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Title: Social Transformations of the Victorian Age - A Survey of Court and Country
Author: Escott, T. H. S. (Thomas Hay Sweet), 1844-1924
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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VICTORIAN AGE***


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SOCIAL TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE VICTORIAN AGE

A Survey of Court and Country

by

T. H. S. ESCOTT

_Author of 'England, its People, Polity
and Pursuits,' &c., &c._



New York
Charles Scribner's Sons
153-157 Fifth Avenue
1897



_PREFACE_


It may be well very briefly to explain the relation in which the present
work stands to a survey, not a history, of modern England undertaken by
the same author some years ago. That earlier work was originally published
by Messrs Cassell and Co. in two volumes. It was reprinted, first by them,
secondly by Messrs Chapman and Hall, in a single volume. Into that
re-issue of his _England: Its People, Polity, and Pursuits_ (the labour of
revision being much lightened by the obliging help of Mr Francis
Drummond), the author introduced certain references to social or
legislative changes effected since the original edition of the work
appeared. Without organic disturbance of its plan, and risk of consequent
confusion to the reader, it would have been impossible to bring down that
book to the year 1897. The writer does not in the following pages
pre-suppose any knowledge of his former book on the part of the readers of
his present one. He has, however, held himself absolved from the duty of
repeating in this book minute accounts of institutions fully described in
its predecessor. Such repetition seemed the more undesirable because the
earlier book is still in wide circulation here; while it has been
translated into several European languages, and has been adopted as a text
book in the higher grade State schools of Germany,[1] and of other
countries. The method of workmanship adopted in _Social Transformations of
the Victorian Age_ is identical with that pursued in the case of _England,
Etc._

This new book being, like its predecessor, not a history, but a series of
different views from a common standpoint, the sketches of national life
and character as well as of national institutions at work, have in all
cases been made from personal observation; supplemented by the assistance
of the highest experts in their different departments to whom the writer
had access. Often, he is glad to say, the same private friends who helped
him in the seventies have been able to renew that help in the nineties.
Thus, Sir Charles Dilke, Sir Robert Herbert, Mr Mundella, Mr Archibald
Milman of the House of Commons, and Mr Albert Pell have generally and
specifically repeated the assistance lent to him twenty years earlier. In
most cases it is hoped the assistance given has been acknowledged in its
proper place. In many cases the advantages of this service extend beyond
any particular passage. In all which relates to the new schemes of local
government the writer is particularly indebted to Mr Henry Chaplin or
members of his staff; to Sir Henry Fowler; to Sir Charles Dilke; to the
Rev. J. Charles Cox, LL.D., of Holdenby, as in ecclesiastical matters to
the Rev. A. L. Foulkes of Steventon, and to the Rev. H. W. Tucker, D.D.,
of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. In references to
certain phases of social history, especially about the early railway
period, he has learned much from Lord Carlingford, Mr Markham Spofforth,
Mr J. C. Parkinson, and from Sir W. H. Russell. And finally he would
specially thank several gentlemen of the Education Department, as well as
the Vice-President himself, Sir John Gorst. It is hoped that, as in the
case of the writer's _England_, so in that of his new book, the
collaboration of those who are, in their different provinces, experts, has
ensured a more uniform accuracy than in a volume dealing with such a
variety of subjects would otherwise have been attainable.

T. H. S. E.



_CONTENTS_


                                                                  PAGE

  CHAPTER I

    TWO EPOCHS OF VICTORIAN SOCIETY CONTRASTED,                      1

  CHAPTER II

    THE NEW WEALTH,                                                 13

  CHAPTER III

    TRANSFORMATION BY STEAM,                                        27

  CHAPTER IV

    THE ARISTOCRACY OF WEALTH AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS,               39

  CHAPTER V

    THE RICH MEN FROM THE EAST,                                     53

  CHAPTER VI

    SOCIAL CITIZENSHIP AS A MORAL GROWTH OF VICTORIAN ENGLAND,      67

  CHAPTER VII

    THE NEW ERA IN ENGLISH PARISHES,                                77

  CHAPTER VIII

    THE NEW ERA IN ENGLISH COUNTIES,                                92

  CHAPTER IX

    COUNTY COUNCILS AND CLASS FUSION,                              103

  CHAPTER X

    THE SOCIAL FUSING AND ORGANIZING OF THE TWO NATIONS
    OF 'SIBYL,'                                                    115

  CHAPTER XI

    FROM AN UNTAUGHT GENERATION TO FREE SCHOOLS,                   132

  CHAPTER XII

    THE LADDER OF EDUCATION,                                       151

  CHAPTER XIII

    THE GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS AS MIRRORS OF THE AGE,                168

  CHAPTER XIV

    THE NEW OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE,                                  179

  CHAPTER XV

    FROM THE OLD SOCIAL ORDER TO THE NEW,                          193

  CHAPTER XVI

    'THE PLAY'S THE THING,'                                        206

  CHAPTER XVII

    THE STRANGER WITHIN OUR GATES AND OUR OWN TEEMING
    MILLIONS,                                                      220

  CHAPTER XVIII

    THE HOUSE OF COMMONS AS A LANDMARK OF POLITICAL
    PROGRESS UNDER QUEEN VICTORIA,                                 238

  CHAPTER XIX

    CROWN, COUNTRY AND COMMONS,                                    259

  CHAPTER XX

    ROYALTY AS A SOCIAL FORCE,                                     274

  CHAPTER XXI

    CROWN AND SWORD,                                               290

  CHAPTER XXII

    FROM WOODEN WALLS TO FLOATING ENGINES,                         311

  CHAPTER XXIII

    TRANSFORMATIONS OF VICTORIAN SCIENCE,                          320

  CHAPTER XXIV

    CECILIA'S TRIUMPHS,                                            337

  CHAPTER XXV

    TRANSFORMED AND TRANSFORMING ART,                              349

  CHAPTER XXVI

    POPULAR CULTURE IN THE CRUCIBLE,                               362

  CHAPTER XXVII

    NEWSPAPER PRESS TRANSFORMATION SCENES,                         380

  CHAPTER XXVIII

    TRANSFORMATIONS IN INVALID LIFE,                               388

  CHAPTER XXIX

    TRANSFORMATIONS OF RELIGIOUS THOUGHT,                          398

  CHAPTER XXX

    THE QUEEN'S SUBJECTS AT PLAY--ACTIVE OR SEDENTARY,             408

  CHAPTER XXXI

    THE REIGN OF LAW AND ITS TRANSFORMATIONS:--HOME AND
    COLONIAL,                                                      422

  INDEX                                                            439



Social Transformations



CHAPTER I

TWO EPOCHS OF VICTORIAN SOCIETY CONTRASTED

    Difference between English society in the earlier and later years of
    the Queen's reign illustrated from the composition of Hyde Park
    crowds, first, when the Park was a playground for the Royal children,
    and a parade ground for social celebrities, secondly, as it has become
    since. Different generations of Victorian Royalty. Great noblemen,
    Lord Lansdowne, Lord Eglinton, Lord Shrewsbury, Lord Shaftesbury, The
    Duke of Wellington. Statesmen, Earl Grey, Sir Robert Peel. Other
    celebrities, social, or intellectual, or literary. The dandies, some
    of them sketched by Thackeray, Morgan O'Connell, the original of 'The
    O'Mulligan,' Alfred Montgomery, Alexis Soyer, Lord Adolphus
    Fitzclarence, 1848-51. Tall forms of Thackeray and Jacob Omnium
    overtopping the crowd. The editor of the _Times_, J. T. Delane, on
    horseback. The absence in later days of eminent individuals like
    these; the old editor and the new. A. W. Kinglake among the last
    riders in Hyde Park of veterans who write. Commerce in the Park and in
    society represented by 'King' Hudson before and after his fall. Lord
    Tollemache, of Peckforton, the last of great nobles familiar to
    English crowds.


As it is to-day, so, during the earlier years of the present reign, both
before and after the Great Exhibition of 1851, Hyde Park was the social
parade ground, not only of the capital, but of the Kingdom. Then, as now,
its human panorama was the representative reflection of the social
conditions not less than of the typical personages of the era.

Throughout the later forties or the fifties, the loungers from the
provinces were certainly not less numerous in Hyde Park than to-day.
Foreign visitors were beginning to be a feature in the Metropolitan
summer. But the scale on which the London season half a century ago was
observed was so small as to resemble but faintly its successors known to
the present generation. Society scarcely exceeded the dimensions of a
family party. Hyde Park itself seemed a Royal pleasure ground first, a
popular resort afterwards, to which strangers were, as to the Park at
Windsor, admitted by favour of the first Constitutional Sovereign, to
behold the pastimes of the rising generations of Royalty. The little boy
and girl, steering their ponies through the maze of carriages, horses, or
pedestrians, were the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal. Observers
noted with appreciative criticism the progress made from day to day by the
young riders. Other of the Queen's descendants of age still more tender,
followed with their parents in an open carriage, the exact build of which
had been introduced by the Prince Consort, and were manifestly being
instructed by their father or mother in the art of acknowledging
gracefully the respectful salutations of spectators.

The company crowding the Park, and most familiar to London onlookers
differed from the crowds of succeeding decades, first, in the monotony of
its composition, secondly, in the commanding ascendancy of some among the
individuals whom it numbered. This was a kind of feudal age in our social
development. The monarch was surrounded by subjects, the splendour of
whose station, or the lustre of whose endowments caused them to shine
forth in their exalted firmament, with a light of their own not reflected
by, though comparable with, that of Royalty itself. Two noblemen, during
the first quarter of a century of the Queen's reign, one Scotch, the other
English, seemed to eclipse the rest of the peerage. The Earl of Eglinton,
of the period now referred to, was famous, even among Englishmen, from the
tournament held some years earlier in 1839 at Eglinton Castle, and
described by Mr Disraeli in his last novel, _Endymion_. The lady who had
been the Queen of Beauty upon the occasion, the Duchess of Somerset, was
then a synonym for all which women envy or men admire. When she appeared
in Hyde Park, the crowd gazed at her carriage with the awed admiration
that they bestowed on those born to thrones. North of the Tweed, Lord
Eglinton summed up to his adoring countrymen, in his own person, all the
influence, the dignity, the splendour, the power, and all the other
attributes of greatness with which the principle of birth could be
endowed. What Lord Eglinton was in Scotland, or to the natives of Scotland
in London, Lord Lansdowne[2] had long been to all classes of Englishmen,
not more in his native county than in London. Here, during the earlier
Victorian seasons, he was conspicuous in Hyde Park, generally by his
perfect demeanour of high breeding, specially by this blue coat and
voluminous white neck investment. After him, slowly riding on a horse
whose familiarity can best be expressed to readers of to-day by comparing
it with that sometime attained by the white cob of Mr Lowe, Lord
Sherbrooke, there appeared, in the blue coat and white trousers of the old
régime, the figure before whom all heads instinctively uncovered, the
great Duke of Wellington. On horseback, also, were two other men, second
only in eminence to the Duke himself, Lord Palmerston, and Sir Robert
Peel. The first still wore his years lightly and was as much at home in
the saddle as in the House of Commons. Sir Robert Peel, still a remarkably
handsome man, had the enthusiasm of the equestrian. Those who can recall
the loose connection between Bishop Samuel Wilberforce and the steed which
he bestrode, can form an idea of the 'seat' of the great Sir Robert.

Next to the representatives of the reigning family and to the statesmen
who were the props of the young Queen's throne, the attention of the Hyde
Park crowd was fixed upon a little group of gentlemen, remarkable for the
perfection of their toilettes, and for the special attention manifestly
bestowed upon their hair, not as to-day cut down to the scalp, but falling
gracefully over the white collar. These were the dandies. The last of the
tribe has not long passed away. But as a race they have left no
successors. The late Mr Alfred Montgomery had for his associates Count
Alfred D'Orsay, whose Christian name was perpetuated by a dandies' club.
'The Alfred' flourished in Albemarle Street till a decade or two since.
Its founder survived till the nineties, Alexis Soyer, high priest of the
mysteries of the fine art of cookery as well as the original of
Thackeray's 'Mirobolant' in _Pendennis_. Others who sat for their
portraits to the novelist were well known in the fashionable section of
the Hyde Park crowd. Morgan John O'Connell, a leader of dandies, was of
course there. There, too, was that other O'Connell, known by his friends
as Lord Kilmarlcock, from whom Thackeray never denied that he had taken
the traits of The O'Mulligan. Possibly, too, there might have been seen
here Mr Arcedeckne, whom the same novelist has immortalised in 'Harry
Foker,' and who thus early in the Victorian era prefigured the social
friendship since grown more common between the gentlemen who live to
labour, and their comrades who live to enjoy. Still more noticeable among
the Hyde Park loungers on foot, standing not far from D'Orsay and
Montgomery were the two inseparables, the then Sir George Wombwell and
Lord Adolphus, better known as 'Dolly,' Fitzclarence, the latter curiously
like Lawrence's picture of George IV.

The editor of the _Times_, J. T. Delane, scarcely less powerful in the
social and political system than in his own office, would have been
mistaken, by those who did not know him personally, for the plain country
gentleman whose life he liked to lead. His square, neatly compacted
figure, with cleanly shaven upper lip, and penetrating, but pleasant,
expression of eyes, was among the last to enter and to leave the Park. Not
less well known to most Londoners and to many provincials were two of Mr
Delane's literary friends, though not both of them wrote for his paper.
One of these was Thackeray, towering above all the smaller men. The other
was tall Thackeray's taller friend known to his contemporaries as 'Big'
Higgins, still better known to the public at large as Jacob Omnium. The
two were generally to be found together. The eyes of all passengers were
strained, and their tongues silenced as these two tall lumbering figures
manoeuvred slowly up or down the Row; not so much ridden in then as it was
afterwards.

But neither the intellectual workers, nor the social butterflies attracted
more attention than a middle-aged, rather over-dressed lady in a very
gorgeous carriage, which might have become a Lord Mayor, and a big, heavy
man, with drab-coloured, wiry hair, who sometimes sat beside her. The
chariot and its occupants seemed to interest the country visitors in the
Park more than did the distinguished persons already mentioned. The
gentleman was George Hudson, the 'railway King,' who had not only made a
fortune himself, but had been the cause of many others rolling in wealth
scarcely less than his own. Within a few years he was still visible in the
same enclosure, not, however, in the gaudy equipage, but as a pedestrian.
The crash, in fact, had come. King Hudson had fallen on evil days. But
having dragged none down in his descent, nor disclosed any secrets of the
prison house, he kept friends who helped him in his adversity. The house
at Knightsbridge, which is now the French Embassy, knew of course Hudson
no more. Its fashionable assemblages since it became a diplomatic
residence cannot have been more brilliant than those which met there when
Hudson was its master. Nor, indeed, has its social splendour since been
eclipsed by any of those more recent hosts whom commercial success has
incorporated among the sons and daughters of fashion. Hudson's dinner
table, or Mrs Hudson's reception room, were graced, habitually by the
great Duke of Wellington, by the Duke of Cambridge, and occasionally by
other Princes of the blood Royal. Nor, during his decline, did Hudson fail
to carry himself with good humour, and even dignity. His simple, harmless,
almost pathetic vanity had perhaps combined with his shrewd Yorkshire
common sense to support him under his adversities. A sum which realised
£600 a year had been subscribed for him, the trustees of his annuity being
Sir George Elliot, and Mr Hugh Taylor. His wife and his sons were alive.
But he preferred living in a solitary lodging in London. His freedom from
all anxiety made this season of eclipse, he protested, the happiest time
of his life. A courteous recognition from the great Lord Grey in the Park,
or the kindly concession to him of the chair which he had occupied, in
other years, in the smoking room of the Carlton, shed something more than
a transitory gleam of comfort upon his darkened fortunes, and were recited
by the old man with his north country burr to the friends with whom, to
the last, he used to dine. Like another fallen star of a different system,
in an earlier age, Beau Brummell, Hudson passed several years of his
eclipse at a hotel in Calais, where he was visited by more friends than
had ever looked in upon the great dandy of the Georgian epoch during the
twilight hours of his life.

Such, then, were the chief among the more representative figures to be met
with on the brightest and most varied of the social parade grounds of the
capital during the earlier years of the Victorian epoch.

No single element conspicuous in the Hyde Park of the later years of the
Victorian era was absent from that earlier crowd at whose composition we
have glanced. The social prominence of English plutocracy whether
represented by the great money brokers, whom, Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic,
Piccadilly has always known, or by Yorkshire Hudson, whom it knew fitfully
during the short spell of his splendour, has been, from Elizabethan or
still earlier times, a feature and a force in the social economy of the
town. That which, seen between the Magazine and Apsley House, would have
most surprised Hyde Park loungers in the early Victorian days, had they
been able to lift the curtain of the future, is not the fact of the best
coaches of the Four in Hand Club being owned by men whose names have no
English sound, and whose taste for horseflesh is not hereditary; but
rather the vogue now attained by prevailing bicycles. Even here, perhaps,
one ought rather to recognize the reintroduction of a fashion whose idea
is as old as the hobby horse itself than a mode as indisputably modern as
the safety wheel or the pneumatic tyre.

The Princes and Princesses who once rode their ponies between Albert and
Stanhope Gates are now bearing a part in the government of Empires, but
are seldom for long unrepresented in the moving and glittering throng.
The 'city' in the Row is not a novelty. The Church began with Archbishop
Tait to be more prominently represented than was ever known before. The
most emancipated of bygone occupants of Lambeth would scarcely have looked
forward to the time when a cavalcade composed of archiepiscopal children,
led by a Primate himself in the van, with his Chaplain bringing up the
rear, would canter to and fro along the Row. Hyde Park is not to-day
visited by early water drinkers who believe in the virtues of the probably
forgotten spring in Kensington Gardens hard by. But not many hours after
dawn, the novelty, as to early Victorian observers it would have seemed,
may be witnessed of ladies and gentlemen issuing in bands from their
Tyburnian or Kensingtonian homes to gain an appetite for breakfast, and a
store of fresh air for the day's confinement, by making at least once the
circuit of the Park while the roads are at their emptiest, and the
dewdrops still glisten on the flowers.

Something else than the extended popularity of London's most serviceable
'lung' is suggested by the contrast between Hyde Park as it is now, and as
it was three or four decades since. The dandies are not the only feature
in the social landscape one looks for in vain. The commanding
personalities of individuals of either sex which seemed common on every
social plane thirty or forty years since have largely disappeared now. The
levelling influences of a democratic epoch have reduced to a uniformity of
unheroic proportions those who represent in our public places the
interests, the occupations, the achievements, or the society of their day.
It is called a prosaic age. It is certainly, as compared with its
predecessors, a lilliputian one. At the very zenith of his power, Mr
Gladstone in the streets or parks of London, never fixed the attention of
the crowd to the same degree as his political master, the great Sir Robert
Peel. The adroit, accomplished, and singularly successful soldier, who,
since the Duke of Cambridge's retirement, has been Commander-in-Chief,
resembles the Duke of Wellington in stature. Neither Lord Wolseley, nor
any of his contemporaries, compels as yet from street crowds the mute
veneration and awe which the simple fact of his unrivalled pre-eminence as
a subject secured for the Duke of Wellington whenever he set foot in
Piccadilly, or turned his horse's head in the direction of the Horse
Guards down Constitution Hill.

Outside the Royal Family there is no great lady who like an earlier Lady
Jersey is greeted as a queen by crowds to which she can only be a name. In
the same way, the average of efficiency in journalism was never so high as
at present, nor the editing as well as the writing and compiling of
newspapers ever more competently performed. The editor, however, of the
stamp of John Thaddeus Delane does not, nor by the circumstances of the
time could, any longer exist. The responsible head of a great newspaper
office has necessarily become less a creator of public opinion, less even
of an interpreter, which Delane signally was, of middle class English
thought, than the custodian of a commercial interest, the vicegerent of a
proprietor who regards the journal, first, as a great organ of public
opinion; secondly, as the instrument for achieving his own patriotic
purposes in his own way. While Delane was yet living, the able conductor
of another great daily journal was ambitious to fill a place like Delane's
in the social and political system. It was a sad mistake. In journalism,
more than anywhere else, as this gentleman ought to have known, given the
requisite capacity which he undoubtedly had, a man may exercise almost any
power he likes on condition that he himself remains in the background, and
neither in jest nor earnest magnifies his apostleship too much. The
consequence was, in the particular case now spoken of, that after some
years of patient forbearance on the owner's part, his solicitor waited on
the editor one fine morning at his country house, and curtly handed the
gentleman, who thought himself indispensable, a formal note of dismissal.
Stories were told of occasional collision even between Mr Delane and the
proprietary of the great newspaper. These were for the most part doubtless
apocryphal. The one thing which observers knew for certain was that when
the commercial master of the newspaper appeared during the evening in the
same room as its literary controller, Mr Delane generally found that he
had an engagement at his office. Some years after the date at which Hyde
Park retrospectively has been presented, the best, if not the only, well
known man of letters to be observed on horseback was A. W. Kinglake, the
historian of the Crimean war. When he passed away there was left
stout-hearted, short-tempered Anthony Trollope, who, up to the time of
his fatal seizure, pounded his sturdy cob so many times round the
enclosure between Cumberland and Albert Gates, just as a few hours earlier
in his study, whether in or out of the vein, he had completed a fixed
number of words of his new novel. These knights of the pen are followed
(1897) by Frederic Harrison, Leslie Stephen and W. S. Lilly. The last
quarter of a century in London finds us with many adequate representatives
of national industry and achievement. The hero who in any department sums
up the exploits and the tendencies of his age will with difficulty be
found. The fact that it is the day of great successes does not prevent its
being comparatively the age of small men. So long as the veteran Lord
Tollemache, of Peckforton, survived to drive his team in its harness of
untanned leather from Marlborough Gate to Portman Square, the peerage in
its social aspect did not lack one whom Carlyle would have admitted to be
in his way a hero. Since 1890, when Lord Tollemache died, Burke and
Debrett contain no name whose owner is the cynosure of the holiday crowd
in at all the same degree as that last survivor of those noblemen whose
figures at an earlier period of this reign were as well known to the
popular eye as their position or eccentricity was celebrated in popular
talk.



CHAPTER II

THE NEW WEALTH

    Commercial plutocracy not seen in England for the first time under
    Queen Victoria, but dates from Queen Elizabeth or earlier. Wealth,
    birth, intellect, often united in England. City traders being Lord
    Mayors who from 1452 onwards have founded noble houses. The chief
    elements in the new nineteenth century wealth considered. Gold
    discoveries in California 1848, in Australia 1850. Their transforming
    influences at home and abroad. Expert opinions of the period on the
    consequences and the durability of the new gold. Different views and
    calculations of Sir Archibald Alison, Sir Roderick Murchison,
    Chevalier and Cobden. A new civilization resting on gold. Australian
    millionaire farmers preceded millionaire gold diggers. Effects of new
    gold upon circulating and fixed wealth of England tested by property
    assessments.


'I respect the aristocracy of birth and of intellect. I do not respect the
aristocracy of wealth.' The remark is attributed to the great, or second,
Sir Robert Peel. It proceeds upon a confused view of the social principles
indicated by the words. It comes, somewhat inappropriately, from the
political successor of the William Pitt who bestowed more peerages upon
the possessors of mere wealth than any Minister before his time had done.
The distinction drawn by Sir Robert Peel between the different
aristocracies of England involves some misconceptions of social history.
In Austria there existed during the last century, there perhaps survives
faintly to this day, an antagonism between the principles of birth and of
wealth such as England has never known. With more than conventional
fitness is the Premier of the day, whether peer or commoner, the guest on
each 9th of November of the First Magistrate of London City. Within five
centuries, at least fourteen noble houses have been founded by ten Lord
Mayors.

In 1452 Sir Godfrey Feilding, mercer, was the Lord Mayor from whom the
Earls of Denbigh descend. Five years later another trader, Sir Godfrey
Boleine sat in the chair of Whittington. One of his lineage, a generation
or two later, as Earl of Wiltshire, gave Henry VIII. his second wife, and
England her first Protestant Queen. Some ninety years thereafter, Lord
Mayor Sir John Gresham, grocer, supplied from his numerous family a Duke
of Buckingham, and a Lord Braybrooke. In 1557 Sir Thomas Cooke, draper,
was installed in the Mansion House. To his descendants at least two
patents of nobility were granted, the peerages of Salisbury and of
Fitzwilliam. In 1570 a clothworker, Sir Rowland Heyward, became chief of
the City Corporation. He was the ancestor of the Marquises of Bath.
Fifteen years subsequently to this date, Sir Wolston Dixie, of the
Skinners Company, was at once the Sovereign of the City and the forerunner
of the peers bearing the titles of Compton or of Northampton. During the
earliest years of the seventeenth century there reigned to the East of
Temple Bar Sir John Houblon, a grocer. His descendants were to number
amongst them the Irish Viscounts who in the fulness of time gave to Queen
Victoria in Lord Palmerston the most popular and powerful Premier during
the first half of her reign. Within another hundred years Lord Mayor Sir
Samuel Dashwood, vintner, became a progenitor of future nobles only less
prolific than his sixteenth century predecessor, Sir Thomas Cooke. Those
who sprang from him obtained in due course the peerages of Warwick and
Brooke. When in 1711, as Tory Ministers, Harley and Bolingbroke dined at
the Guildhall, they were entertained by Sir Gilbert Heathcote whose
posterity was ennobled by the styles of Aveland and Donne. One of Lord
Salisbury's Christian names, and his second title, that of Viscount
Cranborne, perpetuate the memory of the Sir Christopher Gascoigne who was
Lord Mayor of London during the first Ministry of Henry Pelham, in 1753.

These instances serve circumstantially to remind us that the titled, like
the untitled aristocracy of the country has always represented, as it
represents to-day, in nearly equal proportions industry and intelligence
in enterprise, perhaps even more than antiquity of descent. The dramatic
circumstances of his rise and of his fall; the extent to which the latest
developments of science, adventure and speculation were embodied in the
person and in the career of the York linendraper's son, make George
Hudson, the 'railway King' specially conspicuous amongst those on whom
shrewdness and opportunity conferred material success. But the type is not
merely as old as the present century. It has existed as long as English
civilization itself.

When Queen Victoria came to the throne, there was little in the signs of
the times to betoken as near at hand the national prosperity which was
firmly established before she had been seated on her throne five and
twenty years. National depression followed the exhaustion of English
energy and finance which had been caused by the struggle with France. Long
after the heavy war taxation had ended with Waterloo, and the conqueror of
Waterloo had as ruler of the State reduced army expenses to an
unexpectedly low figure, the national fortunes were at an alarmingly low
ebb. Sinecures had been nearly abolished. A further saving of expense had
been expected by the partial or practical disbandment of the Yeomanry. But
between 1815 and 1845 the series of bad years was broken only in 1822-5.
Even then, English enthusiasm at the liberation of South America from
Spanish rule was followed by reaction consequent upon the sinking of
British millions in loans to the Spanish Republics of the New World.
During the first decade of the Victorian epoch, better harvests coincided
with the importation of gold in small quantities from the Ural mines. The
railway enthusiasm provided fresh employment for the working classes. More
even than by gold and railways was done by the fiscal reforms due to
Cobden, Bright, Peel, Villiers and Gladstone to give impetus to trade, and
commerce, and to make England the market of the world. Hence the origin
and multiplication of English millionaires. The country was thus
gladdened by fitful gleams of a long unknown prosperity. But budgets
continued to be bad, and Whig finance was in chronic disrepute. During no
small part of a century, English exports had remained almost stationary at
£51,000,000 a year. The distress was aggravated by the cotton spinning
failures of 1842-3. On the eve of these the Burnley guardians told the
Home Secretary of the inadequacy of their funds for the relief of local
necessities. So gloomy indeed seemed the national fortune, that the
Government of the day sold the Crown rights over Epping Forest. Nor as a
fact was it till the forty-fifth year of the Queen's reign that in 1882,
this historic pleasure ground presented those scenes with which it is
chiefly identified to-day.[3]

The first of the most striking transformations of the Victorian era took
place in the eleventh year of the Queen's reign and continued during two
or three years thereafter. The gold discoveries in California began in
1848. They differed from those which had preceded them elsewhere on
American soil in the circumstance that the new treasures were distributed
among the entire population, and were not confined to a small band of
despotic aliens, as had happened under the sway of the Spanish chiefs and
the Incas of Peru. In 1850-1 the same precious metal as three years
earlier had been yielded to diggers on the Californian slopes and on the
banks of the Sacramento River was found to exist in the alluvial plains of
Ballarat in our own Australian colonies. The practical value of these new
sources of wealth was variously regarded by political critics and
scientific economists. The French Chevalier, and our own Cobden predicted
as a result of the new gold supplies a fall in the value of money, a
revolution in property, the doubling of wages and prices and the
impoverishment of capitalists. Others foretold the speedy exhaustion of
the new gold mines. That view was sanctioned by the expert authority of
the famous geologist, Sir Roderick Murchison, who spoke of the limits of
the recently discovered gold as 'Nature's Currency Restriction Act.' Sir
Archibald Alison, not an incautious person, and certainly no friend to
innovation, elaborately supported a contrary opinion. He engaged in a
series of minute calculations for the purpose of showing that the gold
supply now available could not be used up within four centuries. When the
alluvial soil was drained of its precious deposits, there would, as Alison
argued, remain the parent rocks, the cost of working which seemed likely
to diminish and not to increase with time. Nor was this authority less
sanguine as to the beneficent effects upon all classes and interests of
the new gold. Commerce, he argued, would be promoted at every turn. With
increasing production there would be fresh employment, a practical
decrease in taxation, and generally in the payments made by the poorer
classes to the rich. Before the Australian discoveries of 1850, scarcity
of gold had, as Alison contended, raised the value of money, and
emphasized the difference between the rich and the poor. The Currency
Restriction Act had been passed in 1844. 'Nature's Grand Currency
Extension Act' was the name given by the historian to the fresh sources of
wealth revealed in Bendigo and Ballarat. The facts and figures were
something to the following effect. The discoveries of 1850-1 had added
sixteen or eighteen millions to the world's money in comparison with the
eight or ten millions which in the fifteenth century and onwards had been
provided by Mexico and Peru. On the other hand the economist Chevalier
anticipated that, as a consequence of the new gold, money in ten years
would fall by one half. 'In 1800,' so ran the argument of this economist,
'the annual addition to the gold of Christendom was barely two and a half
millions. In 1848 it amounted to thirty-eight millions. In 1858 the total
was a hundred and ninety millions. Hence,' he insisted, 'between 1858 and
1868 the additions to the world's available stock of the precious metal
would be at least as much as the aggregate of additions during the three
preceding centuries, that is four hundred millions sterling.' The stages
in this induction may be thus briefly epitomized. During the three and a
half centuries since the voyages of Columbus and of Cabot opened the New
World to the Old, two thousand millions sterling had been added to the
gold and silver of our planet. The hectolitre of wheat before A.D. 1492
cost in Paris from 2s. 6d. to 2s. 9d. Between 1848-58 it cost 16s. 8d. In
other words if the usual grain test be applied, money had fallen during
three and a half centuries to nearly one-sixth of its original value. It
was upon calculations like these as well as upon certain other
considerations that Chevalier based his argument that the fresh influx of
gold would make money fall again by three-fourths of its value. This was
in effect to say that to procure the same amount of subsistence as
hitherto four times as much gold would be required. Cobden's anticipations
were to the same effect. So general was the belief of an impeding
depreciation of gold and appreciation of silver that Holland actually
demonetized gold and adopted silver as its standard money. All these fears
were doomed to disappointment. The hopes were more than realized. The
third quarter of our present century has proved the most prosperous which
modern Europe or the world has ever known. A careful and voluminous writer
on this subject, the late R. H. Patterson[4] attributes this
miscalculation to the 'famous currency principle' which grew up after the
great war.

The agencies that have changed the material basis underlying the structure
of English society were thus fairly now in operation. They were
supplemented by other circumstances all tending to produce the same
result. Chief among these was the fact of the English coal supply
surpassing that of other countries in its abundance and its universal
distribution by land and sea. The character and the progress of the
Victorian era are due in no small degree to the sagacity and shrewdness of
the Prince Consort. He was now the first to recognize that the time had
come when the cultivation of the artistic sense was alone needed to make
the English workman the best in that world of which from the days of
Chatham onwards, his country had been pre-eminently the workshop. French
industry had not even yet recovered from the blow dealt to it by the
revolution of the last century. That effacement of an earlier régime had
differed in important particulars from all analogous movements in earlier
ages. The havoc, the massacres, the proscriptions and confiscations of
ancient Rome during her passage from a Republic to an Empire, had
seriously affected the highest classes alone. The substitution for the
French monarchy of a Robespierre first, of a Napoleon afterwards, had
involved all orders in a common ruin. The Queen's husband made it the
business of his life to insure the maintenance of the advantage which
history itself had thus given to English industry and manufacture, and
which the fresh supply of the precious metal directly favoured.

The universal attraction to Englishmen of the Australian gold fields may
be summarized in a very few facts and figures. In 1852 the English
emigrants to the treasure stores of the Antipodes were 369,000; a larger
number, that is, than was represented by the increase of the Queen's
subjects at home through the excess of births over deaths. Our population
in fact stood still in order that Australia, like California, might be
peopled. During the four or five years of the gold fever under the
Southern Cross, we sent out 1,356,000; more, in other words, than the
whole population of Scotland at the time of the Union. The annual average
of English emigrants was thus a trifle over a quarter of a million.
Somewhat later, the collapse of the railway mania in England and the
potato famine in Ireland, swelled the average total of this annual exodus
to nearly half a million.

Other results of the influx of gold during the second Victorian decade
remain to be epitomized. The precious metal in the Bank of England, from
less than eight millions in 1847, increased to twenty-two millions in
1853. The Bank rate during the whole decade was two per cent. The growth
of trade was suddenly but steadily promoted. During 1853, twenty millions
more of gold money than within any preceding twelvemonth changed hands
among the public. Incidentally, it should be mentioned that a belief in
the permanence of the low interest rate just mentioned caused Mr
Gladstone, when Chancellor of the Exchequer in April 1853, to bring
forward a scheme for the conversion of a portion of the three per cent.
Consols, into Consols bearing a lower rate of interest, and that the
interest on Exchequer Bills was a penny a day or one and a half per cent,
per annum. The harvests of 1853-4 in England had been bad. The fresh
purchases by the gold mine countries of English goods fully compensated us
for the loss from this cause. The value of that custom may be judged from
the figures which show the cost of life at the gold mines. In the early
fifties flour rose to four times, meat to five times their usual value. An
egg or a pill cost a dollar each.[5] For a miner in tolerable luck £2 were
not an exceptional day's earnings. Nor between the years 1849-55 and
onwards were the effects of the gold discoveries on foreign and domestic
trade less noticeable. Within a single period of twelve months, the value
of our exports increased by one-fourth. Most of these were required by
consumers in California or in Australia as the case might be. The rise of
wages owing to the rush to the gold fields amounted in 1851-2 nowhere to
less than twenty per cent.; in some trades it was twenty-five per cent. In
London the price of bricks was increased by fifty per cent. Liverpool,
Manchester, Birmingham shared the general prosperity. Agricultural labour
was not paid at a rate proportionate to its scarcity. The extent of that
scarcity may be judged from Sir Morton Peto's suggestion that the Militia
should be called in to complete the operations of harvesting which were
interrupted by the inducements offered by contractors to navvies at wages
varying between four shillings and threepence, and four shillings and
sixpence a day. Thus the competition of the gold fields industry was
directly instrumental, not only in increasing trade, and therefore
production and wealth in the mother country, but in improving the
condition of the industrial classes at home.

This rise in wages was not however a pure gain. Before the end of 1855
prices had increased by nearly one-half. The Preston strike of 1853-4
opened that campaign between industry and capital which has been paid for
by the representatives of both with so serious a deduction from their
profits. Before the Preston strike, the unions had been mainly political
organizations; thereafter they became industrial. Meanwhile on the other
side of separating oceans new Englands were being created with incredible
rapidity by the new gold. Already indeed Her Majesty's subjects, without
leaving their native land knew something of the Eldorado which Australia
constituted even before the treasures of Ballarat and Bendigo had been
unearthed. While as yet the nugget was a prize of the future, fortunes
were realized by the shearing of flocks. Long before the 1851 Exhibition
the Australian millionaire, returned to his native land, had become
familiar to Victorian London. He did not yet often live in Grosvenor
Square. He was to be found frequently in the best houses of the scarcely
less palatial Westbourne Terrace or at a later date in Rutland Gate. The
gold which enriched England created Australia, whose capitals can scarcely
be said to have existed before the thirteenth or fourteenth year of the
present reign. Gold gave to Victoria civilization and government. It
built Melbourne. The same omnipotent agency changed New South Wales from a
sparsely-inhabited tract to a populous and prosperous State. The extreme
youth, as national life is computed, of Australia will perhaps best be
realized when it is remembered that the founder of Melbourne, John Pascoe
Falkner was yet alive, and welcomed to his capital the Duke of Edinburgh
on the occasion of his visit to the Antipodes in 1860; and that Henty,
Falkner's associate and senior, survived at least to 1882.

In no department of industry were the immediate profits of Australian gold
more appreciable than in our transoceanic mercantile marine. During the
fifties European emigrants crowded every ship. Seamen's wages leapt up by
a bound to £4 a month.[6] Between 1851 and 1859 the annual rate of
emigrants was a hundred thousand. The gold raised during this period in
Victoria fell little short of eighty nine millions. Imports rose to thirty
pounds per head of the Victoria population, exports rose to fifty-six
pounds per head. Previously to 1851 New South Wales could not be said to
possess a foreign trade. In less than thirty years, by 1878, this commerce
was reckoned annually by thirteen millions of exports, fifteen millions of
imports. In New South Wales, too, the gold excitement was followed
immediately by prosperity in coal fields which yielded not less than a
million sterling. These are the circumstances that, rather than any
domestic speculations or industries, explain the growth of the London
plutocracy which has been so prominent a feature of the era now under
consideration. Under Queen Elizabeth and the Cecils, fortunes made by
lucky ventures in American and Indian trade were conspicuous. Under the
Georges, after the victories of our great Admirals Howe, Jervis, Anson,
foreign wealth was poured into England continuously long before large
revenues were realized by the development of our mineral wealth. It has
been already said that during some time after the Queen's accession there
prevailed general distress chequered by the influx of gold from Russia and
by the beginnings of railway enterprise. From the earliest fifties a
change for the better set in, with what results the income tax returns
will show. The impost was extended to Ireland in 1855. In that year the
assessed incomes were three hundred and eight millions. Ten years later
the amount was three hundred and ninety-six millions. After another decade
it was five hundred and seventy-one millions. In the financial year 1882-3
the figures were £612,836,058.



CHAPTER III

TRANSFORMATION BY STEAM

    All projects of increased speed in locomotion denounced when first
    proposed. Sir Henry Herbert, M.P., in seventeenth century, on journeys
    between Edinburgh and London in a fortnight. Parliament on railways.
    Lord Clanricarde, Colonel Sibthorp, etc. George Hudson, the railway
    King. Charles Guernsey, the original of Thackeray's 'de la Pluche.'
    Progress and sequel of the railway fever of 1846. The Queen's first
    railway journey. Hudson and his fall. Comparison between mines and
    railways as sources of national wealth. Mr W. H. Mallock's
    demonstration that the working classes of the United Kingdom have
    increased in wealth more noticeably even than the upper classes.


The truth of Mr Disraeli's humorous description, in his Edinburgh speech
of 1868, of boots at the Blue Boar agreeing with the chambermaid at the
rival Red Lion about the folly and iniquity of railways, appears to be
rooted in the constitution of human nature. All readers are familiar with
the picture of the English traveller, drawn by Mr Apperley in his famous
_Quarterly_ article, _The Road_. This imaginary passenger had gone to
sleep in the days when public conveyances could not be counted on to
perform more than some half dozen miles an hour. He awakes in the era of
the lightning coaches and quicksilver mails timed to perform twice that
distance within the sixty minutes. If, as archæologists say, a certain
Ericthonius of Athens[7] invented some fifteen centuries B.C. the first
chariot of which authentic record exists, he, too, was perhaps regarded as
an enemy rather than as a benefactor by some among his amazed
contemporaries. More than 3,000 years after the Attic revolutionary an
English Member of Parliament, Sir Henry Herbert, said that a man who
proposed to travel to and fro between Scotland and England within seven
days each way would be voted fit for Bedlam.

By 1843, thirteen years, that is, after the historic steam locomotive
between Manchester and Liverpool which caused the death of Mr Huskisson,
the great railway systems of England existed in a form more or less
complete. Eighteen hundred miles in all were open for traffic. Parliament
had authorized the expenditure on them of seventy million pounds. Sixty
million pounds had been so spent already. An average of three hundred
thousand passengers was carried weekly. Neither by the opinion of
parliament nor of the public were railways regarded with unequivocal
favour, or even at all times with toleration. Colonel Sibthorp could say
in the House of Commons that he considered all railways as public frauds
and private robberies. Lord Fitzwilliam, Lord Lansdowne, the Duke of
Wellington, Lord Clanricarde, all spoke of George Stephenson's invention
in the same contemptuous tones. The _Morning Post_ in February 1842 dwelt
with satisfaction on the fact that 'the Queen never travels by railway;'
while Prince Albert who did sometimes patronize the train between Windsor
and London was obliged only too often to protest: 'Not quite so fast, Mr
Conductor, if you please!' Within four months of the _Morning Post's_
announcement, the _Railway Times_ was able to record that Her Majesty made
her first trip on the Great Western. A few months later the Royal
passenger accomplished the distance between Southampton and Vauxhall in
less than two hours without a hitch. Five years subsequently the Queen and
Prince Consort journeyed to Cambridge for the installation of His Royal
Highness as Chancellor in a train driven, as Her Majesty records, by
George Hudson, the railway King. Between 1836 and 1846 the English mind
was fairly reconciled to the new method of transit. The day had finally
gone by when, as they had done a little previously, a firm of London
solicitors could refuse the business of the Brighton line on the plea that
coaches would drive off the trains in a month. From 1836 and onward the
Liverpool and Manchester, the London and Birmingham, and the North Midland
lines were all paying ten per cent. During 1846, the year of the railway
mania, 440 railway Bills passed authorizing the construction of 8,470
miles and the raising of £180,138,901.

This was the zenith of the shortlived splendour of George Hudson, the
railway King. He has been seen already in these pages, amid the Hyde Park
crowd in the early forties, resting his large heavy person in his wife's
chariot. The man himself had first become known on the City Board of
Health in York. Afterwards he was elected Mayor of his native town. In
that capacity he made the acquaintance of George Stephenson. In 1845 the
son of the York linendraper, now a power in the railway world was returned
to the House of Commons as Member for Sunderland. His parliamentary career
is alone, if at all, remembered to-day by the frequent encounters on the
floor of the House between himself and Mr Bernal Osborne. Diverting
memories of these were often recalled for the benefit of his friends by
Hudson's antagonist, with the generous admission of the raconteur that he
had, in the ex-King, usually found his match, if not in humorous retort
and thrust, yet in substantial argument. Two years after the 'King' drove
the engine which took the Queen and her Consort to Cambridge, suspicions
of Hudson's motive and conduct took (April 19, 1849) a definite shape. The
shareholders of the Midland demanded a Committee of Inquiry. The
incriminated Chairman resigned his post, and quietly accepted his
permanent eclipse. It was noticed to his credit at the time, and has not
since been denied, that he made no efforts at self exculpation, disclosed
no names or confidential transactions, and thus refused, as unquestionably
it was in his power to do, to associate persons of the highest
consideration with himself in his fall. Hudson was only the type of a
class whose members were invested by the railway passion of the period
with brief splendour and unsubstantial prosperity. In the Upper House,
Lord Clanricarde mentioned how Charles Guernsey, a broker's clerk, had
subscribed fifty-two thousand pounds for shares in the London and York
line. This was the undoubted original of Thackeray's 'de la Pluche.' The
total of his gains appears to have amounted to thirty thousand pounds.
The essential facts of the sequel with very little of fictitious
amplification are given by the novelist.

A reaction, as has been seen, followed the morbid enterprise of 1846. Its
results, however, have endured to the present hour. In 1845 the United
Kingdom possessed only two thousand four hundred miles of iron way. The
capital invested upon these was only eighty-eight millions. Before 1850,
the capital had increased to two hundred and thirty millions. To-day the
aggregate miles of the railways of the United Kingdom are little, if at
all short, of twenty thousand. The expenditure has been six hundred and
thirty millions. The gross annual income is sixty millions. In order to
appreciate with approximate accuracy the part played by the steam
locomotive in the creation of nineteenth century wealth in England, or to
define with practical distinctness that familiar term 'the railway
interest;' it is necessary to examine this matter more in detail. In 1855
the total of capital represented by the United Kingdom railways was
£297,584,709. In 1894, the latest date to which the Board of Trade returns
are published, the total was £985,387,855. After forty years, therefore,
the railway investments of these Islands had increased by £687,803,146.

Another chief source of national wealth and industrial employment during
this reign has been provided by mining enterprise. In respect of the money
value of each, what are the relations which the yield of subterranean
labour has borne to the enterprises of steam upon the surface of the
earth? In 1855 the value of all the minerals brought to the light of day
is expressed by the figures £29,579,001. The figures referring to railways
for the same year were, it will be remembered, seen to be £21,507,599.
This comparison between the two shows therefore that in 1855 the mines
exceeded the railways in value in round numbers, by eight million pounds.
The exact figures of the excess were £8,071,402. Forty years later this
balance is more than redressed. In 1894 the total of mineral wealth was
£80,900,453. The entire railway receipts were £84,310,831. In other words,
the surface opulence of the United Kingdom had not only made good its
inferiority to the subterranean wealth, but had advanced beyond that
rival, in round numbers, by three and a half million pounds. The exact
figures were £3,410,378.

The interesting analysis of the resources of the different orders of the
community contained in Mr W. H. Mallock's 'Classes and Masses' supplies
tolerably conclusive evidence that the results of mining and railway
enterprise have been distributed not very unequally between the rich and
the poor, or, as Mr Mallock rather puts it, between income tax payers on
£1,000 or upwards a year and those who, earning less than £150 a year, pay
no income tax at all. His estimate is that the population of England
contains seven hundred thousand families, equal to a total of three
million souls, 'with means of subsistence, insufficient, barely
sufficient, or precarious.' Although these figures represent the entire
population at the Norman conquest, Mr Mallock is able to show that
relatively to all inhabiting this realm the necessitous class has
decreased, not increased. In the seventeenth century, one-third of the
dwellers in Sheffield, then (1615) as to-day a great manufacturing centre,
were dependent on charity. Thirteen years after the Queen's accession
(_i.e._ 1850), out of every two hundred of our population nine were
paupers. In 1882 the proportion of pauperism was only five. Between 1850
and 1897 the population has increased from twenty-eight millions to
thirty-eight millions. The income-tax payers have increased from one
million and a half to nearly eight millions.[8] Incomes between £150 and
£1,000 have increased from three hundred thousand to nine hundred and
ninety thousand. Incomes above £1,000 have increased from twenty-four
thousand to sixty thousand; or, as this authority finds it more convenient
to put it, the middle class has grown by six hundred and ninety thousand.
The rich have been re-inforced by only thirty-six thousand. On the other
hand Mr Mallock is able to dispose of the fallacy that during the present
reign the very richest class have grown richer still. In 1850 the incomes
of fifty thousand pounds and upwards were seventy-two thousand; in 1897
they are nearer a hundred thousand; thus while the fairly well-to-do
middle classes have increased by hundreds of thousands, the professional
plutocrats measure their increase only by a few simple thousands. Briefly
summarized, the arithmetical argument of Mr Mallock is as follows. In
1800 the whole wealth of the country was two hundred and forty million
pounds. Of that amount the workers took one hundred and eleven million
pounds, leaving for the middle classes and the rich one hundred and thirty
million pounds. Three quarters of a century later, or more exactly in
1881, Mr Mallock's latest date, making his argument still more applicable
to 1897, the total of national wealth was one thousand three hundred
millions. Of this the workers had six hundred and sixty millions. The
working classes had thus, from being twenty millions behind the rich at
the opening of the century, advanced twenty millions beyond the rich
towards its close. From these figures, the inference is fair, and indeed
irresistible, that railways like other inventions have contributed to the
material prosperity of all classes equally, and have not enriched the
capitalists alone.

Notwithstanding George Hudson, who has become merely a memory, or Charles
Guernsey, the stockbroker's clerk who was his lowly imitator, the railway
plutocracy would seem to be a phrase more full of sound than of practical
meaning. If to this remark the name of Vanderbilt be objected, the true
facts of the case rather confirm than disprove the present remark.
'Commodore' Vanderbilt was a rich man before he ever owned a railway
share. He sold a fleet of steamers to purchase control of the New York
Central Railway. Had he invested the capital realized by this preliminary
transaction in any of the industries of his nation, such as the tinning of
beef from a cattle ranche in California, or the curing of bacon at
Chicago, he might have made the same or an even larger fortune. Railway
diplomacy was only the accidental employment of Mr Vanderbilt's
extraordinary genius for creative finance. The same talents exercised upon
any other material, or expended in any other career could scarcely fail to
have commanded same results. In another department of the industry
afforded to intellect by the steam locomotive, Charles Austin made two
fortunes out of railway Bills. His abilities as an advocate were probably
unequalled among the generation to which he belonged. Since Austin's day
lawyers of the same, or something like the same capacity have amassed
wealth not inferior to Austin's out of electric patents practice, or in
other branches of law which have been specially in request at the moment.
While the railway fever of the forties was at its height, a little man
with an intellectual head covered by a proverbially shabby hat might often
of an afternoon have been seen walking down Parliament Street. He never
failed to bestow a copper upon the crossing sweeper at the point where the
Home Office stands to-day. Formerly the contractor usually lavished on the
man a four-penny bit. But times were bad. The vail was reduced to a
quarter of that amount. The donor humorously anticipated the day when he
might be glad of a reversionary interest to the broom and shovel employed
outside the Horse Guards. That calamity, which of course never seriously
threatened, was averted. The little gentleman with the ostentatiously
neglected head-gear, Thomas Brassey, was a millionaire long before he
built his last railway. But his contemporary, Thomas Cubitt, made the same
fortune out of building Belgravia. Railways have also often enriched the
landowners through whose estates the lines have run. So high an authority
as Mr Samuel Laing holds that the owners of the soil have been over
compensated by the companies generally for the acquisition of their land.
To this, however, the country gentlemen would reply that in countless
instances they have received no more than the agricultural value for their
acres.[9] Certainly the profits of this class from railways have not
exceeded the gains which have accrued from the selling or leasing of other
property for building purposes. The railway interest, then, as a phrase
scarcely points to the existence of railway shareholders as a caste or
even a separate class. Railway shares, as the statistics above quoted
show, are distributed in fairly equal proportions through all classes of
the community. The learned professions, especially the Church, are
represented as well as the State or capital in these proprietorial bodies.
In the great majority of instances, the separate sums held are small.
Thus, ten years ago, the London and North Western Railway with its ninety
millions of capital had about thirty thousand debenture and stock holders.
Three thousand pounds scarcely represent what could be regarded as a
plutocratic investment. As for the men who were the early captains of
railway industry, they none of them secured more than modest competences.
Vignoles, Stephenson, Brunel, Hackworth, Allport, Cawkwell, Grierson; none
of these founded, none of their descendants are likely to found,
territorial families. Sir Daniel Gooch, so long the chairman of the Great
Western, left six hundred thousand pounds to his posterity. The greater
portion of this sum was made, not in railways, but in coal and in
telegraphs. Sir Edward Watkin, who is still with us, and to whose
enterprise neither the mountain precipice nor the realm of air is
inaccessible, has perhaps been not less prospered. It would not however be
easy to multiply instances of railway opulence like these.

On the other hand Arkwright of the spinning jenny has founded two rich
county families. His rival, Hargreaves, established another. The true
conclusion on this subject seems to be that the wealth invested in our
railways is only one, if the most conspicuous manifestation of the wealth
of the community. No better summary of the facts could be found than the
shrewd phrase into which George Stephenson condensed the whole subject.
'The country made the railways, and in return the railways made the
country.' The prosperity of the manufacturing classes which has coincided
with the Victorian era provided the money that built the railways. In
return the early development of our railway system enabled us to get so
far in advance of Continental nations as merchants and manufacturers that
our rivals have not yet caught us up, and perhaps never will.

The future development of the English railway system may be a tempting and
instructive topic for speculative experts, but is not for a general
survey, such as the present. The issues between traders and framers of
railway rates for the carriage of merchandise are periodically expressed
in the demand for the acquisition of the iron roads, like the telegraphic
wires, by the State. The mighty sections of the Anglo-Saxon race on either
side of the Atlantic present the two great exceptions to the State
proprietorship or State control of the public locomotives. Seeing that
half the railway mileage and capital of the world belongs to the United
Kingdom and to the United States, these exceptions are themselves of
considerable importance. The incorporation of the railway systems of the
United Kingdom into the national service would, it has been calculated,
involve the doubling of the annual Budget, and an addition to the
permanent Civil Service of five per cent, of our male population. If this
estimate be correct, it seems likely that a Minister of the Crown will
think even more than thrice before he seriously proposes the assumption of
such a responsibility by himself and his colleagues.

    Apart from his general obligations to the work on Railways (2 vols.
    Cassell & Company, 1894, by Mr John Pendleton), the writer expresses
    his grateful acknowledgment for valuable help in this portion of his
    work privately received from Mr Acworth, the great authority on modern
    railways throughout the world, and from Mr A. J. Wilson, the eminent
    writer on financial and commercial topics.



CHAPTER IV

THE ARISTOCRACY OF WEALTH AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS

    Contrast between the London of the forties and the London of to-day.
    Gas and steam chiefly mark the century. City traders still living at
    Islington. The theatre not yet an institution. The parks still uncared
    for. Thames pollutions still recall Dickens' description of Quilp's
    home. The future South Kensington cabbage beds or waste ground.
    Absence of enormous fortunes outside commercial millionaires. Evidence
    of increasing national prosperity afforded by statistics of picture
    sales. The growth of these sales from Charles I. till to-day. The
    Beckford, the Horace Walpole and other sales. Gradual rise in value of
    great masters. Memorable sales and personages at Christie's.
    Gainsborough's Duchess of Devonshire episode.


The chief resemblance between the London which Queen Victoria first knew,
and the capital as it was seen by her subjects on her jubilee anniversary
in 1887, is the appearance of the steam locomotive at the railway termini
and upon the waters of the Thames. Passing to more permanent
characteristics, only the great national buildings would enable those
present at Her Majesty's coronation to identify the pre-Exhibition
Metropolis with the capital of to-day. Even Hyde Park, that, as has been
seen, was then, as now, the recreation ground of polite London, presented
an aspect very different from its appearance on the approach of the
sixtieth commemoration of the commencement of the reign. Like all the
other Royal enclosures, the Hyde Park of the forties or fifties was
decorated by no flower beds and was in other respects habitually ill-kept.
General sanitation had yet to reach its infancy. The Thames remained
almost as unwholesome and repulsive a stream as at an earlier epoch the
Fleet Ditch had been. Dickens' description in _The Old Curiosity Shop_ of
'Quilp's' haunts was a sketch from life equally graphic and accurate of
the condition of the river's shore between London Bridge and the Strand.
The site of the river embankments of to-day swarmed at low water with
mudlarks gathering fragments of coal and other refuse which had dropped
from the wharves that lined the banks on both sides of the river. If the
ladies who to-day take tea on the Terrace of the House of Commons had
exposed themselves so persistently on the spot where that structure now
stands, instead of catching a catarrh, they might have feared a
pestilence. Even in the course of the short suburban drives made by the
coaches of the Four-in-Hand Club after their meet at the Magazine, the
ladies who to-day occupy the box seat would have run the risk of being
shocked by the sight of corpses hanging on the gallows. Lord Grey's Reform
Act had been added to the Statute Book before this relic of barbarism
disappeared. The midlands were busy with preparations for the first appeal
to genuine constituencies when certain electoral canvassers, merrily
pursuing their work outside Leicester were horror-stricken amidst their
fun by the sight of a lifeless form fashionably dressed in blue coat and
gilt buttons swinging to and fro on a gallows tree by the roadway. The
body was that of a young master printer, who had been hung for a
particularly abominable murder. More decent times happily were near. This,
which many men now living can remember, was the last gibbet that ever
disgraced the Queen's highway. The city workers when they did not dwell
above their offices, lived for the most part at Islington, still a country
suburb, or took the bus or coach to and fro between the more rural
Tottenham or Highgate and their counting room or shop. The ground which is
to-day covered by the mansions, the hotels, and the flower beds of South
Kensington was then either used as cabbage gardens, nursery grounds, and
riding schools, or was given up to the loafers and ruffians of the
streets, who chose the forenoon of Sunday as the time for settling their
differences with their fists.

As a popular institution the theatre was practically unknown to the early
Victorian era. The old patent houses were supported precariously. Their
rivals of more recent date were on the chronic verge of bankruptcy. Night
after night popular actors and actresses performed to empty benches.
Pleasure seekers from the West were more likely to make up a party to see
a man hanged than to make up a party for the play.

The new millionaires came in with the new gold. At this earlier date, the
men who had realized great fortunes in business, who did not belong on the
one hand to the wealthy territorial noblesse, or to the financial
plutocracy on the other might be counted on the fingers of a single hand.
The Rothschilds had been settled among us for a century. Their opulence
had passed into a proverb. Other names belonging to the millionaire
category were Arkwright, Strutt, Jones Lloyd, better known to the present
generation as Lord Overstone, and Hope. The forerunners of that
aristocracy of wealth which sways society to-day, of the Guests, the
Crawshays in the iron trade, had not yet appeared. Half a century had
passed since the second Pitt had declared that 'every man with forty
thousand a year had a right to a peerage.' The Listers, the Holdens, and
others were already prosperous manufacturers in the Bradford district. The
brewing interest already knew its Basses and its Guinnesses. The peerages
and the baronetcies with which these families have since been decorated
were reserved for a much later stage of the reign. Even the uncrowned
kings of the Australian or Californian gold mines had no subjects in
London till the World's Show of 1851 had passed into history. The gradual
advancement of the great retail traders typified by the name Peter
Robinson, or Maple, to a corresponding dignity on a different level did
not take place till our own decade. The social polish and refinement which
are the attributes of the new wealth to-day, had not half a century since
become dreams of fancy. Rude plenty and coarse splendour characterized the
entertainments and the dwellings of the early Victorian plutocracy, as
they had marked the hospitality of our Saxon or Norman ancestors. It is a
commonplace of conversation to say that none can foretell where the
movement which during the last half century has set in with all classes is
to stop. Not only the wages of the working classes, but the payments of
professional and every kind of skilled industry have increased at a rate
predicted to be impossible; but every shilling buys from thirty to fifty
per cent. more than formerly of the necessaries and comforts of life. The
Prince Consort, as has been already said, did more than any other
individual of his day to quicken English workmanship with the artistic
sense. The task that waits for accomplishment now is seemingly to develop
intelligence and thrift in the masses. If this work be carried to the
point which may be expected from the progress made during the last half
century, the conditions of the national life in England cannot fail to
improve more rapidly than anywhere else in the world.

The new municipal buildings which have risen in all the great towns of the
kingdom during the last four or five decades; the warehouses, offices, and
shops that, if seen in Venice, would be admired for the artistic splendour
of their exteriors, but which pass unnoticed on the Thames, the Mersey,
and the Irwell; these are some among the outward and visible signs of the
progressive prosperity of all classes of the community, since the
treasures of Australia and California first were poured into England, and
since the Serbonian bog of Chat Moss was turned into a safe and solid
track for the steam engine. Other indications, not less conclusive and
perhaps more picturesque, of the same truth are the decoration of the
outskirts of every town with private villas set in landscape gardens which
half a century ago would have seemed worthy of Chatsworth, and with public
parks not less cared for than Royal pleasure grounds, the acquisitions of
corporate enterprise, or the gifts of individual munificence. The hard
facts and figures which have accumulated since in 1846 the British ports
were opened to the merchandise of all nations explain in detail the
transformation that has been witnessed. During the quarter of a century
before the repeal of the Corn Laws, the total value of English exports, of
products, of manufactures was one thousand and eighty-five millions.
During the twenty-five years that followed the repeal, the value was three
thousand and thirty-one millions; in other words, an increase of nearly
two hundred per cent. The second quarter of a century since Free Trade,
that is from 1871-1896 has raised the total value of our exports to six
thousand two hundred and ninety-nine millions; and this in the face of the
great and continuous fall of prices during recent years. Our import trade
has expanded even in greater proportion. The total value of imports of
merchandise during the years between 1871-1895 was nine thousand seven
hundred and sixty-three millions. These figures do not exhaust the
national profits of Free Trade. Our increased business with the great
markets of the world abroad has meant a vast extension of employment among
the masses at home. There is not only more work to be done. It is paid for
at a higher rate than was ever known. Articles of necessity, not more than
of luxury never before known in industrial households, are to-day common
beneath the workman's roof. With comfort, sobriety, and thrift, which are
indeed the parents of comfort, have increased too. The Chancellor of the
Exchequer in his last Budget stated that within ten years the deposits of
the savings banks have more than doubled. The evidence furnished by
statistics of pauperism is not less significant. In the spring of 1896
poor relief was given to 739,021 as compared with 897,370 in 1857. And
this although the population had grown in forty years from nineteen
millions to over thirty millions. In 1857 the ratio of paupers to
inhabitants was more than 47 in 1,000. In 1896 the ratio is 24 in 1,000.

The proof of national prosperity afforded by the income-tax returns was
given at length in the preceding chapter. Entirely to exhaust the
statistical evidence available for the propositions now advanced there may
be cited the figures connected with the National Debt. This is being paid
off out of the successive surpluses of annual revenue over expenditure. In
1856 after the Crimean War, the Debt stood at eight hundred and
twenty-nine millions, or about £29, 12s. per head of the population. In
1895 it had been reduced to six hundred and sixty millions, or about £17,
6s. per head of the population. The amount of the Debt in March 1896 was
six hundred and fifty-two millions. Thus, in the last thirteen years, the
money responsibilities of the nation have been reduced by one hundred
millions. Enthusiasts for Richard Cobden's memory have therefore some
reason for declaring that since the measure which the genius of himself
and John Bright conceived, and the statesmanlike energy of Mr Villiers
promoted, was written on the Statute Book, a new England has been created.
Nor has anyone seriously denied the connection during the régime of
Protection between wheat at from 53s. to 112s. a quarter and the
intolerable distress of the working classes in town and country expressed
in ricks blazing and Riot Acts read. With the first relaxation in the
Protective Tariff, some improvement began. It continued very gradually but
certainly till at last the new prosperity as shown by the figures and
facts already cited was fairly established.

The prices commanded by famous pictures at the great art sales of the
present and preceding periods have not uniformly attested the correctness
of the popular criticism. They have, however, at all times afforded a
practical criterion of the growing wealth of the country, and above all of
the standard of expenditure current among the educated classes; seen in
this light, the figures are not irrelevant to the present purpose. Picture
sales have been a feature in the social and artistic life of England
during more than two centuries. In 1649, by order of the Parliament, the
collection of Charles I., the most discriminating and perhaps the greatest
of Royal patrons of art, was offered to public competition. It realized a
trifle less than fifty thousand pounds, probably not half of what it cost
its original owner, who is said to have paid for the 'Mantua' pictures
alone eighty thousand pounds. At a later sale, however, many of these
paintings found purchasers at from £500 to £800 apiece. Thus, even in
these early days, was the coming rise in artistic values faintly
foreshadowed. But no continuous increase was yet noticeable. Not quite a
century after this, Harley, Lord Oxford's celebrated collection was
dispersed. The polite education of the well-to-do classes had then made
considerable advances. The first of the Indian Nabobs had returned home
with the spoils of the Pagoda Tree in his pocket to end his days in the
coffee houses of St James's. The commercial classes were generally
prosperous. Many Sir Vistos, complying with the whisper of the familiar
demon 'had a taste.' The conditions of the time were therefore not
unfavourable for prices conspicuously higher than had been given for the
Stuart collection. Nevertheless, the interest aroused by the Oxford sale
was so languid, art fanciers were so little enterprising, that the highest
price recorded on this occasion was eighty-nine pounds, five shillings for
the 'Jacob and Laban' of Sebastian Bourdon. The Italian masters commanded
on an average only five guineas apiece. A superb specimen of Claude
Lorraine encouraged no bidder beyond twenty-seven pounds, six shillings.
Holbein's since famous portrait of the Duchess of Suffolk went for fifteen
pounds, four shillings and sixpence. Rembrandts scarcely found purchasers
at twelve guineas or even six. Pictures then supposed to be by Michael
Angelo could be had for a few pounds. The highest price paid at the Oxford
sale, the only one running into three figures was one hundred and
seventy-five pounds, five shillings, for Van Dyck's 'Sir Kenelm Digby and
family.' On the other hand, a second Van Dyck of unrecorded title went for
five pounds, fifteen shillings. This was the period in which Hogarth's
masterpieces were bought for prices ranging between a maximum of
eighty-eight pounds and a minimum of twenty-seven pounds. This
depreciation did not continue long. Soon after the Oxford sale of 1741,
the paintings by which Hogarth is best known were readily purchased at a
thousand pounds apiece. Even, however, after the nineteenth century had
opened, no sudden rise in art values took place. In 1823, at Beckford's
Fonthill sale, the principal treasures only realized an average of
thirty-one pounds each, the whole collection of pictures, four hundred and
twenty-four in number, produced thirteen thousand two hundred and
forty-nine pounds, fifteen shillings. In the year before the great
Exhibition at the King of Holland's sale, a 'Holy Family' attributed to
Raphael found no bidder beyond two hundred and fifty pounds.[10] A
European sensation was created by the agent of the Russian Emperor giving
on this occasion, three thousand, three hundred and thirty-three pounds
for a chef d'oeuvre of Leonardo da Vinci. But the 'Trinity' by Rubens was
not considered specially cheap at six hundred and fifty-eight pounds.
Famous portraits by Dutch masters at three hundred and thirty pounds each
were looked upon as extravagant. The characteristic profusion of the
famous Marquis of Hertford in paying fourteen thousand pounds for some ten
or twenty pictures furnished during some weeks the talk to the town. In
another quarter of a century, in 1876, at the Bredel sale, the 'Enamoured
Cavalier' by an artist not of the highest distinction, realized a price
almost unprecedented then, but often repeated and increased since, of four
thousand, three hundred pounds. That the upward movement of prices, to
culminate some time later as will presently be seen in a memorable
transaction of the saleroom, had fairly started twenty years ago, is
evident from the details of the present retrospect. That the new
development was at that date in its infancy may be inferred from the fact
that at the Albert Levy sale in 1876 a landscape by Gainsborough which has
since changed hands for thousands secured only a few shillings over three
hundred and sixty-seven pounds. Eight years later at the Quilter sale of
1884, the enhanced value of foreign masters formed a much more conspicuous
testimony to the growing affluence of the classes which supply the
virtuosi of these later days. On that occasion the 'Heidelberg' of Turner
was after a keen competition knocked down for not much less than two
thousand pounds. The same artist's 'Zurich' in the same year went for
twelve hundred and sixty pounds, nearly twice as much as it had secured
only a decade earlier. Incidentally for those to whom such facts and
figures are interesting on artistic, and not social, grounds, the
conclusion from such an analysis as has now been attempted seems to be
that since the Strawberry Hill sale and later the Bernal sale, the best
works have continuously and conspicuously increased in value, but that,
especially in the case of later Italian painters, Guido, etc., pictures of
moderate merit have become a drug in the market. If Sir Robert Walpole was
the first of modern parliamentarians, his son was equally the eighteenth
century founder of the existing race of art connoisseurs. During the April
and May of 1842, the collection of the toy villa whose Gothic pinnacles
overlook the Thames yielded in round numbers thirty thousand pounds. After
an interval of fourteen years the treasures of Ralph Bernal, whose death
deprived the House of Commons of a Chairman of Committees as that of his
son was afterwards to eclipse its gaiety, formed the event of the season
of 1856. In the course of a thirty-one days' sale the total realized was
twice that of the Walpole sale, in other words more than sixty thousand
pounds.

These figures seem insignificant when contrasted with the heroic prices of
our own epoch. Of these only a few and not the highest have yet been
glanced at. Compare with the modest totals just mentioned the competition
and the sums of money, both without precedent, expended in Christie's
salerooms during the seventies and eighties of the century. The rostrum
mounted by the auctioneer may be, as is said, identical with that used in
the earliest days of the house a century ago. It is the only visible link
with the past still remaining. The quality of the crowd of buyers is not
more changed than the prices which they are prepared to give; or the
national opulence which these prices indicate. In those earlier days the
salerooms were in Pall Mall instead of King Street, St James's. These
premises were only vacated, as many now living can remember to clear the
way for the still youthful Royal Academy before it had, on its journey to
Burlington House, reached the stage of Trafalgar Square. The keen Celtic
face of Doyle, director of the Irish National Gallery; the strikingly
handsome and Venetian profile of Sir Frederick Leighton; the delicately
chiselled and thoughtful features of Woolner, more than creditable as a
sculptor, far more than merely graceful as a poet; these among the company
of possible buyers represented the professionally expert element. The
late Sir William Gregory with his fine brow and leonine head, whose
many-sided culture suggests the complete man of the Herbert of Cherbury
type whom our ancestors worshipped; another Irishman on whom a picture
acts as a magnet on steel, Lord Powerscourt; among Scots Lord Rosebery;
the Duke of St Albans whose physiognomy in those days recalled his Stuart
ancestry; the interested and intelligent presence of a representative of
that exotic wealth which has encouraged English industry and art so much,
Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild; these are among the best known members of
the general circle. Nor should there be omitted the form of a tradesman
whose position next to the auctioneer, and whose telegram and account book
in hand proclaim his occupation. This is Mr Agnew, pre-eminently a
creation of the new wealth of the Victorian epoch, as well as the promoter
of not a few artists' prosperity. To-day the enterprising trader is to
prove himself the idol of the saleroom by paying the largest sum ever
known to have been given for a single painting. And that in opposition to
the peer of the longest purse of the day, the late Lord Dudley. That noble
connoisseur by his bid of ten thousand guineas seems at first to have
secured for Park Lane Gainsborough's portrait of the Duchess of
Devonshire, who won by her kiss the Westminster election for Charles Fox.
Just as the hammer of fate is about to descend, the dealer intimates an
advance. Amid applause, such as salutes the Derby winner on Epsom Downs,
Mr Agnew[11] is declared the possessor of the incomparable canvas for the
price, as yet unheard in any saleroom, of ten thousand one hundred
guineas. Three years before this, in 1873, 'The Sisters,' also by
Gainsborough, had brought six thousand, six hundred and fifteen pounds.
Fourteen years after its first sale, in 1887, the same painting realized
nine thousand, nine hundred and seventy-five pounds. Recent changes in the
law of entail have undoubtedly tended to promote these unprecedented
prices. The chief cause, however, is the general augmentation of wealth
and the more lavish scale and ideas of expenditure that have penetrated
all classes of the community.[12]



CHAPTER V

THE RICH MEN FROM THE EAST

    Specific instances of the fusion with native elements of the owners of
    foreign wealth, especially in the case of the Jews. Growth in England
    from early days of Hebrew plutocracy. Different views as to number of
    Jew families, the names of these as preserved by Jewish writers.
    Westminster Abbey under Richard III. and Henry VII. completed with Jew
    money. Later settlements of Jews in England date from Charles II.
    Under George III. the prosperity of the Goldsmids foreshadows the
    future power of the Rothschilds. Early beginnings of the Rothschilds,
    on the Continent and in England. Rothschild and Waterloo; Rothschild
    and the Bank of England. Services of the family to the English State.
    Their method of using their wealth under Baron Lionel and his
    successors. Their example to others of their race and their work
    amongst their own people.


The close assimilation of the newer elements of English life to the older;
the gradual but unchecked identification in pursuits, habits, culture and
tastes of the aristocracy of wealth with that of birth have been already
mentioned. More detailed illustration of these distinctive movements of
the Victorian era are necessary to enable us to form an adequate idea of
the personal and enduring influence exercised upon the society of England
by those who since their national dispersion, have in all countries
illustrated in themselves the chief developments and agencies of wealth.
From the popular expressions sometimes employed about the Jews in England
to-day, one might suppose they had become considerable among us only
during the Victorian epoch. Few people, as they look at Westminster Abbey,
remember that this monument of the national Christianity which the piety
of Edward the Confessor began was completed under Richard III. and Henry
VII. with money levied from the Jews.[13] Under Henry III. the sufferings
of the chosen race in England had been severe. Thereafter, a gradual but
progressive improvement in their position took place. But so late as 1633,
according to a Hebrew authority named Haham, quoted in the _Anglia
Judaica_, astounding though the statement sounds, there were only twelve
Jewish families in this country. The distinction of re-establishing the
race on British soil has been claimed for the protectorate of Cromwell. It
really belongs to Charles II., and actually occurred during the first few
years after the Restoration. One of the comparatively few Anglo-Jewish
conversions to Christianity took place about this time. Close to the
Abbey, which his ancestors' wealth had completed, in the church of St
Margaret's, Westminster, an Israelite physician, Speranza Collins, abjured
the faith of his fathers, and was formally received into the Anglican
Communion by Dr Warmester, Dean of Westminster. By the time that the house
of Brunswick was established on the throne, the fabric of Anglo-Jewish
plutocracy had well nigh built itself up. The great natural philosopher
Emmanuel Da Costa, whom the Italian Jews of the eighteenth century
furnished to England, compiled a list by name of all his countrymen living
under the sovereignty of George III. In this list there are no
Rothschilds. The patronymics of most frequent occurrence are Rodrigues,
and Goldsmid. This latter seems to have been the Semitic family which,
under the third George, occupied the position most closely analogous to
that filled by the house of Rothschild under Queen Victoria. The country
houses in the Sheen and Richmond district with their deer parks and
vineries owned by Abraham and Jacob Goldsmid, foreshadowed distinctly the
later beauties in the same region of Gunnersbury, if not of the more
distant Mentmore.

At the close of the eighteenth century, the Frankfort Rothschilds, the
friends and bankers of the Prince of Hesse-Cassell, were a power in
Germany only second to that of the Empire. The capital on the Main had
from the days of Charlemagne been a trading centre. During the sixteenth
century, its fairs caused the place to be the market of the world, and
three hundred years later may have given to the Prince Consort[14] the
first idea of the great Exhibition in Hyde Park. Long before Mayer Amschel
Rothschild, the founder of the firm died, the prices of Frankfort were
being studied as closely as those of Antwerp or Rotterdam. The third
brother of Anselm Mayer, who controlled till 1855 the Frankfort branch,
was evidently the first great financial genius of his family. His
enterprise and judgment made him the Croesus of Europe. They also at a
critical point in his career prompted him to save from ruin more than one
Paris bank reeling under the effects of North American insolvencies. At
the close of the last century, the English business of the Rothschilds was
transacted by the firm of Van Notten. A dispute with a Lancashire
manufacturer on whom Germany and Austria depended for their cotton goods,
sent Nathan Mayer Rothschild from Frankfort to England. In this way the
English house came into existence, and the necessity for foreign agents
outside the family ceased. The Napoleonic wars, as is well known, largely
contributed in their successive incidents to the earlier fortunes of the
family. Already the first Rothschild had speculated largely in the bills
on the English Government given by the Duke of Wellington for the support
of the British troops. Settled in London he provided the channels for the
regular transmission of funds to the forces in the Peninsula. Early in
1800, he was the first man on the London Stock Exchange. His agents
followed in the train of every regiment. His couriers in their specially
chartered ships were on every sea. Rothschild himself, unseen by others,
watched the Battle of Waterloo. He crossed the Channel in a fishing boat,
and arrived in London, to find it full of rumours of the English defeat.
Casually appearing on the Stock Exchange, he received the condolences of
the City on his ruin. Only he himself knew what his investments were.
Instead of being ruined, he had added a million to the family wealth. Such
at least is the conventional account. The foregoing details are in
substance taken from an entertaining volume by John Reeves on _The
Rothschilds_, published by Messrs Sampson Low.

The present writer has, however, some reason to question the accuracy of
the tradition of a Rothschild secretly watching the great battle. The
account that Baron Lionel's friends generally gave is as follows. During
the great Corsican's usurpation of the First Magistrateship in the French
State, the lawful possessor of the Throne, Louis XVIII. was living in
retirement in Belgium.[15] The Rothschilds, on the early morrow of the
decisive battle, sent a courier to the King's villa near Ghent, to gather
from the reception of the news by His Majesty how the fortune of the day
had gone. The King's sitting room was on the ground floor with windows
looking on the garden. In that enclosure the Rothschild emissary took up
his station, so that, himself unseen, he could observe what passed on the
other side of the windows. Presently a rider, fresh from his horse, still
booted, spurred, and mud splashed, entered the chamber, made a low
obeisance to its dethroned occupant, who, on his part, graciously extended
his fingers which the messenger gently touched with his lips. Hence the
outside spectator inferred Napoleon's defeat, and proceeded at once to his
principals in London. As an English financier this is the Rothschild who
popularized foreign stocks and loans in this country by causing the
interest and dividends to be paid in London, instead of, as heretofore,
abroad. Four years after Waterloo, he first identified himself closely
with the English Government by undertaking a loan of twelve millions. His
profit on the transaction was one hundred and fifty thousand pounds. With
this sum he bought Gunnersbury, formerly the home of Amelia, aunt of
George III., which had since passed into the hands of a private citizen
named Copland. The Rothschilds naturally and honourably took their place
among the lords of the soil in their adopted country. He who is now spoken
of encountered, perhaps provoked, much opposition from rival financiers,
and more than once measured swords with the Bank of England which had
hesitated about technicalities of discount. Shortly after this the New
Court potentate called at the Bank bringing with him a sum of twenty-one
thousand pounds in £5 notes,[16] each deposited in a separate bag. Seven
hours were occupied in changing this paper into gold. For the time the
general business of the establishment was arrested. The strategy succeeded
completely. The next day it was announced that in future the Rothschild
bills would be taken as the Banks'.

In the July of 1836 a pigeon fluttered in through the open window of the
New Court counting house. The bird had travelled from Frankfort; it
brought the news of the death in his native town of the great head of the
firm. Many religious ceremonies of the Hebrew race have, during these
last few years, been converted into great functions of modish society. The
ceremonial series began when the body of the first great Rothschild known
to England, in the presence of the whole Corps Diplomatique attached to
the Court of St James's, was committed to the earth in the East End
cemetery of his race. With that event the latter day history of the
Rothschilds begins. Henceforward the business was to be conducted by
Nathaniel Mayer Rothschild's four sons in England, together with their
uncles abroad. Of these sons Nathaniel settled in France, Lionel, Nathan
Mayer and Anthony managed the English firm. Under the régime of Baron
Lionel Rothschild whom many now living remember well, the first great act
of association with the English Government was in 1847 the Irish Famine
Loan, supplemented as it was by munificent subscriptions for the relief of
the distress which the failure of the potato crop had caused. Seven years
later Baron Lionel carried out the sixteen millions loan for the English
Government. The transaction for which the Lionel administration is best
remembered by the present generation is the advance for the purchase of
the Suez Canal shares in 1876. The announcement of that negotiation by the
Prime Minister of the day in conjunction with his compatriots in the City,
came as a surprise to the English people at large. It has, however, on the
highest authority since transpired that when in 1874 Mr Disraeli took
office, he had already decided upon acquiring for England a preponderating
interest in the international waterway. Nor is it impertinent to assume
that during the Sunday visits which the statesman, as Mr Disraeli and as
Lord Beaconsfield, paid to the suburban home of Baron Lionel, this scheme
may sometimes have been discussed. Four millions was the sum advanced by
New Court, one hundred thousand pounds represented the total of the
Rothschild 2-1/2 per cent. profit.

By this time Baron Lionel had been in possession of a seat in the House of
Commons some ten years, won though that seat had been only after a
prolonged struggle. At the beginning of the century no Jew magistrate or
sheriff existed. In 1837, Sir David Salomons became sheriff of London and
Middlesex, but the true faith of a Christian test prevented him from
serving. Eventually, to oblige the City, Lord Chancellor Campbell
introduced a Bill removing this disability. Parliament, however, was still
closed against the Jew. Ten years later Lionel Rothschild, with Lord John
Russell, was elected M.P. for London. The Jewish Parliamentary Relief
Bill, supported by Mr Disraeli as well as Mr Gladstone, passed the House
of Commons, to be thrown out in the Lords. In 1850 another measure shared
the same fate. The sixth decade of this century had come before the first
Rothschild took his place on the green leather benches. Mr Disraeli's last
novel, _Endymion_, as rich as any of its predecessors in personal
portraits, contains in the character of Mr Neuchatel, the banker, the most
graphic pen and ink sketch of the financier now mentioned. In the grounds
of Gunnersbury, statesmen of both parties, diplomatists from every Court,
foreigners of every grade of distinction met each other. Here Mr Disraeli
chatted amicably with Lord Palmerston, the turbulence of whose foreign
policy he was fresh from denouncing in the House of Commons. Hither Louis
Napoleon, when an exile in London, drove in his friend Count Alfred
D'Orsay's cabriolet. Here the veteran Lord Lyndhurst instructed in habits
of English thought his aptest pupil, then a showy but still obscure
politician soon to become the pillar of the Tory party. It was by Baron
Lionel that the Rothschild hospitalities were begun on the scale on which
they have since continued. First came the marriage of Baron Lionel's
eldest daughter, Leonora, to her relative, Alphonse Rothschild. Persigny,
then French Ambassador in London, made a speech which the Paris Academy
recognized as classical in its perfection. Mr Disraeli, always
pre-eminently happy on these occasions, delighted host, hostess, and
guests by a coruscation of glittering antitheses, and flashing epigrams in
affectionate honour of the bride and bridegroom. The ex-Lord Chancellor,
Lord Lyndhurst himself, in whose honour the Baroness Mayer had given a
fête a few days earlier at Mentmore, said a few words so happy in their
arrangement, so dignified in their cadence that they were subsequently set
to candidates for the Newcastle medal at Eton to translate into Attic
prose.

Not twenty years have passed since, on Baron Lionel's death in 1879, the
fortunes of the house have been controlled by the Lord Rothschild of
to-day with his brothers Alfred and Leopold as his partners. The loans for
the Hungarian, Brazilian, and Chilian Governments are only a portion of
the New Court enterprises since 1879. In the eyes of England and of
Europe, their most important undertaking has been in relation with Egypt.
In 1885, at the moment that the Western powers were at diplomatic feud
with each other about the land of the Pharoahs, Egypt itself drew more and
more near to complete bankruptcy. The calamity was only averted by monthly
advances from the Messrs Rothschild upon no legal security, but on the
strength of a private note from the late Foreign Secretary, Lord
Granville. This is the testimony of Sir Michael Hicks-Beach speaking as
Chancellor of the Exchequer after he had succeeded Mr Gladstone in 1885.
The nine millions loan issued in that year was, of course, highly
successful for its negotiators. But this good fortune had been preceded by
an anxious season of protracted risk encountered with unfailing public
spirit.

The Semitic capitalists of the century have been compared to a foreign
garrison quartered in every European country, never completely fused with
the native population, always separated from the national life, and
potentially hostile to the domestic interests of the land which it
occupies. In the case of the financial family whose connection with
Victorian England has now been summarized this description is not borne
out by the facts. Their activity as financiers and generosity as citizens
during calamitous seasons like the Irish famine, are only specimens of the
services rendered by the Rothschilds to their adopted country. No
exceptional distress comes upon any portion of the United Kingdom without
eliciting a letter of womanly sympathy from the Queen, and the opening of
a subscription list in the City. At the head of this list the name of the
New Court firm is tolerably sure to be seen. Members of a race whose
history is like that of the Jews one of razzias, confiscations,
disqualifications, patiently borne and slowly overcome, can scarcely be
expected to betray no consciousness of these antecedents in their habit
and speech. The bearing of the Jew, whatever pinnacle of greatness he may
have climbed, is traditionally the bearing of a man on the defensive,
prepared, if he sees an opening, to anticipate the necessity of resentment
by showing his ability to repel offence. Those who, whether by individual
experience or by ethnic tradition, have been schooled in experiences like
these, are not likely to show morbid delicacy in their deportment towards
others. The mart and the bourse to which the Jews have been driven are
defective schools of social culture. Asiatic plutocrats are sure,
therefore, wherever they may be settled, to provoke enemies in the very
act of creating clients and dependents. The English Rothschilds of every
generation have found opportunities of performing private not less than
public kindnesses. In spite of, or rather perhaps because of this, they
have wounded many susceptibilities, for there may be an insolence of
neediness not less than of wealth. Fairness, however, requires the
admission that the successive representatives of the great Semitic house
in respect of the performance of the duties of citizenship as well as in
the wise, not less than the beneficent use of wealth, have set an example
to the fellow countrymen of their adoption in general, and to their
financial rivals in particular. The employment of great wealth in
accordance with the principles of magnificence and of taste was esteemed
so highly by the cultivated Greeks of old as to receive from Aristotle a
concrete illustration in his category of virtuous characters. The same
tradition was preserved and exemplified in those republics of mediæval
Italy that wore the closest resemblances to the older democracies of
Hellas which history records. It was not unknown in England at that period
when London was to the Englishman what Florence had been to the Florentine
under the Medici, or, at an earlier age, what the City of the Violet Crown
had been to the contemporary of Pericles. A similar sense of the public
usefulness and patriotic obligations of great wealth animated the citizens
of London under our own Edwards, and had previously found many modes of
effective expression under Elizabeth. Those were 'the gorgeous days' in
which the trader of one of the great chartered companies in the Indies or
across the Atlantic, having made some exceptionally successful venture, on
returning safely to his native land, and to the township which had been
his cradle, was wont to testify his gratitude to Providence by
embellishing the place of his birth with buildings or gardens, with
galleries or terraces, many of which, as in the case of the gifts of Sir
Thomas Gresham, the first of the great loan negotiators, endure to this
day, not only in the college which bears his name, but in the Royal
Exchange. By no family, not of English birth; by few Englishmen
themselves, either under Queen Victoria or her predecessors, have the
public and national responsibilities imposed by financial success, or by
hereditary millions, on their possessors been recognized so frankly, or
been illustrated with so happy and impressive a blend of splendour and
propriety, as by the descendents of the bankers of the Princes of
Hesse-Cassel who in the first days of this century issuing from their
natal judengasse at Frankfort established themselves in England, and at
the same time, or shortly thereafter, fixed their emporia in the great
Continental capitals as well.

Whatever their natural pride in the creative power of their wealth, no one
can lay it to the charge of the Rothschilds that in the use of this
instrument they have lost sight of their duties to the land of their
adoption. In any faithfully written chronicle of English art or sport
since both were organized among us on their present plan, the name of this
family must fill no small space. Their services to the breed of horses may
be surmised from the popularity of Baron Lionel Rothschild's success in
the race for the Derby with Favonius in 1871, as well as from the
popularity which his son has since won in the same pastime. Their private
houses are museums of art which have encouraged English not less than
Continental talent, and which are open to every visitor who is interested
in their contents. Since the Rothschilds were settled in Piccadilly and
Mayfair, many others of their race have made a position in the polite life
of the capital and of the country. That each of these, to mention only
Murrietas, Oppenheims, Bischoffsheims, have fixed the ends and regulated
the scale of their expenditure with a regard for refinement as well as
pomp, and that the more prominent members of a no longer despised race
have been incorporated thoroughly into the ranks of the native gentry, is
due largely to the personal initiative and influence of the New Court
dynasty. Nor is it merely their wealth and the influence which money has
brought that have placed the Rothschilds at the head of Semitic settlers
in England. Their loyalty to their nation has never been eclipsed by other
interests. They have not only endowed hospitals and built synagogues. They
have always exerted a pacific and unifying influence upon the various and
sometimes mutually conflicting Hebraic factions; at one time they have
reconciled to each other different schools of Teutonic Judaism. At another
they have performed the same good office for Israelite communities outside
their own Teutonic pale.



CHAPTER VI

SOCIAL CITIZENSHIP AS A MORAL GROWTH OF VICTORIAN ENGLAND

    Private and individual efforts which have quickened the sense of
    citizenship in England and bridged the gulf between rich and poor.
    Historic and abiding influences of the Young England movement of 1846.
    How it facilitated the Factory Acts and prompted private owners to
    open their parks to the public. Temple Gardens and Lincoln's Inn.
    Effect produced by the brothers Mayhew with their _London Labour_ and
    _London Poor_ during the fifties, and also by certain articles in the
    _Times_ and _Quarterly Review_. Lord Shaftesbury, the Poor Man's Peer.
    Origin of Public School and University settlements in great towns.
    Edward Denison and his friends before Arnold Toynbee. Individual
    example acting on public or corporate owners. Educate the public and
    actuate legislation when the time is ripe for it. Sir Erasmus Wilson's
    gift of Cleopatra's Needle preceded beautification of Thames
    Embankment.


The practical sense of citizenship by which, in the preceding chapter, the
Jewish community in England has been seen to be animated is among native
Englishmen themselves pre-eminently the development of the Victorian era.
Its manifestation in the capital was preceded by its active display in the
provinces. Few individuals of our epoch have more appreciably and
definitely impressed the image of their genius on the social history of
their age, than Benjamin Disraeli, first, and only, Earl of Beaconsfield.
This is not the occasion on which to examine his position in, and
services to, the public life of the period, as well as his place in the
inner economy of the polite world. In the social movement of the
industrial classes of the community, especially in their relations with
their more highly placed neighbours, the work done by this remarkable man
is not less conspicuous than it is seemingly enduring.[17] The political
school which, at the outset of his career his genius created, that of
Young England in the ninth year of the present reign, did not last long as
a political organization. It was never intended to do so. Of the little
coterie whose inspiring literature is contained in the trilogy of romance
that is constituted by _Coningsby_, _Sibyl_, and _Tancred_, the sole
survivor is the Duke of Rutland. Even he, perhaps, is better known to many
readers as Lord John Manners. He was first introduced to the general
public by the style of 'Lord Henry Sidney' in his friend's earliest novel.
With pardonable pride in a letter incorporated by the editor of the
_Quarterly Review_ in an article on _Sibyl_,[18] the Duke of Rutland
points back to the undoubted service which the sentiment generated by the
Young Englanders rendered to Lord Shaftesbury, then Lord Ashley, and to Mr
Oastler in their gradually successful efforts to pass the First Factory
Act as well as generally to soften, perhaps even to sweeten the daily lot
of the suffering, the defenceless, and the poor. At that time, the humane
and religious fervour of Lord John Russell had not yet leavened, as it
soon afterwards did, aristocratic Whiggism. Mr Gladstone's spiritualizing
touch was still to be laid upon the party that he was yet to join. The
scientific economists of the school of Peel, comprising as they did Cobden
and Bright, were the enemies of the movement. Even the pioneer of that
movement, who afterwards nobly vindicated his claim to the title of the
Poor Man's Peer, was indignantly asked what he, Lord Shaftesbury, had been
doing, when Lord Ashley was fighting for the Ten Hours Bill of 1844.[19]

His virtuous indignation obscured this critic's view of the fact that the
peer he praised was identical with the peer he denounced.

If this were the context in which to illustrate the political permanence
of the Young England agency, it would be enough to point to the
perpetuation in the knights, dames, and chancellors of the Primrose
League, of the sensibility to picturesque or semi-feudal effects which
inspired Disraeli and his friends in their manipulation of Conservative
sentiment. These qualities, at an interval of just half a century, were to
reappear in Disraeli's aptest[20] pupil, Lord Randolph Churchill. As a
social and unpolitical testimony to the quickening power of the new
England propaganda, when its promulgation was an affair of yesterday, it
may be mentioned that at the Queen's accession, as for many years
thereafter, it was comparatively an unknown thing for the private parks
surrounding gentlemen's houses in the provinces to be used as people's
pleasure grounds. Show places on such a scale as Blenheim or Chatsworth
existed then as they exist to-day. Even in the case of the former of
these, in præ-_Coningsby_ or ante-Victorian days, it is not likely to have
occurred to a Duke of Marlborough, as it did occur to the seventh
successor of John Churchill, being the eighth Duke, to engage a special
train to convey several thousands of East End children from their native
courts and alleys to the undulating woodlands of his Oxfordshire park.
Within a few years of the appearance of _Coningsby_, Eaton was only one of
the great parks which, so long as certain reasonable restrictions were
observed, became not less free to town or country labourers with their
wives and children than Kensington Gardens, or, as what till our age was
called Battersea Fields.[21] Royal patronage had not been withheld from
the movement. The memories of the present generation stop short of a time
when Windsor Park, together with the gardens and terraces of the Castle,
was inaccessible to excursionists by the Great Western Railway to view the
natural panorama bright with all the beauties of 'blossom week,' or to
hear the band on the slopes play the favourite pieces of the Queen. The
capital was not yet fully abreast with this piece of social progress. Long
after the gardens and the general maintenance of the public parks endowed
them with fresh attractions, the private pleasure grounds of corporate
owners were closed. The new philanthropic reforms were introduced here by
the noble structure of the Thames Embankment. The Temple Gardens had,
indeed, long been open. The flower beds and their careful tending were
still to come. The Benchers of Lincoln's Inn were more exclusive. The new
buildings, as they are called, flanking this enclosure, date from 1845.
The Lincoln's Inn Fields' theatre had disappeared in 1848. Nearly half a
century was still to elapse before the leafy paradise in the heart of this
austere kingdom of Chancery law was to ring with childish voices from the
courts and alleys which abut on Chancery Lane.

Within fifty years of the Queen's accession, the personal example of that
Lord Shaftesbury whose name has been mentioned already was to bear rich
fruit. In the _Times_ newspaper during the earlier sixties, there appeared
a leading article on the subject of the homeless poor of London. It was
equally noticeable for the humanity which inspired it, and for its
vigorous and graphic expression. Not long before this, an interest, then
entirely new, had been imparted to the grim subject by an essay in the
_Quarterly Review_ based on the then comparatively recent volumes about
London labour and the London poor by the brothers Mayhew. A host of
writers have treated this subject subsequently. Many of them,
conspicuously the late Thomas Archer, with a thoroughness and freshness of
knowledge scarcely inferior to that with which it had been approached by
the Mayhews. But in their hands the topic was absolutely new. Without
hyperbole, in literal truth, the West End was then not only ignorant of
how the East End lived, but with very rare individual exceptions, entirely
indifferent to the mingled squalor and tragedy of that existence. Horace
Mayhew survived to a vigorous and remarkably handsome old age, dying only
a few years ago. His work on the deeper depths of London poverty was the
one effort of his life. All his energies were thrown into it. The work
when finished, if it did not exhaust him, left him so depressed by the
misery which he had been investigating that he had no mind to return to
the lighter departments of periodical letters wherein his career
commenced, and his earlier reputation was made. A long period of social
indifference and legislative lethargy as to the condition of the very poor
in the capital and in other great towns now ensued. In 1865, the first
editor of the _Pall Mall Gazette_, Frederick Greenwood, conceived the idea
of commissioning his brother James, a well known writer on social
subjects, to pass a night in the casual ward of a workhouse, rumours of
abuses in the management of which were then attracting attention. About a
year after this, a winter of exceptional severity afflicted the poorest
portions of London, near the Docks and elsewhere, with the combined
calamities of lack of labour, and as a consequence with famine,
firelessness, and pestilence. Three friends, each of them then young men,
all Conservatives by conviction and all under the influence of the
philanthropic teaching of Disraeli's novels, were in the habit of
frequently meeting with a view of maturing some scheme for the relief of
that destitution at the East End, with which existing agencies of help had
proved themselves impotent to deal. One of these belonged to a well known
Shropshire family, Baldwyn Leighton.[22] Another, Sir Michael
Hicks-Beach, has since become Chancellor of the Exchequer. The third was a
son of a former Bishop of Salisbury. Edward Denison was equally quick to
master the dominant facts in a social situation, and to take the action
that seemed the best thereupon. Within a few days, he decided that the
first step towards remedying the evils recorded morning after morning in
the newspapers must be personal acquaintance with their magnitude, and
their origin, as well as with the habits and homes of the distressed
masses. Denison, therefore, established himself in a small house in
Whitechapel, the very heart of the necessitous district.

Since then, the example thus set has been followed frequently. Denison of
course was sometimes visited in his East End lodging by his West End
friends. These returned, bringing with them a more vivid sense of the
industrial suffering just outside the doors of the polite world than
literary descriptions, however graphic, could convey to the perfunctory
reader of the morning paper. Other incidents were to prove unexpectedly
instrumental in deepening the interest of well-to-do Londoners in their
destitute neighbours. Within a year or two of Denison's mission, the
Fenian outrage at Clerkenwell Prison not only robbed many poor families of
their breadwinners, but left them literally homeless. Disraeli, at that
time Prime Minister, sent down his private secretary to distribute alms
among the victims of the explosion. Mr Montague Corry, since Lord
Rowton,[23] saw sad and strange sights during this charitable errand. His
recital of these experiences was followed by liberal subscriptions to the
sufferers from Pall Mall and Mayfair. From that day to this, not only has
the stream of charity flowed less sluggishly; there has been also awakened
a new personal and intelligent interest in the condition of the most
squalid of poverty's perennial children. That feeling has not evaporated
in charitable doles. Substantial funds have been organized by private or
corporate munificence for improving the dwellings of the poor and for
practically testifying the neighbourly solicitude of more fortunate
citizens.

The demoralizing effects of public executions were exposed by Thackeray.
His essay, 'Going to see a man hung' gave shape, and eventually success to
the movement for the hanging of criminals within, and not outside, the
prison walls. So, at an earlier day, Dickens, who of all our greatest
writers was the first to interest the public in the waifs and strays in
the London streets, had initiated in _Oliver Twist_ a social demand for
workhouse reform. The best causes are liable to abuse and caricature.
There have been moments when, since the Mayhews wrote, sympathy with the
lot of the London poor has seemed in danger of becoming overdone, or being
degraded into a fad, a craze, a fashionable hobby, and thus of ceasing to
be an actuating conviction. The modish popularity of 'slumming' as it used
a few years ago to be called had of course its absurd aspects, but was,
nevertheless, not an unhealthy sign. It could be compared to the froth
upon the surface which concealed, and did not necessarily weaken, the
stimulating and strengthening qualities below. Whether this philanthropic
curiosity was displayed in town or country, the social truth of which it
constituted evidence was that the commercial spirit and its harsher
influences, not unfortunately uncommon among the upper classes in the
early days of the new poor law, were becoming obsolete, and that the class
fusion born of class sympathy to which De Tocqueville has attributed our
later freedom from organic revolutions was in steady process of evolution.
Edward Denison came first of all, and could only see with the eye of faith
the fruits which his example was to bear in the beneficent experiment of
Arnold Toynbee and in the People's Palace. So it has continued, till
to-day the University and public school settlements in the East End of
London and in other great cities are institutions not less deeply rooted
than the parochial system itself. The kindly work is not confined to a
single sex. St Margaret's House, Bethnal Green, the ladies' branch of the
Oxford agency, presided over by Mrs Burrows, is as firmly established as
the homes founded by Trinity or Christ Church in the same neighbourhood.
Throughout the English speaking world, the same beneficent inspiration
seems to have been almost simultaneously operative. One hears of analogous
enterprises in the great cities of Australia and in the United States. The
American movement even claims seniority over the English. Andover House,
Boston, was in full working order before the cognate agencies in our own
capital were complete. The devotion of Trade Unionists to their Union has
been employed as a figure to illustrate the mutual loyalty to a great and
good idea of those brought up in the same College or University or public
school. This reciprocal enthusiasm has now been active and productive long
enough to entitle it to the praise of solidity and permanence. The public
and legal provisions for quickening the sense of citizenship in town and
country will presently be examined in detail. That which seems important
to bear in mind is that the legislature did not interpose its machinery
until the private agencies, social or moral, already recapitulated, had
done their work. Even the improvement in the open spaces of the capital
which is so marked a feature in metropolitan progress during the last few
decades, has been helped or encouraged largely by private initiative. The
late Mr Matthew Arnold recognized as a graceful and original act of public
service, the transport of Cleopatra's Needle from Alexandria to London at
the cost of Sir Erasmus Wilson. Before the obelisk was established on the
Thames Embankment the municipal authorities had prepared a home for it and
converted into daintily kept pleasure grounds the little enclosures by the
side of the riverain promenade.



CHAPTER VII

THE NEW ERA IN ENGLISH PARISHES

    Reflection of the Estates of the Realm in the old divisions of rural
    life in England. Modifications in the system introduced by recent
    changes in local government. The English village as it now is. The
    public house as a place of resort largely displaced by the parish
    meeting room. The quickened sense of civic life shown in the speech
    and bearing of the villagers. The exact functions of the Parish
    Council, or Meeting. Relations between Parish and District Councils.
    Retrospect of English Poor Law system. Greater popularity of the
    District Councils. Other duties than of Poor Law Guardians discharged
    by District Councils. Clergy and Squires. How affected. District
    Board's composition. Its relations with magistrates, and popular
    feeling.


Before 1894, English parishes in rural districts possessed, as they still
do, three centres of local life. The State was represented by the squire,
or chief landowner, often, as may still be the case, an absentee. The
Rectory, or Vicarage, with the neighbouring church was the geographical
depository of spiritual power. The village inn, or public house, was the
place of popular meeting, and with its adjoining skittle-alley was the
source of popular amusement. Here the gossip of the neighbourhood was
discussed, or the local newspaper read. London journals did not, and do
not, often enter remote neighbourhoods in the provinces. The doings of the
Imperial Parliament, or the Concert of the European Powers were, as they
remain, of little interest to the rural tillers of the soil in comparison
with the wages paid by the farmers in the district, the supervision, or
the lack of it, exercised by lords of the land over the cottages of the
poor. Nothing more struck the stranger who wished to acquire information
as to the daily lot of the rural population, and as to opportunities for
their improvement, than the prevailing ignorance or indifference about the
facts of their daily life. It was not exactly Christian acquiescence in
chronic want and squalor as a Divine dispensation. It was rather an
unreasoning suspicion as to the motives of the enquirer, and as to the
consequences to themselves of the answers given, which, if it did not seal
the villagers' lips, restricted their replies to inarticulate grunts or
evasive generalities.

Within the fifth decade of the present reign, all this has either changed
entirely or has been appreciably modified. The public house, or inn,
stands indeed where it stood. The tap is no longer the parish club room.
Even the skittle-alley has lost many of its attractions. The authority of
the Manor House has been divested of the superstitious sanctions with
which it was once clothed. The squire and the parson are regarded as
well-meaning persons with a good deal of human nature, after all, about
them. As for the geographical centre of village existence, it is no longer
the roof tree of the publican, but the village meeting hall. This, in the
majority of cases, would never have existed but for the initiative of the
clergyman. He it is who with no parliamentary sessions to attend during
half the year, with no town house always ready to receive him, passes most
of his time among his own people; and thus combines in his own person,
very often, the two separate principles of Church and State. This village
assembly room is furnished with the chief county and market town
newspapers. It is without carpets or draperies, and does not consequently
retain tobacco smoke. If, therefore, the villager likes a dry pipe while
he reads, or chats, it may at stated hours be allowed him. Gradually,
therefore, he has grown to regard the place as his betters regard the
House of Commons, as the best club of which he knows. The publican may
suffer, but all other members of the little community have gained.

At the present moment, the manner and the countenances of the rural
company, apart from the subjects of their more than usually animated
conversation, indicate a season of exceptional importance. The truth is,
that an election for the village parliament is imminent. Whether the name
be parish council or parish meeting, the reality is the same. That reality
since Sir Henry Fowler's amendment in 1894 practically implies Home Rule
for every parish in rural England. The franchise is in effect universal.
Without regard to income or place of domicile every parishioner whose name
occurs in the local government or parliamentary register has a vote, and
is in addition entitled to attend the parish parliament. So systematic is
the preservation of the separate individuality of every village, that
where the number of inhabitants is below[24] 300, and the gathering is
called a meeting, not a council; no association of that particular village
with others is allowed to supersede the separate meeting. The executive
body is thus always the parish meeting. The grouping order necessary for
the amalgamation of parishes for council purposes is never given without
the closest scrutiny by the County Council first, or confirmed by the
Imperial authority in London afterwards. In no case is the parish meeting
dispensed with. Amongst the groups we have seen discussing their affairs,
one might have noticed women as well as men; for though by the decision of
the Court of Appeal in the case of Drax _v._ Ffook, women can vote as
occupiers and not as owners, they are, whether spinsters or wives,
eligible to be parish councillors. Should the parish be without a village
hall, the schoolroom is the usual place of assembly. The one spot
peremptorily forbidden by the law is the public house; unless no other
rendezvous be procurable for love or money. It is still too early to
pronounce definitely as to the permanent effect of these institutions. The
general tendency has perhaps been towards the falsification alike of the
extreme hopes and fears which they first raised. Their jurisdiction
includes all the functions of the old vestries and their officers,
together with other novel and more drastic prerogatives. The discussions
are often limited to dull details of mechanical routine, but are
sometimes, as to-day, sufficiently animated. In the typical parish (a
generalization from actual experience), the question of opening or closing
footpaths across fields chances closely to divide parochial opinion. A
little time ago, the vexed problem was the limits of a village green
which had been so much diminished by encroachments as to cease almost to
exist. Another issue that a little while hence will furnish material for
debates not less vivacious is that of allotments for cottagers. Here as in
the other cases, there is a strong faction on either side. A heavy
parochial whip has been sent out by the two sets of leaders. If the matter
is decided in the affirmative, and the allotment or village green
extension, as the case may be, is carried, a measure of expropriation may
follow, should the County Council, as superior body, sanction the scheme,
and should the Local Government Board, after hearing the case of the
dissidents, confirm the parochial proposals. As a check to parochial
extravagance, the money to be advanced by the central authority is not to
exceed one-half the value of the local rates. Inheriting the power of the
vestries which they displaced, the bodies now mentioned have in their
hands the appointment of overseers of the poor. 'One man, one vote'[25] is
the universal principle. The employers of labour, that is the farmers, are
consequently liable to be placed in the minority by their servants. Hence
proceeded the assertion that the signal withdrawal of the farmers from the
Liberal party, as being morally responsible for the measure, largely
brought about the crushing defeat of the Gladstonians at the general
election of 1895. If the farmers were animated by any such resentment
towards the party which they identified with the real authorship of the
Act, the feeling has already to a great extent passed away. What remains
of it will no doubt evaporate as eventually sentimental grievances of this
kind seldom fail in England to do. Impartial evidence, gathered at first
hand, does indeed show that the increased mutual knowledge generated
between farmers and their hands in the parish meeting room has resulted in
an actual improvement of the relations between the two classes. All the
national processes which legislative change sets in motion have worked
slowly in England. It was not till the third or fourth appeal to the
constituencies under Household Franchise was made that the permanent
results of the peaceful revolution in 1868 could be computed with even
approximate accuracy. The final consequences of the extension of the
franchise to counties by the Liberals in 1884 have not yet declared
themselves. It would, therefore, be premature as yet to make any definite
deductions, social or political, as to the working of a system which has
been operative only since 1894.

One thing more about them may, however, be said. As in the case of the
farmers where, with a fair measure of conciliation and tact, the occupiers
of the soil find their official intercourse with its tillers unexpectedly
harmonious, so as regards the relations between the villagers and the
clergyman, in the position of the latter as the spiritual, and often
inevitably to a great degree the temporal, head of the community. Briefly
stated, the effect of the Parish Meeting, or Parish Council, is to restore
to the villagers certain of the rights which, in the old Manor Courts,
they had possessed. Where the clergyman combines with the practical sense
of an educated man a freedom from a suspicious antipathy to the civic
activities of his flock, there is not only no jealousy of the parson's
intervention in the deliberations of the parish hall; but the experience
which he is likely to bring to the work is welcomed by the councillors as
a valuable aid to their discussions. If, when standing for a seat on the
council, the rector issues an address savouring of dictatorial
self-assertion; if from his pulpit he prescribes a plan for the conduct of
these elections; the reverend gentleman may find himself at the bottom of
the poll. When, however, he deals with his parishioners on the assumption
of their equality in all non-religious matters with himself, he disarms or
prevents jealousy. He has a fair chance of being chosen by acclamation to
the president's chair at the little Board.[26] Parish Councils have for
the first time in the rural history of England developed a sense of
responsibility among those to whom a decade ago the idea of rural
citizenship, with obligations as well as rights, was unintelligible. They
have, therefore, impressed the minds of those concerned in them with some
sense of power. Thus far, no tendency has been displayed to use that power
in a revolutionary fashion. A body which, like the average parish
parliament, numbers from five to eleven, is not likely to prove a
tempestuously democratic, or violently revolutionary assemblage. Finally,
though, on the requisition of three members to the chairman the council
may be convened at any time, its actual convention is never brought about
more than thrice, and seldom more than once in a twelvemonth. Not the
least good which this institution carries with it in most neighbourhoods
is its creation of wider, less mean, more liberal interests in daily life,
and with these interests, subjects of conversation for the village
community more generous than private affairs of individual
households;--what Hodge, the ditcher, does so late at night in the
neighbourhood of the squire's game preserves; how much money the
carpenter's wife paid for her new bonnet; or how her daughters afford so
gaudy a display of Sunday finery. That the new machinery has thus far
worked with less friction than might have been expected may be inferred
from the statistics courteously forwarded to the present writer from the
Local Government Board under date August 7th 1896. As has been said
already, the Imperial authority at Whitehall acts as arbitrator in all
cases of difference between the popular Parish Councils and the more
exclusive County Councils as to the acquisition of land for allotments. At
the time now mentioned, it was the calculation of the President of the
Local Government Board that four cases had occurred of appeals by Parish
Councils against the refusal of the County Council to make the allotment
order; and that in fourteen cases in which orders have been made by County
Councils, eight protests against them have reached the Local Government
Board from persons immediately interested.

Ascending from the lowest deliberative unit in the new scheme of local
self government one passes from the Parish Council to the District
Council. If it can be questioned whether the average villager as yet fully
appreciates the gift of power made to him by the legislature in 1894, no
such doubt can exist as to those bodies that are a little higher in the
deliberative scale, the District Councils. The local parliament in the
parish hall may sometimes be unattended by a single cottager. The District
Council, if it be not as yet popular, is at least never neglected. Seats
on it were from the first objects of local ambition. This is only what
might have been expected in an age, a marked feature of which is the
quickened interest of all sections of the community in whatever affects
the health or comfort of the labouring classes. The District Council, as
its name implies, has a more than parochial dignity. Its jurisdiction is
practically commensurate with the sphere of the old Rural Sanitary
Authority. The relief of pauperism however, forms a first and special care
of this body, the members of which are also the Guardians of the Poor. Its
place of assembly is the chief small town of the neighbourhood; not indeed
the County town, but generally a convenient town where there happens to be
a railway station. The District Council has already contracted certain
associations of local fashion. The ladies of the country side have entered
warmly into its business, and often constitute a majority of its most
active members. There is, of course, the complaint of impulsiveness
brought against the District Councillors. Thus the domestic idea is
regarded by them with more respect than it secured from their
predecessors, the Boards of Guardians. Guardians were elected by the
plural vote of the larger ratepayers. They had, moreover, to satisfy a
property qualification in their own persons. District Councils in theory
know nothing of, and in practice are affected little by, such conditions.
The ex-officio magistrate, without which no Board of Guardians was
complete, is systematically absent from the new District bodies. The
_personnel_ of the new Councils, which occupy a place midway between the
Parish and the County assemblies, presents a notable contrast to that of
the superseded Boards of Guardians. County magistrates are not, in virtue
of that office, ordinary members of these bodies, which are almost solely
elective. The dignity of the body, however, is well maintained. The
chairman of the District Council becomes, in consequence of that position,
a County magistrate with powers as plenary as if he were the nominee of
the Lord Lieutenant. Sometimes, of course, the chairmen of the District
bodies are already magistrates. That is, however, the exception. There now
exist in the United Kingdom about a thousand elective magistrates, being
chairmen of District Councils. By far the greater part of these are new to
their legal responsibilities. A few are working men. One District Council
in Northamptonshire is presided over by the master of a small railway
station on the Midland line. Another has for its chairman an agricultural
labourer; a third is controlled by an ex-policeman; a fourth by one who
supports himself on the cultivation of sixteen acres of land. The effect
of popular election is not limited to the discharge of those duties
connected with pauperism and sanitation that are the primary concern of
the District bodies. Assessment committees, and school attendance
committees are both drawn from the District Councils. The latter of these,
it is generally admitted, have done their work better since they ceased to
be composed exclusively of employers of labour, and since they have become
representative of industry as well.[27]

The Poor Law, which has been in force during the whole of the Victorian
era, was, as scarcely needs to be said, among the earliest achievements of
the Reformed Parliament. Bitter and prolonged as was the resistance to
portioning out the country afresh for the relief of pauperism instead of
congregating the poor of each parish in their own workhouse, the
beneficent results of the change have long since been universally
admitted. 'The new Bastilles' was the name first given to the unions which
the Act of 1834 created, by the opponents of the Bill, with a view to
excite popular feeling against it. Only the most hardened paupers, who
objected on principle to industry of any kind, complained of the modicum
of labour exacted from the occupants of the new workhouses. Even these
shirkers have become reconciled to some sort of industry. The improvement
in the habits of the whole working class was conspicuous and immediate.
Thus, as in his History of the period, Mr Molesworth points out,[28] in
four unions of the Midlands, there were in 1834, 954 able-bodied paupers.
In June 1836 there were only 5. All the rest were in regular work. In the
county of Sussex, the most inveterately pauperized in England, there were
in 1834, 6,160 paupers. The Act had not been in operation two years before
this total was reduced to 124. By 1836 the Act had become operative in
twenty-two counties. The average of the reduction of the rates in these
was 43-1/2 per cent. The Commissioners of Enquiry, on whose report the new
legislation was based, predicted that the application of their principles
would restore and improve industry, would create or confirm habits of
thrift, would increase the demand for labour as well as the wages of the
labourer, and generally would promote the welfare of those who lived by
manual toil. The Queen had not ascended her throne when the erewhile
opponents of the Measure confessed that these anticipations were already
fulfilled. It was not to be expected that bodies so essentially different
from the old Boards of Guardians as the District Councils are would
administer the Poor Law in the same spirit or on the same principles as
their predecessors. Few socio-economical questions of the day have
provoked controversy so bitter, or divided skilled and conscientious
partizans into such mutually envenomed factions as the conditions on which
relief from the rates should be granted to the necessitous poor. The
uncompromising advocates of the workhouse test system, compulsory
residence, that is, within the workhouse walls, maintain that in this way
only can systematic pauperization be avoided, and that so alone will the
not uniformly industrious poor realize the stigma of coming upon the
rates. On the other hand, it may be argued that in innumerable cases
timely charity from the common fund will prevent the utter break up of a
needy, but not necessarily indolent home. Paupers, it may be said, who
will not work, and who are, therefore, not proper objects of compassion,
are never kept by any sense of pride or shame from taking up their
quarters in the local union. Thus, may it not be false economy to make
absolute destitution and homelessness a preliminary condition of parochial
help? On these points, those who differ will never agree. What it is now
relevant to point out, is that the administrative methods of the new
Councillors have very generally shown a reaction from the more stringent,
and less sympathetic policy of the old Boards of Guardians. Thus, the
workhouse test is far less often than formerly made the condition of poor
relief.

Organization in every department of activity or interest is the most
conspicuous movement of the last quarter of this century. Some years must
yet elapse before we know the exact point to which the legislation now
reviewed has disciplined and stimulated the inhabitants of rural England.
The object of the controllers of the vestries that the Parish Meetings
have superseded was to keep village administration in the hands of a
privileged and comparatively leisured minority. Hence it was not unusual
to fix the hour for the vestry meeting at 9 a.m.; when of course the male
population would be at work in the fields. Under the Act of 1894 the
Parish Councillors are bound to hold their sittings in the evening after
the day's work is done. From a historical point of view this legislation
cannot be charged with being revolutionary. The powers which the new
bodies have assumed in checking encroachments upon common land and other
like offences are indeed considerable. That prerogative is not an
innovation. It is rather a revival of the authority which in the old Manor
Courts, presided over by the steward of the Manor lord, the freeholders
could exercise. Beyond question, the most far-reaching and important
change introduced into country life by the new machinery is the infusion
of the elective element into the nominated magistracy. This has not yet
received the attention it deserves. Under the earlier régime, as has been
said, certain guardians had a seat at the Union Board because they were
magistrates. Under the existing dispensation certain Justices of the Peace
owe their place on the magisterial Bench to the fact of their performing
the duties of District Councillors and Guardians of the Poor. The
relations between the two positions are thus exactly inverted. That the
tendency of this change is to soothe the suspicions once widely prevalent
as to the principles on which Justices' justice was administered does not
seem disputable. It has also positively increased the respect in the rural
mind for the law itself as the expression of wisdom and equity. The
cordiality with which the older magistrates, nominated to the Bench by the
Lord Lieutenant, have generally welcomed their popularly chosen colleagues
has undoubtedly strengthened this wholesome sentiment. Finally, the same
career in the local polity as of old remains practically open to men
serving on the Commission of Peace. Where the old J.P. Guardian was a man
who did good work on the Union Board, he seldom now is debarred from doing
it still. Even when he is locally unpopular, a well-earned reputation of
ability or aptitude for affairs is pretty sure to bear down purely
personal objections and secure his return to the District Board; a
tolerably conclusive proof of the fitness of the parochial constituencies
for the measure of autonomy which they have received.



CHAPTER VIII

THE NEW ERA IN ENGLISH COUNTIES

    General effect of the legislation of 1888 on the English County
    system. Some analogy between the principles of corporation reform
    (1835) and County administration reform (1888). But the earlier act
    did not touch, as the later did, the power of magistrates in Quarter
    Sessions. Social circumstances, _e.g._: the growth of an educated and
    leisured class of residents in country towns which have made the time
    ripe for the new legislation, and distributed throughout England a new
    class of capable local administrators. Contrast between County town
    life before and since the establishment of County Councils. Social
    pictures of county supremacy on Sessions days in the old era at hotels
    and shops. County self government has not destroyed the old County
    traditions nor deprived the old administrators of their former career.
    Exact functions of County Councils, and points of administrative
    communion between them and the old magistrates. Local idiosyncrasies
    of these Councils, North and South.


The legislation of 1888 has influenced the entire scheme of life in
provincial England. The social prestige of the County system, centred in
the extra-judicial power of the magistrates at Quarter Sessions, had not
been affected prejudicially by the Corporation Reform Act with which, two
years before the Queen's accession, the Whig Ministers in the newly
reformed Parliament supplemented the Poor Law changes. The principle
underlying the County Council Act of 1888, and before that the Corporation
Act of 1835 was the same. Both marked a return to a more ancient but a
less exclusive system rather than a sudden introduction of a new. Like the
monarchy itself, the borough corporations were in their beginnings
genuinely popular. As in the case of the Throne, so in that of the
provincial polities; it was the Tudor sovereigns who narrowed and
enervated the privileges of their subjects. Under the Plantagenets and
throughout the Middle Ages, the corporations were elected by popular
constituencies, the freemen of the town. Contracted in their scope under
Henry VIII. and Elizabeth, these charters of urban freedom were, under the
Stuarts, so remodelled as to transfer from the burgesses to the Crown the
appointment of municipal officers. Municipal liberty having passed away
first, municipal purity gradually followed. The abuses in civic life had
at last equalled the corruptions which reduced parliamentary elections to
a farce. Within a year of Lord Grey's Reform Act, the urban scandals
became too gross to be ignored longer by a comparatively purified House of
Commons. As in the case of the procedure with reference to the Poor Law,
so in the business of municipal reform a Commission was appointed to
investigate the corporations of the United Kingdom. The national
enthusiasm for the men who had carried electoral reform against the House
of Lords, against the Duke of Wellington and against the King was soon
followed by a Tory reaction. In the hope of regaining for his party some
of the popularity which it had lost, Lord John Russell in the summer of
1835 submitted the new measure to the House of Commons. Two millions of
Englishmen were affected by the scheme. The then existing municipal
bodies had been shown as little to represent the property, the
intelligence, even the population of the towns as the unreformed
Legislature had reflected the convictions and desires of the Kingdom.
Charitable funds, bequeathed by former benefactors for the impartial
relief of local want, had by the abuses of years, been diverted wholly
from their original purpose. They were dispensed habitually to the
political friends of the men who had for the time the upper hand in the
affairs of the borough. These moneys seldom mitigated any honest distress;
they were squandered in the periodical junketings of the authorities of
the township, with the political partizans who were their fellow feasters.
Two novelists of our time have drawn famous pictures of the same great
nobleman. The original of Disraeli's 'Lord Monmouth' in _Coningsby_ was
the Marquis of Hertford, whose henchman, the 'Mr Rigby' of the novel, was
the John Wilson Croker of real life. Thackeray's 'Marquis of Steyne' in
_Vanity Fair_ was the other literary likeness of the same titled original.
In real life the Marquis of Hertford, as 'an honest burgess,' was a chief
member of the Council of Oxford city. The Right Honourable John Wilson
Croker, his lordship's steward, and his confidant in all things were the
chief associates of this eminent noble in the control of the municipality
of the University town. The Corporation Act of 1835 swept away these
scandals, and made municipal government a fairly popular reality.
Thenceforward in all corporate boroughs, the Town Council was chosen by
resident inhabitants rated to the relief of the poor. Since 1835 the
power of the magistrates in boroughs is exercised by the borough bench
with an appeal to Quarter Sessions, that is, to the County. The measure
did not a little towards re-establishing the popular privileges which had
existed before the Tudor encroachments. London was not included in the
Act. With that exception, all English towns on the Queen's accession had
for two years been in the enjoyment of self-rule. Cobden is one of the
many opponents of caste exclusiveness who have testified to the purity and
efficiency of the unpaid magistracy in their functions of County
administrators. These persons were of course never responsible to any
constituent body. They satisfied the property qualification by the
possession of £300 in land, or by the receipt of an income of £100 a year.
Notwithstanding the thoroughness of the work done by them on the Quarter
Sessions committees for regulating extra-judicial business, they
represented no interest except that of the party enjoying political power,
the supreme embodiment of which was the Lord Lieutenant of the County.

Meanwhile, there had been great changes in the composition of the
residents at, or in the neighbourhood of the chief provincial towns of
England. The close of the Crimean War reinforced the class now mentioned
by the addition of educated, but not generally wealthy, men, who desired
peacefully to spend the residue of their days in districts with which
family ties made them familiar or which conveniences of sport or education
rendered attractive. The absorbing powers of the capital have
progressively increased during recent decades. Opulence and fashion have
swollen the great public schools of the country to unmanageable
dimensions. Still, to a large percentage of English parents in the upper
middle class, Eton and Harrow are not the only two possible schools of the
realm; life may be lived as pleasantly, and more economically, in
provincial centres like Bedford, Ipswich, Bath, or Cheltenham as within
the metropolitan radius. Schools, not less than hotels, have become
matters of joint stock enterprise, and of federal proprietorship. The
excellent places of teaching which abound in such towns as those just
mentioned are pre-eminently a product of the Victorian era. Thus it has
come to pass that, at innumerable spots throughout provincial England,
during recent years there have settled families, not pretending to
historic antiquity or distinction, but still agreeably supplementing the
social resources of the County district. Many, perhaps most of these
newcomers have served the Queen in peace or war, abroad as well as at
home, and are thus likely to have acquired administrative experience of
different sorts. These are just the people qualified to relieve their
older neighbours, the local squirarchy, in their administrative work. If
the machinery for establishing County Councils had been created in the era
of the Corporation Reform Act, or during the first half of the present
reign, it would have been premature, would at least comparatively have
failed, instead of proving, as it has done, a signal success. How this
institution works will best be judged by contrasting certain phases of
County town life to-day and in the pre-County Council epoch. To visit
such a town on a day when the magistrates were sitting at Quarter Sessions
was like making an excursion into feudalism. One used to alight at the
stable yard of the chief hotel to find no room for one's horse. The
County's steeds had possession of the best stalls. They could not of
course be displaced by, or consort with, the quadrupeds of less
considerable riders. Inside the building, the same tale was retold and on
every storey illustrated afresh. The apartment normally the coffee room
was consecrated to the exclusive use of a select party of County justices
who were still at luncheon. The drawing room on the first floor was in the
occupation of the women kind of their relatives who were just about to
refresh themselves after shopping with a cup of tea. The member of the
general public who entered the chief shops of the place on the day devoted
to County customers found himself and his patronage at a discount. The
tradesman, in civil terms, profoundly regretted his inability to attend to
the chance comer until he had satisfied the needs of the County justices'
ladies who were expecting every moment to be called for by their lords
from the Sessions House.

Socially, not less than geographically, the County continues to exist. The
wives and daughters of the country gentlemen who are County J.Ps. set the
fashion in their neighbourhood and are still regarded as moulded out of a
clay slightly superior to that of which their neighbours consist. But as
an object of fetish worship the County has in most districts disappeared.
The chief linen draper in the town, as he watches the County ladies, in
their dilatory fashion, toy with one fabric after another, can scarcely
suppress a look of impatience on his well disciplined face. He happens to
be, not less than the father and husband of these ladies, himself a member
of the new County parliament. He is exercised by a fear lest the special
committee of the body on which he is serving should have decided the
question of certain alterations in the approach to the local capital in
which he is interested, before he has had time to get to the place of
meeting. Unconsciously, perhaps, his manner towards the lady relatives of
his council-colleague, the squire and magistrate, has lost something of
its old deference. Still, the foundations of the social system remain the
same. The fusion between classes of which the County Council is the
expression rather than the cause has not brought us appreciably nearer the
revolution and the Red Republic than had been done by the earlier
parliamentary reforms. Here, as in the case of the District bodies, the
law of the survival of the fittest is unrepealed, amid the administrative
changes of the hour. County magistrates who are specially qualified for
County administration are elected to the new Councils in numbers
sufficient to leaven these bodies. The service that they performed on the
committees of the old Sessions is still discharged by them on the Boards
that are of more recent growth. The venue of their exertions is changed.
The opportunity of their labour remains the same. Probably the association
of County gentry with country town traders widens the view of the
squires, acts as an incentive to greater energy, and is actually
productive of better work. Certainly, since this machinery has been in
operation the intellectual resources of the chief centres of population
within the jurisdiction of the County Council have been improved. New art
and science museums have come into existence. The people's parks, which
were already known in country towns, are better kept. New reading rooms
and libraries have opened their doors.

During the rather more than half a century that elapsed between the
Corporations Act of 1835, and the Local Government Act of 1888, the chief
reforms effected were in the province of sanitary administration, were
mainly due to the efforts of individuals, such as Mr Stansfeld in 1872,
and were generally incorporated in the Public Health Act of 1875. These
sanitary measures contained the principle on which the area of the United
Kingdom was finally redistributed. For the purposes of County Councils,
England is mapped out into sixty-one administrative counties. Each of the
electoral divisions of which the County consists has a Councillor of its
own. The electors are practically almost identical with the parliamentary
constituencies. In the case of municipalities inside the County area, the
Local Government Board decides the share of representation to which it is
entitled, and allots to it on the Council one or more members, as the case
may be. In addition to the councillors created by purely popular election,
a certain number of aldermen, not to exceed one-fourth of the whole body
are chosen by co-optation among the Councillors themselves. The term of
Council office is three years. The chairman, however, who is not forbidden
to receive a salary, holds his place only for one year. Like the District
chairman, the County president too, without satisfying any pecuniary
qualification, becomes, by virtue of his office, a County magistrate.[29]
Like the Council electors, the chairman and the six co-opted aldermen are
subject only to the condition of having the County vote. As in
parliamentary elections so in County elections, the polling is by ballot.
The incidental expenses, however, which are strictly regulated by the
number of the constituency, are defrayed, not by the candidate or his
friends as in parliamentary competitions, but out of a County fund. The
prerogatives of magistrates in whatever appertains to the licensing of
public houses, and exercised in Quarter and Special Sessions, are
untouched by the new bodies. With that exception, the functions of Quarter
Sessions are superseded practically by the Councils. As a consequence, the
sessional attendances of the magistrates have largely fallen off; though
there still exist many opportunities for joint action between the new
Councils and the old Sessions. For instance, the County police is
controlled by a committee whose members are selected from the old
magistrates and the new Councillors. Again, when the object is to acquire
fresh land for popular use; to open or endow local museums or libraries,
to establish emigration funds to the Colonies or elsewhere, united action
between the two bodies is usual, but not compulsory.

It has been seen already that the Local Government Board at Whitehall
looks for the endorsement by the County Council of the Parish Council's
proposal to acquire land for allotments and, with that purpose, to obtain
loans from the State purse. Similarly, the borrowing powers for less local
objects of the Councils are definitely limited. The consent of the
Imperial authority is needed to enable the Council to borrow for permanent
works or to issue County stock. The Council's annual Budget is closely
criticized not only in debate by the Councillors themselves, but by the
Local Government Board. The property rated to the County Rate which is the
security for all loans is inspected periodically by Imperial officers. The
accounts are examined by Imperial auditors. Meanwhile, it may be
conjectured justly that the considerable remnant of country gentlemen of
the old school, that is, the nominated magistrates, who have seats on the
new Councils, secure a salutary continuity of administration and
expenditure between the new régime and that which preceded it. There is,
of course, far more of local variety and of adaptability to the needs of
special neighbourhoods in the composition of the Councils than it was ever
possible there should be in the _personnel_ of the Quarter Session
administrators. This fact would alone make it unsafe, as may be seen by
one or two instances, to generalize about these bodies. If in the
Midlands, in the Metropolitan shires, and in the South Western counties,
power remains to a great extent in the hands of the old order, and only
the tenant farmers on a large scale have influence on the Councils, the
experience of the northern mining districts and of Wales is very
different. Throughout the Principality, as well as on the Gloucester and
Monmouth frontier, the small farmers, who are Nonconformists to a man,
find themselves, for the first time in their lives, a decisive power in
their neighbourhood. The same is the case in Durham. Here the colliers,
also for the most part Nonconformists, containing among them many of the
finest, most upright, and manly specimens of the English race, practically
dominate the Council of the Northern shire.[30]



CHAPTER IX

COUNTY COUNCILS AND CLASS FUSION

    Reasons why London was not included in the Corporation Reform Act of
    1835. Popular character of its municipal government contrasts with
    Royal encroachments of various periods. Various schemes and
    commissions of City reform since the Queen's accession. 1853
    Commission alone produced practical result in the establishment in
    1855 of Metropolitan Board of Works. Relations between this Board and
    the City. In 1888 Board of Works superseded by London County Council.
    Exact relations between London County Council and the City
    Corporation. National and Imperial uses of Lord Mayor illustrated.
    Possible changes of the future. Class fusion illustrated by titled
    Mayors and other provincial usages.


The London County Council, which has little in common with the bodies
already examined except the name, has been reserved to a chapter dealing
chiefly, like the present, with the polity of the capital. For the
exclusion of London from the Corporation Act of 1835, sufficient reasons,
whether of principle or procedure, may be assigned. To the former category
belongs the fact that the City Corporation, even during the encroachments
of the Tudors and the Stuarts, had, unlike other towns, maintained its
original liberties. It was, amid all its vicissitudes, not, as were the
corporations described above, a self chosen, but a popularly elected,
body. Secondly, the Corporation Commissioners did not think that a period
within three years of Lord Grey's Reform Act, before the ground swell of
the excitement, caused by that measure, had subsided, was suitable for
deciding complex and far-reaching issues like those presented by the civic
system grouped round Guildhall. At the same time the Commissioners
expressly recorded their opinion that the magnitude of the problem ought
not indefinitely to postpone an attempt at its solution and that the
difference between the administrative problems of the provinces and the
capital was one chiefly of degree. In their separate report of 1837 the
Commissioners confined their observations on municipal London to cautious
negatives. The suggestion of creating a congeries of Metropolitan
municipalities had even then been made, as it has often been renewed
since. This proposal was officially condemned on the ground that it would
only remove an anomaly by provoking an abuse. At the same time, certain
functions of local administration were specified which, within the
Metropolitan area would be performed most efficiently and economically
under the control of a single authority. In 1853 a special Commission
enquiring into the affairs of the City Corporation, among various, but not
very definite proposals, hinted that the seven parliamentary boroughs, of
which London then consisted, might supply the machinery for a heptarchy of
municipalities administratively associated in a central Board of Works.
That body was to be composed of persons chosen by the different boroughs
of the capital. No active steps were taken towards the heptarchical
subdivision of the capital. But in 1855 the Metropolis Local Management
Act was introduced by Sir Benjamin Hall. The result was the Metropolitan
Board of Works, which remained an active power until it was superseded by
or incorporated in the London County Council of 1888. All the then
existing parishes and vestries of London sent members elected by the
vestries to this central body. The Board of Works supplied the long
desiderated unity of administration. If during its thirty-three years of
rule it made many enemies, it also effected great improvements. In 1884
the Administration of Mr Gladstone produced a fresh measure of London
reform. The chief feature of this was the absorption by the City of the
powers of the Metropolitan Board, and the redistribution of parochial
functions concentrated upon the City Corporation but now to be divided
among new local bodies. This proposal proved equally unacceptable to the
City which was already overburdened, and to the parochial bodies which
were soon to be superseded. It had, however, advanced the question a
perceptible degree; had renewed popular interest in London reform, and
helped to create the public opinion which, four years later, in 1888,
enabled the Cabinet of the day to include London in the Bill for
establishing County Councils throughout the kingdom.

In the provinces, as has been seen, the County Councils practically have
taken over the civil and administrative duties of magistrates formerly
exercised at Quarter Sessions, but have in no way touched the judicial
functions of these gentlemen as representatives of the Queen's justice.
In the same way, the London County Council has left absolutely unimpaired
the judicial power of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen organized in their
various courts to execute and administer the civil and criminal law
according to the historic traditions of the capital. The Common Council of
London City has, therefore, to-day the powers which belong to an ordinary
borough council. Outside the City limits, the London County Council with
respect to drainage, sanitary arrangements generally, new streets and
local improvements of all kinds, in courteous, rather than compulsory,
concert with the City discharges the functions of the former Board of
Works, or of a County Council in the provinces.

That this friendly association between the two Metropolitan bodies, the
old and the new, should be practicable is what a knowledge of the past
would lead one to expect. In civic affairs London has always been an
encouragement and example to provincial townships. The magnitude of its
area, the preoccupation of its inhabitants with the complex interests and
exhausting activities of their daily life render London, as Cobden and
others have always discovered, an impracticable headquarters for political
agitation. But long before our great provincial centres had been possessed
with that intense feeling of corporate life which is now the boast of
Manchester or Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, or Leeds, the traders who
did their business under the shadow of Guildhall were united by a
citizenship scarcely less stimulating and constraining than that of the
little Republics of old Greece. One, and each of them, they took a
patriotic pride in the material perfection to which the conveniences or
comforts of their existence had been brought. Thus, as Lancashire has seen
with exultation the reflection of its collective life in the great cities
on the Irwell, or the Mersey, the entire Kingdom and Empire have always
recognized the symbol of their unity as well as of their greatness in the
prosperity or in the institutions of London City. Nor does anything more
impress the mind of our foreign neighbours or our Colonial fellow-citizens
than the response to appeals for help in the day of distress which issue
from the Mansion House as from the heart of the English race. It is thus
no exaggeration to say that the past records and contemporary services of
London have proved of some moral use in promoting the success of the very
latest municipal reforms. That a final stage in the evolution of London
government has yet been reached no one believes, least of all the men who
completed the preliminaries for the formation of the London County
Council. The Commissioners of 1886-7 have themselves pointed out the
anomaly of applying to London, even though it be called a County, that
form of administration which is primarily intended for provincial shires
necessarily identified not with commerce and trade, but with rural
pursuits and interests. The City Corporation and the London County Council
will both be relieved when the existing period of transition with its
occasional friction and confusion is terminated. The relations between the
two bodies must necessarily be mutually those of armed vigilance rather
than of cordial alliance. What is known as the Unification Commission
was, it must be remembered, appointed at the instance of the London County
Council. The chief points of the proposal thus made was as earlier
paragraphs have shown practically to merge the City in some new municipal
body to the East of Temple Bar. As matters are, while the Lord Mayor and
Aldermen are not County Councillors of London, the City of London has four
representatives on the Council. These, however, are not the nominees of
the Corporation, but are chosen by the ordinary civic constituency, the
ratepayers. As a matter of fact, though by a coincidence, of the four
present representatives on the Council of the City, one is an Alderman,
and another a common Councilman. But they were not chosen in these
capacities. As little therefore as the vestries or as the local boards is
the Corporation directly represented in the London County Council, which
was created by the Act of 1888. When, in addition to its hospitable and
charitable functions, the services rendered by the City to the cause of
national education are remembered; when it is considered that nearly all
the great Guilds help by exhibitions to support poor students at the
Universities, and that they also make regular and liberal contributions to
the Science and Art department at South Kensington as well as to the
Finsbury Institute for the technical training of mechanics and artizans,
the extreme unwisdom of any scheme of London reform which shall, by
wounding the pride, discourage the generosity of the historic interests
now mentioned, becomes self-evident.

However cordial at the different points where they are brought into
contact the relations may be between the old Corporation and the new
Council, it is seemingly agreed on all sides that the true method for
administering that vast and not yet finally circumscribed area inhabited
by what De Quincey once called 'the nation of London,' has still to be
devised. The suggestions for future reform are innumerable in quantity and
Protean in character. Whether the existing areas of separate control
inside or outside the City gates should be maintained; whether they could
be replaced conveniently by five or ten, by six or fourteen, separate
municipalities; these are the problems that, as in the past, so in the
future, seem likely long to divide the minds of Metropolitan reformers.
The City Corporation has already divested itself, _e.g._ in its relations
with the Commissioners of Sewers, of certain functions which normally
belong to a town council. Hence, it has been suggested that this process
might be continued till the Lord Mayor and Aldermen practically merged
themselves in the existing County Council of the capital. In that event,
the administrative jurisdiction of the County Council, instead of stopping
abruptly at Temple Bar, as it now does, would stretch from the Strand to
the Guildhall. From thence it would radiate throughout the region
generally spoken of as the City. There does not seem much likelihood of
the fulfilment of this contingency. Such a scheme could not work well
unless it were embraced with practical unanimity by those whom it
immediately concerned. The Lord Mayor of London, and the authorities
gathered round him, naturally regard with jealousy even the apparent
infringement of their historic prerogatives and immemorial dignities. Nor
in the interests, not of the City alone, but of the nation at large is it
desirable that anything should be done which might actually impair the
prestige, or even sentimentally wound the vanity of the exceedingly
useful, and uniformly patriotic and generous men who are installed by
annual succession in the Mansion House. The lofty attributes with which
the French press and stage have invested the Lord Mayor are not entirely
caricature. They indicate corresponding realities. The Lord Mayor has
always been and remains to-day far more than the local head of a great
municipality. In all parts of the Three Kingdoms, he, with his colleagues,
controls territorial estates equal in extent, and far more than equal in
revenue to a Continental Duchy. The Guildhall, with its library and
museum; the Mansion House; schools and institutions like the City of
London School, Ward's City of London School for Girls, the Guildhall
School of Music; these are only a few of the foundations that are
naturally presided over by the Lord Mayor. They all exist, not so much for
the glory of the City, as for the service of the community. Possibly it
might be useful to classify the complicated functions of the Sovereign of
the City. It would then be seen how far the principle of devolution could
be applied to his various attributes in their daily exercise. There are
those who have imagined that within the empire of the Lord Mayor of the
future there might be created subordinate municipalities which would act
as local committees under his central control.

Few better proofs of the general intelligence and efficiency of the County
Councils could be given than the wisdom with which they have discharged an
educational duty of the first importance imposed upon them by a new
parliamentary statute. The Customs and Excise Act of 1890 placed certain
funds for the development of technical instruction at the disposal of the
Councils. That duty in the opinion of the critics at Whitehall was
performed so efficiently as to suggest the formation of committees from
the Councils to ascertain local needs of technical training as well as
practically to control, in the place of School Boards, the elementary
education of the Kingdom. The Measure wherein that proposal was embodied,
the Education Bill of 1896, has been withdrawn. The tribute to the
capacity of the Councils remains. The educational functions with which it
was suggested to charge these bodies, will without doubt, some day be
performed by them.

The wholesome fusion of classes promoted in the country villages and towns
by recent local government reforms has been already noticed. The same
tendency has been pleasantly illustrated at other points in the social
scale. The legislation of 1888 neither diminished the prestige nor
trenched upon the province of the Imperial Parliament. The only point at
which it can be said to have touched that body was the process connected
with the acquirement of land for public purposes by Parish Councils. Here,
it will be remembered; if the order, decided on by a majority of the
Parish Councillors, is ratified by the County Council; if, after that, it
passes the ordeal of the Local Government Board; then the Whitehall
department issues its sanction for the purchase of the land in question.
That order has forthwith the validity of an Act of Parliament, without
having gone through the different stages incidental to legislation at
Westminster.

Meanwhile, hereditary legislators have to a considerable extent
practically interested themselves in, and placed their experience at the
disposal of, the County Councils; just as, with regard to Parish Councils,
the clergy and gentry have been seen assisting at the deliberations of
their tenants or their flock. The first chairman of the County Council of
London, Lord Rosebery, only abdicated that office to become Prime
Minister. Among his successors were the former permanent head of the Board
of Trade, Lord Farrer, the Vice-President, Sir J. Hutton and Sir Arthur
Arnold. The same process of social amalgamation has been witnessed in the
provinces not less signally than in the capital. The premier peer of
England, the Duke of Norfolk, has been Mayor of Sheffield. Lord Derby has
filled the same office at Liverpool. Lord Windsor, in succession to Lord
Bute, has been Mayor of Cardiff. Lord Beauchamp has presided over the
Corporation of Worcester. Lord Hothfield, one of the largest landowners in
Westmorland, has been Mayor of Appleby. Lord Lonsdale has been Mayor of
Whitehaven, Lord Zetland has held the same position at Richmond. Lords
Dudley, Ripon, Warwick, and Crewe, have presided each of them over the
Corporations of the towns from which respectively they derive their
titles. If this be a reversion to an earlier usage of the aristocracy in
England, the precedent had been almost forgotten before the practice was
revived. The analogy that to most persons will more readily have suggested
itself is rather that of the cities of mediæval Italy; when the commercial
community of Genoa was presided over by a lineal descendant of the Doges;
when a Doria was at the head of the municipality of Rome; when Milan and
the Lombard capitals, which first instructed England in arts of luxury and
in modes of splendour, were controlled by Magistrates whose pedigrees
might have stretched back beyond the Empire to the classical Republic. If
the civic association of the titular nobility with the new democracy of
England were not popular it could not exist; and titled Mayors would cease
to be returned by popular constituencies. If on the other hand the
municipal compliments failed to bring with them to their recipients an
opportunity of usefulness as well as a sense of honour, they would not be
accepted. The plain historical truth is that the patrician landowners of
England have recognized the opportunity of removing the remnant of
traditional estrangement between themselves and the masses of their
countrymen of which so much was heard during the years immediately
following the new Poor Law of half a century since. Of that sentiment,
little known except by hearsay to the present generation, the most vivid,
and not the least trustworthy record is still to be found in a fiction
already mentioned in these pages, Mr Disraeli's _Sibyl_. Nothing but
reciprocal good can come of these relations between the classes and the
masses, to apply to them the distinguishing terms used by Mr Gladstone.
An apprenticeship to the routine work of municipal affairs in view of the
changed subject matter of the questions of the day is more likely to prove
practically serviceable for those born into the condition of hereditary
statesmen than a course of diplomatic lounging in the Courts and
Chanceries of the world, or even than the grand tour which now extends
from Calcutta in one direction to Chicago in another. The class fusion
that is so signally the social product of the present reign has culminated
in the conditions which, in the fulness of time, legislation has rather
recognized than produced. Long before provincial self government was
established upon the lines indicated by the Acts of 1888 and 1894, the
spirit which in 1867 prompted Edward Denison to take up his dwelling in
Whitechapel had been exemplified by philanthropists of both sexes in
London and elsewhere. The sister of Mr Chamberlain is one of several
ladies at Birmingham who systematically co-operated for purposes of house
to house visiting in the poorest quarters of the town that they might
practically instruct the wives and daughters of working men in the arts of
domestic management, and in the possibility of keeping the humblest homes
happy, healthy, comfortable and clean. Similar organizations have done a
like work in Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, and no doubt in all
our great centres of population.[31]



CHAPTER X

THE SOCIAL FUSING AND ORGANIZING OF THE TWO NATIONS OF 'SIBYL'

    Exterior of a University settlement in the East End. The scene in the
    street. Various functions of the University settlers within. General
    supervision of health arrangements; putting the law in motion to that
    end. Conciliation between masters and men. The higher culture for East
    End pupils. Coaching a Bethnal Green four. Earlier efforts in this
    direction. S.W. slum boys in Belgravian drawing rooms. The young lady
    and the ubiquitous jockey. The settlements and clubs of to-day at the
    East End of London foreshadowed by earlier organizations in the
    provinces by the agencies of the Christian socialists; the working
    man's colleges, etc. The inside life of settlements and clubs to-day.
    Schools of character to all concerned. General analogy between West
    End and East End clubs. Some details of the good work done for, and
    by, both sexes, young and old. A City missioner's testimony. Then and
    now in the East End. A. Toynbee; T. H. Green and this movement. Rules
    suggested by personal experience for the conduct of this intercourse
    between different classes.


In a street broad and clean, as many of those at the extreme East End of
London are, but still in the heart of an unmistakably poor, often a
squalid quarter, is a house which, resembling its fellows in architecture,
presents even as to its exterior the appearance of being inhabited by
persons of a better sort. On the pavement outside groups of men, women and
boys are waiting for admission. The door is opened presently, not by a
servant of either sex, but by a person, evidently a gentleman, in the
prime of early and athletic manhood. The men and women are introduced into
a room on the ground floor. Their host hears perhaps of a fever having
broken out not a hundred yards off; of a home distrained upon for unpaid
rent by an impatient landlord, or gutted of its furniture by the broker's
man, of a local inspector's failure to order the demolition of dwellings
unfit for human habitation, of a strike imminent near the Docks, and
likely in its results to leave tens of households without clothing or
food. If this be the tale poured into the ears of the young Oxford or
Cambridge graduate, he at once hurries off to see whether his personal
influence, strengthened as it is by some years of varied local experience,
cannot move the landlord to give his tenants one more chance; or whether
the tact, that is not likely to grow rusty from lack of practice, cannot
promote a compromise between masters and men; or whether the knowledge of
municipal law, acquired by many months of careful reading, with the help
of local illustrations, cannot be so brought to bear upon the parochial
officer as to induce him duly to execute the letter of the Sanitary
Statute.

If none of these things have to be done the lads may be called into the
chamber which serves the resident for the purpose of study and pupil-room.
It is, in fact, just such another den as very likely may have been
occupied by our graduate a couple of years ago when he was an Eton master
and saw his private pupils at his quarters in Keate's Lane. It by no means
follows that the subject of his conversation with these East End lads is
primarily scholastic or strictly educational. The University resident at
the East End has brought with him the taste for athletics of all kinds
which he acquired on the Isis or the Cam. He devotes as much time to
teaching his East End pupils cricket or oarsmanship as to awakening and
satisfying their interest in learning or letters. He and his party are
therefore very likely to be seen taking the omnibus or rail if the
afternoon be fine, to Putney or Hammersmith, where the spectators on the
bank will soon be cheering a Bethnal Green four practising starts with a
Leander or a University crew.

The building of whose interior a glance has been given is probably the
hired house in which two or three members of the Academic or Public School
settlement live. It may be one of the many clubs for adults, for boys or
girls, which to-day are scarcely less common in the purlieus of Poplar
than are clubs of a different sort in St James's or Pall Mall. These
institutions are among the chief instruments of civilization on which the
new settlers rely. No one now doubts the service to the manners and the
morals of the upper classes rendered by the joint-stock caravanserais of
the West End. Three bottle men, as readers of Thackeray may see for
themselves, lasted throughout the epoch of coffee houses. They very
generally disappeared with the replacement of coffee houses by clubs, and
with the early adjournment from the dinner table to the smoking room. A
club-man in his cups was found to be a nuisance. A new public opinion was
created against an old vice. Protracted potations rapidly became, as
Hamlet desired, more honoured in the breach than in the observance, till a
toper in St James's became as rare as a bishop in a billiard room. An
analogous reform in the East End as in the West has been worked by a like
agency. The fittings and the environments of the institution differ in the
two regions. Their moral influence is identical in both. In this matter,
too, as in so many other modes of social improvement, the Metropolis
followed the lead of the provinces. East End clubs, in contradistinction
to boozing-dens, existed indeed long before University settlements were
known, or before Edward Denison's first visit to Whitechapel was paid; but
not before at Lancaster in 1860, the Working Men's Mutual Improvement and
Recreation Society had flourished for some little time. In like manner,
the University settlements now spoken of, had been preceded by the
organized efforts of the Rev. F. D. Maurice, Thomas Hughes, and other
representatives of what was then called Christian socialism, to establish
by the college for working men in Great Ormond Street a living connection
between University influence and industrial well being. Even working men's
colleges had existed in the country before F. D. Maurice made his London
experiment. Sheffield witnessed the first of these during the early
fifties. Oxford and Cambridge towns were not long behind. Thus the
promoters of academic settlements were not without the benefit of the
experience of their earlier predecessors as well as of the public spirited
association of their contemporaries. The Working Men's Club and Institute
Union had been founded in 1862 by Lord Brougham and Lord Lyttelton. Much
of the machinery, as well as a nucleus, for the endeavours of the
settlers of a latter day was ready to their hands before they began their
work. But the idea of the combination of gymnasium with club, and of the
subordination of the roughest kind of physical exercise to the ends of
social culture had not been illustrated on any extensive scale before
institutions like the Repton or the Oxford House clubs were controlled by
men who took this way of doing honour to the name of their University or
their school.

Before this, ladies living in Belgravia, revering the memory and example
of Maurice, were in the habit of inviting to their drawing rooms from the
alleys and by-ways in which the fashionable district abounds poor boys who
could not be tempted, even with the bait of magic lanterns, to the night
school. The work was found to be rather too exacting. The chivalry of
street boyhood did not, as might have been foreseen, prevent the urchins
from gratifying their sense of fun at her expense in the drawing room of
the amateur teacher. The joke of giving, as their names, those of the
famous jockeys of the hour, Fordham, Archer, Cannon, as the case may be,
proved too good to be resisted. Gravity, once disturbed, could not be
restored. The pupils could do nothing but laugh at each other's fun. Their
would-be instructress had to acquiesce in their removal when the servant
came to clear away the tea things. A public feeling in favour of order and
even cleanliness has long since been generated in the boys' clubs
controlled by the University settlers. First the prejudice against collars
as an article of attire goes out; then a feeling in favour of washed hands
sets in. In the recreation rooms upstairs boxing gloves are provided as a
safety valve for the escape of the superfluous humours of Arab animalism.
Then by slow degrees comes the hour when bagatelle boards may be
introduced without danger of their being used for the breaking of heads,
or of the bagatelle cues being employed for the perforation of the
lath-and-plaster walls instead of for the propulsion of the ivory balls.

The parents are provided with the same sort of accommodation as their
children. The adult clubs are chiefly of two kinds. In some, the first
purpose is political. In that case the society becomes an agency for the
propagation of Radical ideas, and probably an outwork of Trades-Unionism.
But from many of these foundations politics, which are generally
synonymous with advanced Liberalism, are excluded. In the majority, if not
in all, of the non-political clubs, intoxicating drinks, though under
conditions they were sanctioned by the early founders, are by common
agreement, prohibited also. The popularity of these clubs with the wives
of their habitués is a sufficient proof of the sobering tendency of the
new resorts. In all cases, the women gain scarcely less advantage from
them than the men. Each club is an organization for social entertainments
and hospitalities to which members are free to bring all their women-kind.

The dominant idea of the University settlement to which these clubs are
subsidiary, is to give the poorest and most densely populated working
class districts the benefit of a resident gentry such as, in the clergyman
or the squire, is generally commanded in rural parishes. The local
separation between employer and employed; the fact that the workers do
not, as they used to do, dwell to-day within sight of their masters, but
are segregated into colonies of their own in another quarter of the
capital, and have no access to persons better informed than themselves in
the troubles and perplexities, big or small, of everyday existence, first
prompted those who realized the perils of this situation, to make, as far
as might be, common lot with their less fortunate fellow creatures. In New
York, where these societies seem to have been known longer than in
England, the phrase employed is Neighbourhood Guild. To obtain the local
knowledge which can alone enable the most wise or charitable to give
effective help, habitual residence under conditions and in neighbourhoods
identical with the class to be benefited is absolutely necessary. The
University settler becomes in fact a sort of Delphic Oracle, consulted on
all embarrassing contingencies by the entire neighbourhood. To vary the
simile, the enquiries made of him are not less various than the questions
which the editor of a popular print undertakes to answer in his
Correspondence column. The doubts and complications arising out of the law
of landlord and tenant, especially out of that enigmatic being, the
compound householder who so long obstructed the path of Household
Franchise, require a practical knowledge of often abstruse legal points
and sometimes compel resort to a professional solicitor. The precise steps
necessary to put in motion the Statute for the removal of hopelessly
insanitary dwellings are not likely to be within the knowledge of the
dwellers by the Docks. These are only a few of the knots which for the
instruction of those he has chosen for neighbours, the University settler
must be prepared to untie. And this is only one of the duties which he
actually performs. He not only takes part in the municipal government of
his neighbourhood; he helps others to take part in it, too. Already he has
himself sat on School Boards and trained grown-up pupils to fill his
place.

Nor is it always necessary to speak in the masculine gender. University
settlements are no more limited to a single sex than the tripos work of
the Cambridge Senate House, or of the Extension lecture rooms, which enjoy
the patronage of the Oxford schools. Nor is it the Universities only that
are represented by these feminine settlements. The Cheltenham Ladies'
College, one of the earliest, if not the first, of that kind of public
schools for English girls, has already made a sensible difference in
hundreds of lives in the extreme East of the town. Among the special works
of which the Cheltonians have set an example is that of enabling poor
mothers to procure for their children at seasons of need not merely the
conventional 'day in the country,' but a sojourn of weeks, or even months,
in a healthy cottage home on the seashore of Sussex or on the fragrant
uplands of Kent. The machinery for accomplishing this has now been brought
to a very high point of efficiency and indeed perfection. The Cheltenham
ladies and their colleagues, associated under the respective matrons of
the institutions, have a long list of simple honest folk within a few
hours' journey of London who can be trusted to look after their little
charges during their stay beneath their roof, and to send back to their
homes the small boys and girls visibly better than when the children were
first received by their hosts. Sometimes the Guilds of the different sexes
may combine their efforts for hospitalities and entertainments, a magic
lantern and lecture, it may be, or during the winter season a Christmas
tree followed by supper and a dance, or to speak more correctly a general,
though not uncontrolled, romp.

Most, if not all, of these East End clubs, which the University settlers
aim at teaching their members to run for themselves, rather than
indefinitely to leave their management to outside friends, are federated
to a central association, that the late Lord Lyttelton took a prominent
part in organizing. This was the body which, as has been already said,
decided that stronger drinks than water should not absolutely be
forbidden; but that central supervision should be exercised closely over
all the establishments, and that prompt action should be taken when any
breach of order, corporate or individual, was reported. The average
standard of order maintained has improved, and is still improving.
Generally and individually the club members have realized that their
material interest lies in checking the first beginnings of misconduct, and
in dealing with the offenders not only as guilty individually of a breach
of order, but as violating the first principles of collective fellowship.
Such a conviction indicates the progress made towards the creation of a
healthy opinion upon social matters with those who, a few years ago, would
have been pronounced by experts to be invulnerably proof against any
sentiment of the sort. East End boys are no doubt mischievous, and even
destructive creatures. So, for that matter, are all boys. If their
brethren of the upper class do not break out in the same way as the urchin
East Enders, that is because the march of refinement through the West End
has trodden out the old race of small boys and girls, and has replaced
them by little men and women whose only childhood will be reached in their
dotage. The very interesting experiences recorded in the volume entitled:
_The Universities and the Social Problem_[32] do indeed include some
rather alarming freaks of the East End waggishness. But to the small boy
in rags the process of whose reclamation from Bethnal Green barbarism to
Christian civilization had only begun a few weeks since, the trick of
pouring a paraffin can over a sleeping foe, and then applying a match, did
not seem more of an atrocity than to a West End boy of the same age might
have appeared the joke, borrowed from the pantomime stage, of placing the
baby on the floor by the door for the entering nurse to tumble over, or of
putting a red hot poker too close to be pleasant or even safe to the nose
of an unpopular housemaid. Men like Dr Barnardo or General Booth, who
both know something of Whitechapel waifs and strays, have not thought that
poor children in the East End inherit an exceptional amount of original
sin. Nor have they, nor others, discovered that ragged boys, nurtured on
fried fish and unspeakable pudding are incapable of being disciplined into
habits of obedience, truthfulness, and humanity, even though their ideas
of permissible humour be not bounded by the conventional limits of
gentleness and good taste. The administrators of the People's Palace, for
some time after the fancy of Sir Walter Besant was translated into fact,
were not always sanguine as to the feasibility of civilizing their young
patrons, even through the agency of pictures or swimming baths, thick
slices of bread and butter, buns, and fried haddock purchasable not much
above, if not something below, cost price. To-day, though the social
deportment in the pleasure grounds of Bethnal Green may lack the
superficial polish, and the innate breeding, of the crowds at the
Westminster Aquarium or the South Kensington Museum, a considerable
advance is recorded on the part of the Harrys and the Harriets of Poplar
and Whitechapel towards the carriage and conduct of the cynosures of less
outlandish suburbs on Bank Holiday. There is no body of men who know
unfashionable London better, or who deserve more honour for the service
which they render to it than the members of the London City Mission. The
work of these missioners, though undenominational, is religious rather
than æsthetic. But they are shrewd observers of the social aspects of the
neighbourhoods they visit. Their opinion of the practical results of the
agencies that have here been described may be summed up in the words of a
missioner to the present writer: 'It marks an epoch in East End
civilization of which ten years ago Christian charity would itself have
despaired.'

The functions exercised by the controlling authority of the Working Men's
Club and Institute Union are educational as well as disciplinary. There is
no reason now why any one of the affiliated societies, however impecunious
it may be or however impoverished the district wherein it may exist,
should be without as good a library as one of Mr Mudie's subscribers, or
should not know almost as much about the history and antiquities of the
British capital as the late Dean Stanley himself. The controllers of the
union often make liberal advances in money for the purchase of books by
the local clubs. Should these funds not be forthcoming, book boxes with
wisely chosen contents circulate among the members of a Home Readers'
Union. The volumes thus distributed are real literature. The subjects to
which they relate are methodically mastered by the readers who themselves
have selected them, and have not acted on the initiative of the more
highly educated residents, Peripatetic encyclopædias like Mr Augustus Hare
or Mr Percy Fitz-Gerald are ever ready to 'take walks' with them.
Omniscient divines, such as Dean Bradley or Dean Farrar personally conduct
them through their cathedrals into the heart of English history. Nor are
the literary studies chosen merely because they are likely to help the
student in his everyday work, and therefore improve his earnings. The
biographies of the statesmen and soldiers of old Greece, the dramatic
vicissitudes of the Republics of mediæval Italy, even the philosophy as
well as the language of Dante or of Macchiavelli are taken up by men after
a day's manual work with an energy that would shame an undergraduate
returning from a wine party to read for his Schools. This, too, seems to
be the experience of American settlements as well, of Hull House, Chicago,
or of Andover House, Boston. In their capacity of schools of citizenship,
as well as of education, the American settlements have felt the immediate
benefit of the Oxford influence and example, incarnated not only in Arnold
Toynbee, but in the late T. H. Green, professor of mental and moral
philosophy, whose pupil Toynbee was; while Green in his turn had been the
disciple of Benjamin Jowett. Good citizenship was the ideal ever present
to the late Master of Balliol in his dealings with his pupils, just as it
had been present centuries earlier to Socrates in his discourses to Plato,
or in his conversations with Alcibiades. Green probably made the most
valuable of recent contributions to the speculative thought and science of
his University, of his country, or of his generation. He was, also, a
prominent and active member of the Oxford Town Council, and of other local
bodies. By their lessons in the theory and practice of citizenship, taught
more publicly than it fell to the lot of their master to teach, the Oxford
settlers at the East End have improved upon Green's example, with much of
his zeal, and not a little of his success. More than twenty years ago the
East End neighbourhoods now mentioned were first visited by the present
writer, to inform himself for those portions of an earlier work, relating
to that part of unfashionable London.[33] Thanks mainly to the influence
and teaching of the Rev. S. A., since Canon, Barnett, great improvements
in the domestic economy and material fittings of the humblest households
had begun, even then to be visible. The later experiences and their social
results, which have now been described, have made it possible for the
writer to contrast the East End of the later eighties with that of the
later nineties. The scale and the precise modes of manifestation are of
course widely different, but if due allowance be made for the social
disparity of Mayfair and Mile End, it is no exaggeration to say that the
increased attention to the prettinesses of life shown in the boudoirs and
drawing rooms of fashionable London is reflected in the parlours of those
purlieus now spoken of. These though their civilization be still
incomplete, have to a great extent under the agencies that have here been
examined, ceased to be manifestly poverty-stricken or repulsively hideous.
The discipline of character that the settlements provide for the settlers
is at least as salutary as the consequences they involve for the district,
whether it be in the East End, in Camberwell, or in Notting Hill, that the
settlement is made. The social education for the West End club-man of his
joint stock palace in Pall Mall is trivial in comparison with the training
that will be administered to him by a few visits to the East End club, of
which he may be made free, or of which perhaps he may himself have been a
founder. The assistance of those in such a position as the University
settlers is appreciated cordially by the working club-men. 'We always
need, to begin with, the help of some of you gentlemen of the Oxford
Settlement. Afterwards if you look in upon us from time to time, we can
keep things going pretty well for ourselves.' Such is the common remark of
the settler's friends. Of its practical truth there seems little doubt.
The University settler and his friends in his own station are not,
however, on this account to suppose that within these clubs their society
is courted as a favour or regarded as a compliment. On the contrary, the
atmosphere and sentiment of the place are uncompromisingly democratic. If
the West Ender, by his talk or manner contributes anything of pleasure or
profit to the social pool, then he is welcomed just as he would be on the
same terms in the coteries of Pall Mall, or at the dining tables of Hyde
Park. If, on the other hand, there be, perhaps unconsciously to himself a
suspicion of condescension in his bearing, or a too visible effort after
edification in his talk, then as peremptorily as he could be among his own
equals at the West End, he will be voted a bore, and shunned as a prig at
the East End. The roughest specimens of Whitechapel or Ratcliffe require,
not less, but rather more tact for their management, than other people
need. If that be forthcoming, the youths, whose element is destruction,
whose ambition is to be a professional pugilist or a champion strong man,
but who seldom desert one to whom their loyalty has been given, and who
are the raw material with which British officers win victories on the
field against the heaviest odds, are perfectly manageable. The most
aggressively republican of Arabs becomes the most gentle and gracious of
fellow citizens. But if either of them detect signs of patronage among
their politer visitors, their backs are at once up; metaphorically their
bristles stand on end like hairs upon the fretful porcupine. Familiarity
they neither expect nor wish. They would even resent it. Their view of the
courtesies and proprieties of friendly intercourse do not in effect differ
from those held by their superiors. They are abundantly content if these
ideas are practically recognized. It is with those who are removed by a
single degree in the social scale above these rough diamonds, but who
consider themselves altogether their superiors, that the difficulty
begins. No class of servants are so troublesome as the footman tribe. No
section of the body politic proves more vexatious than the intermediate
order between the lower and the very lowest division of the middle class.
The genuine working man in the working man's club causes none of those
embarrassments which one encounters upon a level rather higher than that
of the outcasts of Camberwell or Notting Hill, the waifs and strays of
Whitechapel or Shoreditch. If the problem of association is practically to
be solved to the satisfaction of all those concerned, there is one golden
rule always to be followed. Postulating a common amount of tact and sense
on the part of the University settler, or one who essays that position,
let him begin by being natural, let him shun as the presage of failure any
conscious effort to place his lowlier fellow creature at his ease. Above
all, let him never offer his hand to shake. He himself may think the
manual overture will gratify the person to whom it is made by showing
that the maker 'has no false pride.' A greater mistake there could not be,
as a well-born academic socialist found out when, to demonstrate his faith
in the equality of all men, he shook hands with his brother's footman on
receiving his shaving water. These strained amenities are an effort to him
who volunteers them, and an infliction to him who receives them, a failure
and a mistake, in fact, all round. The secret of Edward Denison's and of
Arnold Toynbee's influence for good with their inferiors was that they not
only knew these truths, but always acted on them. Hence, by their own
work, and by the generation of workers whom they raised up to follow them
and at whose methods we have now glanced, so much was done to span the
gulf separating 'the two nations' of the English people.



CHAPTER XI

FROM AN UNTAUGHT GENERATION TO FREE SCHOOLS

    State irresponsibility for national education on, and after, the
    Queen's accession. Summary of early movements towards educating the
    people. Lancaster and Bell as pioneers of educational systems. Samuel
    Whitbread's faint foreshadowing of W. E. Forster's Education Act.
    Brougham as educational pioneer. First State grant to Church and
    Nonconformist schools. Increased in 1839. Education Department
    completed on the principle of State aid to all schools, Protestant or
    Roman, satisfying State examiners. Mr Lowe at the Education Office and
    the grant stationary. National education the law of the land by the
    Forster Act of 1870. Free education under Lord Salisbury 1891.
    Elementary education now organized. External change in the English
    landscape. Secondary education waits. Details of progress recently
    made towards this.


Those processes of organization which seem in all departments of national
activity the special features of English life during the last half of this
century have nowhere been more visible than in the educational
arrangements for the long neglected mass of the English people. Slowly,
with occasional relapses, yet upon the whole with sure and steady
progressiveness, there is being prepared, there now seems within
measurable distance of completion, the ladder that will enable any English
boy and many English girls to accomplish the ascent from the gutter to the
highest teaching of the University, and so to gain a position from which
merit and industry, favoured by fortune, will command the highest career
open to either sex. All this has been accomplished within little more than
half a century. Till 1833, the educational responsibilities of the State
practically were ignored. In that year there was made for teaching
purposes a grant of £20,000. The sum with annual increments was
thenceforth dispensed annually by the Treasury to the National Society in
Broad Sanctuary, as representing the Church of England, and for the
Nonconformists to the British and Foreign School Society. Till a
twelvemonth after the passing of the first Reform Act, the most active of
organizations for teaching the people had been the Church of England and
the great Dissenting bodies as in the case of the School Society just
named. The Roman Church on both sides of St. George's Channel never
neglected its educational duties. The Sunday School system, to which, on
the eve of the Queen's accession, thousands of working men and women owed
practically all the teaching they had received, were started towards the
close of the eighteenth century by a Gloucester printer, Robert Raikes. In
the last year of William IV. there had died a Nonconformist, a member of
the Society of Friends, Joseph Lancaster. To him and to the English
clergyman associated with him, Andrew Bell, founder also of the Bell
Classical Scholarship at Cambridge, were due the first beginnings of a
scheme of instruction for the whole English people.

Two or three decades earlier than the grant of 1833, Parliament fitfully
recognized its educational responsibilities. In 1807 Samuel Whitbread, the
son-in-law of Earl Grey, tentatively anticipated the spirit of Mr W. E.
Forster's reforms, three score and three years afterwards. By his proposal
of parochial schools throughout the Kingdom, Whitbread ranks as the
earliest education reformer of the nineteenth century. Within a decade, in
the year 1816, Brougham took up the question, obtained a committee to
enquire into the educational resources of London, and in 1820 himself
brought forward an early Education scheme of the nineteenth century. The
project perished amid the denominational tempest of religious rivalry
which it evoked. Nothing after this was done till the date at which we
have already arrived, 1833. Then, in faint forecast of the £7,000,000 now
spent by the State on the teaching of its youthful subjects, a grant for
that purpose of, £20,000 was for the first time made, distributed as we
have seen between the Protestant Churches of the country. After an
interval of six years, in 1839, Lord Melbourne's Administration excited
much obloquy, and raised the 'No Popery' cry against them, by allowing a
share in a grant, now increased to £30,000, to Roman Catholic schools. The
House of Lords, in an address to the Queen, condemned this new policy of
religious emancipation. The vote was only carried in the Commons by a
majority of two (the figures being 275 for, 273 against). Together with
certain other changes that endure to this day, it became law. Hitherto,
the State grant had been administered by the Treasury. Now for the first
time an Education Department was organized under the Lord President of
the Council, and four other members of the body. The Vice-President was
appointed in 1856. During Lord Palmerston's long term of office, in 1857,
the Education grant rose to £451,000. It became more expressly understood
that henceforth the specific duties of Education Minister were vested in
the Vice-President.[34] With the steady increase of the annual grant, its
province of usefulness was extended also. Subject always to the principle
of State inspection, where State aid was received, the grant was no longer
limited to assist the erection of new schools. Even before 1857 it had
been allotted in due proportion to help schools already in existence.
Portions of it were also received by training colleges for teachers. The
quality of the instruction supplied in the schools had not improved in
proportion to the liberality shown by the State. In 1859-60, the grant was
more than a million. A Commission reported most unfavourably as to the
efficiency of the schools. Hence in 1862, the then Vice-President of the
Council, Robert Lowe, afterwards Lord Sherbrooke, enforced the Education
reforms which he had already drafted, and initiated the policy of payment
by results; in other words, the regulation of the amount of the grant in
schools by the success of the scholars in the yearly examination. The
teachers grumbled, but the taxpayers were relieved. The rate of increase
in the grant ceased automatically. In 1870 the Education Vote amounted to
one and a quarter millions instead of, as, but for Mr Lowe's drastic, if
indirect, retrenchment, it would have done, to something like thrice that
sum.

No fundamental change took place till the Education Act of 1870, always
associated as that will be with the name of W. E. Forster. Dealt with as
to its provisions, its working and its results, in elaborate detail in the
author's preceding work, _England_, the Measure now rather more than a
quarter of a century old will here be summarized sufficiently by reminding
the reader that this legislation empowered the election of School Boards
throughout the Kingdom, but maintained the system of voluntary
subscriptions, and only compelled the institution of School Boards where
voluntary effort had failed, and in the Time Table Conscience Clause
provided a security for individual liberty. Mr Mundella's Act of 1880 made
education absolutely compulsory throughout England and Wales, whereas
before then the power of compulsion was left to the local authorities. In
all State-aided schools, religion was to be taught either at the beginning
or end of school hours, so that, without disturbance to the general
curriculum individual children could be withdrawn from the sacred lesson
at their parents' will, without incurring any disability on that account.
These provisions met with the usual fate of legislative compromises. They
deeply offended many sections. They entirely pleased none. The battle
between religious and irreligious training, between what have been called
the National and the Denominational systems was not decided in 1870. It
has been fought over again more than once since then. It remains unsettled
to this day.

During the whole of that decade, the Education Acts were supplemented with
detailed legislation of a consolidating or modifying kind. No organic
change took place till in 1891, the Government of Lord Salisbury adopted
the first of the three Fs, long since propounded by Mr Chamberlain, and by
abolishing the School pence which scarcely repaid the trouble of their
collection, made elementary education as free to all children in the land,
as by the law of 1870 it had practically become compulsory. The proposal
to free the schools was not universally popular with the party to whose
lot it fell to execute that policy. So, notwithstanding its exclusive
traditions, that party had, under Mr Disraeli a quarter of a century
earlier by its Household Suffrage Bill, recognized and established the
English democracy. The plea on which those who had begun by resisting free
schools finally accepted them was the expediency of accepting the
inevitable first, and secondly the practical wisdom of obtaining credit
for Conservatism by doing well and wisely that which at some future time
the opposite party would have ingratiated themselves with the masses by
doing badly. The results of free education were speedily visible in the
increase of the children educated throughout the land. The increase of
children in schools during the five years preceding the Free Education Act
of 1891 had been 269,903. During the quinquennial period after the Act the
increase was 421,860, or, in round numbers, just double. The first rung
in the educational ladder for the benefit of all classes of the Kingdom
had been fixed firmly by the Act of 1870. It was not, nor was ever,
regarded by its authors as a complete Measure. It provided no regular
system of higher grade schools intermediary between the most elementary
teaching, and the more liberal culture of the grammar schools. The only
supplement that it received from the Government under which it had become
law was the Endowed Schools Act of 1874 for re-arranging the funds and
remodelling the curricula in secondary endowed schools throughout the
country. Private effort and local enterprise usefully came in where Mr
Foster's Education Act had stopped short. In various parts of England, and
especially in the great northern counties of Lancashire, Durham and York,
School Boards, fortunate enough to possess controlling spirits of
exceptional enlightenment, exercised their legal power to establish
schools of a higher kind specially for the teaching of science or art, and
generally for the tincture of the youthful mind with a more generous
training. Such schools received additional grants from the Science and Art
Department at South Kensington.

In this way the 1870 Act at once partially enabled the child of the
poorest parents to mount through the elementary schools, to the secondary
schools of the Kingdom and thence to those seats of learning at which the
picked youth of the country enjoy the choicest opportunities of mental
culture, or are qualified for the highest posts in after life to which
English ambition can aspire. The problem now to be solved, which is in
actual process of solution and of which a few years more may probably
dispose, is the completion of the national ladder of learning by a more
thorough organization of the agencies for advanced knowledge throughout
the country, and for the passage of the pupil from schools of the lowest,
to schools of the higher grade. Just as, during recent years of the
present reign, successive Reform Bills have increasingly nationalized the
legislative Chambers at Westminster; so the tendency and the result of the
transformations undergone by the great public schools and by the
Universities, that they feed, is to draw more closely together the bonds
uniting these institutions with the nation as a whole, to widen their
curriculum, to infuse a popular element into their governing bodies, and
to make them not merely the instructors, but the representatives of the
intellectual interest of the land. By remodelling the governing bodies of
Eton, Winchester and Harrow, the Public Schools Act of 1868 appreciably
quickened and deepened the sense of public responsibility inherent in
these corporations. Nearly thirty years' experience of the Endowed Schools
Act justifies the statement that the work accomplished for the grammar
schools of the country is analogous to the results which the earlier
legislation has yielded in the case of the more famous seats of youthful
study.[35] A wholesome spirit of competition now animates the governors of
these old if often still obscure endowments,[36] and daily causes fresh
usefulness to be extracted from money resources, long suffered to remain
idle. Later legislation, whose general aspects have already received
attention in these pages, has conspired to deepen the sense of obligation,
and to stimulate to efforts, most salutary for the taught, alike the
governors of and the teachers in the schools.

Shortly after the Local Government Act of 1888 was passed, important
functions, educational and financial, were given to the new County
Councils. The grammar schools were quick to perceive a new opportunity. In
1889, thirteen representatives of the Councils, in some cases at the
instance of their older colleagues, received seats on the governing bodies
of the Secondary Schools. The corporations thus reformed have already
begun vigorously to deal with an abuse inveterate in their smaller
schools. Where the value of the endowment, from charges on the property of
which it consists or from a fall in the value of land, has fluctuated the
governors have been in the habit of farming out the school to the
headmaster. They have, that is, assigned to him the income of the trust,
and such fees as he can charge. In return, the pedagogue takes upon
himself the charges of working the school, and of the teaching of a fixed
number of free boys. The tendency of this arrangement is, of course, to
repeat in the present day the experiences of Do-the-boys Hall under Mr
Squeers in _Nicholas Nickleby_. The headmaster has upon him the burden
not only of his educational work, but of the solvency of his daily
business. His own stipend is too small to admit of his paying competent
assistants. He becomes a pensioner on the caprice of well-to-do parents,
and the instrument of their not generally very enterprising will, or of
their too enlightened pleasure. The only chance for the small secondary
schools thus circumstanced is their rescue by some of the more
public-spirited and opulent of the governors. But this relief is
forthcoming so rarely that the Commissioners generally recommend the
closing of all schools existing under these conditions and the application
of their endowments to purposes less obviously foredoomed to failure.
Other instances of the waste of existing resources for secondary education
are even more frequent and not less serious. Grammar schools of competent
calibre are often geographically crowded so close together as to obstruct
and paralyse their mutual efforts. Thus in South Devon there is at
Chudleigh a grammar school of considerable repute. Within a radius of
sixteen miles, _e.g._ at Ashburton, Totnes, and Bovey Tracey, there are
similar schools capable of good work, but lacking a population of parents
and children to fill their empty benches. A like experience has often
occurred in the case of establishments which, not being endowed grammar
schools have not come under the notice of the Commissioners. Bath, for
instance, has long possessed more educational opportunities than most
other cities in the West of England. The oldest of her proprietary
colleges, that in the district known as 'Grosvenor,' to some extent became
merged in the less ancient Sydney College. That in due time produced a
successful offshoot, the Somerset College. These two latter institutions
during some time were healthily stimulated by mutual competition. At last
the rivalry became profitable only to the prestige and numbers of the
secondary schools that, managed on the same principles, had come into
existence first at Cheltenham, then afterwards on the Clifton downs, near
Bristol. In 1885,[37] the Somerset and Sydney Colleges were amalgamated
under a single headmastership by the title of the Bath College. This
to-day is doing an excellent work. But it is the North and East of England
where by the needless reduplication or ill-advised contiguity of schools
of the same grade the most flagrant breaches are committed against the
first laws of educational economy. Thus, in the West Riding, the grammar
school of Ossett has a fair endowment but practically no scholars. Again,
Walsingham in Norfolk, with less than 1,000 inhabitants, possesses a
substantially endowed school, the boys attending which had decreased from
32 in 1884 to 11 in 1894. Not far off at Ipswich, Norwich, and Bury St
Edmunds, are establishments of historic fame, and of present competence.
As an alternative to the continued waste of such opportunities, and to
promote the local completion of the educational ladder indicated in the
beginning of this chapter, the Commissioners suggest that the Walsingham
school should be transferred bodily to Fakenham, a prosperous and not
distant town, or that the Walsingham funds should be converted into
scholarships and exhibitions to be held at other places of education
within the County. There are other small grammar schools which, while just
paying their way, have evidently no considerable career before them. Here
the spirit of commercial impatience is apt to suggest the conversion of
these places of teaching into elementary schools of the better sort. But
the places now spoken of often have honourable traditions, and resemble
families that, through no fault of their members, have, by misfortune,
come down in the world. Local patriotism dwells fondly on the creditable
past of such institutions, and would be wounded by their irrecoverable
degradation. Surely, therefore, these schools might have the chance of
retrieving their position. That, in effect, is what the Commissioners say.
Assign to the decayed grammar schools their exact place in a reorganized
system of secondary education. On condition of their adapting themselves
to the place thus appointed to them, assist them out of the public funds
to regain full effectiveness, and, together with that, to renew their past
prosperity.

Within the last few years an illustrious proof has been given that a great
school is not necessarily so sensitive a plant as to depend for its
life-blood and vigour on the essential qualities of the soil wherein its
founders first fixed its roots. 'The Grey Friars' of Thackeray's novels,
the Charter House school, which, in R. C. Jebb, now Professor of Greek in,
as well as M.P. for, Cambridge University, has produced probably the first
scholar of the latter half of this century, has been removed recently to
the great advantage of the physical health and literary industry of its
scholars from its ancient home in London city to the rural neighbourhood
of Godalming town. A precedent for the same policy in less famous
instances, exists. At Hewsworth, in the West Riding, Archbishop Holgate's
grammar school has been closed from lack of pupils. Its endowment was
merged in that of the grammar school at Barnsley, a town of some 36,000
inhabitants, midway between Sheffield and Wakefield. Within half a dozen
years, the Barnsley school, thus reinforced, had achieved prosperity, and
had adopted the chief recommendations for effective teaching made by the
Commissioners. One thing is at least clear. If liberal education, the
process, that is, of the development of the whole intellectual nature,
without immediate reference to the supply of material needs, is not to
become a mere tradition; if, in other words, literary culture be worth
preserving as an instrument for training the mind, the cry for merging the
grammar schools in agencies of specialist and technical teaching must not
be adopted without consideration. The highest experts in this matter agree
that the scientific and technical instruction, which is visibly a paying
investment, runs in these days no risk of neglect, but that there does
exist a danger of the first aims and the true methods of intellectual
training being ignored. Even thus, fairly equipped as England is with the
machinery for secondary teaching of the scientific sort; still better
furnished as she might be with a more economical administration of
existing resources, fresh provision must be made on a liberal scale before
the national appliances are complete. The Commissioners have estimated in
those counties to which they have paid special attention the number of
boys or girls educated at secondary schools at 21,878 or 2·5 per 1,000 of
the population. As might be expected, the local inequalities revealed by
this analysis are very great. Thus, in Bedford, because of the great
Harpur endowments of that small county, the proportion per 1,000 is 13·5.
In Lancashire the population has altogether out-grown the secondary
endowments available: the proportion per 1,000 is only 11. In Yorkshire it
is only 2·1. In Warwickshire, notwithstanding the splendid foundations of
Edward VI. at Birmingham, and the wealthy and famous schools of Warwick
and Coventry the proportion remains as low as 5·2.

While these aspects of latter day education are being considered, the
honourable connection of the new Local Government bodies with schools must
not be ignored. Liverpool, like South Lancashire generally, is not ill
supplied with agencies for secondary or technical instruction. The means
of the capital and of the county would both be inadequate but for the very
liberal contributions made by the County and City Councils to the schools
owned by religious and secular proprietors for boys and girls. The
companies thus spoken of are enabled by the Councils to carry on more than
one particular school at a loss, even though the deficiency be not made
good by the profit on other schools of the group. In view of the fact
stated above that a great educational pioneer of this century, Joseph
Lancaster, was a Quaker, it is interesting to know that the most recent
Education Commission selects for special compliment the Ackworth Friends
School, open to members of the Society from all parts of the world, in the
West Riding of Yorkshire. The more searchingly the enquiry is made, the
more distinctly there emerges the fact that private venture schools
created by voluntary effort, conducted by individual enterprise, render
the most effective service to secondary education. These institutions open
their doors for public examination. They cannot, therefore, be unworthy of
State help. Their headmasters and their chief assistants generally are
University graduates, and were often trained at one of the older public
schools. A fresh rung in the ladder of educational ascent will have been
made when these schools, 30 per cent. of whose teachers are University
graduates, receive official registration as well as whatever material
assistance State recognition can confer. State organization of national
teaching primary or secondary by means of official examination and by
grants of money proportioned to the proficiency established by these
ordeals, is, as we have seen, and as it must always be remembered, not
more than half a century old, and in a national sense, scarcely therefore
passed beyond its infancy. The progress indicated in the preceding remarks
justifies the expectation that before very long the edifice will be
crowned with a completeness worthy of the strength with which the
foundations have been laid, and more than one storey of the fabric has
been already reared.

Other agencies now fairly at work in this enterprise remain to be
mentioned. Before the Universities had sent their resident representatives
to the East End of London, and to the slums of other great cities, they
had actively identified themselves with the encouragement and the testing
of secondary teaching throughout the land. The Oxford and Cambridge middle
class examinations began to be held during the early sixties in the chief
towns of provincial England. Very soon afterwards, there were organized
successively the Higher Schools Examination Board, conducted by the two
Universities, and the University Extension Lectures which presently will
be examined here with some detail.

But by this time the fresh appliances for elementary and secondary
education, both directly or indirectly growing out of the legislation of
1870, had changed the physical, not less than the intellectual, aspect of
the whole country. In the city as in the suburbs, in the provinces not
less than in the metropolis, the whole landscape was thickly dotted with
new piles of buildings, in all cases constructed with marked regard to
convenience and health, substantial always, in some cases really handsome.
These were the new Board Schools, some for the most elementary instruction
of the rising generation, some for higher grade teaching, or for imparting
to older children the rudiments of scientific and technical knowledge. In
the former case the buildings were surrounded with gravel playgrounds,
furnished with swings, parallel bars, and other gymnastic appliances, all
used under the direction of an expert teacher, who alternately with the
drill sergeant came on duty during play hours. The structures annexed to
the actual class-rooms of more advanced pupils were furnished within as
laboratories and work rooms. Here the pupils were apprenticed to the
initial duties of the chemist, the gasfitter, the electrician, or of any
other vocation they were destined in after life to follow. One result of
this new start in the State schools was the stimulus of a competition that
produced a perceptible increase of efficiency in the private schools not
necessarily identified with any religious denominations. These private
schools still exist; and by the greater elasticity of their system, and
special opportunity of encouraging individual originality in the learners
they are the salutary and indispensable adjuncts of the State
institutions. The generally superannuated and often inefficient dominie,
alternating between slumber over the text book from which he was supposed
to teach, and unprovoked aggressions with his cane upon the knuckles or
any other available part of the persons of his nearest pupils, is now
replaced by a master in the prime of life and energy, who, if not a
graduate in a University, has the certificate from one of the many
examining bodies which attest his fitness for the place. Almost
imperceptibly to-day, the elementary school matures into the secondary
school. Nor is the development always indicated by a change of name, for
higher grade elementary schools, to employ their official title, in which,
after all his Standards have been passed, the Board School boy, between 15
and 17 years old is placed, are in effect not less of secondary schools in
their way than Cheltenham or Westminster. Controlled indeed by the School
Boards, they prepare their pupils for matriculation at the London or other
Universities, or for entrance upon professional life. Thus, in 1894,
exclusive of the capital, the English School Boards controlled no fewer
than sixty establishments of this higher type. Of that number thirty-nine
were organized science schools. The fabric of the buildings had been
provided out of the rates. The cost of the superior teaching was defrayed
by private munificence, or by the State grants conferred by the Science
and Art Department which, in South Kensington began as, and still is, a
portion of the Department in Whitehall. The number of boys and girls,
according to the latest statistics, educated in these superior Board
Schools is 4,606 boys, 2,023 girls. Outside London, the great majority of
the institutions now spoken of are in the Northern, the Midland and the
Eastern counties. Advantage to all concerned might be expected to accrue
could these higher Board Schools be managed, if not in active concert, yet
with the practical approval, and pecuniary encouragement, of the County
Councils. When, therefore, by the withdrawn Bill of 1896, it was proposed
to invest County Councils with educational powers, but not, save in rural
districts, to displace School Boards, the new duties contemplated for
those Councils were not those for which they entirely lacked preparation.
In addition to all this, the great City Guilds, notably the Drapers,
Grocers, and Goldsmiths provide for secondary teaching not only in London,
but wherever their property lies, a machinery of proved effectiveness. The
more recent Intermediate Education Act fills in Wales the interval between
the schoolroom and the workroom; its precedent is sure to be followed
elsewhere. The means, therefore, of technical training accessible to the
very humblest classes of the community, cannot be described as inadequate.
While the tendency thus is for places of secondary teaching to become
training grounds for special, technical, or professional instruction, it
is satisfactory that Oxford and Cambridge should hold before the eyes of
the country the standard of the more general culture which is identical
with real education, and should bring to the very doors of the humblest
homes throughout the country the effective and inexpensive agencies for
securing this teaching.



CHAPTER XII

THE LADDER OF EDUCATION

    Mr Lowe's advice thirty years ago now fairly fulfilled. Individual
    influence co-operating with the State reforms the true secret of
    recent educational advance. Animating effect felt throughout the
    country of Benjamin Jowett's educational example at Oxford. The
    practical and concrete test of the helpfulness of the educational
    ladder to the entire community applied in detail. Instances of Board
    School boys, and of sons of day labourers who have risen to
    distinction with the help of the new educational agencies. Experiences
    of the Clerk of the London School Board and others. Missing rungs
    still to be supplied to the ladder by reorganization or slight
    enlargement of existing resources. Need of reorganizing the teaching
    profession by new local and central councils. Dangers besetting the
    present movement illustrated.


The theory, and, in outline, the practice, of the educational reforms
reserved for the most recent years of the present reign have now been
explained with as much fulness as the scheme of this work permits. It
remains concretely, if of necessity briefly, to answer the question: What
actually has been done? No Blue Books, or other educational statistics are
necessary to convince one of the reality and magnitude of the enterprise
already accomplished. 'Let us educate our masters,' was the advice of Mr
Lowe when, in the House of Commons, he bewailed so brilliantly and
bitterly the era of the new democracy begun by the legislation of 1867-8.
The advice has been followed. A new generation has sprung up, which is
demonstrably better educated and more humanized than any of its
predecessors. The diminution of pauperism and crime; the gradual
disappearance from London and from other great towns of the uncontrollably
rough element among the street observers of public holidays; the growing
competition among the industrial classes of museums or picture galleries
with drinking bars on Sundays and on popular feasts; these are the more
superficial signs of the progress already made and still going forward.
Intelligent foreigners,[38] the very men who are said to anticipate the
judgments of posterity, declare that within the last twenty years the
physiognomical type of the London street loungers and loafers has visibly
improved; that the look of the vulture which was habitual on faces pinched
by hunger, and puffy or pallid with debauchery, is no longer the
dominating expression of feature; that the rapacious arabs of the pavement
who were formerly ready to devour the new comer outside Charing Cross or
Victoria railway stations, where they have not disappeared, have become
orderly, intelligent, and not altogether the reverse of polite. It
requires perhaps an Englishman to appreciate at their true worth, the more
delicate gradations of this improvement as it is illustrated elsewhere. Go
into the pit or gallery of a London theatre, on the Surrey side or in
Hoxton. In look, in manner, and in the kind of conversation between the
acts, the play-goers have changed. If there were ever any danger of an
orange or ginger-beer bottle descending from the gallery to the pit, the
peril is now obsolete. Should the situation be Shoreditch or the City
Road, the strains of the orchestra intermittently may be accompanied by
voices joining in the chorus with original variations. But the melodies,
however irregular, only express an honest holiday enthusiasm. Schools
elementary, whether of the first or second grade, secondary, technical or
scientific, explain much of this new improvement in the facial
characteristics and at all public places in the general deportment of the
humblest of Her Majesty's subjects. But they do not account for the entire
change. Something like twenty years ago, when a work named _England_ was
in preparation its author by personal inspection of the localities
mentioned, ascertained that the latest reports on the truck system as in
some parts of Staffordshire it continued to exist, and of the agricultural
gangs in more northern counties, faithfully depicted the social condition
of great masses of the mining and rural population. The same local
examination to-day presents a cheering contrast to the writer's earlier
and depressing experiences. In every town and village of the United
Kingdom it is now easier than was ever known before for the very poorest
to live in a cleanly, a godly, sometimes even in a comfortable fashion.
All the necessaries, most of the superfluities, of existence are to-day
unprecedentedly cheap. Wages have risen all round, till a pound a week has
become the normal pay of unskilled adult labour in the town, and about
twelve shillings in the country. Some conspicuous evils in our industrial
system have indeed yet to be removed. The fines and deductions[39] to
which, often without just cause, the earnings of factory hands are
subjected, have been denounced with just severity, though in moderate
language, on platforms and in print, by Sir Charles Dilke. On this side of
the Millennium finality in social legislation will prove, it is to be
feared, not less difficult than in political matters Lord John Russell
found, to his disappointment, was the case. The advance of civilization
itself creates new social conditions which call in their turn for
periodical legislation. Till the resources of all classes are equalized,
there must be some who cannot protect themselves, on whose behalf the
legislature must interpose.

That is only to say that England is not Paradise. Meanwhile, socially as
well as educationally, the progress made is so great that two decades
since the most sanguine prophets would have pronounced it to be
impossible. The Staffordshire miner, the roughest perhaps of his class,
would no longer be represented, even by _Punch_, as proposing to 'heave
half a brick' at a new comer for the offence of having a strange face. As
for setting the bull-pup at the parson's little boy, the suggestion is
less likely to come, if at all, from the collier than from the mischievous
undergraduate, the son of the collier's employer who is home for his
College vacation, and indulges a pretty canine fancy. The eighth Duke of
Devonshire is not a social leveller. But on a public occasion he had the
frankness to define the difference between the Sunday crowds in Hyde Park
round the Reformers' Tree, and the week day crowds in the Ladies' Mile as
being that the former were not nearly as well dressed as the latter. That
implied compliment to the manners of a metropolitan mob at once showed the
discernment of him from whose lips it fell, and emphasizes the truth of
the views expressed in the present context. Even the carnival of Lord
Mayor's Day has felt the touch of those humanities that are said in the
Latin grammar example to soften manners and not permit them to be brutal.
The London crowd which, as Mr Disraeli knew, was the most emotional in the
world, is to-day the best conducted, and incomparably the least drunken.
As for its occasional rowdiness: what are these little outbursts in
comparison with the horseplay of the prosperous gentlemen in glossy, silk
hats, with high white collars, and deep wristbands, who, having placed a
new rose in their button hole, drive high-stepping cobs to their suburban
railway station every morning and who, if a stranger strays into their
Stock Exchange deal with that unfortunate person as an Epsom mob treats a
welsher. Continuation schools, lectures, universally accessible for adults
who wish to carry on their education beyond the limit of their school
days, the discipline of collective sight-seeing in museums and galleries;
the habits formed at free libraries; these are the agencies that share
with the teaching which the State provides the distinction of rearing a
new generation, not merely veneered by a superficial decorum, but
wholesomely controlled by a public opinion of its own quite as real as
that which dominates Belgravia or Pall Mall.

Before considering the provisions necessary to complete the educational
ladder, it will be well from specific instances to see what the facilities
already established have done towards promoting the ascent from the Board
School to the University. The following instances now published for the
first time, are supplied by the courtesy of the Clerk of the London School
Board. In 1879 a boy whose first learning was gained at a primary London
Board School, obtained on entering a secondary school the Carpenters'
Foundation Scholarship, together with the Conquest gold medal. Shortly
afterwards he became captain of the City of London School. Proceeding
thence to Cambridge, he won a Foundation Scholarship at Trinity;
eventually was placed in the first class of the Classical Tripos, became
next a Fellow of Trinity; and subsequently held a high position in the
Board of Trade. Another lad of equally humble birth in 1880 got a
mathematical scholarship at Queen's College, Cambridge, was among the
Senior Optimes in the Tripos and in 1886 was appointed a mathematical
master at one of the great public schools. In 1881, another Board School
boy, having received the Greek and Latin certificate from the Universities
Examining Board won a classical scholarship at St John's, Oxford, and
afterwards a First Class in Classical Moderations. A little later he was
placed fourth in the First Class of Civil Service candidates. He has since
developed into a useful official of the Local Government Board. Another
boy of like antecedents won a scholarship at St John's College,
Cambridge; subsequently came out first class in one division, second
class in another division, of the Theological Tripos; carried off the
Jeremie Septuagint prize, open to the whole University, and afterwards
became a successful parish clergyman. Other distinctions won by candidates
of the same category are a scholarship at the City of London School; in
1883 a first place in the competition for vacancies in the India Office;
in another case, and with the other sex, in 1885, the fifth place in the
London Matriculation test, the Gilchrist and Reid scholarships, and later
First Class Academic Honours for English. This instance is the more
memorable because it is the earliest distinction of the sort won by a
Board School girl. Since then the same young woman has become an assistant
teacher at the Ladies' College in Jersey. This example has often been
repeated since. Three or four of the prize winners at Girton College
during the later eighties were London Board School girls. The well-known
senior curate of St Saviour's, Everton, Liverpool, a High Honours
Cambridge graduate, had been a Board School boy. His colleague had been
enabled by a Fishmongers' scholarship to enter at Sidney Sussex College at
Cambridge. In the summer of 1880, F. J. Wild was the first London Board
School boy who went to Balliol. Nine years afterwards, this lad entered
the Indian Civil Service, and became Assistant Magistrate and Deputy
Collector in the North-West Provinces. 'Bachelor of Science, Bedford
College, first division, 1891;' 'Recommended by Wesleyan Conference for
training in their theological institutes and for the Home ministry;'
'Teacher at Diocesan Training College;' these are comparatively common
entries in the catalogue of Board School honours for this decade. In or
since 1893, there have been some half dozen cases of Board School boys
taking College and University Honours at Oxford as well as good places in
the Indian Civil Service competition. The experience of the London Board
Schools is not unlike that of similar institutions in the provinces. A
decennial calendar after the Oxford precedent of distinctions academic or
professional won by Board School pupils is a volume which it would really
be worth while to prepare, and materials for which are accumulating on all
sides. Pending the completion of the ladder for ascent in the normal way
from the Board School to the University, private encouragement supplies
many of the missing rungs. Thus, the vicar of a Herefordshire village
noticed the quickness of his gardener's son; helped him to enter the
Hereford County School. From this the lad got a scholarship to Malvern
College. Afterwards, one of the first Board School boys who won that
honour, he carried off the entrance blue ribbon of a Balliol scholarship.
In due course the gardener's boy took a first class in Classical
Moderations, and a first class also in Classical Greats.

Typical instances have now been cited sufficient in number and variety to
show that, as seems to be the general opinion of the last Education
Commission, notwithstanding incompletenesses and imperfections here and
there, enough has already been done to enable every clever boy in whatever
station he is born by his own industry and volition to secure the same
opportunities of cultivating his gifts as the nobleman's son who wins the
Newcastle medal at Eton. The personal effort and initiative of the late
Master of Balliol, Benjamin Jowett, did more perhaps than has been done by
any other individual to promote this work. Under him the College of
Wycliffe not only maintained the prestige which it had acquired in the
days of Dr Jenkyns, and which was greatly increased by the successor of
Jenkyns, Robert Scott, but became at once the patron and the pattern of
minor places of education throughout the country. Provided they showed
ability and industry, the day labourer's and the artizan's son were
welcomed from the provincial grammar school as warmly at Balliol as the
Sixth Form boy from Harrow or Eton. The connection between secondary
schools of all grades in the provinces and the University on the Isis had
already been promoted by the agency of local examinations; it was rendered
more intimate by the Socratic interest which Jowett took in the
intellectual welfare of the rawest lad from the country if only he showed
the slightest sign of mental promise. Jowett's stimulating sense of
citizenship was felt during his life in the remotest corners of the
country. Its animating influences have survived his death; they still
operate as an inspiring force wherever the domains of municipal and
educational life converge. This good man and patriotic citizen did not
live to witness the active assumption of educational responsibilities by
the County and Borough Councils from which, not vainly, he hoped great
things. An educational system in thorough touch with Oxford and Cambridge
on the one hand and on the other hand with primary village schools; this
was the ideal that Jowett, Lake and Stanley advocated to the earlier
School Enquiry Commissions. Jowett lived long enough to see in the case of
several great provincial grammar schools, notably that of Bradford, his
ambition fulfilled.

In many, if not in most districts, the new provincial Councils have now
added as many rungs to the educational ladder as could fairly be expected.
The wants which still await fulfilment are definite. They ought not to
prove very difficult to supply. Local endowments supplemented by a
moderate amount of State help, will, if wisely directed, provide the
larger facilities still needed for the promotion of higher grade
elementary school pupils to grammar schools. In order that there may be no
further waste either of the money or of the machinery for national
education, a drastic scheme of reorganization seems to be a cardinal
necessity. Secondary education is a phrase too mechanically interpreted as
a synonym for technical or scientific education. If the Statutes be
interpreted literally, the County Councils are empowered only to levy a
rate for a higher school grant when the teaching which that grant defrays
is to enable a boy or girl to learn the elements of some remunerative
handicraft, and is thus expressly sanctioned by the Technical Education
Act of 1890. If the Councils have gone beyond this, and pecuniarily
ministered to the needs of a more generous culture, they have acted, so to
speak, at their own peril, or that action has been rendered possible by
the private liberality of their more opulent members. In addition to this
need of a new definition of the ambiguous epithet and substantive employed
so often in the foregoing text, a new educational authority which can
officially survey every department of the entire field of teaching has
become indispensable. Centralized at Whitehall this authority will to some
extent inevitably be. Its operation, however, must be highly elastic. The
conditions of its control must be adaptable to the infinitely varying
conditions, social, geographical, material, sentimental, of the United
Kingdom. The most recent enquiries show that there is much less
dissipation of educational energy by the mutual overlapping of schools
than might be expected. The single instance of this sort to which
attention has been directed by the last Commission is that of Bolton,
where there exists an unprofitable competition between the grammar school
and the Church Institute Boys' School. Elsewhere, however, as at Leeds and
other great towns of the North, Mechanics' Institute Schools, Higher Grade
Board Schools, trench respectively on each other's province, though each
of them, by slightly varying its curriculum, does good work and is in
great local demand. The explanation of the latter fact is the universality
of the appetite for higher teaching created in the large centres of the
English population. The most frequent, and with proper care the most
easily remediable form of overlapping occurs when the higher divisions of
a lower grade school retain pupils already ripe for a higher grade school.
What are the exact limits to be placed respectively to the provinces of
elementary schools of both grades? and what to the grammar schools on the
one hand, or the University schools on the other with which the
rudimentary institutions ought closely and cordially to co-operate? these
are problems with which, in the fifty-ninth year of Her Majesty's reign,
there does not exist any single authority competent to deal. The confusion
between the jurisdiction of the educational bodies now in being is
comparable with that which existed in the relations of the various
administrative authorities and areas in the case of local government
before these functions were comparatively simplified by the legislation of
1874 and of 1888. The Education Department in London has no concern with
secondary schools save so far as some of these are inextricably
intermingled in their operations with the finance or the teaching of
primary schools. The Charity Commission wherein the Endowed Schools
Commission is now merged, can only take cognizance of the agencies for
higher teaching for a special purpose and from a single point of view.
This loose and very partially effective machinery of control has since
1890 received a new element of complexity from the educational power
vested with such happy results as it has been in the County Councils. The
educational branch of the Privy Council office in London has long
attracted to it young men of industry and talents from the Universities as
well as of considerable administrative ability developed at a later date
by official experience.

Meanwhile the profession of the teacher becomes more highly organized each
year. The value of its material interests is constantly increasing. It
still remains without any direct representation in the official world
comparable with that which is secured to the civil and military services
by the Council of the Secretary of State for India. The headmasters'
annual conference has during the last few years supplied a useful medium
for the interchange of opinions and experiences between the recognized
chiefs of their vocation. The College of Preceptors has its occasional
meetings. Certificated assistant teachers have formed themselves into a
loosely coherent body of their own. None of these can, except in an
indirect way, place their practical experience at the disposal of the
central authority whose consent is necessary for any organic change in the
teaching subjects of schools that receive a public endowment. In the case
of schools whose speciality is a sound commercial education, proofs of
late have multiplied that the object of this training may often be more
faithfully accomplished, to say nothing of the intellectual gain to the
learner if the boy who is going to stand behind a counter, and may
sometimes be called upon to write a business letter for his employer, is
instructed in something beyond the arts of summing and penmanship. Many
boys of the humblest birth show a remarkable aptitude for applied logic
and political economy when the elements of physical science fail entirely
to attract their minds. The educational council which might be auxiliary
to the Vice-President of the Council will perhaps number amongst its
members men who, from their own practical knowledge, can give sound advice
in cases where the teacher ought to be entrusted with the power of
adapting the education, not merely in a general way to the vocation that
is hereafter to engage the learner, but to the idiosyncrasies of the
pupil as well. The stipends of assistants in secondary schools are often
unwisely and wastefully low. Men and women who work so hard as these
persons do are entitled to the assurance that their emoluments will be
regulated by the consideration that comes of knowledge as well as the
severer equities of commerce.

The first thing, therefore, as all who on this matter speak from
experience agree, is to establish local councils for educational purposes
which by the prevention of confusion and overlapping between schools of
different grades, will directly promote the economy of educational force
not less than of expenditure. As for the central authority which the
interests alike of teachers, of taught, of children and parents, of the
State, and of its subjects demand, substantial unanimity as to the
composition of that body exists among those who are most qualified to give
an opinion. Generally it is suggested that the new Council might be shaped
after the model of the Indian Council. To come to particulars, there would
be, in the first instance, a certain number of Crown nominees; secondly,
the Universities, perhaps the great public schools or other public
educational bodies, would be asked to select representatives of their own.
Another element in the new central authority would be experienced members
of the teaching professions. These might be chosen partly by the
headmasters in conference, but to some extent by the assistant teachers
employed in every variety of public schools from the highest to the
lowest. It would seem on the whole advisable to select the teachers'
members by the direct vote of the class immediately concerned. The
machinery for doing so would not be difficult. Voting papers, as in the
case of London University in the choice of appointments to the Senate, or
of professional representatives on the Medical Council, would be employed.
In this way, every registered teacher would have a voice in regulating the
details and rewards of his profession to the great increase, as cannot be
doubted, of its _esprit de corps_. In the case of elections to the local
authority for preventing waste and confusion between local schools an
analogous method might be employed. The registered teachers, that is,
would in each neighbourhood choose their proportion of the members of the
local educational body.

Signs are sometimes visible of a reaction from the enthusiasm for
educational progress that has engaged the national energies during the
last half century. There is a danger, one is told, of educating boys or
girls beyond their capacities, and above their station. The increased
competition for the positions of governess and clerk, means misery and
ruin to many of the candidates who would be more suitably, comfortably,
and far more remuneratively employed in domestic service, or in manual
labour according to their sex. The virtues of humility and respect for
superiors are said to be crushed out in the scramble for knowledge that
may enable its possessors to better themselves. Servant maids, one is
told, no longer confine their demands to permission to wear a fringe, but
stipulate for a pianoforte in the basement, or a bicycle with which to
take their airing on their Sundays out. That upon the humbler levels of
the community the progress from ignorance to education should be
accompanied by real or apparent disturbances of the personal relations
between classes was to have been expected. Seasons of transition such as
the present always generate a certain amount of personal friction or of
social displacement. Those just being emancipated from the illiteracy or
semi-barbarism which have been the traditions of centuries have not yet
overcome the agitating strangeness of their new and improved condition.
Those above them in the social scale have not yet been able to decide
whether to conciliate their educated inferiors as possible friends, or to
stand on their guard against them as actual enemies. As the situation
becomes more familiar, it will prove less strained. Common sense as a
supplement to their zeal, seems the chief want of the educational
reformers, official or private, of the day. The tendency is to postpone
the development of intelligence to the acquisition of knowledge. The
masters whom we are now educating are not in the habit of using their
minds for the mere pleasure of intellectual exertion. Hence they often
give an impression of being far less intelligent than they really are. The
correct use of common words in the mother tongue ought orally, not out of
any lesson book, to be taught all boys and girls. The difficulty
experienced by the persons now spoken of in clearly answering a simple
question is often insurmountable. The tendency is, not to digest the query
as a whole, but to catch some word used in it and then to make a remark
suggested by the association of the sound of the syllables, and so
practically to evade the question put. The cheap diffusion of newspapers
and magazines confirms rather than corrects these failures to concentrate
the mind in the casual talk of everyday life. It is not beneath the
dignity of the State educator to deal with the defect.[40]



CHAPTER XIII

THE GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS AS MIRRORS OF THE AGE

    Social importance of Eton, Harrow, and other great schools, as
    representing the social evolution of the epoch. The conventional
    mistake that the new wealth has been injurious to the social tone or
    scholarly studies of public schools. In the case of Eton the historic
    details and educational statistics prove the falseness of the
    statement. Progress of the school shown by success in the new as well
    as old examinations during the incriminated period of the last forty
    years. New social elements have increased the value but not the
    expense of Eton. The fourteenth Earl of Derby as a typical Eton
    product.


The whole region of public elementary and secondary education, whose
improvement is so conspicuous an incident in the recent domestic or social
annals of the time, has now been indicated at sufficient length and
minutely enough to convey an accurate notion of the facts. One may,
therefore, pass to those educational levels which stand a little higher,
and up to which recent reforms of popular education are, as has been seen,
gradually assisting the progress of Board School children. The
sociological feature of the present reign has already been described in
these pages as a process less of revolution, than of evolution; of the
natural incorporation of new elements into an old fabric, of the
harmonious assimilation on the part of a polity that is the growth of
centuries, of the ideas and types that are the products of to-day. These
processes can nowhere be witnessed more crucially in operation than at
those little worlds, the great public schools such as Eton and Harrow,
which, as they have ever been, are the faithful microcosms of the great
worlds that lie beyond them. Many of the accounts of Eton which
periodically find their way into print seem inspirations from Baron
Munchausen. The school that during centuries has been the special training
ground for the country gentlemen of England, which was once to such an
extent the nursery of future lords spiritual and temporal as to enable Dr
Keate to include among his titles to respect the fact of his having
flogged in their youth the whole Bench of Bishops,[41] is conventionally
represented as corrupted at its heart by the predominating influence of
the sons of the 'new rich' on its classic soil. The parent who wishes his
son to be at the school where his sire, and his sires before him, had
been, is disgusted by reading romantic accounts of the bank balances in
Windsor town kept for their boys by the plutocrats, Saxon or Semitic, of
the City. It may, therefore, be said authoritatively that thus far
research has failed to bring to light a single instance of the new rich
Etonian who possesses during his school days a banking account of his own.
Now, not less than formerly, the lad who returns to his tutor's or his
dame's with a £5 note in his pocket is looked upon by his comrades as in
luck.

Forty years ago, when a Public School Commission was making its enquiry,
the cry of the commercial Croesus swamping the country squire was first
raised. The most practical proof of its hollowness is that the expenses of
Eton, if still prohibitive to many parents, have not increased of recent
years. What has rather happened is that the school outlay has been
remodelled. The charges are to-day inclusive. If comparatively fresh items
figure in the school accounts, the incidental outlay on casual
subscriptions and a long catalogue of extras is now superseded. The real
cost of Eton and of other schools like it is what the individual boy
chooses, or what his friends allow. The expensive habits of the Etonian
are more a domestic, than a scholastic, growth. No advocate of the
_nouveau riche_ theory has ever asserted that the scale of living in the
clubs of Pall Mall has become insufferably profuse since gentlemen
enriched by commerce, prone, like Mr Mantalini, to despise details of
petty cash, have been made free of these establishments. There is not, nor
has there ever been, the slightest danger of the Etonian or Harrovian of
the old aristocratic order being corrupted by plutocratic schoolfellows.
The son of Sir Gorgius Midas in real life proves to be a quiet, sensible
lad, with a just and shrewd sense of the value of money, and perhaps less
likely to waste his father's substance in the 'sock shops' under the
shadow of Windsor Castle than his form comrade, the son of the squire whom
Sir Gorgius could buy up half a dozen times over. At other places than
the great public schools of England, a studious boy may find himself more
in the way of amassing knowledge. Nowhere will he learn so many lessons
useful for the daily conduct of life, which books do not impart. Nowhere
will he have such opportunities for the acquisition, the development and
the display of practical common sense. So far back as the later fifties of
this century, an Eton master, the late Mr Durnford, the respected father
of him who still represents the same family on the Eton staff, alluding to
the decline in the manufacture of Longs and Shorts in pious Henry's
shades, could say: 'Latin verses are with us things of the past.' There
is, however, no reason, as the list of Eton honours at Oxford or Cambridge
will show, for imputing to Eton any decline in the essentials of classical
scholarship. Since the new wealth is supposed to have contaminated the
standard of plain living and high thinking among the old gentry, in 1851,
the famous son of a famous father, a name venerable in the Law Courts and
on the Thames, J. W. Chitty, an old Etonian, won at Oxford a first class
Vinerian Scholarship, followed by a Fellowship at Exeter. About the same
time R. G. W. Herbert the late Permanent Head of the Colonial Office
carried off, as a scholar of Balliol, the Hertford and the Ireland, and a
Fellowship at All Souls. The late Lord Carnarvon was not so infected by
the plutocratic idleness of Eton as to miss when at Christ Church the
highest honours of the Classical Schools.

Three years later when according to the conventional view the 'rich
vulgarians,' as the Mrs Major Pompley of _My Novel_ calls them, must have
entirely crowded out the sons of squires as well as the humanities
themselves, another country gentleman's son, the late Edward Herbert who
died at Marathon in 1870, had as his brother scholar at Balliol, also from
Eton, another son of a Western squire, Edmond Warre, to-day Headmaster of
his old school. In the same year the son of a 'squarson' to employ Sidney
Smith's useful term, also an Etonian, Henry Barter of Merton, the evil
associations of plutocracy notwithstanding, won the highest mathematical
together with second class classical honours at Oxford, and was only just
beaten by the present Bishop of Hereford, for the University Scholarship
in mathematics. This list of instances belongs to the era (the fifties)
when the corruptions of the new wealth were most rampant at Eton, seems to
refute the mechanical charge; that list may be closed with the name of a
country gentleman's son, since then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Michael
Hicks-Beach, who, Eton and Christ Church notwithstanding, took a first
class in the Modern History schools in 1858. About the same time the
member of a Liverpool mercantile family, the son of a great statesman, W.
H. Gladstone, had not at Eton so unlearned all he had been taught
elsewhere as to be prevented from winning a studentship at Christ Church.
His contemporary at Eton, A. C. Swinburne, the poet, won at Oxford the
Taylor scholarship for modern languages about the same time. The catalogue
might be extended indefinitely. The representative names likely to convey
the fullest idea to the general reader have now been mentioned. A further
selection of patronymics would confuse rather than instruct or interest.
It will be enough to say that in or since the sixties down to 1896, of the
highest honours in the Schools or in the Colleges at Oxford 400 were
obtained by the sons of country gentlemen who, notwithstanding the new
wealth had like their fathers before them been sent to Eton and who were
not apparently quite demoralized by that ordeal. At Cambridge the total of
Academic distinctions won by Etonians of the same grade as at Oxford, is
as might have been expected higher, and amounts in round numbers to 550. A
competent judge in these matters, speaking with no personal prejudice in
favour of the school of Henry VI.[42] or of its Cambridge sister King's
College, but with much experience of classical examinations, J. Y.
Sargent, told the present writer not long ago, that Eton was the one
school in England whose boys could write tolerable Greek prose.

Any social change that may have come over the place since the introduction
of the new wealth into the country would seem to be very different in fact
from that described by fiction. The presence of a large number of boys
whose parents derive their income from no hereditary acres and whose
domestic associations are therefore different from those of the country
gentleman's son has indeed produced an effect, but one which is the very
opposite of its current misrepresentation. Before the Victorian era
opened, well-to-do commercial fathers were, as readers of _Coningsby_ will
remember, in the habit of sending their sons to the seat of education most
in vogue with the titled and untitled patricians of the realm. Such
influence as these have had has proved notoriously healthful to the whole
school community. The newcomers have with scarcely an exception been
trained from childhood to an adequate appreciation of the value of money
and are the last boys in the world to be permitted to squander it for mere
show. Before their advent to the place, Eton might have been charged with
narrowness or partiality in the composition of its life; congenial enough
as the training ground of peers, opulent commoners, diplomatists, and
other destined dignitaries of State or Church, but less salutary for lads
who had their own way to make in the world, and who while doing so, must
expect to come into collision with the men of the City, the office, and
the shop. The genius of every great English school is essentially
democratic. Boys are valued by their fellows not for what they have, but
for what in themselves they are; not for the antiquity of their family
descent, nor for the depth of their father's purse. The boy who dazzled
his mates with the glitter of sovereigns fresh from the Mint would be
suppressed as promptly by the public opinion of the place as the toady or
the parasite. To-day no English lad is so little likely idly to waste his
parents' cash as the young Etonian.

There is no school which so far as social discipline is concerned better
enables its boys to dispense with the University and yet lose so little
by not going there, or which turns out its boys such ready-made little men
of the world as the foundation of Henry VI. That this is to-day the
special attribute of Eton, possessed by it in common perhaps with Harrow,
is due to the circumstance of its having become representative of the
entire life, commercial, not less than squirearchical or patrician, urban
not less than rural, of the whole country. The truth is that the _nouveau
riche_, as he is represented by the popular imagination, is the product of
romance, or the creation of the stage. The antagonism between the socially
emancipated of yesterday and the descendants of houses which had become
considerable before constitutional government in England was known is
imaginary and in direct contradiction of the experiences of daily life.
The son of the new man of one generation as to his tastes, his prejudices,
his politics, his pursuits, the performance of his duties, the choice of
his pleasures, becomes, in the next, socially indistinguishable from the
scion of the oldest nobility. On all points he has unconsciously, as is
the way with the imitative race of boys, modelled himself after the
pattern of those country gentlemen, divines, civilians, soldiers, and
sailors, who are for the most part the reverse of plutocratic, and whose
sons have been brought up at home under conditions which would make them
physically intolerant of the bad taste that may be defined as a missing of
the due proportion of relative things. The Lancashire trader's son who at
school finds himself next in form to the boy of ancient family is quick to
imbibe the social traditions and intuitions with which the atmosphere is
charged. He has been sent to school to make acquaintances perhaps as well
as to learn; but certainly not to dazzle his schoolfellows by the glitter
of his father's gold. If the Manchester lad possesses more pocket money
than some of those in his 'house,' he is pretty certain also to set them a
wise example in the careful spending of it. The truth is that with the
whole system of public examinations and with literary competitions
narrowing the entrance to all kinds of professional life, the genius of
the place at the great public schools has undergone the same modifications
as at the Universities. The schoolboy who has obtained his exeat for a few
days as he bounds off to the station to catch his train, may be thought to
have left all care behind him. Enjoyment, however, is very probably not
the reason of his visit to his friends in London.

Sandhurst or Woolwich examinations, competitions for the home or foreign
service at Burlington House are quite as likely to be the object in view
as the visit to the dentist by day or to the theatre by night. This early
acquaintance with the responsibilities of life exerts a sobering influence
on the most constitutionally volatile of Eton or Harrow striplings. The
lad whose path of pleasure is darkened by the shadow of the ubiquitous
examiner loses prematurely the juvenile appetite for veal and ham pies,
jam tarts, ginger beer, even for cocoanut paste. When there are not
examinations at a distance, the ingenuity of Oxford and Cambridge provides
the machinery for them hard by the Playing Fields on the Thames or Byron's
Tree at Harrow on the Hill. 'Posing' in some form goes on all the year
round. It has become in effect obligatory on the public school boy to
obtain before going up to the University the certificate which frees him
from the Littlego examination, or which if he enters on other careers,
secures him an analogous dispensation.

The higher certificates in the University examinations are not easy to
obtain. They uniformly indicate a high standard of proficiency. The
success of Eton in these ordeals has been steadily progressive during the
last twenty years. From 39 in 1875 the Eton candidates had risen to 88 in
1896. The total of certificates and distinctions won by these, an
aggregate of 1,413 candidates, was, during this period of twenty years,
1,516. Meanwhile the number of Eton boys who, without passing through an
intermediary stage at the professional crammers, take good places direct
from their school in the Indian and Home Civil Service competitions has
increased during the last few years by something like 10 per cent. The
Eton 'Army' class is also doing well. The number of boys proceeding to
Sandhurst and even to Woolwich straight from school as others proceed
straight to the University increases annually. These statistics go some
way towards disproving the conventional reproach made largely by ignorance
against the most representative of English public schools of being
socially and economically demoralized, or intellectually sunk in indolence
by the malignant influences of the new wealth. If there were any truth in
such an accusation, the maintenance of the traditional standard of
scholarly excellence in exceptional cases would not be combined, as
to-day it is, with the visibly demonstrated improvement in the work of the
rank and file of the boys. The truth is, that at all our great schools,
Eton like the rest, the new elements among the boys have tended to produce
a wholesome change in the public opinion of the place distinctly
favourable to a higher average of school industry. The ideal Etonian of
history is, and seems likely long to continue, the fourteenth Earl of
Derby, translator of the _Iliad_, and perhaps the most brilliant
parliamentary debater of the century. 'He saps like Gladstone, and he
fights like Spring.' So runs Lord Lytton's spirited and familiar line
concerning this most typical of Eton worthies. No one would have welcomed
more warmly than he the statistical evidence here given that under its
latest Headmaster, the study of the new ologies, and the manual mechanics
practised in the Eton workshops which Dr. Warre has established have not
ousted the older humanities from their place, and that, the new wealth
notwithstanding, it has ceased to be a reproach against any boy at the old
school that he is a sap.[43]



CHAPTER XIV

THE NEW OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE

    Changes in the social life of Oxford and Cambridge visible on the
    surface since 1860. Social differences between Oxford and Cambridge as
    places of residence. General results of the unattached student system
    established in 1868. The idea of the University as distinct from the
    colleges, socially prominent in earlier days, has acquired new
    prominence since. The admission of non-collegiate students.
    Vicissitudes in the popularity of the Union as a social club and as a
    debating society. Its earlier distinction repeated in later years. The
    unattached students' scheme in its practical details and working.
    Academic successes of students, especially in Theology. The Extension
    Lectures scheme, personal details and general results.


Under the new and quickening influences imported into the second half of
the present century, the changes in the conditions of social life are more
visible at the two great Universities than at the public schools. The
public school boy has been seen hastening to the railway station that he
may catch the train which is to convey him from the place of industry, not
to the old holiday fields, but to a fresh seat of studious exertion. In
like manner, a fair proportion of Oxford and Cambridge graduates now pass
the greater portion of their lives in hurrying to catch trains from their
academic termini to scenes of provincial activity. The commercial
traveller of the old order as Dickens described him was not more
incessantly on the road than the Oxford or Cambridge Extension lecturer.
He, like the movement he represents, is the product of the age that has
given us Bradshaw. Oxford and Cambridge have in fact been brought to the
doors of those who cannot themselves go to Cambridge or Oxford. Nor is the
new element, among those who have taken their degree, the only change that
has been witnessed in the _personnel_ of the place. Enough has been
written about the domestic revolution which has transformed what till the
later sixties, had continued a cloister into a flourishing provincial
centre of family life; about the nursemaids with perambulators in the
parks, the children trundling their hoops along Addison's Walk, or playing
ball under the statelier avenue which fringes the Christ Church meadows.
In reality this feature in the social polity of Oxford, however
interesting or striking, has never marked so visible a contrast to the
preceding epoch as it may have done at Cambridge. The capital on the Isis
has always been a considerable county town. From a time to the contrary of
which memory does not run, Oxford has had extra-academical attractions of
its own for persons without any interest in its studies. It has always
been a hunting, steeplechasing, and generally a sporting centre. Its
neighbourhood is probably more picturesque than that of its sister on the
Cam. Like other midland counties, its environments have never been without
more manor houses and country gentlemen's residences than is the case with
the academic section of East Anglia. As far back, therefore, as the later
fifties certainly, and it may be much further, social Oxford possessed an
existence not less distinct from, or independent of, academic Oxford, than
Windsor, Harrow on the Hill, Rugby, Cheltenham, or Marlborough possess a
social machinery of their own apart from the schools which are a feature
in their respective neighbourhoods.

What will really strike the eye of one revisiting Oxford after a long
interval is less the signs of the latest developments of domestic life
than the appearance of greater youthfulness in the undergraduates. Where
this juvenility is real, and not the illusion of the spectator's own
advancing years, it is largely to be explained by the order of students
new since 1868. Not without much opposition or till after long resistance,
the Oxford statutes in that year relaxed the most exclusive condition
written on their page by the disciplinarian severity of Archbishop Laud. A
return to the mediæval usage was sanctioned. Once more it became possible,
after a lapse of three centuries, for young men to go to the University
without going to college. The Vice-Chancellor matriculated students
furnished with credentials of respectability, and with enough of learning
to satisfy the masters of the schools. Provided, in other words, they had
a fair prospect of passing Responsions, which do not constitute one of the
public examinations, but mark the survival of the old entrance ordeal
prescribed in the days when the University was everything and the Colleges
comparatively nothing. If he were not legally of age, the formal consent
to his life in lodgings of his parents or guardians was further required
from the non-ascript undergraduate, as well as a general testimonial to
the probability of his deriving educational benefit from his new
opportunities. Littlego might be excused by the delegates in the case of
students not intending to proceed to their degree, but only to study
systematically some special subject. In the place, however, of the
'Smalls' testamur, or its equivalent, the special student was tested
closely as to his aptitudes for the subject of study he professed.

The total yearly cost, all entrance fees included, of the non-collegiate
youth would average between £50 and £60, instead of thrice that sum, not
perhaps an exaggerated estimate, for his collegiate brother. £10 covers
handsomely all the initial outlay. The period of residence required for
the degree is twelve terms. These must be kept in what is called 'full
term' which is rather later than the almanac term, and also in a duly
licensed lodging house. In exceptional cases these conditions may be
dispensed with. In no case will the undergraduate who has no porter's
lodge to pass before he 'knocks in' at night find more liberty than the
intramural student. His landlord or landlady in the town may perhaps
promise not to communicate some irregularity to the authorities. But so
surely as the unattached commits the smallest breach of academic
discipline, sooner or later it will reach the official ear; he will find
himself a marked man.

Men who are now middle aged, or even elderly, looking back to their
college days will recollect that there prevailed an invisible system of
surveillance, and even espionage, much more close and real than it was at
all pleasant in the days of one's youth to admit. That supervision has
now become more subtle, ubiquitous and unavoidable, till at last the
unattached freshman realizes that wherever he may be, he lives and moves
in a whispering gallery, as much as if he were a famous figure, in the
heart of London society and of the London season.

The practical success of this innovation was immediate. It has been
tolerably complete. Within thirty years of its introduction, that is on
the 1st of January 1896, the University books showed the existence of 480
graduate or undergraduate non-collegiates. Of these 245 were at the date
mentioned _in statu pupillari_. The authorities to which these students
are immediately subject are the Vice-Chancellor, the two Proctors, a
Censor who stands in the relation of College tutor to the whole body; two
other tutors associated with him who give advice on all subjects, and
seven delegates, being members of Convocation. The Censor is the head of
the whole unattached system; to him intending students should apply for
all practical information. The teaching available for the University
alumni now mentioned is at least as effective and wide as any of the
colleges can offer.

At the instance of Mr Jowett, a great friend of the scheme, other colleges
than Balliol soon opened their lecture rooms to non-collegiate guests. The
Honour tutors especially allocated to the unattached, include
distinguished Fellows of Balliol, Christ Church, Lincoln, Magdalen,
University College, Wadham and Worcester, as well as famous theologians
from Keble, or a non-collegiate M.A. not less accomplished than the
present Professor of Modern History, Mr York Powell of Christ Church. The
extent to which the young men thus provided for have profited by their
opportunities, may be judged from the following epitome of examinational
statistics. Two first classes in Classical Moderations, 2 also in
Mathematical; 13 seconds in Classical Moderations; 39 third classes in the
same examination; 7 Mathematical thirds in Moderations; these represent
the distinctions gained in the older Honour Schools by the students who as
an institution have not yet completed their third decade. Although thus
far they do not seem to have done very brilliantly in the Philosophy and
History Schools, they have won a first class in Jurisprudence, 2 in Modern
History, 12 in Theology, 3 in Natural Science, one in Oriental Studies, as
well as some dozen places in these studies below the coveted level of
_classis prima_. The Bachelor of Civil Law examination is known to be one
of the hardest on the Isis. In this the unattached may be credited with
one first class, one second, as well as one third and one fourth. During
the period now spoken of, several University prizes have been carried off
by the new comers. Thus a non-collegiate candidate has won the Denyer and
Johnson scholarship in Theology four times, the Pusey and Ellerton
scholarship (Hebrew) the same number, as also the Senior and Junior
Kennicott (also Hebrew). The Davis scholarship in Chinese was for the
fifth time won a few years ago by an unattached, and for the second time
the Taylorian scholarship in Modern Languages. Among older and better
known distinctions open to all comers, the Arnold Historical essay has
been won by an unattached; the Chancellor's English essay, and the
Ellerton essay have been won twice. While it will thus be seen that the
new students have acquitted themselves specially well in Theology, they
have in twenty-four cases gained open scholarships, and in three cases
open Fellowships. The Bowden Sanskrit, the Burdett-Coutts scholarships
also figure among their list of honours. In the Pass schools 310, a
proportion of 72 per cent., have satisfied the examiners. As an instance
of their being on their entrance up to the scholastic level of the average
public school boy, 30 or 40 unattached have elected to pass Responsions
before matriculation and have done so without any difficulty.

The general conduct of the new undergraduates, who, some prophets had
predicted, would demoralize the University by their rowdy example, has
been with scarcely an exception, exemplary. Only one disciplinary case, to
employ the euphemism of the last official report, seems to have occurred.
With the enterprising alacrity which to their own credit, to the good of
their colleges, to the benefit of the whole University, the
representatives of the different societies on the Isis display in
attracting special talent to the foundations in which they are
respectively interested, some absorption of the unattached into the
colleges was inevitable. It has, however, been less than one might have
expected. The average of these migrations does not vary much, and seems to
proceed at the rate of between 20 and 25 per year. Nor, apparently, does
there exist any dissatisfaction among the non-collegiates with their own
position in the City of Colleges. Thus when they migrate to a college, the
attraction is generally found to be the exceptional facilities for
instruction in a special study, _e.g._ Natural Science or History,
afforded by the foundation in question. As, by implication, has been
already stated, Mr J. A. Froude's successor in the Chair of Modern History
was, throughout the greater portion of his career, a non-collegiate.
Together with the present Recorder of Londonderry, Professor York Powell
was one of the first batch of unattached students in 1868. Superior
conveniences for the studies respectively to their taste, rather than
economy, were the motives which sent the future Professor and the future
Irish lawyer, Mr T. G. Overend, to the University and not to college. Mr
Powell took his degree as a member of Christ Church; Judge Overend was
unattached to the last. Both obtained high Honours in the Schools. The
after success of each began directly they left the University. Having been
called to the Irish Bar in 1874, Mr Overend was in 1885 the leader of his
circuit as well as a Queen's Counsel. His health alone caused him to give
up his practice and take a County Court judgeship.

Thus far the unattached graduates in residence never at any given time
seem to have exceeded 50. Their rivalry with the colleges is, therefore,
in point of numbers not very formidable. Nor do they seem appreciably to
have affected the social or intellectual life of the place. Like the great
public schools the two Universities are to the present generation what
they were to its predecessors. Athletic accomplishments have declined as
little as general scholarship. The pastimes, however, are conducted far
more economically than was once the case. Instances of young men being
hampered during their professional struggles by the evil legacy of
University debts have decreased so steadily as to justify the hope of
their ultimate and entire disappearance. Thus the Oxford undergraduate as
Leech used to depict him, or as Thackeray in _Pendennis_ drew the typical
pupil of both Universities; throwing away his father's money at the end of
the term in London in exaggerated tips to hotel waiters and cabmen, is
to-day as much of an anachronism as the Etonian in his teens who has not
learnt that if care is taken of the shillings, the pounds will take care
of themselves. In one particular, though perhaps accidentally, the
non-collegiate undergraduate as an institution has coincided an
interesting modification of the social conditions of Oxford life. Early in
the present century, the conception of an academic as distinct from and
independent of a collegiate polity was more present to the undergraduate
of that epoch than it was to his successors half a century or so later.
This fact is one among the explanations of the popularity of the
University Union Debating Club during the student days of Mr Gladstone as
well as of the comparative disfavour into which it had fallen during the
student days of, for example, Lord Randolph Churchill. There appear,
however, periodically to take place reactions in favour of the nursery
ground of future orators. Mr Asquith, already of Cabinet rank, to whom
probabilities, as well as Lord Rosebery's words, point as a coming leader
of the House of Commons, belonged to a slightly older generation than
Churchill. Before he took his degree in 1863, he had established the same
sort of reputation for himself in the Union as had been won two or three
generations earlier by Mr Gladstone, and as seventeen years afterwards
was to be won in the same arena by Mr G. N. Curzon, in 1897 Foreign Under
Secretary.

During the later sixties, there came into existence, as further
developments of what was practically a collegiate example, social clubs
for undergraduates. These, in effect, though not in theory, were generally
recruited from a few colleges. Such societies have doubtless not lost
their earlier popularity. They have witnessed a fresh access of favour to
the University Union Club. They have perhaps helped themselves to
contribute to it by causing the Union, in the supply of creature comforts,
to compete with the collegiate lounges. A room for the reading of novels
had been regarded as a dangerous innovation at the Union before 1865. It
was not till after that year that a smoking room was sanctioned, or the
refreshments of tea or coffee supplied. That in the future as in the past
the chief work of the Universities will be done through the agency of the
colleges is no doubt not less true than that at Eton, like Harrow, the
tutorial system will co-exist with the most liberal and sweeping
innovations which may be introduced. The colleges depend for their success
on the same conditions as the non-collegiate delegacies. In prosperous
seasons when trade is good and money plenty, there will be few vacant
rooms either inside the college walls or outside in the licensed lodging
houses. When times are bad, the list diminishes. Thus in the October term
of 1896, 621 freshmen entered the colleges as compared with 734 in the
preceding twelvemonths; Christ Church had only increased by 11; Worcester
doubled its numbers; at the same time Magdalen, always a popular college
with the public, had fallen from 53 to 40, Balliol from 49 to 36, Lincoln
from 24 to 17. As for the non-collegiates, there was not only no increase
but an actual diminution; the figures here were less by 11 than in the
preceding twelvemonth.

The great contrast which in comparing it with its normal condition two or
three decades ago would be noticed by the Oxonian who revisits Oxford
to-day is the change from an habitually stationary to a visibly locomotive
population on the part of those who formerly seldom left their college
rooms. Down the chief streets of the towns on the Isis and the Cam
respectively, even at the very height of term time, there is a constant
succession of cabs conveying young men in the prime of life to the railway
termini. These are the fellows and tutors of the different colleges whose
predecessors seldom or never used to leave their University during term,
save when college business took them for a few hours to their lawyers in
Lincoln's Inn, or to the college estate bailiffs and stewards in the
country. Such are not the missions that explain this increase of railway
bound traffic when as yet no vacation is in sight. Those now spoken of as
hurrying off to some provincial spot are well known in their University
and a few hours hence will be warmly welcomed at their provincial
destinations as Extension Lecturers on subjects of popular interest. What
has happened is this. Certain enlightened inhabitants of both sexes in
some district of manufacturing Lancashire or in agricultural Devon have
been struck with the state of ignorance in which their school course has
left many young men and women. At the same time they have noticed
indications of a wish with those of maturer years to make up for early
neglect by later application to branches of study of all kinds. Books
alone have failed to supply the want. Intelligent and profitable reading
is a scientific habit properly to be acquired only by those who have been
drilled into it and who have already some general acquaintance with the
topics treated in the written page.

The County Council, as we have repeatedly seen, discharges already some of
the functions and dispenses some of the funds of an Educational
Department. Very possibly private munificence accompanies if it does not
prompt this corporate enterprise. The next step is to communicate with the
University Extension Lecture agency at whichever University, Oxford,
Cambridge, London, or Victoria, according to the preference displayed.
After the expenses have been guaranteed, the lecturer appears. To enable
his hearers intelligently to grasp his plan of discourse, the discourse
itself is prefaced by the distributions of a synopsis, which is in its way
a work of literary art, whose readers, without any other help than its
perusal may gather something more than a mere foretaste of the ground to
be covered, or of the instruction to be conveyed. Such a syllabus as that
of the Oxford lectures by Mr Shaw or Mr Marriott on different periods of
English or French history, like the Reformation of 1529, the Revolution of
1689, or the age of Louis XIV. at once assists the working men for whom
they were planned, and serves as a model for the taking of notes. Each
lecture of every course of twelve is followed by a class during which the
lecturer is in the Scotch term heckled by his audience. Essays are set,
looked over, and returned to the writers with marginal corrections. At the
end of each course an examination of both sexes is held, and certificates
of merit are granted. The sons and daughters of the local gentry, day
labourers in factory, field, office, or shop figure in nearly equal
numbers among the students, the women being slightly the more numerous,
and acquit themselves equally well in the examinations.

The system has only attained to its present completeness within the last
few years. The idea of it had occurred to Oxford reformers so far back as
1850 when residents and non-residents alike were asking how the
educational machinery on the Isis or the Cam could be made more available
for all classes of their fellow subjects. The Oxford Hebdomadal Board was
addressed on the subject, the names of Lord Ashley, Mr Gladstone, Lord
Sandon being among the signatories.

The great Dr Pusey, whose mind was as truly liberal as his Churchmanship
was high, had been struck recently by the number of great Anglican divines
who were the sons of small tradesmen. It was for Oxford to revive the
example of the ancient monks of Durham, and to devise means for bringing
the University within the reach of the poorest in the land. Another member
of Christ Church whose pointed features, dark complexion, saturnine habit
and rare scholarship will be recalled by many readers of these lines, Mr
Osborne Gordon, joined with Professor Hussey in impressing by almost daily
protests this popular duty on his too exclusive Alma Mater. At this time
religious tests existed in all their historic severity. There was no
matriculation without signing the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Common
Prayer Book, and no degree till after a like process with reference to the
Three Articles of the Thirty-Sixth Canon.

These facts account for the then dominant Liberalism of educated opinion
inside and outside the University. Had tests ceased to exist when they
were abolished in Ireland, as both Canning and Sir Robert Peel at one time
or another had suggested, it is scarcely speculation to say that the
demand which in 1868 brought about the unattached system and, after
another decade or so, the Extension Lecture system, might not have
organized itself with such drastic results. The non-collegiates might have
come into existence while as yet the Great Western Railway approached the
Cherwell no nearer than Didcot. The Extension Lecture machinery was not
less dependent upon the propulsive power of steam than the iron engine of
Stephenson itself. To-day Bradshaw's Guide is as indispensable a part of
the lecturer's equipment as his manuscript notes. Here, as at other points
in our secondary education, more organization and more endowments are
required. There should be more inducements to young and competent
graduates who have the knack of imparting their own knowledge to large or
small classes to take up this work as a career, not as an occasional
auxiliary to other occupations. The Extension centres also need to be
supplemented more largely with local colleges such as that for which
Reading is indebted to Oxford and Exeter to Cambridge.



CHAPTER XV

FROM THE OLD SOCIAL ORDER TO THE NEW

    The concrete personal result of the civic, social, and educational
    processes already described is now to be examined. The personal
    contrast between the new generation of young men and women of the
    middle class, most likely to strike an Englishman returned to London
    after long absence. Sex emancipation. The typical physique of both
    sexes has been visibly modified, amongst other agencies by bicycle
    practice. The stately maiden or matron of the period was unknown to
    John Leech; has been drawn faithfully by Du Maurier. Some social
    ideals are unchanged, but older middle class ideals have passed out of
    date.


In the foregoing chapters a general view has been given of the social
conditions under which, modified it may be by the influences of his
historic past, the character of the average middle class Englishman of the
Victorian epoch is formed. What is the personal result, the concrete
individual product of these forces? The epithet 'middle class' is employed
in deference to traditional wont, but is in great measure misleading
because the tendency of the age, the uniformity of the social and
educational discipline through which most Englishmen pass tends
increasingly to obliterate distinctions of conventional grade, and in
tastes, pursuits, prejudices, to assimilate all to a single type. 'They
look upon you as we do upon a December fall of snow; as a seasonable,
unaccountable, uncomfortable work of God, sent for some good purpose, to
be revealed hereafter.' The restlessness which in the British visitor
puzzled the Mussulman when _Eothen_ was written as a national quality has
of late increased among us.[44]

From those who represent Royalty to those who represent manual labour for
daily bread, an impatient restlessness is socially a note of the period
which has perfected steam locomotion by sea or land, and by the electric
telegraph has almost annihilated time. The cheap press, with its
ubiquitous correspondents and historians of all contemporary ranks and
occurrences in the body politic, has transformed the severely domesticated
Briton of both sexes, of all ages, who belonged to a bygone generation,
into an eager, actively enquiring, socially omniscient citizen of the
world, ever on the lookout for new excitements, habitually demanding
social pleasure in fresh forms. The insularity of the national character
has to some extent disappeared in the tide of new ideas, and novel modes
of life that from Continental sources are perpetually overflowing into our
land. The Universities, as shown in a preceding chapter, have been brought
to the door of the labourer at his bench, to the shop assistant at his
counter, to the clerk at his desk. If this does not always imply an
universal access of real education, no one who knows the England of to-day
can doubt that it never fails to mean the multiplication of all kinds of
knowledge, or to generate the social aspirations, and the thirst for that
kind of self-improvement, real or imaginary, which is accompanied by a
growing demand for social existence of an animated kind, for a daily life
less insular in its organization and less restricted to the domestic
hearth. Some prejudices, as was natural among a conservative people, were
on its first introduction excited against the new order of things.

Late in the seventies of our century the social craze of what was called
'rinkomania' set in. Any available buildings were laid down with floors
more or less lubricated, on which the sons and daughters of the various
sections of the great middle class, shod with a peculiar adaptation of
wheels, slipped about, and called it skating. These resorts were no doubt
admirably conducted. Acquaintances made at them were probably blameless.
They often perhaps ended in blissful and desirable marriage. But not
without a shock to her sense of maternal propriety did the English matron
of old-fashioned ideas see, or hear of, her daughter being twirled round
in the arms of some youth just introduced, or perhaps without even the
preliminary of that easy form. The young woman could cite plausible
precedent for the process. The most fond and nervous of mothers suffered
her fears to be allayed. No evil, and it may be hoped some good, to mind
and body, came perhaps from these experiences.

It was, nevertheless, an innovation on the usage of generations to which
bygone ancestors and ancestresses would not readily have reconciled
themselves. In plain words it signified the revolt of the sons and
daughters of the middle class against their exclusion from modes of social
enjoyment that to their contemporaries slightly above them in the social
scale had long been allowed. They had read of the subscription balls
planned by the astute Scot, John Almack, at Willis's Rooms, in the last
quarter of the eighteenth century. More recently they had seen accounts of
subscription dances in what were then aristocratic watering places like
Scarborough, or of the more cosmopolitan revels where chaperons were
largely dispensed with by their well-born charges at Baden-Baden and
Homburg. What claim did the accident of birth constitute to a monopoly of
the more stirring and less exclusive forms of pleasure? Thus it came to
pass that the pastime which followed the generally patrician Almacks at
the interval of a century from being a romp of children became the mildly
gymnastic function of youths and maidens of maturer years.

The next stage in this progress is marked by the popularity of the
lawn-tennis ground. The private gardens of urban or suburban villadom were
soon too small for the wielders of the racquet. The common enclosure of
the crescent, the square, or the 'Gardens,' was coveted one day by the
players. It was possessed the next. After this, the transition to
lawn-tennis subscription clubs, with public grounds, and championship
matches open to all comers was easy and natural. The parlour of home soon
dwindled into an insignificant spot to the overgrown boys and girls
engaged in 'All England' tournaments of their own.

Meanwhile, the gentlemen and ladies who called themselves society, and to
whom a portion of the newspaper press was set apart, were indulging more
enterprising tastes still, in a manner duly recorded by their daily and
weekly journals. The rage for 'making up a party' for everything;
researches into the London slums, or visits to the French play, came in;
superstitious veneration for the ceremonial etiquette of a past day went
out. The mere expedition to the theatre was scarcely stirring enough
without the preliminary dinner or the subsequent supper at the modish
restaurants which cause certain quarters of London metaphorically to abut
on the Boulevard des Italiens or on the Palais Royal. They who now from
afar imitated this glittering example had not, it is true, like their
betters, any 'smart' sets of their own.

That was no reason why the favourites of fortune should have all the fun
to themselves. The daughters of the professional class and of those below
them in the social scale were as well educated, as intelligent, as
personally presentable, as those whom a partial chance had made
conventionally their superiors. Why should the persons born with the
proverbial gold spoon in their mouths alone be emancipated? Friskiness was
an attribute not confined to the born inheritors of that which called
itself society.

Thus the laws of middle class orthodoxy were subjected to a process of
general relaxation like to what, rightly or wrongly, was fancied to have
taken place in more exalted circles. Clubs for private theatricals
followed the subscription dances, in suburban town halls. Bayswater
wanderers or South Kensington shooting stars reproduced some theatrical
favourite from the repertory of the Prince of Wales's or the Gaiety on the
amateur boards of Westbourne Grove, Brompton, or Chelsea. In all things
the accredited exemplars of the latest and most cosmopolitan mode were
followed by the younger generation of the classes that conventionally were
still regarded as strongholds of the ethical severity which Puritan
ancestors handed down. The development was of course inevitable. In the
long run it will not be found to have done any harm. But incidentally it
has involved a considerable modification of the old ideas and habits of
many hundreds among Her Majesty's subjects whose special attribute was
once supposed to be, in Froissart's phrase, 'to take their pleasures
sadly.' Lord's Cricket Ground on an Eton and Harrow match day; the Hyde
Park Magazine as the meeting point of the Four-in-Hand Club; any one of
some half-dozen eating houses bordering on Bond Street, frequented under a
Gallic title by the home-staying Briton; these have ceased to be the
appanage of Belgravia or Mayfair alone; the crowd which resorts to them is
quite as representative of the newest interests as of the oldest acres.

In theory and in practice 'society' considers itself, and to some extent
is still, a close corporation. It is bordered by a fringe not always
easily to be distinguished from the holy fabric itself. Its doings are
more and more moved by influences originating outside its own limits. If
this were not so Lord Beaconsfield would not have been able truthfully to
say in his last novel _Endymion_ that London which during the earlier days
of the Queen's reign was a very dull place had now become a most amusing
one. No one knew the capital better or during his later years had tasted
of its lighter pleasures more discriminatingly than the critic who made
this remark.

As the English race owes much of its vitality and vigour to the variety of
the elements, Anglo-Saxon, Danish, French, of which it is a fusion, so
English society would long since have been disintegrated by its own power
of boredom and its own monotony of texture unless it had extensively
recruited itself by alien elements as diverse and as invigorating as those
with which the House of Lords, eagle-like, periodically and wisely renews
its youth. The personal preferences, prejudices, predilections, of the old
and unreformed social polity remain. The tradition of an aristocracy is
unbroken though the system has undergone additions so organic.

In many places the Victorian squire and lord of the manor is not in the
present year a direct or indirect descendant of those who at the Queen's
Accession were settled on the estate he holds, and who inhabited the house
wherein he dwelt. The idea of such a change of tenure or of an alienation
of family rents to a race of strangers would have shocked the ancestor and
might even thrill his mouldering remains in the family vault with horror.
As a fact, however, the passage from the old to the new régime has
involved no revolution nor even much abruptness in development. The truth
is, the estate was so heavily dipped, whether by mortgages or dower
charges; the margin left for irregular expenditure was so narrow, as to
leave the property in a chronic instability of equilibrium; a longer
succession of bad seasons than usual, one or two farms unexpectedly
without tenants; these experiences would not be felt by the territorial
magnate, nor by a landlord who had other sources of income than his acres.
Such incidents are quite enough to reduce the small squire to practical
indigence. His children have to be educated, though his farms may be
unlet; his sons' bills must be paid; his daughters portioned off in
marriage. Instead, therefore, of sitting at the head of his table in the
old Hall at his 'rent dinner,' the squire, one of a long race of squires,
has transported his family to economical quarters in Bath or Clifton,
Brighton or Boulogne, where living is tolerably cheap, opportunities of
education are plentiful, and society of a sort is forthcoming. Or if since
Lord Cairns' Settled Estates Act modifications of entail have removed the
earlier difficulties in the way of land transfer, the family connection
with the property may have ceased altogether; the estate may have passed
into the hands of some lawyer, banker or trader belonging to the county
town; of some manufacturing plutocrat from the further North; of some mill
owner whose successful ventures have made him a millionaire. But the life
lived at the Hall or Court, or Manor, whichever it may be, under its new
proprietors violates few of the old traditions.

The squire of to-day, who was the banker, solicitor, or brewer of
yesterday, reproduces very successfully the existence of the more ancient
predecessors whom events have caused him to expropriate. His son is at the
same school, at the same college, or in the same regiment as the son of
his predecessor; his daughters are not less fond than the daughters of his
predecessor of riding to the meet, or of driving in state to the county
ball. He himself is more diligent in the business of quarter sessions,
transferred to County Council, than the squire before him was; his wife is
not likely to neglect the duties of the parish Lady Bountiful; her poultry
yard may be decimated by Reynard; her husband refuses on that account to
connive at the enormity of shooting a fox. Rather will he take a pride in
being able to boast that when there is a meet on his property, the coverts
are never drawn blank. In due time he may accede to the mastership of the
subscription pack which more liberally than his predecessor he supports.
The last squire was a judge of horses and cattle at the County Show; the
new squire will doubtless in due course fill that position; meanwhile,
though he may have been born in a warehouse and bred at a desk, his taste
for shorthorn breeding is worthy of an exclusively territorial lineage; he
himself plays as well as dresses the part to perfection, and might be
matched for tramping across stubble or plough and bringing down partridges
against the least commercial of the squirearchy.

This is only typical of what during many years has been taking place among
all classes. A discreetly generous administration of the Poor Law operates
in the long run as an insurance payment against revolution. The fusion of
classes not less than the organization of professions or enterprise is the
keynote of our epoch. The process has, without an exception, been one of
levelling up, not down. The classes called indifferently higher, or older,
have proved to possess an unexpected aptitude for communicating the
tastes, the pursuits, the habits, the very instincts, which have descended
to them from their forefathers, to the newcomers that the distribution of
wealth, the opportunities of industry, the innumerable vicissitudes of
life, have incorporated gradually into themselves. Thus it has come to
pass that society in England, in itself the most miscellaneous of all
conceivable composites, is saturated throughout and cemented as to its
different parts by a real homogeneity. The method of attainment has
varied, will continue to vary infinitely; the ideal standard remains
uniform. In most country districts, the notable exceptions being the
mining regions of the North, or the aggressively Nonconformist portions of
Wales, the old J.Ps. where their qualities entitle them to do so, have as
a preceding chapter has shown held their own against their new colleagues
on the County Councils. The achievement finds its exact counterpart in the
broader and more purely social processes just described.

That which has been called the restless, the aspiring, self-assertive,
inquisitive spirit of the age is not confined in its manifestations to any
section of the community, urban or rural, territorial or commercial, of
gentle or ungentle birth. It has been accompanied by a distinct change in
the figure and in the general appearance of the English youth of both
sexes. Suppose an Englishman who had left his country at an early period
of the present reign, and who, having made his fortune in the Colonies,
had returned to pass the residue of his days in his native land. What are
the changes that would most impress his mind? It cannot be doubted that
foremost among these would be the visible obliteration of the conventional
distinction between the aristocracies of birth and money, the oligarchies
of manufacture and of land. As from the window of his club, from his seat
in the hotel coffee-room, from his position at the theatre, the opera, or
from his chair in Hyde Park, he watched the representatives of the new
order which during a few decades had sprung up in the old country, he
would be aware of an improved expression of countenance upon the faces of
the quietly and well dressed young men, of figures taller, better set up,
and better carried, among the young women as well.

The ideal of English womanhood as represented in the sketches of George du
Maurier is a faithful generalization from actual life, historically
accurate in all its essential details. Even the lofty stature since the
bicycle began to develop certain muscles and parts of the human frame, is
now seen to be no figment of the artist's imagination. The feminine forms
which, towering majestically above the thrones of wheelwork, look down
upon the dwarfed passenger or equestrian, are to-day perceived to have
been presented on no exaggerated scale in the pages of _Punch_. English
women have always had a beauty and a durability of attractiveness unique
throughout the world. It is only of late years that to these qualities,
consequently on improvements on their physical regimen, the maids and
matrons of Britain have added a certain Junonian majesty of proportion
that John Leech could not depict simply because in his day it did not
exist, but that is portrayed with the fidelity of historic truth by the
pencil of John Leech's successor. This latter development has been an
unmixed good. The transition from the eventless purely domesticated
existence to the locomotive, semi-public, generally unsettling, and
exciting life in the case of the future wives and mothers of middle class
Englishmen, has had its transient disadvantages. It was not indeed to be
expected, nor was it possible, that the change from samplers and school
rooms to skating rinks, lawn tennis tournaments, bicycle grounds, and
suppers after the play at restaurants, could be accomplished with perfect
smoothness, or that the bread-and-butter miss described by Byron should
without any jar to the nerves of her compatriots develop into the girl of
the period, though on a less aggressive scale than she was once sketched
by a popular novelist in a famous article. The most circumspect of
chaperons, the most drastic of duennas cannot ensure her charges against
sometimes making ineligible acquaintance on these public pleasure grounds.
The records of the Law Courts show that the dancing youths of subscription
ballrooms, in the suburbs, are not invariably conducive to the domestic
happiness of middle class homes. The development was to be expected. The
percentage of friction or scandal was inevitable. As Brummel's valet said
of his master's crumpled neckcloths: 'These are our failures;' in other
words, they are the social miscarriages incidental to the strangeness of
the new order. As the class now spoken of becomes more habituated to the
cosmopolitan modes which it has assumed, the rôle will doubtless be played
without any misadventures.

Nothing less than a progress from insularity to cosmopolitanism is the
social enterprise in which the upper classes led the way, and in which
those who are always ready to imitate their example have followed them.
The fashion is not yet fully acclimatised. For that reason carping
critics, unjustly perhaps, have suggested that English families who take
their holiday at Boulogne-sur-Mer would do well not to carry with them on
their return to their suburban homes in England the social usages which
flourish in the Assembly Rooms of an Anglicized French watering-place.



CHAPTER XVI

'THE PLAY'S THE THING'

    Summary of the agencies and incidents preparing the way for the
    revival of the theatre as a popular institution, Macready and his
    purifying influences inside the theatre. Charles Kean at the
    Princess's. Usefulness of Rugby and Eton associations to each of these
    respectively. Miss Faucit (Lady Martin); her last appearance at Drury
    Lane; her enduring influence on the profession. Mrs Boucicault, Miss
    Kate Terry, Mrs P. H. Lee, Miss Ellen Terry and others. Henry Irving;
    his first London hit at the St James's, afterwards at the Lyceum under
    Bateman. His success characterized. T. W. Robertson's plays. Other
    circumstances of the time favourable to the new popularity of the
    play.


At the different seaside resorts fringing the greater part of southern
England from Beachy Head to Penzance, by the new sort of life organized at
Eastbourne, Hastings, and innumerable other places, one is reminded very
practically that only twenty miles of intervening sea separate the French
from the English coast. The British climate may be less favourable than
that on the other side of the Straits for the open air existence of the
French littoral. The more praiseworthy, therefore, and not the less
persistent are the efforts of visitors and residents on the unsunny side
of the Channel to acclimatize themselves to the _al fresco_ habits of
Boulogne, Dieppe, Trouville, or Biarritz.

Brighton has not yet very visibly changed its régime since the days when
George IV. lived at the Pavilion. Its newer rival, Eastbourne, has taken
advantage of a local conformation, and especially of a paved sea front to
present the stranger with various little reproductions of what is most
characteristic in the social exterior of French holiday life during the
bathing season. It is not only one or two families, mutually intimate,
which meet and pass together the greater portion of the day on the
esplanade that lies in the shadow of Beachy Head. The whole place
practically turns out, settles itself down for a day's occupation, if the
weather be fine enough, on the causeway above the pebbled shore. The
ladies produce knitting instruments or appliances for domestic needlework.
The men have their newspapers or books. The circle exactly after the
French fashion is formed, big enough in compass to admit all the polite
population of the place. When the luncheon hour approaches, there is a
move not from off the sea front, but to some of the covered shelters that
stud at intervals the esplanade. Improvised tables are covered with white
cloths. The company, that the French stranger at a glance recognizes as
belonging to the order of _bourgeoisie_, proves itself long to have
outgrown the dislike to public meals common to most English men and women
at the period of the Queen's accession. At night the boarding houses,
hotels, or private dwellings that in a long line rise just above the sea
terrace seem practically to amalgamate themselves into a single dancing
hall.

Other instances, more picturesque, or at least more suggestive, of the
naturalization of continental examples, at English holiday resorts may be
given. Eastbourne is indebted for the full development of its natural
attractions and for the addition of its beauties of art to the Duke of
Devonshire. Amongst other buildings with which the place has been enriched
is a town hall of graceful proportions and artistic aspect. This building
is crowned by a clock tower so exquisitely shaped and standing out in such
classic profile against the dark South Downs in the background as to
justify the local vaunt that had it been in Florence sightseers from all
parts of the world would have flocked to see it; and guide books would
long since have commemorated the glories of, a new Campanile added to the
historic list of fair structures. While the Eastbourne clock tower is
awaiting the architectural canonization it deserves, the town itself has
still more closely approached to southern exemplars by starting a carnival
of its own.[45] The slovenly and bedraggled mummeries into which the
Italian saturnalia have degenerated have not prevented the enterprising
authorities of the Sussex watering place from mimicking the battles of
flowers and confetti that are still supposed to relieve the approach of
Lent in the City of the Popes, but which as a fact have during late years
only formed another feature in Roman vulgarity. One advantage over its
more Southern original the Sussex shore imitation possesses. Real confetti
are not employed. Pellets of tissue paper are missiles at once less costly
and less dangerous than sugar plums. In other respects the continental
type has been reproduced rather too faithfully. Whether on the Corso, the
King's Road, Brighton, the Esplanade or Terminus Road, Eastbourne, the
whole pageant, as to the costume, the humours, and the hand artillery of
the mummers, resembles equally the scenes on the return from the Derby by
road to be witnessed between Clapham Common and Hyde Park Corner.

It was, perhaps, the foreign imitations in the social scheme of English
life increasingly visible during his later years to Matthew Arnold which
inspired that close observer with the advice to his countrymen to organize
the theatre. To some extent, indeed, the counsel had long been
anticipated. The organization of the stage into a wholesome agency of
popular amusement and teaching began with Macready, the earliest of that
line of considerable actors who have served their generation during the
Victorian epoch. But the prejudice against the play prevailing among other
than the austerer classes long survived the work of this great reformer of
the English stage. The company which fills a theatre to-day in respect of
ethics and behaviour is not inferior to the fashionable occupants of an
opera box on a subscription night.

It was not always so. When between 1827, the year of his first, and 1851
the year of his last, appearance at Drury Lane, Macready was the head of
the theatrical world, he found some difficulty in eliminating certain
objectionable elements from the auditorium of Drury Lane. He persisted
with his work. At last the moral atmosphere of a London playhouse was
admittedly as unexceptionable as that of Exeter Hall. Macready himself who
was born in 1793, and lived till 1873, had been educated at Rugby, as
Charles Kean who followed him, had reached the Sixth Form at Eton.
Macready, too, was in his day almost as much a favourite with the clergy
of the Established Church as, since his _The Sign of the Cross_, Mr Wilson
Barrett has become in ours. If the Etonian Keate inspired respect by the
consciousness of his having birched future generations of statesmen, the
Etonian Macready reflected the prestige of respectability upon his
profession from the fact that during his retirement at Sherborne in
Dorsetshire, most of the Anglican clergy noticeable for their elocution
had received lessons from him in the art of reading.

Charles Kean's acting life covered the period between 1820 and 1868. Like
Macready, he was a favourite in the provinces before he made his mark on
the London boards. With him there began, or was fairly established, the
improvement of stage, scenery, costume, and in all incidental accessories
that has been brought to so high a point of perfection by the genius,
industry, and well-judged lavishness of Henry Irving. Byron's enthusiasm
still glows in the words of his famous eulogy on the acting of Charles
Kean's father, Edmund Kean, who seems to have been perhaps the most
powerful and moving artist that the English stage has known. The energy,
passion and fire of the Keans marked a reaction from, and were to some
extent a protest against the stately and frigid classicism of the school
of Kemble. They thus appropriately coincided in point of time with that
romantic movement in English poetry which in his satire Byron ridiculed,
but which in his practice he did so much to promote. The epoch, during
which these attributes were displayed by Kean and his followers, roughly
may be said to have synchronized with the season of the influence on the
thought and diction of English poetry exercised through the publication of
the _Reliques_ of Thomas Percy, who, towards the end of the last, and
early in the present, century, was successively Dean of Carlisle and
Bishop of Dromore. This book probably did more than any other single
volume ever issued from the press, to quicken and complete the revolt of
English taste against the formal models of the age of Pope. From the
personal life, character and wide social acceptance both of Macready first
and of Charles Kean afterwards, the English drama directly, as well as
indirectly, was a gainer. In those days the social fusion was not nearly
so complete as it has since become; but Macready and the younger Kean had
both been popular in their school days. In after life Rugby and Eton
respectively rallied round them. The amalgamating agency of the Garrick
Club, practically so familiar at rather a later day, was not then an
operative force. But of the Athenæum and similar institutions Macready and
in his turn Kean must have been free; their private acquaintances and
visiting lists were as large and as representative as those of their
successors during the present decade of the Queen's reign.

It is not, however, under a dynasty of high tragedians that the full
development, as a social and intellectual force, of the Victorian drama
was to be attained. Long after the theatre became respectable, it remained
dull. The audience seldom dwindled to the point of invisibility which a
little time before was in some theatres habitual, and not infrequent in
all. Before the period now spoken of, Lord Lytton, of whose place in
letters more will be said elsewhere, had gone some way towards repeating
the dual successes in Parliament and at the playhouse achieved by Sheridan
in an earlier day. _Money_ was produced in 1840. Exactly a quarter of a
century afterwards a dramatic hit not less palpable and destined to have
results more considerable was made by an author till then little known on
the London stage. The year in which _Society_ was played at the Prince of
Wales's, till then the Queen's Theatre, in a street off the Tottenham
Court Road, will be remembered by the theatre-goer as that in which Henry
J. Byron's last burlesque was produced on the same boards and in which one
of the actors in that extravaganza, _Don Giovanni_, Mr John Hare, took,
for the first and only time in his life, a woman's part on the stage,
wearing the petticoats of Zerlina, the simple peasant girl. The real
significance of this occasion lay in its marking a new era in the fortunes
of the nineteenth century drama. The germ of Anthony Trollope's novels of
domestic life, may be seen in Bulwer-Lytton's fictions of _The Caxtons_
school. The part performed by the author of _Society_ and its dramatic
sequels for the English play resembled the performances of Anthony
Trollope with regard to the English novel. Like Bulwer, Robertson
fashioned his dialogue on the model of Sheridan. The writer of _Money_
laboured to reproduce the antithetic polish of his original. The author of
_Society_ and the series that followed it was attracted rather by the
caustic repartee in which the author of _The School for Scandal_
excelled. The change thus introduced at a theatre of which till then few
had ever heard, was the substitution of the realities of contemporary life
in drawing room, club, shooting field or camp for the threadbare
traditions, stilted sentiment, and fustian talk of conventional melodrama.
Whether the original were, or were not, too trivial for reproduction, it
is at least human nature to which the mirror was now for the first time
during recent years held up. The contrast between Robertson and most of
his immediate predecessors who were nearly his contemporaries was not less
marked than that between those masterpieces of the Laura Matilda school,
which delighted Mrs Wititterly, and the works of Miss Edgeworth, or that
between the _Great Cyrus_ and the author of _Waverley_. The _dramatis
personæ_ of Robertson were the men and women, the youths and maidens, the
old bucks and young officers, the pretty servant girls, their ogling
followers, the dapper apprentices, the seasoned topers whom the English
public had long known from Leech's drawings in the 'London Charivari,' but
who had not often been met with recently on the London stage. Now, for the
first time within the experience of many, the theatre became the fashion;
the stalls at the Prince of Wales's first, and at other houses soon
afterwards, were peopled by occupants as modish as the Italian Opera when
Piccolomini sang in _Traviata_. Even then, however, the first night of a
new drama, though at the most popular playhouse fell very short of
reproducing the personal distinctions of a première at the Comédie
Francaise or the Palais Royal. That was to follow in due time. Early in
the sixties an impressario, with judgment sharpened by American
experience, became the lessee of the same theatre, the Lyceum, which
twenty years earlier had been managed by Charles Mathews and Madame
Vestris. The first great feature in Mr Bateman's management was the
powerful and picturesque acting of his accomplished daughter in _Leah_
first and in some Shakespearian parts afterwards. About the same time an
actor with whose name in coming years the Lyceum was to be more widely
associated had given the public specimens of an art surprisingly vigorous
and picturesque. Henry Irving first played before a London audience in
1859. In 1866 he had the good fortune to be cast with Miss Herbert (Mrs
Crabbe) in one of those character parts in which he has had few equals,
the worthless, persecuting husband in _Hunted Down_. This was in the
theatre that witnessed the first triumphs of the great singer Braham, that
more recently had been filled from pit to gallery by the laughter loving
admirers of Mr and Mrs Frank Mathews,[46] or by the appreciative few who
realized the charm of the more subtle impersonations of Alfred Wigan. The
place, therefore, was of good omen for the rising star. The most
accomplished dramatic critic whom in England the century has produced,
George Henry Lewes, and the lady who bore his name, but is best known to
the public as George Eliot, author of _Adam Bede_, both witnessed the
début. 'Ten or fifteen years hence,' said the gentleman, 'that young man
will be where Kean once was, at the head of the English stage.' 'In my
opinion,' faintly murmured the lady, 'he is there already.'

Meanwhile, the popular taste of English playgoers had been educated by the
impersonations of Miss Faucit as well as by her own literary expositions
of Shakespeare's characters, and by the written discourses of her future
husband, Sir Theodore Martin on cognate subjects. The daughter of an
actress, Lady Martin received her first education for the stage from an
actor, one of a race of actors, Percival Farren, of the Haymarket Theatre.
This is the family which at the end of the eighteenth century gave a
Countess, acknowledged on Mrs Abington's retirement to be the first
actress of her day, to the Derby peerage. Its living representative, the
gifted and exemplary William Farren, more than recalls to the present
generation the genius of his predecessors. Soon after her arrival in
London, Miss Faucit joined Macready's company, and her 'Juliet' became a
classical performance. Probably the last occasion that this lady was seen
on the London stage is her performance of 'Rosalind' in _As You Like It_
at Drury Lane during the sixties. As a proof that Lady Martin has
exercised an abiding influence on her profession for good it is enough to
mention the names of Mrs P. H. Lee, as 'Juliet,' of Mrs Boucicault, the
graceful and accomplished wife of a popular husband, Miss Kate Terry (Mrs
Arthur Lewis), peerless in romantic melodrama, under the lesseeship of
Benjamin Webster at the Adelphi. Some bright particular star from the
days of Sir Walter Scott downwards has never failed any generation of the
Terry family; Henry Irving's inexhaustible co-adjutress has only
illustrated anew the ancestral tradition. Artists whether of the pen or
pencil, practically experienced in all the publics of Europe, have been
unanimous in testifying that there is none with whom conscientious toil
and excellence are so sure ultimately to yield the reward of fame and
profit as the public of England.

The theatre with us was firmly established as an honourable and lucrative
institution directly men of intellectual power and of competent education
began to throw their energies into it as they might have done into the
law, the legislature or any other of the liberal professions. Samuel
Phelps was born some ten years later than Macready; he was trained in
Macready's company; under him Sadler's Wells became once more the
prosperous school of classical drama. Some years junior to Phelps, Walter
Montgomery laboured in the same line. Both of those men unconsciously were
preparing the way for Henry Irving; they were each endowed with high gifts
of mind as well as with shrewd common sense. Their detractors of course
were not wanting. Neither Montgomery nor Phelps, on the score of public
appreciation, had more reason to complain than Henry Irving himself. If,
therefore, the reason is asked for the revived popularity of the play in
all grades of English life, the answer must be not so much the exceptional
brilliance of individual successes as the qualifications of industry not
less than aptitude which a succession of actors has brought to the
vocation. Sir Henry Irving, as a stage artist may have his mannerisms or
defects. Whatever career he might have embraced, he would have made his
mark in it, because, besides being a great actor, he is a remarkably
clever and far-seeing man. He is therefore in this way historically true
to the best associations of his art.

Public speakers at theatrical fund dinners are apt to cite as novel
instances of the drama's popularity the proportion of young actors who
have been educated at Eton or taken a degree at Oxford. So far from this
being a novelty, it is rather, as the illustrations mentioned above show,
the reversion to an older order. Henry Irving's knighthood only implied
the just recognition of qualities that in another walk of life would have
earlier elicited for their possessor a like distinction from the State.

In accounting for the approximation as to popularity of a London to a
Paris première which to-day so much impresses the foreign visitor, other
circumstances must be remembered. During the last decade or two,
especially since the collapse of the second French Empire, the English
capital has been, to an entirely new extent, the pleasure ground of the
world, and at all seasons of the year contains a large floating population
of strangers, Anglo-American or European, as well as of British subjects
visiting for a few days from other parts of the Kingdom, the capital on
the Thames. These birds of passage seldom possess a large social
acquaintance in the capital; the men among them do not always belong to
clubs; the ladies are too busy shopping to invite, or to make, calls; the
theatre is thus for a constantly increasing proportion of those who sleep
within the bills of mortality the easiest and the most attractive form of
pleasure. Hence as might be expected, the far more amusing repertory of
the Victorian theatre at the end of this century than at any previous
epoch. With a Pinero, or a Grundy, to mention only two typical names; with
pieces so diverting as _Charley's Aunt_, or _Bootles' Baby_, to mention
only one or two representative plays, the Englishman whose chief pastime
the play has become finds laughter moving relaxation as effectually, more
economically, and to himself a great deal more intelligibly within the
roar of his own Strand, than by travelling to a Paris boulevard. The
integral part now occupied by the play in the life of the most respectable
portion of the middle class is shown by the spacious theatres that have
lately risen in such decorous suburbs of the metropolis as Brixton.

Its utility as an agency of mental improvement and moral teaching is
suggested by the surprising success of the new religious drama that
beginning perhaps with the _Judah_ of H. A. Jones, has reached its climax
of well deserved success in _The Sign of the Cross_ of Wilson Barrett. The
suburban theatres have not as yet provided a great field for original
talent in the playwright; as might be expected, their patrons seem to
prefer pieces that have already received the stamp of public approval.
While musical comedies indicate an increasingly popular compromise between
Drury Lane and the _Alhambra_, the romantic drama has once more proved to
be not less attractive than when three decades since _The Corsican
Brothers_ first filled the Princess's with enthusiastic audiences. This
perhaps at the present moment is the latest of all the successful revivals
on the English stage. The plays respectively founded on novels, _The
Prisoner of Zenda_, and _Under the Red Robe_, are not only above the
average as to merit, but show that the popularity of the cup-and-saucer
drama of Albery and Robertson is consistent with a vigorous affection for
the melodrama which in Bulwer's _Lady of Lyons_, and in Boucicault's
_Colleen Bawn_ once absorbed the enthusiasm of the pit.



CHAPTER XVII

THE STRANGER WITHIN OUR GATES AND OUR OWN TEEMING MILLIONS

    Technical reasons rendering an exact comparison of foreigners settled
    in England at different dates impracticable. Approximate results
    yielded by the analysis of official figures, and their lessons. Danger
    of German competition with English clerks exaggerated. Actual
    occupations followed by foreigners. Allegations concerning alien
    pauperism tested. Proportion of foreign to English pauperism in
    London. Percentage and nationalities of foreigners in great towns of
    England and their occupations. Theories about population, especially
    Malthus. The Malthusian doctrine examined by the light of English
    experience. Objections to it summarized. The truth and the details of
    English population since 1793. Views of Dr Price and others as to
    decrease refuted by Cobbett. Figures and facts of increase. How the
    non-pressure on means of subsistence can be explained. New industries.


In the preceding chapter it was mentioned that one of the elements in the
increased popularity and prosperity of the theatre as an English
institution is the growing addition of foreigners to our native
population. This will be a convenient place at which not only to analyse
the composition of the foreign influx to our shores, but generally to
examine the rate and the results of the increase of our population.
Official data for the numerical estimate of the strangers within our gates
is not forthcoming with the certainty and completeness that might be
desired. The reason given by the parliamentary report[47] is intelligible
enough; and is to the following effect. The English census takes
cognizance of birthplaces, not of nationalities. British subjects who have
been born abroad are indeed asked to state the fact, but frequently fail
to do so. When the return reaches the Registrar General, the confusion is
frequently such as to render it doubtful whether the foreign birthplace
implies a foreign nationality as well. This uncertainty was not removed,
but was rather increased, when the Enumerating Officer exercised his
ingenuity in deducing the national identity from the surname. For instance
few patronymics are more distinctively German than Müller. None is more
likely to be written by an English clerk as the indubitably British
Miller. The result has been at different times an understatement of
residents in England who are foreigners both by nationality and birth, and
an overstatement of the foreign-born British subjects. The operation of
the principle adopted in the last census is exactly opposite to this; it
tends to overrate foreign subjects domiciled in England and to underrate
English subjects who were born beyond seas. The general consequence is
that as the Report already mentioned reminds one, the foreign residents
returns for 1891 are not minutely comparable with those for previous
censuses. It will be enough to restrict ourselves on this point to the
returns of the last three censuses 1871, 1881, 1891, a period of twenty
years. Of persons being foreigners both by birth and nationality residing
at these epochs in England and Wales, there were in 1871, 100,638; in
1881 there were 117,999; in 1891 there were 198,113. The process indicated
by these figures seems to have been at varying rates going forward through
a long series of years.

For the two decades between 1871 and 1891, the growth of foreigners among
us was 98 per cent. It will, therefore, probably not be a serious
miscalculation to estimate the total of strangers within our gates as
having doubled itself during the more recent years of the Queen's reign.
This estimate derives fresh probability from the fact that between 1881
and 1891 the increase of foreigners domiciled in England outstripped by
nearly six-fold the augmentation during the previous decade. The greater
part of foreigners in England and Wales are with us for business purposes,
or are sailors on board ships trading with England. As, therefore, might
be expected, most of them are to be found in the great industrial centres,
or at the large seaports. Thus, of a total of 198,113, 95,053, or nearly
one-half were enumerated in London; 15,536 in the suburban counties of
Surrey, Kent, Middlesex, Essex. Lancashire contained 25,109 with an
overflow of 2,254 into the suburban parts of Cheshire. In Yorkshire there
were 15,755; in the mining counties of Durham, Glamorganshire,
Northumberland, though not engaged in mining but in shipping coals, there
were 14,908. The foreign miners, it may be said, actually at work in
England are very few. The town in which the total proportion of foreigners
to the population has always been highest is of course London (the
strictly metropolitan area); the London foreign population is 23 to
1,000. In the suburban districts of West Ham, Willesden and Tottenham the
proportion is 10 to 1,000. In the provinces, next to London come Cardiff
with 21 per 4,000, South Shields and Manchester each with 18 per 1,000,
Leeds and Grimsby each with 16, Liverpool and Hull each with 14; Newport
and Swansea each with 12; the other towns where a proportion of 10 per
1,000 is reached are Sunderland, Hastings and Brighton. Of the 198,000 odd
foreigners now under consideration, 1,804 are Asiatics coming from China,
Persia, Arabia or elsewhere; 1,062 are from Egypt or some other part of
Africa; 26,226 are Americans; out of these 19,740 belong to the United
States, the subjects of the Stripes and Stars enumerated as domiciled
among us in 1881 were 17,767, an increase of 11·1 per cent, during the
decade. The number of English living abroad is of course immeasurably
greater than that of foreigners living in England. Thus in the case of the
United States alone, in 1891 there were settled 1,008,220 English people;
this was an increase of 35·2 per cent. over those enumerated in 1881.

The complaint that foreign competition in England itself is crowding
native industry out of the market recurs periodically; it renders of
special importance to Englishmen the estimate of the European foreigners
who have, during the period now under review, immigrated to our shores.
The total of those composing this category, men, women and children, has
been 168,814; as for the reasons already explained one is cautioned to
remember, this is an outside calculation owing to the inclusion in it of
many who though British subjects, omitted to set this forth in their
schedules. Of the 168,814 European foreigners, 101,255 were males. From
this total may be deducted 7,421 as boys under 15, and 3,039 as men of
upwards of 65; the sailors, in number 15,035 should not appear in the
estimate. When all deductions under these headings of industrial
ineffectives have been made there is left an aggregate of 75,760 effective
competitors with native industry on English soil, whom during these
decades their respective countries have equipped and sent forth against
us.

With our own population of 37 millions steadily increasing, the numerical
rivalry seems less alarming than might have been imagined. As a matter of
fact that rivalry strictly speaking may be larger than the provisional
estimate now given would show. It sometimes happens within the experience
of local registrars that to avoid English jealousy and so to have a better
chance of obtaining work, industrial aliens Anglicize their own
patronymics, change them for purely English names, or give English towns
and counties as their places of birth; for the most part these deceptions
are detected by the enumerator. In St George's in the East, however, in
Spitalfields, in Mile End Old Town and elsewhere some registrars seem to
think the fraud often passes undiscovered; but others, with equal
experience, disavow any reason for the suspicion of such a practice within
their areas.

As in the case of our Scotch and Irish colonies, so, too, with our
settlers from the European continent the men largely outnumber the women.
Whereas in the general population there are 106 women to every 100 of men,
and 35 per cent. of the people are under 15 years of age; among the
European foreigners there are only 67 women to every 100 men; only 8·8 per
cent. of the whole are under 15. In the case of Swedes, Norwegians, Danes,
chiefly of course, sailors, there are four men to every woman, and
sometimes as many as seven or eight. That in the case of Belgians, French
and Swiss permanently settled in England, the men are outnumbered by the
women is of course to be explained by the demands made for the former in
the capacity of governesses, milliners, and serving maids. The figures
relating to the sex of the strangers within our gates, as might be
expected, fluctuate. Especially notable is the difference between the
statistics for 1881 and for 1891; in the former year children under 15
formed 6·4 per cent. of all foreigners; in 1891 the percentage had risen
to more than 8.

The inference to be drawn from this statistical contrast suggests a new
kind of immigration and probably implies that with a view to permanent
settlement in England the foreigner was transporting his household gods
bodily to our shores. Much has of late been heard about the crowding of
pauper aliens into England. Some of the figures just examined may have
involved cases of outdoor relief. Of this there is no evidence. But that a
very serious addition was in this way made to the pauperism within English
workhouses does not appear to be true. The exact figures and facts on this
point may perhaps as well be given; of the 36,871 foreign Europeans
living at the time of the last census in the East End of London, only 105
had seen the inside of an English union; out of the other (English)
668,243 inhabitants of these parts of the town 13·5 per 1,000 were pauper
inmates; in other words, the proportion of foreign to native pauperism in
those districts where foreigners chiefly congregate was less than
one-fourth of the proportion of paupers in the remaining population. Of
these foreigners inside English unions 51 were Germans; 16 were French; 14
were Russians or Poles; 5 were Swiss; of the remainder no more than 4 came
from any single foreign State.

'Made in Germany' is a phrase round which there has centred lately much
controversy, political, economical, social and personal. This will have
prepared the reader to hear that on an analysis of the nationality of our
foreign residents, Germany heads the list with 50,599; Poles and Russians
come next with 45,074; then the French with 20,797; afterwards follow in
the order indicated with numbers fluctuating between 10,000 and 5,000
Austrians or Hungarians, Dutch, Norwegians, Swiss; no other nationality
contributed more than 5,000; the Russian and Polish names, which, after
the Germans, constitute the majority are so unmistakable as to render a
comparison between their numbers in 1881 and in 1891 tolerably safe. This,
for reasons already stated, is not so in the case of foreigners with less
distinctive patronymics. In 1881 the Poles or Russians enumerated were
14,468; in 1891 they were 54,074; the increase in ten years had thus been
some 212 per cent. Germans, in number 50,599, constitute nearly one-third
of our whole foreign population. Of that moiety, 1,981 are teachers; 1,198
musicians; 5,358 domestic servants in private families or inns; 659 are
professional cooks. To pass to a higher social category, 1,207 Germans are
established in business as brokers and merchants; 1,966 as clerks; 393 are
commercial travellers; 2,833 are sea-faring men; 282 are jewellers or
goldsmiths; 889 are watchmakers; 794 cabinetmakers; 1,309 are butchers;
2,340 are bakers; 276 are sugar refiners; only 592 are classed as general
labourers; 5,042 are occupied in ministering to the needs, luxuries, or
vanities of the person from the making of coats to the dressing of hair,
or the preparation of feathers for Court head dresses.

From these figures two facts of some interest emerge. The business clerks
who are complained of as interfering so disastrously with the clerical
labour market of Englishmen do not represent the largest contingent of
Teutonic industry among us. Numerically the most serious competition of
German with English industry is in the case of domestic servants. German
tailors are second in order of importance; the clerks come after, not only
these, but other occupations. Next to Germany, Scandinavia, Belgium and
Spain seem to supply the most numerous competitors with the industry of
the British middle classes.

The growth of the purely English population, not complicated by any
foreign elements accompanied, as it has been, with a steady increase of
national prosperity is enough to supply instructive material to the
philosophical enquirer into the facts and figures of English progress
during the Victorian epoch. Before looking into these by the light of the
once accepted theory of population it will be as well clearly to state
what these doctrines are, as well as to summarize the criticisms to which,
on the face of them, they are open. The doctrine of Malthus was first put
forward by him at the end of the last century. During the first years of
the present, while the reverend philosopher was professor of history and
political economy at Haileybury, few subjects excited so much interest or
controversy among writers on political philosophy or comparative
statistics. The doctrine, as it was originally propounded by its author,
is that population tends to increase in geometrical ratio, that
subsistence only increases in numerical ratio. It followed, therefore,
that unless the population be periodically thinned by the external
influences of pestilence or war, the poorest classes chronically must be
at starvation point, and that unless the multiplication of the race be
checked by prudential restraints, within a given time the point will be
reached at which the population on this planet is altogether in excess of
the means for its support. On the threshold of the discussion which this
proposition elicited, the obvious remark was that it asserted not an
actuality but a possibility. Hence, unless, instead of a tendency, a
proved experience could be asserted; unless, in other words, in the place
of a tendency to increase existing, a historical increase could be
established, the commentators on Malthus maintained that the danger which
he foresaw was too remote to be reckoned with. The following is the line
taken by the critics of the Malthusian theory. It was declared to rest
upon a series of hypotheses which as a matter of fact were never
fulfilled. Granted that if the progression foreseen by Malthus took place,
the calamity apprehended must ensue; it was maintained, as a matter of
fact, that the abundant safeguards existing in practice were ignored by
the alarmist _doctrinaires_. Supposing each marriageable pair upon the
earth to marry first, and to produce afterwards as many children as a
normally healthy couple may expect, not only subsistence, but standing
room in this world would fail them. Experience, however, shows the
fulfilment of any such forecast to be a moral impossibility. In daily
practice there are apart from difficulty of subsistence many checks which
avail to keep increase of population within reasonable bounds.

Thus, statistics show that more than half the human beings born die from
accidents or ailments before reaching marriageable age. Of those who
actually reach that age, an uncertain, but considerable proportion fail to
find mates; the men perhaps because they are over fastidious or selfish;
the women possibly because they lack attractions of dower or person. With
many more the course of true love runs crooked; the desired partner not
being attainable, a solitary life is led. In other cases, the fear of not
being able to maintain a conventional position acts as a deterrent. Then
there is the considerable percentage of cases where legitimate
opportunities of marriage are denied. Thus Colonial frontier men in
solitary wilds have few opportunities of courtship or matrimony. Soldiers
constantly changing their station; or sailors with a brevet wife in every
port, are not usually marrying men, or the founders of numerous families.
Of those who marry, many have no children, some have only one; others have
sickly children who die. On the assumption that everyone in the world
married, each pair must have two children to keep up the population.

Hence the critics of the Malthusian theory have calculated that, striking
out of their count those who cannot or will not marry, and those who,
marrying, are childless; merely to maintain the population without
increasing it, every married couple ought to produce a family of six.
Though according to the Malthusians themselves this sufficiently liberal
allowance of progeny might be reached without any calamitous consequences,
practical acquaintance with the contingencies of domestic life shows that
this quantum will not often be reached. If in any part of the world there
existed conditions favourable to marriage and to fecundity, it was in
Australia, shortly after the earliest gold discoveries, but when many
immense fortunes had been made in farming; here there was work for all,
wages were high, living cheap, cultivable, but uncultivated land abounded;
finally there were no catastrophic checks from earthquake, pestilence or
famine to the multiplication of human beings; if, therefore, the
Malthusian doctrine could anywhere be verified, surely it would be here.
Notwithstanding all these inducements to marriage and the propagation of
the species, the actual rate of population increase was 2 per cent. a
year.

Hence it may perhaps be inferred that this represents the normal rate.
That falls far short of the geometrical rate which the Malthusians would
have us expect. The physiological truth, as expounded by experts in these
matters would seem to be that in proportion as subsistence is more
abundant and of a better kind, life more regular and artificial, fertility
decreases. Scientific physicists point as proof of this statement to the
fact that wild animals when domesticated or in good condition are less
prolific than in their normally savage and poor state. So it is with women
in the western wilds of Ireland, or in the Scotch Highlands. As their food
and clothing are scarce and coarse, their maternity increases. The
inference from the facts now cited clearly is that whatever the terms of
the Malthusian proposition may mean, their significance does not warrant
the conclusions that ardent Malthusians have at all times drawn from them.

But it has been asserted that famine and plague are the Divinely appointed
checks to the growth of population; thus showing some external restraint
upon the multiplication of the race to be necessary to prevent population
outstripping subsistence. The most familiar proofs offered of such an
assertion are the periodical famines in India, especially that in the
province of Orissa, and the Irish famine from the potato failure in 1846.
On these proofs the following remarks suggest themselves. In the case of
Orissa, numbers had nothing to do with the famine or consequent mortality;
the people died because the heat of the sun untempered by rain literally
scorched the food supply out of existence; if there had been only as many
hundreds as there were millions, the same calamitous result, though on a
numerically smaller scale, would have ensued; a province of Central India
was decimated because the food did not exist. The famine therefore was
real.

In the case of Ireland, no famine at the close of the first decade of the
Queen's reign existed in the same sense that it had done in Orissa; the
potato crop alone failed; corn, dairy produce, food products generally
were plentiful; corn in fact was being exported from Ireland while the
Irish themselves were perishing from starvation. The calamity therefore
was less the stoppage of supplies by Providence as a check on population
than a pecuniary failure. Nor was it a visitation as regards which man
could plead exemption from responsibility. The potato rot did not come
upon the Irish peasantry in a day or in a week. The disease had appeared
in Eastern Europe so early as 1844 and 1843; it was scientifically certain
that eventually it would reach Ireland. When, after due warning it
attacked the plots of miserable soil reclaimed by peasant industry from
hillside and bog, the destruction of the staple of native food wrought by
it was gradual. Weeks and months were required to complete the process of
rotting. Nothing was done. The people died not from the unkindness of
nature, but from the neglect of man. Had the prudential restraints of the
Malthusians limited the numbers to half the actual total, the agrarian
policy which was responsible for the diet of potatoes instead of corn
would have resulted in the same poverty and, therefore, in the same
death.[48]

One is not here concerned with the abstract truth of the theory of
population enounced by Malthus, but with its applicability to, or its
instructiveness in the case of, the England of Queen Victoria. What then
are the facts of population here to be dealt with? The multiplication of
the inhabitants of this country is known never to have been so rapid as
during the century which opens with the French Revolution in 1793, and
which witnesses at its close the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty's
accession. Earlier periods of augmentation may therefore be omitted. A
hundred years ago, Dr Price, maintaining population actually to have
decreased, spoke of its decline as a great danger. Cobbett and other more
accurate observers, or less incautious generalizers, in opposition to Dr
Price, established circumstantially the fact of an increase; but the
possibility of a contrary view being taken is as suggestive as it now
seems remarkable.

Mr Thorold Rogers has been guided by his study of prices to the conclusion
that the standard of comfort in living began to rise among us from the
Reformation of the sixteenth century progressively onwards; and that even
during the eighteenth century the masses were enjoying a golden age.
Between 1750 and 1800;--the period during which the factory system began
to be known, and the problems of population and production were both
closely discussed,--no fear of population getting ahead of subsistence
suggested itself. Similarly during the Corn Law agitation 1840-6, the
increase of production from English soil, notwithstanding the
economico-agrarian law of diminishing return was proved to have outgrown
the population. Later and more detailed statistics show that since 1831
population with us has increased 30 per cent., capital 100 per cent.,
purchasing power 600 per cent. During the last half century the average
price of corn has been falling. Our demand for foreign corn has increased
and is increasing. This evidence fortified by the income-tax returns,
forbids the notion that during the last two centuries population in
England has outstripped the means of its support. The conclusion is
therefore irresistible that the natural tendencies to increase of
inhabitants, whatever the occult possibilities may be, practically are
counteracted by motives invisible and undefinable, perhaps, but not less
potent. As a writer in _Macmillan's Magazine_[49] points out, population
generally increases up to the relative limit set by the power of procuring
subsistence at any given time and place. The absolute limit as is shrewdly
remarked, could only be reached when the highest skill and organization
have extracted the last possible morsel of food from the earth; that
experience has not yet been reached. So far from population always getting
ahead of subsistence, its increase is by no means invariably as rapid as
the development of the food supply. Both between 1560 and 1760; again
between 1830 and 1880, this seems to have been the case in England.

During many years, as each decennial census has appeared, timid
sociologists may well have felt misgivings whether England could continue
to support her ever multiplying millions. The fears of science have not
been verified by the facts of experience; thus exactly a quarter of a
century since the census return of 1871 seemed to leave no escape from the
conclusion, that population had already all but overtaken the means of
subsistence, or that unless our numbers were at once arrested, it must in
a very short time do so. Since 1871 we have added 7 millions to our
population, the equivalent, that is, of 1,200,000 families and the same
number of working men. Instead of the pressure on subsistence being
greater, or the average condition of our people being worse, the exact
opposite has occurred. In comparison with the state of things two decades
since, the masses among us are to-day better housed, better clothed,
better shod, better fed, better educated. There is, as in an earlier
chapter was shown, a steady decrease of pauperism; the number of those who
with their dependents of all kinds live on the result of their
investments, is growing constantly. Whether it be due to the reduction in
the cost of conveyance, to the opening up of fresh fields of supply, or to
the appreciation of gold, the fall in prices of the chief articles of
consumption, corn, sugar, tea, cotton, timber, is a visible and a great
benefit to the country.

The fact that the increase between 1881 and 1891 fell short by about a
quarter of a million of that which signalized the preceding ten years has
been demonstrated by statistical experts of scientific authority not to
indicate pressure on means of subsistence, but to be explicable by the
stationariness of the population in many rural districts as well perhaps
as by the disinclination, reflected from French and American precedent, of
Englishwomen indefinitely to fulfil the functions of maternity.

During the period now spoken of, with the exception of mining, the great
staple industries of the United Kingdom have none of them increased, while
agriculture has decreased. It may, therefore, well seem problematical how
the 1,200,000 fresh heads of families have found a livelihood for
themselves and their belongings.

The explanation can only be that several new, as they are often nameless
industries have during this time come into existence. Birmingham, the home
of small industrial enterprises and in a less degree Sheffield, would of
themselves explain the mystery. And here specific mention of a personal
experience seems necessary. When the present writer by local observation
was first acquiring material for such writing as that of which this book
consists, he visited among other places Sheffield, under the obliging
personal conduct of its then, and happily its present, Member, Mr A. J.
Mundella. Close to one of the largest factories in that capital of cutlery
and furnaces is a small establishment owned by a single proprietor who
from that source of income alone, has realized a considerable fortune.
This gentleman contracts for the purchase of all the refuse, the waste
paper, the gilt or tin foil and other unconsidered trifles included which
accumulate in the rubbish heaps of other premises. On their reaching his
place of business, they are placed in a furnace; all the impurities are
burnt out of them. There remains a nondescript residuum of charred and
apparently worthless substances. Some of these, however, contain particles
of gold dust; these are placed into a crucible; eventually there is often
left a deposit of the precious metal which the jewellers are ready to buy.
The gold watch chain worn by the Sheffield industrialist now spoken of,
was of several carats, and was manufactured entirely out of the yield of
this refuse. The incident is worth mentioning as a concrete suggestion
drawn from real life of the protean methods of industrial money-making
that are constantly being discovered by the ingenious and unabashed
industry which in Virgil's phrase, conquers all things.[50]



CHAPTER XVIII

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS AS A LANDMARK OF POLITICAL PROGRESS UNDER QUEEN
VICTORIA

    Comparative novelty of constitutional government as understood to-day,
    and of real parliamentary representation during the first years of the
    Queen's reign. Dissatisfaction with, and defects in, Lord Grey's
    Reform Act. The new Chamber for the Commons nearly contemporary with
    the reformed House. Retrospect of different places in which the
    Commons have sat. Growth of social conveniences at Westminster. Recent
    changes that after half a century would most strike the visitor to
    Westminster. The ladies in Parliament. Discomforts of their earlier
    parliamentary position as compared with its luxuries and ascendancy
    to-day. Changes in the House itself. The day of the youthful M.P.
    Modifications in the procedure of the House of Commons. Obstruction.
    Its origin and prevention. Influence of the House to-day.


Constitutional Government and a popular legislature, did on Her Majesty's
accession, both exist in England. Neither of them was more than four or
five years old. Each therefore had arrived only at the experimental stage.
The Reform Bill of '32 had scarcely begun to be operative when its
imperfections made themselves felt. For the first time indeed in English
history popular constituencies had been organized by that Measure. But
while all householders rated at £10 and upwards had a voice in the
national Government, various old historic franchises had been abolished.
At Preston, for example, the suffrage had previously been in practice
universal; so that there, and at Windsor like Preston, the Reform Act had
a disfranchising effect.[51] All sections of the middle class were
enfranchised by the Measure of 1832.

With some show of reason it was complained that, while numbers were now
supreme, opinions and interests were, as in the case of pocket boroughs,
better able to make themselves felt under the nominally exclusive régime
which had been swept away. The new constitution was not the only
parliamentary novelty that signalized the opening of the Victorian epoch.
In addition to a new parliament returned by fresh constituencies there had
recently risen at Westminster a new Palace containing of course a House of
Commons comparatively fresh from the workmen's hands. The old structure
had been burnt down in 1834. The pile of buildings designed by Barry as
its architect which is now so familiar a feature in the London landscape
did not assume its present proportions in all their completeness till the
reign had entered upon its second decade. During the six years between
1834-40 the Houses sat in a temporary building which had been run up with
miraculous rapidity. As nearly as possible ten years after Her Majesty
received the early visit of her Chancellor at Kensington Palace, more
exactly on April 13, 1847, the Peers took possession of their new
Chamber.

Three years later, May 30, 1850, the Commons met for the first time
beneath the roof that shelters them to-day. Since the People's
Representatives and the Barons were constituted into separate Assemblies,
the building which the famous Clock Tower surmounts is in fact the fourth
meeting place that has been assigned to the Commons of England. It was not
till 1547, the first year of Edward VI. that the chapel of St Stephen in
Westminster Palace was prepared for the Commons. Before that date they had
assembled in the Chapter House.

The Speaker's Chair was then the former seat of the Abbot. Beneath this
roof were passed the Statute of Provisors 1350, the Statute of Præmunire,
the Act of Supremacy, and the Act of Submission. Until St Stephen's became
the synonym for the Popular House, party government can hardly be said to
have been, even rudimentarily, established. Government by groups, the rule
in the French Chamber theoretically held to be so mischievous in England,
but in whose direction we seem to be making further progress each year,
was practically the rule in the pre-St Stephen's period. Nor would it be
easy to exaggerate the influence favourable to a hard and fast dichotomy
into parties exercised by the structural arrangements of the secularized
shrine.

What are the points of contrast in the economy of the Commons' House of
Parliament and its precincts to-day which would most strike the shadowy
observer revisiting the place by the glimpses of the moon after half a
century's absence.

The accommodations of comfort, study or pleasure that now make the House
of Commons not perhaps the best but a really good club, are only the
fulfilment of undertakings which our imaginary spectator would remember as
having been begun when he was last there. Neither would he be much
surprised by the increase in the occupants of the Strangers' Gallery; nor
in the greater conveniences enjoyed by the reporters. Long before the
necessity for Barry's new building had arisen these improvements in the
internal fittings of any House of Commons were anticipated. When in 1847
the Hereditary legislators were about to settle in their new home, they
were much exercised by the conditions under which, and the exact places
where, their wives and daughters should view the progress of their
debates. The first suggestion of appropriating to the peeresses the
gallery that runs above the Ministerial Bench elicited from the late Lord
Redesdale the blunt remark: 'It will make the place like a casino.' To-day
the bright toilettes lit up by the sun pouring through the multi-coloured
glass, and blending with the bright tints of the decorated walls form
nearly the most picturesque feature in the afternoon of a London season.

Amazement, approbatory or the reverse, at this spectacle is the beginning
of surprises which the spectral visitor would find in store. Descending
into the hall which separates the two Houses, he would meet a commoner
acting as a squire of dames, escorting detachments of ladies to points
whence they could best see the House of Commons celebrities of the hour.
Looking through the swing door of the Representative Chamber, the
parliamentary Rip Van Winkle would for the first time in his experience
note the flutter of muslins and silks through the grating that bars the
compartment just above the reporters' benches, and that is known to-day by
the name of the Ladies' Cage. In 1834 this was a novelty as yet undreamed
of. The germs of it may perhaps first be detected during the opening year
of the present century.

In 1800 the admission of the Irish Members after the Act of Union involved
structural alterations in the Chamber. Among other things a chandelier was
fixed in the centre of the ceiling. At the same time a round hole was cut
for the escape of the hot air. The top of the orifice was protected by a
balustrade. From above this chandelier ladies were permitted
surreptitiously to peep over. In that extremely uncomfortable and rather
perilous position they saw what they could of the speakers and heard
murmurs of the debate. The first subsequent novelty was the introduction
of a few chairs. The temporary structure for the Commons after the 1834
fire was in the old House of Lords formerly known as the Court of
Requests, occupying as it did much, if not all, of the site of Edward the
Confessor's palace. The Lords themselves at that time met in the present
St Stephen's where the Commons meet to-day. Nor was it till after the
first Reform Bill that the domiciles of the two Assemblies were exchanged.

In the building which served the Commons between 1836-40, no provision was
made for ladies. By the report of the select committee of 1836 this fresh
accommodation was suggested. On the 3d of May in that, or in the following
year, the House ordered[52] that a place should be provided where, with
less discomfort, and more dignity than from the lamp balustrade, ladies
could listen to the speeches, and catch an occasional glimpse of those who
delivered them. In the temporary structure the exact spot thus allocated
to them seems to have been behind the Speaker's chair, if not actually
beneath the floor. Experts at least have discovered no alternative
situation as possible. The Ladies' Gallery of to-day as it exists just
above the Reporters' box is divided into three parts. The western third is
reserved for Mrs Speaker. It is called by that lady's name. Here she
receives as her guests personal friends or semi-official personages of her
own sex. The two eastern thirds of the compartment now spoken of are at
the disposal of Members for their wives and friends. There is a ballot for
the Ladies' Gallery a week in advance. Certain representatives of the
people have been favoured, as the result of consummate dexterity or rare
luck, with singularly uniform success in this ordeal. During the earlier
period to which reference has been made, there are believed to have been
instances in which ladies clandestinely found a place not only in the
balustrade above but in the ventilating chamber beneath the floor. Thus,
when they did not flutter as angels above, they burrowed like moles below.
Nor, as we have seen, was it till Barry's plan had become an architectural
fact that the wives and daughters of the people's elect were delivered
from these two predicaments.

To-day a lady visiting the House of Commons during debate has her 5
o'clock tea as comfortably as in her own drawing room. If the weather be
sultry, or the debate tedious, she can refresh herself during the interval
between tea and dinner with strawberries and ice as luxuriously as at
Gunter's in Berkeley Square. During the more monastic period of the modern
House of Commons, there occurred a short interval in which a very few
ladies on the floor of the House itself on the same side as the Treasury
Bench were stationed on chairs so placed that their occupants could hear
without being seen. One day a sudden witticism of an orator upset the
gravity of the listening stateswomen, and scandalized the Speaker. That
laugh proved fatal. Henceforth Members were forbidden expressly by the
House to secrete ladies in any part of the Chamber, either above or under
the floor. To-day in the interior of the Chamber itself ladies are not
more visible than formerly. The proposal to remove the grille that
converts their gallery into a cage is still made periodically; but with as
yet no great appearance of success.

Outside but still beneath the parliamentary roof, or within the
parliamentary precinct, the sex that is no longer 'suppressed,' pervades
the place at all hours. The Members' dining room, where male strangers can
be invited, is not yet open to guests of our new _ecclesiazusæ_. All other
parts of the premises are already pervaded by them. In the basement a room
has been discovered in which the fair guests of Members can be
entertained when the debate is over by a supper which may well repair the
omission of a dinner. The river frontage of the Westminster Palace during
some years has been surrendered at discretion to the politicians of the
petticoat. Lord Redesdale foresaw the coming resemblance of the interior
of the Peers' Chamber to a music and dancing saloon. Even his alarmist
imagination never pictured at the height of the London season an assembly
of ladies upon the Terrace just outside the Chamber, enjoying as the
guests of the elected of the democracy ices, strawberries and cream, all
the other modish adjuncts of 5 o'clock tea. This they have done since
1888. More recently there have been added waitresses attractively dressed
in a black and white uniform. Some years ago Mr John Bright, a special
habitué of the tea room, arranged a subscription for a wedding present to
the young person who presided over the cups and saucers, when on her
marriage she retired into private life. Even that statesman would not
perhaps have undertaken his graceful and chivalrous task in the case of a
whole regiment of tea room nymphs.

The lady M.P. has still to come into existence. Her sex controls votes and
vicariously receives them. In New Zealand and other Colonies the same sex
records votes directly as well as influences votes indirectly. If, as
other precedents might suggest, the mother country is advancing towards
the Colonial usage, is there any abiding reason why to their parliamentary
influence already established beyond doubt, the mothers and daughters of
England should not add the responsibility to public opinion which a
parliamentary seat would bring and which they now escape?

The personal changes in the composition of the House of Commons are only
less striking than the innovations in its social life. Years have passed
since Mr Disraeli's oft reiterated remark that the future of English
politics was to the English youth. In a sense different perhaps from that
which the phrase was first intended to bear, this consummation seems in
gradual process of fulfilment. In 1837 a chief amusement of visitors to
the House of Commons was to count the number of bald heads in the
Assembly. Those phenomena, as the legitimate results of age, are very
nearly unknown to-day. During the first three decades of the Queen's reign
the average age of a Member was between 50 and 60. Now it is probably not
much more than 40. Often it happens that senators are so fresh from school
as to be unable to forget their schoolboy phraseology, and to address the
Speaker in the exact terms they used but the other day to the master of
their Form. Thus, 'If you please, Sir, Mr Speaker, Sir!' is the opening
often heard of late years from a boyish senator who rises to address the
House in response to the eye of its President. In other respects, the
typical M.P. has changed not less conspicuously. Men of the social and
political quality who followed the lead of Sir Robert Peel first, and of
Mr Disraeli afterwards, who could be taken for nothing else than the
country gentlemen that they were, have been replaced by men whose
antecedents and whose interests are not less manifestly commercial.

Long after the abolition of the Corn Laws the description of the
Conservative party given in the Life of Lord George Bentinck continued to
be true. A glance sufficed to show that these 'men of metal and of acres'
were the products of their native soil. Specimens of this class lingered
at times pretty plentifully after Household Franchise was added to the
Statute Book. The tall erect figure of Mr Newdegate, broadened, but not
bent, by age, still retaining much of the elasticity of youth; the less
rugged and angular, but physically not less well developed, presence of
Sir Rainald, afterwards Lord, Knightley; these were specimens of Members
not uncommon within the memory of the present generation. To the same
order, in spite of a very different appearance, belonged the parliamentary
Cato of those days, Mr J. W. Henley, the veteran Member for Oxfordshire.
If the wisdom of the House, its occasional intolerance, and its hereditary
good sense, were ever incarnate in an individual, they resided surely
beneath the compact sturdy figure with the countenance, seamed and gnarled
as of an ancient oak, of that remarkable man. Before Quarter Sessions had
given place to County Councils, Mr Henley and others of his class ceased
to be known in their places.

These were the men, contemporaries of Disraeli and Northcote, brought up
in the same parliamentary, often in the same social, school as them.
These, too, were they who for his mastery of parliamentary law, his
excellence of parliamentary manner, and his maintenance of historic
standards in parliamentary debate, could almost tolerate the Liberalism of
Mr Gladstone. With a pang they anticipated the day when his withdrawal
would rob the Assembly of the last surviving monument of the eloquence and
bearing which used to be the familiar attributes in the first assembly of
gentlemen in the world. Already debating of the old stately order had
begun to go out of fashion. Thirty years after the Queen's accession, in
the Reform discussions of 1867, Mr Lowe had made one of the latest and
happiest hits ever secured by a familiar phrase from Virgil. In 1881,
after the death of Lord Beaconsfield, Mr Gladstone pointed a reference of
the same kind with not less felicity when he applied to his rival on
returning from Berlin the words by which the Latin poet indicated the
commanding presence of Marcellus among the winners of the _spolia opima_.

With these exceptions, there is no recent record of signally successful
quotation in the House of Commons from classical authors. Not indeed for
want of classical scholars. Professor Jebb, Sir G. O. Trevelyan, Sir M. W.
Ridley, are at least the equals in this respect of their seniors.[53] The
simple reason is that Latin and Greek quotation which were once held to
be, as Mr Disraeli said of invective, an ornament of debate, have passed
into the heritage of outworn words and faces. To-day if honourable
gentlemen illustrate their meaning by a metaphor or clench an argument by
an epigram, they go for their _tropes_ and ideas, not to the library, but
to the laboratory. Thus one of them not long since was heard to compare
the mind of an opponent to a series of condensing chambers. The masters of
the grand style in parliamentary oratory, as it may be called, cannot be
said to have passed away while David Plunket, Lord Rathmore, lives. But
the business of the House of Commons is done in Committee. A Committee of
the House of Commons is like a committee of any other gentlemen
professedly met together to transact the greatest amount of work in the
shortest space of time. Telling arrangement of ideas, clearness of
thought, conciseness of phrase, dexterous support of special views by
figures and facts; these are the qualities bred in the parliamentary
atmosphere to-day. In such categories are the ideals consciously aimed at
to be found. No competent person seriously supposes the average of
intellectual power in Parliament to have declined. Mr Gladstone and other
experts have testified that it has increased, and that the 1893 Parliament
contained more men of first rate capacity than any within modern memory.

The interest taken by the nations in the doings of the House of Commons
has not permanently abated, nor is likely to do so, seeing that its
attraction resides less in the letter of its debates than in the
circumstance of its being a continuous commentary on the social as well as
political history of the day, a concentration, epitome, and amalgam of the
human nature of the period. The vicissitudes of human affairs, the sudden
growth, the not less sudden rupture, of human friendships; the involuntary
perjuries of political allies surely as laughable in the sight of Jove as
the perjuries of lovers; the sworn confidants and colleagues in one
Administration transformed into the mortal antagonists of the next; these
are the episodes of everyday life reflected upon the stage of the Theatre
Royal St Stephen's. Can they then, fail to be more full of dramatic charm
than the entertainments provided in any other playhouse of the realm? The
parallel between the theatrical and parliamentary stage might be made
still closer. As on the former, so on the latter there are certain stock
parts always sure to be enacted, whatever the title of the play, or the
nature of the discussion.

The Mr Henley already named, pre-eminently representative as he was of the
hard good sense and rugged honesty of the Tory squire, was not a novelty
in the Chamber. He had his forerunner in the 'down-right' Shippon, as Pope
calls him, of a Georgian House of Commons. He it was who, as a Jacobite
opposed to Sir Robert Walpole yet said of himself and his adversary, 'He
is for King George; I am for King James. We differ on most things; but
Robin and I are the two most honest men in Parliament.' The theatrical and
parliamentary analogy might be illustrated much further. One or two more
instances will suffice. The stage character whose chief function is to
keep the audience smiling and to enliven dulness by a laugh has his exact
analogue in the parliamentary humorist, whose very rising is the signal
for a burst of anticipatory merriment. In the nineteenth century the name
of that humorist has been, during its first half, Sir Charles Wetherell.
He relieved the severity of the 1831-2 Reform Bill discussions by
convulsing his hearers with laughter at the farcical absurdity of his
sallies, or by the ludicrous incongruity of the metaphors with which he
pointed his invective.

Half a century later the name of the performer is changed. The function
discharged is identical. In the place of a Wetherell there sits now a
Bernal Osborne, now a Patrick Boyle Smollett, now a William Gregory, and
again a Wilfried Lawson, or a Labouchere. In any case the wag is
indispensable to the proceedings of the House. In every new Parliament he
makes his appearance, if not quite so early, yet with the same regularity
as the Queen's Speech, or the Debate on the Address.

Other rôles are equally familiar, and with the same undeviating regularity
are forthcoming. High or Low Church, dry or Evangelical, the different
champions of the Church, each in their own era and from their own point of
view, come forward to defend the national Establishment. These are the
gentlemen whom in once addressing a deputation of them Mr Disraeli
characteristically styled 'the children of the Church.' Of this section,
during the earlier decades of the reign, Sir Robert Inglis was a chief.
Round him were grouped a little band in which Mr Spooner, and thereafter
the intrepid Mr Newdegate, and poor Mr Whalley, with his jaded, hunted
look, had a place. The burly presence of Sir John Mowbray, the less
robust, but wiry figure of Mr Talbot, both Members for Oxford University,
belong to a later date. When these may have disappeared, successors are
already visible to take their place. The stalwart form and patriarchal
beard of Sir John Kennaway, the less athletic and more sensitive figure of
Mr Stanley Leighton are even to-day powers in that ecclesiastical faction.
The two sons of Lord Salisbury, Lord Cranborne and Lord Hugh Cecil belong
to another generation, but to the same category of ecclesiastical
defenders.

During the Queen's earlier years, Chartism, that is to-day only a name,
was an active force. Most of the points of the Charter itself have quietly
become law. The Septennial Act has not indeed been repealed; but
practically the term of parliamentary life has been shortened. The ballot
has quietly superseded the hustings. Payment of Members is seriously
discussed. Election expenses have been much reduced. By the Redistribution
Bill of 1884, an appreciable step towards equal electoral districts has
been taken. The Georgian House of Commons, indeed the House till the full
effects of the first Reform Bill were felt, was so small, its members so
preponderantly came from the upper class of society as to give the
Assembly the air rather of a family party than of a national forum.

From 1707 to the beginning of this century, the English, Welsh and Scotch
numbered 558. The Act of Union at the beginning of the century added 100
to the House of Commons of 1801. The additions to the House made by the
Reform Bill of 1832 in the case of Wales and Ireland 5 each, of Scotland
8, were exactly compensated by the reduction of English Members. The
Measure, therefore, which created popular constituencies and with them a
popularly representative Chamber left St Stephen's numerically unaltered.
As to quality, it socially modified rather than, as is sometimes said,
revolutionized the Assembly. Nor, as to figures, did the Household
Franchise Bill of 1868 enlarge the Chamber. The 7 fresh representatives to
Scotland, and the 1 to Wales were balanced exactly by the disfranchisement
of 8 English constituencies. The House of Commons remained therefore 658.
An increase began with the Reform Bill of 1885. The emancipation of the
agricultural labourer by the franchise on the same conditions as his urban
brother involved the sole increase since the Irish union to the numbers of
the House of Commons. Even that is only represented by 12. The whole of
this increase was for the benefit of Scotland. Two new Members were indeed
received by England under the latest franchise re-arrangement. Two were
also lost by Ireland. Thus the Irish disfranchisement balances the English
enfranchisement. The sole nett profit in the transaction accrued
therefore, as has been said, to Great Britain beyond the Tweed.

While the House of Commons as to arrangements, occupants and visitors has
changed more than once during the period comprised in this survey, there
has been in the opinion of experts like Mr Gladstone no diminution of
ability in its general debates. The amount of varied and accurate
knowledge displayed during discussions in Committee by the rank and file
of its members has increased appreciably since the Derby-Disraeli Reform
Act. But, it is said, as our constitution has become more democratic, our
popular legislators have grown unmannerly. Those who know the volumes of
parliamentary history summarizing debates in the House during the French
Revolutionary epoch of 1793-5 may be disposed to doubt the justice of this
censure. The violent personality of the recriminations between individual
members of the two Whig sections at this period; the revolting grossness
of the metaphors and the epithets by which the intellectual majesty of
Burke stooped to express his loathing for the new Radicals on both sides
of the Channel; the personal menaces exchanged by competitive debaters of
smaller calibre; leave no room for doubt on the point. Two years after the
first Reform Act, Church rates and other ecclesiastical topics gave rise
in the debates upon them to scenes and noises, cockcrowing amongst them,
that scandalised the parliamentary decorum of the period, as disgraceful
beyond all precedent. These incidents were attended by a degree of
parliamentary disorder which was habitually in excess of the ebullitions
however scandalous, provoked during the session of 1893 by the Second
Irish Government Bill of Mr Gladstone. The great change of recent years in
parliamentary methods is of course the organized obstruction on frivolous
and irrelevant pretexts raised during debate. Even this is not the novelty
that some have seemed to suppose. During that distant era when no
chandelier hung over the heads of Members, the only illuminants known in
the Chamber were candles. A formal motion was made that these should be
brought in. The early practitioners of obstruction seized upon this issue
to delay the discussion. Motions for adjournment became effective
instruments for delay during the Reform discussions of 1832. They were
then employed with success generally, and with humour sometimes by the
popular Sir Charles Wetherell, and in case of unpalatable amendments by Mr
Sheridan. While motions for adjournment have thus always been used as
methods of delay, they naturally have had different aspects at various
times. Thus when employed for fighting a Bill to which conscientious
objection was entertained, these motions differed entirely from those to
the same ostensible end made by the feigned opponents of perfectly
harmless Measures. Mr Pope Hennessy was practically the founder of this
later and indiscriminate opposition to all attempts to legislate.

The late Mr Parnell extended that system to routine business such as the
nomination of Committees, also to unobjectionable votes in supply, and
finally in 1877 to private Members' Bills as well as Government Bills,
with the avowed aim of paralysing the whole machinery of Statute law. The
late Sir Stafford Northcote, who more than any other statesman of our time
resembled, in his conscientious caution and chivalrous devotion to
principle, Mr Perceval, dealt perhaps too gently with this abuse of forms,
nor saw fit to employ the new rule that was suggested to him by the
consummate experience of the late Sir Thomas May. Mr Gladstone's
management of this matter in 1881-2 was more drastic; it would have been
successful but for the tactics of the late Lord Randolph Churchill and the
present Sir John Gorst. After this came in 1888 the leadership of Mr W. H.
Smith, resulting as it did in 15 new Rules. The practical result of the
latest changes in House of Commons procedure may be summarized popularly
and briefly as follows. The French principle of closure already adopted in
all other Popular Assemblies is now part of the law of the English
Parliament. This instrument can be moved for at any time. It depends
wholly on the Speaker or, if the House be in Committee, on the Chairman,
whether the motion for it be put to the House. If put it is generally
opposed. Then follow debate and division. For its adoption there must be
not only a majority but one composed of not less than 100 Members.

With its larger numbers, the representative character of the House of
Commons has been increased also. The steps by which it has acquired
control of the executive as well as the legislative machinery of
government need not be recapitulated here. Its moral, educational and
social influence in the country is probably not proportionate to its
actual power. The theory of delegacy so indignantly repudiated by
Conservative speakers during the first Reform Bill debates is to-day
accepted and actively illustrated by a majority of Members. More and more
the tendency is for the constituencies to call into existence a
Government to undertake a specific task of legislation whose scope is
defined by the individual possessing for the moment the national
confidence. To support in that special work that particular statesman, or,
if he falls into disfavour, to thwart him, the householders send to St
Stephen's men whose discretion is restricted within very narrow limits.

This arrangement immensely increases the authority of the democratic
favourite of the moment. It is less favourable to the prestige or
usefulness of the Chamber as containing the collective wisdom of the
nation. The aptitude for business talk that shall be to the point in
Committee has not, when the House has a mind to it, declined. The great
speeches, no sooner delivered than they constitute national text-books,
are less frequent than the display of excellence in debate. Afraid of
boring the Assembly, dreading the imputation of mere rhetoric, the Member
who has something to say usually prefers delivering it to his constituents
at his periodical reunion with them, or upon some other extra
parliamentary occasion. The terse diction and urbane gravity of manner of
Sir Charles Dilke made him, during his Foreign Under-Secretaryship, a
parliamentary model. Such oratorical efforts as he sometimes made, were
reserved for the meetings with his electors. The clever young politician,
being on his promotion, speaks when he can that he may give his future
chief a taste of his quality. Popular meetings therefore, and the
periodical press have detracted from the House of Commons as a school of
eloquence, or as a national educator. On the other hand the House of Lords
has no constituencies in the background. Its time is less preoccupied. It
is to-day far more representative of the English people than was the House
of Commons a few years before the Queen's accession. It does indeed
chiefly consist now of men whose station and whose antecedents are not
very dissimilar from those of the House of Commons before that Chamber had
been thrice Reformed. Hence some of those debates, especially on foreign
policy, or grave points of constitutional procedure that used to mark
epochs in the Elective Chamber are now almost confined to the Hereditary
House.

Outbursts of periodical petulance against the Peers will doubtless
continue. Such Radicals as may be left in England to-day are at heart far
more tolerant of a second Chamber, composed as that at Westminster is,
than were the 'root and branch' men not merely of Cromwell's day, but of
half a century ago. Something therefore may perhaps be said on behalf of
the opinion that any movement which may be successful against the House of
Lords is likely to affect the House of Commons as well.[54]



CHAPTER XIX

CROWN, COUNTRY AND COMMONS

    Comparative youth not the only point of difference between the House
    of Commons to-day and formerly. Its reflection of social
    characteristics of the time shown in the disappearance of the old
    County Member extinct in the country as well as in Parliament.
    Modifications in _personnel_ of the Liberal party since the great
    fortunes made in trade and since the first Reform Act; also in that of
    the Conservatives. Mr Gladstone's opinion and experience on this
    subject. The obstacles in the way of oratorical efforts or success in
    the House of Commons, have increased under new conditions. Rivals to
    House as representative of national feelings. The press, the House of
    Lords and local debating societies.


The average age of its members is not the only respect in which, during
the Queen's reign, the House of Commons has been gradually transformed. If
the country squire of the old school of Mr Henley has disappeared from it,
that is because he is now as unknown in his own county as in Pall Mall.
The social composition of the Whig, or Liberal, party was finally and
entirely altered about the period of the first Reform Bill. The change had
indeed been going forward from the earlier epoch when the middle class of
commerce began to be, as from the days of the Edwards it was tending to
become, the greatest power in the country. The replacement of the old
Whig, with his territorial associations, by the new Liberal, like Mr
Cobden, was only the last stage in the development of self-government in
England. In truth, however, the kind of progress now spoken of was not
limited to any single political connection. The Nestorian experience of Mr
Gladstone testifies it to have been not less noticeable among Tories than
among Whigs. There were not, he thinks, in 1835 five members of the
Conservative party owing their seats to commercial or industrial
influences. The change which has come about in the composition of the
party since then is 'simply marvellous.'[55] The specific legislation that
has surrounded the English Crown by a democracy, is the extension of the
lodger franchise to boroughs in 1867, to counties in 1884, and the
cheapening of elections by the Corrupt Practices Bill of Sir Henry James
in 1883. Notwithstanding these advances, the blend between authority and
freedom has never been more fortunately conspicuous nor more wisely active
in this country than since the period of its self-government began. Before
1870 it used to be said that the Pope, shorn of his temporal power, would
exercise a prerogative not weaker, but stronger than when he was sole lord
of Rome. Whether that prediction has, or has not been fulfilled, the
influence that a constitutional Sovereign can exercise in the United
Kingdom has increased rather than diminished since the days of absolute
monarchy were over. Whatever in the way of political initiative the
Sovereign has surrendered has in the department of social ascendancy and
civic influence, been restored with interest to the Crown. The late Sir
Henry Maine, differing in that respect from earlier political theorists,
has in that very suppleness and elasticity which his predecessors praised
discovered a source of weakness to the English constitution. So shrewd an
observer as Mr Goldwin Smith bitterly complains of the fickleness of
popularly elected Parliaments, and their quickness to reflect the external
influences of the moment, as of the chief dangers to our political
stability. Into that controversy it is needless to enter. It may seem
strange to those who have had more than half a century's experience of her
loyalty to constitutional principles; but in 1837 no one certainly knew
whether the young Queen would not insist upon her technical right to
nominate and dismiss her Ministers at will. Less than four years had
passed since her uncle William IV. had practically exercised that
prerogative. In 1834 Lord Althorp was called by his father, Lord
Spencer's, death to the Upper House. Lord Grey had long wished to resign
the Premiership. His unsatisfactory relations with the King made him seize
this opportunity of doing so. The Sovereign accepted the resignation of
the Cabinet with more than alacrity. Substantially therefore, and
morally, there would seem something in the statement that William IV.
dismissed the Whigs to please himself.[56] As Mr Gladstone in one of his
essays has shown, the principle giving cohesion as well as joint and
separate vitality to the members of a Cabinet independently of the
personal pleasure of the Sovereign had been established before then. First
actively applied if not discovered by Sunderland, the son-in-law of the
great Duke of Marlborough, the Cabinet system, as Mr Gladstone has shown,
can scarcely be said definitively to have triumphed till 1828, when George
IV. reluctantly accepted Canning for Prime Minister. William IV., Mr
Gladstone's first Royal master, is, it may be noticed in passing, admitted
by his early servant to have used his prerogative unwisely; but is
defended from the charge of having used it unconstitutionally. So great is
the distance in political thought traversed since 1834 by the statesman as
well as by others.

No thought of reverting to this family precedent has ever probably
occurred to her present Majesty. The comparison of the position
voluntarily occupied by the Sovereign to-day to that of the permanent head
of a great department of the State unchanged by Ministerial or electoral
vicissitudes, roughly but not altogether inaccurately conveys some idea of
the practical influence of the Crown upon the politics of the period.
Continuous experience of public affairs is not however the sole source of
the influence upon them which a constitutional monarch may be enabled or
obliged to exercise. The familiar Bedchamber Plot, presently to be
mentioned more in detail, and the momentary friction between the Sovereign
and her responsible statesmen that followed it, is now known to have
originated in a misapprehension. The Minister only desired that a few
ladies should give up their places in the Household. The Sovereign
resisted the dismissal of her entire suite. If, indeed, a solution of the
difficulty had not been found; if, that is, the Queen had pressed her
personal wishes to the point of the Premier's retirement, it is by no
means certain that she would have lacked constitutional arguments
justifying her course. A sort of plebiscite in 1841 had been given to Sir
Robert Peel. On some national issues of broader import, the popular
feeling at this time notoriously had not been expressed with convincing
clearness. On all sides there seemed balance and consequently confusion of
public opinion. From the altitude of her throne, and by the light of her
ancestral knowledge, the Queen might have argued that she saw the
situation more correctly than her Ministers in Parliament or her people
outside, and so have vindicated the dissolution of the House had she
chosen to adopt that course. This prerogative of sanctioning the recourse
of a Minister to the constituencies is one of which the Crown can never
finally divest itself. In the last resort, however much he may wish to
abdicate his power, the first magistrate of a State must be prepared on
that point for a definite individual responsibility. The latest
indubitable illustration of this truth was given in 1868. In that year Mr
Gladstone's Irish Church resolutions secured the defeat of the Disraeli
Government. The Conservative Premier did not, as precedent for doing even
then existed, resign immediately. He placed before the Queen the
alternative of a dissolution then, or six months later, leaving absolutely
to the Crown the responsibility of the choice. If that situation has not
since exactly repeated itself, obviously from the very nature of things it
is one which may at any moment recur. Thus it will be seen that under
parliamentary government, the self effacement of the Sovereign is an
impossibility. Years have passed since the sense of popular disappointment
at the visible results of the Grey Reform Act found expression in
_Coningsby_, and since the Sidonia of that romance ridiculed to his young
disciple the imperfect vicariate of a House of Commons. However essential
a part of our institutions it may be, its power and popularity are not
to-day without competitors in popular favour. These rivals to the House of
Commons are in their way as much as itself integral parts of the national
life. If, notwithstanding all the gibes against it, the House of Lords,
composed as it is to-day, be not a representative body, nothing which
exists in England can deserve that epithet. Socially the peers of the
later Victorian epoch are as a whole indistinguishable from the Commoners
at St Stephen's of an earlier epoch. They reflect at least as faithfully
the variety, the interests, the pursuits, and the convictions of the
nation. The great difference between election to the Lower and promotion
to the Upper House is that the former generally goes by local interest.
The latter depends usually on political service, on personal merit, or
individual achievement. That distinction was unknown before the present
generation. Macaulay, a great writer and the best informed man of his day,
received a peerage. His personal claims to the honour were admitted by
reason of his place in the party which from 1832 he had continuously
served in Parliament. His pretensions to a peerage were emphasized by his
services as a State official. He had occupied Cabinet rank; he had been
Secretary at War when that office was equivalent to a Secretaryship of
State. No coronet was ever given to literary genius alone before that
conferred upon Lord Tennyson.

The younger Pitt is reported to have said that any man with £40,000 a year
had a right to a seat in the House of Lords. Some of his creations notably
that of Lord Carrington gave effect to that opinion. These peerages,
however, did but foreshadow faintly the elevations of men actually engaged
in commerce as in the case of Lord Armstrong, vicariously through his
widow in that of Mr W. H. Smith, and many more. The press, too, is not
less representative than the House of Commons. Nor in all probability is
Lord Glenesk the last representative of journalism, as he has been the
first to receive a seat in the Hereditary legislature. Under any
circumstances, the well placed English newspaper is likely to be not less
expository of public opinion than any body of gentlemen, by whatever mode
elected, sitting at Westminster. Special tendencies of the time make the
press an exceptionally lifelike measure of the thoughts and wishes in
every department of life of every section of the English people. Newspaper
proprietorship has in fact become not less a fashion of the day than
theatrical lesseeship was a few years since. A number of men agreed on
certain points such as the development or exploitation of particular
enterprises, are seized with the conviction that 'an organ' is essential
to their success. They combine, therefore, to buy or to press into their
service by subsidies some printed sheet which may yet have the ear of the
nation but which happens just now to have fallen upon evil times. If no
such opportunity as this present itself, newspaper starting has become a
recognized industry of commerce. After a time, therefore, a new literary
champion of the Empire enters the lists. Its real object may be narrow and
even personal. Its managers know that if their end is to be accomplished
it must be veiled by a programme of more disinterested generalities, and
that popular sentiment should form the first study of its conductors. In
this way therefore, apart from the great newspaper oracles of the time
which in all but name are national enterprises, the press has increasingly
an inducement, that never fails, to hold up the mirror to the convictions,
prejudices and sentiments into which public opinion can be analysed. The
reptile press of Germany is, upon any considerable scale, not known in
England. The connection between most journals whose support is envied, or
whose opposition is dreaded, and some or more of the leading public men of
the day, has been often very close[57] and is perhaps, still not quite
unknown.

The newspaper, however, is but a single agency for the literary influence
exercised upon the public life of the day. Of late years periodicals,
appearing at less frequent intervals, have among politicians themselves
competed in attractiveness with the national assemblies at Westminster. In
proportion as parliamentary reports have been in the daily press reduced
to a few columns and in the case of all but speakers of the first rank to
a few paragraphs or sentences; parliamentarians themselves have
substituted the monthly Review for the stenographer or for Hansard as the
depository of their views. Technically the presence of reporters in the
gallery is even to-day connived at rather than constitutionally
sanctioned. Yet the leader of the House of Commons, not very long since,
reminded his hearers that those who were not present at his speech might
master his points by referring to the parliamentary reports next day.
Members with a taste for writing, having some carefully thought out
message to deliver on an intricate topic of foreign or domestic policy are
increasingly inclined entirely to pretermit the parliamentary stage of
their exposition. By reserving their remarks for the monthly periodical,
they can be sure of fixing popular attention more conspicuously. Their
signatures are appended to their effusions. The editor incurs no
responsibility either for the substance or the form of the opinions
delivered. The reciprocity of the arrangement is, between him and his
contributor, complete. On the one hand the literary impressario secures
the advertisement of a familiar if not a famous name, good as he knows it
to be for the sale of a certain number of copies, each one of which
represents a clear if a small profit. On the other hand, assuming the
senator to deserve an audience, he is more likely to secure one when his
views are placed before the public for the first time with all the
advantages of good type and paper, when they are read comfortably in
library or club, not listened to with an effort, and even then but
partially heard in the exhausted atmosphere of the House of Commons. Again
if the Popular Chamber still be of the same intellectual calibre as of
old, it has grown also more manifestly fastidious and more demonstratively
intolerant of speakers who do not hit its taste. As Sir James Mackintosh
and Lord Macaulay in different words both said, it was always a Chamber
whose tastes and verdict were incalculable. Since, under a democratic
franchise, it has become an Assembly primarily of business gentlemen, the
chances of failure to satisfy it are so alarmingly numerous as to prevent
all but the most self assured and impassive from making the effort. It
prides itself above all things on its business-like tastes. Therefore, it
abhors any approach to rhetoric. It fails not to remember its traditions
of eloquence, or the ascendancy over itself which to a master of words and
phrases, to a Disraeli, a Gladstone, a Lowe, a Canning, a Peel, it was
proud to accord, like a horse that knows, and that takes a pleasure in,
its rider. Therefore the House expects from those who address it something
more than the bald, business talk of the Board room; an aptitude for
clothing sound original reasons in diction which shall be without
pretentiousness, but that shall not lack felicity and point always, and
epigram sometimes. If these conditions be forthcoming; if the Chamber be
in a good humour; if it be neither too long nor too soon since it lunched
nor too near the hour when it dines; then the elective legislators will
perhaps for a short time give their ear to one who rises at the right
moment and in favour of whom they are predisposed. The conditions are
obviously severe. It is therefore not to be wondered at that candidates
for oratorical honours at St Stephen's tend steadily to diminish.

There is another kind of rivalry to which of late years the House of
Commons has been exposed, which may excite a smile, but which is in its
way a reality to be reckoned with. This is not that of the provincial
platform, of the public meeting room, or of the debating society in its
older development. These latter have always, among the lower middle
classes, fulfilled a function like that of the University Unions among the
classes somewhat better to do. Coger's Hall was the school of discussion
in which the late Charles Bradlaugh acquired great power of direct and
incisive utterance as well as a perfect control over his temper. London
and all the great provincial towns have as many of these places as ancient
Rome possessed of gladiatorial schools. A really new growth of the last
quarter of the nineteenth century is the local Houses of Commons. These
sprung up in and for every quarter or suburb of London, and in many
provincial districts as well. They are still known, and sometimes much in
vogue. They are not of course recognized by the legislature. Nor, as in
the case of the municipal bodies which we have already seen at work, is
their machinery controlled by the Local Government Board. A seat in them
has been known to be as much an object of rivalry among an increasing
class, as a place on the green leather benches of Westminster. The member
for Kennington or Lavender Hill in the south of London, for Westbourne
Grove or Shepherd's Bush in the west, for Haverstock Hill in the north,
may even be as considerable a personage with his immediate friends in the
district as the member for Westminster in the Imperial Parliament. The
leader in the Hampstead House of Commons, or the Chancellor of the
Exchequer in that which meets on Richmond Hill is not certain that he
would change his place with his titular equivalents at St Stephen's. These
are considerations that may explain why the House of Commons, whose
supremacy was unchallenged under a Peel, a Stanley, a Palmerston, a
Disraeli, a Gladstone, is regarded no longer with awe, sometimes with the
familiarity that breeds contempt.

As yet this diminution of parliamentary prestige, if such there really be,
is indicated only by a floating sentiment. It finds expression chiefly in
social chatter or in newspaper flippancies. Nor in the present decade of
the Victorian epoch are there many positive signs of our representative
system being superseded by the controlling will of an individual autocrat
for whom the late Mr Froude thought the time was steadily approaching. The
same remark might with equal truth probably be made of every part in our
national polity. It is certainly true of the House of Lords not less than
of the monarchy. The position practically occupied by the Crown to-day, is
that which the Prince Consort many years ago marked out for it. Some of
these functions he was himself able to assist the Queen in discharging. To
him there seemed to devolve upon the monarchy duties analogous to those
discharged by the permanent officials in the great departments of State.
Amid the vicissitudes of party, the rise and fall of Ministers, the
changes of popular opinion, the Crown was in his judgment the one
guarantee for continuity in policy, domestic not less than foreign. The
occupant of the Throne took, as Ministers of State, those whom
parliamentary majorities and public opinion indicated. The Sovereign
however had other functions than merely to register and sanction the wish
of subjects and the decisions of Commons. Chief among these, as every
other page of Sir Theodore Martin's book during the Peelite and
Palmerstonian periods clearly shows, was to judge of the quarters whence a
stable Administration could be formed; whether, in fact, Lord John
Russell, Lord Palmerston, or Lord Derby, in a balanced state of
parliamentary feeling, had the best chance of carrying on the Queen's
government to the welfare of the realm and the confidence of its
representatives. The most familiar aspects of the political and
parliamentary situation have ceased to be now what in the Prince
Consort's day they habitually were. The doctrine that Ministers are the
free choice of the Sovereign was never propounded absolutely by the
husband of the Queen. The doctrine was rather assumed by him in the
interests of the national convenience than expressed in any terms defining
the Royal prerogative. The slow process of absorption of the Peelites into
the Liberal ranks; the lifelong rivalry of Lord John Russell and Lord
Palmerston produced, during much of the Prince Consort's time, a condition
of unstable equilibrium in party organization, which in these later days
of popular mandates, general elections which are plebiscites and of
overwhelming majorities which amount to commissions of the democracy, it
is not easy to realize.

Some there were who thought that the Liberal disruption of 1886 might
reproduce in English politics the precarious and fluctuating relations of
parties and statesmen that seemed between 1852 and 1865 to have become
permanent. Had that forecast been fulfilled, the Sovereign to-day might be
confronted with personal responsibilities of Ministerial selection which
would have recalled the duty devolved upon her during earlier portions of
her reign. Nothing of the kind has happened. The event of ten years ago
has resulted not in party instability, but in fresh fixity of tenure to
the political conglomerate that the constituencies have as yet shown no
wish to dismiss. Of course in time the same conditions as of old must
recur. The national organization of which Liberals as well as
Conservatives are constituent parts, will at some day or other upon
issues perhaps now unsuspected resolve themselves into their elements.
Ancient lines of demarcation will again declare themselves. A cycle of
government by groups may yet be opened.[58] People and Parliament may
still wait for the Royal choice to close an interval of confusion and of
doubt. In whatever form this reversion to an older order may present
itself, whatever the exact contingencies in store, the occupant of the
Throne as has been shown above cannot divest himself of the right,
therefore of the duty, of giving a casting vote when his officers of State
hesitate, as Mr Disraeli did in 1868, as to the exact moment when the
appeal to the constituences most advantageously can be made.



CHAPTER XX

ROYALTY AS A SOCIAL FORCE

    The general power and usefulness of the English Crown strengthened,
    and not weakened, by the constitutional transfer of political power to
    Parliament and Ministers. The national aims of Queen Victoria and
    Queen Elizabeth contrasted. Possibility of the Sovereign more
    correctly than Parliament or Ministers interpreting indications of
    national will. What happened under Queen Anne may conceivably occur
    under some of her successors. The facts concerning the monarchy as
    they are to-day. Posthumous recognition of the soundness of the Prince
    Consort's views on the sphere of Royal duties, and the legitimate
    field of the Crown's activities. His influence still a living force.
    Court offices, and reforms attributable to him. The present Prince of
    Wales exactly follows his father's example.


Whatever of power may have been resigned by the Crown in the way of
political authority has since that resignation abundantly been recompensed
to it in the direction of social authority. The latest predecessor of her
own sex upon the English Throne correctly interpreted as against
periodical parliamentary majorities the loyalty of the nation to the
Anglican Establishment; then a synonym for High Church Toryism. The Legion
Memorial,[59] probably drawn up by Daniel Defoe, marks the lowest point of
unpopularity ever reached by the House of Commons. No one would venture
to say that a repetition of such an experience, however unlikely, is more
impossible under Queen Victoria, than at one time it might have seemed
under Queen Anne. The chances of a revival, with the national consent, of
the personal prerogative of the Sovereign in Church and State affairs,
though far from being inconceivable towards this changeful close of the
century are too problematical for serious calculation. Like Queen
Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, from her accession to the Throne, proposed to
herself as an ideal the affection of her people. The Tudor Sovereign,
however, amid all her desire for the personal attachment of her subjects,
bated no jot of her queenly dignity or hereditary pretensions. The
Hanoverian Sovereign who blends the lines of Tudor and Stuart in her own
person has always kept before her an object equally distinct, but far more
congenial to the graciousness of her sex. An Elizabeth never willingly
allowed the tenderness of the woman to eclipse the majesty of the Queen. A
Victoria has never, consciously or unconsciously, veiled the motherhood of
her people by the pomp of their ruler. The stages by which the conception
of English sovereignty that is to-day a national possession has attained
its present completeness, must now be examined. From her sex, and the
circumstances of her life, it has long been inevitable that some of the
social functions (in the sense in which that epithet is now used) of the
Sovereign should be discharged vicariously by other members of the
reigning House. Whether it be Prince and Heir Apparent, or Royal Duke
makes no difference to the present argument. The idea of the monarchy
actually operative among us to-day whether in its constitutional,
ceremonial, or social attributes is at all points stamped with the impress
of one systematizing and controlling mind.

That beneficent intelligence is in human shape no longer with us. Never
was there man whose works and projects have lived after him more
vigorously and usefully than the Prince Consort. To the generation that
has grown up since his death, the notions which he was the first to apply
to the Court usages of England, the ends to which, before him, no member
of the reigning family had employed the opportunities of the Crown are so
familiar; they seem so essential a part of the Kingly office; a Sovereign
or a Prince not discharging such duties is so inconceivable by nineteenth
century Britons, as to make many persons forget the existence of a time
when this portion of the Royal duties was disliked as a novelty, or
resented as an impertinence. It is not too much to say that the Victorian
England of these later years is that which, more than any other uncrowned
individual, the Prince Consort was the instrument of making it. He it was
who set the example of that many-sided, almost ubiquitous, assistance in
the extra-political occasions of English life which to-day are more
conspicuously associated with the representatives of the kingly principle
in England than the attendance at levees, or the opening of drawing rooms.
Nor must it ever be forgotten that the future husband of the Queen from
earliest youth, not less than her future Majesty herself, was trained with
an eye to the possibilities of the alliance and the duties that the
accident of birth might have in store. Writing in July 1821 to the Duchess
of Kent, the Dowager Duchess of Coburg says of the young Prince Albert:
'The little fellow is the pendant to the pretty cousin' (the Princess
Victoria).[60] Prince Leopold, who married the Princess Charlotte
naturally supplied the first link of cousinly association between his
nephew and niece. Other and more highly placed suitors were not of course
wanting. But it needed no great experience in the tactics of matrimonial
diplomacy accurately to conjecture the relations tolerably certain to be
developed between the second son of Duke Ernest of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld and
the niece of William IV., heiress to the English Crown. It is well that
the august contingencies of the future should sometimes have been forecast
by those around the young Prince. Otherwise it might have proved more
difficult than subsequently it did prove, or perhaps have been found
impracticable to rear on the foundations of boyish education the fabric of
a genuine knowledge of English character, of English life and
institutions. Hence it was that the disappointment of Lord Melbourne's
over sanguine anticipations of the reception of the Prince by his adopted
countrymen was borne with the equanimity which he showed on hearing that
the proposed allowance of £50,000 a year, though not, as Colonel Sibthorp
suggested, reduced to £21,000, was to be fixed at £30,000. All he
regretted was that his ability to help artists, men of learning and of
science would be necessarily more restricted than he had hoped.[61]

Naturally the economy of the Court system was the first to feel the
reforming influence of the man who afterwards helped profoundly to modify
the whole system of English life at large. The first opposition was
encountered at the hands not of an Englishman, but of a fellow
countrywoman of his own, the Baroness de Lehzen, who, from being the young
Queen's governess, had become the head of her household. The abuses and
extravagance of the Royal establishment shocked, as they well might have
done, the frugal Prince. Nor was it only that the money expended yielded
no proportionate return of comfort and convenience. The very rudiments of
domestic supervision were found to be wanting. Windsor Castle was only one
degree better than Buckingham Palace. Those employed about the Royal
dwelling not only had themselves free ingress into the living rooms of the
family, a nondescript gathering of camp followers, loafers and errand boys
also contrived to pass in and out unchallenged. On one occasion a boy was
found, with no felonious intent, to have passed the night under a sofa in
a parlour next to the Queen's bedroom. The lad had no wish to have done
so. He was simply shut in, unperceived by those whose business it was to
lock up.[62] In this work the Prince Consort was confronted by the
opposition which the reformer of inveterate abuses never fails in any
department of life to encounter. The administration of the Palace
household below stairs in a less wantonly wasteful manner was held to
threaten the dignity of those about the Throne. A check upon weekly bills
in the basement was suspected of veiling a sinister design on the
constitution of Church and State. Sir Robert Peel in 1841 had dwelt on the
difficulty of domestic reforms in the Palace. In 1843 he acknowledged the
economy and efficiency with which the Queen's Household was now conducted.
The Minister was vilified in the cheap weekly papers as a joint
conspirator with those foreigners who christened their treason by the fair
names of retrenchment and order. He was even attacked in clubs and drawing
rooms by fine and fashionable people for being ready to compromise the
dignity and disturb the equilibrium of the British Crown. The chief point
of the Prince Consort's Court improvements was concentration of
responsible power upon a single individual in the place of its confused
distribution among mutually conflicting understrappers. In this task he
was aided by Baron Stockmar who had all the national aptitude of the
German for the details small and great in the domestic routine of palaces
and princes. The ultimate result of these operations was to invest a
Master of the Household identical in all respects with that functionary as
he exists to-day, with supreme jurisdiction over the domestic arrangements
of the Sovereign, able directly to communicate with the departments for
executing the different repairs. Other duties gradually gathered round
this personage. To-day, as the Prince Consort had always purposed, it is
upon him that there devolves the duty of issuing at the Royal command,
invitations to guests to sleep and dine beneath the Queen's roof.

The composition of the Queen's immediate entourage is now practically the
same as that decided upon by Her Majesty in conjunction with the Prince
Consort. The ladies of the Court, that is, consist of the Mistress of the
Robes, the Ladies of the Bedchamber, the Women of the Bedchamber, and the
Maids of Honour. The first named of these, the Mistress of the Robes, is
in her way, a State official. She must not be below the rank of a Duchess.
She changes with the Government of the day. Her attendance on the Queen is
limited to State occasions. The Ladies of the Bedchamber, all of them
peeresses, are in number eight. One of them is invariably waiting upon the
Queen. These are the ladies who in 1839 Sir Robert Peel, when forming his
Administration, thought should be changed. The Women of the Bedchamber are
also eight. These generally are only in attendance when the Mistress of
the Robes is present. One of them is always near the Sovereign. The Maids
of Honour are also eight in number. These must be either the daughters or
grand-daughters of peers. They have the courtesy title of 'Honourable.'
Two of them are always in waiting for a month at a time. The Prince
Consort also in selecting the officers of the Household, showed special
care and judgment in his choice of the person who discharges the duties of
Privy Purse. From the days of Colonel Phipps, or Colonel Anson, to Sir
Fleetwood Edwards; these have been men of first rate financial and
administrative capacity. Misled by a similarity of terms, some persons
seem to fancy there exists a vital association between the gentleman who
fills that position in the Queen's Household and the nobleman who, as Lord
Privy Seal, has a seat in the Cabinet of the day, and who in 1896-7 was
Viscount Cross. Hence the recurrent announcements in the newspapers that
this statesman has been summoned to Windsor or Balmoral to assist Her
Majesty with her business papers. The present opportunity therefore may
usefully be taken to contradict the construction placed upon the character
of the visit of that Minister to the Court. This the present writer has
the very highest authority for doing. The connection between the Cabinet
and Court offices whose names so closely resemble each other is in no
sense organic. Lord Cross, now spoken of, is eminent for his knowledge of
business of all kinds. He is a man of the widest and most varied
experience in every department of civil and political affairs. He had a
seat in Lord Beaconsfield's last Cabinet. Than him the Queen possesses
to-day few older servants, or more trusty friends. In that capacity, not
in virtue of his Ministerial position, it is that Lord Cross finds
himself so frequently the guest of his Sovereign.

The Prince Consort's reforms in the economy and administration of the
Court itself, though not the least valuable or necessary of his labours,
naturally appealed less directly to the popular interest than his other
activities, by the results of which the land of his adoption is to-day the
gainer. Not a moment had been lost by the Prince in beginning to realize
his early idea of associating for the first time since the days of the
Stuarts the Sovereign with the promotion of letters, science, and art. The
Court of Henry VIII. had been visited by Erasmus, and by other men of
letters of the Protestant connection. If the story of Shakespeare's
presence in the group that surrounded Elizabeth be apocryphal, Edmund
Spenser, Sir Philip Sidney, and Sir Walter Raleigh undoubtedly paid their
homage to the Virgin Queen. Charles I. was the patron of Van Dyck and an
admirable connoisseur as well as encourager of true art wherever it could
be found. Charles II., after his restoration, was less interested in
painters and poets than in science.

Before Queen Victoria, the Hanoverian Sovereigns had not identified the
new dynasty with any special affection for the accomplishments which gild
and refine life. The Prince Consort, at the outset of his career mastered
two facts. First, he discerned, that, even in the absence of a national
scheme of education, the taste for reading and culture bred not only by
improved intelligence, but by the growth of material prosperity and the
humanizing influences of foreign travel, must before long result in a
marked improvement of the appreciation among the countrymen of Reynolds,
of Byron, of Wordsworth, and of Southey, of all that sweetens and
brightens daily existence. The Prince perceived, too, that the lines on
which English social intercourse was developing must involve a demand for
amusements and for recreations upon a larger scale than family reunions
beneath the domestic life could provide. The theatre in England had not
become then a considerable force. It would have been premature to
anticipate the later advice of Mr Matthew Arnold to organize the stage.
The demand for good music in public places and on reasonable terms; the
growing interest in the works of English artists; above all the newly
awakened interest among the whole community in the welfare of their least
fortunate members;--these are the features of the time which in his survey
of the domestic situation chiefly impressed the Prince.

So early as 1840 his knowledge of musical science and his skill in musical
execution were well known to all with whom he had been brought into
contact. By this time it was generally perceived that a mistake had been
made in not, from the first, establishing the Prince as the Queen's
private secretary, and in delaying to entrust him with the control of the
whole Household. The Prince's remarkable aptitudes had impressed the
leading statesmen of both parties and through them the general public.
Thus, in 1840 there existed a growing desire to turn to national account
the special knowledge and exceptional talents of the accomplished husband
of the Queen. On the 9th of October 1840 Lady Lyttelton, then in
attendance at Windsor, has recorded that 'there arose from the room below
hers sounds of an instrument which she did not at first recognize, played
with such master skill, modulated so learnedly, winding through every kind
of bass and chord, finally culminating in the most perfect cadence, then
off again, louder first and afterwards softer. I only heard,' she adds,
'the harmony, being too distant to catch the tune, or perceive the
execution of the small touches. It was Prince Albert playing on the
organ.' April 29 of the year now mentioned was, from the point from which
it is now looked at, a memorable date in this blameless and beneficent
career. Then it was that the Prince having been appointed one of the
directors of the Ancient Concerts, discharged these duties for the first
time. All the music had been selected by himself. He had attended the
rehearsal with the Queen. Experts in this matter have dated from that day
the revival of the public taste for classical music in this country.

Nearly simultaneous with this was his appearance upon a public platform on
one of those non-political occasions that his example has specially
appropriated to the representatives of English Royalty. In the same year,
too, at the very height of the London season, the Prince took the
initiative in a function of a graver kind, but not less specially adapted
for energies and knowledge to which under a Constitutional monarchy
political life is not held to afford a proper outlet. The most important
public meeting of the summer of 1840 was that convened for the purpose of
encouraging the legislature to complete the machinery for the removal of
the last traces of the slave trade. Technically the abolition had already
taken place. Well grounded apprehensions, however, existed that the new
'apprenticeship' which was to educate the emancipated negro for the
blessings of freedom might sometimes be too much like the old servitude
which it was designed to supersede. This occasion produced the first
speech delivered on an English platform by the Prince Consort at a time
when platform eloquence was less common than it has since become. The
address pointed, pithy, without an ambiguous or superfluous word, was the
model by which the speaker may well have shaped his subsequent utterances.
Its terse felicities of phrase have since often been reproduced by his
son, the Prince of Wales. As a corrective to the innate nervousness of a
highly organized temper, he had carefully prepared these remarks, writing
them out and rewriting them, so that nothing might be left to the chance
inspiration of the moment.

This was the first of a series of princely appearances on non-political
occasions. To-day, and in the case of his descendants, these things are
taken as a matter of course. During many years no great movement for the
improvement by politically unsectarian agencies of human life has been
considered complete without the active participation in it of the Crown,
or, which comes to the same thing, a nominee of the Crown. That in its
popular aspects the artistic movement which fills so large a space in the
second half of this century was practically the creation of the Prince
Consort's discriminating taste and patriotic industry would, if by
nothing else be shown by the course of preparations for the Hyde Park
Exhibition of 1851. Sir Robert Peel, at the time, repeatedly stated that
without the collaboration and counsel of the Queen's husband, the
Commission for the promotion and encouragement of the fine arts in the
United Kingdom could scarcely have got through its work. On the other
hand, while the public has accustomed itself to regard Lord Melbourne as
the nearly exclusive influence for training the Sovereign and her husband
in the tasks of Royal routine, one may point out that the Prince himself
never failed to emphasize his personal obligations to Sir Robert Peel as
his first trainer in the duties of an English public man. Nor from these
associations did he acquire only a correct insight into the official ways
of his new country. In his tastes and appreciations, the Prince Consort
became as patriotic as any of the great men by whom he was surrounded.
Some have questioned whether the patronage of a not unmixed English Court
has been entirely favourable to the development of native genius in
certain branches of the fine arts. The historic facts enumerated by Sir
Theodore Martin on this point are worth mentioning.[63]

On December 2, 1841, the Prince met on the official business of the
Commission the Secretary, then Mr, afterwards Sir Charles, Eastlake. The
latter entered upon the interview with an idea of resigning his post,
should the Prince insist on the introduction of foreign artists. His Royal
Highness anticipated his visitor by volunteering the remark that to him
there appeared no necessity for so much as the employment of a single
foreign artist even among those entrusted with the management of
considerable works. 'In all that related to practical dexterity (the
department in which it was assumed that some instruction for fresco would
be necessary), the English were particularly skilful.' Such were the
Prince's words as recorded by Sir Charles Eastlake. The same narrator adds
that His Royal Highness volunteered many instances of English superiority
over all other nations in everything concerned with artistic mechanism.
'Even to the varnish on coaches,' said the Prince, 'it is surprising how
much more perfect the English practice is than that of the Continent.' The
talk then turned on the encouragement of fresco painting in England. The
words of the Queen's husband are especially noticeable showing as they do
his just appreciation of the conditions of artistic prosperity in England.
Two great auxiliaries in this country seldom fail to promote the success
of any scheme. Of the forces thus alluded to, fashion was one, high
example was another. Hence the Prince inferred that if the Queen and
himself set the example of having works of this kind done, the taste would
extend itself to wealthy individuals. The English country seats which are
the most beautiful in the world would acquire additional effect from the
introduction of such a style of decoration. With such occupation the
school would never languish, and would at least have time fully to develop
itself. When on one occasion Mr Eastlake, in reference to the necessary
limitation of frescoes compared them to sculpture in which nothing could
be concealed, and in which this necessity involved the necessity of beauty
also, the Prince replied: 'You have expressed in a few words what I would
have said in many.'[64]

This (1842) was the year, too, in which the first steps, both in the
direction of officially identifying the representatives of the English
Crown with the encouragement of popular culture, and of continuing the
work begun by Sir Walter Scott, of popularizing Scotch scenery with
English visitors, was taken by the Prince Consort. The opening of the Art
Exhibition in Edinburgh; the addresses made by the Prince, with the minute
and exact study of artistic and scientific subjects which they showed, not
only satisfied experts, but delighted the general public, and practically
placed the Queen's husband in the van of the new movement for the
encouragement of popular knowledge, then beginning to advance more rapidly
than it had previously done. The whole country was agitated with the
premonitory risings of Chartism. The Prince's opportunities of good were
increased by the proof he afforded of combining manly courage with a
technical knowledge then new to the English people. For us to-day the
importance of these incidents is not merely biographical. They illustrate,
as nothing else could, the growth and the development of the popular
conception of the duties outside the Court that Englishmen connect to-day
with the Sovereign or the Sovereign's social and ceremonial vicegerents.

Since then the rapidity of the movements of the Heir Apparent as the
deputy of the Queen excite admiration mingled with some perplexity
concerning the means by which so near an approach has been made to solving
the secret of perpetual motion. In all this, for the first time by anyone
living within the Royal circle, the initiative was set by the Prince
Consort. Now the Prince was visiting with the Queen an English statesman,
for example Sir Robert Peel, at his country seat. A few days before, the
Royal visitors had been the guests of Louis Philippe in France. On landing
at Portsmouth, they at once started for Tamworth. Their visit at the
statesman's country house was scarcely concluded when the Prince Consort
was due at Cambridge for his installation in the Chancellorship of the
University. As the years went on these activities were multiplied. All the
great centres of English trade and manufacture, one day Birmingham, the
next Liverpool or Glasgow, Leicester or Leeds, were in turn, and upon the
same scale of ceaseless celerity, visited. When therefore, the Queen's
eldest son first entered upon public life and began to dazzle his
countrymen by the speed of his movements, or to gratify them by the
ubiquity of his presence, and indifference to fatigue of body or mind, it
is well to see these manifestations of princely energy in their historical
perspective, and to realize that in this transformation of Royal force,
which the present reign has witnessed, the Heir Apparent has not so much
created a precedent as fulfilled a tradition.

    The obliging information of Sir Arthur Bigge, of Viscount Cross, and
    of Sir Francis Knollys, has enabled the writer accurately to state
    such facts of Court organization as are legitimate matters of interest
    to Her Majesty's subjects.



CHAPTER XXI

CROWN AND SWORD

    The Monro-Fawcett duel turned the Prince Consort's attention, as
    representing the Crown, to duelling, the abolition of which must begin
    with the army. Courts of Honour suggested as successful abroad. Why
    distrusted by English opinion. Views of the Duke and others. Hence the
    Court first occupied with army reforms to good results. Contrast
    between military resources 1837-97. Special attention of Court to
    military education. Old and new schools of officers compared. Duke of
    Wellington as Commander contrasted with his latest successors. Growth
    of rifle volunteers; special influences in military education, _e.g._
    Edward Hamley. Military democracy. Why necessarily imperfect.


So plausible a case may theoretically be made out for the duel as a social
institution that it is not surprising the custom should have died hard in
a combatant nation like the English. The ordeal by arms furnishes a simple
if barbaric mode of settling personal differences without the scandal and
the weariness of law; in an age whose boast is freedom of speech not less
than of thought, whose bane is the degeneration of that chartered liberty
into the unlicensed malignity and curiosity of small-talk, there always
will be ill-conditioned persons whom only fear of the horsewhip, the
rapier, or the pistol, can teach to discipline their tongue; all these
things have been said in favour of the duel as a mode of social
discipline. In practice, however, it was never found that the fear of a
challenge ensured social discretion of tongue, or a higher standard of
personal courtesy. When these combats were not farcical, as the duel has
generally become in France, where it still survives, they proved the
instruments of the professional homicide, who, trained to artistic murder,
went about society, seeking a feud with those whom he or his patrons
desired to be put out of the way. Stung to the quick by the brutalities of
O'Connell, Sir Robert Peel, during the early forties demanded, as the
story runs, the satisfaction which was not then an anachronism. The great
Irishman replied that yielding to the expostulations of his wife, he must
forego the pleasure of the encounter for which he was 'spoiling.' A second
invitation was declined on the ground that the entreaties of his offspring
had subdued the spirit of the warrior. Hence the point in Theodore Hook's
epigram published in the _John Bull_ of the period:--

  Some men in their horror of slaughter,
  Improve on the scriptural command;
  They honour their wife and their daughter,
  That their days may be long in the land.

The same statesman is known at a little later date to have been persuaded,
not without difficulty, to abstain from sending a friend to his chief
opponent[65] at the time of the latter's onslaughts on the Conservative
concession of Free Trade. Since then, Wimbledon Common or Wormwood Scrubbs
has probably never for a moment seriously suggested itself to any
honourable gentleman as a possible place to which to adjourn a
controversy with a parliamentary opponent.

A duel was the incident which caused the first intervention of the Prince
Consort in the social arrangements of English life. On the 1st of July
1843, Colonel Fawcett had been shot by his brother-in-law, Lieutenant
Monro. The latter had accepted the challenge most reluctantly; he had been
the grossly aggrieved party.[66] Under the then existing code, the
survivor's sole alternative to the certainty of being stigmatised as a
coward had been to accept the risk of being hung for a felon. Eight years
before the Queen's accession, in 1829, however, the great Duke of
Wellington had faced Lord Winchilsea's pistol; the memories of the (1809)
Canning-Castlereagh and other encounters did not then seem part of ancient
history. The Prince Consort, with the military instincts of his race
decided that the reform which he was bent on establishing must begin with
the army. The authority of the Duke of Wellington was at this moment
paramount equally in social, political, and military life. The great
general was known himself seriously to have considered the subject. With
him therefore, the Prince arranged an interview. Courts of Honour were
suggested by the Prince as rational substitutes for the appeal to the
sword. The Tribunals des Marechaux were said to have done good work in
France; Courts of Honour had been followed with the best results in the
Bavarian army. The Duke's objection to the proposal was the English
distrust of a secret tribunal; the authorities of the navy took the same
view as the Commander-in-Chief. Sir George Murray, then Master of the
Ordnance, a serious and accomplished man of the world, bluntly remarked
that quarrels would not be made up, or differences composed by the
arbitration of others; that the law as it already existed could do all
which was practicable to repress the practice. The Prince persevered with
his purpose. His suggestion was laid by the Secretary of State for War
before his colleagues in the Cabinet. Though the scheme was not adopted in
the form suggested by the Prince, his action in the matter led to an
amendment in the Articles of War (April 1844). Henceforward it was
declared to be suitable to the character of honourable men to apologize
and offer redress for wrong or insult committed, and equally suitable for
the aggrieved party frankly and cordially to accept the amende. Thus on
the initiative of the Queen's husband, there began the organization of
public opinion on the lines that have long since made the ordeal by arms
as practically obsolete in England as the ordeal by touch.

The Queen's devotion to her army has always been that of a mother for her
children; the Queen's gratitude evinced upon all possible occasions to her
soldiers for what they have done in the field has ever resembled that of a
woman to the protector of the weak against the strong. It was natural
therefore that, amid his civilian duties, the new representative of the
Throne, himself nurtured in a land that from being the Mark of Brandenburg
was growing into a great military monarchy, should actively show his
interest in the whole field of military reform. Later, when the post
became vacant, the Prince Consort, after consulting with the Ministers of
the day, declined more than once the Commandership-in-Chief. His
suggestions for army reform, and for national defence during the period of
the Crimean War, of the Indian Mutiny, and again during the
Franco-Austrian wars were made with a sense of responsibility which the
tenure of office could not have deepened as well as with a shrewd
perception of the needs and possibilities of the time that no statesman of
English birth could surpass. He had already been among the first to
recognize the brilliant merits of the Duke of Wellington's plan for the
defence of London, during the Chartist disturbances of 1848. To the
Prince's discrimination it is largely due that this domestic exploit of
the hero of Waterloo, not less memorable in its way than Waterloo
itself,[67] came properly to be appreciated by the country. To this day
the mighty fortresses which protect the shores of the Solent and
Southampton Water, and which make that part of the previously too
vulnerable South coast practically safe are to a great extent the
memorials of the wisdom and exertion of the Prince Consort. He had
already, while our soldiers were before Sebastopol, urged upon the
Government of the day the establishment of militia depôts in place of the
regulars should they be withdrawn by an emergency, at Malta and
elsewhere, along the line of our Mediterranean possessions. When
therefore, the national alarm caused by the words and actions of our
French ally found its expression in Lord Palmerston's scheme of coast
defences, the memorandum on which these measures were based had been drawn
up by the Prince Consort at the wish of the Cabinet, and practically
formed the basis of the action of Ministers.

Nor of all the army reformers who have lived and worked since the Prince's
day, is there one who has failed to testify his indebtedness to the
suggestions of the husband of the Queen. In his many talks on this subject
with the military advisers of the Government of the day, the Prince often
anticipated those improvements in the administration of the land forces of
the Crown which since his time have been carried out. As the Prince
Consort correctly inferred from the character of the English people as
well as from the pace of official movements in England, must be the case,
the progressive changes in the English army have been effected piecemeal
by slow or minute instalments. The method pursued here has differed not
less from that followed in the reorganization of Continental armies than
the composition of the army of England differs from that of the great
fighting machines of the rest of Europe. In Prussia, after the defeat of
Jena (1806); in Austria after France had triumphed for Italy on the field
of Solferino (1859) the organic reconstruction of armies was possible.
Nothing of the same sort has taken place in England. Nothing, as the
Prince Consort perceived, of this kind could be effected here, unless
under the conscription. That system the Queen's husband once observed was
not likely to be established in England without a revolution.

The changes which the Prince suggested in able memoranda to successive
Ministers, which indeed he partly foresaw as coming, may in their general
results briefly be glanced at now. The mere enumeration of the military
resources of the country on the Queen's accession and on the eve of the
sixtieth anniversary of that event needs few words to deepen the contrast.
In 1837 the total military strength (regular army) of the country was
101,000. Sixty years later these figures were 147,105.[68] In 1837 India
was garrisoned by the Company's army of 26,500. In 1897 the Indian
military strength was 74,299 British, 129,963 Native. The increase has
been therefore, nearly threefold. In 1837 the Irish troops were 20,000. In
1897 these were between 26,000 and 27,000. As against the 26,000 troops in
the Channel Islands and Great Britain in 1837, there were in 1897, 81,516.
The entire strength of the horsed-field artillery in the accession year
was 72 guns--all at home. On New Year's Day 1897 the artillery total of
all kinds at home and abroad was 219 batteries or companies. In 1837 the
Horse Artillery batteries were armed with 12-pounder howitzers, and
6-pounder guns; the Field batteries had 9-pounder guns, 24-pounder
howitzers. The infantry still used the old flint 'Brown Bess,' which in
the cant phrase of the time was warranted at 200 yards to miss a haystack.
The Rifle regiments used the Brunswick rifle which at 400 yards, according
to Lord Wolseley, could not implicitly be trusted. To-day, the equipping
of our troops with the latest weapons of precision which contemporary
science designs is of itself a great department of English artificership.
Jealousy of the army is as much a bequest from Puritan times to the House
of Commons, as jealousy of the Church. Under the two first Georges, bitter
and tedious debates on the maintenance of the Hanoverian soldiers were of
constant recurrence. As a consequence, the standing troops which in the
Napoleonic wars had been 220,000 men were gradually reduced till in three
years after the peace (1818), they were only 80,000 strong.

Not without much pressure had Parliament during the earliest infancy of
the Colonies provided a handful of soldiers for the protection of settlers
in the lands beyond the sea as well as for the maintenance of civil order
at home. It was the paucity of the numbers available for his orders which
rendered the Duke of Wellington's scheme of London defence against
Chartist attack so memorable a piece of strategy. Even the influence and
popularity of this great soldier only secured the existence of a small
army at home on condition that it did not flaunt itself ostentatiously
before the civilian population. To keep up any fighting strength at all
the non-combatant portion of the army was reduced to an ineffective
minimum. Without exception, regiments were weak in men and horses. The
four chief company depôts at home consisted of veterans waiting their
discharge, of invalids, and of ineffective, or imperfectly effective,
recruits.

Sometimes, as during the Canadian and Jamaica troubles in the earlier
years of the reign, additional troops were required for the Colonies.
These were composed of volunteers from other regiments and of casual
recruits. The _personnel_ of our army may be inferred from the Duke of
Wellington's oft-quoted remark that the man who enlisted was the worst and
most drunken inhabitant of the village. This was the scum of the earth
which under officers trained on the playing fields of Eton, the Duke had
led to victory in his Peninsular campaigns and in the Low Countries
against the consummate veterans of the French army. To win the affection
of his men; to make them feel that their commander was also their friend,
and of the same flesh and blood as themselves never occurred to the great
Duke. His latter-day successor, Lord Wolseley, on the Christmas day of
1896, visited the Wellington Barracks to taste the pudding and test the
comforts of the men. That was not the great Duke's way.

The moral and social improvement in the private soldier since the era of
humaner treatment began is shown by a progressive decrease in the number
of Courts Martial. In 1876 they were 12,187, in 1895, 8,211, a reduction
of about one-third. The treatment of soldiers by their superiors was
admirably adapted to demoralize them as men without improving them as
soldiers. When the recruit took the Queen's shilling, he ceased to be a
free citizen. He had said farewell to the world outside the barrack yard.
He became a nameless piece of martial machinery; sometimes he was
indulged; more often he was flogged. Nothing that could extinguish respect
for himself or his officers, was left undone. It had been the Duke of
Wellington's business to win victories not to conciliate men. The moral
and personal influence of such men as Lord Roberts and others which since
the Duke's day has been exercised for the moral and physical advantage of
the soldier is not an instrument that the hero of Waterloo often employed;
he did not believe in it. Nor was it a soldier, but a schoolmaster, Dr
Arnold of Rugby, who formulated the truth, that the best way of improving
character is to treat persons on the assumption of their becoming what you
wish them to be.

To pass to other details in the military contrast between the sixtieth and
the first years of the Queen's reign the short service system which has
proved admittedly so effective had occurred as a possibility only to a few
reformers of whom the Prince Consort was one, and Sir Charles Napier
another. In 1837 enlistment was for life or twenty-one years; the seven
years' term had been urged already by Napier. It was not however till 1847
that the reduction to ten years was sanctioned and then only by way of
special inducement for recruits when they were exceptionally few. Those
who can recall the scenes witnessed outside public houses in the country,
in the purlieus of Westminster or Trafalgar Square in London will not
consider the term 'crimping' too strong an expression to apply to the
process of forcing the Queen's shilling into the hands of half tipsy
yokels, and entirely intoxicated or desperate roughs. Nor is it surprising
that the Sergeant Kites of the period found all their arts of inventive
persuasion, all their largesses of drink necessary to induce the gallant
fellows whom they addressed to serve the Queen. Without the stimulating
allurement of drums and fifes playing, of banners flying, and unless the
future had been seen through a haze of beery or spirituous splendour, the
tale of recruits would have fallen lamentably short.

In the eyes of sober citizens of the industrial class, the life of the
soldier seemed only one degree less dismal and shameful than the career of
the hulks. As a fact the soldier's lot was perhaps half a century ago not
much more tolerable than that of the convict shipped for his offences
beyond seas. A prison with a chance of being killed in it represented in
the popular eye the existence of the private soldier. It involved
transportation with hard labour as a matter of course. One battalion first
raised in 1700 had been the whole of those 137 years abroad on active
service. When his destiny was less severe than this, a life insufferably
tedious was led by him in barracks pestilently unhealthy. To-day, upon a
different plane of comfort, and on a reduced scale of luxury, the private
soldiers may be said to enjoy the same recreations and opportunities of
improvement as his officer. He is the master of his own time during
several of the best hours in every day. He has no more difficulty in
obtaining leave up to midnight for a theatre visit than a Woolwich cadet
in getting a Sunday exeat from the Academy. Rooms for study and pastime
are provided within his barracks.

Domestic life is no longer incompatible with his military service. But in
1837 married quarters did not exist. Those who had wives and children
herded with their unmarried comrades in scandalous confusion. Whatever,
with a view of completely brutalizing if possible the men who fought their
country's battles, could in addition to these things be devised, was not
wanting. Punishments were meted out with indiscriminating severity. The
Queen had been on her throne some years before the lash was limited to
time of war. Among the officers brought up in the school of Wellington a
prejudice in favour of flogging as a simple, efficacious sort of British
punishment lingered perhaps till 1880, when on a memorable occasion after
an exciting debate that had signalized the opening of a new era of
parliamentary obstruction, the House of Commons decreed its entire
abolition. As has been already said, the policy to which the Duke of
Wellington had from political exigencies been as he thought compelled, was
to sacrifice to the maintenance of a small and often invisible body of
regulars every other branch of the Service.

Thus sixty years ago the Militia force of the country was declared by the
Adjutant-General of the day practically to be non-existent. Before 1815
this force had been a considerable body. After the Peace it dwindled down
to less than 70,000; when the Queen mounted her throne, it was seldom or
never regularly drilled. There had been no ballot for it since 1831.
Twenty-eight years later, December 1895, the strength of an annually
trained Militia was 107,742. The Militia, too, in 1837 was administered
not as it now is by the War Office, but by the Home Secretary in
conjunction with the Lords Lieutenant of Counties; its payment was
provided for in the civil not the military estimates; in 1837 its expense
was £192,115. The Yeomanry, then called Volunteers, comprised 18,000 men
of all ranks, at a cost in round numbers of £105,400. In 1897 the
Yeomanry, instructed not less systematically than the Militia, were a
force of 11,678 men.

Important additions to the permanent strength of the country against an
emergency were made, largely on the Prince Consort's initiative, during
the first decade of the reign. In 1842 the military pensioners already
enrolled and liable to service were regularly organized, less however as a
military power than as an aid to the civil Government, to the number of
7,000 men. This, too, was the period in which (1846) Sir John Burgoyne
submitted to Lord John Russell a State paper on that subject of coast
defences which had already engaged the Duke of Wellington and had been
taken up warmly as mentioned above by the Queen's husband. The Channel
Tunnel scheme was then unborn in the brains of future projectors. Our
military experts held England sufficiently to be weakened as it was by
the isthmus of steam which bridged the Straits of Dover. Sir John
Burgoyne's estimate in 1846 was that after providing for Ireland and for
home fortifications, only a maximum of 10,000 men could be placed in the
field; that the entire United Kingdom did not possess field guns enough
for 20,000 men; that there were no reserves of muskets or military stores;
that the dockyards were defenceless against any sudden attack. In 1847 the
apprehensions caused by these expert disclosures moved Lord Palmerston,
when Foreign Secretary in the Russell Cabinet, to suggest a loan for
military works along the Hampshire and Dorsetshire coast. Nothing,
however, was actually done until the Prince Consort in May 1859 secured
the issue of instructions to Lords Lieutenant of Counties by the War
Secretary. These resulted in the raising of the Volunteers. Lord
Palmerston was himself Prime Minister then. The attitude of Napoleon III.
towards England and the Austrian war scare of 1859 supplied the Government
with the leverage for the vote needed to strengthen the coast protection
of England in accordance with the Prince Consort's proposal of twelve
years earlier. On June 23, 1860, the earliest Volunteer Review was held in
Hyde Park. A week or so later, on July 2, the Volunteers first met on
Wimbledon Common; the competition was opened by Her Majesty discharging
her rifle and scoring the inaugural bull's eye.

A quarter of a century later the Volunteers had risen from 119,000 in 1860
to 226,752 in 1886, of whom 220,000 were efficients. At the number then
reached subject to fluctuations of some thousands periodically they seem
disposed to remain. In Great Britain 800,000 men of military age have
passed through the Volunteers. Thus, not counting our natural rampart of
sea, and a navy which public opinion, if not official patriotism, insists
on maintaining at a high point, the coast fortresses bristling in nearly
continuous array from Dover to the Land's End mask behind them little less
than 1,000,000 citizen soldiers, who with some help from their brethren of
the Royal Artillery could effectively man our coast batteries.

Military education under teachers of the new school and the class of
officers thus produced are the immediate outcome of the interest taken in
the army by the Court at, and subsequently to, the time of the Prince
Consort. The whole scheme of education under which the commanders of the
future are trained and a general anxiety for the most beneficent use of
the Queen's prerogative, were much in the thoughts of the Queen's husband.
The council of military education was largely the work of the Prince, as
also was the formation of the Aldershot camp. When a 'governor' was to be
chosen for the Prince of Wales, the selection made was the first Commander
at Aldershot and one of the chief members of the education council, Sir
William Knollys, who, on the Prince reaching his majority became chief of
his household. When that veteran was appointed Usher of the Black Rod he
was succeeded as Private Secretary to the Heir Apparent by one so
thoroughly trained to his administrative methods as his son, Sir Francis
Knollys;--a man in whom common sense attains as nearly as is conceivable
to the calibre of absolute genius. It was at the period now mentioned and
under these influences that officers in the scientific corps began to get
their proper share of army staff appointments and commands. So entirely
have the old disabilities of that corps disappeared that to-day, in
striking contrast to the earlier experience, an officer of Royal Artillery
or Royal Engineers who in general respects shows the necessary aptitude
enjoys the same chance as anyone else of staff employment in peace. When
he has reached the grade of General officer, he will not be at any
disadvantage in the process of selection for a command. Here merit alone
tells now. Whatever arm of the Service to which he belongs the best
candidate practically never fails to be chosen. Generally, in the opinion
of the best professional judges, the young officer finds the army a
self-supporting profession. The exact experience seems to be that a young
man obtaining a commission in the infantry of the Line or in the Artillery
can look forward at no distant date to marrying in fair comfort, and that
as a bachelor he requires no larger allowance or private means than he
would need in any other branch of the public employ, that, for example, of
the Colonial Service.

In cavalry regiments, or in the Household Brigade, life is more costly. In
these cases, the young officer could scarcely subsist in comfort without
private resources equal to those on which young men entering the
diplomatic service must at the outset of their career be able to count.
Obviously if the army is to be made a career sufficiently attractive for
young Englishmen of first-rate abilities as well as of gentle birth, the
prizes of the profession must not, for the sake of an unwise national
economy, be too severely diminished in value. The complaint is general and
just that the emoluments of those who win their way to the top are already
unattractively small and few. It cannot be a satisfactory state of things
under which no General officer can afford, without private fortune of his
own, to take a command. Impolitic retrenchment has touched other positions
than these. Thus, quite recently the salary of the Military Secretary to
the Commander-in-Chief has been cut down from £2,100 to £1,500; that of
Adjutant-General to the Forces from £2,700 to £2,100; that of Governor of
the Royal Military Academy from £2,000 to £1,500. The unwisdom of these
reductions and the comparative smallness of the highest army stipends,
become the more apparent when it is remembered that all military
appointments, unlike civil appointments from the Primacy of Canterbury
down to a junior Treasury lordship, are for five years only, that the
installation in these posts, and the establishment they require are
necessarily costly; thus the choice is practically limited to men of
means. Nor does a timocratic[69] scheme of military preferment accord well
with the democratic ideal of careers unrestrictedly open to all talents.

The reform in the system of officers' education which the Prince Consort
launched his eldest son has already lived to see practically
accomplished. At the beginning of the reign the average military officer
at his best was a keen sportsman or a well-bred London club-man; at his
worst, and as not very unfrequently witnessed, the original of him may be
recognised to-day in Thackeray's Sketches of Ensigns Rag and Famish;
before some Becky Sharpe of the period had taken them in charge, and had
developed them into Captains Rawdon Crawley, to become in due course
candidates for the Governorship of Coventry Island. The officer of to-day,
naval as well as military, is not less keen a sportsman, is as good a
shot, can take and hold a line of his own across country equally well. But
he is a soldier first, eager to add to his knowledge from the facts of
history, or from contemporary examples of professional achievement. There
are to-day no better read men than those who serve their Sovereign ashore
or afloat. The training of our sailors of whatever rank leaves perhaps
something to be wished for. Scientific seamanship, however, is not merely
an ideal, but a familiar experience. Jack Tars or flag officers,--the
school wherein respectively they are trained is, as Nelson himself was,
and wished to see his sailors, above all things scientific too.

The man-of-war's-man of to-day has educated himself so well from books,
with occasional hints from his commanding officer, as to be often a better
informed person than the average undergraduate or Admiralty clerk. To
speak now only of the soldier. It is not only that like the sailor he has
felt the intellectually quickening influences which are part of the
atmosphere of his epoch. The military officer of to-day has passed
through the curriculum which the Prince Consort was among the earliest to
mark out; he has already acquired nearly all that learning which thirty
years ago it was predicted would prove the ruin of the Service. Between
what he is and what he was, the contrast is not less great than between a
future Moltke and Corinthian Tom; yet has he not developed into the
spectacled professor with head too big for any busby to fit, to which some
looked forward should the British subaltern fail to model himself after
Albert Smith's medical student.

Almost till the beginning of the present decade there might be seen any
afternoon issuing from the Athenæum Club in Pall Mall, a well-set-up
gentleman, scarcely middle-aged, soldierly indeed of figure, but chiefly
noticeable for his commandingly intellectual brow. This was Edward Hamley.
Should the time now spoken of happen to have been that of the opening of
the Franco-Prussian War, Hamley was perhaps demonstrating to a civilian
friend the justification of his prediction of a French triumph afforded by
the slight advantage gained by French troops at the early affair of
Saarbruck; then came the French reverses. Hamley was not cast down. These
were tactical moves, only the preludes of decisive triumph; so things went
on till the day of Sedan arrived, when even General Hamley was constrained
to acknowledge a French failure. If, however, like most of his cloth, this
able and upright soldier was sometimes opinionated, he had earned almost a
right to be so by having done more than any other man of his generation
for the intellectual formation of the new order of English officer who
stands in such marked contrast to his predecessor. That young Aldershot,
Woolwich, or Sandhurst does not find time hang heavily on his hands when
there is no cricket match on, no race-meeting whither to drive his
dogcart, no afternoon train to town to catch, is chiefly due to the
intellectual habits which Hamley did more by example and writing than
anyone else to generate. The most competent critics, by no mean personal
partizans of the author, have testified the impossibility of
over-estimating the good done by his book on the _Operations of War_. This
was the first readable work in the English language on strategy and
tactics; in the opinion of experts it is far ahead of any book on those
subjects previously written in any language. Hamley took the art of war
out of the dull and dreary region of technical diagram, of skeleton charts
of battle; he dealt with it as a living theme. Thus Hamley's great
treatise, even to those who have been students of Jomini, Clausewitz, and
M'Dougall, is a revelation. Its author, not by innate genius alone, but by
years of careful practice, had acquired an excellent literary style; the
clear and forcible language of this book first taught professional readers
how to study all military history, and how to apply the lessons of the
past to the campaigns of the future. Such a volume then may, if any, claim
to belong to what De Quincey called the literature of power as distinct
from that of mere information.

Intellectual quality is not the only respect in which there has been
lately witnessed a change among the officers of the army. The Crimean War
was followed by many promotions to the grade of officers from the ranks.
Since then the average number of commissions given in this way seems to
have been about twenty-five a year. Of this number 16 have gone to
infantry, 4 to cavalry, and the remainder to other branches of the
Service. These promotions, suitable as they are to the day of democracy,
cannot of course affect sensibly the tone or the _personnel_ of the
officers of the Queen's army, who will continue to be, as they have been,
men born to the social advantages of gentle station. The social fusion and
personal intimacy of men whose antecedents and interests differ, though
their official rank be identical, is not likely ever to be more complete
than between English and native officers in the Indian Staff Corps
regiments; though the difficulty in the way of amalgamation proceeds
probably less from the exclusiveness of the older officer than from the
indisposition of the new to avail himself of the social opportunities
placed technically at his disposal.[70]



CHAPTER XXII

FROM WOODEN WALLS TO FLOATING ENGINES

    Great reduction of the navy, as well as of the army, between the
    Napoleonic wars and the Queen's accession. But silently a reaction
    soon set in. First beginnings of new policy. Reform in the training of
    sailors in gunnery; later developments of naval education for officers
    and men; the existing course compared with the past. Successive stages
    in the replacement of sails by steam power. A navy transformed by
    Steam and Iron. Lessons of contemporary experience gradually applied
    to the English navy, especially those learnt from the American Civil
    War and the Austro-Italian War.


After the Napoleonic wars the British navy, like the British army, was
greatly reduced. In the Navy List of 1837, 132 vessels are named. Sixty
years later they had increased to 461. Now the naval policy of successive
Administrations seems to have acquired the same continuity as belongs
traditionally to foreign policy. It is a first principle to-day with all
parties in the State that the iron walls which, as our first line of
defence, have replaced the walls of wood, should not be reduced to a point
at which they need fear the combined opposition, if not of Europe, still
of the two or three most powerful of European fleets. At the moment when
the great reductions in our fleet were contemplated, Napoleon at St
Helena, in the course of the conversations recorded by O'Meara,[71] said:
'It was bad policy to encourage the military mania instead of sticking to
your marine, which is the real force of your country.' In 1832 the naval
vote had been 4-1/4 millions. Two years later, it was reduced to 3
millions. The fleet reductions did not, however, reach their limit until
the year before the Queen's accession. Then the naval vote was reduced to
2-3/4 millions, with the dwindling of our squadrons already noted.
Contrast with this the 1896-97 estimate of £22,774,318, providing for the
services of a total, every branch included, of 93,750 officers and men,
inclusive of the 461 ships already named.

The history of the naval transformations through which during the
Victorian age we have passed, may be described as a succession of
periodical scares, a steadily progressive instruction by science in its
latest application to maritime affairs, and by the lessons contained in
the experience of other countries. The English operations by sea during
the Crimean War; in a still greater degree perhaps the improvements in
naval construction, attack and defence, shown in the hostilities between
the Federal and Confederate navies in the civil war on the other side of
the Atlantic; later again the lessons taught by the engagements between
Italian and Austrian squadrons, notably at Lissa;--these are the incidents
that have gradually taught us, as well as our European neighbours, to
bring our naval arrangements and appliances up to the latest mark of
mechanical perfection.

Even during the time when the security brought by relief after long war
was causing England to neglect her navy, some of those movements which in
Victorian days have given us our present race of seamen were in progress.

Seven years before the Queen's accession, the 'Excellent,' as a gunnery
school for sailors, had been established. Soon after its establishment, it
was gradually enlarged and improved till it has become to-day the chief
source from which our ships are manned. Before that institution, naval
gunnery was taught, or not taught, at the discretion of the captains in
command. From being, as at the beginning of the present age it was, always
precarious and generally insufficient, the supply of sailors has become
fairly adequate and regular. Weeks and months used to be wasted before a
crew could be put together. The social haunts of seamen were visited by
officers; thus eventually by promises or threats men were induced to join
the ship. When the commission of the ship came to an end, the sailors were
thrown adrift, usually returning to their civil vocations until a new job
was offered. By the time of the Crimean War all this had been changed.
Apart from the inducements of prize money sailors flocked in animated by a
real enthusiasm. Thus though in France the naval conscription had existed
since the time of Colbert the manning of the English fleet proceeded more
quickly in Crimean days than that of the French. The continuous service
for ten years certain, with the choice of prolonging that term and
receiving a pension, has transformed the condition of our navy. Other
reforms have given us in time of war a reserve of 20,000 sailors of the
mercantile marine, the equivalents of our rifle volunteers on land. These
are annually subject to gun and small arm drill on our coasts, and, in the
opinion of an expert like Captain Eardley Wilmot, will prove adequate to
any demand.[72]

There have been later reforms than this in the professional education of
our sailors. Till between forty and fifty years ago men and boys entered
the navy without any previous training. In, or about 1855, all sailors
entered the service as boys chiefly from fifteen to sixteen and a half
years old. They now begin by passing from twelve to eighteen months on
board the training ship. Here they are instructed in seamanship and
gunnery. They thus bring with them to sea a practical knowledge of their
duties. The system which has given us a new race of naval officers dates
from nearly the same time as that which began to produce a fresh
generation of seamen. Before 1857, no regular system of training
midshipmen existed. All their knowledge was actually acquired afloat,
exactly as Captain Marryat describes. The large ships only were furnished
with regular naval instructors. Since the 'Britannia' was instituted in
1857, all midshipmen receive from fifteen months to two years education in
naval subjects and in mathematics. The educational term is not over when
the professional career begins. The course of study necessary before the
examination for Lieutenant can be passed has been greatly expanded.
Formerly acting mates were supposed to satisfy all educational tests for
Lieutenant in about three months. Now a year is occupied with these
studies; the qualifying standard for the pass examination is pitched far
higher than was ever known before.

The transformation undergone by our navy which strikes the eye most
forcibly is of course the replacement of the wooden walls by the floating
ironclad and the substitution of steam for wind-filled sails as the
propelling power of our fleet. A naval officer, Sir William Symonds,
instead of a member of the School of Naval Architecture, was appointed
Surveyor of the Navy; the first step towards improving ship construction
was taken. Almost on the eve of the Queen's accession, certainly during
all the earlier thirties, steamers 5 of which in all existed, were only
used to tow ships of the line in and out of harbour; or at the utmost for
a trip to Gibraltar or Malta. When Captain Charles Napier predicted that
steam would soon become to the navy what cavalry is to the army, and have
the post of honour, the prediction seemed impossible. The adoption of
steam was a very gradual and tentative process. First the 'Active,' a
46-gun frigate was fitted with paddles, but not as yet engines. The result
was progress at a maximum of from 2 to 3 knots an hour. Captain Napier
carried the experiment a little further; but in no case was steam yet
exclusively relied on for working the paddles. When Queen Victoria came to
the throne the navy included 5 steam paddle vessels. Each of them had
three masts furnished with sails. All were generically known as steam
sloops. The largest was 830 tons; the maximum of speed from 8 to 10 knots.
Larger steamers called steam frigates, from 1,200 to 1,800 tons were
introduced soon after the reign began. They were first actively employed
at the bombardment of Acre in 1840, and notwithstanding their old lines of
construction, proved the usefulness of armed ships at sea against forts on
land. The Acre operations seem to have been important, as showing for the
first time the skill of Victorian seamen in gunnery and in the management
of the machinery of steam ships. Similarly, long before this only the
skill with which English ships were handled had overcome, in their
encounters with French, the faults of their design. The weight of metal
thrown by the largest guns on board these earlier craft, _e.g._ the
'Nelson,' was 2,750 lbs. Further steam progress was marked when, eight
years after the reign began, the 'Erebus' and 'Terror' in which Sir John
Franklin's expedition sailed for the Pole, were fitted with the screw.

As yet iron had not been employed on the present scale in ship
construction. Both in 1857 and 1858 larger ships than had yet been known,
the 'Niagara' first, the 'Orlando,' the 'Mersey,' afterwards, were built,
all, however, of wood. Long after steam was partially employed, sails were
retained. Even during our Black Sea and Baltic operations in Crimean days,
screw and paddle were still combined with canvas. Such success as our
fleet secured at this time was not promoted by the excellence of our naval
organization which according to Captain Eardley Wilmot, was not much
better than our military.[73] The first lesson as to the new mode of
motion by sea learnt from the naval operations in Crimean waters was
recognized by Kinglake and is confirmed by Captain Eardley Wilmot as being
that 'in regions where land and sea much intertwine, steam is stronger for
attack than for defence.'

The iron ships now almost as essential to the idea of a navy as steam
itself, had been tried for different purposes long before our Admiralty
adopted them; the material had been used, first in 1812 for canal barges,
secondly, a little later, for the mercantile marine. Iron was not employed
for our navy till the last days of William IV. The tragic fate of the
first iron ship, the 'Birkenhead,' may well have prejudiced both the
Department and the public against the new material.

The iron-plated ship of the modern type appears to have been a French
idea, first tried by Colonel Paixhaus in 1825. The floating batteries
employed in the Crimean War in which Napoleon III. was specially
interested, marked a fresh advance in this direction. Nor does it seem
easy to overrate the value of the lessons in scientific seamanship derived
from the French and English operations on the Black Sea, 1854-5. The
result was the invitation by the Admiralty of designs from all quarters,
the ordering of the 'Warrior,' designed by Mr Scott Russell, in 1859,
completed in 1861.[74] This vessel was equipped with a battery extending
her whole length. Before the fifties were out, the naval and the national
mind had been familiarized with the idea of mastless ships, long repulsive
to the national sense of the picturesque at sea. The 'Warrior,' however,
was furnished with sails in addition to steam and marked an epoch in the
development not only of the English navy, but of the navies of the world,
as the first absolutely complete iron ship ever built.

The French ships, earlier in point of time were not equally perfect as
regards material. They were, in fact, wooden ships cut down and plated
with iron. Thus with literal truth referring to the launch of 'Warrior'
could our Naval Minister of the day, Sir John Pakington, describe the
whole world as interested in the bold experiment. Other ships of the same
kind soon followed, and of even larger proportions. It is to the credit of
English workmanship that the building of these vessels at Chatham was
performed by shipwrights who had hitherto worked only on wood; and that
the craftmanship shown by them in the new material was pronounced by
experts to be excellent. Timber having been definitely superseded by
metal, there followed the long and technical controversy about the
relative merits of turret and broadside armaments. The concentration of
guns into a single citadel on board ship was first in England powerfully
advocated by Sir E. Reed. Since then, the naval warfare between Federals
and Confederates on the other side of the Atlantic, followed by the
exciting manoeuvres off Cherbourg between the 'Alabama' and the
'Keersage,' and in Europe the naval portions of the Austro-Italian war of
1866 have taught lessons the full results of which are not, perhaps even
yet, perfectly realized. So long is the experimental stage which has to be
traversed before the newest system of maritime defence and attack with its
complicated machinery can be said entirely to have reached what is alone
to be called properly the scientific stage.[75]



CHAPTER XXIII

TRANSFORMATIONS OF VICTORIAN SCIENCE

    The Prince Consort's influence in organizing pursuits and departments
    of knowledge, a characteristic of the Victorian age. The Prince not
    only the advocate of the 1851 Exhibition, but most active in the
    movement that has given us South Kensington as an instrument in the
    knowledge of art and science. The British Association foreshadowed by
    a like organization in Germany which may have impressed the youthful
    Prince Albert, but certainly set the example to the leaders of English
    science. Like its German forerunners the British Association gradually
    grew in popular favour. Its progress as shown by facts and figures.
    Modern course of science summarized. The transforming influences of
    science traced in all intellectual pursuits.


If in a few words the contrast between the England of the later and the
earlier part of the Queen's reign were to be summed up, it might be
expressed by the single word, organization. For that process, as for its
most impressive results, Victorian England is indebted primarily to the
husband of its Queen. To-day Englishmen are reminded locally and visibly
of the Great Exhibition of 1851 by the elaborately picturesque memorial of
the man who spared no pains to secure its success, situated, as that
monument is, on the spot where the great glass house once stood.

That event was the earliest triumph of the new epoch of culture including
science in its application to the conveniences or luxuries of daily life.
From 1851 too, may be dated the organized encouragement of the inventor in
all departments of scientific ingenuity.

Such a world's show might in due course have been devised by the wit of
man, even if the Queen's husband had not recalled for reproduction in
England the idea of the Frankfort fairs of the sixteenth century.[76] It
is quite certain that without the Prince's personal enterprise and
sustained supervision, and but for the invaluable co-operation of the late
Sir Henry Cole, the movement which has transformed the Court suburb from
laundry grounds, or riding schools, into a centre of artistic or
scientific education for the whole country had it taken place at all,
would not have occurred till many years later than it actually did. The
contrast between the South Kensington of the Queen's accession year with
its suburban desolations, and of the sixtieth anniversary year, with its
palaces of art, its private mansions rivalling those of Park Lane, its
Imperial Institute, its provision for educational classes by day, for
musical fêtes by lamplight, might have been indefinitely postponed.

The name of Her Majesty written in the clear bold hand of youth when she
became Queen may be read to-day in the register of the Royal Society. That
entry prefigured the close connection between science and the Court which,
for the first time in the history of the monarchy, was to signalize her
reign. The period preparatory to the enthronement of science and art
beneath the glass roof of Paxton was of scarcely less educational value to
the Kingdom than, to most appliances of daily life, the Exhibition itself
was to prove. The instructive addresses delivered at this time by the
Prince Consort, now to a gathering of artists and writers, now to more
popular audiences at Birmingham or elsewhere, may seem to those who read
them to-day familiar or even commonplace. They were then entire novelties,
not only from their authorship, but from their subject.

In 1897 it appears the most natural and suitable thing in the world that a
Royal Prince should vary the more strictly ceremonial functions of State
by opening an art gallery in London, a science school in the provinces, an
Imperial Institute, a Fisheries Exhibition in South Kensington. Fifty
years since such a part seemed of questionable wisdom to some, of
dangerous precedent for the monarchy to others; at the best a foreign
experiment which the Queen's husband would most wisely have left unmade.
In the sixtieth year of the reign, there is no social gathering or private
dwelling, there is scarcely a village inn, or country cottage, or a
seaside lodging house, that by the paper on its walls, the designs of its
furniture, the suspended pictures cut from illustrated prints, fails to
remind one with eyes to see such things the extent to which ideas of art
or ornament that began with the Prince and Sir Henry Cole have directly
from South Kensington penetrated into every corner of the land, and made
their humanizing influence felt beneath the roof of peasant as well as of
peer.

Even in the thirtieth year of the reign, these forces had scarcely
advanced beyond the embryonic stage. Had the Prince Consort himself
claimed visibly to exercise the Royal prerogative, on which as a fact he
never presumed, he could scarcely have given a greater shock to the
prejudices of those high in social position and near the Court who
inherited from Hanoverian times a contempt for all distinctions save those
of birth and rank.

Up to the moment of his death the Queen's husband was endeavouring to make
his wife's Court a centre not only of achievement in war, of statesmanship
in peace, but of letters, art, science, and of the most famous among their
contemporary ornaments. Death prevented the design from ever being carried
out completely. The names of Alfred Tennyson and of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley
are enough to remind one of the direction actually travelled by the Prince
in producing some resemblance between the Windsor where a Victoria
reigned, and the Weimar whose intellectual glories, a Goethe had typified.
Here again the intellectual revolution which the Court began has been
continued by those who represent the Crown to-day.

Such knowledge of physical science as the Prince Consort's son possesses
was largely imparted to him by the teacher Faraday, who was his father's
choice. Appropriately enough, therefore, in the winter of 1897 did the
Prince of Wales assist in founding the Faraday Laboratory of the Royal
Society. The progress now spoken of seems to be symbolized by the
acceptance of the word 'science' as the nearly exclusive synonym for that
physicism which is strictly only one of the divisions that generically it
includes. From the check to the regular teaching of physical knowledge at
the disorganization spread through the world by the collapse of the Roman
Empire, and by the concentration of human thought upon politics and
theology, instead of those subjects first expounded by Thales, after him
by Archimedes, Aristotle, Ptolemy, till the day of the modern doctors had
dawned, the conquests achieved by man over nature were inconsiderable.
Francis Bacon's equalization of human _ingenia_, and his elaborately
tabulated apparatus for studying phenomena, created an appetite for
mastering the arcana of the visible universe, but did not satisfy it. As
the Prince Consort clearly saw, Nature's secret had been yielded in the
past, and would be surrendered in the future, not to founders of systems
like a Verulam or a Descartes, but to actual discoverers who did not owe
even their methods to the Schools.

Half a century after Bacon's labours, Newton, with no help from Baconian
methods discovered the law of gravitation, and with it the unity of
sequences which pervade material creation. The cause of the slight
progress of physical science whether before or immediately after Bacon
formulated his method may be partly explained by the want of the material
appliances for physical investigation. These in anything like their
mechanical perfection of to-day are not much older than our present era.
The agencies of glass, of alcohol, of microscopes and of other such
appliances were as unknown to the physicists of Alexandria, of Athens, or
of the Middle Ages as the electric wire itself. Where the subject matter,
the heavenly bodies, the structure of the human frame, could be studied
without elaborate machinery, the contemporaries or successors of the
Ionian physicists who searched for the origin of all things in some single
element, air, fire or water, seem rudely to have anticipated later
discoveries. The Aristotelian philosophy and the rudiments of practical
medicine, preserved together by Averrhoes, Avicenna, and the whole school
of the Arabian thinkers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, descended
in each other's company to the Italian schoolmen, and were delivered by
them to English students. Thus, on the eve of the present century, the
indestructibility of matter, however Protean the forms of its
manifestations, had been ascertained by European chemists. The year of the
Queen's accession was also that of the publication of Whewell's _History
of the Inductive Sciences_.

In this age, as in that of Bacon, great lawyers have taken a foremost
place among enquirers into the nature of things. Lord Brougham did
something to methodize, and more to popularize, the facts of science. A
greater lawyer than Brougham, Sir William Grove, Justice of the Common
Pleas first, Judge of the High Court of Justice afterwards, was also
professor of experimental philosophy at the London Institution during the
first decade of the reign. His discoveries with regard to the correlation
of forces had not been entirely formulated when Dr Whewell's book
appeared. Nor had Charles Darwin completed in his retirement at Down, in
Kent, those researches which in 1859, gave the world _The Origin of
Species_. This book, if the work of any single man ever did so, created an
epoch, not in physical enquiry alone, but in every branch of human
knowledge conducted on scientific principles.

The Victorian Court had begun to encourage science before Darwin's great
book was published. In 1847 the Prince Consort became Chancellor of the
University of Cambridge, and in this capacity he was naturally brought
into official and friendly relations with Dr Whewell, then Master of
Trinity, as well as with other English leaders of scientific thought. The
growing success of the British Association after its inaugural congress
had been held, is not unjustly connected with the Prince's name. The idea
of an annual parliament of learning was, like that of the Great Exhibition
itself, not of English origin. Even in Germany, where the first trial of
it had been made, prosperity had been gradual. At Halle, Frankfort,
Dresden, and Munich, notwithstanding the personal distinction of its chief
promoter Professor Oken, and its encouragement by many of the enlightened
Kinglets who then divided the rule of the Fatherland, during the second
decade of the century when the enterprise began, its most noticeable
meeting does not seem to have numbered more than from 200 to 400. At
Leipsic in 1822, the attendance was barely two score; six years later in
Berlin, it amounted to 464. Before that assemblage probably had much
impressed the young Prince Albert, it had stimulated the most
distinguished representatives of scientific thought in England. Sir David
Brewster, Sir John Herschel, Sir Humphry Davy based, upon the German
example, an appeal to the English Government. The decline of arts and
science in this country was attributed to their total neglect by the
State, to the exclusion of men eminent in either of these departments from
the titular decorations of the country, and to the heavy exactions from
scientific inventors imposed by the fees payable under the patent law.

More than two or three decades of the Victorian age had passed before art,
science, and letters began to receive the State recognition now firmly
acknowledged as their due. Both Bulwer Lytton and Macaulay had served in
Parliament or in office fifteen years before they were ennobled.[77]
Tennyson was the first English poet raised to the peerage who knew no
politics save those of patriotism; to the same epoch, too, belongs a like
honour bestowed upon three men of science at successive intervals:--now a
physician, Playfair, now the physicist, Lord Kelvin, and again the latest,
and to not a few the most welcome and significant of all, the inventor of
the antiseptic treatment which has saved so many lives and limbs, who will
henceforth be known as Lord Lister.

It is suggestively prophetic of the new era which in the next reign was to
open for letters, science and art in their relations to the English State,
that while the country had been preparing for a revolution peaceful but
complete in politics, there had assembled at York, September 29, 1831, a
company which prognosticated the coming revolution throughout the whole
region of popular thought and culture. The York meeting mustered less than
200. It was intended only to launch the programme of the society. 'To
point out the lines of direction in which the researches of science should
move, to state the problems to be solved, the data to be fixed, to assign
to every class of mind a definite task, to amend the laws relating to
patents, to agitate for a Government provision to encourage and reward
scientific research;'--these are the objects which Mr Harcourt enumerated
in the first official document of the body. As proof of the vitality of
the revolution which that Yorkshire company, less than 200 strong,
introduced, it is enough to mention Dr Rae's Arctic voyages of 1853-4, the
Challenger expedition of 1872, and the last Oxford University Commission
which at the instance of the first scientific Premier England has ever
known, Lord Salisbury, endowed scientific research as one of the estates
of the realm, and has done something more than relieve that seat of old
learning from the reproach of discouraging the newest sciences. Little
perhaps did the doctors of divinity, and classical professors, when, on
June 18, 1832, they welcomed the second senate of savants to its session
on the Isis, imagine themselves to be fostering a movement which would
partially oust from its emoluments and honours in their own Schools the
old learning, and give to the new not only professorships for its
teachers, but scholarships for the reward of its learners. As against the
York meeting in 1831 of not much more than 100, the Oxford meeting of the
Reform Act year attracted 700. In another twelvemonth the Cambridge
meeting of June 25, 1833, was attended by 900. The Edinburgh meeting of
September 8, 1834, mustered 1,298.

Since then the most noticeable figures have been 1855--2,133, 1861--3,138;
while 1887 crowns the list with 3,838. The figures necessarily are to some
extent governed by the importance or attractiveness of the towns at which
the meetings are held. The names on the books of the society are more than
half a million. So progressive a thing is English science. The meeting
itself is only a part of the work done. Throughout the year committees are
investigating various branches of science prominent at the moment, and
preparing their reports to be included in the Annual General Report, a
document of over 1,000 pages. Social satire at first made merry over the
learned ladies and gentlemen who combined mutual laudation of themselves
with picnics, excursions and pleasure parties of all sorts in interesting
neighbourhoods at the most agreeable season of the year. To-day no one
denies the British Association the credit of having promoted the discovery
of new facts in science, or at least having been the first agency to draw
public attention to them. Within the last few years, it was at one of
these Association meetings (Liverpool 1870) that Professor Huxley
pronounced against the popular theory of spontaneous generation of the
lower forms of life, thus placing on record his adherence to the theory of
biogenesis as opposed to abiogenesis; life, in other words, could in every
grade of creation only come from life, not from the corruption of death.
Thus was a physical tradition that from the earliest times down to the
seventeenth century had held its own, finally repudiated by the greatest
authority of his day on all biological matters.

Even this pronouncement seems to have been anticipated. A physicist less
famous than Huxley, Schwann, some half a century before Huxley's day, is
said to have been the first to criticize the abiogenesis doctrine as
supported by no sufficient evidence. The tendency towards unity in
multiplicity declared by the old Greek thinkers to characterize all true
science marked the doctrines of the correlation of force as well as of the
conservation of energy, both of them connected with this age. It was also
inherent in the theory of evolution as explained by Charles Darwin in
1859, 28 years, that is, after the British Association for the first time
met. Even the great Kentish physicist of our day was not entirely the
first in the field with the discovery that was to transform the whole
region of thought. Early in the last century De Maillet had applied the
principle of the survival of the fittest to the world of human life. On
the eve of the present century Charles Darwin's ancestor, Erasmus, as well
as German philosophers still more famous, elaborated with more ability
and knowledge the same idea, which also underlay the discussions between
the French Academicians, Cuvier and St Hilaire. However the ground may
have been prepared for him, so far as any single man can be said to have
discovered any great idea, Charles Darwin must be accounted the author of
the theory of evolution as it is now understood.

Whewell's survey of the inductive sciences at the beginning of the reign
dimly forecasts some discoveries which have since been verified. It
contains no word prophetic of the doctrine by which, in the countless
possibilities of its application, every branch of science in little more
than a quarter of a century was potentially if not actually to be
transformed. The eve of the sixtieth anniversary of the Queen's accession
has witnessed the completion by Mr Herbert Spencer of the monumental
treatise that applies the doctrines of Darwin to subjects that Darwin had
not specially studied, perhaps with results which Darwin himself had not
entirely foreseen. Whether a reaction against Darwinism has already, as
some think, set in; how far, and with what consequences, that movement may
go, are as yet only matters of speculation.

The exploration of the Italian soil has caused many chapters of Roman
history to be rewritten more in accordance with the older traditions than
with the newer learning. Like processes near the sites of Babylon and
Nineveh have done much to vindicate the authors of the Pentateuch as
chroniclers of fact; and have even created a reaction in favour of the
Mosaic cosmogony, and the sacred narrative of the Deluge. Evolution as a
philosophy is not altogether rejected by physicists of orthodoxy so
unimpeachable as Mr St. George Mivart. More lately it has been discovered
that an Anglican divine may keep an open mind on the subject of Darwinism
and yet be made Archbishop of Canterbury. To the unlearned English vulgar
the question is whether the visible universe and its inhabitants are more
likely to have developed themselves by a series of indescribable processes
than to have developed, as the Scriptural tradition has been interpreted
as teaching, by a Power external to them and directing every stage of
their progress. If it be said that evolution is the method in which that
superhuman Power who is behind and above all often chooses to act, there
is no reason why the occupant of Lambeth should not be as good an
evolutionist as the scientific investigator whose nearest country
neighbour at Down, Sir John Lubbock, appropriately presided over the
Jubilee meeting of the British Association at York.

The transformations effected in other departments of physical study during
our age are not less remarkable. Many of them have been appreciably
assisted by the social intercourse of mind with mind which the British
Association has so signally promoted. Lyell's _Principles of Geology_ was
published in pre-Association days and seven years before the Victorian age
began. Its influence was in the same direction as that of Darwin; it
suggested, that is, the enquiry why the natural processes that are said to
explain the globe we inhabit should not explain also the presence of man
upon it. Biology and anthropology, the two studies which have most been
promoted by the Darwinian doctrine, can consequently be pronounced with
truth the creations of the present age. As far back as Elizabethan times,
electrical phenomena had been systematically studied. Many of these
manifestations, however, especially their relations with heat and light,
as well as most of their adaptations to the offices of daily life, belong
to the era that opened in 1837.

Photography of course was an unknown art in pre-Victorian days. Even when
its predecessor, the Daguerreotype, discovered in 1839, had been
considerably improved upon, it still remained a contrivance rather for
distorting the human features than for faithfully reproducing them as
photography does upon glass or paper, and with the addition of natural
colours as photography now bids fair soon to have done.

These achievements of a science which is generically new have not been
accompanied with inactivity on the part of those sciences which, like
astronomy, are probably in one shape or another nearly coeval with
Creation itself. Long before the planet was actually discovered, the
telescopes that swept the heavens had brought within their ken the spot at
which in 1846 Neptune was proved to be. If the number of the heavenly
bodies has not of late received many additions, new asteroids are
constantly swimming into sight in the quarters where they had been
suspected; comets, less looked for than these apparitions, are often
announced to have flashed themselves upon the observer's sight.

The influence of scientific thought and conceptions upon the language of
literature as well as of daily life, is only less remarkable than the
material conquests of science themselves. The most instructive instance of
this is afforded by the scholarly and illustrious woman of genius who will
always be known to fame as George Eliot. The popular idea of Mr Herbert
Spencer having influenced her studies and her phraseology is not quite
true. Mr Spencer was her own, and her companion's, friend. Her diction in
her later works was inspired by the intellectual forces of her day. Of the
formative power of these she was probably herself unconscious. If Herbert
Spencer had a place among them, he was at least only one of several. From
George Eliot, in that phase of her genius now under consideration, there
has sprung a school. However original the gift of writers like Mrs Humphry
Ward, it seems unlikely that their talents would have taken the direction
they have received and found their expression in the language they employ
unless the author of _Adam Bede_ and _Middlemarch_ had first supplied a
new want or created a fresh intellectual taste by a style that our
forefathers might have admired, but might not always have been able to
understand.

Of the many transformations wrought by Victorian science, not the
least;--unscientific people might think it the greatest--is the
assimilation of the idiom of fiction to that of the text books of the
schools. The entire ethos of our oral diction not less than our
literature has been revolutionized by science. When a parliamentary
speaker illustrates his argument by a metaphor, it is not, as his
forerunners once did, to the Latin and Greek classics, or even to
literature at all, but to the laboratory, to the dissecting room, or to
the crucible that he most frequently goes for his _trope_. The similes of
the Attic masterpieces are taken habitually from those operations with
which their naval empire familiarized the Athenian mind. Nor can these
metaphors be understood without some remembrance of the processes which
marine affairs involve. A similar acquaintance with the later operations
of science is scarcely less useful for a proper appreciation of the most
characteristic beauties of Victorian prose, by whatever master displayed.
This dispossession of the literary by the scientific is universal.
Following unconsciously perhaps the example of a great statesman, those
who have in our day most widely differed from him on national affairs, a
Randolph Churchill, or a Charles Stewart Parnell have reproduced the taste
of a Salisbury in finding their recreations, not in the _belles lettres_
that were congenial to the day of a Pitt or a Canning, but in the
researches that a Tyndall, a Huxley, a Thomson, have popularized.

Galileo's astronomical views found a useful ally by the incisive raillery
of his literary style. The admirable prose of a Huxley and his fellow
labourers has been no less effective for popularizing scientific studies
with the public they have addressed. The social urbanity with which
Nature and training have endowed Sir John Lubbock has prepossessed not a
few on his own level in life in favour of those branches of physical
enquiry that have enabled him to rehabilitate the moral character of the
autumnal wasp.



CHAPTER XXIV

CECILIA'S TRIUMPHS

    The revolution in the conditions of English music--effected since its
    first encouragement by the Victorian Court--illustrated by a contrast
    between the social status of the musician to-day, and forty years ago.
    Music always a tradition of the present dynasty. Handel. English
    machinery for teaching music instituted under the Georgian era, and
    perfected under the Victorian. Has English organization for musical
    teaching outstripped English capacity for learning? Certain reforms
    approved by high musical experts. Other individual agencies than those
    of the Court favourable to Music during this century. Mendelssohn; his
    encouragement of John Parry, the forerunner of Corney Grain, and
    Arthur Cecil. Sir Charles Hallé, Herr Joachim, Grove, Sullivan.
    Anglo-German ladies. Crystal Palace Concerts.


The transformation, at once artistic and scientific, with which the Prince
Consort as the past representative of the Crown, and his descendents as
its present representatives, will always be chiefly associated, remains to
be glanced at. One need not have reached middle age to be able to realize
the revolution in the English capacity for the enjoyment as well as for
the performance of music, vocal or instrumental, that has taken place
since the Victorian age began. A dowdily dressed young woman, alighting
from an omnibus at the street corner, trailing after her a fragment of the
straw that littered the floor of her conveyance; her clothes, what was
then called shabby genteel. She carried under her arm a roll of papers or
a portfolio; she was insolently eyed by the servant who opened the door of
the house in Portland Place at which she timidly knocked, and
contemptuously motioned to take a seat in the hall until the drawing room
was ready for the music lesson to be given to the young lady of the
family. A hungry looking gentleman, of foreign aspect, and slightly French
or German accent, also descended from an omnibus in the same quarter; he
bore in his hand a black case which might be from its appearance a
sarcophagus for a deceased cat, but which might be identified by more
experienced observers as containing a fiddle. He was received by the
servant at the front door not more ceremoniously than the instructress of
a few hours earlier. This was the proprietor of a little orchestra which
attended private dances. A few hours after he might be accompanying with
his fiddle the wind instruments of his troupe, for Thackeray's Mrs Timmins
gave that very night her little dance. If the musician played well, and
pleased the head footman as well as the mistress of the house, he might as
a special favour be invited downstairs to help the servants finish the
cold chicken and the champagne heeltaps when the guests had gone.

To-day the lady who condescends to teach the art of pianoforte execution
to the young people in a popular London quarter drives up to the house in
her own victoria and would no more be kept waiting a minute for her
appointment than if she were a duchess in her own right. The accomplished
foreigner who plays the violin alights from a brougham drawn by a pair of
thoroughbreds. If he is to be induced to honour a friend in Grosvenor
Square with his company at dinner, the invitation must be given at least
three weeks beforehand. The 'master' must choose his own fellow guests,
and supervise the menu before it is finally decided on; the dinner itself
must be so arranged that to a moment it will occupy the time which the
great man prescribes. The conversation must be so contrived as to
coruscate with epigram, and to fascinate with anecdotes all warranted to
be new, lest the diner of the evening should have the slightest touch of
boredom. If these conditions are not satisfied, this arbiter of taste may
refuse to sit through the meal. He is the chartered libertine of the
dining rooms and drawing rooms of the great.

England has always possessed a considerable school of national composers.
These might have achieved the highest triumphs of genius without acquiring
a fraction of that social ascendancy for their art which it has gradually
won. Under the auspices of the Prince Consort first, the patronage of the
Court was secured for the art of St Cecilia. That day already mentioned on
which Lady Lyttelton first heard the Queen's husband playing on the organ
at Windsor was an eventful one for the social esteem of music in the
adopted country of the Royal executant. After this came the Prince's
directorship of the Ancient Concerts, and the arrangement of its
programmes on special occasions by himself. The club principle during the
married life of the Queen had in its popular illustration not gone beyond
infancy. Otherwise, one of the Royal Family would, as he has since done,
regularly have handled the conductor's baton; while for the special
amusement of another a series of smoking concerts might as to-day have
been arranged in Piccadilly palaces.

Music of course has always been a tradition of English Royalty. The Royal
Academy of Music now domiciled in Tenterden Street, Hanover Square, was
founded in 1822 with the King as patron. It was opened March 24, 1823,
with a small and precarious attendance of pupils seldom exceeding two or
three score, even at the date of its receiving the Royal charter, June 23,
1830. The number of students at Christmas 1896 was 500, all of whom were
regular in their visits. The Royal College of Music at Kensington Gore was
first founded as the National Training School in 1875. Its avowed motive
was to honour the Consort's memory. It was due partly to the efforts of
the Prince of Wales with a Committee of which the then Duke of Edinburgh
was chairman. He was also a most indefatigable promoter of the whole
scheme from the very first. Its first Principal was Dr, now Sir Arthur,
Sullivan. Some years later, again at the Heir Apparent's initiative, as a
result of a meeting held at St James's Palace, February 28, 1882, this
institution was re-formed. It was opened in the building formerly occupied
by the National Training School by the Prince and Princess of Wales, May
7, 1883. Of this Sir George Grove was the first director, holding the post
till Christmas 1894 when he was succeeded by Dr. C. H. H. Parry. The
Charter of the Royal College was obtained in 1883. It has to-day an
endowment of £130,000 which provides some 60 different scholarships. This,
too, in its existing shape was opened by the Prince Consort's descendants,
the Prince and Princess of Wales; it had at the Christmas of 1896, 300
regular pupils. A very important part of the institution consists of the
Donaldson museum of musical instruments; these were given to the College
by Mr G. Donaldson in 1894.

The Guildhall School of Music was founded in 1880 by that same Corporation
which has done more perhaps than any other single body since the Queen's
accession to promote the humanities of life. Its first Principal was Mr
Weist Hill; he was succeeded by Sir Joseph Barnby, who again in 1896 was
followed by Mr W. H. Cummings. This Guildhall School is undoubtedly the
most popular institution of the kind which we possess. Its pupils at the
Christmas of 1896 were 3,496. The other great metropolitan school of music
is Trinity College, London. This was incorporated in 1875 under the
Companies Act. Six years later, in 1881, it was reorganized upon a wider
basis. The number of pupils at Christmas 1896 shows a steady increase.

These and other institutions less important are only some of the national
monuments to the progress of the study of music as an art during the last
two or three decades.

The organization and the educational machinery of music have now, in the
opinion of those competent judges to whom the writer of these lines is
indebted, reached a point beyond which further development is neither
necessary nor desirable. Production and execution leave perhaps little to
be wished for. Appreciation, however, of musical excellence is not
universally proportionate to musical activity. Audiences more
intelligently critical and better trained are apparently the chief
_desiderata_, if composers and performers are to rise above mediocrity.
Instruction in the art now spoken of has, of course, shared in the
advantages incidental to the transformation of London from an insular into
a cosmopolitan capital. As a result, the best teachers from all countries
are available for the London learner.

Nor in this respect does England to-day, as thirty years ago it did,
compare disadvantageously with Leipsic, Paris, Berlin, Stuttgardt. There
seems however reason to fear that, like Gwendolen Harleth in _Daniel
Deronda_ before Klesmer, we fail in that important and indefinable
quality, style. The best critics complain that, when a student has been
through the regular course here, and has perhaps become a first rate
technical musician, he seldom seems to get any further; he never, in other
words, develops any individuality. To some extent this result follows the
collective teaching of all academies. The area of level mediocrity is,
however, it may be feared, larger here than in France or Germany. There is
more of delicacy and daintiness in the French student; there is more of
individual expansion and thoughtfulness in the German. Both are trained in
academies. The quicker intuition and more intelligent appreciation of
French and German audiences are in the opinion of unprejudiced critics
attributed to this cause. Hence the expert, if consulted by an English
student, probably would advise him to go abroad for a year or two when
his technical course has been finished in England. Unfortunately the
advice too often resembles that of a medical man who might prescribe a
generous diet and a glass of port wine to an invalid labourer, earning
less than £1 a week.

In respect of education, cheapness and free scholarships seem to have been
carried at least as far as is conducive to the real interest of learners
in this country. A reform, favoured by many good judges, is to make
payment for teaching universal with a few exceptions; then to give to
students of promise an allowance sufficient to enable them to go abroad
and complete their education. As it is, some risk is run of gratuitously
training mediocrities, launching them on professional careers which can
only land them in disappointment and poverty.

The late Prince Consort, though the most highly placed, is only one of
several individuals whose personal influence has conspicuously encouraged
the growth and the gratification of a musical taste more or less
cultivated. The discussion which agitated English taste in the eighteenth
century as to the merits of German and other music is summed up in a
familiar epigram as the difference between tweedledum and tweedledee:--

  Some say, compared to Bononcini,
  That Mynheer Handel's but a ninny;
  Others aver that he to Handel
  Is scarcely fit to hold a candle.

The commanding genius of the great German composer is enough to account
for the traditional complaint that native genius in England has been
eclipsed by foreign products. The Elector of Hanover had recognized
Handel's genius before he became George I. of England, but began his reign
by showing little favour to the composer, who had absented himself without
leave from his duties at the Electoral Court. Already in Queen Anne's
reign Handel's _Te Deum_ had celebrated in St Paul's Cathedral the
conclusion of the Peace of Utrecht. It was not till after his _Water
Music_ had procured his restoration to favour that the new English monarch
took him back into his service. Gradually, however, till in 1741 it was
confirmed by the _Messiah_ produced in Dublin and by his operas in London,
the triumph of the German over the Italian school thus advanced. Neither
then nor later did it involve neglect of the great English composer of the
seventeenth century, our own Henry Purcell,[78] organist at Westminster
Abbey at eighteen years of age, and author of a greater number of songs,
anthems, operas, glees and cantatas, at once famous and popular, than
probably any other musician whom England has produced. Felix Mendelssohn
of Hamburg, not less precocious than our own Purcell, also at eighteen
produced an opera. His personal influence in England was scarcely less
great than that of Handel, and of course tended towards the further
popularization of Teutonic art: he lived on terms of intimate friendship
during his different sojourns in this country with English musicians. The
popular and accomplished pianoforte improvisatore, John Parry, who was
familiar to the English public of this age from his connection with the
German-Reed company, 1860-9, the forerunner of the Corney Grain and Arthur
Cecil of a later day, might almost be called Mendelssohn's pupil. By
Mendelssohn, Parry was first encouraged to adopt music as a profession;
the present writer well remembers how he heard from John Parry himself the
account of Mendelssohn's listening during half a winter night to the piano
improvisations devised by the versatile genius of the then young man.

Charles Hallé, born in Westphalia in 1819, and so just ten years younger
than Mendelssohn was driven from Paris to London by the Revolution of
1848, to which England was indebted for such an influx of foreign genius
of all kinds to her shores. Beethoven, like Handel, first became known in
Europe through a German Elector, him of Cologne. He died in 1827. Though
the charm and fame of Beethoven had been steadily growing upon English
critics and musicians first and upon the general public afterwards, to
Charles Hallé[79] belongs the distinction of having done much towards
popularizing this great author of classical music with the English public.
The Musical Union which preceded the Popular Concerts was then directed by
John Ella, whose programmes included Beethoven's sonatas, played by Hallé
with great applause.

The English public, if by voluntary culture it had not been disciplined
into a genuine admiration for Teutonic music, as interpreted by various
foreign executants, would have been wooed to its love by the educating
influences of the Hungarian violinist Herr Joachim, deservedly reverenced
by all circles of English society, ever receiving his homage with the
dignified modesty of great genius. This director of the Royal Academy of
Music at Berlin had, before that appointment, received the degree of
Doctor of Music at Cambridge. The bow with which he elicited entrancing
strains from his instrument was a social sceptre as well. When George
Eliot was writing _Daniel Deronda_, Herr Joachim's social and artistic
ascendancy had just reached its culminating point. A scientific musician
herself, George Eliot visited those circles where first-rate music was to
be heard. No writer more artistically found the suggestions of her
characters in real life. The Herr Joachim whom English society knew is
reflected so strikingly in the Herr Klesmer of whom the _Daniel Deronda_
public reads as to warrant the conjecture that the master before whom
Gwendolen Harleth trembled had been suggested by the violinist at whose
feet the aristocracy of birth, beauty, wit, intellect and wealth with
unfeigned admiration knelt down.

Other individuals deserve a place in the catalogue of those who have
helped on the musical movement of our times. Sir George Grove made a
substantial addition to the musical wealth of the world by contributing a
chapter to its musical romance; that which relates his discovery of the
lost scores of Schubert in a Vienna cupboard. His dictionary of music will
survive when the honourable record of his Directorship of the Royal
College of Music may be forgotten. Sir Arthur Sullivan has not only
illustrated with melodies, that have at once caught the ear of the town,
the fantastic conceptions of Mr W. S. Gilbert's intellect; he has used his
personal popularity on all levels of social London to diffuse improved
notions of musical taste. Agencies of the same kind, collective as well as
individual have not, during the Victorian age, been wanting.

The _personnel_ of upper middle class society in England has been
perceptibly affected by the entrance into it through the gate of marriage,
of ladies of German origin, of great taste and accomplishments generally,
and like all their nation, devoted to music. Hence among other things the
increased patronage of the Italian Opera, of all high-class concerts in
public as well as of musical artists in private by that well to do section
of the Queen's subjects which combines the tastes of culture and of birth
with the resources of trade. Its composition of the veritable materials of
Paxton's Glass House for the Great Exhibition is not the only respect in
which the Crystal Palace at Sydenham is connected with that enterprise of
the Prince Consort as a reformer of English taste. To mention only its
connection with the subject now being specially considered, the Crystal
Palace has maintained its full orchestra since 1854. These concerts have
been admittedly during near half a century prime instruments of
metropolitan and suburban civilization. They have practically
revolutionized the home life of tens of thousands of the prosperous
commercial class which fixes its household gods out of earshot of Bow
Bells. The impulse thus given to the study of the art on a basis wider and
deeper than anything formerly existing can scarcely be exaggerated. It is
of itself enough to explain why the number of English students of music in
the nineties is so vastly larger than it was during any of the preceding
decades.[80]



CHAPTER XXV

TRANSFORMED AND TRANSFORMING ART

    English art stimulated and strengthened to a degree second only to
    science by the movements with which, through the Prince Consort, the
    Victorian Court identified itself. Contrast between the social
    consideration of artists now and fifty years ago. From Gandish to
    Gaston Phoebus. Progress in the association of art with the government
    of England, and general gain to all concerned in consequence. Gradual
    endowment of art by the State and establishment of the existing
    machinery for teaching art and displaying its triumphs to a cultivated
    public. The work of South Kensington. Success of the Academy tested by
    figures and facts. Reciprocal benefits to art workers and art patrons.
    Foreign recognition of English art. The past, present and future of
    English sculpture.


The popularization and improvement of art in all its manifestations
followed the 1851 Exhibition and the initiative of the Prince Consort in a
degree second only to the development of science and music themselves.
That the Court of Victoria and Albert should have been to the painters of
a later day what the Court of Charles I. was to Van Dyck could not have
been expected. The Consort's interest and judgment in pictures were
inferior to his genuine concern for science. The complacency with which he
regarded the canvases of Winterhalter could not promise much enthusiasm in
the patronage of English painters. His rescue from disorder and decay of
the Raphael cartoons, long before the Prince's day belonging to our
Court, but by him first properly cared for and arranged, was not a work of
creation, but was one of artistic development. His were the active mind
and useful hand that rendered available for national instruction or
delight the hereditary treasures of Crown and country which before his day
were not indeed unknown, but were not perhaps properly appreciated in the
country which possessed them. The rise of a moneyed and fairly cultivated
class in English society was the chief element in the improvement of the
social and commercial position of the English painter. These agencies
happily coincided with the example set by the Prince to his successors of
assisting at the great artistic gatherings of the year.

Before May 3, 1851, the Crown had not been represented at the Royal
Academy dinner. It has seldom been unrepresented since. Sir Charles
Eastlake, in whose election to the Presidency the Queen and Prince had
been much interested, had not brought oratorical euphuism to the same
perfection as his successor, Lord Leighton. He was, however, a man of
cultivated mind, of acceptable presence, and of well-bred speech. His
proposal of the Prince's health was made in words that have to-day an
historical value. The reply of the Prince blended a philosophic criticism
less English than German, with an appreciation of our national masters
which was entirely patriotic. It was, he said, the fate of all
aristocracies to be assailed habitually from without, sometimes from
within. The Academy being an aristocracy of the brush, must accept the
position and turn to practical account any hints for improvement which it
might contain.[81]

These were still the days when art and artists had not migrated from the
gloomy studios of unfashionable Bloomsbury to the gleaming palaces of
modish Kensington. Sir Charles Eastlake's predecessor had been Sir Martin
Archer Shee, who, very faintly disguised, appears in Thackeray's Mr Smee
in _The Newcomes_. Gandish, the unappreciated genius of the palette at
whose school, on Mr Smee's advice Clive Newcome is placed, is not a
caricature at all of the most serviceable art teacher of that period whose
real name was Sass and who counted among his pupils John Everett Millais.
What has taken place since then is that in the smiles of popular favour,
Thackeray's Gandish has blossomed into the Mr Gaston Phoebus of Lord
Beaconsfield's _Lothair_. Colonel Newcome thought it a condescension to
ask the painter of 'Boadishia' to dinner. That artist's later and
transformed self would have resented an invitation at short notice as an
impertinence; he would have bluntly excused himself on the plea of being
pre-engaged to the Prime Minister,[82] the Heir Apparent, or to Windsor
three months ago. The social prejudice, confined to a small section of the
upper middle class, against the studio which lingered so long and so
unintelligently in England is easily explained. It is identical in its
origin with an equally unreasoning and antiquated feeling against
doctors, singers and players. This superstition had disappeared in the
days of Sir Henry Holland who, half a century ago was a welcome and
honoured guest at the most exclusive houses; under men like Sir James
Paget and Sir Richard Quain it has long since ceased even to be a memory.
In each of these cases money is regarded as passing directly between the
patronizing public and the employed professional. The purse is opened at
the door of the theatre, the concert hall, or in the consulting room of
the physician. That the payment is in the other cases as real though not
as sensibly direct is ignored. The terms on which Sir Charles Eastlake was
a visitor at the Victorian Court are those that have marked the subsequent
relations of his successors with the Crown. The intellectual influences of
a whole school of intelligent and highly educated critics following as
nearly as they could the example of Mr Ruskin, has shed a dignity on the
painter's calling that could not have resulted from material prosperity or
the favour of high place alone.

Sir Edwin Landseer, elected R.A. 1830, it may be said, years before the
transformation now spoken of, was welcome in any house whose threshold he
pleased to cross. His was rather the exception which proved the rule, and
for these reasons; he flourished most just when Court patronage was making
the Scotch Highlands fashionable; he was the painter of hounds, horses,
animals themselves so eminently aristocratic that no Englishman with any
pretensions to social breeding could affect disregard for them, or for
their reproducer in art without losing caste. Hence it is that while
fifty years since, the Clive Newcomes who took to painting were spoken of
by their families in a low voice much as if they had taken to drink, the
painter of repute to-day who chose to receive pupils[83] would have no
more difficulty in filling his studio twice over, than a fashionable
crammer for the army or Civil Service in filling his lecture room. As a
fact it is not in the private studios of great artists that the Royal
Academician of the future, unlike the intending exhibitor in the Parisian
salon, is to-day generally trained. Sass had a rival, or a professional
descendant, in the father of a clever versifier H. S. Leigh. Since that
day, English artists have generally learnt their craft in the Royal
Academy, or the Slade or other schools of England, or in foreign ateliers.
These have transformed the surface of Victorian England. The same
organization of art teaching, which is to-day at the disposal of all is
said to have discouraged the development of individuality. Where genius
exists, it is not very likely to be strangled by the conventions of a
public school, nor to be prevented from exchanging State teachers for
those whom native inspiration prompts it to prefer.

The South Kensington[84] machinery is not the only artistic growth of the
Victorian age. The National Gallery had been in existence more than ten
years before the reign began (since 1824). It was not a popular
institution until a year later, the architect Wilkins having made the
design, the present building in Trafalgar Square was opened, April 9,
1838. The nucleus of the collection was the Angerstein pictures,
thirty-eight in number, bought by the Government for £57,000. Twenty-seven
years had still to pass before the Trafalgar Square structure was enlarged
to its existing size by a parliamentary vote of £50,000. The immediate era
of the Queen's accession was marked by the purchase of a masterpiece of
Murillo, a landscape by Salvator Rosa, and an important picture by Rubens.
Still the Gallery lingered below the Imperial dignity of the nation to
which it belonged. The Vernon bequest enriched it only when the Queen had
been on the Throne ten years. It was not till after the Crimean War that
Parliament could attend to artistic claims, and that under the
Directorship of Sir Charles Eastlake, deservedly trusted by Crown and
country, the rooms designed by Barry were added to the block which Wilkins
had shaped.

The institution, now endowed with the paintings that had belonged to Sir
Robert Peel, began steadily to approach towards the dimensions and the
dignity of an Art Gallery comparable with that of any other capital in the
world. Nor probably have its perfections or its premises yet reached their
final limit.

While this was going on in London, the entire provinces were vigorously
taking their part in the new movement. The death of the Duchess of
Gloucester in 1857 was not allowed by the Queen's representative to
interfere with his opening in that year the Manchester Art Treasures
Exhibition, the completeness of which was largely due to the Royal
encouragement to private owners to send their statues and paintings to the
show. Thirty years later the Jubilee anniversary of 1887 was observed in
the same city by a like display of the creations of British genius. Then
the objects exhibited were the property no longer of the leisured, or a
patrician class. They belonged also to the new patrons whom, during less
than half a century, success in manufacture and commerce, accompanied by
the liberal agencies of travel and education have stimulated to
competition with the social order whose exclusive appanage art
encouragement once was. The material proof of art progress is the increase
of art values. Many instances of these were given in an earlier chapter.
During his lifetime David Cox was glad to sell his landscapes for £20. Cox
had formed his genius amid the rural scenes of Hereford. He never liked
London. After living there fourteen years he settled at Birmingham. Here,
during his lifetime he had the satisfaction of seeing his masterpiece in
oil colour bought for £40. Ten years later, when the painter was dead, it
secured £50 in the open market. In the early seventies a Birmingham
manufacturer, the former partner of Mr Chamberlain gave for it £2,300. In
the same way De Wint's landscapes during his lifetime seldom commanded
more than £50. To-day they sometimes fetch £1,000, and are reckoned cheap
at 700 or 800 guineas.

The social consideration, and with it the commercial possibilities, of any
professional calling have in England always been regulated by its degree
of connection with the State. The department of practical art established
at South Kensington with the encouragement of the Prince Consort under the
Directorship of Mr Henry Cole in 1852 had no sooner expanded into the
science and art department under the President of the Council instead of
under the Board of Trade than the social repute of practitioners in all
branches of decorative art appreciably improved.

About this time, too, Marlborough House, up to that date an asylum for
exhibited pictures and a receptacle for the Duke of Wellington's funeral
car, suggested itself as a future residence for the Prince of Wales when
he came to have an establishment of his own. In 1856-7, therefore, the
House of Commons, without demur, allotted £10,000 for the removal of the
chaos of artistic treasures from their temporary resting place in Pall
Mall to their permanent home in South Kensington. Hither, therefore, were
sent the national purchases made at the sale of the Bernal collection, a
full account of which has been given in an earlier chapter.

Directly art was in this way officially and substantially incorporated by
the State, the golden stream of private munificence with no check and in
great volume flowed towards Brompton. Most readers of these lines will
remember the consignment to this wealthy spot of the Dickens manuscripts
and relics as well as the library and paintings bequeathed to it by the
friend and biographer of Dickens, the late John Forster, in 1876. These
had some years earlier been preceded by the pictures, bric-à-brac, and
foreign furniture collected by various private connoisseurs, now stowed
away in the glass-covered cabinets which line the galleries and which,
studied daily by English artizans, have probably done more than the '51
Exhibition ever effected, towards improving the designs of English
manufacture.

South Kensington, it should be remembered, is richer even than it appears.
Its activities are ubiquitous. It is a bank of art treasures on which
institutions affiliated to it throughout the Kingdom can draw at
discretion. To-day this department of State, decorative as to its purpose,
but distinctly remunerative as to its results, is supported by an annual
endowment of nearly half a million. That outlay not only gives profitable
holidays to countless pleasure seekers from every quarter of the Kingdom;
it enables a yearly average of 30,000 pupils of both sexes to pass through
its art and science classes.

This apparatus for developing and training the future artists of England
has been accompanied with an increasingly lavish expenditure by the State
when a chance has occurred of permanently adding to its artistic wealth.
Thus, during the early eighties the Treasury paid for a single painting
from the Blenheim collection, the Ansidei Madonna of Raphael, exactly the
same sum that, thirty years earlier, had been voted for the entire
collection of Sir Robert Peel.[85]

The transformation effected during the Victorian age in the position of
English art is illustrated by the statistics of visitors to the Royal
Academy exhibitions not less significantly than by the increase of prices
itself. Only within the last few years has what is called the 'private'
view of the Royal Academy become a fête day of fashionable society;--a
promenade for the display of the latest devices in Parisian or Bond Street
toilettes. Long after the great Exhibition or even the Prince Consort's
death, it was that the view of the critics, from being confined strictly
to the judges of the press, began to be transformed into an immense
meeting of authors, scholars, divines, novelists of both sexes, art
fanciers of every degree; all of them able to produce some credentials of
critical aptitude or profession, and of some slight connection with
periodical letters. The figures themselves shall tell their tale. To the
earliest exhibition at the Academy rooms, then in Trafalgar Square, of the
Queen's reign, the admissions were less than 79,000. Ten years later they
just fell short of 91,000. Between 1846 and 1866 the increase was 94,000.
The additions steadily continued till in 1879 the high water mark of
391,197 was reached. Since that date they have fluctuated: depending, as
one might naturally expect, upon the state of trade in the country, upon
the weather in town, or upon the general character of the London season.
Thus, in 1896, which was not a very brilliant season, the admissions were
10 less than in the preceding year, or in the Queen's jubilee year of
1887.

The mutual relations of art and wealth are probably for the most part
beneficial to each. The painter, during the latter half of the whole
Victorian age, has been the chief educator of the plutocrat, as Dante
Gabriel Rossetti shrewdly anticipated must prove the case. If the
intellectual teaching of the brush were not easily apprehended, there
would, for the representatives of the new wealth, have been no special
training in the humanities at all. As it is, the aristocracy of wealth,
following the creditable example of the aristocracy of birth, in England
as well as Italy, has secured for itself mental culture not less than
social distinction by its patronage of the creators of the nation's art.
To that rôle it brings the shrewdness already displayed in making its
fortune. Such a patron may be a generous paymaster; he insists on having
value for his money; he is quick to detect scamped work, or shortcomings
in technical detail; he no longer, as he was once fabled to do, buys his
canvases at so much per square foot any more than he fills his library
shelves by the yard. That no meritorious artist in Victorian England is
now likely to live and die so miserably as Haydon is due to the fact that
the newest wealth finds its natural outlet in the encouragement of the
oldest art. No aggregate of spiritual or intellectual interests has ever
been firmly established in England without being subject to some great
organic movement as a test of vitality before its roots struck deep in the
soil of British minds. Literature experienced many such phases. So did
science. So also, in the Oxford Anglican movement and in others since
then, did religion. Before, therefore, the new art was firmly enthroned in
our midst, it was at once shaken and quickened by that nineteenth century
revolution known as pre-Raphaelite; about this so much has been written by
recent experts as to absolve one from the duty of dwelling on it in detail
here. Art in the hands of Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Holman Hunt, and other
men of genius entered upon this ordeal as a sectional and limited pursuit.
It came forth a new national interest or rather one of European concern as
well. Without that severe process of discipline, Leighton and Millais, to
mention only two typical names, would not have taken their place as
masters of the brush for a continental as well as for an insular public.
Nor would the fame of the English school first known through the Paris
Exhibition of 1855, extended by the Paris Exhibition of 1868, have secured
for English artists representation in all the great galleries of the
world, and have added to British painters or to their national themes the
crown of foreign recognition and of cosmopolitan esteem. Later chroniclers
of the Victorian age may be able to record the same progress in the
sculptor's, as in the painter's art. Our climate is not favourable to the
out of door triumphs of the plastic art. But those who have examined the
statue of Outram in Pall Mall; who have gazed upon the effigy of the great
Duke of Wellington by Alfred Stevens in St Paul's; or have noted the
growing power as well as popularity of Hamo Thornycroft, still a young
man, cannot doubt that, apart from the successful labours of a naturalized
but most patriotic foreigner and his school, Sir Edgar Boehm, the English
chisel is in a fair way of emulating the progress of the English brush.

Commercial prosperity in art, as in other things, moves in cycles. The
years between 1870 and 1885 were very prosperous to English painters. The
lean years followed then, and are still being experienced while these
lines are written. As to the high prices given at Christie's and set forth
elsewhere in this volume, they have been generally for the works of old
and departed masters. With very few exceptions, the decade between 1886
and 1896 has witnessed none of those prices for contemporary artists which
marked the preceding period. This, too, notwithstanding the standard of
artistic work to-day is infinitely higher than it was; and that the
paintings which were hung on the line and were the talk of the town thirty
years ago, would have a very slight chance of being accepted at all
to-day.[86]



CHAPTER XXVI

POPULAR CULTURE IN THE CRUCIBLE

    Translation into fact of ideals not less than transformations seen in
    the People's Palace, Whitechapel, and in the free libraries,
    originated by the Ewart Act, affecting as they do all contemporary
    life. The working of these in town and country. Proved connection
    between popular education and morality; what books free libraries like
    best. Analogous work for upper classes done by Mudie's, and by the
    London Library. Their progress traced. Help rendered by these to
    public servants and literary producers. Carlyle, Thackeray, etc.
    Eclectic and educating influences of these shown in detail. The new
    public and the new magazines. General review of influences at work.
    Great services of minor poets and prophets of the period.


Not only transformations, but translations of ideals into fact, mark our
age. A popular novelist gave a fancy sketch of a palace in which art,
pleasure, and instruction should meet together to gladden the lives of the
London poor. Almost as soon as could have been done by the genius of
Aladdin's Lamp, the People's Palace shoots up in the Mile End Road.

In 1841 Thomas Carlyle sighed for the day when a 'people's library' should
be as much a part of every town as Her Majesty's jail, or in his own grim
words--Her Majesty's gallows. The reign was still young when the
philosopher's vision began to take shape and substance. In every centre of
population from the Tyne to the Thames, from the Thames to the Tamar, a
place where, without payment, upon no other conditions save those of
reasonably clean hands, and silence, the working man is as well off for
newspapers and books as a Bishop at the Athenæum Club, has changed the
Victorian landscape. These buildings, comely to look at, comfortable to
enter, have competed with the later board schools in transforming the
appearance of London suburb and provincial town. Where Knightsbridge
merges into Chelsea first, and Fulham afterwards, there, during the early
days of the reign, desolate fields and miry ways used to stretch their
unlovely length. After dusk there were few lamps to light; the roads were
not more safe than Hounslow Heath had been some generations earlier.
To-day this district is covered by a mass of buildings in red brick or
stone, of aspect rather more academic than the new quarter of Victorian
Oxford. Among these are the free libraries, built, partly out of the
public rates, partly out of private funds. If it chance to be Saturday
night, hundreds of working men, decently clad, with parcels under their
arms will be seen passing to and fro near these buildings. They are not
going to the public house. The packages they carry do not imply a
negotiation with the pawnbroker. The men are, in fact, returning to the
library the books which, taken out some days earlier, have given them
their reading during the week after the day's work has been done. Certain
processes supplementary to these studies have still to be performed. Even
in our age of improvement, the reference library kept by an artizan at his
fireside is not extensive. Nothing quickens the intellectual appetite
like its earliest gratification. As our student has travelled through the
volumes which have occupied him, he has become aware of allusions for the
full understanding of which fresh information is required. He has,
therefore, while going along, made notes of points to look up. This,
therefore, is one of his errands to-night.

No professional visitor to the British Museum sets more systematically to
work than our day labourer in the Fulham or Pimlico district. Before his
visit this evening to the place of silence and of books he has, perhaps,
had recourse to a member of the University Settlement in his
neighbourhood, or possibly even to his own employer if the employer
happens to be better read than the employed. The local librarian presently
to be consulted needs to combine patience and method with something like
omniscience. The note book is produced by our working man in which the
points for enquiry have been jotted down. In a few minutes the official
has placed the researcher on the right track. Before his studies are ended
that night he will have hunted up facts and figures enough to furnish
forth a leading article for a journalist, or a speech in Committee for a
Member of Parliament.

Not only in the industrial suburbs of the capital, but throughout the
Kingdom, this is the sort of thing which takes place at least on one
evening in every week. It is one among the many agencies which, nowadays,
make the humblest reader so terrible a critic, and which cause a working
man's meeting to be not less intolerant of mere rhetoric than the House
of Commons itself.

Like everything else which during our age has been brought towards
perfection, the free library movement existed among us in germ from the
earliest days, before indeed the books themselves were known. When
Lancashire monasteries had ceased to be gratuitous places of literary
study, their manuscripts and parchments were housed in the Chetham
Library, with its old oriel windows at Manchester; in the Guildhall
Library at London, certainly coeval with Whittington; in the libraries of
Bristol or Liverpool which compete with London in antiquity, and with
which the Protector Somerset is said to have made somewhat too free.

The patronymic of the man who was the father of the free library as it is
known in England to-day is preserved in the second name of Mr Gladstone.
Mr Ewart belonged to an old Kirkcudbright family. He had been at Eton with
Dr Pusey and Speaker Denison. In the spring of 1843 he obtained a
Committee of the House of Commons to enquire into the conditions of
popular reading throughout the United Kingdom. Disraeli, Monckton Milnes,
Cardwell, Kershaw, were among the more famous names that the Committee
included. Less than ten years after this, the Ewart Act, based on the
Committee report was the law of the land.

In the early autumn of 1852, the new legislation was celebrated in a very
practical manner by the opening of the free library at Manchester; the
town which had been the birthplace of the movement.

Sir John Potter, the father of the present Mr T. B. Potter, took the
chair. On the platform among the speakers were John Bright, Bulwer Lytton,
Sir James Stephen, the future Lord Houghton, Dickens and Thackeray;
Charles Dickens made a speech in his happiest, and therefore incomparable,
vein, on the Manchester School, an expression then in many mouths. The
success of the experiment first illustrated on the Irwell was gradual. The
provinces led the way which at last the capital followed. So late as 1886,
only two parishes out of the sixty-seven within the metropolitan area had
adopted the Acts. By August 1891 this number had risen to thirty. Other
London districts have since followed.[87] With time the result has been
more than satisfactory. In the manner already seen it has affected the
life and appearance of every town in the country, and has certainly
provided a machinery without which as a supplement the educational
apparatus of free schools would do little.

To-day, therefore, in any large district, London or provincial, it is the
exception for the Free Libraries Act not to be operative. That the power
to read and the taste for reading does not always make good citizens, is
of course true enough. On the other hand the close connection between
ignorance and crime is instructively shown by a few historic statistics
cited by Mr T. Greenwood, in his valuable volume on _Public Libraries_.
These figures are to the following effect.

In 1856 the number of young persons committed for indictable offences was
14,000. In 1866, when the State had, by the action of the Privy Council,
since 1833 assumed educational responsibility, and cheap literature of the
better sort had, thanks to Charles Knight, and his many public-spirited
imitators, become general, the number was decreased to 10,000. When School
Boards were fully at work, there was a yet further reduction to 7,000; and
this though the population had risen from 19 to 27 millions. Passing to a
later date, out of 164,000 persons in prison between the years 1880-90,
60,000 were entirely uneducated. Nor is it less suggestive that since the
teaching of the people was seriously taken in hand by the State in 1870,
no new prison has been built; while several buildings which were prisons
have been changed into public libraries, or, as in the case of Milbank,
have been converted into a fine art gallery.

An objection is sometimes raised against the multiplication of free
libraries on the ground that they promote exclusively the perusal of the
most worthless fiction among the class least likely to be proof against
the social dangers of this class of writing. No novel, perhaps, is so
entirely mischievous as not to be preferable to the occupations from which
for a few hours, it may withdraw the illiterate reader. In truth however a
very careful examination of the facts by enquiries made at representative
free libraries throughout the country justify the statement that novels
form a stepping stone to books of a more seriously improving kind.

The same statistics show the demand for fiction already to be on the
decrease. Thus, in the case of the Newcastle-on-Tyne library; during a
recent twelvemonth, of the books issued to readers 65·69 were fiction. The
next year the proportion was 64·28. A year later it was 61·81. In 1896 the
figures were 55·22. The latest enquiries show this decline in the demand
for fiction to be steadily going forward. Further, the category of fiction
is stretched by free libraries to include not only the coloured paper
boards containing the latest sensational romance of the day, but all the
masterpieces of Fielding, nearly all the writings of Defoe, the _Arcadia_
of Sir Philip Sidney, the _Tristram Shandy_ of Lawrence Sterne, the _Don
Quixote_ of Cervantes, and the Dialogues of Lucian.

The remarkably elastic connotation with which the word fiction is thus
invested, may make one doubt whether a case might not be established even
for novel reading. As a fact the works most in demand at any typical
London library, _e.g._, that of Chelsea, are not novels at all. Here the
favourites seem to be Herbert Spencer's _First Principles_, thrice asked
for on the day this library was visited, his _Ecclesiastical
Institutions_, twice asked for. Aristotle's _Ethics_, the works of
Spinoza, Martineau's _Types of Ethical Theory_, Adam Smith's _Wealth of
Nations_, J. S. Mill's _Logic_, Professor Sayce's _Vindications of
Revealed Religion by the Light of Ancient Monuments_, all Sir Charles
Dilke's works of travel, Carlyle, Froude; _Cassell's Popular Educator_,
Todhunter's _Euclid_ are in greater demand than any fictions. However many
copies of these there might be, none, it is thought, would be often out of
hand.

It is not only what are called the industrial classes whose literary
resources have been expanded and transformed during the Victorian age.
Libraries for a different class of readers have of late years increased
throughout the Kingdom, in the provinces not less than in the capital.
Mudie's is, in the most literal sense of the epithet, a national agency.
Its headquarters are in London. There is no town or village book club in
the country, which is not fed from its metropolitan shelves. Mudie's
Library was founded by the late C. E. Mudie, in 1842, two years after the
St James's Square London Library. If light literature were alone in
demand, this library would not flourish as during more than half a century
it has done. Without it, many of the candidates for the Indian, the Home
Civil Services and other such examinations would be unable to get up their
books. A theologian like Canon Liddon turns new light on old truths. A
pious and picturesque impressionist like Dean Arthur Stanley presents the
scenes and incidents of sacred story as he has himself seen or imagined
them. A Darwin propounds a fresh theory for the origin of life; a Froude
rehabilitates a Tudor; a Freeman refutes a Froude; a Livingstone explores
a Dark Continent; a Stanley recovers a reluctant Livingstone or an
indignant Emin. A Green illustrates the growth of an English people; a
Lecky supplements the work of a Buckle or makes the eighteenth century
real as the nineteenth.

Mudie's is the channel through which these streams of culture are conveyed
to the majority of English readers; for, highly educated as the Victorian
age may be, it is with books that its economies begin To buy volumes that
can be borrowed or hired, is accounted wanton extravagance. A work which
requires more study, which holds public attention longer than a novel,
must obviously be most profitable to the circulating librarian. Nor would
self-interest let him be a distributor of fiction alone or even primarily.

The increase of novel readers as of novel writers is indeed the great
literary feature of the day. Not less characteristic of the time are the
new periodicals which have created a fresh public for themselves. The
sixpenny magazines count their circulation by millions, and are borrowed
from the library as well as bought by their readers. But it is the
standard works, as shown by the instances already specified that give to
Mudie's its deserved epithet of 'Select.'

Rather more grave in its contents, and didactic in its origin and purpose,
the London Library, in St James's Square has during more than half a
century been a most productive agent in the culture not less of the whole
upper middle classes than in the equipment for their tasks of writing men
and women.[88] On the Mid-summer Day of 1840, with Lord Eliot in the chair
there was held at the Freemasons' Tavern a meeting, the object of which
was to provide literary workers and others at their homes with those books
for which they then had to go to the reading room of the British Museum.
The result was the formation of a Committee of the leading literary
persons of the period, the drawing up of rules and of a list of
desiderated books, the acquisition of premises in Pall Mall. Towards the
end of December in the same year, the new institution was opened in its
first home in Pall Mall with, on a smaller scale, the same kind of
accommodations that it possesses to-day in St James's Square. As the
earliest prospectus reminded the public, no less a person than Edward
Gibbon had first lamented the lack of any lending library befitting the
dignity of an Imperial capital in London.

When, in the May of 1841, this library was first in working order, its
stock was some 3,000 volumes. A year later these figures had risen to
13,000. Since then, at an outlay of some £50,000, its contents have been
increased to nearly 200,000. Situated in the heart of clubland, the
Library has done for the education of clubmen, including penmen of every
degree, all that Mudie's can have done for the instruction of families.
Not that the London Library is without claim to be considered a domestic
institution. Its reading room is frequented by as many lady journalists of
the new school verifying references for their articles, as by male writers
of an older type. There are few households where its books are not to be
found. Carlyle and Thackeray are only two of the many well-known men who
have been helped by it in suffusing historic descriptions with local or
personal colour. It was to ascertain the exact hues of George Washington's
waistcoat[89] that Thackeray consulted the late librarian Robert Harrison
as to the classical authorities.

Nor are there many writers of recent years in the English tongue, who have
not been indebted to London Librarians from the days of Cochrane, the
first of the line, to those of Hagberg Wright, his latest successor,[90]
for seasonable hints as to what authorities most usefully to consult.

As has been already seen, in the theory and practice of the culture now
popularized in England, there is a growing tendency on the part of science
and art to trench upon the ground formerly occupied by literature. The
fashionable vocabulary of culture is itself an instance of this. Metaphors
from the palette, the scalpel, the crucible, the retort, are applied to
indicate the commonest and oldest literary phenomena. Or we hear of loaded
epithets, of dynamic diction, of sonatas in sentences, of fugues in
periods, and of new stratifications in style. Amid all our improvements we
are a little mixed, and have still to decide where the province of the
writer ends and that of his brother in some other art begins. This is a
transient, as it is a transitional phase. It may perhaps confuse posterity
which will scarcely recognize as the same language the lectures of Sir
Joshua Reynolds, the orations of Lord Leighton, the art criticisms of
Steele or Addison in _The Spectator_, of Walter H. Pater, of J. A.
Symonds, in _The Cornhill Magazine_, or one of the monthly Reviews.

The survey of the agencies now at work upon different social levels, shows
that even thus the education which comes of reading, competes at some
disadvantage with the instruction that is the result of lectures in class
rooms, of demonstrations in scientific 'theatres,' of days and nights
spent in museums of sculpture or in galleries of paintings.

During the second or third decades of the present reign, the literary
system of the country, as shown in the introductory chapter to this work,
was dominated by the presence of a few illustrious men, who naturally
became models for imitation to a host of workers. During their lives,
Dickens and Thackeray both founded schools. The former was, through the
weekly magazines he edited, the founder of newspaper descriptive writing,
especially of the picturesque Parliamentary narrative recently brought to
so high a point of perfection by clever writers now alive. The entire
company of satirical essayists in the weekly press, was first inspired by
Thackeray. Each master was surrounded by personal admirers and literary
imitators in a degree unapproached by any of his contemporaries or
successors. The author of _The Newcomes_ was outlived[91] by the
accomplished writer of that series which began with _Pelham_ in 1828 and
neared its end with _The Parisians_ almost fifty years later.

While the anniversaries of the Queen's accession were few in number,
Lytton by the side of Dickens, as a popular master of the pen, filled
something like the place which Thackeray had occupied before him. During
most of his time, another man of letters belonging like Lytton to the
titled classes divided with Lytton the social patronage of literary
beginners. No man of his day did so much as Lytton to help younger men
with the booksellers, as in his old-fashioned phrase he was apt to call
the publishers. He had indeed a rival or a colleague in these good offices
in Lord Stanhope, then Lord Mahon, the historian, as also in Mr Monckton
Milnes, afterwards Lord Houghton, the timely friend of Coventry Patmore,
and the rescuer from great troubles of a forgotten but deserving poet
David Gray.

When as yet journalism as a profession was not fully organized, and young
authors still looked first to the pillars of Paternoster Row, an
introduction to Lord Lytton or to Lord Stanhope was the surest stepping
stone to print. In this way Antonio Gallenga, then an obscure refugee,
with associations of the dagger and bowl about him, having won the good
word of Lytton, found a publisher for his _History of Piedmont_. This in
its turn opened to him the office of the _Times_. Here he made his name
not only as among the most brilliant, best informed and versatile of
newspaper writers but, together with William Howard Russell, as a founder
of that school of graphic newspaper narrative since represented by
Archibald Forbes, Edward Dicey, B. H. Becker, G. A. Henty, George Augustus
Sala, and John O'Shea.

The development of the press has changed most of the conditions of
literary life. For very many Englishmen of all classes, the periodical,
daily, weekly, or monthly, is practically an exclusive synonym for
literature itself. This fact of course has reacted upon the whole class of
professional writers. The most commercially successful of men and women of
letters are, as, since the days of Sir Walter Scott, they have been,
authors of some novel which hits the taste of the moment, and fixes the
interest of the town. When George Eliot wedded in her writings the
artistic to the scientific spirit, she invented a combination unknown till
then; she opened a gold mine for herself and the more dexterous of her
disciples. Dickens and Thackeray both realized high prices for the labour
of their pen. Wilkie Collins and Charles Reade were not far behind. But
the men of this class were either original creators of literary types that
will take their place with the characters of Shakespeare, and Cervantes,
or else were masters in the manufacture of exciting and dramatic plots.

Lord Lytton knew a little of everything, science included. He was indeed
not only a marvel of varied productiveness but a consummate student,
summing up in his own person all the intellectual interests and tendencies
of his time. During his most industrious period, before he had attained
Cabinet rank in politics, and before Carlyle's deeper studies of Fichte
and Goethe had familiarized the English public with modes of German
thought, Bulwer did more than anyone of his day to educate the average
reader on lines, and in subjects, which now seem commonplace, but of
which, when the dandy who dashed off _Falkland_, as Byron dashed off
_Beppo_, had matured into the student who travailed with _Rienzi_,
Englishmen knew nothing.

The mental inquisitiveness and activity of a newly enlightened generation,
resolved, like Bacon, to take all learning for its province, finds the
reflection of some aspect of itself in every page of Bulwer. The polished
conceits, the recondite illustrations drawn from every sphere of human
thought or achievement, the similes sometimes as far fetched, and
obscurely ingenious as those of Sir Piercie Shafton or of Euphues himself,
suggest at times the inspiration of an universally-informed, and
precociously-gifted youth who displays his cleverness before it is yet
quite disciplined, and parades his patchwork learning before it is fully
digested.

In all these things Bulwer was essentially the product and the mirror of
the new and eclectically educated Victorian age. He had been a young man
of great fashion, a good specimen of that social school of which the
younger Disraeli at his _Vivian Grey_ period was a bad specimen. A dandy
of the older type through life Lytton remained. Tennyson's lines in
_Punch_ on the padded man who wore the stays, stuck to him throughout life
as did Thackeray's caricatures of Sir Edward Bulwig. People therefore
insisted on finding affectations in his manner, and insincerities in his
nature.[92] He saw his time in its entirety abroad as well as at home
more clearly than most of his contemporaries. The reforming zeal and
humanitarian spirit of his age were not expressed more powerfully, if to
many persons more intelligibly, by Dickens himself than by Lytton.

All the modern masters of English fiction are in their different ways as
much the products of that series of movements comprehended in, or grouped
round, the French Revolution of the eighteenth century as Byron himself
was in England the immediate progeny of that organic upheaval of thought
and faith. The year of the accession produced Carlyle's _History of the
French Revolution_. Four years later, the most powerful picture of these
episodes presented by any writer of fiction was given to the world by
Bulwer in _Zanoni_. To the same era of revolutionary influences belonged
_A Tale of Two Cities_, in which Dickens not only illustrated after his
own manner the age of Robespierre, but produced a work not inferior in
literary art to the _Esmond_ of his great rival. Lytton's genius impelled
him to mysticism, as George Eliot's associations inclined her to
positivism. Both after their own manner dealt with human problems from
what they respectively thought the scientific point of view. Add to this
that Lytton remained a student annexing new domains of interest, thought
and knowledge to the last; that he showed himself the prophet of the new
and better France in _The Parisians_, as he had been the bard of the new
England beyond the seas before the curtain fell on the fortunes and the
friends of Pisistratus Caxton.

Enough is said to vindicate his place as among the most representative
writers of the age, as well as to explain the recent renascence of his
writings in France and the growing popularity of his works as attested by
the fresh editions issuing from the house of Routledge in England.
Macaulay, though never a newspaper man, is in point of manner, the father
of the leading article. The terse impressionist style which has much
superseded the Macaulayan in the press may be referred to George Borrow,
author of _The Bible in Spain_, than whom no one has influenced periodical
writers more beneficially; to Kinglake in his _Eothen_; to his literary
disciple, Lawrence Oliphant in _Piccadilly_; to the late Grenville Murray,
whose 'Roving Englishman' in _All the Year Round_ contains the happiest of
travel sketches, and whose Young Brown in the _Cornhill Magazine_ is a
miracle of clever writing. Each of these has contributed to make such
happy writers of concise prose as Jehu, Junior, in _Vanity Fair_, and
Violet Fane, now Lady Currie, in her clever and original novel, _Sophy_.
Carlyle, Ruskin, Tennyson, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold complete a
representative list of educators of popular taste during our age. They
are, however, heroic instances. Others, with not a tenth of their fame
have reached at least as far in their influence, and have brought their
refining mission home to the masses with an intimacy not approached by
their mightier rivals.

Emerson's writings, his visit to, and lectures in, London in 1847 leavened
English thought with the same spiritualizing quality which had long since
penetrated the American mind. For one Briton who was inspired by Emerson,
hundreds were charmed and humanized by Longfellow first, and by Whittier
afterwards. If Longfellow's simple ballads had never been written, the
higher offices of poetry, notwithstanding a Tennyson or a Browning, would
have remained a mystery hidden from the toiling millions of the
Anglo-Saxon world.

The same gentle and gracious offices have been performed by less known and
not always respected writers, Martin Tupper of the _Proverbial
Philosophy_, and the late Hain Friswell of _The Gentle Life_.



CHAPTER XXVII

NEWSPAPER PRESS TRANSFORMATION SCENES

    The newspaper press of all kinds, largely, the penny press,
    exclusively, a Victorian product. Its recent growth reviewed. A
    valuable rival to Parliament because its publicity assures
    parliamentary efficiency. Growth of the cheaper journalism summarized.
    The _Daily News_, the _Daily Telegraph_, the halfpenny press, morning
    and evening as a special product of the age. The press and party.


'Barnes is the most powerful man in the country.' Such, in reference to
the then editor of the _Times_, was the remark made a year or two
after the Victorian age had begun by Lord Lyndhurst, himself an
ex-journalist,[93] to Charles Greville, the Diarist. Like opinions by
equal authorities as to the successors of Barnes have been delivered
frequently since, but are less known because the memoir-writer has not yet
stamped them with immortality. No attribute of skill or power belonging to
Barnes was wanting to Delane. To his weight with the public a
characteristic tribute was once paid by a shrewd judge of editors as of
men generally, Lord Beaconsfield. 'I think,' were that statesman's exact
words, on a social occasion to Lord Granville, 'I had better postpone
giving you my views of Delane till he is dead.'

On her accession the Queen was congratulated by some 479 newspapers
representing the collective press of the United Kingdom and its outlying
islands. Her sixtieth commemoration gives a theme to 2396 journals
published within the same area.[94] The English newspaper press which in
effect began under one Queen, reached its final term of greatness under
another Queen. 1837 is a landmark in newspaper history, because it was the
first year in which the public press published the parliamentary division
lists, and thus made another stride towards equality of influence with the
legislature. Its effect was to increase the usefulness of Members of
Parliament, as well as of the press itself. The Long Parliament made
English freedom, but gagged the press.

In 1712 Harley had taxed newspapers at a penny a sheet, and one shilling
for each advertisement. Under North and Pitt successively, these taxes
were raised to prohibitive figures. In 1836 Spring Rice had fixed the
stamp duty at a penny, so that the first step towards newspaper prosperity
was made on the eve of the Victorian age. The Victorian press means the
penny press. That was only possible after the fourteenth year of the
reign, and the repeal of the paper duty in 1851.

Popular politics are changed as little by newspaper articles as are
political votes by parliamentary speeches. The press rather organizes
political opinion. Existing convictions are deepened. But the average
reader chooses his newspaper not because he wants to be converted, but
because his self love is flattered by seeing his formed ideas reflected in
its columns. The modern newspaper is therefore a Victorian creation. In
its best form it belongs to England alone. In no other country is there a
second _Times_, as since 1788 the older _Universal Register_ has been
called; no such epitome of foreign history from day to day; no such
reflection, in letters to the editor, of English opinion.

So far as the cheap newspaper is due to any one man, it may be connected
with the name of the first proprietor of the _Athenæum_, like its latest,
a Charles Wentworth Dilke. In the twelfth year of the Victorian age the
_Daily News_, to which the short editorship of Charles Dickens gave
literary distinction rather than commercial success, its proprietors,
Bright, Cobden, Walmsley, called in Mr Dilke, as the great newspaper
organizer of his day. He at once reduced the price, though not yet to its
final penny. In 1865 the proprietary was enlarged by the late Mr S.
Morley, Mr Labouchere and others, with the intention of turning it into a
penny paper. That was done. Its success was made by its foreign
correspondence during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1. Meanwhile, the
_Daily Telegraph_, started by Colonel Sleigh in 1856, had been acquired,
enlarged, and improved by the strenuous ancestors of its present owners.
It at once electrified the town by its original writing of all kinds,
notably its Paris correspondence. The letters to the _Times_ from the
Crimea of William Howard Russell, first caused the Sebastopol
enquiry;--then in 1855 produced the Roebuck motion[95] and with it the
fall of the Government of Lord Aberdeen. In this way the whole conception
of the province of the press was enlarged. Soon there sprung up a new and
organized profession of the pen. If to-day the political writing of the
great London dailies be below the mark of that of the two _Couriers_ and
some later publicists in France, its special and descriptive
correspondence by a Forbes, a Henty, a W. W. Knollys, a Pearce, a Becker,
a Conan Doyle, a G. W. Steevens, in point of graphic vigour, of accurate
and comprehensive swiftness of execution, is superior to anything which
other periodicals of Europe can show.

The Jubilee Year of 1887 witnessed the completion of a revolution in the
public press, that had in fact begun a twelvemonth earlier. Hitherto the
great London broadsheets had either been affected really if not
professedly to one of the great political parties; or had, as in the case
of the _Times_, not less than of the chief weekly journals, made some show
of impartially criticizing both parties alike. In 1886 the Liberal party
was rent in twain by the Irish policy of its greatest member. The result
with the press was to divest political writers of all show of
independence. Those journals which accepted the great leader's view were
converted into uncompromising champions of the scheme that their opponents
said would dismember the monarchy. Those, on the other hand, which
resisted the great statesman's plan found themselves by the force of
events they could not control detached from their earlier traditions of
independence and converted into the enemies of political Liberalism not
only on one issue, but on all.

From that day newspaper criticism of men and measures has practically
ceased. With a few able exceptions, signally that of the _Daily
Chronicle_, the paramount task of the press in the sixth decade of the
epoch is to support a combination of groups rallied not under a party
flag, but an Imperial banner. About the same time another newspaper change
may be said to have taken place. Hitherto, the anonymous system had been
fairly preserved. The names of newspaper writers were not known beyond
their office, or at least beyond Fleet Street. Now, however, English
journalism was undergoing two distinct and mutually antagonistic
processes. On the one hand it had by the agency of the great newspapers
with their enlarged staffs and various departments been organized into a
liberal profession, attracting specialists of all kinds to its columns. On
the other hand its pleasures and its profits had gathered a host of camp
followers who as amateurs vied with the older professionals. Next, persons
of fashion or of quality took to the proprietorship or editorship of new
journals, as, till then, they had taken to the owning and management of
theatres for the benefit of personal friends. In _Lothair_, someone
advises the hero to amuse himself with theatre proprietorship 'as being
the high mode for all swells.' The paper next enjoyed the same vogue as
the playhouse.

The former secrecy now became impracticable. As had long been the case
with the monthly periodical, the weekly print first and the daily print
afterwards showed a tendency towards a transformation from an organ of
collective opinion into a platform for individual display. The new
editor's chief business was not as formerly to point the gun for the
marksmen of the pen to fire, but to recruit writers with well known names.
If their signatures were suppressed, the authorship, as it was intended it
should do, speedily transpired. Fleet Street became a whispering gallery
of press gossip. Its murmurs were heard throughout the land.

What the sixpenny magazine is to the monthly press that the halfpenny
newspaper is to the daily. The first daily journal at this price, the
_Echo_, after some startling vicissitudes came into the capable hands of
John Passmore Edwards, a Celt of Cornwall with all the characteristics of
his race. Morning as well as evening rivals at the same price sprung up
like mushrooms after rain. _Evening News_ or _Star_ at night, the
_Morning_, the _Leader_ are only a few of the fresh notes added to the
music of the London street vendors. No urchin so ragged that he does not
proclaim the printed wares of a millionaire _in esse_ or _in posse_.
Believers in literature as part of popular education will think it a good
sign that book reviews, and articles of a kindred sort are features in
characteristically Victorian newspapers. Signally in the arrangements for
supply of foreign news, a revolution extending throughout the whole press
of the country has been effected by the enterprise of these journals. The
telegrams on which for its tidings from abroad the public used exclusively
to depend, have been often superseded by the dispatches of special
representatives of their journal stationed abroad.

Every journal has now become its own Reuter. Men like Alfred C.
Harmsworth, being millionaires as well as resourceful journalists, thought
no more of having their own agents in every capital at the end of a
telegraphic wire than of arranging a little Arctic expedition on their own
account. They have thus forced the hand of newspaper proprietors all
round. The leisurely descriptive writing has gone out. The condensed
three-line paragraph has come in. The _Daily Mail_ has shown a busy
generation which reads its papers as it takes its lunch standing at a
buffet, that the essence of the day's news of the world can be read in a
few odd minutes as easily as the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ were once
packed into a nutshell.[96]

For this new journalism new men have been needed. In most cases very young
men; generally fresh from Balliol or Trinity where they have perhaps won
Fellowships as well as First Classes, but in appearance often not much
older than a public school sixth form boy. Youth is an error which
unfortunately time too soon corrects.

In ability, in conscientious use of increased power; in education, in
social position, in all the best guarantees of responsibility, the British
press has improved immeasurably within the present age. Even now it shows
signs of perceiving that a certain amount of political impartiality
towards the great leaders of State and Church renders its praise, its
censure, and its criticism the more effective because the less mechanical.
The condition of things which has made so many great newspapers patriotic
partizans instead of independent guides must in its nature be temporary.
When it has gone by, and a more normal state of affairs is re-established,
there will be perhaps no compensating disadvantages to the increasing
influence with which the Victorian age has endowed and is yet endowing
what is really a fourth estate.[97]



CHAPTER XXVIII

TRANSFORMATIONS IN INVALID LIFE

    Legislation for the helpless in health or in sickness the exclusive
    feature of the Victorian age. Early interest of the English Court
    through the Prince Consort in the housing of the poor. This coincided
    with, and helped forward, the organized public movements for popular
    sanitation. General summary of these, as shown by results. The new
    nurse contrasted with the old. Hospitals to-day twice blessed.

    Specific progress of sanitary reform. Demonstrable connection between
    these improvements and figures of the death rate. Preventive and
    curative medicine also entitled to credit. General course of medical
    progress. Special researches of English physicians. Their ascertained
    usefulness and their latest aspects. Improvement in English doctors,
    with particular instances.


Before the Victorian age, there had been no legislation for the purpose of
helping the helpless, housing the homeless, providing for the health of
those whose birth-right was the squalor, the starvation, the disease, that
come from systematic neglect. Here, as in other things, the representative
of the Crown, transformed from a political power into an agency of social
good, led the way. The Prince Consort, moved by the condition and by the
address of the ballast heavers in the East End of London took the
initiative; the legislature gradually followed. Thus was the principle
established and acted on that one of the prime duties of the State is to
those for whom from any other quarter there is no help.

The last instance of that wholesome truth was the Dilke Commission for the
better housing of the poor aptly presided over by the Prince Consort's
eldest son in 1885. Exactly forty-five years earlier than this, Colonel
Slaney's[98] motion in the House of Commons produced an enquiry into the
health of towns. Local Improvement Acts had been multiplied to the number
of 500. There was still no proper drainage. The Duke of Buccleuch's
Commission of 1848 led to the Public Health Act of the same year. As the
cholera invasions of 1853 and of 1865-6 showed, the Local Boards
established by the Act of 1848 were too permissive in their operations to
be fully effective. Edwin Chadwick, and Southwood Smith had from the first
co-operated with the Queen's husband. Their activity did not cease when
the earliest steps to reform had been taken: 1858 witnessed fresh
improvements.[99]

It was not till 1875 that the confused mass of sanitary laws was
consolidated. Then the Local Government Board which, with the powers of
the superseded Poor Law Board, had been established in 1871 was in full
and in most beneficent work. Still the Commission that last investigated
the matter, due as it was largely to Lord Shaftesbury, showed many evils
still to remain. Overcrowding was worse in the West London rookeries than
it had been in the East. In 1885 the Dilke Commission Act gave fresh power
to local authorities to destroy unhealthy dwellings.

The machinery which thus exists as the sixth decade of our epoch draws to
its close, is therefore tolerably complete. Guarantees for its promptly
being put into motion are still wanted. Not only the credit, but the very
conception of this wholesome function of the State belongs entirely to our
era, and arises out of the enlarged idea of Royal service which fills the
modern mind.

Strictly consistent with family tradition is the effort of the Prince of
Wales to help those who are only one degree more helpless than the
dwellers in city and suburban alleys and courts in time of need. To free
the London hospitals of debt will crown the edifice of sick relief that in
Crimean days the Queen and her husband began.

From the departure of Miss Florence Nightingale[100] and her trained staff
for the Crimea in 1854 must be dated the birth of nursing as a polite
profession. But for that mission of mercy one would hear nothing of the
contemporary parade of nurses in the height of the London season in the
grounds of Marlborough House. The fashionable vogue of the vocation may
sometimes attract modish recruits who have not counted the cost.

Amiable sympathy is not the sole qualification which the lady nurse needs.
Self-consciousness is as much a disqualification as a shuddering dislike
of sick room scenes. It is also the attribute that the patient is the most
quick to observe. Not a few of the sick whom the ministering angel of the
new school desires to relieve may still sigh for the presence by their
bedside of the displaced Mrs Gamp instead of the young lady in the
coquettish muslin cap and dainty grey frock who casts complacent glances
at herself as she passes the mirror, and with an air not quite suited for
a sick room offers her patient his medicine or his barley water as if she
were suggesting black coffee, green Chartreuse, and a cigarette after a
whitebait dinner. These defects will no doubt be mended when the lady
nurse is more habituated to her calling. Decayed billiard markers, and
scripture readers who have gone wrong, will not eventually figure so
largely among the self-sacrificing males who also find their career in
tending the invalid. The scandals of which the nurse (old style) was
sometimes the heroine still live in the pages of Dickens. They arose from
the rumoured hastening of the sick man's death by the scriptural practice
of laying a wet cloth over his mouth. Any scandals with which the nurse
(new style) might be connected would perhaps come from the desirable
marriage that she arranges for herself in the sick room or from the
legacies made to her by grateful patients, but disputed by thankless
relations. These things, therefore, should be no doubt regarded not as
slurs upon her disinterestedness, but as tributes to her efficiency.

Inside the hospital the same transformation has been effected as in the
aspect of the ministering angels themselves. The grave young gentlemen in
training for the medical profession have nothing about them left of the
lamp breaking, policemen baiting, medical student of Albert Smith. If
sometimes one reads of the too engrossing attractions for these youths of
the sylphs who flit to and fro in the wards, the answer is obvious--'Evil
be to him who evil thinks.'

Hospital management is the subject not for a few pages in a single book,
but for a library in itself. One or two not controversial facts may be
given. Throughout the Victorian age a marked feature in medical charities
has been the supplementing of the historic hospitals with many new
dispensaries and establishments for special diseases. If the latest
hospital endowments are smaller than those originating in an earlier
century, the explanation is less a decline in eleemosynary purpose or
power than the development of the value of the property assigned to the
older foundations.[101] Thus the revenue of St Bartholomew's in the middle
of the sixteenth century seems to have been only £371 a year. Towards the
close of the nineteenth century it is £32,000 a year. During our own era
hospital benefactions approaching a quarter of a million are far from
unknown. These do not include such special and comparatively recent
hospitals as that for consumption, with the 40 new dispensaries connected
with it.

To epitomize the facts; the total of London hospitals or infirmaries with
wards for the sick amounts to 49. The movement still goes forward. So vast
is the scale on which these buildings, less houses than towns in
themselves, were first planned that in many of them there is yet room for
fresh beds. This is only a specimen of what has been, and is being, done
throughout the kingdom. There thus seems a fresh argument in favour of
continuing to London itself an institution like St Thomas's, Southwark,
the removal of which to the country was not long since suggested.

Like all gracious works, these places are twice blessed. They relieve
those who are in need. They humanize those whom prosperity and comfort
might make callous. Before our age began, no one thought of sending game
or fruit to the sufferers or convalescents within these places of refuge.
Now it is the exception for the millionaire not to make the spoils of his
fashionable battue pay tithe to those for whom such food is often the best
of physic. The costly flowers that decorate the drawing rooms or dining
rooms during the season are not discarded as rubbish when the festivity is
over. They are scrupulously tended so as not to lose their freshness.
Presently their hues and fragrance will relieve the bleak expanse of
white-washed wall in those places where our sick are nursed away from
their own homes.[102]

       *       *       *       *       *

The contrasts of our age include a marked connection between the
organization of the healing art and the advance of medical science on the
one hand and the reduction of the death rate on the other. In 1855 the
mortality of the United Kingdom was 23 per 1,000. In 1875 it was 21 per
1,000. In 1895 it had fallen to 18 per 1,000. The figures,[103] and the
conclusions to which they point, are tributes, not only to medical skill
in healing disease, but to sanitary reform in preventing it.

Before the Victorian age began the whole population of these Islands
awaited the periodical onsets of pestilence with the resigned fatalism of
the Turk, or with the passive submission of latter day London to the
incubus of snow. The notorious consequences of unhealthy living prompted
no preventive measures. Divine wrath was believed to express itself in
deadly epidemics. When that anger was assuaged health would return. Till
then human remedies could do little. Meanwhile, the truth that Providence
helps those who help themselves was being scientifically shown. Hence in
1838, a State enquiry into the whole matter was instituted. In 1848 the
legislation began which, by promoting cleanliness, at once disarmed
disease. John Simon proved the propagation of pestilence to proceed by
impure particles. In 1858-65, on his initiative, the Government
strengthened the defences of public health. The entrance of foreign
plagues was stopped at our ports. Three sons of a clever West of England
doctor named Budd[104] had been trained from their childhood in practical
medicine by their father. These doctors showed the connection between
impure water and typhoid fever, as before them Snow had shown between
cholera and water. When the improvements suggested by these researches
were adopted health generally benefited. Consumption statistics became
less alarming every year. Fevers of all kinds were successfully combated.
Since vaccination had become general, smallpox cases had fallen by at
least one-half.

Meanwhile, the discovery of anæsthetics, of chloroform by Professor J. Y.
Simpson of Edinburgh in 1848, of ether in 1846 by Morton and Robinson of
the United States, at once robbed surgical operations of their terrors,
and rendered them practicable in cases where till then they could not
safely be tried. In 1860 came the antiseptic treatment of Sir Joseph,
since Lord, Lister. Before then, the nervous system had been explored
successfully by Carpenter.[105] Instruments for examining by reflected
lights the hidden parts of the human frame had been invented by several
English surgeons. Operations for certain internal tumours, that had
hitherto defied removal, were first performed by Cæsar Hawkins, born 1798,
brother of the famous Oriel Provost, a pupil of Brodie at St George's; and
more recently by Spencer Wells.

More than a half of the medical discoveries of the period are English.
The latest perhaps, certainly not the smallest if the least known, was the
treatment by the late Sir William Gull of the swellings technically known
as myxoedema by an entirely new process, that of supplementing deficiences
of the thyroid gland with matter taken from animals. The throat
specialists of Germany found much to learn from the late Morell Mackenzie.
Not till 1860, was the scheme of medical education perfected in its
present shape by the College of Physicians, which to-day, under its
President and two Censors, arranges all examinations; while the Medical
Association represents the whole profession, bringing its grievances and
needs before the legislature. The average of ability throughout the
practitioners of the country is as noticeable as the achievements of its
scientific pioneers. The treatise on _Heredity_ in disease by Dr Douglas
Lithgow, on gout and allied complaints by Dr Robson Roose, and on the
medical uses of electricity by Dr W. S. Hedley, are instances of permanent
contributions by busy practitioners to the scientific knowledge of their
daily labours.

The late Dr Quinn, the late Oscar Clayton, are men who have improved the
status of their calling by their social services and gifts, and have
helped to extend the authority of the physician over every department of
life. We have long since shaken off the rule of priests. Some may think we
have already placed ourselves under a despotism of doctors, who by their
word can make or mar the reputation of places and climates if not of
characters and of men; and on whom the obligations of professional
etiquette seem at least equal to their sense of responsibility to the
public.[106]



CHAPTER XXIX

TRANSFORMATIONS OF RELIGIOUS THOUGHT

    The vicissitudes of religious thought in the Victorian age illustrated
    by the quaint saying of an Oxford verger. Changes in the organization
    of the Church of England during the present reign. The revival of
    Convocation; the Ecclesiastical Commission. Facts and figures
    illustrating the results of these and the progress made at home and
    abroad. Activity and efficiency of other religious bodies, Protestant
    and Papist. Special influence of individuals in the Churches. In the
    Anglican, Dean Arthur Stanley, Professor Jowett, Professor Mansel. In
    the Nonconformist bodies, R. W. Dale, and C. H. Spurgeon. A friendly
    critic on the abuse of religious liberalism. How this re-acts, even on
    the new High Church critics, _e.g._ _Lux Mundi_ and _The Sermon on the
    Mount_.


A verger at St Mary's Church, Oxford, during the sixties used devoutly to
thank his Maker that after having heard University sermons for thirty
years, he still remained a Christian. Conflicts within, attacks without,
at least as severe as any to which either was exposed during the Georgian
epoch, have been the lot of the Christianity whose depository is the
Church of England during the Victorian age. Neither Christian faith, nor
the Church that is its national expression, has come forth maimed or
weakened from that ordeal. Modern scepticism scarcely aims at substituting
for a Divine Being any tangible object of faith. It retires from the
discussion with the remark that high and invisible things are beyond human
knowledge. Hence nothing in agnosticism, however hostile its tendency to,
need be inconsistent with, Revelation. The mere statement of difficulties
in the way of belief and of purely abstract alternatives to belief makes
no proselytes.[107]

Freethinkers of the last century appealed, and were limited, to the rich.
The secularists who are their successors since 1840 pose as the friends of
the poor. Neither school can consider itself a power. The Victorian age is
in fact above all others an age of religious revival. This has been
largely due to the influence of the Court. From the _entourage_ of the
later Georges and of William IV. the best of their subjects held aloof.
Had the year of Revolution come then instead of in 1848, the English
throne, whose possessor lacked all personal hold of the people, might have
shared the fate of continental crowns.

The Queen saw nothing of any Court until she presided over a transformed
Court of her own. Her subjects no sooner knew their fresh ruler than they
were powerfully impressed by the contrast of her blameless life and
society to anything of which they had read, heard, or seen. Under such a
sovereign, a change in the whole spirit of the nation's religious life
naturally followed. Thinking minds had indeed long been in a state of
spiritual ferment. The Tractarian movement had begun with Keble's Assize
Sermon five years before the Queen's accession. Its full results were not
to be seen till 1846.

Meanwhile, in the third year of the reign the idea of reviving
Convocation, which since 1717 had been suspended, of which Burke had said
that it was without functions save to pay compliments to the king and then
dissolve, took form; since 1850, that body has met. Unreformed this
clerical parliament still remains. As in 1864 it declared _Essays and
Reviews_ heretical, but could not punish the men whom it branded, so,
to-day, a canon of Convocation, though approved by the Crown, has no
binding power. But the days when the _Times_, long since convinced of its
Erastian errors, could sneer at Convocation as 'a clerical debating
society with a long name' are altogether gone by.

Many who are by no means ardent Churchmen, or are outside the Church
Communion, are interested to know the actual opinion of Convocation on
social and industrial questions of the hour, as this opinion is expressed
by educated men who reflect the views of their cloth at least as
faithfully as the House of Commons reflects the views of the people. Thus,
during the recent sittings of a single year, Convocation in its two
provinces with their divisions into lower and upper Houses, has discussed
and suggested solutions of subjects so varied as sisterhoods and
deaconesses, betting and gambling, popular education, soldiers' marriages,
marriage law amendment Bills, spiritual provision for workhouses, clergy
discipline Bill, the relations between the Church and State in the
Colonies. Even in its unreformed condition, this body can scarcely fail to
be of some use in officially telling Parliament men the opinion of the
Church, which, on any view of it, is at least a considerable corporation,
on matters affecting clerical interests or popular morals. In the remote
event of the Church being disestablished, Convocation is a useful drilling
ground on which Churchmen of all degrees can be trained to collective
action.

What are the facts relating to the Church to-day? At the opening of this
age, the beneficed clergy were often unfit for their posts; they were very
largely indifferent to their duties. The attacks on the Establishment led
by the Lord Henley of that day and others, shortly after the 1832 Reform
Act, were more organized and plausible than anything which has been
witnessed since. There are, after all, not many things more national in
England than the Church. Even the differences of the clergy, and the
professed desire of some among them to be free from State supervision,
have not lessened the national regard for the Established Faith. The
attack from within, therefore, seems likely to be weathered not less
successfully than the attack from without.

The parochial system of the Church--its clergy resident in every village
where the squire is often an absentee, has struck its fibres too deep into
the soil of English life, to be rooted out by any sectarian agitation. The
best proof that Church endowments do not check, but rather encourage,
private beneficence is the amount of money donations to the Established
Church during the present age. Gifts to the Church, whether in the shape
of lands, tithes, other rent charges, stock or cash, represent roughly a
sum of £5,500,000, yielding a perpetual yearly income of £181,940.

The second of the two Acts establishing the Ecclesiastical Commission is
of Victorian date. The operations of this body have increased the incomes
of Church livings by £1,016,775 a year, or by a capital sum of
£30,599,100; and this during the twelve years ending 1896-97. Queen Anne's
bounty does not, indeed, seem to have been uniformly administered with
such wisdom. Its funds have sometimes been granted to incumbents to
enlarge houses, schools, and other buildings beyond the point at which
there was an assured income for the maintenance of these fabrics. The
Tithes Commutation Act is not blamed for the periodical return of hard
times for the clergy. The distress itself is partial, sometimes
exaggerated. Still, there seems to have been a general reduction of
incomes in rural districts by 25 per cent. No offertories, which in towns
greatly help the clergy, can make the country deficiency good. The
suggestion of repealing the Act which put down pluralities so as to
concentrate several poor preferments in one incumbent is not likely to be
acted on. But some relaxation of the Act might be a feasible concession to
a growing opinion. Rich livings are sometimes the worst served. Some
re-adjustment of stipends after a new enquiry seems, therefore, likely to
be proposed.

So much for the purely English aspect of clerical activity in our age. The
alliance in the foreign enterprise of the Church with the State coincides
exclusively with the Victorian reign. In 1841 the Colonial Bishopric fund
was begun. By 1851 the Colonial episcopate was fairly organized. Four
years after the Queen's accession there were 10 Anglican dioceses out of
England. Sixty years after that accession there are 92.[108] These sees
are grouped into provincial Synods. This foreign Church, one in doctrine
with the Established Church at home, is modified in its agency and
development to suit the soil to which it is transplanted. The late Sir J.
R. Seeley, with respect to its calming influences amid jarring faiths, has
in a familiar passage dwelt on the Christianity of the English Church as a
reconciling element between the rival creeds of the Eastern world. Add to
this the organization of episcopal Protestantism of the Anglican type, not
only in the West Indies and in our Canadian Dominion, but in the United
States themselves.[109]

A fair idea may thus be formed of the State Church in its character of a
veritable catholic, not less than a national, power. Improved organization
does not always argue increased efficiency. The machinery of the Roman
Empire was never more elaborate than when it was in a state of atrophy.
Coinciding, however, with the unmistakable signs of spiritual life at home
and abroad, the domestic resources and the foreign work of the national
religion are tributes alike to the efficacy of the Church as a world-wide
instrument of righteousness, and to the increased motive power of religion
during the Victorian age. With the spiritual work that has been done,
certain names very briefly must be associated. The Oxford Tractarianism
between 1832-46 is only one of many manifestations of religious life which
mark that epoch, and which nearly perplexed into infidelity the Oxford
verger aforesaid. In extreme Evangelicalism outside our Church, the
followers of Wesley, regardless of their founder's injunction not to form
a separate sect, were perfecting their system when the reign began. In
1833, an English clergyman at Plymouth, J. L. Darby, left the National
Church and founded the sect of 'Brethren' who take their name from the
Western seaport where he had officiated. Fifteen years later, in 1848,
Plymouth Brethrenism was itself divided by one of Darby's followers, named
Newton; he created a clique of his own now called by their rival
religionists, the loose, or open, Brethren. The missionary and literary
activities of this little sect are really remarkable. In 1843
Presbyterianism across the Tweed had a schism of its own. The secession of
Chalmers on the issue of State patronage resulted in the founding of the
Free Kirk. The religious activity of the epoch has been universal. Among
the older dissenting bodies, Congregationalists, in point of numbers,
influence, in national repute of their leaders, perhaps come first. These
in 1837, numbered 170,000 full members. Now they number nearly 400,000. Of
the Baptists there were, in 1837, 125,000. Sixty years later they are
340,000. This increase is due to the single agency of C. H. Spurgeon,
whose personal influence is not yet fully realized but may be judged from
the circulation by millions of his posthumous Sermons, as well as by the
pulpit imitations of him in all Communions, not excepting the high
Anglican pulpits. Hence of course Nonconformist numbers depending largely
on individual attractions, are subject to greater fluctuations than in the
Establishment. Roman Catholics have increased in the large towns of
England and in the Colonies. In 1837 their priests were less than 1,000.
Fifty years later they were in round numbers 2,500. Their Churches have
risen from 600 to 1,350. The activity of British Evangelicalism is farther
shown by the doubling of the income of the British and Foreign Bible
Society during the reign, by the cost of a New Testament being ten-pence
in 1837, a penny in 1897. Similarly the income of the Propagation of the
Gospel Society is very nearly twice, and of the Church Missionary Society
almost thrice, as much to-day as it was in the Accession year.

Among Nonconformist bodies, numbers vary according to the eminence of
individual leaders, rising by bounds with a Spurgeon, diminishing
temporarily with some of his successors. Similarly, among Anglican
Communicants numbers fluctuate according to the influence of the leaders
of the great schools, a Liddon, or a Ryle, a Maurice, a Webb Peploe, or a
Lefroy. R. W. Dale, of Birmingham, whose work on the Atonement is a
recognised text book, even among many Anglicans, did as much as A. P.
Stanley of Westminster, to soften down sectarian differences, and to
command the respect of other Communions. Nor has Dale had any lack of
worthy successors now living. Unless religion had been ineradicable in the
national, because in the human, mind, results very different from this
general increase in the number of all religious Communions, judged by
whatever test, would have been witnessed.

Scarcely had the Church recovered from the shock of Newman's secession,
and the agitating effects during two decades of High Church and Low Church
controversies[110] when Dr Mansel, then an Oxford tutor and
professor,[111] in his ardent, but not wholly discreet zeal, expressed
views on the relations of the Infinite to the finite which, as F. D.
Maurice perceived, declaring the Deity to be unknowable by man, might be
perverted into an apology for agnosticism. That religion did not really
suffer is due in some degree to Benjamin Jowett. This good and honest
scholar's life was spent in educating young men into useful Christians,
into serious citizens, and into sincere believers. He claimed liberty; he
loved truth. He ridiculed with quiet satire the religious nescience and
despair which Mansel's terrific propaganda had been distorted into making
the vogue. When Dr Temple was made Primate:--the first and greatest
tribute was paid to the variety of Oxford ecclesiasticism that would be
rightly described not as the broad, or high, but as the hard Church.
There could be no more striking instance of the transformation in
religious ideas witnessed during our age than the fact that the volume to
which Dr Temple and Mr Jowett both contributed, _Essays and Reviews_, was
branded by Convocation as heretical during the sixties, and is discovered
to be harmless during the nineties.

So qualified a judge on these matters as Mr Stopford Brooke deplores the
declension of religious liberalism into something indistinguishable from
unbelief. But as Professor Mansel's orthodox zeal for the dignity of his
faith helped his enemies rather than his friends, so the services rendered
by his devout successors are not always unmixedly conducive to the old
faith. The 'higher criticism' has been a dubious ally of Biblical
Christianity. _Lux Mundi_ distinguished between the historic and mythic
elements in the _Pentateuch_. The gifted editor of that work has more
recently[112] applied the same method to the sayings of the Founder of
Christianity, and has seemed to some to sanction the evaporation into
proverbs of some Divine utterances.[113]



CHAPTER XXX

THE QUEEN'S SUBJECTS AT PLAY--ACTIVE OR SEDENTARY

    The new Court as head of the old society. Social transformations which
    would most strike one revisiting the London West End in 1897. Going to
    Court. Multiplication of clubs in St James's and Pall Mall, but
    disappearance of gambling clubs. Socially transforming effects of the
    Parliamentary Committee in 1844. Then and now. 'Play and Pay' betting
    modified by its recommendations. Necessary connection between horse
    breeding and horse racing. Cricket--then and now. The new football or
    the old prize ring. Indoor amusements. Transformation, by development,
    of Victorian chess. The men and events which have made it what it is.
    Ladies' drawing room work. Middle class English ladies the great
    readers nowadays. Fashionable needlework of all kinds from 1837-97.


The transformed society of the Victorian age may be regarded as a new
combination of old elements. The interests, and the pursuits represented
in it have always existed. The grouping and the mutual relations are the
only novelty. Even during the Prince Consort's time, the Court had begun
to be the federal head of the many coloured corporation which, under the
name of society, has superseded the 'genteel' or 'polite' world of earlier
days. That all liberal professions or worthy pursuits should find their
natural head among the representatives of the Crown was the central idea
of the Queen's husband. So far as the opportunities of a short life
allowed, he translated this notion into practice. It was reserved for his
eldest son to witness, and himself largely to promote, the full
realization of Prince Albert's purpose. The result is that to-day not only
diplomacy or soldiership, statemanship or wealth, sends its envoys to a
transformed Court. There is no sort of human achievement or distinction
that, directly it has won the approval of the people, lacks the
recognition, personal or vicarious, of the people's rulers.

Each of the callings noticed in the present survey, clerical or lay, sends
its deputies to Marlborough House or Sandringham in the same way that
diplomacy and arms are represented at a Royal drawing room or levée. For a
reflection of the chief currents of thought, of the favourite pursuits of
the most absorbing interests and influences of Victorian England, the
historian will have to consult the list of visitors to the Heir Apparent's
house, or read the account of his doings. The Prince Consort was attacked
by the Tories in 1846 because he listened to Peel's speeches on Free Trade
from the Peers' Gallery in the Commons. In 1897 the Prince of Wales
attends daily the State trial of South African celebrities at Westminster,
and is praised for a fresh proof of his interest in Colonial affairs. No
artist or author; no sailor, soldier, cricketer or actor, makes his mark
upon his age without some tribute from a popular Court to prowess that is
already a household word with the multitude.

Thus in its relations to those aspects of national life in which the
people itself is most interested, the Court of to-day has been transformed
into a federal head of the entire motley system. If the competition of
individuals for personal recognition in the highest quarter sometimes
embitters social life, that is not the Royal patron's fault.

Among the changes which would make the fashionable quarter of the town
most difficult of recognition to-day by one who knew it only in the early
years of the reign, is the multiplication of joint stock palaces called
clubs, which are really co-operative homes for poor gentlemen.[114] The
absence of the gaming houses of which Crockford's was only one among many;
and the widely representative quality of the ladies and gentlemen whom our
stranger might notice driving to Court on a presentation day during the
season is as visible as the disappearance of the West End hells.[115]

In the seventh year after the Queen's accession, the House of Commons'
Committee on Gambling began its sittings. It was presided over by Lord
Palmerston. Among the witnesses it examined were men well known in every
section of London or of national life. Trainers, jockeys, magistrates,
policemen, all contributed to the remarkable picture of contemporary life
and manners, contained between the covers of this document.

The state of the law as regards gambling was then, as now, obscure.
Magistrates shrank from giving constables a chance of confirming their
suspicions as to houses of shy-looking exterior; but generally in the
streets off St James's nearly every third house was a place of play.
Between Pall Mall and the east side of Leicester Square, some 36 gambling
houses were proved to exist. At Crockford's itself the tables were
honestly managed. It was the perversion of Crockford's example which did
the harm. Thus, some half dozen years before the Great Exhibition,
Crockford's ceased to exist; its humbler but more mischievous imitators
were also weeded out. An improved epoch began. Before the twentieth
anniversary of the Accession, the building at the top of St James's Street
described by Disraeli in the first chapter of _Sibyl_ had become under the
style of 'The Wellington' the best restaurant of the kind then, or for
many years, known to London. Thereafter, indeed, it reverted to a club,
the 'Argus' first, and then the 'Devonshire;' but a gambling club no more.
The periodical flutter caused by rumoured scandals, is itself evidence of
the improved standard of social morals. One other result of this
Enquiry[116] is probably felt among sporting persons to-day.

Lord Palmerston's Committee pronounced against play and pay betting, that
is, the system under which the bet is valid whether the horse runs or
not. In betting at the post for ready money the bet is off to-day if the
horse does not start. Not only is the Turf more popular than it ever was
before. It binds sections of the polite world more closely together than
they are held by any political or ecclesiastical cement. It is thus a
social interest of the first importance which a prudent statesman makes a
point of conciliating not less than he would the clergy, the lawyers, or
even the licensed victuallers. The constantly increasing encouragement
given to the Turf by men who have no personal end to serve, and whose
refinement must be revolted by the aspect of many of its accessories,
justifies the conclusion that the racecourse is indispensable to the breed
of horses.

From the Plantagenet and Tudor period the best horses in England were
raced; they were made better that they might be raced more successfully.
Hence the wise introduction, for beauty as the crown of strength, of Arab
blood, especially under Charles II. and onwards. The early excellence of
stallions followed. The sires of racers begot also English hunters, so
that the best horses in the hunting field to-day derive their pedigrees on
one side from the founders of the best racing blood. The general utility
animal, seen in carriages and cabs, is bred in the same way but has just
fallen below the hunter level. Thus, without thoroughbred sires, the
excellence of our horses generally must decline. The expense of breeding
the best quadrupeds of the stud book is so heavy that without the
stimulus of racing, the stock could scarcely be maintained.

The long distance plates on the Turf dating back to the time of Anne have
been replaced by the Queen's premium stallions, periodically on view at
Islington, and at the disposal, for a small fee, of horse owners
throughout the country. These fine animals are almost all the winners of
races. The necessary expense of racing suggests the usefulness, as in an
earlier chapter was seen, of the sporting plutocrat to the Turf, and hence
to the national quadruped generally. Unless the sport gave to its
followers some sort of social diploma, the wealthy breeders whom the mart
has furnished to the racecourse, from the earliest of the Rothschilds down
to the latest of the Hirsches or the Maples, would scarcely have given
time and money to their own pleasure as well as to the country's good.

To pass to the horse in another aspect, the conjectural estimate of packs
of hounds at the beginning of the hunting season in 1837 was 28. At a
corresponding date in 1897 the ascertained figures were 61. This does but
faintly indicate the change undergone by the national sport. Not even John
Leech's pictorial satire in _Punch_ could deter the Cit from the hunting
field, or discourage him from educating himself into a more than passable
rider across country. Capel Court has or had a cry of beagles of its own.
At longer distances from London than the Surrey pastures 15 per cent. of
the wearers of pink and buckskin wear on ordinary days the glossy uniform
of the brokers and jobbers of the House. A little earlier in the year,
these sportsmen were tramping after partridges by the early September
twilight that they might be at their business in the City before the West
End sits down to breakfast. This is a specimen of what goes on throughout
the kingdom. On the outskirts of all great cities, co-operative shootings
are as common as co-operative stores.

Other pastimes are too much in daily evidence to need many words or to
allow the apprehension that the male acceptance of the feminine lawn
tennis implies any degeneration in the Victorian race of youth. The
addition of Scotch golf to English games, and the vast improvement as to
pace, style, and time shown by crews at Henley or on the Metropolitan
waters in 1897 over 1837 may dispel any fears of a deterioration of
youthful stamina or of muscular zeal. Whether as regards its own surface
or the meadows which it waters, the Thames in the South, like the Tyne or
Mersey in the North, is still a river that feeds the sea of English
manhood.

As regards cricket, it is impossible to compare ancient or modern players,
batsmen or bowlers; so entirely have the conditions of the game been
transformed. The high scoring of the later Victorian days which would have
amazed earlier players seems due, first, to the vastly improved pitches,
making as they do, almost any bowling fairly easy; secondly, to the great
increase of good players, consequent of course upon the evergrowing
popularity of the game. The first of these facts, the improved pitches,
explains why the difficult shooter that before 1875 was so fatal to
batsmen at Lord's has now become a very rare ball. Although the power of
the bat seems to-day greater than that of the ball, the ground had no
sooner become easy and overhand bowling allowed, than the utmost was done
to equalize the attack and defence. Hence the bowling is much straighter
than of old; long leg and long stop no longer have a place among the
fieldmen, and the absence of long leg hitting and fielding makes the game
less interesting for spectators; still the grounds improve, the scoring
consequently increases. The feature which has transformed the bowling
seems to be that now the best bowlers are fast with a break even on a hard
wicket: whereas formerly they only broke on a sticky wicket. The still
astounding power of the best bowlers is shown by the havoc they make when
they get a sticky wicket to bowl on. In fine weather there is no serious
obstacle to the stupendous scoring; the batting is of a more monotonous
type than it used to be, and the play therefore less interesting to
onlookers.

Here, as elsewhere, individual influence has been a transforming power.
Between 1871 and 1883 when W. G. Grace was at his best, no fast bowler
could do anything with him. Slow bowling, therefore, was adopted to keep
down his run getting. As this batsman has taken his place among the
veterans the old swift style has come into vogue once more. In the opinion
of the greatest experts of modern cricket, as W. G. Grace is the most
formidable bat, so Richardson of Surrey first, after him, Spofforth, the
Australian, in his middle career, have been the most difficult bowlers.

The popularity of football, whose vogue is a recent Victorian growth is
shown by the collection of 50,000 spectators at the Crystal Palace, to
witness a final tie for the Association Cup. Admissions of 20,000 and
30,000 are daily events in all great towns; the money thus paid by the
public has created the professional football player. Hence many questions
on which authorities differ. The subject has divided the different
football unions: the northern Rugby clubs having seceded to found a union
of their own. The feuds among football legislators are thus as varied and
violent as the forms of muscular ferocity which the game itself allows.
That these can be minimized by a strenuous and keen referee is probable;
that when this functionary is slack, professional football resembles the
revival of the prize ring in disguise is admitted.[117] Football may seem
to the mere observer almost to have become a misnomer, when carrying the
ball is part of the game; when hands, shoulders, chest, fists, are nearly
as active as legs and feet.

Among indoor games chess is that which has been transformed the most
during our age. Here something may be attributed to the example of the
Prince Consort, who was not, however, an invincible player, but more to
his youngest son, the lamented Prince Leopold, who did a good deal to
popularize the game. In point of universal popularity chess will never
quite rival whist or billiards. It lacks the element of chance in the
first, and the display of physical skill in the second which must ever
chiefly fascinate men. The chess player, too, when well matched, uses more
brain power than the whist player. Each has to keep the judgment
perpetually alert. But the conventions in chess are left behind when the
opening has been matured into the mid game, while the conventions of whist
relieve the whist player continuously during the progress of the rubber.

Throughout the whole of this age chess has grown in favour among us. In
most of our large towns for every chess club existing in 1847, there are
ten or fifteen in 1897. On the Queen's accession English chess players
still felt the stimulus given to the game in London from 1780-95 by André
François Danican, commonly known as 'Philidor.' Hence may be dated the
earliest English chess clubs, and the scientific study of the game. Three
years before the Victorian age began, a series of matches was played by
the English Alexander MacDonell and the French Labourdonnais. In 1844, the
English Howard Staunton defeated the French St Amant in a match which
decided the championship of the world. This, followed in 1847 by the
publication of Staunton's _Chessplayer's Handbook_, brought hundreds more
to the board.

Another agency in the same direction was the presence in Europe of a young
American, Paul Morphy. His play was, upon the whole, the finest the world
has ever seen. He crossed the Atlantic in 1857; at the close of 1858 he
had beaten every European noteworthy enough to try conclusions with him.
The effect of these triumphs, won by a youth of twenty-one in the most
difficult of all games, was electrical. No considerable town in the
country was without its chess clubs. Nor is the influence more recently
exercised by J. H. Blackburne less remarkable in its way. His skill in
playing games without the board, exhibited in all parts of the United
Kingdom, has raised up many imitators, but scarcely an equal.

With these great players there have come also fresh scientific discoveries
in the conduct of the game itself; the first of these as to time was the
Scotch Gambit, partially anticipated indeed by Italian writers in the last
century, but owing its new name and later vogue to its adoption by the
Scotch players in the correspondence match between Edinburgh and London,
1824 to 1826 and subsequently improved upon in 1837. About that latter
year, too, W. D. Evans, of the Royal Navy, invented the Gambit which now
bears his name. Stimulated by these British achievements, the Austrian
players hit upon the Vienna or Queen's Knights game which was first made
famous during the tournament of 1873. In this country, most of these
advances have been sensibly helped by the movement that the _Illustrated
London News_ began in 1842, which the whole press has since followed, of
publishing chess problems.

An exhibition of feminine needlework justly forms a feature in the
Commemoration shows of the period. In 1837 the decorative functions of the
needle were oftener shown by English women of the middle classes than by
acknowledged fashion leaders. In 1867 it is the middle class ladies who do
most of the reading and the ultra-fashionable ones who do most of the
fancy work. What transformations has this latter passed through? In 1857,
as it had been in 1837, the mode was to work patterns for cushions and
screens with Berlin wool on canvas. The squareness of the cross stitch was
fatal to artistic effect; the covering thus decorated went out of fashion
soon after Rowland's Macassar hair oil ceased lavishly to be used, and
heads no longer gleamed with unguent. The frame work was succeeded by that
known to the Afghans as 'boning,' and to Britons as crochet, while chairs
and sofas still needed some protection from locks not yet wholly
unanointed. Even the crochet coverlets, tied with little pink ribbons,
began to disappear when people left their hair to nature. But the artistic
instinct was slowly helping forward this sort of work.

More popular than crochet had ever been, leather frames for pictures, cut
out of leaves copied from Nature, or the pinning down of fern leaves on a
soft cloth or silk began to be; for these Indian ink, used with a fine
brush made an effective background. Ruskin's gospel of following Nature
had not been preached in vain. Accomplished women like the late Lady
Marion Alford began to revive, with improvements of her own, the art of
embroidering flowers, plants, birds and butterflies in wool or silk; while
the stately arum lilies were used for screens, and gorgeous poppies for
curtains. Next came a renascence of lace work. Many amateurs produced
beautiful samples of pillow and point; but the work was trying to the
eyes, and competed unfairly with the poor professionals of Honiton or
Nottingham.

The early days of Ritualism popularized the copying of the borders of the
old painted missals and prettily occupied many drawing rooms. Oil painting
on pottery, wood, and glass came in during the early South Kensingtonian
period. All young ladies now were water colour artists, or busied
themselves with colouring panels and dados on their friend's walls. Brass
work was a later and not very long lived development. It was costly; it
was noisy; the long suffering male gradually rose up against it. Iron
work, the torturing into fantastic shapes of ductile strips of metal, was
a little more enduring; but it required too much accuracy and too many
instruments ever to be very popular. The beautiful glass painting in
churches of Lady Canning and Lady Waterford was admired rather than
reproduced.

Irish cabins supplied a modish industry to English drawing rooms in drawn
linen work. The principle of this seems to be hem stitching, or unbinding
work into the spaces left by the drawn threads. Poker work done within the
outline traced by this simple instrument on a wooden board, is practised
successfully by ladies of genius who could touch nothing without adorning
it, but is scarcely to be commended to bunglers or in school rooms.[118]



CHAPTER XXXI

THE REIGN OF LAW AND ITS TRANSFORMATIONS:--HOME AND COLONIAL

    Significance of the New Law Court buildings in London. Early efforts
    after law reform in Parliament. No appreciable result till 1841. Slow
    progress and subsequent changes, culminating in the 1869 Commission,
    and the 1873 Judicature Act. The popular consequences of this, and
    general view of our legal system as it affects to-day the Colonies as
    well as the mother country.

    Transformation in our Colonial system shown by the latest facts and
    figures. Special usefulness as well as Imperial value of the Colonies
    to England. Social fusion of the mother country and the Colonies
    prefigured by the presence and influence on both sides of the Atlantic
    of the American element in the best society in London. Individual
    influences which have promoted this movement, and are doing the same
    thing for our Colonial cousins, as for our American.


No architectural change during the age has more affected the perspective
of Fleet Street and the Strand than the disappearance of Temple Bar and
its replacement by the griffin which marks its former site, and the
erection of the Royal Courts of Justice that now flank the central
thoroughfare. This is the outward and visible sign of a transformation not
less great, as regards the administration of the law within the new palace
of justice itself.

The Reform Act of 1832 was followed by various movements in Parliament in
the direction of law reform. The proposals and their very slight results
were solely technical; the public reaped no appreciable benefit so long as
the separation of the Common Law Courts from the Court of Chancery
existed, and on different sides of Westminster Hall two legal systems,
often mutually antagonistic, were at work. Ten years after the Accession,
the monopoly of Serjeants of Law in the old Court of Common Pleas was
swept away. Still justice was delayed. During the early days of railway
enterprise, commerce was obstructed, by the postponement, for inadequate
or vexatious reasons, of the trial of cases arising out of bills of
exchange on which large sums of money depended, and which, till they were
decided, blocked commercial enterprise. This may be looked back to now as
the scholastic era in nineteenth century law administration. The
categories into which causes and kinds of legal action and pleas, were
divided, in their pedantic complexity, recalled the tortuous refinements
of the logical school men upon the comparatively simple predicaments of
Aristotle.

In 1851 a flagrant and inveterate anomaly was removed by the success of
those law reformers who had long in vain protested against the absurdity
of disallowing the evidence of persons immediately interested in the suit.
After this, the movement did not pause till the Commission of 1869 was
appointed, with the result that in 1873 there passed the Judicature Act
which has amalgamated conflicting usages into a homogeneous system, and
produced the long desired fusion between Equity and Law. The ancient
divisions are perpetuated to-day not in different Courts but in different
divisions of the same Court. The result briefly stated is that
notwithstanding the real difference which still exists between Equity and
Law, and the practical division of the Bar into two branches, Law and
Equity can to-day be administered by the same Courts and one judge can
give suitors the same relief as any other judge.

There is now no possibility of a question being decided by one tribunal
according to Common Law principles, and by another according to the
principles of Equity. To prevent any chance of confusion it has further
been enacted that wherever the rules of Equity and Law seem to conflict,
those of Common Law are to prevail. The principle of a division of labour
still exists. Every judge, that is, does not transact every sort of
business. The judges in the Chancery division are still specially charged
with the execution of trusts and other such matters, even as happened in
the case of their predecessors fifty years ago. To do justice with as
little regard as may be to forms and precedents is the visible object of
the administrators of the law in every department. That professional
prejudices should have disappeared was not to be expected, and, perhaps,
not to be desired. But the exclusive etiquette of judges and lawyers is
not greater than prevails in other professions, among doctors,
diplomatists, or divines. The plaintiff in person is no more welcome in
the reformed, than in the unreformed, Courts; nor, in the interests of
public time and of common sense, is it probably to be wished that he
should be. The two principal and practical defects in the administration
of English law that still need attention would seem to be--one, the
barbarous system which still obtains through the imperfect arrangements of
the Circuit Courts of keeping untried prisoners unreasonably long in
prison. Of late cases have been noticed in which persons, proved on trial
to be innocent, have been detained in prison for weeks or months. The
second defect is the undue licence allowed to the legal profession of
protracting the hearing of cases secondary in their importance by the
accumulation of unnecessary evidence and cross-examination. This has often
been objected to, but has seldom been firmly controlled by the judges.

The great public benefit conferred by the reforms whose monument is the
New Law Courts hard by the church of St Clement Danes, may be condensed
into the remark that whereas from 1837 to 1875 it was an accident whether
the right party won his case, the presumption in favour of his success in
1897 is so strong as almost to amount to a certainty.

Of another sort of fusion, that between the two divisions of the legal
profession, solicitors and barristers, much has been heard. But in Canada
and some other Colonies some inconvenience and disadvantage are found to
result from the absence of any distinction between barristers and
solicitors. Gradually, perhaps, a solution in practice is being arrived
at. Without mentioning individual names it is the fact that among the men
who now stand highest, whether at the Bar or on the Bench, many while
students at the Inns of Court have perfected themselves in the practical
details of law by voluntarily attending the offices of great firms of
solicitors, whether in Westminster or elsewhere.

The palace of justice whose opening marked the close of the fourth decade
of the reign, commemorates, in a fashion of its own, the unity of the
Empire as well as the late achieved unity of the administration of
justice.

Among the Queen's subjects are nations not only of every creed and of
every colour, but trained in obedience to every code of law which human
skill has devised. Since the modern era of our Colonial Empire began in
1836, the practice has been to continue to those dependencies the laws
under which they were when they came into being, or when they were first
acquired by diplomatic cession or military conquest, always provided that
these pre-existent systems do not contradict the fundamental principles of
British jurisprudence. Thus, in British Guiana, in the Cape Colony, and in
Ceylon, the letter and spirit of Roman-Dutch law have been continued under
English rule. In lower Canada, French forms have become so confused as to
be impracticable: the laws of this province are to-day identical with
those in vogue in England at the time of its acquisition in 1763,
periodically of course improved by modern lights. In the Mauritius, the
French Code Civile and the French Code de Commerce still exist. It is for
the sovereign embodying in her own person the unity of the Empire to
decide through the Privy Council, that is, to-day, through the Judicial
Committee in all disputed cases what the particular law of the locality
may be.

On page 227 of the writer's earlier book _England_, etc., the Colonial as
well as ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Privy Council Judicial
Committee was explained in detail. Since those words were written an
important step has been taken under an Act passed some years ago by Lord
Herschell. By this, the Chief Justice of the Cape Colony, Sir Henry de
Villiers, Chief Justice Sir Henry Strong of Canada, Sir Samuel Way, Chief
Justice of South Australia, have been added to the Judicial Committee of
the Privy Council, in order to strengthen that body with special reference
to the Roman-Dutch, French-Canadian and Australasian law, in legislation
and practice. Here too, it is well to refer to the recent formation of the
Society of Comparative Legislation. This body is actively engaged and has
already done good work in classifying materials throughout the Empire, as
well as in accumulating a compendium of information which will greatly
promote the simplicity and uniformity of the laws of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some distinct idea must, however, be formed of the concrete reality
connoted by the familiar expression 'Colonial Empire,' beginning, as in
truth for our generation it did, with the founding of the Australasian
capital called Adelaide, after his Queen, in the last year of William IV.,
but practically co-extensive in its growth with the reign of his
successor. The area of the United Kingdom is 121,000 square miles. That of
its possessions in foreign parts is 8,725,000 square miles. In other
words the mother country is only in extent a seventieth part of the Empire
of which that mother country is the nucleus.

To put the facts somewhat differently this British Empire, covering some
9,000,000 square miles, occupies a fifth part of the habitable globe. No
other world power such as this has been known to past or can be found in
present history. The British Empire of the Victorian age is five times as
large as was the Empire of Darius five centuries before the Christian Era
began. It is four times the size of the Roman Empire at its zenith. Among
modern Powers, the Empire of Great Britain is larger by an eighth than
that of Russia; it contains 230 millions more people. It is sixteen times
as great as the foreign dominions of France; forty times as great as the
Empire of Germany. Seven days and nights of continuous travelling are
required to cross the American Continent. The lands which owe allegiance
to the monarch of these Islands are three times as extensive as those
composing the Republican Empire of the United States.

The relative progress, according to the population test, of the mother
country, and the nationalities, voluntarily incorporated into her
government, beyond seas will best be judged by the facts and figures of a
comparatively recent contrast, such as is alone practicable in the case of
an essentially modern experience. Between 1871, then, and 1881, the
increase in the inhabitants of the United Kingdom was at the rate of 10
per cent. In the case of our American Colonies it was 19 per cent.; in
the case of our Australasian it was 42 per cent. The same progress which
has marked our recent history in other respects than numbers at home, has
not been wanting with our kin beyond sea. Thus, in respect of education;
in the single province of Quebec, then fairly typical of our other
possessions, in 1837 barely one-fourth of the population could read; less
than one-tenth could make even a pretence at writing. In 1897 there are in
the same province 4,000 schools, with a total of 200,000 scholars, each of
whom is periodically certified by examiners to be making gradual progress
in the prescribed standards, according to age, and qualified individually
to swell the claim upon the Government grant for efficiency.

As for higher teaching, all our principal Colonies have their
Universities. In the mother country, corresponding progress since the
legislation of 1870 was at work was shown by the ability of the framer of
that measure, the late W. E. Forster, himself well known in the Colonies,
before his death in 1885, to point to the fact that the school attendance
from being seven per cent. before his Act was passed had within fifteen
years' operation of that measure risen to seventeen per cent. In the
Australasian Colonies the results are not less striking than in the mother
country or in the Canadian. In 1837 New South Wales was without a
constitution as well as without any elementary education machinery of its
own. Within rather less than half a century the institution of responsible
government had been followed by an Education Act on the same lines as the
English Act of 1870, but providing inter-mediate schools as well, with the
result that the last census in Victoria shows that, of every 10,000
children of school age, 9,500 could read, and more than 8,500 could write.

These are specimen cases which establish the point that the extension of
English power is accompanied by the spread of whatever advantages modern
civilization can bring. As was seen in the preceding chapter, since the
Colonial Bishoprics movement of 1851, religion has followed everywhere in
the wake of our Empire. So, too, has education. These are the things which
distinguish the Colonial methods of Great Britain from those of any other
country whether in earlier or in contemporary times.

Dependencies, _i.e._ places necessary for the maintenance of Empire, but
not suitable for permanent British habitation; Crown Colonies, controlled
by a Governor, and legislated for by orders in Council, with, as soon as
the soil is ripe for it, some representative Council on the spot,
reduplications of the mother country under foreign suns, with
Constitutions of their own and representative Government after the pattern
of the United Kingdom; these are the different heads under which the
Colonial Empire that has grown up in our age may be divided. As this
Empire is in itself new, so the machinery for its central administration
in the form in which it now exists is a product of the present reign.
Evelyn the diarist, writing under date February 28th, 1671, mentions his
appointment as a member of the Committee of the Privy Council, that had
been established in 1660 for controlling the foreign plantations. This
Council in 1672 was joined to the Council of Trade, the entire body being
called the Council of Trade and Plantations. That was reconstituted in
1695, and again in 1748, when India came under its charge, continuing to
remain under it until the appointment of the Board of Control in 1784.

At the beginning of our century, War and Colonies formed the province of a
single Secretary of State and continued to do so till 1854. The first
Colonial Secretary holding that office alone was Sir George Grey, followed
in 1859 by the Duke of Newcastle. This was the Peelite duke whose father
had founded the Newcastle scholarship at Eton, and who himself accompanied
the Prince of Wales to Canada in 1859. The Colonies were not the
department he had desired when Lord Palmerston formed his last Government,
but he did his work not unsympathetically and bequeathed his post in good
order to Cardwell. The ablest of the earlier Colonial Secretaries was
without doubt Lord Grey, son of the Reformer, who held the office in Lord
John Russell's Administration. During the forties, especially in 1849,
Colonial sensitiveness was wounded by the perpetual motions brought
forward in the House of Commons by Joseph Hume and others of his party for
reducing the salary of Colonial Governors,[119] accompanied as these
motions were by language not complimentary to the new polities. Not
without party criticism had the office of Parliamentary Under Secretary
been created in 1810. The same opposition was called forth by the
appointment of Permanent Under Secretaries, and Legal Advisers to the Home
Government in 1867, in 1870, 1874, and by the vote for the new Colonial
offices in Downing Street first occupied in 1876. In 1897 politicians of
all parties take the same patriotic pride in the Colonial Empire, while an
ex-Radical leader is that Empire's Minister. The increased popularity of
Colonial in preference to United States emigration is shown by the fact
that in 1837 35,264 persons went to the Colonies, and some sixty years
later the number was 52,029.

The pride that the Queen's subjects take in the Empire beyond seas,
created by Anglo-Saxon enterprise, and the honour they derive from it are
accompanied by the growing interest with which the Colonies are regarded
by political thinkers who see in their development an anticipation of the
constitutional movements soon to be witnessed on British soil. The
Australian legislatures have not only kept pace with, they have stolen a
march on, the socialistic Radicals of the old country. New Zealand
generally has led the way. This and three other Colonies, New South Wales,
Victoria and Tasmania, have adopted Woman's Suffrage with the legislative
freaks which seem to be its sequel. To the action of this franchise is
attributed the proposal recently made in one of these Parliaments to give
every domestic servant a statutory holiday once a week. Tasmania, too,
will not apparently be satisfied till she has secured the Swiss Referendum
for ending disputes between the two legislative Chambers by submitting the
single point in issue to the constituencies. Tasmania, also, has made
several efforts, as yet unsuccessfully, to acclimatise the Hare system of
proportional representation which is now forgotten in England, save when
some theorist uses a periodical re-adjustment of our franchise, to revive
its interest. South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales, have also
attempted, but not as yet carried, the establishment of national banks;
perilous experiments enough for any new, or for that matter old, country.

Individual effort gave England its Colonies. The same agency--as embodied
in a Gibbon Wakefield, who began life by being Secretary to Lord Durham in
Canada 1838, who, 1839, obtained the annexation and colonization of New
Zealand, and who in 1849 published _The Art of Colonization_; in a Sir
William Molesworth, the pioneer of Colonial self-government; who,
obtaining from Palmerston the great object of his ambition, the Colonial
Secretaryship 1853, died shortly afterwards; more recently in the fourth
Lord Carnarvon, Colonial Secretary (1866-7; 1874-8)--applied the social
cement which has joined the new countries with the old in personal rather
than in merely political relation. Colonial patriotism was also reasonably
gratified on its intellectual side by Mr Lowe's sojourn in New South
Wales 1843-50, and by Sir Robert G. W. Herbert's share in the
Administration of Queensland before he became Colonial Under Secretary in
London.

A shrewd Colonial statesman not long since observed that if another flying
Australian, but a born and bred Colonial horse, were to win the Derby, no
whisper of separation from the British Crown would ever be heard among the
most advanced of Colonial democrats. Popular enthusiasm at the Antipodean
winner of the Blue Ribbon would spread from Epsom Downs throughout the
kingdom; it would be flashed along every wire or transmitted by every
cable to the four winds of heaven; the Colonists would cease to complain
that they, or their products, were not appreciated by the mother country.
This half serious remark contains more than a grain of truth; it points to
the fact that the grievance alleged by our kinsman beyond sea against the
headquarters of their race is sentimental, rather than practical. Pending
the Derby winner from beyond seas, the less sternly democratic of
England's Colonial cousins have appreciated the peerages bestowed on a few
of them, and can point to other substantial proofs that they have become a
power in English society. Thus they have founded clubs in London; they
possess a party of their own in the House of Commons, and entertain the
social leaders of the old country at their balls and parties during the
season in famous restaurants, or at their own homes.

Till the Victorian age was well developed, the latter day American
elements in London fashion were unheard of. To-day these leaven the whole
of our social life. It is those born under the Stripes and Stars who
relieve, at a princely rental, English nobles of house property which its
owners are not occupying, and supply Countesses and Duchesses to the
English peerage. The great feature of our time has been the concentration
of our people in the Metropolis. A like gravitation to towns has indeed
taken place throughout the whole country. Between the eighties and the
nineties, the increase of the urban population has been 3,016,579; the
decrease of the rural has been 139,545.[120]

With respect to this movement, as in other matters, London has shown
itself the true mirror of England. For a proof of this, it would be enough
to mention the Langham Hotel, and those caravanserais which have followed
it, down to the latest and most palatial of all, the Hotel Cecil. That the
capital thus socially re-created has been successfully reorganized as the
most cosmopolitan and modish centre of fashion for two hemispheres is due
largely to the agency of American dollars and American arbiters of
elegance. In the thirties and the sixties the gifted men who were sent to
represent the United States in the old country, a Washington Irving, and a
Lothrop Motley, made their Embassies social centres for the most pleasant
company of the time, attracted famous men from their own country, one of
whom, the Rev. Cleveland Coxe,[121] formed a lasting link between the two
chief branches of the Anglo-Saxon Church, most of these Transatlantic
visitors left behind them brilliant reputations as conversationalists.

More recently a Russell Lowell and a Bayard have adorned this tradition.
In their day, the American season following hard upon the London season
proper has become a regular, and to all concerned most profitable,
observance in the social calendar. The dictatresses of polite life from
the other side of the Atlantic generally have been educated in Paris, not
a few of them by the daughter of Emile Souvestre at that institution for
turning intelligent girls into charming women, Les Ruches, Fontainebleau;
they always bring with them to their London homes the tastes of citizens
of the world. These tastes are gratified as successfully on the Thames as
on the Seine; it is _la belle Americaine_ who has most visibly impressed
her image on the capital where, since the Second Empire fell, she has
chiefly delighted to dwell; she decided that English life needed
enlivening: she has enlivened it and continues to do so effectually. Some
restlessness is constitutional to her, as also to the Anglo-Indians and
Colonials who are perennially so much with us; thus largely to please her
the London season is now subdivided into innumerable parts. It would be
truer to say some form of that season lasts all the year round. The
constant locomotion from one centre, or from one country seat to another,
began, as has been already seen, with the Prince Consort. It has not been
discouraged by later representatives of the Crown. From the day that in
1860 the Prince of Wales visited the tomb of George Washington, he has
never lost the American heart. The new London régime exactly suits the
future peeresses of the old country when they are fresh from New York.

The constant alternations of Hyde Park promenades, not only with suburban
racecourses, but with long days under summer suns given to Thames-side
picnics, or with rapid flittings on any opportunity to and fro between
Mayfair on the one hand, the Boulevard des Italiens, Monte Carlo, or
Homburg on the other: these innovations have been brought about by the
American Londoner more than by any other single person. The Colonial
millionaire or millionairess has not yet been so fully developed as their
Transatlantic equivalents. But the process is going steadily forward, no
doubt with similar results to follow.

The contrast between the amount of international friction that was caused
before the Oregon Boundary dispute, and the Trent difference, between the
two countries were composed in 1846 and in 1863, respectively, and the
comparative ease with which the Venezuela Question in our own day was
settled, suggests the solid international advantages of the arrangement
under which New York and London have become socially one and the same
capital, having their pleasures, their lions and lionesses, their
favourite composers, authors, dramatists and players, in common.

The late Mr Samuel Ward, who is as well remembered in London as in New
York, and who liked to be called the prince of _bon vivants_ at
Delmonico's, the king of the lobby at Washington, was a cultivated little
old gentleman, of whom it is difficult to conceive as ever having been
much less, or more, than some seventy-odd years of age. He was known
throughout the whole Anglo-Saxon world as 'Uncle Sam.' He had become
popular in English society soon after the examples of the then Lord
Hartington and Lord Rosebery included America in the grand tour of every
educated Briton. He really did something to entitle him to his universal
sobriquet. He was the founder of a social and literary Anglo-American
school which has struck its roots deep in the chosen homes of English
fashion. As Californian gold preceded Australian, so the Transatlantic
force that has transformed the social England of our day has come before
the fully organized exercise of a Colonial power of the same sort. But
every year brings one visibly nearer its final development, with all the
international advantages which will no doubt accompany that event.[122]



INDEX


  A

  ADDRESSES of Prince Consort on Exhibition of 1851, 322.

  AGNEW, Mr (now Sir William), sketch of, 51;
    gives £10,100 for Gainsborough's Duchess of Devonshire, 52.

  ALFRED Club, the 'Dandies' Club, 5;
    named after Count Alfred D'Orsay, 5.

  ALMACK'S, subscription balls at, at end of 18th century, 196;
    modern suburban subscription balls, imitations of, 197.

  AMERICAN elements in modern London Society, 435;
    countesses and duchesses, 435;
    embassies and ministers--Washington Irving and Motley, 435;
    Russell Lowell and Bayard, 436;
    ladies, their education in Paris, 436;
    restlessness a characteristic feature of, 436.

  ANÆSTHETICS, discovery of, 395;
    Simpson's use of, at Edinburgh, 395;
    Morton and Robinson's work in connection with, at New York, 395.

  APPETITE for higher teaching, universality of, 161.

  ARISTOCRACY of birth and wealth, Sir R. Peel's attitude towards, 13.

  ARKWRIGHT, inventor of spinning jenny, founder of two county families,
        37.

  ARMY, traditional jealousy of, by House of Commons, 297;
    a bequest from the Puritans, 297;
    strength of, reduced by two-thirds immediately after Waterloo, 297;
    _personnel_ of, during Napoleonic Wars, 298;
    social position of private soldier in, 299;
    treatment of soldiers in, by Duke of Wellington, 299;
    by Lords Wolseley and Roberts, 299;
    flogging in, not abolished until 1860, 301;
    as a profession, now self-supporting, 305;
    except in guards and cavalry, 305;
    retrenchment of pay in, impolitic, 306;
    education of officers in, in 1837, 307;
    in 1897, 307;
    promotions from ranks of, 310;
    average annual number of, 310;
    remarks on, 310.

  ART, improvement in, since Exhibition of 1851, 349;
    promoted by rise of wealthy and cultivated classes, 350;
    in the days of Sir Martin Archer Shee, 351;
    of Sir Charles Eastlake, 352;
    of Leighton and Millais, 360.

  ARTISTS, old social prejudice against, 351;
    same as against doctors, singers and players, 351;
    alleged reason for, 352;
    foreign education of, in painters' studios, 353;
    English training at Royal Academy, Slade or other schools, 353.

  ATHENÆUM Club, doors of, opened to Macready and the Keans, 211.

  AUSTIN, Charles, his two fortunes made out of railway bills, 35.

  AVELAND, Lord, descended from a Lord Mayor of London, 15.


  B

  BACON, Francis, Lord, fillip given to scientific study by, 324.

  BARNES, editor of the _Times_, 'The most powerful man in the country,'
        380.

  BATH, Marquis of, descended from a Lord Mayor of London, 14.

  BEACONSFIELD, Earl of, _see_ Disraeli.

  BEDCHAMBER Plot, account of, 263.

  BELL, Andrew, founder of Bell's scholarships at Cambridge, 133;
    first promoter of a scheme for national education, 133.

  BOARD Schools, growth of, 147;
    for elementary instruction, 147;
    playgrounds and gymnasia at, 147;
    for higher grade teaching, 147;
    laboratories and workrooms at, 147;
    improvements in private schools produced by, 148.

  BOLEYN, Anne, Queen of Henry VIII., descended from Sir Godfrey Boleyn, a
        Lord Mayor of London, 14.

  BRASSEY, Thomas, railway contractor, sketch of, 35;
    millionaire, before he built his last railway, 35.

  BRAYBROOKE, Lord, descended from Sir Thomas Gresham, Lord Mayor of
        London, 14.

  BRITISH Association, steady success of, 326;
    idea of, not of British origin, 326;
    smallness of early meetings of, at Leipsic and Berlin, 326;
    associated with names of Prince Consort and Lord Salisbury, 327;
    appeal of Brewster, Herschel and Humphry Davy to Government on behalf
        of, 327;
    objects of, described at meeting at York, 328;
    meetings of, at Oxford 1831, Cambridge 1832, Edinburgh 1833, 329;
    over 500,000 members of, at the present time, 329.

  BRITISH and Foreign Bible Society, _see_ Missionary Societies.

  BROUGHAM, Lord, his work in relation to popularizing science, 325.

  BUCKINGHAM, Duke of, descended from Sir Thomas Gresham, Lord Mayor, 14.

  BUILDINGS, Municipal, great improvement in architecture of, 43;
    and in that of warehouses and shops in towns, 43;
    and in private houses of suburban London, 43.


  C

  CABINET system, discovered by Sunderland, son-in-law of Marlborough, 262;
    definite triumph of, in 1828, 263.

  CARPENTER, Doctor, exploration of the nervous system by, 395.

  CHADWICK, Edwin, his work as a sanitary reformer, 389.

  CHARTISM, formerly an active force, now a name, 252;
    most of the demands of, now matured into law, 252;
    Duke of Wellington's defence of London against, 294.

  CHESS, progress of study of, 417;
    Prince Leopold as a player of, 417;
    comparison of, with whist and billiards, 417;
    stimulus given to game of, by 'Phillidor,' 417;
    and by Staunton, Paul Morphy and Blackburne, 418;
    invention of gambits at, 418;
    the Scotch gambit, 418;
    Evans's gambit, 418;
    the Vienna or Queen's Knights gambit, 418;
    publication of problems on, by _Illustrated London News_, 419;
    imitated by other papers, 419.

  CHURCH of England, status of, in 1897, 401;
    national regard for, 401;
    parochial system of, 401;
    benefactions to, during present era, 402;
    reduced incomes of livings belonging to, 402;
    notwithstanding work of Ecclesiastical Commission, 402;
    and of Queen Anne's bounty, 402;
    readjustment of incomes of livings needed, 402;
    dioceses of, abroad, 403;
    clergy of, abroad, 403;
    christianity of, a reconciler of rival creeds, 403;
    tributes to world-wide efficacy of doctrines of, 404.

  CLUBS, beneficial effect of, for adults, in west end of London, 117;
    established in east end by university settlements, 117;
    as co-operative homes for poor gentlemen, 410;
    increase of social, 410;
    decrease of gambling clubs, 410;
    working men's, combined with gymnasia, 119;
    popularity of, with wives of working men, 120;
    mostly federated with Working Men's Club and Institute Union, 123;
    democratic sentiments of east end, 129.

  COLE, Sir Henry, his work at South Kensington, 322.

  COLONIAL emigration, in 1837 and 1897, compared, 432.

  COLONIAL Empire, area of, compared with area of England, 427;
    compared with Persian and Roman Empires, 428;
    and with Russia, Germany, France and America, 428;
    progress of, as indicated by increase of populations, 428;
    by advance in education, 429;
    by institution of Colonial Parliaments, 429.

  COLONIAL offices, in Downing Street, completed in 1876, 432.

  COLONIAL party in House of Commons, 434.

  COLONIAL peerages, 434.

  COLONIAL secretary, Sir George Grey, first, in 1854, 431;
    office of, previously held in conjunction with some other office, 431.

  COLONIAL secretaries, eminent, Duke of Newcastle in 1859, 431;
    Lord Cardwell, 431.

  COLONIES, social development of, in the past, 438;
    anticipations of, in the future, 438.

  COLONISTS, London clubs devoted to, and their friends, 434;
    Radicalism of, 432;
    as displayed in Legislatures of New Zealand, New South Wales and
        Victoria, 432.

  COMMERCIAL middle class, growth of, 259;
    beginnings of, in the days of the Edwards, 259;
    culminated with Cobden, 259;
    not five Conservative members connected with, in 1835, 260.

  COMMONS, House of, composition of, in 1707, 252;
    number of members of, in 1707, compared with 1879, 254;
    altered manners of members of, 254;
    'cockcrowings' in debates of, on Church Rates, 254;
    'disorder' in, during debates on Mr Gladstone's second Irish Bill, 254.

  CONSTITUENCIES, right of appeal to, 263;
    permission to appeal to, given to Sir R. Peel in 1841, 263;
    alternative of immediate or postponed appeal to, placed before the
        Queen in 1868 by Disraeli, 264.

  CONTRAST between condition of working classes now and twenty years ago,
        153.

  CONVOCATION, revival of, in 1854, 400;
    declares _Essays and Reviews_ heretical, 400;
    reflects, as a clerical parliament, views of church, 400;
    work of, illustrated, 400;
    possible use of, in event of disestablishment, 401.

  CORPORATION Act, introduced by Lord John Russell in 1835, 93;
    two millions of Englishmen affected by, 93;
    abuses prior to passing of, 94;
    London not included in operation of, 95;
    reasons for excluding London from operation of, 103.

  CORRUPT Practices at Elections Bill, 1883, 260.

  COUNTRY squire, disappearance of, in country and in Parliament, 259.

  COUNTY Councils, election of councillors to, 99;
    co-optation of aldermen from among councillors of, 99;
    term of office in, 100;
    presidents of, county magistrates, 100;
    elections to, by ballot, 100;
    expenses of elections to, defrayed out of county rate, 100;
    jurisdiction of, how far co-ordinate with that of Quarter Sessions,
        100;
    does not extend to public house licensing, 100;
    mixed committees of old and new magistracy, 100;
    checks and limitations on borrowing powers of, 101;
    controlled in different parts of England by different classes, 102;
    judicial functions of magistrates unaffected by, 105;
    peers as chairmen of, 112;
    representatives of, on governing bodies of secondary schools, 140.

  COUNTY Councils Act, 1888, principle of, same as that of Corporation
        Act, 1835, 92;
    number of administrative counties under, 99;
    electoral divisions of counties under, 99;
    electors, 99;
    municipalities inside County Council area, dealt with by, 99.

  COURT, The, the federal head of Society. 408;
    central idea of Prince Consort's policy, 408;
    illustrations of the working of the idea, 409.

  COX, David, his pictures, 355;
    prices received by him for, in his lifetime, 355;
    prices paid for pictures by, now, 356.

  CRANBORNE, Viscount, title from Sir Christopher Gascoigne, Lord Mayor of
        London, 15.

  CRICKET, growth of, during Victorian era, 414;
    increased power of the bat, 415;
    pre-eminent position of W. G. Grace as a batsman, 415;
    and of Richardson as a bowler, 415.

  CRIME, statistics of, 366;
    close connection between ignorance and crime, 367.

  CRYSTAL Palace, magnificence of orchestra at, 348;
    maintained continuously since 1854, 348;
    concerts, influence and æsthetic value of, 349.


  D

  'DAILY Telegraph' started in 1856 by Colonel Sleigh, 382.

  DANDIES, the toilettes of, 4.

  DARBY, J. L., founder of sect of Plymouth Brethren, 404;
    split among followers of, 404.

  DARWIN, Charles, publication by, of _Origin of Species_, 326;
    epoch in science created by, 326;
    doctrine of survival of the fittest enunciated by, 330;
    anticipated in point of time by Dr Maillet, 330;
    and foreshadowed by Erasmus Darwin and others, 331;
    relations of Herbert Spencer and, 331;
    apparent reaction against theories of, setting in, 331.

  DEATH-RATE, steady reduction in death-rate, due to progress of physical
        and surgical science, 394;
    from 23 per million in 1855, 394;
    to 21 per million in 1875, 394;
    and 18 per million in 1895, 394.

  DE LANE, John T., editor of the _Times_, sketch of, 5;
    his influence and power, 10;
    his personality kept in background, 11;
    Disraeli's remark, 'I had better postpone giving my views of De Lane
        till he is dead,' 380.

  DEMOCRACY, instinctive, of great English schools, 174;
    modern, confirmed by Lodger Franchise in boroughs by Act of 1867, 260;
    completed by extension to counties in 1884, 260.

  DENBIGH, Earl of, descended from a Lord Mayor of London, 14.

  DEVONSHIRE, the Duke of, and Sunday crowds in Hyde Park, 155.

  DILKE, C. W., proprietor of _Athenæum_ newspaper, 382;
    called in to edit _Daily News_ in 1849, 382;
    reduces price of paper, 382.

  DILKE Commission, presided over by Prince of Wales, 389;
    power to destroy unhealthy dwellings, result of, 389;
    a consequence of the enlarged idea of royal service, 390.

  DISRAELI, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, sketch of, 67;
    the Young England school of 1846, 68;
    services rendered by the Young England movement, 69;
    influence of the _Coningsby_, of, on opening of parks, 70;
    sends Lord Rowton to visit and report on Clerkenwell outrage, 73;
    impressions made on Lord Rowton by visit, 74.

  DISTRICT Councils, establishment of, 83;
    seats on, objects of ambition among a certain class, 84;
    jurisdiction of, commensurate with that of rural sanitary authority,
        85;
    special business of, 85;
    members of, guardians of the poor, 85;
    female members of, 85;
    chairmen of, become county magistrates, 86;
    assessment, part of duty of, 87.

  DIXIE, Sir Wolston, Lord Mayor of London, ancestor of the peerages of
        Compton and Northampton, 14.

  DONALDSON Museum of Musical Instruments at South Kensington, 341.

  DUELLING, practice of, discussed, 290;
    still in vogue in time of Sir Robert Peel, 291;
    abolition of, attempted by Prince Consort, 292;
    courts of honour suggested as substitutes for, 292;
    amendment of articles of war, April 1844, the first real blow to, 293.

  DUELS, celebrated, between Canning and Castlereagh, 1809, 292;
    Wellington and Winchilsea, 1829, 292;
    Monro and Fawcett, 1843, 292.


  E

  EAST END, homes founded in the, by Oxford and Cambridge, 75;
    St Margaret's House in the, 75;
    population of, tact required in dealing with, 130;
    resentment of patronage by, 130.

  EASTLAKE, Sir Charles, President of Royal Academy, 350;
    proposes health of Prince Consort at Royal Academy dinner, 350;
    reply of Prince Consort, 351.

  EDUCATION, Act 1870, W. E. Foster's, 136;
    School Boards established by, 136;
    compulsory only when voluntary efforts failed, 136;
    Act 1880, Mundella's, 136;
    made compulsory under, 136;
    made free by Act of 1891, 137.

  EDUCATION Department, first organisation of, in 1839, 135;
    first vice-president of, appointed in 1856, 135;
    not concerned with Secondary Education, 162.

  EDUCATION, National, State responsibility for, ignored till 1833, 133;
    Samuel Whitbread earliest promoter of, 134;
    proposes foundation of National Schools for, in 1809, 134;
    scheme of, brought forward by Lord Brougham, 1820, 134;
    first grant towards, in 1833, 133;
    Lord Melbourne's attempt to include Roman Catholics in benefit of
        grant for, in 1839, 134;
    Andrew Bell and Joseph Lancaster, first promoters of a general and
        practical scheme for, 1836, 133;
    previously left to be dealt with by Church of England and other
        religious bodies, 133.

  EDUCATION, Private, by reading and by lectures, compared, 373.

  EGLINTON, Earl of, pre-eminence of, in early Victorian era, 3.

  ELIOT, George, influence of Herbert Spencer on, 334;
    and through her on language of literature, 334.

  ENDOWED Schools Act, 1874, objects of, 138;
    work accomplished by, 139.

  ENDOWED Schools Commission, now merged in Charity Commission, 162.

  EPPING Forest, Crown rights over, sold in 1842, 17;
    declared a public pleasure ground, 1882, 17.

  ETON, example of social evolution of Victorian era, 169;
    not injuriously affected by the 'new rich,' 169;
    expenses of education at, not increased, 170;
    lessons learnt at, which books cannot teach, 171;
    Latin verses, things of the past at, 171;
    honours at Oxford and Cambridge during last forty years, 173;
    social discipline of, shared with Harrow, 175;
    successes of, boys direct from school in Civil Service examinations,
        177;
    at Woolwich and Sandhurst, 177;
    public opinion at, favourable to work at school, 178;
    new workshops at, for use of school, 178;
    study of natural science at, 178;
    classics and mathematics not displaced at, 178.

  ETONIANS, distinguished, of Victorian era, 171-3;
    the 12th Earl of Derby, the most typical of, 178.

  EVOLUTION, the sociological feature of Victorian era, 169.

  EXETER School, connection of, with Cambridge University extension
        system, 192.

  EXPLORATIONS, at Pompeii, 331;
    and at Babylon and Nineveh, 331;
    effects of, on Roman and Biblical histories, 331.

  EXPORTS, English, stationary during early part of century, 17;
    rapid increase of, on discoveries of gold, 1848-55, 23;
    value of, for the twenty-five years preceding repeal of the Corn-laws,
        1885 millions, 44;
    succeeding repeal, 3031 millions, 44;
    for last twenty-five years, 1871-96, 6290 millions, 44.


  F

  FALKNER, J. Pascoe, founder of Melbourne, alive in 1866, 25.

  FARADAY, and the Prince of Wales, 323;
    laboratory of, at Royal Institution, 323.

  FARREN, the, family a race of actors, 215;
    Percival, at Haymarket Theatre, 215;
    William, 215.

  FAUCIT, Miss Helen, now Lady Martin, 215;
    Shakesperian impersonations of, 215;
    abiding influence exercised by, on the profession, 215.

  FERRIER, Dr, his work in connection with the brain, 395.

  FINES, in factories, disapproval of, 154;
    lists of, compelled to be displayed in buildings, 155.

  FISCAL Reforms, effects of, of Cobden, Bright and Peel, 16.

  FITZWILLIAM, Earl, descended from a Lord Mayor of London, 14.

  FOOTBALL, popularity of, 416;
    a recent growth, 416;
    feuds among players at, 416;
    dangers of a referee at modern matches, 416.

  FOREIGNERS, resident in England, over 200,000, 222;
    number of, doubled in twenty years, 222;
    majority of, engaged in business, 222;
    and nearly one-half of total number in London, 222;
    European, about 170,000, 224;
    American, about 26,000, 224;
    remainder Asiatics or Africans, 224;
    proportion of males to females among, 224;
    distribution and employments of, 226;
    pauperism amongst, 226;
    small proportion of, employed as clerks, 227;
    opinions of, on changes in appearance of English people in twenty
        years, 152.

  FOREIGN intelligence, no longer dependent on telegrams, 386;
    vast machinery and expenditure for supply of, 386.

  FRANCE, industry in, effects of revolution on, 21;
    all classes in, involved in common ruin, as a consequence of
        revolution, 21.

  FREE Libraries, establishment of, 362;
    popularity of, 363;
    sketches of working-men students at, 364;
    origin and gradual growth of, 365;
    the Chetham Library, 365;
    the Guildhall Library, 365;
    the Manchester Library, 365;
    the Ewart Act, and its relation to, 365;
    growth of metropolitan free libraries, 366;
    examination of books most in demand at the, 368.

  FUSION of classes, product of Victorian era, 114;
    and keynote of our epoch, 201;
    a process of levelling up, not down, 201.


  G

  GALLOWS, in public highways until Lord Grey's Reform Act, 40.

  GAMBLING, committee on, in 1844, 410;
    number of, hells in 1841, 411;
    'Crockfords' as a, club, 411;
    'play and pay,' abolished 412.

  GLADSTONE, W. E., and Sir Robert Peel, comparative popularity of, 10;
    scheme of, for converting consols in 1853, 22.

  GOLD, importation of, from Russian mines, 1837-47, 16;
    discovery of, in California, 1848, 17;
    in Ballarat, 1850, 17;
    gloomy predictions of Chevalier and Cobden as to consequences of
        discoveries of, 18;
    views of Sir Roderick Murchison as to same, 18;
    'Nature's Currency Restriction Act,' 18;
    of Sir Archibald Alison as to same, 19;
    'Nature's Currency Extension Act,' 19;
    output of Mexican and Peruvian mines in fifteenth century, £800,000,
        19;
    Australian diggings in 1850-1, £18,000,000, 19;
    fallacious arguments, as to effect of, based on 'grain test,' 19;
    demonetization of, in Holland, 20;
    advantages of supply of, recognized by Prince Consort, 20;
    influx of, into Bank of England, 22;
    decrease of bank rate, 22;
    conversion of £3 per cent. consols, 22;
    interest on Exchequer Bills, 1-1/2 per cent. per annum, 22;
    Australian cities built by, 24.

  GOLD fields, emigration to, in 1852, 369,000, 21;
    average for five years succeeding discovery of, 250,000 per annum, 21;
    maximum emigration to, in any one year, 500,000, 21;
    costs of living at, 22;
    rise of wages here, consequent on rush to, 23;
    scarcity of agricultural labour in country, 23;
    reduced to 100,000 per annum before 1859, 25.

  GOLDWIN Smith, his fear of result of popularly elected Parliaments, 261.

  GOLF, revival of, as an English game, 414.

  GOOCH, Sir Daniel, chairman of Great Western Railway, 37;
    his fortune not made in railways, 37.

  GRAMMAR schools, wasteful geographical distribution of, 141;
    well endowed, with insufficient scholars, 141;
    cases of, Chudleigh, Ashburton, Totnes and Bovey Tracey in Devon, 141;
    Walsingham, Norwich, Ipswich and Bury Saint Edmunds in East Anglia,
        142;
    Ossett and other schools in the north, 142;
    suggestions for utilizing decayed, 143;
    instances of beneficial modifications of established, 143;
    Bath College, excellent work done by, 143;
    amalgamation of Somerset College and Sydney Grammar School, 143;
    Charterhouse, successfully removed from London to Godalming, 144;
    Archbishop Holgate's, removed from Hewsworth to Barnsley, 144;
    policy of maintaining the old, as machinery for Secondary Education,
        144.

  GRANTS for educational purposes, growth of, 135;
    first grant in 1833 of £20,000, 134;
    in 1857, amounted to £451,000, 135;
    in 1860, exceeded £1,000,000, 135;
    in 1870, were £1,125,000, 136.

  GRESHAM, Sir Thomas, first of the Great Loan negotiators, 64.

  GROUPS, government by, as in France, 240;
    as distinguished from government by party, 240;
    cycle of, a possibility in store for England, 273.

  GROVE, Sir George, discovery of lost scores of Schubert, 347;
    dictionary of music by, 347.

  GROVE, Sir William, discoveries with regard to correlation of physical
        forces, 325.

  GUILDHALL School of Music, founded in 1880, 341;
    3496 pupils at, at Christmas 1896, 341.


  H

  HALLÉ, Charles, born in Westphalia, 1819, 345;
    Beethoven's music popularized in England by, 346.

  HAMLEY, Sir Edward, sketch of, 308;
    his work on the _Operations of War_, 309.

  HANDEL, genius of, 344;
    recognized by George I. when Elector of Hanover, 344;
    his _Te Deum_ performed at St Paul's in Queen Anne's reign, 344;
    _Messiah_ produced at Dublin in 1741, 344.

  HELPLESS, the, legislative help for, distinctive of Victorian era, 388;
    initiated by Prince Consort, 388.

  HENRY VIII., privileges of people as enjoyed under Plantagenets,
        contracted under, 93;
    and under Elizabeth, 93;
    practically ceased to exist under the Stuarts, 93.

  HENTY, joint-founder of Melbourne, alive 1882, 25.

  HERCOMER, Professor, receives pupils into his studio, 353.

  HIGHER Grade Elementary Schools, in effect secondary schools, 148;
    sixty, under control of English School Boards, 149;
    thirty-nine of the, organized as science schools, 149;
    4606 boys and 2023 girls, students at, 149.

  HIGHER Grade Schools Examination Board, 147.

  HOSPITALS, Prince of Wales's fund for relief of, from debt, 390;
    transformation in, during Victorian era, 391;
    in character of medical students at, 392;
    in management and organization of, 392;
    revenues of, modern and ancient compared, 392;
    St Bartholomew's in 1650 and in 1890, 392;
    special and general, 392;
    number of, in London, 392;
    game, flowers and other presents for, the fashion and rule, 393.

  HOUNDS, packs of, number of, in England in 1837, 413;
    number of, in England in 1897, 413;
    subscribers to and supporters of, in 1897, 414.

  HOUSE of Lords, debates such as formerly took place in House of Commons
        now confined almost exclusively to, 258;
    composition of, similar to composition of old House of Commons, 258;
    really a representative body, 264;
    socially indistinguishable from Commoners in many ways, 265;
    Peers in, created for political and social distinction, 266;
    Peerages in, conferred on Lord Carrington, Macaulay, and Tennyson, 265;
    later on, on Lord Armstrong, on widow of W. H. Smith and on Lord
        Glenesk, 265.

  HUDSON, George, the railway king, 6;
    his gorgeous chariot, 6;
    his personal appearance, 6;
    his house at Albert Gate, 6;
    entertains royalty, 7;
    his fall, 7, 30;
    hotel life at Calais, 7;
    compared with Beau Brummell, 7;
    born at York, son of a linen draper, 15;
    drives train conveying Queen and Prince Consort to Cambridge, 29;
    member for Sunderland, 30.

  HUXLEY, Professor, and spontaneous generation, 330;
    his observations anticipated by Schwann, 330.

  HYDE Park, the social parade ground of the kingdom, 1;
    originally a royal pleasure ground, 2;
    visitors to, in different decades compared, 3;
    bicycles admitted into, 7;
    early water drinkers in, 9;
    succeeded by early riders in, 9;
    condition of, between 1840 and 1860, 7.


  I

  IMPORTS, value of, during last twenty-five years, nearly 10,000 millions.

  INCOME-TAX, gradual increase of, 25;
    extended to Ireland, 1855, 25.

  INCOMES, assessment of, in 1855, 308 millions;
    1875, 571 millions;
    1882, 612 millions.

  INDESTRUCTIBILITY of matter, ascertained chemically in eighteenth
        century, 325.

  INDUSTRIES, no increase in staple, during recent years, 236;
    decrease in agricultural, 236;
    new, constantly arising, 236.

  INTERMEDIATE Education Act, 149.

  IONIAN physicists, anticipation of modern discoveries by, 325.

  IRISH Famine, compared with that at Orissa, 231;
    remarks on, in connection with Malthusian doctrine, 232.

  IRVING, Sir Henry, sketch of, 217.

  ISLINGTON in 1840, still a country suburb, 40.


  J

  JACOB Omnium, nickname of Thackeray's friend, Big Higgins, 6.

  JERSEY, Lady, popularity of, in early Victorian period, 10.

  JEWS, sufferings of, in England, under Henry III., 54;
    levies on, Westminster Abbey completed by, in reigns of Richard III.
        and Henry VII., 54;
    only twelve families of, in England, in 1633, 54;
    re-establishment of, in England by Cromwell and Charles II., 54;
    the Rodrigues and Goldsmids the heads of the, in time of George III.,
        55;
    the Rothschilds originally Frankfort, 55;
    no magistrates or sheriffs before 1837, 60;
    Lord Campbell's bill for removing this disability of, 60.

  JOACHIM, Herr, popularity of, in England, 346;
    director of Royal Academy of Music, Berlin, 346;
    Doctor of Music of Cambridge, 346;
    portrait of, by George Eliot, 346.

  JOWETT, Benjamin, personal efforts of, to extend first-class education,
        156;
    favoured scheme of unattached students at Oxford, 183;
    lecture-rooms at Balliol opened to non-collegiate students by, 183.


  K

  KEAN, Charles, actor, 1820-68, son of Edmund, 210;
    educated at Eton, 210;
    social position of, 211.

  KEAN, Edmund, Byron's eulogy of, 210.

  KEMBLE, frigid classicism of, 210.

  KINGLAKE, A. W., historian of Crimean War, 11;
    last survivor of early Hyde Park equestrians, 11.


  L

  LADIES College, Cheltenham, work of, in East End, 122.

  LADIES of the Court, 280;
    Mistress of the Robes, 280;
    Ladies of the Bedchamber, 280;
    Women of the Bedchamber, 280;
    Maids of Honour, 280;
    functions of the several, 281.

  LANDSEER, Sir Edwin, elected R.A., 1830, 352;
    social position of, exceptional, 352.

  LANSDOWNE, Marquess of, pre-eminence of, in early Victorian days, 4.

  LAW, administration of, in Colonies, 426;
    Roman Dutch Law in Ceylon, Guiana, and at the Cape, 426;
    French forms of, still retained in Canada, 426;
    Code Civile continued in Mauritius, 426.

  LAW Courts, effect of, on Fleet Street and the Strand, 422;
    commemorate the unity of the Empire as well as the unity of
        administration of justice, 426.

  LAW reform, small results of, so long as two legal systems at work in
        Westminster Hall, 423;
    abolition of monopoly of serjeants-at-law, a step in, 423;
    permission to take evidence of persons interested in suit, a further
        important step in, 423;
    appointment of commission to enquire into, 423;
    Judicature Act, 1873, result of commission of 1869, 424;
    fusion of law and equity by Judicature Act, 424;
    principle of, laid down, that where equity and law conflict equitable
        doctrines shall prevail, 424;
    room for, in connection with the circuit system, 425;
    benefits of, to general public, summary of, 425.

  LAWN tennis, subscription clubs for, 196;
    part of revolt of sons and daughters of middle class, 196.

  LEGION Memorial, The, probably drawn up by Defoe, 274;
    low-water mark of Parliamentary popularity, 275.

  LEGISLATION, modern, salutary effect of, 140;
    on governors and teachers as well as on the taught, 140.

  LISTER, Lord, his discovery of the antiseptic treatment, 395.

  LITERARY Leaders, of Victorian era, 373;
    Dickens and Thackeray as, compared, 373;
    Lord Lytton, Lord Stanhope and Monkton Milnes as patrons of, 374.

  LITERATURE and art, encouraged by Crown from Henry VIII. until Queen
        Anne, 282;
    neglected by the Hanoverian Kings, 282;
    revived encouragement of, by Queen Victoria, 282;
    influence of Prince Consort in revival, 282.

  LOCAL Councils of Education, proposal to establish, 164;
    functions of proposed, 164;
    suggested composition of, 164;
    suggested machinery for carrying out, 165.

  LOCAL Government Act, 1888, educational functions of County Council
        under, 140.

  LOCAL Government Board, establishment of, 1871, 389.

  LOCAL Improvement Acts, number of, prior to 1840, 389.

  LONDON, the pleasure ground of the world, 217;
    the influence of Americans in making, 435;
    the true mirror of England, 435.

  LONDON City Mission, opinions of missioners of, on East-end progress,
        126.

  LONDON, Corporation of, always a popularly elected body, 103;
    commission of 1853 for inquiring into affairs of, 104;
    judicial functions of Lord Mayor and Aldermen preserved to, 106;
    powers of an ordinary Borough Council retained by, 106;
    an example to provincial townships, 106;
    intense feeling of corporate life in, 106;
    impression made by, on foreigners, 107;
    relations of, to London County Council, 107;
    four representatives of, on County Council, chosen by ratepayers, 108;
    charities and hospitalities of, 108;
    relation of Commissioners of Sewers to, 109.

  LONDON County Council, differs from other County Councils, 103;
    judicial functions of officers of corporation left untouched by, 106;
    eminent men who have been chairmen of, 112.

  LONDON Library, The, foundation and objects of 370;
    first started in Pall Mall, 371;
    its usefulness and growth, 371;
    difference between, and Mudie's Library, 371.

  LONGFELLOW, far-reaching influence of, as a poet, 379.

  LORD-Mayors of London, number of noble houses founded by, 14;
    attributes of, in minds of foreigners, 110;
    not merely head officers of a great city, 110;
    territorial estates, schools and other foundations controlled by the,
        110.

  LORD-Mayor's day, traditional entertainment of ministers on, 14;
    improvement in demeanour of mob on, 140;
    characteristic of improvement in the masses, 140.

  LOWE, Robert, afterwards Lord Sherbrooke, early educational reformer,
        135;
    introduces principle of payment by results, 135;
    advice of, to educate our masters, followed, 151;
    his sojourn in New South Wales, 434.

  LYELL, Sir Charles, his work in relation to geology, 332;
    influence of the _Principles of Geology_, 332.

  LYTTON, Bulwer, afterwards Lord Lytton, 327;
    fifteen years in office as a public servant before being raised to the
        peerage, 327.


  M

  MACAULAY, T. B., afterwards Lord, fifteen years in office as a public
        servant before raised to peerage, 327.

  MACREADY, actor, 1827, 51, born 1793, died 1873, 209;
    favourite with clergy, whom he taught elocution, 210;
    social acceptance of, in London, 211.

  MAGISTRATES, 1000 elective, since District Councils instituted, 86;
    instances of working men as, 86;
    and agricultural labourers as, 86;
    and an ex-policeman as, 86;
    effect upon rural mind of elective element among the, 90;
    powers of borough, since Corporation Act of 1835, 95;
    specially qualified county, elected to County Councils, 98.

  MAKING up parties, modern fashion of, for theatres, 197;
    for dinners or suppers at restaurants, before or after theatres, 197.

  MALLOCK, W. H., statistics relating to 'Classes' and 'Masses,' 32;
    contribution of railways to prosperity of both, 34.

  MALTHUS, Doctor, doctrines of Malthus, considered generally, 228;
    increase of population during Victorian era considered in connection
        with, 231.

  MANDATES, popular, at elections, modern doctrine of, 272.

  MEDICAL discoveries, English, of Victorian era, large proportion of to
        whole, 396;
    treatment of myxoedemia by Sir William Gull, one of the latest, 396.

  MEDICAL education, scheme of in England, perfected in 1860, 396;
    relation of College of Physicians to, 396.

  MEMBERS of Parliament, 'English politics to the English youth,' 246;
    average age of, in 1837, over fifty years, 246;
    in 1897, under forty years, 246.

  MENDELSSOHN, Felix, born at Hamburg, 344;
    his precocious genius, 345;
    his influence in England, 345;
    patron of John Parry, 345.

  METROPOLITAN 'Board of Works,' established 1855, 105;
    product of Metropolitan Local Management Act, 1855, 105;
    unity of administration for the parishes of London by, 105.

  MIDDLE class, modern English, restlessness of, 194;
    result of rapid locomotion and cheap press, 194;
    influx of continental ideas among the, 194;
    relaxation of orthodoxy of, 197;
    all sections of, enfranchised by Reform Bill of 1832, 239.

  MILLIONAIRES, Victorian, and their trades, 24;
    sheep farmers of Australia, 24;
    Brassey, the railway contractor, 35;
    Jones Lloyd, a banker, 42;
    Hope, a merchant, 42;
    Bass and Guinness, brewers, 42;
    Maple, retail tradesman, 42.

  MILITARY education, establishment of council of, 304;
    formation of Aldershot camp for, 304.

  MILITARY resources of country, 296;
    comparison of, in 1837 with those of 1897, 296;
    incapacity of, to place 10,000 men in field in 1846, 303;
    inadequacy of reserves of guns and stores, 303.

  MILITIA, practical non-existence of, at Queen's accession, 302;
    last ballot for, in 1831, 302;
    strength of in 1895, 302.

  MINERALS, £29,000,000 worth of, recovered in 1855, 32;
    £80,000,000 worth of, recovered in 1895, 32.

  MINING and steam industries compared, 32;
    results of, 32.

  MISSIONARY societies, activity of, during Victorian era, 405;
    British and Foreign Bible Society, income of, doubled, 405;
    Society for Propagation of Gospel, income of, doubled, 405;
    Church Missionary Society, income of, trebled, 405.

  MIXED metaphors, modern, instances of, 372;
    signs of the overlapping of literature by science and art, 372.

  MOLESWORTH, Sir William, pioneer of colonial self-government, 433;
    Colonial Secretary, in 1853, 433.

  MUDIE'S Select Library, founded in 1842, 369;
    far-reaching usefulness of, 369.

  MUSIC, revolution in, and in taste for, during Queen's reign, 337;
    the lady teacher of, in 1837, 337;
    and in 1897, 338;
    patronage of, by Court, 339;
    fondness for, a tradition of English royalty, 340;
    Royal Academy of, 340;
    triumph of German over Italian school of, 344.

  MUSICAL education, in England and on Continent compared, 342;
   encouraged and promoted by Prince Consort, 343.

  MUSICIAN, the professional, sketch of, in 1837, 338;
    and in 1897, 339.


  N

  NATIONAL character, insularity of, disappearing generally, 194;
    cosmopolitanism of, among upper classes, 204;
    imitated by the middle class, 205.

  NATIONAL debt, gradual reduction of, during Queen's reign, 45;
    reduced from £821,000,000 after Crimean War, in 1856, 45;
    to £652,000,000 in 1896, 45.

  NATIONAL Gallery, established in 1824, 354;
    present building of, opened in 1838, 354;
    Angerstein Collection, the nucleus of, 354;
    Vernon bequest to, in 1847, 354;
    £70,000 paid for Sir Robert Peel's collection, 355;
    £70,000 paid for 'Ansidei Madonna' to the Duke of Marlborough, 358.

  NAVY, training of officers and men of, 307;
    reduction of, on conclusion of Napoleonic Wars, 311;
    132 vessels on, list on Queen's accession, 311;
    461 vessels on, list at Queen's diamond jubilee, 311;
    Parliamentary vote for, in 1837, £3,000,000, 312;
    in 1897, £23,000,000, 312;
    establishment of H.M.S. _Excellent_ as gunnery school for, 313;
    manning of the, 313;
    the naval reserve of the, 314;
    institution of H.M.S. _Britannia_ for education of midshipmen for, 314;
    introduction of steam into the, 315;
    five paddle-wheel steamers in, at Queen's accession, 315;
    condition of, at outbreak of Crimean War, 316;
    recognition of value of, by Kinglake, 317;
    and of the special value of steam in, 317;
    the floating batteries of Crimean War, first ironclads of, 317;
    the _Warrior_ first sea-going ironclad of, 317;
    turret and broadside armaments in, of to-day compared, 319.

  NEEDLEWORK, embroidery and lace, as fashionable amusements, 419.

  NEIGHBOURHOOD guilds, the, of New York, 121.

  NEW educational authority, the want of a, 161;
    must have an elastic operation, 161;
    necessary functions of a, indicated, 162.

  NEW South Wales, colony of, 25;
    no foreign trade before 1848, 25;
    exports from, in 1878 amounted to £13,000,000, 25;
    imports into, in 1878 amounted to £17,000,000, 25;
    valuable coalfields of, 25.

  NEW York, advantages of intimate social connexion between, and London,
        437.

  NEWSPAPERS, English, number of in 1837, only 479, 381;
    number of in 1897, 2396, 381;
    heavily taxed by Harley in 1712, 381;
    and by North and Pitt afterwards, 381;
    taxation of, lowered by Spring Rice in 1836, 381;
    repeal of paper duty in 1851, and rise of penny, in consequence, 381;
    the _Echo_, the first of the halfpenny, 385;
    increase of halfpenny, of late years, 385;
    reviews of books in, 385;
    great improvement in general character of, 387;
    growing tendency of, towards political impartiality, 387.

  NEWSPAPER writers, growth of, as a class, 374;
    instances of, Russell, Forbes, Dicey, Sala and others, 375;
    action and reaction of, on the public press, 375;
    Macaulay as one of the, father of the leading article style, 378;
    no longer really anonymous, 385;
    the recruiting of writers with well-known names for, 385;
    the youth of modern, 386.

  NEWTON, Sir Isaac, his discovery of law of gravitation, 324.

  NIGHTINGALE, Florence, her training in Germany, 390;
    the trained nurses who accompanied, in 1854, 390;
    influence of, on origin of nursing as a profession, 390;
    supercession of the 'Mrs Gamp' and decayed billiard-markers of former
        days, 391;
    tributes to efficiency of system started by, 391.

  NONCONFORMISTS, subject to greater numerical fluctuations than
        established churches, 405;
    reasons for same, 405;
    the numbers of the Congregationalists in 1837 and 1897, 404;
    the numbers of Baptists in 1837 and 1897, 404.

  NOVEL writers of eminence since Sir Walter Scott, 375;
    commercial successes of, 375;
    George Eliot, Dickens, Thackeray, Wilkie Collins and Charles Reade, as
        instances of, 375;
    Bulwer Lytton and Disraeli as, compared, 376.


  O

  ORGANIZATION, faculty for, of Prince Consort, 320;
    of exhibition of 1851, by Prince Consort, 320.

  OVERLAPPING of schools, waste of educational energy caused by, 161.

  OXFORD, number of unattached students at University of, 183;
    system of control over unattached students at, 183;
    system of teaching the unattached at, 183;
    honours gained at, by the unattached students, 184;
    exemplary conduct of unattached at, 185;
    professor of modern history at, formerly an unattached student, 186;
    social clubs for undergraduates at, 188;
    effect of social clubs at, on 'union society,' 188.

  OXFORD and Cambridge, middle class examinations, beginnings of, 147;
    still uphold the standard of general culture in England, 150.


  P

  PALMERSTON, Lord, sketch of, 4;
    descent from Sir John Houblon, Lord Mayor of London, 15.

  PARISH Councils, apparent tendency of, 80;
    female members of, 80;
    subjects of discussion at, 81;
    'one man one vote' for, 81;
    effect of, to restore many old manorial rights, 82;
    sense of responsibility developed by, 83;
    seldom convened more than once a year, 84;
    differences between, and County Councils decided by the Local
        Government Board, 84;
    obliged to hold their sittings in the evening, 90.

  PARISHES, English, prior to 1894, 77;
    State represented by squire in, 77;
    Church by vicar in, 77;
    the village by the village club in, 77;
    subjects of interest to inhabitants of rural, 78;
    change which has come over, since 1894, 78;
    the village meeting halls, modern centres of, 78;
    home rule in, since 1894, 79;
    the grouping of, great care taken in, 80.

  PARLIAMENT, an assembly of business men, 268;
    abhors rhetoric, 268;
    submits to ascendency of great masters of eloquence, 269;
    will not tolerate commonplace speeches, 269;
    local Houses of, 269;
    Houses of, burnt in 1834, 239;
    temporary building for the meeting of, 239;
    the new Houses of, several years building, 239;
    House of Lords side of, opened after thirteen years, 240;
    House of Commons side, opened after sixteen years, 240;
    peeresses' gallery in, 241;
    ladies' cage in, 242;
    members of (see members of Parliament);
    types of members, in the past, 247;
    more modern types of, 251;
    acceptance of position of delegates by, 256.

  PARLIAMENTARY, oratory, change in fashion of, 248;
    classical quotations no longer a feature of, 248;
    business language used in modern, 249;
    proceedings, foreign interest taken in, 249;
    hospitality, five o'clock tea on Terrace, 245;
    stage, and theatrical stages, parallel between, 250;
    humorists, a succession of, 251;
    children of the church, a regular supply of, 251;
    obstruction, methods of, practised by Parnell, 255;
    closure, the remedy for obstruction, 256.

  PAROCHIAL schools, first suggested by S. Whitbread in 1807, 134.

  PAUPERISM, statistics of, in England, 45;
    50 per cent. less in 1897 than in 1857;
    enormous reduction of, in the Midlands, 88;
    and in Sussex, 88;
    reduction in, a direct consequence of Act of 1834, 88;
    less frequent application of workhouse test in cases of, 89.

  PEEL, Sir Robert, sketch of, 4;
    his seat on horseback, 4;
    popular respect in which held, 10.

  PEERAGES, modern, conferred on representatives of science and art, 327;
    on Tennyson as a poet, 327;
    Playfair as a physician, 327;
    Kelvin as a physicist, 327;
    Lister as a surgeon, 327.

  PEOPLE'S Palace, The, a fanciful sketch of Sir Walter Besant, 362;
    difficulties of administration in connection with, 125.

  PERIODICALS, magazines and reviews, their popularity, 267;
    used as substitutes for parliamentary speeches, 267;
    mutual advantages to publisher and member of Parliament of the use of,
        as substitutes for speeches, 267.

  PHELPS, pupil of Macready, his position on stage, 216.

  PHOTOGRAPHY, a production of the Victorian era, 333.

  PHYSICAL investigations, appliances for, former want of, 324;
    perfection of appliances now, product of Victorian era, 324.

  PICTURES, prices of, in 1649, 46;
    gradual rise in, 47;
    great sums paid by Russian Emperor, 48;
    £30,000 realised by sale of the Walpole, in 1842, 49;
    £60,000 by sale of the Bernal Collection of, in 1856, 50;
    Gainsborough's picture of the 'Sisters' sold for £6615 in 1873, 52;
    resold in 1887 for £9975, 52.

  PITT, William, peerages bestowed on wealthy men by, 13;
    his theory that £40,000 per annum should command a peerage, 42.

  PLUTOCRAT, education of the, by painters, as prophesied by Rossetti, 359;
    the prophecy fulfilled, 359.

  POOR, ignorance respecting the condition of the, 71;
    the brothers Mayhew and the London, 71;
    the Greenwoods and the casual ward, 72;
    Leighton, Hicks-Beach and Denison, their work amongst the, 73;
    the Dilke Commission for inquiry into the housing of, 389.

  POOR-LAW, under the Act of 1834, 87;
    the Unions under the Act, called the New Bastilles, 87;
    marked improvement in condition of working class since, 87.

  POPULAR, constituencies organised by Reform Bill of 1832, 238;
    franchises, a few abolished by Bill, 239;
    meetings, displacement of great parliamentary speeches by, 257.

  POPULATION, increased, 30 per cent. during last sixty years, 234;
    comparison of, with increased means of subsistence, 235.

  PRE-RAPHAELITE, the, revolution in art, 360;
    its effect on English art, 360.

  PRESBYTERIANISM and the Free Kirk of Scotland, 404.

  PRESS, the, anonymous system of, modified by various agencies, 384;
    enlarged staffs employed on, 384;
    amateurs and others, 384;
    proprietorship of the newspaper, a fashion, 266;
    a reflex of English thought and life, 266;
    reptile of Germany, unknown in England, 266;
    connection of leading men with special portions of, 267;
    competition of periodicals with the newspaper, 267;
    result of Gladstone's Irish policy on the, 383;
    political independence of, affected by that policy, 383.

  PRESTON, strike at, the first great struggle between labour and capital,
        24.

  PRINCE Consort, sagacity of, early discovered, 20;
    cultivation of artistic sense in English manufactures, due to, 20;
    influence of, in shaping monarchy of to-day, 276;
    sets example of royal sympathy with extra political activities of
        daily life, 276;
    early training of, in view of his possible future home, 277;
    reforms the domestic economy of the palace, 278;
    attacks on, in clubs and drawing-rooms, 279;
    as well as in the inferior press, 279;
    institutes office of master of the household, 280;
    promotion of science and art by, 282;
    skill of the, as an organist, 284;
    first public speech of, on the slave trade in 1840, 285;
    revives the taste for classical music, 285;
    initiates royal platform speeches on non-political matters, 285;
    influence of Sir Robert Peel on the, 286;
    Sir Charles Eastlake and the, friendship of, 288;
    visits of Queen and, to Sir Robert Peel, 289;
    to Louis Philippe, 289;
    to Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow and Leeds, 289;
    elected chancellor of the University of Cambridge, 289;
    declines the post of commander-in-chief, 294;
    suggestions of, for a system of national defence, 294;
    acts as director of Ancient Concerts, 339;
    rescues the Raphael cartoons from decay, 349;
    efforts of, to make Court the centre of literary, scientific and
        artistic efforts, 323.

  PRINCE of Wales, ubiquity of, 289;
    untiring energy of, derived from his father, 289;
    visit of, to tomb of George Washington in 1860, 437.

  PRISONS, no new, built since 1870, 367;
    several, converted into public libraries, 367;
    one of the, now the site of a fine art gallery, 367.

  PRIVATE theatricals, local clubs for, 197.

  PRIVY Council, judicial committee of, 427;
    functions of, 427;
    constitutional modifications of, 427.

  PRIVY Purse, succession of able men who have acted as, 281;
    distinction between, and Privy Seal, 281.

  PROBLEM, the educational, awaiting solution, Higher grade schools, 139.

  PUBLIC Health Act, 1875, embodiment of efforts of individuals extending
        over forty years, 99.

  PUBLIC Schools, increased numbers at, 96;
    Bedford, Ipswich, Bath, Cheltenham and others;
    products of Victorian era, 96.

  PUBLIC School Act, 1868, effect of, 139.

  'PUNCH,' Staffordshire miner, as delineated by, no longer true, 154.

  PURCELL, Henry, born 1675, 344 (note);
    organist at Westminster when eighteen years old, 344;
    prolific composer, 344;
    German unintentional compliment to, 344.


  Q

  QUAKER School at Ackworth, specially complimented by the Education
        Commission, 146.

  QUARTER Sessions, sketch of county town during, 97;
    before Corporation Act and afterwards, 97.

  QUEEN Elizabeth, comparison of, with Queen Victoria, 275.


  R

  RACEHORSE, the, indispensable to breed of horses, 412;
    antiquity of, 412;
    introduction of Arab blood into, 412;
    social diploma to breeders of, 413.

  RAILWAY, the Manchester and Liverpool, death of Huskisson on, 28;
    pays ten per cent. dividend in 1836, 29;
    Queen did not travel by, until 1842, 28;
    1800 miles of, open in England in 1843, 28;
    enterprise, reaction in, in 1846, 31.

  RAILWAYS, capital invested in, in 1850, £230,000,000, 31;
    in 1894, £985,000,000, 31;
    receipts of, in 1855, £21,000,000, 32;
    in 1895, £84,000,000, 32;
    how far, have enriched the landowners, 36;
    wealth derived from, compared with that from other sources, 37;
    nationalisation of, objections to, 38;
    State control of, 38;
    England and America, the two exceptions to, 38.

  REACTION, signs of, against educational enthusiasm, 165;
    grounds of, 165.

  READING School, connection of, with Oxford University extension system,
        192.

  RELIGIOUS education, struggle over, sketch of the, 137.

  RELIGIOUS thought, various phases of, 398;
    gratitude of Oxford verger for remaining a Christian, 398;
    modern scepticism and, 398;
    influence of Court on, 399;
    Tractarian movement as a phase of, 399;
    agnosticism as a phase of, fillip given to, by Dr Mansel, 406;
    progress of, stayed by Benjamin Jowett, 406;
    the 'hard' church, 407;
    Dr Temple as representative of, 407;
    _Lux Mundi_, 407.

  ROMAN Catholicism, increase of, in large towns, 405;
    and in colonies, 405;
    increase of numbers of priests and churches, 405.

  ROTHSCHILD, Lionel, issues Irish famine loan, 1847, 59;
    lends £16,000,000 to English Government in 1854, 59;
    advances £4,000,000 for purchase of Suez Canal shares, 1876, 60;
    elected to Parliament as member for London, 1847, 60;
    unable to take his seat until 1866, 60;
    hospitalities at Gunnersbury, 61;
    death of, in 1879, 61.

  ROTHSCHILD, Mayer A., of Frankfort, founder of the family in the
        eighteenth century, 55;
    known as the Croesus of Europe, 55.

  ROTHSCHILD, Nathan Mayer, arrives in England at end of the eighteenth
        century, 56;
    buys bills on English Government during Napoleonic Wars, 56;
    transmits funds to English forces in Peninsula, 56;
    wrongly said to have watched the Battle of Waterloo, 56;
    story of his agent at Ghent, 57;
    early news of victory received by him from Ghent, 57;
    causes dividends and interest on foreign stocks and loans to be paid
        in London, 57;
    lends £12,000,000 to the English Government in 1829, 58;
    buys Gunnersbury, 58;
    death of Mayer Amschel in 1836, 59.

  ROTHSCHILDS, the foreign loans of the firm, 61;
    connection of the, with Egypt, 62;
    monthly advances by the, to Egyptian Government, 62;
    take security of private letter of English Foreign Secretary, 62;
    charitable generosity of the, 62;
    patrons of sport, 65;
    and of art, 65;
    loyalty of the, to England, 66;
    influence of the, on Judaism generally, 66.

  ROWING, the, of 1837 and 1897 compared, 414.

  ROYAL Academy of Music, 340;
    foundation of, in 1822, 340;
    original site of, 340;
    charter granted to, 1830, 340;
    number of students at, in 1837, 340;
    and in 1897, 340.

  ROYAL Academy of Painting, 350;
    Crown represented at dinner of, for the first time in 1851, 350;
    speech of Sir Charles Eastlake at, 350;
    and reply of the Prince Consort, 350;
    visitors to Exhibition of, in 1837, 358;
    and in 1897, 358.

  ROYAL College of Music, 340;
    founded in 1875 as a training school, 340;
    reformed in 1882, 340;
    charter granted to, in 1883, 340;
    present endowment of, 341;
    scholarships at, 341;
    opened by H. R. H. Princess of Wales, 341.

  ROYAL Society, Queen's signature in register of, 321.

  RURAL population, decrease in, during last twenty years, 325.


  S

  SANITARY reform, reduction in death-rate due to, 394;
    work of John Simon in connection with, 395;
    and of the Budds and Dr Snow, 395.

  SAVINGS banks, deposits in, doubled in ten years ending 1896, 45.

  SCHOOL Board, instances of successful, boys, 156;
    at universities and in Civil Service examinations, 156;
    and of girls, 157;
    at Girton College and elsewhere, 157.

  SCHOOL Board children, increase in number of, under the Free Education
        Act, 1891, 137;
    numbers of, for five years preceding Act, 269,903, 138;
    for five years succeeding Act, 521,860, 138.

  SCIENCE and art, slowness of State recognition of, 320.

  SCIENCE and Art Department, grants made by, to schools, 138.

  SCIENTIFIC Corps, the, engineers and artillery, 305;
    recent recognition of rights of, in army, 305.

  SCULPTORS, Alfred Stevens, effigy of Wellington by, 361;
    Hamo Thornycroft and Sir E. Boehm, works of, 361;
    growing popularity of English, 361.

  SCULPTURE, our climate not favourable to exhibitions of, 361;
    progress of, in England, notwithstanding, 361.

  SEASIDE resorts, imitation of continental examples at, 208.

  SECONDARY schools, estimated proportion of population educated at, does
        not exceed 2.5 per 1000, 145;
    proportion very variable, 145;
    from 1.1 per 1000 in Lancashire, 145;
    to 13.5 in Bedfordshire, 145;
    private, efficient service rendered to education by, 146;
    plea for State help to private, 146;
    of the great city companies, 149;
    especially those of the drapers', the goldsmiths' and the grocers',
        149.

  SKATING rinks, shock to old-fashioned ideas caused by, 195;
    first revolt of sons and daughters of middle class illustrated at, 195.

  SLANEY, Colonel, motion by, for enquiry into health of towns, 389.

  SMALLER endowed schools, old practice of farming out, 140;
    evil effects of, 141;
    vigorous dealing of corporations with the practice, 141;
    closing of, recommended by the commissioners, 141.

  SOCIETY, still a close corporation, 198;
    but more and more subject to external influences, 198;
    recruited from alien elements, 199;
    ideal standard of, unaltered, 202.

  SOCIETY of comparative legislation, 427.

  SOMERSET, Duchess of, the Queen of Beauty at Eglinton tournament, 3.

  SOUTH America, English loans to Republics of, 16.

  SOUTH Kensington, the whole of, market gardens in 1840, 41;
    contrast between the, of 1840 and that of 1890, 321;
    labours of Prince Consort in connection with, 322;
    entirely the growth of the Victorian era, 354;
    an artistic 'Mecca,' 354;
    Department of Practical Art at, 356;
    under control of Board of Trade, 356;
    Department of Science and Art at, 356;
    under control of President of the Council, 356;
    Marlborough House Collection, removed to, in 1856, 356;
    Forster bequest of Dickens's manuscripts to, 357;
    institutions affiliated to, 357;
    30,000 pupils annually pass through the Science and Art Department at,
        357.

  SOVEREIGN, constitutional influence of, 261;
    increased since days of absolute monarchy, 261;
    surrender of political initiative by, 261;
    compensated by increase of social ascendancy of, 261;
    technical right of, to nominate and dismiss ministers, 261;
    exercise of that prerogative in 1834 by William IV., 262;
    the permanent head of a department of the State, 262;
    view of Prince Consort, as to Sovereign's position, 262;
    self-effacement of, impossible under Parliamentary Governments, 264;
    the sole guarantee for continuity of policy, 271;
    duty of Sovereign to judge which party in state can best carry on the
        government of the country, 271.

  STEAM, transformation of country by, 27.

  STEPHENSON, George, his invention at first decried, 28;
    sums up relations between the railways and the country, 37.

  SULLIVAN, Sir Arthur, his work and public services, 347.

  SUNDAY Schools, started by Robert Raikes late in eighteenth century, 133.

  SURGEONS, work of eminent, 395;
    exemplified by Cæsar Hawkins, Benjamin Brodie and Spencer Wells, 395.


  T

  TAIT, Archbishop and family, riders in Hyde Park, 9.

  TEACHERS, profession of, no proper representation of, 163;
    assistant, in secondary schools, underpaid, 164.

  TECHNICAL Education Act, 1890, for teaching handicrafts, 160;
    grants authorised to be made by, 100.

  TERRY, the family, a family of actors and actresses, 216;
    Kate (Mrs Arthur Lewis), peerless in melodrama, 215;
    Ellen, as a comedian, 216.

  THACKERAY, W. M., distinguished figure in Hyde Park, 6.

  THAMES, shocking condition of, between 1804 and 1866, 40.

  THEATRE, The, position of, in early Victorian times, 41;
    advice of Matthew Arnold, to organize, 209;
    Macready, first organizer of, 1827 to 1851, 209;
    difficulties experienced by him in attempt, 209;
    dulness of, long after it became respectable, 212;
    Lord Lytton's _Money_, dramatized for, 212;
    Robertson's _Society_ produced at Prince of Wales's, 212;
    revival of popularity of, 213;
    caused by production of Robertson's plays, 213;
    Lyceum, under Bateman, 214;
    Miss Bateman as Leah at, 214;
    first appearance of H. Irving at, 214;
    opinions expressed by George Lewes and George Eliot on Irving at, 215;
    result of influx of strangers into London, on Victorian, 218;
    the suburban, of recent times, 218;
    status of, raised by succession of high-class actors, 219.

  TOLLEMACHE, Lord, of Peckforton, sketch of, 12;
    the harness and trappings of his team, 12.

  TROLLOPE, Anthony, sketch of, 12;
    his sturdy cob, 12.


  U

  UNIVERSITIES, advice to settlers in East End, from, 130;
    extension lectures of, 180;
    Oxford and Cambridge brought to people's doors by, 180;
    revolution in domestic life at the, 180;
    less noticeable at Oxford than at Cambridge, 180;
    unattached or non-collegiate students at, 181;
    a return to mediæval usage, 181;
    comparative cost of education to unattached students at, 182;
    fellows and tutors of colleges at the, 189;
    altered habits and duties of fellows and tutors, 189;
    alteration due to extension lectures and similar causes, 190;
    scope of, extension lectures, 190;
    synopsis of course, distributed beforehand, 190;
    local schools and colleges in communication with, 192.

  UNIVERSITY settlement in East End of London, 115;
    clubs for adults encouraged by, 117;
    dominant idea of, 120;
    multifarious duties of a settler in, 121.

  URBAN population, increase of, during last twenty years, 435.


  V

  VANDERBILT, Commodore, sells fleet of ships to buy railway shares, 34.

  VICTORIA, colony of, indebted mainly to gold for its progress, 24;
    gold raised in, between 1851 and 1859, 89 millions, 25;
    imports rose to £30 per head of population, 26;
    exports to £56 per head of population, 26.

  VICTORIAN squire, often a self-made man, 200;
    seldom violates old traditions, 200;
    life of, at hall or manor, 200;
    not very different from his predecessor, 200;
    supports the subscription pack, 201;
    breeds shorthorns, 201;
    and becomes a judge of cattle, 201.

  VOLUNTEERS, instructions to Lords-Lieutenant in 1859 to raise, 303;
    Prince Consort's influence in securing issue of, 303;
    first review of, in Hyde Park, 23d June 1860, 303;
    number of, in 1860, 119,000, 303;
    in 1886, 226,752, 303;
    800,000 men, still of military age, in Great Britain, have been, 304.


  W

  WAGES, increase of, of working classes, in Victorian era, 43.

  WAKEFIELD, Gibbon, sketch of his career, 433;
    his _Art of Colonization_, 433.

  WARD, Samuel, sketch of, 437;
    nicknamed 'Uncle Sam,' 438;
    founds a social and literary Anglo-American school, 438.

  WARWICK, Earl of, descended from Sir Samuel Dashwood, vintner, a Lord
        Mayor of London, 15.

  WATKIN, Sir Edward, exceptional position of, 37.

  WEALTH, aristocracy of, unknown before 1851, 42.

  WELLINGTON, Duke of, personal sketch of, 4;
    popular respect shown to, at all times, 10.

  WHEWELL, Dr, historian of the Inductive Sciences, 325.

  WINDSOR, compared with Weimar, 323.

  WORKING Men's Club, established at Lancaster in 1860, 118;
    and Institute Union, functions of, 126;
    founded by Lords Brougham and Lyttleton, 118.

  WORKING Men's College, Great Ormond Street, 118;
    founded by Maurice and Thomas Hughes, 118.


  Y

  YOUTH, change in figure and appearance of English, 202;
    improved expression on countenances of, 203;
    taller and better set up, 203;
    women as well as men, 203;
    lofty stature and Junonian majesty of modern English feminine, 203.


THE END


_Colston & Coy., Limited. Printers, Edinburgh._



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Edited by Dr Ernst Regel--Berlin, 1894.

[2] The grandfather of the fifth Marquess. As Lord Henry Petty, he had so
long since as 1806 been Chancellor of the Exchequer. In 1848 he was
President of the Council, and led the peers in the Russell Government.
Died 1863.

[3] But much of the Forest being saved by the Common rights had not at any
time been enclosed.

[4] _The Age of Gold_, vol. i. p. 37.

[5] While these lines are being prepared for the press there appears in a
London newspaper a statement of the prices current at the Western
Australia gold fields in the summer of 1896. They may be compared with the
figures given in the text and are as follows:--Tea 3s., flour 10d., sugar
1s., bacon 3s., beef and mutton 4d. to 8d., cheese 2s. 6d., coffee 3s.,
tobacco 8s., and preserved potatoes 1s. 9d. per lb.; milk (condensed) 1s.
9d. per tin; flour 20s. per 50 lbs.; and eggs 10s. a dozen; but the cost
of living generally, as compared with earnings, is low. On the Ashburton
River gold fields mutton is 4d., beef 6d., flour 10d., tea 3s., sugar 9d.
to 1s., preserved potatoes 1s. 6d., salt 1s., rice 1s., and oatmeal 1s.
3d. per lb. On the Yilgarn gold fields meat is 9d. to 1s. a lb., flour
10s. to 30s. per 50 lb. bag, tea 3s. 6d. a lb., and other provisions are
equally scarce and dear. At Coolgardie, to the east of Yilgarn, flour
costs £3 per 200 lbs., bread 1s. per 1-1/2 lb. loaf, butter 2s. 3d. per
lb., potatoes 6d. per lb., sugar 8d. per lb., tinned milk 1s. 3d. per lb.,
bacon 1s. 9d. per lb., salt 6d. per lb., and board and lodgings £3 to £7 a
week. On the Murchison gold fields in the North, the prices per lb. are:
Flour 8d., sugar 8d., tea 3s. 6d., tobacco 6d., fish 1s. 6d., mutton 8d.,
beef 8d., butter 3s., and tinned meats 1s. 3d.

[6] Still more than this was given to get men on the home voyage from
Melbourne.

[7] See _Our Railways_. By John Pendleton. Cassell & Co.

[8] Brought down to 1897 instead of 1881, these _mutatis mutandis_ figures
are derived from Mr Mallock's most useful book.

[9] In the West of England, with which the writer is specially acquainted,
this is generally the case.

[10] These figures are taken from 'Art Sales,' by George Redford,
privately printed, 1882.

[11] Now Sir William Agnew.

[12] All the details of art prices given in this chapter are derived from
Mr G. Redford's authentic record of art sales, first privately printed in
1888. For other information the writer is indebted to the late Sir J. E.
Millais, P.R.A.

[13] See Picciotto's Anglo-Jewish History for all these early facts about
the Jews.

[14] The idea of the Exhibition being 'universal' was not that of the
Prince, but of the Committee of the Society of Arts. It was first
suggested in fact by Mr Thomas Winkworth.

[15] Most of the time he was at Ghent. His stay there is known in French
history as _La cour de Gand_.

[16] These anecdotes are given from Mr Reeves' volume already mentioned.
They are suggestive of incident if not uniformly accurate in fact. The
correction of the Waterloo incident given above commended itself to some
among Baron Lionel's friends who would be likely to know.

[17] While Lord Palmerston has become a historical name, Lord
Beaconsfield's precedents are daily, alike by friends and foes, cited as
living forces.

[18] See _Quarterly Review_, July, 1896.

[19] This anecdote was often told by Lord Shaftesbury.

[20] Not, however, the most appreciated by his master.

[21] Now of course Battersea Park.

[22] Who, to the regret of all who knew his abilities, died February 1897,
having exercised influence rather than achieved distinction.

[23] While he yet lives, his enduring monuments are his blocks of working
men's dwellings in the King's Cross district and elsewhere.

[24] The guarantees against undue delegation are stringent and successful.

[25] Opinions vary as to the workability of this clause in the shape in
which it left the Lords.

[26] _E.g._ In a typical Surrey village, where there are no
Nonconformists, the Chairman is the Vicar, but of 38 Gloucestershire
parishes, where dissenters abound, only in two or three.

[27] Urban District Councils have taken the place of Local Boards; they
are in fact town councils of those districts which are not incorporated
into municipalities.

[28] Molesworth's _History of England_, vol. i. p. 19.

[29] As a fact, the County chairman is most likely a J.P. already.

[30] For valuable facts and figures, bringing this chapter down to the
latest date the writer is indebted to Mr Henry Chaplin and his staff at
the Local Government Board, as for much other useful help to Sir Henry
Fowler, Sir Charles Dilke, the Rev. Charles Cox, D.D., and to Mr G. W. E.
Russell.

[31] In addition to Sir Charles Dilke, Sir Henry Fowler and others already
mentioned, the writer is indebted for invaluable help in the preparation
of facts and the revision of proofs in this portion of the book to Mr W.
J. Soulsby the accomplished private secretary to a succession of Lord
Mayors of London.

[32] An account of the University Settlements in East London. Edited by
John M. Knapp, Oxford House, Bethnal Green. Rivington, Percival & Co.
1895.

[33] _England: Its People, Polity and Pursuits._ 2 vols. Cassell & Co. 1
vol. Chapman & Hall.

[34] This usage varies under different Administrations and at different
epochs. Mr Forster [1870] was an actual Education Minister. His Liberal
successors have been so since; his Conservative successors only in a
qualified sense.

[35] See Report of the Secondary Education Commission, vol. i. _passim_,
but especially, pp. 44, and seq.

[36] These have produced not a few famous men even in this generation:
Thus Bishop Stortford shares with Oriel, Oxford the honour of educating Mr
Cecil Rhodes.

[37] As the writer has a personal reason for knowing, this is the year in
which the amalgamation first took a definite shape, though it was not
perhaps fully carried out till a little later.

[38] This point was dwelt upon strongly in the letters of London
correspondents to the French press at the time of the 1887 Jubilee.

[39] Recent legislation providing for the information of the working
classes on this point, by the display of lists in factories, has not given
entire satisfaction to the persons interested.

[40] The statistics showing the new rungs in the educational ladder in
this chapter have been supplied to the writer by Mr G. H. Croad of the
London School Board, by other gentlemen in like positions and by private
friends in the Education Department. Thanks are also due to Sir John
Gorst, and to Mr Mundella for the kind trouble they have taken in checking
the facts of the narrative portion, and for making valuable suggestions.

[41] This, during the youth of the late Rev W. G. Cookesley was said by
that authority to be, not hyperbole, but historical fact.

[42] This title has been denied to the King here named, but Waynflete,
also an Eton benefactor as well as official, was himself transferred by
Henry from Winchester to Eton, becoming Headmaster and Provost
successively.

[43] For the facts and figures in this chapter showing the relations of
the old public schools to the new educational tests, as for the facts of
Eton expenditure, the writer is indebted to the Rev. Edmond Warre, D.D.,
the Headmaster, who has placed at his disposal all the necessary data.

[44] See _Eothen_, edn. 1896--Blackwood, p. 7.

[45] Now in vogue at nearly all the pleasure towns in southern England.

[46] The name of Frank as well as of Charles Mathews was often on the
bills of this theatre during the sixties.

[47] Census of England and Wales, 1891. Vol. iv. General Report, pp. 64
and fg.

[48] For a valuable dissertation, to which the present writer is much
indebted on this subject, see A. J. Ogilvy--_Westminster Review_, 1891.
Vol. 136, pp. 289 to 297.

[49] W. Cunningham on the Malthusian theory--_Macmillan's Magazine_, Dec.
1883.

[50] In addition to the published official statistics from which the above
facts and figures are taken, the writer is indebted to the
Registrar-General for much useful information, and to Mr G. Shaw-Lefevre
for further friendly help.

[51] See Molesworth's _History of England_. Vol. i. p. 90 and fg.

[52] Commons Journal, xci. 319.

[53] In the Upper House, there is perhaps no one to whom the classics are
more familiar as literature than Lord Morley.

[54] For nearly all the details as to the structural arrangements of the
two Houses of Parliament, and to the particulars of what may be called
their social life, the writer desires to express his grateful
acknowledgments to Mr Archibald Milman, C.B., a Clerk of the House of
Commons. On other parliamentary points, he is not less indebted to Sir
Charles Dilke, and to many more Members of Parliament, only a few of whom
now survive.

[55] See the following extract from the _Daily News_, Dec. 16, 1896:--

MR GLADSTONE ON PARLIAMENTARY CHANGES.--Mr Gladstone having read an
article in the _Westminster Review_ entitled 'The Old M.P. and the New,'
by George A. B. Dewar, writes that, speaking from recollection, he thinks
there were not five members of the Conservative party in 1835 who sat in
the House of Commons by reason of their connection with trade or industry.
He describes the change which has come about in the composition of the
party since then as 'simply marvellous.'

[56] 'It is the Queen's doing,' is the statement of the newspapers of that
year; but seems to apply not to the dismissal of Lord Grey, but of Lord
Melbourne who had followed him.

[57] The reference to Lord Palmerston and the _Morning Post_ is
historical.

[58] It might be argued of course with much plausibility that this order
of things has begun long since, and that, the verbal distinction
notwithstanding, government by party has always, from another point of
view been government by groups.

[59] This (1701) followed the Kentish petition to the Commons protesting
against distrust of the King, and desiring that the addresses of the loyal
petitioners might be turned into Bills of Supply.

[60] Sir Theodore Martin's 'Life,' chapter i. These references are in all
cases to the People's Edition.

[61] 'Life,' p. 11.

[62] Before Prince Albert's reforms, the jurisdiction of the Palace
interior was divided between the Lord Chamberlain and the Lord Steward.
The Lord Chamberlain was responsible for providing the lamps, the Lord
Steward for lighting them; before a pane of glass or cupboard could be
repaired, months sometimes passed; all external repairs were in the hands
of the Woods and Forests, on which it therefore depended how much daylight
should be admitted through the windows. More than two-thirds of the indoor
servants seemed without control, coming in, going out, when, and with whom
they chose.--'Life,' pp. 26-27.

[63] 'Life,' p. 21.

[64] 'Life,' p. 21.

[65] Not, as was long said, Mr Disraeli, but Mr Disraeli's then titular
leader, Lord George Bentinck.

[66] At this interval, traditions as to the merits of the quarrel may
differ. The account here given is from the most authentic source
existing.--Martin's 'Life,' p, 29.

[67] This opinion used to be expressed very strongly by Lord Raglan who
commanded in the Crimea. It was shared by the French military experts of
the day.

[68] The figures in the earlier estimate are taken from the _Imperial
Federation Journal_, June 1886: Those of the later date are supplied by
the Army Estimates, and by the courtesy of Lord Lansdowne and his
colleagues at the War Office.

[69] This (_i.e._ distribution of honours according to property) seems
from _Ethics_, Book viii. ch. 10, the exact meaning of the convenient
compound.

[70] For the chief facts in these remarks on the army, where they are not
directly drawn from the Blue Books, or as above specified from the
Imperial Federation Journal, the writer is indebted, and would express his
thanks, to Lord Lansdowne, Secretary of State for War; to Field Marshal
Lord Wolseley, and to his old and distinguished friend General Sir Henry
Brackenbury.

[71] Quoted by Captain Eardley Wilmot in _The Development of Navies_, p.
1.

[72] _The Development of Navies_, p. 12.

[73] P. 27.

[74] The 'Warrior,' at this time standing by herself, was a vessel of
9,210 tons. Thirty-five years later the advance made in our ideas of
dimension and power may be judged from the fact that on Jan. 31, 1895, the
'Majestic' was launched. Her tonnage was 14,900, an increase of 5,690 on
her predecessor. Unlike the 'Warrior' of an earlier date, the 'Majestic'
was only one of several, the building of which began at the end of 1894,
the last parliamentary record of which reaches to the spring of 1896.
Briefly to summarize the results that emphasize the contrasts between the
two epochs, the average size of vessels built at the present time
approaches thrice that of twenty years ago. Then too, steel was not used
for ship building; now it is gradually supplanting iron. Of late there
have been more ships built than formerly on a less colossal scale. The
result is partially due to the dimensions of the Suez Canal whose depth is
not equal to an ironclad of the first magnitude. Time, apparently, is
still needed to show if our seamen can develop a skill as great in
handling these iron leviathans as in controlling those wooden craft, their
management of which was the admiration of the world.

[75] Apart from the parliamentary papers bearing on the navy, Captain
Eardley Wilmot's _The Development of Navies_ is the literary authority
that has been found most useful in preparing this chapter. The writer is
however, chiefly indebted to the details with which he has been kindly and
copiously supplied by the present First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr Goschen
and his staff, especially Lord Encombe.

[76] In the nineteenth century, on a much smaller scale, exhibitions had
been held in Paris 1801, 1806, 1836, 1849, as well as in Belgium, Germany
and Spain. The true precursor of the '51 Exhibition has been discovered by
Mr Molesworth (History ii. p. 363) in the Covent Garden Free Trade Bazaar
1846.

[77] Macaulay's House of Commons speeches in the 1832 Reform Bill debates
are famous. When he was best known as a writer, he had been Secretary at
War (1839) and Paymaster General (1846). Lytton at the zenith of his
literary fame had been Colonial Secretary under Lord Derby in 1858, before
he was made a peer in 1866.

[78] The vitality of Purcell's fame at the 200th anniversary of his death
was attested by the celebrations of 1895. Since then a very remarkable
tribute to his greatness has been given accidentally in an unexpected
quarter. The great German classical authority, the Bach Gesellschaft (vol.
xlii. p. 250) prints as a doubtful work of Bach, Purcell's Toccata in A
which is given in the Harpsichord and Organ volume of the Purcell Society
(p. 42). That a work of Purcell's should have been mistaken for one of the
very greatest organ writer's who has ever lived, and that by Bach's own
jealous countrymen, is a panegyric more significant than words on our own
great national composer.

[79] _Life and Letters of Sir Charles Hallé_ (Smith, Elder & Co.)
illustrates with interesting detail the service rendered to Beethoven by
this great exponent of his genius.

[80] For the facts and figures contained in this survey of our musical
state, the writer desires to express his special obligations to Sir George
Grove, and to Sir Arthur Sullivan, both private friends of many years
standing.

[81] Martin's 'Life,' People's Edition, part ii. p. 63.

[82] The habit of inviting other than parliamentary guests, men famous in
art or science, to the State dinners on the eve of the session began with
Mr Gladstone, and after him Mr Disraeli.

[83] A class chiefly, if not exclusively, represented by, to his honour be
it said, Professor Herkomer.

[84] While these pages are passing through the press, the French critic,
M. Yriarte, writing in the _Times_, gives the following interesting
testimony to the world-wide value of this British centre of humanity and
culture:--To-day for all of us foreigners South Kensington is a Mecca.
England there possesses the entire art of Europe and the East, their
spiritual manifestations under all forms, and Europe has been swept into
the stream in imitation of England. Berlin, Budapest, Vienna, Nuremberg,
Basle, Madrid, St Petersburg, Moscow, the large towns of America itself
have now their South Kensingtons; but in the original one of England still
unfinished, where the splendour of the start (excessive, as it seems to
me) contrasts with the inertia of the last fifteen years, the
inconceivable treasures are becoming so much heaped up as to be a
veritable obstacle to study. How is it possible to study this
extraordinary series of textiles of all times and countries, ranged one
upon another, overlapping and hiding one another, without proper
perspective and proper light?

[85] £70,000, to which the Duke of Marlborough reduced the £100,000 which
he originally asked.

[86] For the information embodied in this chapter, the writer is under
many obligations to the late Sir John E. Millais, to the late Sir Philip
Cunliffe Owen, long Director at South Kensington, and Mr F. A. Eaton, the
present Secretary to the Royal Academy.

[87] Greenwood, p. 291.

[88] Thackeray, when writing _The Virginians_, Carlyle, in the preparation
of all his later works, are authentic and only the more illustrious
instances which could be given.

[89] Such was the precise garment mentioned by Mr Harrison when he told
the story to the present writer.

[90] To whom, while at work on portions of this book at a distance from
London, the present writer owes much courteous help.

[91] By exactly ten years, Thackeray dying 1863, Lytton 1873. The
increased interest in Dickens is shown by Messrs Chapman & Hall's latest
editions, the revived interest in Lytton by Messrs Routledge's new
ventures.

[92] Personally, Lord Lytton was more correctly appreciated in Paris where
in his last years he much lived. His unfailing presence of mind in
physical difficulties or dangers compelled the admiration of all who knew
him. A Colonial Secretary himself, he first showed, in the closing
chapters of _The Caxtons_, that sense of the greatness of our Colonial
empire, to-day a commonplace but unknown up to then.

[93] John Copley, afterwards Lord Lyndhurst, and John Campbell, afterwards
Lord Campbell, during their student days at the Bar, both wrote for the
London papers, chiefly theatrical critiques.

[94] These figures for the later date are taken direct from Mitchell's
Newspaper Press Directory 1897; for the earlier from a note by Mr Garnett
in Mr Ward's _Reign of Queen Victoria_; Mr Garnett's statistics being
apparently derived from an article contributed probably by Albany Fonblanc
to an early number of the _Westminster Review_.

[95] Carried in the January of 1855 a majority of 157 (305 to 148).

[96] Successes of a new sort have been made. The penny newspapers had paid
by their advertisements; when the price of the paper on which they were
printed exceeded a certain figure, circulation beyond the amount necessary
to maintain advertisements was not therefore in itself a paramount object.
The new halfpenny sheets realized on every copy sold a profit larger even
proportionately than the penny papers had ever made on their copies,
advertisements of course excepted.

[97] For the commercial details of newspaper enterprise, the reader is
referred to the author's earlier work _England_, etc., where he duly
acknowledged his obligations to his editorial chief and personal friend,
Mr W. H. Mudford, of the _Standard_; for the fresh facts and figures here
given the writer is indebted to Sir Charles Dilke, to Mr H. Labouchere, to
an article on _Halfpenny Papers_ by Mr F. A. McKenzie in the _Windsor
Magazine_ for January 1897, and above all to Mitchell's invaluable
_Newspaper Press Directory_.

[98] M.P. for Shrewsbury since 1832.

[99] Each reform was followed by a fresh diminution in the death rate.

[100] This lady, in addition to her natural gift of organization, had been
trained at the Prussian hospital of Kaisersworth. Accompanied by her
friends, Mr and Mrs Bracebridge of Atherstone Hall, and 37 nurses, she
reached Scutari November 5, just in time to tend the wounded after
Balaclava.

[101] Sampson Low's _Charities of London_, p. 2.

[102] The statistics illustrative of this subject have been derived
exclusively from Mr Sampson Low's _Charities of London_, at the places
already indicated in the footnotes. For the other facts to complete the
little picture, the writer is indebted to friends who have made this
subject their special study, such as Lady Priestley, or reluctantly to his
own personal experience.

[103] For these statistics, some of them perhaps now given for the first
time the writer is beholden to Sir Brydges Henniker, Registrar General.

[104] This most gifted family came originally from Plymouth or its
neighbourhood, sending representatives to Bath, Bristol and Barnstaple.
The Barnstaple Budd, universally respected, died 1896.

[105] Dr Ferrier's work on the brain, mapping it out according to its
functions, appeared 1876 and also perhaps marks an epoch.

[106] Shortly before his death, the late Sir Andrew Clark assured the
present writer that his remarks in his earlier work, _England_, on the
medical profession were accurate in all respects and applicable to the
existing state of things. For the purpose of the present volume when the
writer was first contemplating it, and was in occasional correspondence
with Sir Andrew, the great physician kindly made a few fresh hints. These,
with the information of Sir William and Lady Priestley, have been
indispensable to the writer throughout.

[107] Evidence in support of this has been collected by the writer
throughout the manufacturing districts, an important fact being that where
secularism was most organized, there well-to-do mechanics and artizans are
Communicants, and often Sunday School teachers as well.

[108] The Ramsden Sermon, preached before Oxford University June 12, 1892,
pp. 10, 11.

[109] These Bishoprics, 75 in America, 4 in other countries, that is 79 in
all, control (1897) 4,666 clergy; among the church goers 622,194 are
Communicants. The total of Anglican clergy in foreign parts, at the period
of the Queen's accession, excluding Bishops, was 897. In 1850 it was
1,193. To-day (1897) it is 4,312. Roughly, therefore, the increase has
been 300 per cent.

[110] The most noticeable being the Gorham dispute about _Baptismal
Regeneration_ 1850, which issued in defining the Evangelical status, as in
1847 Hampden's bishopric had secured the broad Church position. In 1871
the Frome case secured the highest doctrines on the Eucharist. These three
decisions practically constitute the Charters of the three chief parties
in the National Church.

[111] Not Dean of St Paul's till 1869.

[112] _The Sermon on the Mount_, 1897.

[113] For the information as to the Church of England embodied in this
chapter, the writer's thanks are sincerely tendered to the Rev. H. W.
Tucker of the S.P.G. Society; to the Rev. J. C. Cox, D.D., Holdenby, North
Hants; to the Rev. A. L. Foulkes, Steventon, Berks; and to Mr G. W. E.
Russell. No official statistics of the numbers in the different Churches
exist. The basis of the estimate given is supplied by the statistics of
the _Federation League Journal_, June, 1886.

[114] This is not the conventional idea of clubs. Thackeray, who knew
club-life well, first illustrated this view. An examination of the tariff
and general charges at the professional clubs in Pall Mall or St James's
would show the absolute truth of the description.

[115] The Honourable Mr Algernon Bourke has a more than amateur experience
of modern clubs. While these pages are passing through the press, he gives
it as his opinion that nowadays there is practically no play in clubs. All
who know anything of the subject would confirm the general truth of that
statement.

[116] See _passim_ the evidence taken before this Committee printed in the
1844 Parliamentary Blue Books.

[117] The reluctance of referees to interfere is natural and pardonable in
view of the fashionable brutality not only of the players but the
spectators. A proof of this may be found in a typical instance reported in
a daily paper:--A FOOTBALL REFEREE ASSAULTED.--A disgraceful scene was
witnessed at Lincoln last night after the close of the League match
between Lincoln City and Newton Heath. The decisions of the referee (Mr
Fox, of Sheffield) gave great dissatisfaction to the crowd, and the
hostile demonstration commenced when he awarded the Heathens two penalty
kicks in quick succession. After the match he had to seek shelter in the
secretary's office for some time, and when he did leave the ground he was
badly assaulted by several roughs. The windows of a cab in which he drove
to his hotel were completely smashed.

[118] In the diverse materials for this chapter, the writer has been
helped greatly by the volume on the Turf in the Badminton Series, but in
all which has to do with horses by the Earl of Dunraven, by Lord
Ribblesdale, by Mr Leopold de Rothschild; in all that relates to cricket
and football by the Hon. and Rev. E. Lyttelton, Headmaster of Haileybury
College, and in the football facts by one of Mr Lyttelton's Haileybury
colleagues. His chess facts have been given him by a great West of England
authority in the game, H. Maxwell Prideaux. For his knowledge of ladies'
work he is indebted, as in _England_ he was, to Miss F. S. Hollings.

[119] The motion in 1849 for the Sierra Leone reduction was, as Hansard
shows, only one of a series of such proposals. Hume's views on the
Colonies were much those which Mill had set forth in his famous
Encyclopædia Britannica article. Mill may have been against Colonial
expansion, but not against Colonial retention.

[120] On this subject see the very interesting and accurate statistics
compiled by Mr F. Leveson Gower, and published by the Cobden Club.

[121] A. Cleveland Coxe, then Rector of Grace Church, Baltimore, published
his _Impressions of England_, 1856. His Ballads and Carols, ecclesiastical
or religious, especially one entitled _In Dreamland_, abound in graceful
fancy, and have had a popularity among English and American Anglicans
approaching that of _The Christian Year_.

[122] For the facts relating to the administration of law, the writer is
indebted to Sir Edward Clarke, and to the Master John MacDonell, of the
High Court of Justice. The facts and figures with respect to the Colonies
have been drawn from official sources as well as from the very valuable
_Imperial Federation League Journal_ for June 1886. He is further
personally beholden for the local colour inparted to his Colonial
descriptions by the private information of Sir Robert G. W. Herbert, Sir
Julius Vogel, Mr John Bramston, and other Colonial officials. The
privately printed papers of the fourth Lord Carnarvon distributed among
his personal friends (1897), opportunely confirm and illustrate the views
here given of the Colonial past, present, and future.





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