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have been received in the house, in the in any quarter of the globe, where the instudy, in the drawing-room, or even in the fluence of Mr. Gladstone's government has dining-room. Not at all. That would been felt — is there one single item, act, have been out of harmony with the adver- expression, or development on which you tisement “boom." Another scene had can dwell with any pride or even satisfacbeen arranged. The workingmen were tion? Is there one single, solid, real, subguided through the ornamental grounds, stantial construction or improvement which into the wide-spreading park, strewn with can benefit permanently or even momentathe wreckage and ruins of the prime min- rily, either directly or indirectly, your own ister's sport.
All around them lay the countrymen at home, your own countryrotting trunks of once umbrageous trees; men abroad, or any worthy portion of the all around them, tossed by the winds, were human race? Chips you will find, nothing boughs and bark and withered shoots. but chips — hard, dry, unnourishing, indiThey come suddenly on the prime minister gestible chips. To all those who leaned and Master Herbert, in scanty attire and upon Mr. Gladstone, who trusted in him, profuse perspiration, engaged in the de- and who hoped for something from him, struction of a gigantic oak, just giving its chips, nothing but chips. To those who last dying groan. They are permitted to defied him, trampled upon his power, who gaze and to worship and adore, and, having insulted and reviled his representatives and conducted themselves with exemplary pro- his policy, to the barbarous Boer and the priety, are each of them presented with a rebel Irish — to them, and to them alone, fex chips as a memorial of that memorable booty and great gain. scene.
Is not this, I thought to myself as I read Listened to in the cold light of after the narrative, a perfect type and emblem days, these echoes from a distant batof Mr. Gladstone's government of the em- tlefield sound hollow enough. The pire? The working classes of this country language may be extravagant, the imsought Mr. Gladstone in 1880. He told them that he would give them and all other fect and strongly partisan. But in the
agery strained, the conclusions impersubjects of the queen much legislation, heat of combat this oratory did not fall great prosperity, and universal peace, and he has given them — nothing but chips. wide of its purpose. It made men Chips to the faithful allies in Afghanistan, laugh. Churchill's hearers laughed and chips to the trusting native races of South were ready to swear by the speaker Africa, chips to the Egyptian fellah, chips who amused them ; his readers next to the British farmer, chips to the manufac- morning laughed and picked out faturer and artisan, chips to the agricultural vorite phrases to be repeated from laborer, chips to the House of Commons mouth to mouth. Randolph Churchill itself. I ask you who have followed with became the mau of the moment. care the events of Parliament, to carry
In the House of Commons, too, your minds back to the beginning of 1880, Churchill, at the close of the Parliato the demonstration of Dulcigno, to the slaughter of Maiwand, to the loss of Can- ment in 1885, was in command of an dahar, to the rebellion of the Transvaal, to.
enthusiastic following far beyond the the Irish Land League with all its attend- devoted band of three who, with him. ant horrors, to the scenes in the House of self, composed the redoubted Fourth Commons, to the loss of freedom and dig- Party. It was not in the nature of nity sustained by that assembly, to the things that the prestige of the official abortive Sessions, to the Egyptian muddle Opposition leaders should remain unwith its sham military glories, to the resig- dimmed by the brilliauce of the stratnation of Cabinet ministers, to the spec. egy displayed below the gangway. Sir tacle recently afforded of two ministerial Stafford's' gentlemanly remonstrance colleagues openly defying each other, to the illusory programme spread before you Smith's sound common sense, Sir Mi
with the government, Mr. W. H. for the coming year, to the immense dan
chael Hicks-Beach's steru, but cultigers and difficulties which surround you on every side - turn over all these matters in vated resistance, were all of the first your minds, search your memories, look at quality of their kind ; but to deal with them as you will ; I ask you again, is there ministers who had beguu by relegating political economy to the spheres of bis normal following of three. Sir Jupiter and Saturn, had proceeded to Michael Hicks-Beach threw in his lot lay Alexandria in smoking ruins, and with the “ rapier aud rozette" com
group had wound up by abandoning the gals of the Opposition, and a minority of laut Gordon to his fate, there was thirty-live Conservatives, representing required a method of warfare far differ- the party on which Churchill had beent from the time-honored tactics of stowed the infelicitous title of “Toryparade. The devotion inspired among Democrat,” went into the lobby against young Tory members by Lord Ran- three hundred and thirty-three followdolpli's incessant watchfulness and skil ers of Gladstone and Northcote. Men ful attacks far outweighed the misgiving were puzzled by this demonstration, sown by some of his sayings among the but it had the effect of showing that disciples of an older and more orthodox the member for Woodstock had made school. It had required, indeed, some himself a powerful factor in his own thing more than the ordinary Con- party, and one that would have to be servative stomach to digest the speech taken into account in the formation delivered by him in the Edinburgh of any Conservative administration. Music Hall in December, 1883, largely Churchill had indeed rendered himself devoted to an exposition of the merits indispensable ; his position was recog. of the French Revolution. Had that nized by his admission, per sultum, to speech stood alone, not only would Lord Salisbury's Cabinet in July as Lord Randolph's sphere of influence secretary of state for India. How beit, been severely limited, but the Fourth not many people had realized the Party itself, had it ever come into ex- weight of Lord Randolph's influence istence, would have been reduced to upon the country till after his contest half its proportion. But that speech with Mr. John Bright for the represendid not stand alone. It was but one of tation of Birmingham at the general a series of brilliant platform perform-election of 1885. Many Conservatives ances, which secured to its author, regarded it as a piece of foolhardy first the attention, then the approval, bravado to beard the tribune of the and, lastly, the ungrudging devotion of people in the very cradle and close a good half of the mass upon whom preserve of Radicalism. The result the franchise was about to be con- justified the daring. John Bright only ferred.
held his own by 4,989 votes against A significant incident took place after 4,216 cast for the Tory champion. the fall of Mr. Gladstone's administra- It was a rapid rise, but more surtion in June, 1885. Lord Salisbury had prising events were in store ; not only undertaken the formation of a stop-gap had Lord Randolph made himself government to conclude the necessary dreaded by his opponents ; he was business of the session and carry on also held in awe by his friends. He affairs till registration of the new con-| had the knack of hitting off the weak stituencies had made an appeal to points in public men and crystallizthem possible. Before Parliament ad- ing them in epigram. It would perjourned for the interval necessary for baps be better to allow his pungent the re-election of Conservative minis- sneers at the “bourgeois placemen,” ters, Mr. Gladstone, wlio still led the the “ Tapers and Tadpoles," the “ MarHouse, proposed to take into consid- shalls and Snelgroves," of his own eration the Lords' amendments to the party to sink into oblivion, were it Redistribution of Seats Bill. North- not that in any just estimate of the cote and the official Opposition sup- remarkable rise of this man account ported him, and no surprise was caused must be taken of the means by which by the resistance offered by the Fourth be overcame those forces of equal deParty to the proposal. But it was cency and density which oppose the speedily apparent that Lord Randolph progress of every free-lance. And Churchill was at the head of more than every sarcasm which he poured on the
beads of his own party was atoned for This appeal was repeated with greater tenfold by the ridicule with which he emphasis and with amplified detail bedeluged his opponents. It was not till fore an immense meeting at Manchesthe following year, 1886, during the ter on March 3, 1886. In the interval debate on the Home Rule Bill, that he Mr. Gladstone had once more become fixed on Mr. Gladstone the indelible prime minister, had announced the taunt of being “an old man in a conversion of himself and his party to hurry.” But, indeed, he hardly ever the policy of Home Rule for Ireland, rose in debate at this time, or appeared and had given notice of the introducon a platform, without uttering some tion of a bill to carry it into effect. happy or stinging phrase, to be re- Churchill called on all patriotic Libpeated next morning from ten thousand erals to join their ancient enemies in lips. How many of these were of the formation of a new political party, his own coinage, or how many were which he termed Uvionist, to minted in the elvishi fancy of his close bine all that is best of the Tory, ally, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, may the Whig, and the Liberal — combine be matter for speculation; the fact re- them all, whether they be principles or mains that these sayings contributed whether they be men.” He warned almost as much to his influence over his hearers against the separatist polwhat he irreverently termed “the old icy of Mr. Gladstone, " which would be gang” – Lord Beaconsfield's former equivalent to a restoration of the hiepcolleagues — as to the hold he acquired tarchy.” As if conscious that it might on the affection of the new electorate. be impossible to allay the animosity
It was at Sheffield, in 1885, that Lord which his method of warfare bad Randolph made the first overtures roused among Liberals against himself, towards that alliance between Consti- he declared that if among the Tories tational Liberals and the Tory party there were persons with whom the which he was to live to see so loyally Whigs would decline to serve, “those cemented, and which was to have such persons would willingly stand aside" far-reaching effects on the political in the formation of a Unionist Cal), destiny of his country. From this inet. speech, as befitted the utterance of a The first fruits of this offer came a cabinet minister, much of the irrespon- few days later in the resignation by sible raillery, so characteristic of his Mr. (now Sir George) Trevelyan of his earlier manner, had disappeared. It seat in the Cabinet. Let it never be was pervaded instead by a grave and forgotten in any estimate of Lord Ranstatesmanlike note of warning. After colph Churchill's career how great was sketching the headlong course on the part he played at this crisis, and which the Liberal party had entered, how largely he contributed to turning and analyzing the position of those the masses from the policy of sepawho, like Lord Hartington, could not ration. However much subsequent be suspected of approving of it, he events may have obscured the just apended with these memorable sen- preciation of this, it was fully recog. tences :
nized at the time, and, on the return of
the Unionists to power, public opinion I say to Lord Hartington before you all, endorsed the appointment of Churchill not by any backstairs intrigue and not by as chancellor of the exchequer and any secret negotiations, but in the face of leader of the House of Commons. this great meeting held in this great town There were not wanting, indeed, misand before all England, I say to Lord
trust and boding on the part of many Hartington and his friends and following, words which were said to men nearly two members of both Houses. They could thousand years ago, who were destined to not forget the bitter gibes which Lord become great political guides, I say to Lord Randolph bad been wont to fling from Hartington and I say to his friends, “Come below the gangway upon those who Over and help us !"
were now his colleagues in the Cabinet. LIVING AGE. VOL. VI. 263
Many of his public utterances had been one who had broken up the very founso far at variance with Conservative dation on which it should rest. habits of thought and principles that It is the gift of a great poet, without nothing but tremendous hazard could direct reference to, or narrative of, spebe discerned in entrusting the leader- cific circumstances, to cast into endurship to such young and rash bands. ing verse the ever-recurring phases of But these murmurings soon human occasion. So Browning bad hushed, overborne by plaudits won by written in his “Lost Leader” lines the new chancellor in his conduct of which ran at this time in the minds of business during the six weeks of ses- many of Churchill's dismayed followers. sion in the autumn of 1886. It would be impossible to exaggerate the enthu- Blot out his name ! let him never come
back to us ; siastic confidence Churchill had secured from his followers when Parliament
There would be doubt, hesitation, and came to be prorogued on September False praise on our part, the glimmer of
pain ; 25th. Men went back to William Pitt
twilight, for a parallel to this heaven - born Never glad, confident morning again. leader. For the first time since 1832 it was possible to look with confidence This feeling was greatly intensified on the future before the Conservative by a notable defect in Lord Randolph's party.
character. He had never cultivated a Never was whole-hearted trust more certain faculty of intercourse which, at warmly given ; never did it encounter this juncture of his career, would have colder or more sudden disappointment. stood him in good stead, of which his Late at night on December 22nd the neglect was the more remarkable bechancellor of the exchequer drove to cause it was a strong point in the party the Times office and handed in the an- leader on whom hie modelled his whole nouncement of his resignation. The career.
Disraeli was consummate cause alleged was a disagreement with master of suavity and consideration his colleagues on ludicrously trivial towards his followers ; Churchill was items in naval and military expendi- notoriously careless in this respect. ture. Let the cause have been far He would permit himself to behave more considerable, nothing could ex- with coldness, and even with rudeness, cuse the manner of the abdication. to those with whom he had been on The queen, the Cabinet, the party, the cordial terms the day before. uation — might all feel that they had His indifference to the rank and file receivel a scurvy return for their hand- of his party, outside the circle of his some treatment of the young states- intimate friends, had sown the seeds
How the administration stood of resentment, which ripened into a the shock, how Mr. Goschen's acces- formidable aggregate of hostile feeling sion to the Cabinet proved in the end after he bad divested himself of power. to be an ample compensation for what Men who had been confident in, and it had lost and a contribution to its proud of, his ability as a leader, found stability are matters of recent history, that when their faith in that was shatwhich Lori Randolph certainly did not tered, there was mo fund of warnier foresee. He had reckoned on a one- feelings to fall back upon. He was man Cabinet, with himself as the man. feared rather than loved by the party. He made no secret among his frienils Had it been otherwise —had Churchill of his confident belief that he would be gained half the hold on the affections in office again in a few weeks. But of the House, which his immeasurably he had not calculated on the impossi- less brilliant colleague, W. H. Smith, bility of restoring confidence so rudely secured - one of two things must have shaken. Men miglit still admire him happened : either he must have reand hold him in affection, but they turned speedily to office, or the Unioncould never again replace their trust iu ist party must have split into two
camps. As things were, however, it You have to fight two battles - one in became evident, as soon as Parliament Ireland against crime, the other in Parliareassembled, that the supporters who ment against disorder. You must win were ready to back Lord Randolph in
both. The loss of one entails the loss of any course he might take could almost the other. As you are firm with respect to be numbered on the fingers of one
matters in Ireland, so you should be equally hand, and even this small band was of order in the House of Commons.
firm with respect to the rigid preservation soon to be reduced in numbers by Excuse this lengthy letter. It deals with reason of his inconsiderate dealings a general matter on which I feel much with them. Hereafter Lord' Randolph anxiety, and I greatly prefer communiwas to fill the melancholy rôle of a cating with you beforehand to expressing young man with a brilliant future be- any difference of opinion with you in the hind him.
House itself. The hopes of the Opposition for a rupture within the Unionist party In the following year, when the gove were favned by the speech in which crnment determined on the appointthe late chancellor of the exchequer ment of the Parnell Commission, Lord explained bis resignation. He told the Randolph drew up a memorandum, House that it would be idle to deny dated July 17, 1888, containing his that, beyond the question of naval ex- reasons for strongly objecting to such a penditure, which was the immediate course. The paper was ably drawn and ostensible cause for his giving up and temperately expressed, thoroughly the seals of his office, there were other statesmanlike, warning the government matters of grave importance on which against proceeding in a manner he held opinions differing from those terly repugnant to our English ideas of of Lord Salisbury. A twitter of antici- legal justice and wholly unconstitupation ran through the Gladstonian tional,” and based on arguments of ranks, already sanguine as to the out- which the soundness was, in great come of the Round Table Conference measure, made manifest by the result. then sitting. From both sources they Two years later, in March, 1890, were destined to drink disappointment. when the report of the Commission Churchill, had he chosen, might have was brought up for cousideration, Lord given the government serious trouble Randolph vindicated his opinion in a as a watchful and bitter critic on their powerful speech, in which he was not flank. He did not so choose. It must careful to spare the feelings of minisbe admitted that, although at rare in- ters. He taunted them with the fact tervals he did attack his former col- that the majority of one hundred with leagues, he did so only when they were which he had led the House bad now taking a course to which he was con- sunk to seventy, and he enforced his scientiously opposed. No rupture of arguments by imagery of a kind which the magnitude of that which had sev- public speakers, fortunately for their ered him from his colleagues could, audience, rarely resort to. The appallindeed, fail to leave some traces of ing horror of the metaphor applied to bitterness in personal intercourse ; the miscreant Pigott spread a chill these, and the incidents they gave rise along the benches on both sides of the to, may now be dismissed forever from House. Nevertheless, the greater part memory. What may be recorded to of the speech won rapturous applause Churchill's lionor is that he lent him- from the Opposition. The only immeself to no factious attacks on the gov- diate effect on the ministerialists was eroment policy. Writing privately to the subtraction of one from Churchill's W. H. Smith during the debates on the compact following. The late Mr. Louis Coercion Bill, four months after his Jennings, then member for Stockport, resignation, on April 16th, 1887, he who had clung to his idol through sunexpressed himself thus sympathet- shine and storm, sprang to his feet and ically :