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had an easy task comparatively—they had to convince the Parliament and the Government of England that it was desirable to put down the protection that then existed, and the thing was done.
But how are you going to operate on the minds of the foreign countries and get them to do the same thing ? That is the problem. Let us just look back for a moment at the history of the manner in which our free-traders have dealt with the question. When first they got the protective duties taken off, and the productions of England thrown open, they believed that all other nations would abandon their protective duties and that their hostile tariffs would fall down, as the walls of Jericho fell at the sound of the trumpet. The prevailing belief that was in the minds of those men at the time was this—that England was the great obstacle to the free trade of the whole world, and that the landlords of England were the obstacles to that difficulty being removed in England. That was the view they took; but somehow or other the walls of Jericho did not fall down, and for some years, although we had very great prosperity, owing to the great reduction of our own tariffs, we did not find that the foreign markets were opened in the way that was expected.”
Much worse than the evils we know, he thought, were those we fly to in “ false remedies.” This, in regard to all the new difficulties, which are only the world's old difficulties, far more widely felt by a more educated people, far more violently resented, was Sir Stafford's attitude in these late years of his life. He indulged in no dreams and
THE NEW MOON AND THE OLD.
no delusions. Fair trade, a specific of the moment, was "a pious opinion," not a practicable policy. The newer remedies meant national ruin. He disliked the signs in the heaven of politics, the strange conjunction of planets in the sky above England. At Aberdeen, in 1885, he happily and appropriately illustrated these from the ballad of “Sir Patrick Spens”: “Mr Chamberlain is not the leader of the party.
The leader of the party is a much abler, much greater, and much more dignified person than Mr Chamberlain. I am prepared, from a long acquaintance with him, both as a friend and as an opponent in Parliament, to bear the highest testimony to the great abilities of the late Premier Mr Gladstone; at the same time, I think he is about the most dangerous statesman I know. What signs of danger are there? What signs of bad weather are there which you sometimes notice when storms are coming on? It always seems to me that the worst sign of bad weather is when you see what is called the new moon with the old moon in its arms. I have no doubt that many of you Aberdeen men have read the fine old ballad of Sir Patrick Spens, who was drowned some twenty or thirty miles off the coast of Aberdeen. In that ballad he was cautioned not to go to sea because his faithful and weather-wise attendant had noticed the new moon with the old moon in its lap. I think myself that that is a very dangerous sign; and when I see Mr Chamberlain with Mr Gladstone, the old moon in his arms, I think it is time to look out for squally weather.” Many a threatening new moon has held Mr Gladstone in her arms since his alliance with Mr Chamberlain went where the old moons go. But,
1“I saw the new moon late yestreen,
Wi' the auld moon in her arm ; And if we gang to sea, master,
I fear we'll come to harm.”
“Be it wind, be it weet, be it snaw, be it sleet,
Our ship maun sail the faem.”
Such, and of such tenor, were his popular addresses. The following chapter will contain extracts from his diaries, and other accounts of his Irish journey, and his expedition, in a non-political character, to Edinburgh, at the Tercentenary of the University.
HOLIDAYS AND HOLIDAY TASKS.
CRUISE IN THE PANDORA-BAD WEATHER-SHAVING ON BOARD
SHIP-SOTOMAYOR-GIBRALTAR- EXCEPTIONAL WEATHER
WALES-RECTORSHIP IN EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY-SPEECHES
EVEN the weariest statesman is allowed a few holidays, especially when out of office. Sir Stafford's holiday-time was occasionally occupied by holiday tasks, as when he visited the north of Ireland in the autumn of 1883, and made political speeches. But his voyage to the Mediterranean in the Pandora, Mr W. H. Smith's yacht, in 1882, was purely unpolitical. Of both the Irish and the southern trips he kept diaries. Unluckily the brief notes on the Mediterranean cruise tell us little of what he thought and felt in Sicily, at Pompeii, in Carthage, and other scenes whose interest can only die with human memory of the past. The cruise was ill served by weather, and the diary once more makes us marvel at the courage of ladies, who are “not good sailors,” and yet go down into the deep. Lady Northcote, Mrs Shelley (Lady Margaret Shelley), Mr Henry Northcote, Miss Smith, Mr John Northcote, and others, were the party which started from Portsmouth in the Pandora, on November 27, in stormy circumstances. The early part of the voyage was a series of puttings into havens, out of the rage of perilous seas. They began to think that they would never reach the “tideless dolorous Midland sea," and the shores where Carthage lies forlorn. Quoits on deck cheered the leisure of the vigorous. The less vigorous possessed their souls and kept their berths in patience. On December 2, the diary announces better things :
“ Dec. 2.—We were cheered by the first news of the morning (about 7 A.M.) that C. Finisterre was in sight. As the day advanced the sea became much calmer, and we had a beautiful run to Vigo, which we reached before 4 P.M.
A quite magical change took place in our two invalids as soon as we got into smoother water. They got up and were half dressed before we cast anchor. We had a very lively dinner and evening. The health officers came on board, to give us pratique and to be entertained with champagne. They were very courteous and dignified.
“ Dec. 3.—A quiet Sunday, for which all very thankful. Careful shaving of the crew in the forecastle, and scruples as to the use of the blunt side of the razor.
Service on board. Short walk on shore in the afternoon. Not much