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few items of charge in Ireland blunt the pruning-knife has been and Scotland to illustrate how
in the former :
Class III.-Law charges (omitting Constabulary)
Existing influences are shown by these figures not to have been strong enough to check abuse and wastefulness. The Government will be exposed to a most persistent and determined effort on the part of Irishmen of every class and party. Tall words will flow in torrents. Fierce threats, piteous appeals. Mr Clancy declares that Ireland is suffering from "an injustice as gross, of its kind, as is to be discovered in history since the days when Sicily was plundered by Verres." What attitude should the Government adopt? On the main question they must preserve an unbending front, -that people are taxed, and not areas; that there cannot be a different scale of duties within the United Kingdom. They may, however, admit that the effect of our existing customs and excise duties is to press more severely upon some individuals and groups of individuals than upon others, and that opportunities should be taken for the gradual removal of this inequality. They may go further, and institute an inquiry as to the incidence of taxation on individuals, so that, if redress be due, it may be provided, not for particular groups inhabiting particu
lar areas, but equally for all the people of the three kingdoms. They may at all events, as an immediate result of this inquiry, strengthen their own hands by appointing a Committee to report as to the necessity of every civil and judicial post in Ireland, and as to the salary attached, thereto. Political and personal pressure is strong, but public opinion is stronger, and will sustain the Executive in terminating waste and excess wherever it may be discovered.
Sir David Barbour rather illogically suggests that the money thus saved might be employed for the benefit of Ireland "in such manner as might seem best." It is to be hoped no suggestion of the kind will be accepted. Ireland's true advantage lies neither in the gigantic dole of Mr Childers nor in the trivial dole of Sir David Barbour; neither in the practically complete independence of Mr Sexton nor in the partial and still more hopeless Home Rule of Lords Farrer and Welby; but in complete homogeneity with Great Britain-the poor country sharing with the rich in Parliament, in Executive, in taxation, and in purse.
THE LAND OF SUSPENSE.
A STORY OF THE SEEN AND UNSEEN.
THE young man set out upon his walk at the entrance of a broad valley, through which there was visible here and there the glimmer of a great river. It was broken in outline by many little hills, such as one sees in the loveliest part of Italy, each crowned by its little groups of habitations, in varied and delightful inequalities of height and form, which seemed to throw a radiance of life and living over the beautiful green slopes, fields, and trees in which these points of light and peace were set. Lines of blue hills receding towards the distant peaks, which were great enough to be called mountains, stretched in noble ridges on either side; and the landscape was one which filled the traveller with a sense of beauty and satisfaction, while drawing his mind and his steps on by a hundred suggestions of fairer things still unrevealed. And the morning was fresh and sweet, beyond even that "innocent brightness of the newborn day," of which few can resist the charm. The sky was flooded with the early sunshine. The valley glowed under it with the dew still undried upon the grass, much of which was half buried in flowers, and soft with the whiteness of the daisies rejoicing in the light. The young man had come over a pass between the hills when this prospect bursting upon him for a moment took away his breath-but it was only for a moment. He paused to gaze upon the road before him, and then with a delight
ful consciousness that his walk would bring him into fuller possession of this new world unknown to him, he set out upon his way.
The curious thing was, he did not know where he was going, nor what place this was, nor the direction in which it would lead him, though all the while he walked quickly on with the sure and certain steps of a man familiar with every turn of the path. For some time he went on, unconscious of this, or at least without thinking of it in the ease of his being. He had always been fond of walking, and there was a pleasure in the mere sense of movement, after some recent absence from that delight—absence and confinement which he was aware of, though he could not render to himself any reason for it. He was in full career, feeling as if his foot just touched and no more the path which was not then a highroad but a winding path across the slopes, upon which the flowery fields encroached when it first occurred to him hazily with a happy sense of amusement that he did not in the least know where he was going. No matter
he was going as if he very well knew where and there came into his mind a scrap of lovely verse, about " a spirit in my feet," and he began to sing it to himself as he went on. Certainly there was a spirit in his feet that knew better where he was going than he.
Thus he went, without pause
or weariness, for a long way,-so long, that at last he began to wonder how it was that the daylight did not change, that there was no difference in the skies to correspond with the hours which he must have been walking. In himself he was like the day, unchanged, without the faintest suggestion of fatigue; and it was only by the long vista behind him, and the distance of the hills from which he had come, that he felt how long a time he had been afoot. When this thought occurred to him he sat down upon the low embankment which marked the line of the wood, for he had by this time reached the highway -to rest, as he said to himself, though he felt no need of restreally to measure with his eyes the length of the valley before him, which went widening away into the blue recesses of distant hills, so that you could trace no end to it. The highroad led along the side of the river at this point, through groups of beautiful trees; and at some distance on the other side there was planted a great town spreading far back into the valley, which seemed, from the inequalities of its buildings, to be built on innumerable little hills, and shone white under the sunshine with many towers and spires, in great stateliness and beauty. It was here for the first time that the traveller saw any concourse of people. Upon the slopes he had met but few, mostly solitary individuals, with here and there a group of friends. They were a people of genial countenance, smiling, and with friendly looks; but it surprised and a little wounded him that they took no notice of him, did not give him so much as a Good morning-nay, even pushed him off the path, though without the least appear
ance of any unkindly feeling. As he sat upon the roadside and watched the people of this unknown land coming and going across the bridge from the town, his heart was moved within him by the sight of so many fellowcreatures, all, as it seemed, so gay, so kind, so friendly, but without a sign or look as if they recognised his existence at all. It seemed to him a long time since he had exchanged a word with any one, and a great sense of loneliness took possession of him. He had not felt this upon the littlefrequented paths from which he had come; but here, among so many, to receive not even a look from any passer-by seemed to him an injury and a disappointment which it was hard to bear.
He reflected, however, that in the country from which he came such a thing might easily have happened with a wandering foreigner resting upon the roadside, whom nobody knew: yet he was scarcely comforted by this thought, for he felt sure that at least such a stranger would have been looked at, if no more-would have met the questioning of many eyes, some with perhaps a smile in them, and all curious to know what he did there. Even curiosity would have been something: it would have been kinder than to ignore him completely as these people were doing: yet there was nothing in their look to make him believe that they were unfeeling or discourteous. After a while he felt that he could bear this estrangement from his kind no longer, and getting up on his feet, he said "Good morning" to a group that were passing, feeling in himself that there was a wistfulness, almost an entreaty in his tone. He saw that they were startled by his address, and looked round
first, as if to see where his voice came from yet in a moment answered, with what seemed almost an outcry of response and greeting, saying "Good morning," and "God bless you!" eagerly. Then one made himself the spokesman of a group, and advanced a step towards him, yet still with an uncertainty, and eyes that did not exactly meet his, but wavered as if unable to fix his face. "Are you going to our town?" he said; can any of us be of use to you?" and there was a murmur among all as of assent, "any of us," as if to press help upon him if he needed it: but he required no help -it was only recognition that he wanted, a kind word. "No," he said; "I am going there," and he pointed towards the farther end of the valley. A number had gathered round him, all looking at him with great kindness, but with the same uncertainty of gaze, all eagerly bending toward him to hear what he said. Their looks warmed his heart, yet a little repelled him too, as if there was something between him and them which made it better to go on, and try no further communication. "I am going there," he repeated, moving a step onward: and immediately they all spoke together in a wonderful accord of voices, saying, "God be with you! God save you! God bless you!" some of them so much in earnest that there seemed to him to be tears in their eyes. There was something in these words which seemed to urge him on, and he resumed his journey, passing through, and looking back upon them, and waving his hand to them in sign of farewell. And they all stood looking after him, calling after him "God bless you!" and "God save you!" until the sense of distance from them melted away, and
his whole being seemed warmed with their kind looks and good wishes. He could hear them, too, all talking together and saying, "It is one of the travellers," to which the others answered again, "God save him!" as if it was the greeting of that country to all that went through.
Thus he went on again, always keeping his course towards the western end of the valley, and pleased with this encounter, even though there was that something in it which startled him, as he seemed to have startled them. Looking across the river at the city, with all its white terraces shining in the sun, and its high towers and pinnacles against the sky, and the river at its feet reflecting every point and shining height, as if it were another city at the feet of the true town, he thought he had never seen SO beautiful a place; but what town it was or who the people were who dwelt there he knew not. All he knew was that they were his fellows, that they had bidden God bless him, that they wished him well: and this gave him great refreshment as he went on, feeling no fatigue, but now more than ever wondering that though he did not know where he was going, he was yet going on straight and swift as if he were sure of the way. a little time the road ran by the river, but then parted from its winding course, and presently broke into several ways, where a stranger in that place might so easily have lost himself, not knowing which to take. But he found no difficulty, nor even paused to choose his way, going lightly on without any hesitation, as one who knew exactly how the bearings lay.
By this time the sun was lower in the heavens, and a sweet look of evening had come over the
sky-the look which suggests homegoing, and that labours of all kinds and travel should be drawing to some end of rest and ease. And since the pause he had made on his journey, short as it was, and his second setting forth, there had stolen into his mind a wonderful sense that he was going, not upon an excursion into an unknown world, but home. The sensation was one that he did not know how to explain to himself, for he knew that it was not the home from which he had come, nor any accustomed place. And he did not know where it was, nor what he might find there; but the impression grew upon him more and more strongly as he went on. And many thoughts came with this thought. He did not think of the home from which he had come. It appeared to him as something far, far away, and different from all that he saw or that surrounded him now. But the thought that he was going home, though not there, brought a seriousness into his thoughts which he had not been conscious of when he set forth first in the morning, in all the enthusiasm of the beautiful unknown place into which he marched forward so confident and full of cheer.
He became more serious now. Vaguely there came into his mind a recollection that his former goings home had not been always happy. There had been certain things in which he was to blame. He could not have said what things, nor how this was, his consciousness and memory being a little blurred, as if something had come between him and the former things which had moved his life; but yet he was vaguely aware that he had been to blame. And his mind filled with all manner of resolutions and
thoughts of a goodness to come, which should be perfect as the face of nature, and the purity of the air and the sky. He said to himself that never again— never again! though his recollection failed him when he tried to make clear to himself what it was which should never again be. It was vague to him, leaving only a sense that all had not been as this was about to be; but yet the fervour of his conviction of the better things to come was as intense as if he had perfectly conceived what there was to be done, and what there had been. Never again, never again !— no more as of old: but all perfect and spotless in the new. These resolutions distilled into his mind
like dew, they shed themselves through his being like some delightful balm, refreshing him as though his heart had grown dry, but now was filled with calm and a quiet happiness of hoping and anticipation, though he did not know what he anticipated any more than what it was which had made a shadow in the past.
In this mood he began again to ascend a little upon a path which broke off from the highway towards one of the little towns or villages raised above the level of the valley, with towers and trees mingling on the little height, which made him think of an old Tuscan picture. He went towards it, with an eagerness rising within him and a confidence that it was here that his destination was. All the day long he knew that he had been travelling to this spot, and recognised it though he knew it not. He went on unhesitating, gradually making out the ranges of building, which were of beautiful architecture, though in a style unknown to him, with graceful pinnacles rising as light as foam against the sky, and open arcades and halls,