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hostilities. It may not come in an acute form this year or the next but the whole evolution of American affairs makes it inevitable. As in this country, the progress of a democratic system is destroying the power of the debating chamber. No one who watches the course of British politics attempts to deny that the Cabinet is rapidly ousting the House of Commons from its predominant position. It is quite possible that less subservient majorities than the present may from time to time appear to check the process, but the check will only be temporary and the decline of Parliament will continue. No Cabinet, whatever its complexion, will abandon the powers with which its predecessors have armed it, for an Executive wants to get things done and administration properly conducted, while the legislative body exists for talk and wants to advertise itself. The Executive again knows how all the best work of the country is performed in quiet and how fatally longwinded dilatory debate may interfere with national necessities.
The same process is at work in America and for similar reasons, though the conditions of the Constitution will render a struggle between the contending forces more conspicuous and therefore apparently more dangerous than in Great Britain, but we have no doubt as to the ultimate victory of the President. Mr. Roosevelt won his victory upon the very grounds that will tend to develop the Presidential predominance, the need for a strong foreign policy and large armaments. In home affairs he is distinctly taking a line which sooner rather than later will bring him into sharp collision with the great interests that dominate the Senate. The control of railways by the Trusts is exciting a genuine and growing resentment throughout American society. It Is quite clear from his speech on 1 February that the Presi
dent is determined to deal drastically with what is rapidly becoming a public scandal. No one who knows anything of America, or who looks upon the matter from a general attitude of principle, will deny that he was right in claiming that the greatest need is "the increase in the power of the National Government to keep the great highways of commerce open alike to all on reasonable and equitable terms." As the country fills up and competition cuts more keenly, the oppression of the great corporations will be more acutely felt. The House of Representatives has already accepted the "Townsend" Bill, but nobody believes that the Senate will do so. It will not be any the more ready to do it now that Mr. Bryan has declared himself on Mr. Roosevelt's side. The influence of railways in the Senate is overwhelming, but there can be little doubt which side would win if at any time it came to a real struggle and an appeal to the people.
In the question of S. Domingo again the Senate appears to have made good its claim to decide whether or no the arrangement come to between that effete and troubled State and the encroaching Government of the United States shall be ratified. Mr. Roosevelt will submit with a good grace, and there is not much probability that the protocol will be seriously impaired, but the capacity for mischief latent in a body like the Senate under its existing privileges can hardly be exaggerated. The rejection of the Arbitration Treaties matters little in itself. Those instruments would have effected little either for good or evil, but the whole incident is only an instructive skirmish on the ground where far heavier engagements may be fought at any moment. Mr. Roosevelt is the embodiment of the national demand for an active foreign policy and he has the constitutional right of command of the army and navy. As it is only since the
.'Spanish war that the United States can be correctly said to have definitely taken a conspicuous place in the politics of the world, the extraordinary developments in the Presidential power which that step brings with it have hardly yet been realized, but it will help every day to exalt him at the expense of the Legislature. The declarations regarding the Monroe Doctrine which Mr. Roosevelt himself and leading supporters have made of late involve similar results.
No man in his position can help contemplating with envy the free hand allowed a British Minister in the manipulation of foreign affairs, but. if not Mr. Roosevelt, then some early successor will find himself no less generously entrusted with the national interests of the United States. The dangers and difficulties inherent in any attempt to conduct complicated negotiations through representative bodies may any day appear aggressively insistent even to the average American. A business people will quickly appreciate the most
The Saturday Review.
businesslike way of conducting public affairs. Hitherto the existing framework has sufficiently served public requirements. The new developments make it quite impossible that they can do so much longer. In spite of all the precautions of the founders of the Constitution the time is rapidly approaching when in electing the President the people will recognize that they endow him for a season with prerogatives more than regal because he embodies their own absolutism.
The American public will in the end welcome this solution as the British have done who have slid by almost imperceptible gradations into accepting the rule of a practically despotic ministry for a terminable period. The Legislature in both cases becomes a hortatory and minatory, not a governing, body. The people take supreme interest in the character and capacity of their rulers whom they may accept or reject but less every day in the inconclusive discussions of elective assemblies.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS.
Randall Parrish's new novel, "My Lady of the North," as the experienced reader guesses from tbe title. Is a story of the Civil war. Told in the first person by one of Lee's cavalry officers, it presents a rapid succession of incidents, interwoven with a mysterious romance whose secret is not disclosed till the final chapter. Guerilla raids play a striking part in the plot. A. C. McClurg Sc. Co.
The novel of international Intrigue Is forging to the front, nowadays, and E. Phillips Oppenhelm makes a striking contribution to the list with his "Mysterious Mr. Sabin." The plot
centres in the attempts of two rival Continental Powers to gain possession of a set of papers known to contain secret information regarding the coast defences and naval strength of England, but to the mysterious Mr. Sabin their schemes are only preliminary to a daring and romantic enterprise of his own, in which are involved the fortunes of the charming heroine. With so congenial a theme, Mr. Oppenheim's remarkable ingenuity and command of detail are seen at their best, and his readers will follow the narrative with keen interest to the last of his four hundred closely printed pages. Little. Brown & Co.
Not yet the spring-tide cometh. Not although
Soft breathes the wind, and watery
sunbeams creep Over the hillside with its pasturing sheep. And touch the tree-tops with a twilight glow. Not yet the spring! Chill winter turns, and lo! Too soon again her frozen lids will lift And forth once more her busy envoys go, Dim children of the snow-cloud and the drift.
Yet with a fleeting, all-pathetic grace The world smiles, by some kindly spirit stirred, To hear her woodlands, for a little
space. Ring to the music of the speckled bird; Like one who bears, beneath a smiling face,
The bitter burden of a hope deferred.
.S". Cornish Watkini.
A SOUL'S VICTORY.
Too long he strove to parley with the foe;
Each morrow brought the shadowy legions back. Each setting sun beheld his force laid low.
Borne down by their confederate attack.
Around the citadel from day to day Those watchful troops in deadly ambush lay.
Till from a life of smooth, inglorious ease
He plunged into the world of men
and things, And as the vessel on the open seas Leaps to the gale that round her seethes and sings,
Forth on each fresh, glad enterprise he fared,
And tolled and served, and sowed and reaped and dared.
With eyes unveiled he saw God's earth afresh,—
Love without lust and Beauty without stain.
And lo! the phantoms that allured the flesh
Lay silent in the darkness, crushed and slain.
Like Pharaoh's hosts upon the Red Sea shore;
And his own soul was his for evermore.
W. B. Savik.
A voice beside the dim enchanted river Out of the twilight, where the brooding trees
Hear Shannon's Druid waters chant for ever
Tales of dead Kings and Bards and Shanachies; A girl's young voice out of the twilight.
Old songs beside the legendary stream; A girl's clear voice, o'er the wan waters ringing,
Beats with its wild wings at the gates of Dream.
The flagger-leaves whereon shy dewdrops glisten
Are swaying, swaying gently to the sound,
The meadow-sweet and spearmint, as
they listen, Breathe wistfully their wizard balm
And there, alone with her young heart
and heaven. Thrushlike she sings, and lets her
voice go free, Her soul of all its hidden longing
Soars on wild wings with her wild melody.
Tokens of the coming storm are now many and unmistakable, and cries are heard that the Russian ship of State is in danger. But they are the fears of men of little faith. It is not the ship of State that is in peril. That stout vessel will weather worse storms than any as yet experienced in Europe, not excepting the tempest of 1789. Manned by a hardy, buoyant, resourceful crew, it has nought to fear. Nothing is now at issue beyond the present trip and the rights and duties of the skipper. And on those questions a decision must soon be taken. For compass and chart have been put aside and we are drifting towards rocks and sandbanks. Of the crew—with no goal to attract, no commander to inspirit them—some are indifferent and many sluggish while the most active are preparing to mutiny. They all merge their welfare in the safety of the ship, and as a consequence would persuade or if necessary compel the captain to take a pilot on board. It is in that temper—for which history may perhaps
find a less harsh term than criminal— that the real and only danger lies.
To point out that danger and help to ward it off were the legitimate objects of my former article1; and the means I used were honestly adjusted to those ends. If I pitched my voice in too high a key, it was for fear I should fail to strike ears that had long been deaf to loud warnings; If I touched my imperial master with ungentle hand, it was because I believed he was on the point of drowning. Honi soit qui mal y pense. I may have been mistaken. Coming events will perhaps soon enable my critics to measure the distance that separated my judgment from political wisdom and my intentions from enlightened loyalty. Meanwhile I am solaced by the thought that history knows of fellow countrymen of mine, honored by rulers and ruled, who caused far greater pain than I have done to individual Tsars and Tsarivltches, in
1 See "The Tsar" in The Living Age, August 27,1904.
order to safeguard the Tsardom. Today a broader view than that of the eighteenth century is permissible and a Russian official may now hearken to the dictates of patriotism, even when they clash with the promptings of loyalty to his Tsar. If we have not yet wholly forgotten our national saying: "whose bread I eat, his song I sing,1' we are at least beginning to render unto Russia the things that are Russia's without refusing to the Tsar the things that are the Tsar's.
My sketch of Nicholas II. has been very favorably received throughout the world as harmonizing in essentials with the Emperor's public words and acts. But it has been found fault with too as all attempts to fix for ever what is ever in flux will and should be. "The very truth," says our poet, Tiuteheff, "when clad in words becomes a lie." How much more an attempt to outline a character, whose essential traits so far elude analysis that even to close observers it seems little more than a negation. The very courtiers who claim to know the Emperor best are unable though willing to credit him with any of those positive qualities which psychologists designate as the groundwork of virile character. Indeed in their sincere moods they speak of him as susceptible less to clear-cut motives than to vague influence and ascribe his acts to emotional impulse rather than to reflective will.
Another difficulty was created by the limitations of my task. I had to do with the visionary autocrat only, prescinding almost entirely from the man. Otherwise, I should have gladly brought out in relief certain engaging features of the individual, Nicolal Alexandrovitch Romanoff, which form a pleasing set-off to the forbidding aspect of the Tsar Nicholas II. Thus, I would have emphasized the fact that he is an uncommonly dutiful son, who interprets
til in 1 respect more generously than the followers of Confucius, having frequently submitted not his will only but also his judgment to that of his augast mother. A model husband, he leaves little undone to ensure the happiness of his imperial consort. A tender father, he literally adores his children with an almost maternal fervor, and often magnanimously deprives himself of the keen pleasure which the discharge of the clerical duties of kingship confers in order to watch over his darling little Grand Duke and Grand Duchesses and to see that sunshine brightens those lives dear to millions. What, for instance, could be more touching or sympathetic than the picture—which courtiers draw for us—of the dread autocrat of all the Russias anxiously superintending the details of the bathing of his little son, the Grand Duke Alexis, at the height of the diplomatic storm raised by the North Sea incident? What could be more idyllic than the pretty human weakness betokened by the joyful exclamation with which the great potentate suddenly interrupted Rojdestvensky who was making a report on the Baltic Squadron: "But are you aware he weighs 14 lbs.?" "Who, your Majesty?" asked the Admiral, his mind still entangled in questions of displacement, quick-firing guns, and other kindred matters. "The Heir to the throne," answered the happy father. Touches of nature like this offer a refreshing contrast to the Byzantine stiffness of the autocrat bending over his table and writing marginal glosses.
A most obliging disposition also marks his intercourse with foreign dynasties, and perhaps warrants the sharpness with which some of their members censured my uncourtly frankness. For Tsar Nicholas has often gone out of his way to do them a good turn, and never willingly refuses their requests for concessions—