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argues that one result is that we escape the waste of talent that other nations suffer, because their clever men come into politics late in life and their political careers are liable to interruptions, whereas we have a kind of permanent supply of rich and leisured men able to begin their training in politics in their youth and to devote themselves to public life without the cares and distractions that divide the energies of ordinary men. He argues that another result is the good humor of politics. If a Minister loses office liis fate is not very dreadful. He is not exiled to the obscurity and the distresses of a private and laborious career. He is still a member of the governing class, enjoying a good deal of power and a great deal of consideration. Office was one of the occupations of his comfortable life, and it will one day come his way again. To this Mr. Dow attributes that state of things which is often dwelt on with satisfaction as the distinction of our political life, the private friendships that live and flourish amid political hostilities. The prizes of our public life are not forfeited by failure. When failure meant the risk of impeachment politics was a savage game. In America and France failure means for many a politician a relapse from eminence and splendor to the anonymous routine of the life of the crowd. Our statesmen have no such prospective penalties to stimulate or embitter their energies, and they live in consequence a less eager and ferocious life. Nobody, we think, will question the accuracy of Mr. Low's analysis of these consequences, an analysis that is made sine ira aut studio. But it is worth while to continue his analysis a little further. The existence of a class that can be called on from its youth to undertake the work of government, and a class that Englishmen have persisted in summoning to that task, leads at least to two
other consequences besides that recorded by Mr. Low. One is that it excludes other men from their share in government. From one point of view this is an economy, for it means that the country is governed by men who need not do anything else. From another it may mean most extravagant waste, for the men who are excluded or who remain in retirement because there are others who have leisure to govern, may perhaps be far more competent than the men of leisure. The fortunate class on which we come to rely may give us a hundred incapables for one genius; but it is the genius who is apt to be quoted as the illustration of the working of this social law, just as it is men like Pitt and Burke rather than George Selwyn or Duddington whom one often associates with the system^ of rotten boroughs. Another consequence is that the habit of calling on this class for the work of government has grown into a habit of calling on them for all work of distinction and eminence. The class that gave us our rulers comes to give our railways their directors, our British Associations their presidents, our learned and artistic societies their leaders. Thus this kind of predestined specialism in politics leads to a kind of scattered amateurishness in other things. Because certain men are supposed to inherit particular gifts and opportunities for public work of one kind, they are supposed also to be the right men to put at the head of movements and enterprises that are by their nature related to special arts and aptitudes. All our institutions, whether they are concerned with learning, art, philanthropy, or anything else, come to take their color from this political habit and to consider that for them too their natural leaders are the leaders of politics and society. The Primrose League tends to become their model. The social relationships of politics are in a sense one aspect of the unreality and irrelevance produced by this state of things. Nobody wants to see politics made into a life-and-death struggle between persons, but there was a certain wholesome instinct underlying Mr. Pickwick's horror when he saw his counsel engaged in amicable conversation with Mrs. Bardell's counsel. Much the same feeling was in the mind of Morris when he made one of his Utopians express contempt for the mutual amenities of politicians who, if they believed what they professed to believe, ought to have treated each other in a very different spirit In one sense, indeed, high society represents to-day more completely than it did a century ago the social concentration of politics. If England was governed in the eighteenth century by the great houses and the fashionable clubs, they were rival houses and rival clubs. Brooks's and White's waged war on each other, though fortunately it was only rarely a war in the streets. To-day the inner cabinet of fashion knows no distinctions of politics. Leading statesmen of both parties affect the same social group and frequent the same salons. They draw their inspirations from the same source. The modern representatives of Brooks's and White's would be found spending their week-end under one roof and round one bridge table instead of composing Rolliads and AntiJacobins from rival gambling rooms. An amiable spectacle, but its effect on politics goes far. For one thing it is easier for a conspiring influence to penetrate and dominate both parties. For another, this air of unreality means that in public discussion there tends to be a truce on topics that would wound this spirit of comfortable convention. We like to be shocked, but only by paradoxes or things that do not strike us very intimately. Realities are kept The Speaker.
in their place. In an article in the Independent Review, adorned with some more of his living translations of Euripides, Mr. Gilbert Murray traces the meaning of the "Troades" and describes how Athens, fresh from the sack of Melos, had to gaze on that overpowering picture of the things women suffer at the hands of conquerors. Could modern England, if it were in such circumstances, endure such a poignant contact with the real facts?
Mr. Low is far more concerned to analyze than to vindicate the modern conditions of politics. His book, we hasten to add, travels, of course, over a great many tracts that we have not touched on, for it is a singularly complete study of all the main institutions and methods of government. But the particular discussion on which we have dwelt has a special interest, because Mr. Low evidently thinks this state of things will not last. The movements that threaten its life come from various quarters. One is an attempt, with pitfalls and dangers of its own, it is true, to found a party that will spring from sources as remote as possible from these influences. Another is the automatic pressure of the difficulties and embarrassments of government, a pressure that has broken down the confidence of Mr. Sidney Low, as it did that of Mr. Bernard Holland, in the endurance of the existing Unionist centralization. When this form of government ceases we shall lose the advantages that Mr. Low traces to it, but we shall also be released from disadvantages that we have alluded to. Above all, we shall gain the power and vigor and vision of democracy, for the chief objection to government by a very limited and comfortable class is not that it governs for its own interests, but that it sees the interests of the nation through the medium of its own habits.
CZAR! LOUIS XVI.! ADSIT OMEN.
Peace on his lying lips, and on his hands
THE WELSH REVIVAL.
The religious awakening, which is now convulsing Wales, has come with all the force of a dramatic surprise. A few months ago not many persons in the Principality, and nobody outside its limits, would have believed that the revival which finds in Mr. Evan Roberts, if not its leader, at least its figurehead, was close at hand. Educated men were of course aware that alike to the Franciscan friar and to the Methodist itinerant, the Welsh people had lent a willing ear. It was, at least in the Principality itself, a matter of common knowledge that between the middle of the eighteenth and the middle of the nineteenth century revival after revival had swept over Wales, creating a religious enthusiasm in the mass of the people which the brutality and stupidity of a Whig and latitudinarian episcopate forced almost in spite of itself into the nonconformist chapel. After 1859 however the voice of the revivalist was heard no more on the
hillside. The talk of the old folks, who had in the golden days of Methodism trod many a weary league to hear John Elias preach on the green at Bala, has kept alive in the countryside the tradition of the fathers of Welsh nonconformity. Still, for the last forty years the mind of nonconformist Wales has been turned from the other-worldliness of the revival days to such mundane matters as politics and education, chapel building and sectarian organization. During this period the chapel has been the greatest political power in the Principality, and a system of higher education has been organized on a secular basis. With the political triumph of Welsh dissent however its enthusiasm. If not its spirituality, departed from it. Meanwhile although the Established Church in Wales has made considerable progress in recent years, it has failed to shake off entirely the numbing Erastian tradition of the eighteenth
century. Its higher dignitaries are still rather Establishment than Church defenders. A religious revolution seemed therefore until yesterday impossible in Wales. The most reasonable forecast of its religious future was that the philosophic rationalism of the B.A. preacher of the Welsh University would convert many of the richer Welsh dissenters to theological beliefs closely resembling those which serve in place of a faith to the modern French Protestant, that the large mass of Welsh nonconformists would either sink into religious indifference, or gradually drift back into the Established Church.
"O eaecns homlnum mentes!" To-day Wales is once more in the throes of a religious convulsion. Again mysterious visions are seen, again mysterious lights brood over the homes of believers, or the chapels where the fire of the awakening is blazing: again the grand hymns of the old revival days are sung by enthusiastic congregations; again simple and uneducated men and women are awakening the land to the old evangelical faith. Night after night the whole population of many a village crowds into one of its little chapels to sing and to pray (so they would put it) as the Holy Spirit may lead them. The movement is strongest in South Wales and has produced in Mr. Evan Roberts a remarkable personality; but in the wilds of Merioneth and Carnarvonshire the same force is at work, though the English press has not yet heard the names of its seers and teachers. Meanwhile political turmoil is dead. No one—a few wirepullers excepted—mentions Mr. LloydGeorge's agitation against the Education Act, except perhaps to regret It. Sectarian proselytlsm is at an end. The prayer of the revivalist is not that persons shall become Methodists or Baptists or Independents, but that the "churches free and established alike"
shall awaken from their frozen apathy, and teach again the fundamental principles of Christianity. Some features of a more doubtful nature are accompanying the upheaval. It is not quite pleasant to read that Eisteddfods and literary meetings are falling flat; and It Is even more regrettable to hear that many of the converted in South Wales are ceasing to play football. It Is deplorable that the reason of certain weak-minded persons should be deranged by the excitement necessarily attendant on these revivalist gatherings. In the main, however, the testimony, even of the callous London journalist, goes to show that the movement may claim already to have effected a great, if only a temporary, reformation in the morality of large districts.
To speculate as to the causes of the marvellous outhurst would at the present time be dangerous. Perhaps popular disappointment at the results of fifty years of political agitation may have turned the minds of many Welshmen to spiritual hopes and fears. Possibly the country folks have wearied of the bitter feuds of rival denominations, and of the vaporings of the young preacher from the University College who has been striving to Hegelianize Calvinlstic Methodism. It will be however more profitable to compare the present awakening with the great upheavals of the olden days. In some ways this revival presents the old familiar features. There is the old orthodoxy, the old fervor and something also, alas, of the old narrow and Puritan conception of the religious life. On the other hand certain superficial differences present themselves, due mainly to the spirit of the age. There is comparatively little said of eternal wrath; there are few of those uncouth manifestations of popular excitement, which unquestionably prejudiced educated opinion against the older Method-
ism; there is less powerful preaching, ecclesiastical and politic consequencesand more lay initiation. Over and of lasting Importance,above all this, however, it is clear that Meanwhile It Is satisfactory to notea religious conception directs the pres- that Welsh Churchmen have to someent movement to which the men of the extent learned the lesson of the eigh-earlier revivals were strangers. Their teenth century. Two Welsh Bishops
minds were fixed on the idea of Individ- have pronounced on the work of the
ual conversion. They rushed to the revivalists a qualified benediction,
chapels and field-preaching to hang on There is not the slightest fear to-day
the lips of a great orator, who pro- that a curate who says a kindly word
claimed salvation. In the movement of of these enthusiasts will have his
to-day the underlying ideas seem to license quashed, far less are we likely
be the public confession of sin, and the to see (as in the olden time) a diocesan
salvation not so much of the Individ- chancellor, or high ecclesiastical digni
ual as of the community. In a wordtary supplying liquor to a mob eu
this remarkable revival is a protestgaged in stoning Mr. Evan Roberts,
against an individualistic and sectarian Were it not for the Acts of Uniformity,
conception of religion, and a struggle it would be quite possible for the
to return to a corporate and positive Church to take a prominent part in
Christianity. For this reason Church- guiding and modifying in a wise diree
men may view the Welsh movementtion this remarkable manifestation. So
with satisfaction. There is nothing es- far, however, as lies in their power,
sentially Protestant in the idea of re- the majority of Welsh Churchmen are
vivalism. Coldness and decorum in sympathetic, and this sympathy will
religion savor in truth of Erastlan not be lost on a religious and emotional
Protestantism; the greatest revivalist people and will do more than a thou
of whom Church history tells was thatsand Church defence meetings to
most purely medleeval of religious shake the unreasoning prejudice, which
characters, S. Francis of Assist. To up to the present time has made the
prophesy the future effects of this average Welsh dissenter regard the
Welsh revival would be as idle as to Church as an Erastian and worldly in
speculate upon the causes that have stitution.
called It forth. One thing however To conclude, though a few materialseems certain. Welsh religion canists, a solitary English Radical, and the never again become as individualisticbaser sort of journalist may Jeer, a or sectarian as it has been in the past; new chapter seems to have been opened and the Catholic conception of Chris-in Welsh history which, ere it is ended, tianity which the revival has relntro-may record events of deep religious Induced Into Wales mayin time haveterest to other lands besides Wales.
The Saturday Review.BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
Andred D. White's "reminiscences" which have been printed in The Century Magazine are to be published in book form next month by The Century Company. A new volume by Dr. S. Weir Mitchell,—a story of expe
riences of Northerners in the South during the reconstruction period, is to appear at the same time.
The announcement that some Indian ladles have started a ladies' monthly