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ONCE AND FOR AYE.
HE sang as he lay on a Highland mountain,
That English knight who had never known love,
What blue so blue as the heaven above ?'
'O what can blush by the purple heather ?
What gold with the gorse-flower dare compare ?'
On her glowing cheek and her glittering hair.
She had lost her path, that Lowland lady,
Whose heart had never a lord confessed ;
Would guide her over the mountain crest.
So he took her hand, and they passed together,
The knight and the lady unlearned of love,
O laughingly beamed the blue above.
THE AUTHOR OF 'SONGS OF KILLARNEY.'
VOL. XXV.-NO. CXLVII.
SOCIAL SUBJECTS. THE NEW PARLIAMENT-MODERN ICONOCLASTS—THE TREATMENT OF THE BODY
AFTER DEATH-SERJEANT COX'S QUESTION, "WHAT AM 1?' NHE fruits of the sensational threw himself upon the country
policy of January 23rd are with a huge surplus and golden · ready for plucking. The oats so promises; no unworthy imputawildly sown upon the occasion of tions of insincerity are cast upon the Cabinet Council of that event- him by simply stating that he ful Friday are ripe for the harvest. offered five millions as the price of The Ides of March are at hand. his return to power. That is the What will be the issues of that sum to be disposed of in the repolitical manœuvre executed by mission of taxation; and he told Mr. Gladstone when he appeared us that he had fairly earned this before his colleagues, and flou- amount, and therefore claimed our rished his address to the electors unhesitating confidence in his abiof Greenwich before their eyes, lity as financial administrator for and told them to look sharp and the future. For, at the time these get re-elected if they could, such lines are written, he has given us of them at least as were members no reason to suppose that he does of the House of Commons, within not intend to continue to combine the next ten days? Did those the offices of First Lord of the colleagues of his in Her Majesty's Treasury and Chancellor of the Government feel grateful to their Exchequer, and it cannot be denied leader for having relieved them that the two titles harmonise. The from an individual sense of re great and defined promise is abosponsibility, or did they feel in lition of the income tax; the qualijured that they were not taken a fying terms are to be found in a little more into the Premier's con- vague hint at the readjustment of fidence, as the outside world not other taxes. At first everybody unnaturally thinks that they had was charmed. No more inquisia right to expect? It is only torial taxation. Merchants, tradesright, however, to say that these men, and farmers were immensely gentlemen loyally suppressed their pleased with the idea, and strugsentiments, and exhibited a chi- gling professional men seemed to valrous devotion to their leader. see an end to those claims of family Publicly, that is. Privately, we and conscience which have always have had glimpses of a less been in such direct antagonism. quiet state of things; and there But the period of reflection has have not been wanting whispers supervened, and we cannot but of oaths, not loud, but deep,' feel that if Peter is robbed, Paul ejected from reluctant lips when will have to pay, and that the returning answer to the question, imperial revenue cannot afford to • How do you like it ?'
lose the vast amount raised by the Probably political expectation income tax unless compensation is has not been so keenly excited as made in some other direction. And to the forthcoming Queen's Speech so we suspiciously inquire, How on the assembling of Parliament, is the equivalent to be reached ? and as to the debate which in both For the solution of the problem Houses must be aroused thereon, we must be content to wait a little for many years. Mr. Gladstone longer, though we must own that
the period of suspense is one of matters of imperial policy, as affectconsiderable anxiety.
ing the position of England among One of the most striking features the nations of the earth, he need of the recent election has been the only pay a languid and feeble conway in which people with crochets sideration. It is not in such matters have endeavoured to make them- that he will have to render an acselves extremely formidable to can- count to his constituents. And didates, and the manner in which from the contemplation of this disvast imperial interests have been astrous state of things the true sunk in furtherance of views which and thoughtful politician, however are wholly narrow and selfish. radical his views may be, will find These are eminently days in which no escape from the conclusion that the force of combination for obtain- it is a great and inestimable blessing one particular point, to the ex ing to the country that there is clusion of all wider considerations, an Upper Chamber whose occuis making itself clearly felt. The pants are untrammelled by adheTemperance people, the Women's sion to certain tests, and whose Rights people, the Anti-Contagious opinions may be freely given withDiseases Act people, the Anti-Esta- out reference to extorted pledges. blishment people, the Pro-Esta- Perhaps even Mr. Bradlaugh, as blishment people, the Anti-Ritu- he grows older, may grow wiser ; alist and Anti-Confessional people, and having learned the experiences the High Church people, the Per- of America, and the warnings of missive Bill people, all endeavour the French Assembly, may, before to agree that no votes shall be given he attains the age of threescore for any candidate, Liberal or Con years and ten, thank such God as servative, who is not prepared he believes in that there is a House through thick and thin to support of Lords. their peculiar views. Outside There was another subject for. these views they appear to possess reflection forced upon us when no interest in any earthly politics perusing the advertising columns whatever. Give them their way, of the Times,' which set forth, in and let the firmament collapse. language more or less concise, unNo reflective person can contem usually indefinite and oracular, plate such a state of things, and the addresses of the various candeny that we are going in for didates who sought the suffrages Parochialism for a vengeance. A of the electors, and it was this: well-organised body of bigots and How far are we justified in infanatics can influence the result dulging the belief that the vast of any election, and the fact is not majority of those persons who are a pleasant one to realise. Mem- admitted to the franchise exercise bers of Parliament no longer take their powers from individual and their seats in the legislative as conscientious conviction ? May sembly because they are the men we candidly suppose that each best fitted to provide for the wel- separate elector goes to the ballotfare of the nation, and to preserve box, and throws in his vote clearly and improve the common weal: and accurately understanding what they are elected as the representa- he is voting for? It is merely to tives, not of the people, but of repeat a truism to say that the some particular interest, to which governed ought to have a voice in their energies are tied and bound. choosing the Government. But The electors are free and indepen- how many electors are capable of dent, the elected is not. To great defining the reasons which induce
them to give their preference to the Government of mediocrity the Liberal or to the Conservative, from being a mediocre Governas the case may be? Do not ment.' ninety-nine out of a hundred of them simply obey that intangible As events succeed each other power which in their small world very rapidly in these days, it may they call public opinion? They be, possibly, almost forgotten by vote for Mr. Black or Mr, White this time that in the month of simply because so me person, or January a certain ecclesiastical small aggregate of persons, to cause was tried at Exeter, touchwhom they are accustomed to look ing the erection of a certain archiup, or upon whose advice they are tectural ornament in the cathedral, in the habit of leaning, has told called a Reredos. The Dean and them it is the right thing to do. Chapter have for some time past But still the extension of the fran been engaged in the restoration of chise is the cry, and no one can their fine church, and a few doubt but that Mr. Gladstone persons had devoted considerable speaks sincerely when he alludes sums of money towards a sculpto peasant boroughs. The late tured decoration at the east end. Mr. John Stuart Mill was a Ra The Chancellor of the Diocese is a dical, but in his essay ‘On Liberty' gentleman who, apparently, is afthere are many words worth re flicted with a mind that has never membering, and amongst them are been able to rise to the apprethese: 'In politics it is almost a ciation of art, and herein he most triviality to say that public opi- undoubtedly deserves compassion. nion now rules the world. The He is also one of the remaining only power deserving the name is representatives, if we may judge that of masses, and of govern by his actions, of those excellent ments while they make themselves persons who, under the régime of the organs of the tendencies and Oliver Cromwell, were strongly instincts of masses. ... Those impressed with the notion that whose opinions go by the name of the more desolate you could render public opinion are not always the the temples of the Most High the same sort of public; in America more the Giver of all good things they are the whole white popu would be pleased. Consequently lation; in England, chiefly the Chancellor Phillpotts told the middle class; but they are always Dean and Chapter to pull down a mass, that is to say, collective the elaborate sculpture they had mediocrity. And what is a still erected. The Dean and Chapter, greater novelty, the mass do not being sensible men, declined to do now take their opinions from dig- anything of the sort, whereupon nitaries in Church or State, from the Puritanic Chancellor proceeded ostensible leaders, or from books. against them in the Bishop's Their thinking is done for them Court; and the Bishop, not having by men much like themselves, ad sufficient reliance on his own judgdressing them or speaking in their ment, called in Mr. Justice Keating name, on the spur of the moment, as his assessor. The case on the through the newspapers. I am part of Mr. Phillpotts was, that as not complaining of all this. I do there were certain sculptured renot assert that anything better is presentatives of historical characcompatible, as a general rule, with ters in this Reredos, the archithe present low state of the human tectural decoration was unlawful, mind. But that does not hinder as being calculated to inspire the