic, though of the most them what has been said of Professor grave and weighty cast of mind, possibly Masson's Life and Times of Milton, hope to portray the ardent theologian, that the Times are to the Life as nine to the convinced Churchman, the devout one; yet there is an undeniable impres- Christian believer, who, as Dean Church sion, now and then, in this work of Mr. said of his personal knowledge of GladMorley's, of the historian getting the bet- stone, went from his knees to the business ter of the biographer. Even contem of the nation ? Mr. Gladstone himself, porary events in which Gladstone had so Frederic Harrison reminds us, thought but a minor rôle — such as the Franco Morley's Life of Cobden defective in reGerman war - are narrated in a way to ligious appreciation. In his own case come near falling between two stools. the difficulty would seem vastly greater. The history is scamped, the biography But it is vanquished ambulando. Frankoverweighted. In the case of such themes ly stating that he can only describe from as Ireland, the Transvaal, Egypt, the the exterior Gladstone's religious nature
and activities, Mr. Morley at once rises stone's theological flank lay open to atto serene impartiality of spirit in saying: tack: " It was the affinity of great natures for “Gortchakoff : How did you get hold great issues that made Mr. Gladstone of Gladstone ? from his earliest manhood onwards take “Madame Novikoff : Rien de plus and hold fast the affairs of the churches simple. Four or five years ago I asked for the objects of his most absorbing in- what was his weak point, and was told terest. He was one and the same man, that he had two - Effervescence' and his genius was one. His persistent in- • Theology.' With that knowledge I cursions all through his long life into found it all child's play to manage him. the multifarious doings, not only of his I just sent him to Munich, and there own Anglican communion, but of the boiled him up in a weak decoction of Latin church of the West, as well as of Filioque, then kept him ready for use, the motley Christendom of the East, and impatiently awaited the moment puzzled and vexed political whippers-in, when our plans for getting up the · Bulwire-pullers, newspaper editors, leaders, garian atrocities' should be mature," etc. colleagues ; they were the despair of Whatever might have been dreaded in party caucuses; and they made the neu regard to Mr. Morley's painting of Gladtral man of the world smile, as eccen stone the theologian, every body must tricities of genius and rather singularly have recognized his peculiar advantage chosen recreations. All this
in in describing Gladstone the statesman. truth, of the very essence of his charac- It is the advantage of first-hand acquainter, the manifestation of its profound tance with the matter. This enables him unity.” If that does not echo the emo not only to understand, but to give those tional sympathy of a brother in the faith, realistic touches of experience which we it at least shows us the sound and fair find, for example, in Condorcet's Life critic. Mr. Morley, in reality, sets forth of Turgot, Disraeli's sketch of Bentinck, the churchly and the Christian side of Rosebery's Pitt, and Schurz's Clay. SatGladstone with satisfactory clearness, if urated for years in politics, himself active not with all ecclesiastical amplitude. The in the movements that he describes, an most apprehensive Anglican must con intimate of the men who made the history fess the picture to be faithful. Minuter it is his task to write, Mr. Morley is able traits are not overlooked. We are shown
to light up
with Gladstone's Cromwellian habit of being of personal familiarity. Thus when the greatly stayed by some verse of Scrip- mysterious break-up of a certain Cabinet ture when going forth to oratorical slaugh- is under discussion, he turns this ray ter. If anything is left out it is the upon the problem, — " Perhaps the Minlaughter, or the mockery, which Mr. isters had grown weary of each other.” Gladstone's consuming religious zeal so That could have occurred to no one who often provoked in the ungodly. Their had not himself kissed hands and held gibes Mr. Morley passes by. Kinglake, a portfolio. Even his journalistic years for example, was only one of many to yield Mr. Morley something, as when, call Mr. Gladstone “a good man in the referring to an unhappy attempt to “inworst sense of the term, conscientious spire” a newspaper, he remarks: “Unwith a disordered conscience.” And it luckily, it would seem to need at least the was in an “ Imaginary Conversation” genius of a Bismarck to perform with between Madame Novikoff and Gort- precision and success the delicate office chakoff that the same brilliant but bit- of inspiring a modern oracle on the jourter writer conveyed wittily the general nalistic tripod.” impression of the way in which Glad Mr. Morley is no idolizing biographer.
VOL. XCIII. No. 55
many a flash
His critic's eye is not dazzled even by the must be pleasant to have an argumentasplendid orb of Gladstone's genius. He tive acuteness which is quite sure to exsees and points out the flecks in the bril tricate you, at least in appearance,
from liance. With resolute hand he unveils for any intellectual scrape. But it is a danus the deep mystery of Mr. Gladstone's gerous weapon to use, and particularly complex nature, — simply duplex, his dangerous to a very conscientious man. enemies called it. This personal interest He will not use it unless he believes in its is, after all, the most compelling thing in results; but he will try to believe in its the 1800 pages. Old political issues results, in order that he may use it.” Maynooth and the Gorham judgment, Mr. Morley practically acquiesces in distribution bills and budgets, even Bul- this diagnosis. Indeed, confirmation of garia and Irish Home Rule seem far it rains upon any one who closely follows away and burned out compared with the Gladstone's career, and notes the imperennial charm and vitality of a domi- pression he made upon different men. nant human personality. In Gladstone "He perplexes his chief [Sir Robert there was as extraordinary a union of Peel],” writes Lord Rosebery of Glad. opposites as ever met in one breast. stone, in his little book on Peel, “who “Ah,” said a disapproving old Whig, at complains of sometimes finding great dif. the time of the 1860 budget, “ Oxford on ficulty in exactly comprehending what the surface, but Liverpool below.” This he means. This recalls a saying of the was but one of the many phrases in which Pope: “ I like, but I do not understand, Gladstone's remarkable dualism of char Mr. Gladstone.” It was a complaint acter was bodied forth. He was at once which dogged Gladstone from his earliest the meticulous scholastic theologian, and to his latest years. In 1830 he wrote a the prodigious worker in the practical. long letter to his father urging that he be This strange mingling of qualities, with permitted to give his life to the Church. its resultant perils, Mr. Morley puts There were in it sentences of burning and fairly before us. A hair-splitting intel- martyr-like devotion, but alongside stand lect yoked to immense moral enthusiasm others which leave one uncertain what was certain to lead its owner into awk- the youth really wanted. This “ vague ward passages, and to lay him open to the and obscure "letter is, observes Mr. Morcharge of sophistry or insincerity. The ley, “the first definite indication alike subtly mediæval tinge of Mr. Gladstone's of the extraordinary intensity of his relimind was perceived with marvelous clar- gious disposition, and of that double-mindity of vision by Walter Bagehot, in that edness, that division of sensibility beacute analysis of the man which he pub- tween the demands of spiritual and of lished as far back as 1860. “ His intel- secular life, which remained throughout lect is of a thoroughly scholastic kind. one of the marking traits of his career.” He can distinguish between any two pro
From this involved letter at twenty-one, positions; he never allowed, he could not down to his apparent but Orphic denial allow, that any two were identical. If that he was to resign the premiership at any one on either side of the House is eighty-five, though he promptly did it, bold enough to infer anything from any - Gladstone left behind him an enorthing, Mr. Gladstone is ready to deny that mous number of letters, articles, and the inference is accurate to suggest speeches in which lurking qualifications, a distinction which he says is singularly meaning everything to him, though unimportant — to illustrate an apt subtlety perceived by the general, lay as so many which, in appearance at least, impairs the snares for the unwary, so many causes of validity of the deduction. No schoolman wrath to the plain and blunt Englishman could be readier at such work. . . . It who blurts bis whole mind out. No won
6* In open
built up a
der that this trait “ sometimes amused ever nervous about speaking.
of Gladstone's conversation on successive