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ousy of Russia and fear of the hostile designs of that Government upon our empire in the East. But the jealousy was unworthy, the fear insensate. The abominable Turkish Government was bolstered up to keep out a "bogy"; making a perfect combination of the atrocious and the absurd. And morality was doubly outraged at the bidding of the bugbear; for the bolstering up of Turkey was the repulse of a noble pity and a willing self-sacrifice, mistaken for the mere greed of conquest, which was the bogy. It was generosity and enlightenment to hold that view of the matter, stupidity and inhumanity to abide by the other. Disraeli held by the other. He had no faith in the divine unselfishness of the Russian operations in Turkish territory, no belief in the explanation of them as a simple-hearted endeavour to liberate down trodden peoples. This which his opponents did believe passionately he coldly denied. The belief was more beautiful than the denial, but it was an illusion. The denial had a bad look of cynicism, but it was only the cynical look of it that was to disappear. That the belief was moral as well as beautiful I do not take upon myself to contradict, nor even that the morality remains with them who entertained it so handsomely. But if the denial was right it can hardly be immoral, and since statesmanship must be guided by facts, and not by illusions, I do not see what immorality was brought into our Eastern policy by rejecting the Russian imposture. And that it was an imposture, a deceit, crowning evidence is supplied by the Russian Government itself. Its conduct in the case of the Armenians is proof so clear that it need not be dwelt upon for a moment. And it is to be re

marked that while the character of the evidence is peculiarly decisive on this point, it shows in the same most striking way how substantial the bogy is. But just when these justifications of Lord Beaconsfield come out, and because of them, his opinions and policy are said to have been quite unexpectedly erroneous and improper.

Disraeli's unadmirers believe, however, that there is a particular and sufficient warrant for their blame in the Armenian massacres themselves; and they would saydo say that if the Czar would not help them out of their trouble, Lord Beaconsfield got them into it. He got them into it by insisting on replacing them under the Turkish dominion when he revised the Treaty of San Stefano.

All sorts of absurd and ignorant things have been said about that revision, which I would gladly notice, had I space enough at command, on behalf of an English Minister who could at any rate handle his Lobanoffs to considerable effect. The revision of the San Stefano Treaty was, in fact, all he could do in the spirit and to the purpose of his own unpermitted policy. It is often spoken of as if insisted upon for the gratification of one man's perverted mind; but they who talk in this way cannot know, for one thing, what a tremendous burst of anger the publication of the San Stefano Treaty evoked in England.

Such a cry would be called in these days an irresistible mandate to get the treaty mended or ended. More to the purpose is the fact that the treaty was revised not by one Government, but by all the great Powers in congress; and that the object of the Congress in relaxing the hold upon Turkey which that instrument gave to Russia was a common

object, which is agreed upon as necessary to this day. Thus the Duke of Argyll, one of the most copious and vehement abhorrers of "pro-Turkish" practices, holds that to ward off the Russian domination in Turkey is a cardinal policy for England and the rest of Europe. In a little book published last summer, he suspects that Prince Lobanoff has betrayed in a certain despatch "the worst indication of Russia's real intentions: 'She must mean, then, to stand alone in dealing with Turkey as she pleases," which would be unlawful and intolerable. Yes; and the Treaty of San Stefano was not only an indication of the same intention, but a most powerful means of fulfilling it. Therefore something was done at Berlin by the Powers in congress to protect a cardinal policy for England and the rest of Europe.1

Yet it may be truly said that it was at Lord Beaconsfield's instance specially that tens of thousands of Armenian families who were taken under Russian government by the San Stefano Treaty were handed back again to the Turk-which is the head and front of Disraeli's offending. Thus, and by the utter neglect and failure of the Cyprus Convention (an insincere business), he and his policy are responsible for those awful Armenian massacres. The answer to this I am obliged to state with the utmost brevity, asking Maga's' readers to spend a minute or two in making the best of them the worst, too, if they please, but the worst also. Left

in possession of the great Armenian fortresses of which Kars is the most renowned, the command of Russia in and beyond what is called Armenia would have been complete but for some check; especially, it would have given that Power an easy mastery of the Euphrates Valley. That was a grave consideration with the then trustees of the British empire, and their main reason for insisting that the Russian Armenian frontier, as defined in the San Stefano Treaty, should be pushed back a little. At the same time it was acknowledged that England's duty to herself here. was accompanied by a duty to the Christian people restored to Turkish rule. The Cyprus Convention was entered into for the better performance of the one duty and the redemption of the other. England was to defend Turkey from Russian dispossession in her Asiatic provinces; Turkey engaged "to introduce necessary reforms into the Government, and for the protection of the Christian and other subjects of the Porte in their territories," and the English obligation depended on the fulfilment of the Turkish obligation. "Yes; but, in short, the good government and safety of those Christian peoples were risked upon the worthless security of a Turkish promise." No; but on consideration of the valuable security, to the Turks, of the quid pro quo. "Upon that? Upon something hardly more substantial, then, than Turkish vows. The whole business was hollow and fantastic. It was a show; the

1 The Duke of Argyll, one of the two last surviving members of the Cabinet which waged the Crimean war, defends that war on the same ground-by argu ments that go to justify the revision of the San Stefano Treaty, which he ridicules and condemns. It is pretty to notice, by the way, that in defending the Crimean war the Duke can write " Antagonism to Russia on account of her exclusive claims was the inspiring motive of the war. The contest took of necessity the form of supporting Turkey." Why, certainly. But as to other contests of the same character which the Duke of Argyll did not wage—!

parade of a grandiose scheme doomed to disappear almost as soon as seen-which it did, with the massacres to follow."

As to them, we have already considered whether it was unreasonable not to look for a recurrence of Bulgarian atrocities. For the rest, protection of the Christian Armenians under the Cyprus Convention was sincerely meant. If Lord Beaconsfield was weak enough to take promises of reform from Turkey, all Europe has not proved strong enough, up to the middle of this month of February 1897, in obtaining anything else. But he was not content with the promises. We have heard that he immediately appointed special consuls to watch over the treatment of the Christian population, and had he time to do much more? How many months after the Convention was signed did he remain in office? Not very many; and soon after he went out of office, as we have also heard, his consuls were withdrawn by his successors, and the plan failed because it was dropped just as his whole policy failed because it was first crippled and then cast off. The collapse of the Cyprus Convention must not be laid to Disraeli. Pertaining to a policy which it was meant to re-establish and confirm, it went with the abandonment of that policy, and the substitution of nothing in its place-I call particular attention to this-which might either have protected Armenians from the Turks or the British Government from Russian domination.

Let that be well considered in all its bearings. Disraeli's critics should ask themselves this question: If the old policy had been re-established and confirmed, to the restoration of England's predominant influence at the Porte,

must that influence have been used badly? Does not the Cyprus Convention imply an intention of using it for good, or is there any reason why it should not have been a humane influence in the hands of Disraeli's successors? Suppose England as powerful at the Porte as she used to be, in what way would Lord Salisbury and Lord Rosebery have used her authority? Would the Armenians have been any worse off than they are now, and would not England's position be a prouder one, if not a stronger one, than it is today? I believe I have already given the answer to these questions. By the continuance and honest use of her lost influence and power, England would have forestalled the Russian dictatorship under which the Armenians perished and the Sultan was shielded.

And now how is it, while the ill turn which Lord Beaconsfield is supposed to have brought upon the Armenians is used against him so violently here and so ingeniously there-how is it that there is no recollection of his services to the Christians of the Balkans ? Nobody marks the good that Dizzy did at Berlin toward ensuring the independence of the liberated Balkan States; and yet it should be remembered. Those States (one may say it now without fear of being stoned) were not liberated at San Stefano, but detached from the Turkish empire and arranged in the most convenient manner first for Russian use and then for Russian assimilation. There are people who still believe that a happier fate could not befall them. But assimilation is not liberation; and when the freedom, the independence, the self-confidence and prosperity of these States are celebrated, it should be remembered that they were really liberated at Berlin, and that Lord Beaconsfield

was the most earnest and determined of their liberators. Much more from jealousy of the Russians than from love of the Bulgarians, much more as attorney and trustee for the British empire than as a Divine Figure of any descriptionthat must be owned. But when we think of the intriguings, and dragoonings, and kidnappings that the Bulgarians had immediately to fight through, we find the trustee's morality as good as any in that affair. And at the same time we mark, in a possible confederation of free States against Russian absolutism, an appreciable service to what in the time of that trustee was still the greatest as well as the freest empire in the world.


What I should like to dwell upon most, however, I must be content to put in a few words for the reader's own meditation. all comes into two or three questions. The first is, Whether the policy we have been discussing was dropped because it was bad, or whether it is called bad because it was dropped? The second, Supposing that the policy was dropped because it was bad, was the country left with no policy to succeed it? or if it was followed by a different one, what is the witness to its operation and effects?

The old policy was given up many years ago; no Government has acted upon it since Lord Beaconsfield went out of office, or has ever thought of acting on it: that is certain. Can it be said, then,

that the failures, humiliations, and misfortunes which have lately overtaken Britain's prestige and authority are due to the bad abandoned policy? Can this be said fairly if, being found out to be bad seventeen years ago, this policy has never been replaced by a better? In that case, would not the blame lie with those who failed to employ a part of the long interval in devising a safer course, preventive of these very grave failures, humiliations, and misfortunes? If another course has been adopted, these results ensuing, is the blame still Lord Beaconsfield's? If we look only to moral results, is the influence of Russia at Constantinople which either the no-policy or the new policy has let in-a finer moral spectacle than a Turkish Government under a dominant British influence was, and would be?-would have been lately, for example? And was not British influence paramount at the Porte the main point and centre of the Beaconsfield policy?

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WHEN Parliament was opened on the 19th of January the political horizon was singularly free from clouds. Since that time it has been crossed by several, which, though they may be trusted to disappear without any serious atmospheric disturbance, do nevertheless detract somewhat from the general satisfaction with which Unionists six weeks ago regarded the political outlook. Then the Arbitration Treaty with America seemed on the point of being concluded. Affairs in South Africa had calmed down. It had come to be generally understood that Lord Salisbury's management of the Turkish question had completely restored the prestige of Great Britain in Europe, and that he had succeeded in bringing round all the other Powers to his own views. The last murmur against our policy in Egypt had almost died away before the brilliant success which had attended it. The Venezuelan boundary question had been settled in a suitable manner. At home it is true that some uneasiness prevailed among Churchmen with regard to the coming Education Bill. But it was not supposed that it would survive the introduction of it. On the question of our military defences and increase of the army the Government had public opinion unmistakably on their side. An Employers' Liability Bill, one of the leading measures of the session, was expected to satisfy all but the most ultra-members of the Labour party. An Agricultural Relief Bill satisfactory to the landed interest in general was already on the Statute-Book. The question of old-age pensions had been intrusted to a small Committee of experts, and the work

ing classes could be assured that the matter was in train for settlement. Everything looked peaceful and promising. But "the unexpected" was soon to play its usual part in the evolution of human affairs.

Mr Chamberlain's speech in the House of Commons on Friday, January the 29th, was the first thing which jarred on the general sense of security which had hitherto prevailed. From this it appeared that our relations with the Transvaal were by no means such as to warrant us in believing that no causes for immediate anxiety still existed. If laws have been passed by the Transvaal Government contrary to the terms of the Convention of London, and should there be any intention of enforcing them, a situation will arise, we are told, "requiring all our prudence, all our impartiality, and all our patience." Statesmen do not use such words as these for nothing; while the suggestion, emanating from some irresponsible foreign wiseacre, that the question should be submitted to arbitration, though it may be thought too ridiculous for serious notice, is not to be dismissed as wholly free from dangerous or inconvenient consequences.

Mr Chamberlain's speech was followed almost immediately by the news that the Anglo-American Arbitration Treaty was in danger of rejection, or at least that its acceptance depended on our consent to such amendments as robbed it of all its value. The Cretan rebellion has assumed such serious proportions during the current month that it must be ranked among the events which have cast a shadow on the scene; though in its present phase and in the atti

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