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ourselves and on his own behalf. Of passionate attack, passionate vindication, passionate panegyric of a statesman who was himself all passion, there has been enough and to spare. He is now to be explained, if possible, the most interesting and improving and friendly thing that can now be done with him.

If that seemed a reasonable opinion a month ago, it must seem more so now to the many who forgot how much in Mr Gladstone's career awaits the just apologist. For since then public attention has been called to a not very important revelation in Lord Selborne's Memoirs, and yet one which darkens the dubieties that cloud a once-refulgent name. The sudden dissolution in 1874, literally within a few days of the time appointed for the meeting of Parliament, was a great surprise. Lord Selborne explains that it was resolved upon by Mr Gladstone alone, for his private convenience only. It seems that, according to the opinion of his Chancellor, his Attorney-General, and other high legal authorities, the Prime Minister ceased to be a member of that Parliament in the autumn of 1873; and this he was told. For in August of that year Mr Gladstone had added to one office of profit under the Crown the assumption of another-the Chancellorship of the Exchequer to wit; whereby he had vacated his seat in the House of Commons. His course was now a simple one, to offer himself to his constituents for re-election.

And yet not simple; for his seat-Mr Gladstone represented Greenwich then was by no means a safe one. It was not unlikely that he would be rejected; and whether for that reason or another he persuaded himself that his place in Parliament had not been vacated at all. But this being a legal matter, he seems to have felt less secure in self - persuasion than he usually was, and so went further-persuading himself that certain great lawyers agreed with him, when in fact they did not. Supported by this imaginary legal opinion, he did nothing. Time went on; the opening day of Parliament approached; the formidable consequences of sitting and voting in the House of Commons without warrant, apprehension that he, the Prime Minister, might be marched out of that assembly in debate. on the Address, took larger and more substantial proportions every day; till at last, as Lord Selborne says, "a dissolution was the only escape." Therefore dissolution (and irrecoverable disaster, for the whole crop of Liberal misfortune was sown in 1873-74) was determined on; and that, apparently, without a word of consultation or explanation with his colleagues.

How shall a friendly biographer of Mr Gladstone approach incidents like this except by the way of apology? or the revolt in the Liberal party before the dissolution? or the bribing offer to abolish income tax which scandalised the dissolution? or the desertion of his party after the smash of the dissolution?

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How otherwise deal with the exposition and the criticism of Mr Lecky, so closely following on Lord Selborne's and Sir Edward Hamilton's, and in effect so much the same? Mr Lecky is the boldest of the three, he being a professed historian, and less entangled in the ties of personal affection and association. But when he praises, he praises as do the others; when he doubts or condemns, it is the same verdict in another and a clearer tongue; and what all say of the man (which is one thing) and the statesman (which is another) is but the expression of the higher general opinion, formed and fixed long


Of course Mr Lecky has to pay for his bolder speech. Though they have passed with far less protest from Mr Gladstone's old partisans than might have been expected, such statements as that "the texture of his intellect was commonplace" are to some of them a new and inexplicable sort of blasphemy. Yet the word "texture" gives perfect truth to the phrase, and is its illumination at the same time. Besides, who is excused from knowing that intellect is not temperament, nor temperament intellect? "There is such a thing as an honest man with a dishonest mind" has also given offence, but apparently not much—which is well. For it is so true a saying, and to reject it would be so unwise; seeing that to do so would close the apologetic path to a liberal understanding of Mr Gladstone's wondrous character. In another passage Mr Lecky lights the

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Mr Lecky's worst offence is when, speaking of Mr Gladstone's kite-like eyes the resemblance struck everybody who ever saw them-he quotes an illustrative story told by Boehm. And yet how mildly does the historian re-tell the tale! Thus it stands in his firmly written and impartial page :

"Boehm, the sculptor, told me that he was once present when an altercation between Gladstone and a Scotch professor took place, and that the latter started up from the table suddenly stopped, as if paralysed or to make an angry reply, when he fascinated by the glance of Gladstone; and Boehm noticed that the pupil of Gladstone's eye was visibly dilating and the eyelid round the whole circle of the eye drawing back, as may be seen in a bird of prey."

Now hear the story as it was told to me by Boehm, and learn how carefully Mr Lecky has been to guard himself against over-colouring.

Boehm may not have been a heaven-born sculptor (indeed, the Liberal opinion now is that he was the other thing), but he was at any rate a singularly observant, singularly quickwitted man, skilled in the ways of the world, his conversation a web of sound texture and lively colours, and (as it seemed to me) with all the learning if

not the genius of his art. To listen to his bright informing talk was one of the greatest pleasures of its kind that I have ever known. One evening, when we were alone together, a piece of portraiture much talked of at the time came into the conversation, and with it the advantage of painting over sculpture in expressing character. Boehm seemed willing to admit that painters "had the pull," though they had it in ever-diminishing degrees as the two arts neared the point of perfection. This led to some discourse on the practice of portraiture as an aid to deciphering character by eyesight, which Boehm modestly thought it must be: "at any rate," said he, "most of us who take any thought about the matter come to pretty positive conclusions as to what lies within and below the faces we study and the heads we handle." From that he went on to speak of some particularly striking contours, with their tale of good and bad or strange and rare; and amongst other studies to pause upon he mentioned the head and face of Mr Gladstone. His head, said the sculptor, was a deceiving head -distinctly larger than it looked. "One of the largest I have ever handled, and one of the" strangest I will say, though it was not the word that Boehm used, with a little laugh to make light of it. Strange, however, will do, for Boehm went on to say that the lines of the head were in curious conformity with the most striking feature of his face-the

brilliant, changeful, hawk-like eye. "And as to that," said Boehm, "I'll tell you a story."


From this narration it appeared that after making four or five busts of Mr Gladstone (but I forget how many) he found a commission for another bust rather troublesome, from fear of producing something indistinguishable from a copy of what he had done before, perhaps more than once. chanced, however, that he had been invited to stay for a week or so at a house in Scotland where Mr Gladstone was also to be; and seeing in that piece of luck opportunities of catching some characteristic of the great man unobserved before, Boehm accepted the commission. But, one after another, the days of the visit went by, and neither in the house nor out of the house did Mr Gladstone favour the artist with any new presentation of himself. Boehm's time was nearly up, when, coming down to dinner one evening, he found a new arrival - Professor Blackie. Blackie's place at table that evening was opposite Mr Gladstone; and there he sat in great impatience when, at the wine and walnuts period, Mr Gladstone sang out in illustration of the way in which, as he believed, Homer was chanted, not recited. This Professor Blackie could not endure to listen to. cried, "I of it!"

"Mr Gladstone," he don't believe a wurrd Said Boehm: "I naturally looked towards Mr. Gladstone to see how he would receive that shot; and marked how the outer lids of his eyes

widened to the fulness of their steady glare. Something he said, too, that nettled the choleric Blackie; who, knuckling the table as he rose to speak, had only got as far in what he had to 66 say as Mr Gladstone, if there is one thing- -" when his tongue stumbled and he sank back into his chair in confusion. Again I looked to Mr Gladstone, and understood. The inner lids" (here Boehm held two fingers of one hand upright and parted them) "the inner lids were opened. They had been opened on Blackie, and he had looked into the Pit."

You understand what was meant by the outer and the inner lids, but I did not-could only guess but while guessing aright, as it happened, asked for an explanation. "Go to the Zoo for it," said Boehm. "Take your umbrella. Make your way to the place where the eagles, vultures, falcons, and suchlike creatures blink on their perches. Select a bird. Stare at him with insult, and you will see the outer eyelids expand as Mr Gladstone's did. Poke at him with your umbrella: the filmy vertical lids (nictitating membrane) through which he looks at the sun and opens to paralyse his prey will part; and then you will see what

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This story was told to a painter whose name all the world knows, as we were walking together. He stopped dead in the street to say, in an awed voice hardly his own, "It's true! I've seen it!" and so resumed his walk. But though twenty Boehms could tell twenty tales of this kind, it would be impossible to think of Mr Gladstone as predatory. Like most others, this is a fault that takes many shapes; but, though he was eminently destructive, I suppose that he had it in none. Its opposites were among his virtues, of which he had many more, no doubt, than came into play in public life. Perfect analysis of his character might even show that it had but one grave fault, in the nature of a misfortune. Everything in him seems to have been subject to the ferments of a drop (we may imagine it falling from the finger of some malignant genius at his birth) of essential unveracity. Look into all that he is ever blamed for or that is disliked in him, the little things and the great, and one of these ferments will be found at work. the true idea of them is not that he commanded them, but that they commanded him. It was a possession.



IN the recently published life of Augustus, Duke of Grafton, his opposition to Pitt's antiRussian policy in 1791 is recorded in emphatic terms, and it is clear that the Whig statesmen of that day generally favoured Russian aggression, whether at the expense of Turkey or Scandinavia. But Pitt, with his keener eye and more prescient genius, foresaw that the extension of the Muscovite empire, especially in Europe, would not be for the happiness and welfare of mankind. His attempt to check the Russian advance failed, and he underwent the bitter mortification of being compelled to withdraw his proposed "Russian armament." But it may be said that the policy he then announced has commended itself to most of our leading statesmen, especially on the Tory side, up to the last two or three years; and it may be worth while considering whether sound policy justifies any material departure from it. Summed up shortly, it means that Russia shall not obtain Constantinople, and all that is implied in that word.

What, then, has recently happened which should make England change her view on that subject, and consent to lose the advantages and the position she secured by so profuse an expenditure of blood and treasure in the Crimean War?

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and far reaching change in national policy: first, the Bulgarian atrocities; second, the Armenian massacres. In the interest of historic truth it may be worth while to say a few words as to the origin of the former outbreak. A short examination will show that England, however unintentionally, is not free from blame in the matter, and that the atrocities, whether many or few, sprung to a great extent from her blunders during and after the Crimean War.

When the English Government determined not only to go to the armed assistance of Turkey, but, undeterred by Napoleon's failure in 1812, to invade Russia, it was manifestly important to secure allies wherever they could be found, especially if near the scene of projected action. Accordingly, a diplomatic agent, Mr Longworth, was despatched to Schamyl's headquarters in Circassia, with instructions to urge that gallant mountaineer prosecute the war he was waging against Russia for the independence of his country with increased vigour. What inducements Mr Longworth offered we do not know; but by the end of the war not a fort, not a blockhouse, was in Russian occupation along the whole eastern littoral of the Black Sea. Now what was the reward given to the Circassians


Two reasons are popularly assigned for this momentous for their gallant and successful

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