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of districts of suitable magnitude, in the hope that, as it has taken the Imperial Parliament six hundred years to discover that it is the duty of a Member of Parliament to do nothing himself and, as far as in him lies, to prevent any one else from doing anything, the ignorance of these new bodies may enable us to get on, for a time at least, with the humbler functions of legislation by local bodies in each county inferior in rank and position but blessed with the quality of doing business. Parliament, even were it inclined to work, is overtaxed, and now that it has pretty nearly struck work altogether, the time seems to have arrived for diminishing the quantity of business which it has determined not to do.

There still remains the question what can be done towards appeasing the desire of Ireland for Home Rule and giving her as much of it as is consistent with the unity and integrity of the Empire. As we understand them, we apprehend no Home Rule Members desire a total exclusion of themselves from the House of Commons, but only the limitation of their own labours to such matters as concern the whole Empire and not any particular part of it. We are not sure that we perfectly seize their meaning, and it is just conceivable that any two of them separately interrogated might give a different outline of what they are preparing for themselves and their country. This is not unnatural. Their first business is to demolish, and till that has been done the ideas of reconstruction must necessarily remain in a crude and half-formed state.

It is not, as we understand it, so much that they object to legislate for other people as that they will not allow other people to legislate for them.

We beg to draw attention for a moment to those members for Irish constituencies who are not Home Rulers. Out of the Elysian Fields, where the sky is always cloudless, there is no repose so profound as that which these favoured persons seem to enjoy. The worst of being a moderate and reasonable man is that you are perpetually involved in conflicts with those who are extreme and unreasonable. Your repose does not depend on yourself, but on the unruly wills and affections of turbulent persons who are perpetually raising unpopular and embarrassing questions. From this trouble the Conservative and moderate Irish are almost wholly exempt. They have no occasion to say anything. The proposals of the Home Rulers are so startling and so extravagant that the Government of the day is bound for its own credit to deal with them, and there is no occasion for an Irish Member, unless he is fond of leading forlorn hopes, to mix himself in the dispute at all. Thus a totally false issue is raised. The dispute, instead of seeming, as it really is, a controversy between a loose and undisciplined majority and a large minority of Irish Members, is represented most untruly to the country as a dispute between England on the one side and Ireland united on the other. But this misapprehension of the true elements of the disputants and of the dispute is not the whole mischief. The Anti

solid phalanx of Enylish and Scotch Anti-Repealers have no inducement to risk their popularity by violently opposing their countrymen. The strength of the Repealers is in the belief which they as well as their antagonists have that there is not the slightest chance that repeal will be carried. On that point they are perfectly at their ease, and can afford to make many concessions and arrangements which they could not dream of if there was not England to stand between them and their pretended adversaries. It is also very probable that the zeal of many pretended advocates of repeal would abate if they found themselves placed in a position which would make it necessary to take a more active and decided part than is implied in mere acquiescence. We also believe that if by any means the Irish opponents of repeal could be put in the front of the battle, their influence would be used with far more energy than at present, to oppose the election of Repealers. In order, therefore, to yield as far as is possible to the real or pretended wish of Irish members, that they should have a more exclusive part in Irish legislation, we would propose that every Bill brought forward on Irish subjects should, before it is read a second time, be submitted to a committee composed of Irish members only. The House would then have, before it was called upon to decide on any Irish question, the advantage of seeing the opinion of the Irish members of both sides, for or against the measure, and especially of hearing what the Conservative side of the House would have to say for or against it. There would be in fact, sitting not at Dublin but at Westminster, an Irish Parliament composed of 105 members, untainted by any English element or alloy, with the fullest opportunity of considering and debating any Irish question which might be brought before it. We do not suppose that in such a body the time would be consumed in making speeches for the mere purpose of delay, or in reading Blue books. We assume that such a body purified of all English dross would address itself to the subjects before it, and we should thus have all the good without the evil of a repeal of the Union. If this shall turn out to be the case, we shall have gained a most important point. We shall have what we do not get now—both sides of Irish opinion fully and fairly represented, which, we are sanguine enough to think, would be with the Irish as we find it with the English, a long step towards conciliation and agreement. If it should unhappily turn out otherwise, and the Irish should insist on practising against each other the tactics which they have practised with such signal success against us, they will have furnished an unanswerable argument against the repeal of the Union. For what good purpose would be answered by creating a Parliament in which the avowed object would be to talk against time, or rather against each other, in order to prevent the business which they were summoned to transact from being done?

The opinions of such a committee could not fail to have great influence with the House of Commons, especially if it appeared from the report that the question had been fully and fairly considered in all its bearings. At present, everything is in favour of extravagant pretensions and unyielding demands. The audience to whom the obstructive Irish Members play is not the House of Commons but the anti-English Democracy of Ireland. If it once appeared that something substantial was to be gained by greater moderation, we do not doubt that demands would be modified and opinions tempered accordingly. The effect of such an experiment as we are proposing would be to greatly improve the representatives of Ireland.

At present the very extravagance of the demands of the extreme party is their safety. It is not worth the while of an Irish gentleman of moderate opinions to bestir himself very vigorously and risk somewhat of his own ease and popularity in opposing opinions which he is perfectly certain the House of Commons will never tolerate, but it is a very different thing when those opinions come before Parliament as the deliberate opinion of the whole Irish nation. This feeling will tend to induce more care in the choice of members, and may possibly be found to alter very materially the balance of Irish parties. It would also be something gained to furnish Irish members with a little legitimate employment instead of confining them exclusively to preventing anything being done towards the legislation required for the better government of the whole nation. We should also be sanguine enough to expect that such a concession made obviously with the view of meeting, as far as is consistent with the integrity of the empire, the wish of Ireland to take a larger share in the management of her own affairs, would tend to allay differences, and soften animosities, while it left the power of Parliament still paramount and supreme

M. P.

WHAT SHAKESPEARE LEARNT AT SCHOOL.

II.

HA
AVING now gained a general idea of Shakespeare's course of

school instruction, we have next to enquire whether his writings supply any evidence of his having passed through such a course. With regard to its first or elementary stage, even Farmer admits that Shakespeare must have been well drilled in the accidence, and that he recollected it vividly enough to use his knowledge with dramatic propriety and effect. Sir Hugh Evans's examination of Mrs. Page's boy in the · Merry Wives of Windsor' accurately represents, indeed, the kind of cumbrous catechetical exercise in the accidence which prevailed at the time in all the grammar schools. Sir Hugh's explanation of the holiday that Master Slender is let the boys leave to play,' and Mrs. Page's complaint, Sir Hugh, my husband says my son profits nothing in the world at his book. I pray you, ask him some questions in the accidence,' are vivid touches illustrating the relation between masters, pupils, and parents common enough in Shakespeare's day, and pathetically lamented both by Brinsley and Hoole, but as true probably now as then. Shakespeare's familiarity with Lilly's grammar is shown in many ways; amongst others by his quotation of some of its more striking examples, such as Vir sapit qui pauca loquitur.'

The next stage to the accidence and grammar is that of vocabularies, phrase-books, and familiar dialogues, and this stage is amply illustrated in the scenes between Sir Nathaniel and Holofernes in Love's Labour's Lost. The schoolmaster's display of Latin words and phrases in the following dialogue are fragments from the school vocabularies and phrase-books with which his ventricle of memory is stuffed :

Hol. The deer was, as you know, in sanguis,—-blood; ripe as a pomewater, who now hangeth like a jewel in the ear of coelum, the sky, the welkin, the heaven; and anon falleth like a crab on the face of terra, the soil, the land, the earth.

Nath. Truly, Master Holofernes, the epithets are sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least : but, sir, I assure ye, it was a buck of the first head.

Hol. Sir Nathaniel, haud credo.
Dull. 'Twas not a haud credo; 'twas a pricket.

Hol. Most barbarous intimation ! yet a kind of insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explication ; facere, as it were, replication, or, rather, ostentare, to show, as it were, his inclination,-after his undressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or, rather, unlettered, or, ratherest, unconfirmed fashion, to insert again my haud credo for a deer. Dull. I said the deer was not a haud credo; 'twas a prickot.

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the report that the question had been fully and fairly considered in all its bearings. At present, everything is in favour of extravagant pretensions and unyielding demands. The audience to whom the obstructive Irish Members play is not the House of Commons but the anti-English Democracy of Ireland. If it once appeared that something substantial was to be gained by greater moderation, we do not doubt that demands would be modified and opinions tempered accordingly. The effect of such an experiment as we are proposing would be to greatly improve the representatives of Ireland. At present the very extravagance of the demands of the extreme party is their safety. It is not worth the while of an Irish gentleman of moderate opinions to bestir himself very vigorously and risk somewhat of his own ease and popularity in opposing opinions which he is perfectly certain the House of Commons will never tolerate, but it is a very different thing when those opinions come before Parliament as the deliberate opinion of the whole Irish nation. This feeling will tend to induce more care in the choice of members, and may possibly be found to alter very materially the balance of Irish parties. It would also be something gained to furnish Irish members with a little legitimate employment instead of confining them exclusively to preventing anything being done towards the legislation required for the better government of the whole nation. We should also be sanguine enough to expect that such a concession made obviously with the view of meeting, as far as is consistent with the integrity of the empire, the wish of Ireland to take a larger share in the management of her own affairs, would tend to allay differences, and soften animosities, while it left the power of Parliament still paramount and supreme.

M. P.

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