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dated by an addition to the National Debt and the temporary sacrifice of Sir Stafford Northcote's own Sinking Fund. Whatever be the popularity earned by a spirited foreign policy, the Government has not ventured to ask the people of England to pay for it by a legitimate increase of taxation, and they have preferred to meet the deficit by drawing ten accommodation bills on future years, payable at long intervals after the General Election. The men of light and leading in England, to repeat the words of Mr. Burke, whose wisdom, if they have any, is open and direct, are ashamed as of a silly, deceitful trick to evade the payment of an outstanding obligation.

The time is come when these shortcomings must be weighed in the scales of the national suffrage, and condemned or sanctioned by the voice of the people. It must be acknowledged by a dispassionate observer, that opinions in the country are nearly equally balanced ; that no paramount and preponderating conviction drives the masses of electors to the poll; and that it is extremely difficult under the shelter of the ballot to foretell, either in the smallest borough, in the most populous city, or in the largest county, to which side the result will incline. The Tory party have in their favour, if not a superior organisation, at least a greater unity of purpose. The Liberal party have, we doubt not, a real numerical majority in most of the cities and boroughs of the kingdom, even in many of those now represented by Tories. If they lose by this election, or gain less than they might otherwise have done, it will be their own fault. It will be the result of the intemperate language of some injudicious partisans, which has shaken the adherence of the more moderate members of the party. It will be the result of the attempt to dictate, by a caucus, humiliating conditions which repel the most honourable classes of candidates and of electors. It will be the result of a want of that sincere and energetic union which once secured to the Liberal party a long and almost undisputed possession of power. We do not disguise from ourselves that there are dangers in these directions. The Liberal party is a vast aggregate of forward forces, some of them ill-disciplined. Not only so; but there are forces constantly pushing themselves to the front in the name of Liberalism which have no right whatever to this name, but which are really as bad as any old Tory prejudices—forces essentially sectarian, and pursuing their objects by essentially sectarian and illiberal methods. These movements within Liberalism-bred of selfishness or social and religious jealousy.—are the bane and degradation of the Liberal party, and the real causes of its imperfect cohesion in many quarters. Everything depends upon the extent to which these forces can be restrained, and the true watchwords of the historical Liberal party remain in the ascendant. If the Liberal party fail of success at the poll, it will be, as before, owing to the crotchets and the violence of Radicals and Dissenters more than any other cause. United, we do not question the ability of the Liberal party to command a majority in the next Parliament, No language could offer a more striking contrast to this mystical jargon than the clear, practical, and manly declarations of the Marquis of Hartington, to which it suffices to refer our readers. We could desire no better test of the spirit and character of the two leaders now contending for supreme power than the tone and purport of these two addresses ; and we can only say that if the policy of Lord Hartington's address be strictly adhered to, in the event of the return of the Liberal Party to power, it deserves the cordial support of the intelligent and patriotic classes throughout the country.

The charges of the Opposition against the Government resolve themselves into a general accusation of a pernicious activity abroad and a lethargic inactivity at home. The charges of the Government against the Opposition are founded on a supposed neglect of our interests abroad and an excessive zeal in promoting reform at home. But there is this material difference between one mode of attack and the other. The strictures of the Opposition are directed against a series of positive and indubitable facts, such as the rejection of the Berlin Note, the conduct of Lord Salisbury at the Conference, the transport of Indian troops into Europe, the Anglo-Turkish Convention, the acquisition of Cyprus, the change of policy which led to the wars in Afghanistan, the invasion of Zululand, and the large expenditure caused by these measures, for which no provision has yet been made. The retort of the Government on the alleged policy of the Liberal Party rests on no substantial foundation at all; it is directed against a purely hypothetical and imaginary system of government. It is utterly untrue that the Liberal Party has sought, whether in or out of office, to lower the influence of this country in the councils of Europe, to weaken our national defences, to estrange the Colonies, to propose the Disestablishment of the Church in England or Scotland, or to submit to the pretensions of the Home Rulers in Ireland. It may be that extreme sections have spoken rash and ill-advised words on one or other of these subjects; but the real attitude of the Party is to be interpreted by the voice of its responsible leaders, and in no other way. This voice—the voice of Lord Hartington and Lord Granville—is one of studied moderation and sound patriotism. Yet, by a disingenuous use of fabulous pretexts, an attempt is made to shake the confidence of the people in a Party which carried on the government of the Empire for forty years with signal success, and with a steady adherence to the old watchwords of Peace, Retrenchment, and Reform.

Sir Stafford Northcote's budget, born before its time, and hastily announced to Parliament after the fiat of dissolution had gone forth, is an additional proof that the Government has never had the courage to bring home the consequences of its own policy to the pocket of the taxpayer. The twelve millions of extraordinary expenses caused by the military and naval operations in the East of Europe and in South Africa, but not including any part of the cost of the Afghan wars,

dated by an addition to the National Debt and the temporary sacrifice of Sir Stafford Northcote's own Sinking Fund. Whatever be the popularity earned by a spirited foreign policy, the Government has not ventured to ask the people of England to pay for it by a legitimate increase of taxation, and they have preferred to meet the deficit by drawing ten accommodation bills on future years, payable at long intervals after the General Election. The men of light and leading in England, to repeat the words of Mr. Burke, whose wisdom, if they have any, is open and direct, are ashamed as of a silly, deceitful trick to evade the payment of an outstanding obligation.

The time is come when these shortcomings must be weighed in the scales of the national suffrage, and condemned or sanctioned by the voice of the people. It must be acknowledged by a dispassionate observer, that opinions in the country are nearly equally balanced ; that no paramount and preponderating conviction drives the masses of electors to the poll; and that it is extremely difficult under the shelter of the ballot to foretell, either in the smallest borough, in the most populous city, or in the largest county, to which side the result will incline. The Tory party have in their favour, if not a superior organisation, at least a greater unity of purpose. The Liberal party have, we doubt not, a real numerical majority in most of the cities and boroughs of the kingdom, even in many of those now represented by Tories. If they lose by this election, or gain less than they might otherwise have done, it will be their own fault. It will be the result of the intemperate language of some injudicious partisans, which has shaken the adherence of the more moderate members of the party. It will be the result of the attempt to dictate, by a caucus, humiliating conditions which repel the most honourable classes of candidates and of electors. It will be the result of a want of that sincere and energetic union which once secured to the Liberal party a long and almost undisputed possession of power. We do not disguise from ourselves that there are dangers in these directions. The Liberal party is a vast aggregate of forward forces, some of them ill-disciplined. Not only so; but there are forces constantly pushing themselves to the front in the name of Liberalism which have no right whatever to this name, but which are really as bad as any old Tory prejudices—forces essentially sectarian, and pursuing their objects by essentially sectarian and illiberal methods. These movements within Liberalism-bred of selfishness or social and religious jealousy--are the bane and degradation of the Liberal party, and the real causes of its imperfect cohesion in many quarters. Everything depends upon the extent to which these forces can be restrained, and the true watchwords of the historical Liberal party remain in the ascendant. If the Liberal party fail of success at the poll, it will be, as before, owing to the crotchets and the violence of Radicals and Dissenters more than any other cause. United, we do not question the ability of the Liberal party to command a majority in the next Parliament, equally certain that the efforts of the Liberals to carry into effect the extreme or eccentric opinions which some of them entertain will prove nugatory, and possibly inflict on the country a renewed period of Tory government.

At this moment it is not so much the Government as the House of Commons which is on its trial. The late Parliament failed, not only to pass important measures of public utility, but even to maintain the order and dignity of its own proceedings. It sank visibly and rapidly in public respect. No greater calamity could befall this country than that Parliament should lose the confidence and veneration of the people. But at this moment the people themselves are masters of the situation, and it rests with them to raise or to lower the character of their representatives. This is the consideration which gives an overwhelming importance to the present crisis, superior to the questions of the hour, to the duration of Ministries, or to the triumph of parties. Our most earnest hope is that the Parliament now about to be elected may bring into public life a large reinforcement of men not only qualified by their abilities to serve the State and the Crown, but also armed with a courageous resolution to adhere to sound Liberal principles, to avoid the waste of time caused by the garrulity of their predecessors, and to give their support to the Liberal Government of the future alike free from presumption, dishonesty, and weakness.

NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS.

Communications to the Editor should be addressed to him at 39 Paternostei Row, E.O.

As the Magazine has an ample staff of Contributors, MSS. are not invited without previous correspondence, and uninvited MSS. cannot be returned ex

FRASER'S MAGAZINE.

MAY 1880.

MARY ANERLEY : A YORKSHIRE TALE.

CHAPTER XXXIX.

BATTERY AND ASSUMPSIT.

THAT little moorland glen, whose only murmur was of wavelets,

and principal traffic of birds and rabbits, even at this time of year looked pretty, with the winter light winding down its shelter and soft quietude. Ferny pitches, and grassy bends, set off the harsh outline of rock and shale, wbile a white mist (quivering like a clue above the rivulet) was melting into the faint blue haze diffused among the foldings and recesses of the land. On the hither side, nearly at the bottom of the slope, a bright green spot among the brown and yellow roughness, looking by comparison most smooth and rich, showed where the little cottage grew its vegetables, and even indulged in a small attempt at fruit. Behind this, the humble retirement of the cot was shielded from the wind, by a breast-work of bold rock, fringed with ground-ivy, hanging broom, and silver stars of the carline. So simple and low was the building, and so matched with the colours around it, that but for the smoke curling up from a pipe of red pottery-ware, a stranger might almost have overlooked it. The walls were made from the rocks close by, the roof of fir-slabs thatched with ling; there was no upper story, and (except the door and windows) all the materials seemed native and at home. Lancelot had heard, by putting a crafty question in safe places, that the people of the gill here had built their own dwelling, a good many years ago; and it looked as if they could have done it easily.

Now, if he intended to spy out the land and the house as well, before the giant of the axe returned, there was no time to lose in beginning. He had a good deal of sagacity in tricks, and some practice in little arts of robbery. For before he attained to this exalted state of mind, one of his favourite pastimes had been a course of stealthy raids upon the pears in Scargate garden. He might have

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