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THE POLITICAL SITUATION.
Lord Randolph as a “ Tory Democrat” has / There can be no effective union of Liberals taken the only course which allows him to re- unless the objectionable features of the Irish tain the last part of his title. It is clear that proposals are abandoned. The Tories have the other members of the Cabinet are repre- thrown Radicalism overboard, let the Liberal sentatives of fossilised Toryism, and with those Party do the same with Toryism. It he could not retain any connection, with will be useless for leaders to agree on a out falsifying all his expressions of Radical policy if that policy involves the reversal of opinions.
sound Liberal principles. The last election The step which he has taken changes the showed that men cannot be tempted or driven whole aspect of politics. It deprives the to the poll to support propositions which are Radical members of the Unionist party of all inconsistent with true Liberalism. expectations of useful measures from the Mr. Chamberlain is wrong in supposing that present Government, and will make it impera- Home Rule can be delayed. It is true that tive on them to withdraw their support. If we have other matters to consider, but these Hartington or Goschen join the mutilated can be discussed simultaneously. It is Cabinet it will show such a tendency to Toryism essential that the House of Commons should that they will cease to be part of and to hamper be divided into Grand Committees and do its the Liberal party.
work. Mr. Chamberlain, who seems to have been ! If Home Rule is considered on the sound aware of what was coming, has been the first and simple lines of federation its settlement to speak, and his sentences were wholly con- will include the arrangement of many other ciliatory, and for the most part judicious. questions which are difficult to solve on any
We regret to see that he appears to sanction other basis. the idea of land purchase. There is nothing Whether we have a Tory or a Liberal so justly unpopularin the country as the bribery Government our leaders must learn that of men who have been the real cause of Ire the people will no longer be contented with land's sufferings.-men who have been pam- the past rate of progress in legislation. The pered for generations on the misery of the suffering, the inequality, the injustice which people. There is no possible method of making is involved in a system of government and land purchase just. The application of administration which has been arranged by the public funds to the purchase of land gives privileged classes for their own benefit will an artificial stimulus to landlord exactions. not be endured by a community which no As there is no natural price for land, which longer remains in ignorance, and will not suffer cannot be manufactured or extended, so there in silence. is no limit to the expectations of the landlord, The “settlement" of the land question will who will exact the utmost farthing that the not be made by shovelling the people's hardpeople can pay. Thus it is that charitable earned money into pockets of idle landlords. subscriptions and enforced contributions enable The adjustment of taxation means somethe landlord to increase his demands.
thing more than tinkering the Income Tax. A valued correspondert, who has supplied | Free Education, yes; and Free Dinners will an article to this number of the DEMOCRAT on have to be provided for a population which in Cobden and Land, shows that Mr. Cobden the future cannot be deluded and robbed, and pointed out the fact that land formerly paid will not consent to be starved, in the midst of all the taxation of the country, and that it now the plenty which they produce. pays but a small fraction of that taxation. For fifty years we have patiently pleaded for
The common-sense of the matter is that political power, and we will now make use of taxation on land must be re-imposed, it. The late Liberal Government was willing and it is nothing short of a fraud on the to make “grcat sacrifices to conciliate powerpeople to propose to purchase under existing ful interests." Let our future leaders be circumstances. It is a double fraud to propose equally willing to conciliate interests which are to pledge British credit for the purchase of now powerful, and to sacrifice ill-gotten gains on Irish land. Irish landlords, previously willing the shrine of humanity, truth, and justice. In to sell, doubled their terms the moment that so doing they will be supported by a happy, the proposal was made.
prosperous, and united people.
THE PLAN OF CAMPAIGN. The deadlock in Ireland is the natural | Why should the people of Skye voluntarily pay result of the determination of the Government a rent tenfold greater than that exacted from to extract blood from flints.
their ancestors ? Why should the small workTo enforce rents without regard to justice ing farmer in England pay three times the or humanity is the policy which Lord Salisbury rent that is paid by the gentleman farmer? announced at the opening of Parliament. Rents Mr. Justice Johnson contended that Mr. must be paid, he said, even if the land had Dillon's offence was aggravated by the fact that not produced them.
he was speaking to starving people. But was To respect justice and humanity, even if not the fact that the people are starving Mr. law has to be held in abeyance, is the policy Dillon's justification. Are we to see them adopted by Mr. Dillon and his supporters. driven from their wretched homes and thus
If justice and common sense prevailed, sentenced to death because they do not meet Lord Salisbury would now be on his defence, claims to which it is admitted on all hands and Dillon and Davitt would be at Downing- they should not be subjected ? street.
| Mr. Justice O'Brien has made it clear that To administer the law without regard to the Plan of Campaign would be perfectly legal circumstances is to show that, in the words if the same law applied to landlord and tenants of Mr. Weller, “the law is a hass," and as exists in reference to employers and worknothing can more clearly prove this than the men. He says :attempt to extract rents which cultivators A very eminent authority-Lord Fitzgerald, have been unable to earn. Mr. Dillon has than whom no member of the judicial body had a clearly shown that the reductions of rent de- greater range of experience in the criminal law. In manded by Irish tenants have been less than delivering his charge to the jury he states-If, for the reductions awarded by the courts in cases
instance, a tenant withholds his rent,that is a viola
tion of the right of his landlord to receive it, but it which have recently been under review.
would not be a criminal act of the tenant, though During the last forty years many thousands a violation of right. If two or more incited the of Irish families have paid rents in November tenant to do that act it is by the law of the land and died of starvation in the following year. an offence. That is a statement of the law by Much of the rent demanded could never be
which we are absolutely bound. In another case, claimed but for the unrequited labour of in
the Queen v. Dunne, where men were indicted for
| conspiracy on the ground that they left their emdustrious tenants.
ployment without notice and without leave on The Government greatly mistake the account of the dismissal of a workman-upon the temper of the times if they suppose that it facts I have stated these workmen were held to be is possible to continue the use of British power guilty of a conspiracy at common law, but not for the purpose of exactions, the nature of under statute. The case was decided in the year which the British people are beginning to
1872, and in order to alter the law so far as they
were concerned in the relations of employer and understand. They are equally mistaken if
employed, the statute of 38 and 39 Victoria conthey suppose that law and order can be founded
tained an express provision which I shall read :on these exactions. If they have to be sub “An agreement or combination by two or more mitted to, life is not worth living ; liberty to persons to do, or procure to be done, any act in slave for a landlord and witness the slow star- contemplation or pursuance of a trade dispute vation of wife and child is not worth having. between employers and workmen, shall not be inThe triumph of such a policy would be the
dictable as a conspiracy if such an act committed peace of solitude; but landlords need not
by one person shall not be punishable as a crime.”
It further saystlatter themselves that they can attain this “Nothing in this section shall exempt from object. The people are now beginning to punishment any person guilty of a conspiracy for understand their power, and they will soon see which punishment is provided by Act of Parliathat it is both a folly and a crime to submit to injustice and tamely yield to fatal
There is thus an expressed declaration by statute
-by the Legislature-that in extending the law or in exactions.
modifying the law, so far as one particular relation Distress in Scotland and England is similar,
was concerned, it was intended to preserve that same if not so acute, to that in Ireland, and requires law with regard to other relations and offences the same remedies. When the people deter- outside the single instance of workmen's commine to suffer before they hand over money binations of the kind to landlords instead of suffering afterwards, Thus it is clear that our judicious landlord the time of their deliverance will be near, legislators, while admitting the justice of
allowing employers to combine, expressly pro- sideration towards starving tenants, the Plan vided that tenants should not be allowed to do of Campaign would be unnecessary. so. In other words, they applied justice to! Under these circumstances, the cause of Irish the employer, as between himself and his tenants is the cause of working farmers in workmen, and expressly continued to refuse it Scotland, Wales, and England. as between landlords and tenants.
| Nay, more, it is the cause of working people It is for this unjustifiable proceeding on the throughout the United Kingdom. The action part of our landlord legislators that Mr. l of the Government in reference to Ireland is Dillon's action is declared to be illegal. The aimed at the principle of combination, the very argument used to show that it is illegal right to which it is essential to maintain. proves it to be just.
Landlords possess the right and power of Parliament, admitting the right of combina combination in England they wore tion denies the application of that right against their dinner tables to charge working farmers landlords.
three times as much rent as they charge to What, then, is the position of the matter ? gentlemen farmers, and they do it because they
If tenants had the benefit of laws admitted say it is necessary “to keep down wages." to be just, and such as working men have Are they to have this power for a tyrannous exacted for themselves, the Plan of Campaign and unjust purpose, and is it to be denied to would be lawful.
| industrious tenants to save them and their If Irish landlords exercised reasonable con-' families from starvation ?
CHRIST AND THE RICH. “One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor.”—Mark x., 21,
The passage at the head of this article is one ye shall hunger. Woe unto ye that laugh now, of a number in which Our Lord enjoins upon for ye shall mourn and weep! Woe unto you His wealthy disciples the duty of devoting when all men shall speak well of you, for so did their wealth to the service of their fellows. your fathers to the false prophets." Until the Space will not permit me to refer to many of Church preaches sermons on these and similar these, but it will, perhaps, be sufficient to men- texts, and lets it be known in no uncertain tion the commandment which, in its double manner that they have a definite meaning and form, Christ declared to contain the whole duty application for the present day, she does not of man to man: “Do unto others as ye would imitate the Master she professes to adore. they should do unto you,” and, “Thou shalt When Christ commanded the rich ruler who love thy neighbour as thyself.” It is impossible wished to become His disciple to devote all his to believe that the rich do unto the poor as they wealth and all his energies to the service of would wish to be done unto. The man who the poor, there is no doubt that He meant it, spends great sums in luxurious living and use and meant it to apply to all wealthy would be less display, whilst those who have furnished it, disciples. To serve God by serving man is the or their comrades, are starving in millions be- essence of His religion, and no half measures fore his eyes, can hardly be said to love his are tolerated. “Ye cannot serve God and neighbour at all, much less "as himself.” No; Mammon.” He came to preach glad tidings as St. John further explaining these principles, to the poor, the freeing of the oppressed, and says: “Whoso hath this world's goods, and to let the captive go free. The one rite, seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his worship, or ceremony He imperatively debowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth manded of His followers was the Service of the love of God in him ?" (that is a love similar Humanity-" to feed the hungry, clothe the to that of God, such as Christ enjoins.) “My naked, tend the sick, care for the prisoner and little children, let us not love in word nor in the stranger, and all that are in danger of tangue ; but in dced and in truth.”
oppression,”—and He solemnly declares that The New Testament, and, for that matter, unless this be done all else is vain. It will be the Old Testament also, is full of denunciations useless to plead,“ We have called Thee, Lord ! of the idle and indifferent rich. “Woe unto Lord! We have preached in Thy name! We you that are rich ! for ye have received your have built churches in Thy name! and in Thy consolation, Woe unto you that are full ! for name have we done many wonderful works." “For then will I profess with them, I never satirically, of course, “Reform in England knew you. Inasmuch as ye did it not to the means taking something from the rich and least of these (to the gutter children that giving it to the poor.” His Lordship has a swarm on your church steps, to the wretches faculty for giving cynical utterance to bitter that die of starvation within sound of your truths, but he never said a truer thing than melodious bells and your carriage-wheels !), ye this. Reform in any country where there is did it not to Me.”
such monstrous inequality as amongst ourselves How the teachings of Christ on the Social must ultimately mean taking from the rich. Question were understood by those who had The pagan philosopher Aristotle declared that heard them from His own lips is perfectly no state can be stable or prosperous in which plain. For we read of the social system of the great inequality is permitted to exist. The first disciples, “ that they had all things in Christian Apostle, Paul, recognises the same common; and not one of them said that aught fact when he admonishes the wealthy Church of the things which he possessed was his own; of Corinth to give assistance to the poorer neither was there any that lacked ; and dis- brethren “that there may be equality.” The tribution was made unto each according as any founder of the Christian religion relegates had need." This attempt of the early Dives to Gehenna; and denounces those that Christians to carry out the teachings of their feast with careless or cynical indifference in the Master is, however, scouted by their modern midst of misery ; hence his command to every successors, who ignore or explain away com- rich man who would enter the Kingdom of mands which it is our duty to discover the Heaven (that is the true social order), “Sell right means of carrying into effect.
all that thou hast, and give to the poor." In a recent speech Lord Salisbury said, |
W. H, H. -- :0:WOE UNTO NEW NINEVEH! "Cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before me... • Yet forty days, and
Nineveh shall be overthrown." - The Book of Jonah. Softly comes the light through tinted, silken / The fashionable club begins to fill. Wel'- dressed curtains, and past exotic, perfumed plants, softly men appear, listless and haggard and silent. They it falls upon dainty couches that gently yield to will not be themselves until wine or stronger, subtler every pressure. Art has decorated the walls with essences have given them artificial vigour. Then the subdued colours of some lovely dream. Not their tongues unloosen, and whose pen would dare the moss in glens, hidden aw ay from the mid-day record a tithe of what they speak? A new actress heat, is more soft to the foot. The fabled luxuries has appeared ; she must be educated until she beof the wondrous East are poor and mean compared comes a bold-eyed daughter of sin ; with devilish with the luxury of this London drawing-room. glee it is noted that a virtuous wife is on the Women are seated there, shapely and lovely, and downward path, or that the mother of six children Art vies with Nature in their adornment. Hardly has yielded to some veteran in the army of vice: less beautiful than the angels, the conversation of Listen to that youth, boy almost, as he tells, let these women would send listening angels scared us hope falsely, how he robbed a sweet, plebeiani and blushing away. They use no foul and start- girl of her virtue. Harken to those who ling terms like the girls of the street; but they sneer at the two things most hated in such smile, they hint, they glance whole devils' volumes. places — Evangelical religion and democratic They love Zola, George Sand is their bible, the politics; or, perhaps, there is only trifling, weak, poble seducer whose name is the theme of all foolish, twaddling, idiotic talk of matters beneath honest scorn is their hero, and the woman who is human intelligence. Woe unto New Nineveh never found out is their heroine. These, Britain, when such are thy rich and great. are thy cherished daughters, to provide whose Of late the Divorce Court has revealed a state of jewels and cosmetics and stains and shams the things in aristocratic Britain that makes men poor man's daughters live in toil or shame. Woe tremble for a country in which aristocracy possesses uinto Nineveh, when such are thy favoured women, a power so great. Like a frightful mud volcano, the mothers of thy favoured children.
| the Divorce Court has bespattered all this fair
country with its filth. The prudence that veiled the heavens with the primal darkness, and then proceed pruriency has been broken, and we are face to to dine with a smiling bishop. If the curse of face with the foul and dread reality. The effect Ananias were to fall upon our days three-fourths of has been twofold—for good and harm. For good | the great houses of western London would be “ To
—it has been a great sermon to the Democracy to Let or For Sale," and every fashionable undertaker be up and be their own scavengers, and clear the would be at once a millionaire. filthy people from the land; for harm—it has been! We did not read this case as it appeared day by a prompting to vice in all who are viciously day, but preserving all the reports, took half a-day inclined. Honest people tremble for their sons to go through them. That half day would have and daughters when they see the papers filled with been more wholesomely spent picking rags on a such records of lusts and lies as were displayed in dung-heap. The picture of social London that was the case of Dilke. Only eternity will tell what revealed makes feeblo the greatest efforts of the enormous harm was done to feeble minds by the greatest filth-compilers in modern French literacrimes of a man and woman placed so high that ture. A gushing counsel in the exercise of his trade all the up-looking earth could behold them. Where draws the picture of a young and pure and lovely the germs fall there the disease will spread; where woman. Yet the mother of this young etcetera these aristocratic soandals are read and boldly dis- woman thinks Lord Blandford a proper and fit cussed among girls and boys too young to under associate for her daughter. Well, she probably stand the dreadful evilness of evil, there harm is knew her own daughter best? But to say that likely to ensue.
Blandford is the fit associate for any young girl is The Campbell case is only the latest link of the an atrocious libel on our sweet English girlhood. foul chain that goes down through the dishonoured Bah! the foul presence of that man-who, by-thenames of Mordaunt, Aylesford, Crawford, and bye, with amusing impudence, is always writing in Da Worms. Sincerely do we congratulate Lord and the magazines that Democracy is dragging Britain Lady Colin Campbell that a jury has pronounced to the dogs-would make the home of innocence
ocent of that actual guilt which would be smell of the brothel. Why that man beat his wife, sufficient to break the marriage bond. But this struck her, thrashed her, when she was in that confact makes the circumstances of the case even more dition when even the women of the street are appalling. It shows that our aristocracy live in an looked upon with awe and sympathy, when she was atmosphere so vile that lies grow out of it as about to become a mother? That he did not get naturally as the dread miasma grows from a tropical six months' hard labouc for the same atrocity is a swamp. Deceits, perjuries, foul imaginations, disgrace to our English justice. Blandford fit evil thinking, diabolical plotting and counter society for a decent girl! Then we are told, plotting, lying and spying, seem as natural in this probably falsely, since the whole case seems to have impure atmosphere as the sound of holy bells to been one huge lying match, that a titled lady with honest folk. Had the sin been done it were foul a taste for prayer-books advised her male friend to enough and vast enough to shock the least sensi commit adultery; let his wife get a divorce, and tive. But if the sin were simply imagined, if it were then marry again some comfortable little body built up in impure minds, if all its loathsome details who would not care if he has every disease that a were carefully concocted as the novelist concocts his life of vice can impart. That reads like one of the story, then the sin is doubled ; nay, it is many stories men sell you in the street, first looking times multiplied. The first would have been a case round to see that there is no policeman about. of breaking one commandment; this is a case of The whole story reeks with shame. A young shivering the whole Decalogue into pieces. Poor man and a young woman, after knowing each other Ananias; poor Saphira! The statistics to which for three days, plight their troth. What kind of Ananias swore were a trifle inaccurate, and he was love was that? Or rather can we elevate such carried out dead. Saphira, like a dutiful wife, hasty animal passion by calling it love at all ? backed up her husband, and shared his fate. But They marry, and the young man communicates to now Lord Ananias and Lady Saphira go into Court the young woman a foul disease, the result of vice. and swear lies enough to cover the fair blue Naturally this young pair hated one another. Their