By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Earl of Beaconsfield
Author: Froude, James Anthony
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Earl of Beaconsfield" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

    Transcriber's Note:

    Every effort has been made to replicate this text as faithfully as
    possible, including non-standard spelling and punctuation.

    Some changes of spelling and punctuation have been made. They are
    listed at the end of the text. In the advertisements at the end of
    the book, apparent missing letters and punctuation have been
    supplied without comment.

    Italic text has been marked with _underscores_.
    Bold text has been marked with =equals signs=.

 _Uniform with this volume,_ =3s. 6d.= _each, with Portrait._





_The Volumes will contain Portraits, and will be published at periodical










 St. Dunstan's House, FETTER LANE, FLEET STREET, E.C.

 The Prime Ministers of
 Queen Victoria







 _He was a man, take him for all in all,
 We shall not look upon his like again_

 Hamlet, Act I. Scene 2


 St. Dunstan's House

 [_All rights reserved_]




 Carlyle on Lord Beaconsfield--Judgment of the House of
   Commons--Family history--The Jews in Spain--Migration to
   Venice--Benjamin D'Israeli the elder--Boyhood of Isaac
   Disraeli                                                          1


 Family of Isaac Disraeli--Life in London--Birth of his
   children--Abandons Judaism and joins the Church of
   England--Education of Benjamin Disraeli--School
   days--Picture of them in 'Vivian Grey' and 'Contarini
   Fleming'--Self-education at home--Early ambition                 12


 The Austen family--Choice of a
   profession--Restlessness--Enters a solicitor's
   office--'Vivian Grey'--Illness--Travels abroad--Migration of
   the Disraelis to Bradenham--Literary
   satires--'Popanilla'--Tours in the
   adventures--Improved health--Malta--James
   Pasha--Athens--Constantinople--Plains of Troy and
   Revolutionary epic--Jaffa--Jerusalem--Egypt--Home
   letters--Death of William Meredith--Return to England            20


 'Contarini Fleming'--The poetical life--Paternal advice--A
   poet, or not a poet?--'Revolutionary Epic'--Disraeli submits
   to an unfavourable verdict--Success of the novels--Disraeli
   a new star--London society--Political ambition--Mrs. Wyndham
   Lewis--Financial embarrassments--Portraits of Disraeli by N.
   P. Willis--Lady Dufferin and others--Stands for High
   Wycombe--Speech at the Red Lion--Tory Radicalism--Friendship
   with Lord Lyndhurst--Self-confidence--Vindication of the
   British Constitution--Conservative reaction--Taunton
   election--Crosses swords with O'Connell--The Runnymede
   Letters--Admitted into the Carlton Club--'Henrietta Temple'
   and 'Venetia'                                                    45


 Returned to Parliament for Maidstone--Takes his place behind
   Sir R. Peel--Maiden speech--Silenced by violence--Peel's
   opinion of it--Advice of Shiel--Second speech on Copyright
   completely successful--State of politics--England in a state
   of change--Break-up of ancient institutions--Land and its
   duties--Political economy and Free Trade--Struggle on the
   Corn Laws                                                        67


 Disraeli's beliefs, political and religious--Sympathy with the
   people--Defends the Chartists--The people, the
   middle-classes, and the aristocracy--Chartist Riots--Smart
   passage at arms in the House of Commons--Marriage--Mrs.
   Wyndham Lewis--Disraeli as a husband                             83


 The enthusiasm of progress--Carlyle and Disraeli--Protection
   and Free Trade--Sir Robert Peel the Protectionist
   champion--High Church movement at Oxford--The Church as a
   Conservative power--Effect of the Reform Bill--Disraeli's
   personal views--Impossible to realise--Election of 1841--Sir
   Robert Peel's Ministry--Drift towards Free Trade--Peel's
   neglect of Disraeli--Tariff of 1842--Young England--Symptoms
   of revolt--First skirmish with Peel--Remarkable speech on
   Ireland                                                          91


 Young England and the Oxford Tractarians--Disraeli a Hebrew at
   heart--'Coningsby'--Sidonia--'Sybil; or the Two
   Nations'--The great towns under the new creed--Lords of the
   soil, as they were and as they are--Disraeli an aristocratic
   socialist--Practical working of Parliamentary
   institutions--Special importance of 'Sybil'                     107


 The New Gospel--Effect on English character--The Manchester
   School--Tendencies of Sir Robert Peel--The Corn Laws--Peel
   brought into office as a Protectionist--Disraeli and
   Peel--Protracted duel--Effect of Disraeli's speeches--Final
   declaration of Peel against the Corn Laws--Corn Laws
   repealed--Lord George Bentinck--Irish Coercion Bill--The
   Canning episode--Defeat and fall of Peel--Disraeli succeeds
   to the Leadership of the Conservative Party                     129


 Disraeli as Leader of the Opposition--Effects of Free
   Trade--Scientific discoveries--Steam--Railroads--Commercial
   revolution--Unexampled prosperity--Twenty-five years of
   Liberal government--Disraeli's opinions and general
   attitude--Party government and the conditions of it--Power
   of an Opposition Leader--Never abused by Disraeli for party
   interests--Special instances--The _coup d'état_--The Crimean
   War--The Indian Mutiny--The Civil War in America--Remarkable
   warning against playing with the Constitution                   149


 Literary work--'Tancred; or, the New Crusade'--Modern
   philosophy--The 'Vestiges of the Natural History of
   Creation'--'Life of Lord George Bentinck'--Disraeli's
   religious views--Revelation as opposed to Science--Dislike
   and dread of Rationalism--Religion and statesmanship--The
   national creed the supplement of the national law--Speech in
   the theatre at Oxford--Disraeli on the side of the angels       165


 Indifference to money--Death of Isaac Disraeli--Purchase of
   Hughenden--Mrs. Brydges Willyams of Torquay--An assignation
   with unexpected results--Intimate acquaintance with Mrs.
   Willyams--Correspondence--Views on many subjects--The Crown
   of Greece--Louis Napoleon--Spanish pedigree of Mrs. Willyams    178


 Fall of the Whigs in 1867--Disraeli as Chancellor of the
   Exchequer--Reform Bill, why undertaken--Necessities, real or
   fancied, of a Party Leader--Alternatives--Split in the
   Cabinet--Disraeli carries his point--Niagara to be
   shot--Retirement of Lord Derby--Disraeli Prime
   Minister--Various judgments of his character--The House of
   Commons responsible for his elevation--Increasing popularity
   with all classes                                                188


 Reply of the Liberals to the Tory Reform Bill--State of
   Ireland--The Protestant Establishment--Resolutions proposed
   by Mr. Gladstone--Decay of Protestant feeling in
   England--Protestant character of the Irish Church--The Upas
   Tree--Mr. Gladstone's Irish policy--General effect on
   Ireland of the Protestant Establishment--Voltaire's
   opinion--Imperfect results--The character of the Protestant
   gentry--Nature of the proposed change--Sprung on England as
   a surprise--Mr. Gladstone's resolutions carried--Fall of
   Disraeli's Government                                           199


 The calm of satisfied ambition--A new novel--'Lothair'--Survey
   of English society--The modern aristocracy--Forces working
   on the surface and below it--Worship of rank--Cardinal
   Grandison--Revolutionary Socialism--Romeward drift of the
   higher classes--'Lothair' by far the most remarkable of all
   Disraeli's writings                                             215


 The exhausted volcanoes--Mr. Gladstone's failure and
   unpopularity--Ireland worse than before--Loss of influence
   in Europe--The Election of 1874--Great Conservative
   majority--Disraeli again Prime Minister with real power--His
   general position as a politician--Problems waiting to be
   dealt with--The relations between the Colonies and the
   Empire--The restoration of the authority of the law in
   Ireland--Disraeli's strength and Disraeli's
   weakness--Prefers an ambitious foreign policy--Russia and
   Turkey--The Eastern Question--Two possible policies and the
   effects of each--Disraeli's choice--Threatened war with
   Russia--The Berlin Conference--Peace with honour--Jingoism
   and fall of the Conservative party--Other features of his
   administration--Goes to the House of Lords as Earl of
   Beaconsfield and receives the Garter--Public Worship
   Act--Admirable distribution of patronage--Disraeli and
   Carlyle--Judgment of a conductor of an omnibus                  232


 Retirement from office--Dignity in retreat--Hughenden--Lord
   Beaconsfield as a landlord--Fondness for country
   life--'Endymion'--Illness and death--Attempted estimate of
   Lord Beaconsfield--A great man? or not a great man?--Those
   only great who can forget themselves--Never completely an
   Englishman--Relatively great, not absolutely--Gulliver among
   Lilliputians--Signs in 'Sybil' of a higher purpose, but a
   purpose incapable of realisation--Simplicity and
   blamelessness in private life--Indifference to
   fortune--Integrity as a statesman and administrator             254

  INDEX                                                            263



 Carlyle on Lord Beaconsfield--Judgment of the House of Commons--Family
   History--The Jews in Spain--Migration to Venice--Benjamin D'Israeli
   the Elder--Boyhood of Isaac Disraeli.


Carlyle, speaking to me many years ago of parliamentary government as he
had observed the working of it in this country, said that under this
system not the fittest men were chosen to administer our affairs, but
the 'unfittest.' The subject of the present memoir was scornfully
mentioned as an illustration; yet Carlyle seldom passed a sweeping
censure upon any man without pausing to correct himself. 'Well, well,
poor fellow,' he added, 'I dare say if we knew all about him we should
have to think differently.' I do not know that he ever did try to think
differently. His disposition to a milder judgment, if he entertained
such a disposition, was scattered by the Reform Bill of 1867, which
Carlyle regarded as the suicide of the English nation. In his 'Shooting
Niagara' he recorded his own verdict on that measure and the author of

'For a generation past it has been growing more and more evident that
there was only this issue; but now the issue itself has become
imminent, the distance of it to be guessed by years. Traitorous
politicians grasping at votes, even votes from the rabble, have brought
it on. One cannot but consider them traitorous; and for one's own poor
share would rather have been shot than have been concerned in it. And
yet, after all my silent indignation and disgust, I cannot pretend to be
clearly sorry that such a consummation is expedited. I say to myself,
Well, perhaps the sooner such a mass of hypocrisies, universal
mismanagements, and brutal platitudes and infidelities ends, if not in
some improvement then in death and _finis_, may it not be the better?
The sum of our sins increasing steadily day by day will at least
be less the sooner the settlement is. Nay, have I not a kind of
secret satisfaction of the malicious or even of the judiciary kind
(_Schadenfreude_, "mischief joy," the Germans call it, but really it is
"justice joy" withal) that he they call Dizzy is to do it; that other
jugglers of an unconscious and deeper type, having sold their poor
mother's body for a mess of official pottage, this clever, conscious
juggler steps in? "Soft, you, my honourable friends: _I_ will weigh out
the corpse of your mother--mother of mine she never was, but only
step-mother and milch cow--and you shan't have the pottage--not yours
you observe, but mine." This really is a pleasing trait of its sort;
other traits there are abundantly ludicrous, but they are too lugubrious
even to be momentarily pleasant. A superlative Hebrew conjuror
spell-binding all the great lords, great parties, great interests of
England to his hand in this manner, and leading them by the nose like
helpless mesmerised somnambulist cattle to such issue! Did the world
ever see a _flebile ludibrium_ of such magnitude before? Lath-sword and
scissors of Destiny, Pickle-herring and the three Parcæ alike busy in
it. This too I suppose we had deserved; the end of our poor old England
(such an England as we had at last made of it) to be not a fearful
tragedy, but an ignominious farce as well.'

The consequences of the precipitation over the cataract not being
immediate, and Government still continuing, over which a juggler of some
kind must necessarily preside, Carlyle, though hope had forsaken him,
retained his preference for the conscious over the unconscious. He had a
faint pleasure in Disraeli's accession to power in 1874. He was even
anxious that I should myself accept a proposal of a seat in Parliament
which had been made to me, as a _quasi_ follower of Disraeli--not that
he trusted him any better, but he thought him preferable to a worse
alternative. He was touched with some compunction for what he had
written when Disraeli acknowledged Carlyle's supremacy as a man of
letters--offered him rank and honours and money, and offered them in
terms as flattering as his own proudest estimate of himself could have
dictated. Accept such offers Carlyle could not; but he was affected by
the recognition that of all English ministers the Hebrew conjuror should
have been the only one who had acknowledged his services to his country,
and although he disapproved and denounced Disraeli's policy in the East
he did perceive that there might be qualities in the man to which he had
not done perfect justice.

However that may be, Disraeli was a child of Parliament. It was
Parliament and the confidence of Parliament which gave him his place in
the State. For forty years he was in the front of all the battles which
were fought in the House of Commons, in opposition or in office, in
adversity or in success, in conflict and competition with the most
famous debaters of the age. In the teeth of prejudice, without support
save in his own force of character, without the advantage of being the
representative of any popular cause which appealed to the imagination,
he fought his way till the consent of Parliament and country raised him
to the Premiership.

Extraordinary qualities of some kind he must have possessed. No horse
could win in such a race who had not blood and bone and sinew. Whether
he was fit or unfit to govern England, the House of Commons chose him as
their best; and if he was the charlatan which in some quarters he is
supposed to have been, the Parliament which in so many years failed to
detect his unworthiness is itself unfit to be trusted with the nation's
welfare. He was not borne into power on the tide of any outside
movement. He was not the advocate of any favourite measure with which
his name was identified. He rose by his personal qualifications alone,
and in studying what those qualifications were we are studying the
character of Parliament itself.


The prophets who spoke of the dispersion of the Jews as a penalty for
their sins described a phenomenon which probably preceded the Captivity.
Through Tyre the Hebrew race had a road open through which they could
spread along the shores of the Mediterranean. There was a colony of them
in Rome in the time of Cicero. In Carthage they were among a people who
spoke their own language. It is likely that they accompanied the
Carthaginians in their conquests and commercial enterprises, and were
thus introduced into Spain, where a Jewish community undoubtedly existed
in St. Paul's time, and where it survived through all changes in the
fortunes of the Peninsula. Under the Arabs the Jews of Spain preserved
undisturbed their peculiar characteristics. As the crescent waned before
the cross they intermarried with Christian families, and conformed
outwardly with the established faith while they retained in secret their
own ceremonies.

The Jewish people, says Isaac Disraeli in his 'Genius of Judaism,' are
not a nation, for they consist of many nations. They are Spanish or
Portuguese, German or Polish, and, like the chameleon, they reflect the
colours of the spot they rest on. The people of Israel are like water
running through vast countries, tinged in their course with all
varieties of the soil where they deposit themselves. Every native Jew as
a political being becomes distinct from other Jews. The Hebrew adopts
the hostilities and the alliances of the land where he was born. He
calls himself by the name of his country. Under all these political
varieties the Jew of the Middle Ages endeavoured to preserve his inward
peculiarities. In England, in France, in Germany, in Italy, he enjoyed
for the sake of his wealth a fitful toleration, with intervals of
furious persecution. From England he was expelled at the beginning of
the fourteenth century, and his property was confiscated to the State.
In crusading Spain he had not ventured to practise his creed in the open
day, and thus escaped more easily. He was unmolested as long as he
professed a nominal Christianity. He was wealthy, he was ingenious, he
was enterprising. In his half-transparent disguise he intermarried with
the proudest Castilian breeds. He took service under the State, and rose
to the highest positions, even in the Church itself. A Jew who had not
ceased to be a Jew in secret became Primate of Spain, and when the
crowns of Castile and Aragon became united it was reckoned that there
was scarcely a noble family in the two realms pure from intermixture of
Jewish blood. His prosperity was the cause of his ruin. The kingdom of
Granada fell at last before Ferdinand and Isabella, and the Church of
Spain addressed itself, in gratitude to Providence, to the purifying of
the Peninsula from the unholy presence of the wealthy unbeliever.

The Jews who were willing to break completely with their religious
associations remained undisturbed. The Inquisition undertook the
clearance of the rest, and set to work with characteristic vigour. Rank
was no protection. The highest nobles were among the first who were
called for examination before Torquemada's tribunal. Tens of thousands
of the 'new Christians' who were convicted of having practised the rites
of their own religion after outward conformity with Christianity, were
burnt at the stake as 'relapsed.' Those who could escape fled to other
countries where a less violent bigotry would allow them a home. Venice
was the least intolerant. Venice lived upon its commerce, and the Jews
there, as always, were the shrewdest traders in the world. The Venetian
aristocrats might treat them as social pariahs, rate them on the Rialto,
and spit upon their gabardines, but they had ducats, and their ducats
secured them the protection of the law.


Among those who thus sought and found the hospitality of the Adriatic
republic at the end of the fifteenth century was a family allied with
the house of Lara, and perhaps entitled to bear its name. They
preferred, however, to break entirely their connection with the country
which had cast them off. They called themselves simply D'Israeli, or
Sons of Israel, a name, says Lord Beaconsfield, never borne before or
since by any other family, in order that their race might be for ever
recognised. At Venice they lived and throve, and made money for two
hundred years. Towards the middle of the last century, when Venice was
losing her commercial pre-eminence, they began to turn their eyes
elsewhere. Very many of their countrymen were already doing well in
Holland. England was again open to them. Jews were still under some
disabilities there, but they were in no danger of being torn by horses
in the streets under charge of eating children at their Passover. They
could follow their business and enjoy the fruits of it; and the head of
the Venetian house decided that his second son, Benjamin, 'the child of
his right hand,' should try his fortune in London. The Disraelis
retained something of their Spanish pride, and did not like to be
confounded with the lower grades of Hebrews whom they found already
established there. The young Benjamin was but eighteen when he came
over; he took root and prospered, but he followed a line of his own and
never cordially or intimately mixed with the Jewish community, and the
tendency to alienation was increased by his marriage.


'My grandfather,' wrote Lord Beaconsfield, 'was a man of ardent
character, sanguine, courageous, speculative, and fortunate; with a
temper which no disappointment could disturb and a brain full of
resources.' He made a fortune, he married a beautiful woman of the same
religion as his own and whose family had suffered equally from
persecution. The lady was ambitious of social distinction, and she
resented upon her unfortunate race the slights and disappointments to
which it exposed her. Her husband took it more easily. He was rich. He
had a country house at Enfield, where he entertained his friends, played
whist, and enjoyed himself, 'notwithstanding a wife who never pardoned
him his name.' So successful he had been that he saw his way to
founding a house which might have been a power in Europe. But the more
splendid his position the more bitter would have been his wife's
feelings. He retired therefore early from the field, contented with the
wealth which he had acquired. Perhaps his resolution was precipitated by
the character of the son who was the only issue of his marriage. Isaac
Disraeli was intended for the heir of business, and Isaac showed from
the first a determined disinclination for business of any sort or kind.
'Nature had disqualified the child from his cradle for the busy pursuits
of men.' 'He grew up beneath a roof of worldly energy and enjoyment,
indicating that he was of a different order from those with whom he
lived.' Neither his father nor his mother understood him. To one he was
'an enigma,' to the other 'a provocation.' His dreamy, wandering eyes
were hopelessly unpractical. His mother was irritated because she could
not rouse him into energy. He grew on 'to the mournful period of
boyhood, when eccentricities excite attention and command no sympathy.'
Mrs. Disraeli was exasperated when she ought to have been gentle. Her
Isaac was the last drop in her cup of bitterness, and 'only served to
swell the aggregate of many humiliating particulars.' She grew so
embittered over her grievances that Lord Beaconsfield says 'she lived
till eighty without indulging a tender expression;' and must have been
an unpleasant figure in her grandson's childish recollections. The
father did his best to keep the peace, but had nothing to offer but
good-natured commonplaces. Isaac at last ran away from home, and was
brought back after being found lying on a tombstone in Hackney
Churchyard. His father 'embraced him, gave him a pony,' and sent him to
a day school, where he had temporary peace. But the reproaches and
upbraidings recommenced when he returned in the evenings. To crown all,
Isaac was delivered of a poem, and for the first time the head of the
family was seriously alarmed. Hitherto he had supposed that boys would
be boys, and their follies ought not to be too seriously noticed; but a
poem was a more dangerous symptom; 'the loss of his argosies could not
have filled him with a more blank dismay.'

The too imaginative youth was despatched to a counting-house in
Holland. His father went occasionally to see him, but left him for
several years to drudge over ledgers without once coming home, in the
hope that in this way, if in no other, the evil spirit might be
exorcised. Had it been necessary for Isaac Disraeli to earn his own
bread the experiment might have succeeded. His nature was gentle and
amiable, and though he could not be driven he might have been led. But
he knew that he was the only child of a wealthy parent. Why should he do
violence to his disposition and make himself unnecessarily miserable?
Instead of book-keeping he read Bayle and Voltaire. He was swept into
Rousseauism and imagined himself another Emile. When recalled home at
last the boy had become a young man. He had pictured to himself a
passionate scene in which he was to fly into his mother's arms, and
their hearts were to rush together in tears of a recovered affection.
'When he entered, his strange appearance, his gaunt figure, his excited
manner, his long hair, and his unfashionable costume only filled her
with a sentiment of tender aversion. She broke into derisive laughter,
and noticing his intolerable garments reluctantly lent him her cheek.'
The result, of course, was a renewal of household misery. His father
assured him that his parents desired only to make him happy, and
proposed to establish him in business at Bordeaux. He replied that he
had written another poem against commerce, 'which was the corruption of
man,' and that he meant to publish it. What was to be done with
such a lad? 'With a home that ought to have been happy,' says Lord
Beaconsfield, 'surrounded with more than comfort, with the most
good-natured father in the world and an agreeable man, and with a mother
whose strong intellect under ordinary circumstances might have been of
great importance to him, my father, though himself of a very sweet
disposition, was most unhappy.' To keep him at home was worse than
useless. He was sent abroad again, but on his own terms. He went to
Paris, made literary acquaintance, studied in libraries, and remained
till the eve of the Revolution amidst the intellectual and social
excitement which preceded the general convulsion. But his better sense
rebelled against the Rousseau enthusiasm. Paris ceasing to be a safe
residence, he came home once more, recovered from the dangerous form of
his disorder, 'with some knowledge of the world and much of books.'

His aversion to the counting-house was, however, as pronounced as ever.
Benjamin Disraeli resigned himself to the inevitable--wound up his
affairs and retired, as has been said, upon the fortune which he had
realised. Isaac, assured of independence, if not of great wealth, went
his own way; published a satire, which the old man overlived without a
catastrophe, and entered the literary world of London. Before he was
thirty he brought out his 'Curiosities of Literature,' which stepped at
once into popularity and gave him a name. He wrote verses which were
pretty and graceful, verses which were read and remembered by Sir
Walter Scott, and were at least better than his son's. But he was too
modest to overrate their value. He knew that poetry, unless it be the
best of its kind, is better unproduced, and withdrew within the limits
where he was conscious that he could excel. 'The poetical temperament
was not thrown away upon him. Because he was a poet he was a popular
writer, and made _belles-lettres_ charming to the multitude.... His
destiny was to give his country a series of works illustrative of its
literary and political history, full of new information and new views
which time has ratified as just.'


 Family of Isaac Disraeli--Life in London--Birth of his
   Children--Abandons Judaism and joins the Church of England--Education
   of Benjamin Disraeli--School Days--Picture of them in 'Vivian Grey'
   and 'Contarini Fleming'--Self-education at Home--Early Ambition.


Isaac Disraeli, having the advantage of a good fortune, escaped the
embarrassments which attend a struggling literary career. His
circumstances were easy. He became intimate with distinguished men; and
his experiences in Paris had widened and liberalised his mind. His creed
sate light upon him, but as long as his father lived he remained
nominally in the communion in which he was born. He married happily a
Jewish lady, Maria, daughter of Mr. George Basevi, of Brighton, a
gentle, sweet-tempered, affectionate woman. To her he relinquished the
management of his worldly affairs, and divided his time between his own
splendid library, the shops of book collectors or the British Museum,
and the brilliant society of politicians and men of letters. His
domestic life was unruffled by the storms which had disturbed his
boyhood; a household more affectionately united was scarcely to be found
within the four seas. Four children were born to him--the eldest a
daughter, Sarah, whose gifts and accomplishments would have raised her,
had she been a man, into fame; Benjamin, the Prime Minister that was to
be, and two other boys, Ralph and James. The Disraelis lived in London,
but changed their residence more than once. At the outset of their
married life they had chambers in the Adelphi. From thence they removed
to the King's Road, Gray's Inn, and there, on December 21, 1804,
Benjamin was born. He was received into the Jewish Church with the usual
rites, the record of the initiation being preserved in the register of
the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue Bevis Marks. No soothsayer having
foretold his future eminence, he was left to grow up much like other
children. He was his mother's darling, and was naturally spoilt. He was
unruly, and a noisy boy at home perhaps disturbed his father's serenity.
At an early age it was decided that he must go to school, but where it
was not easy to decide. English boys were rough and prejudiced, and a
Jewish lad would be likely to have a hard time among them. No friend of
Isaac Disraeli, who knew what English public schools were then like,
would have recommended him to commit his lad to the rude treatment which
he would encounter at Eton or Winchester. A private establishment of a
smaller kind had to be tried as preliminary.

[Sidenote: SCHOOL LIFE]

Disraeli's first introduction to life was at a Mr. Poticary's, at
Blackheath, where he remained for several years--till he was too old to
be left there, and till a very considerable change took place in the
circumstances of the family. In 1817 the grandfather died. Isaac
Disraeli succeeded to his fortune, removed from Gray's Inn Road, and
took a larger house--No. 6 Bloomsbury Square, then a favourite situation
for leading lawyers and men of business. A more important step was his
formal withdrawal from the Jewish congregation. The reasons for it, as
given by himself in his 'Genius of Judaism,' were the narrowness of the
system, the insistence that the Law was of perpetual obligation, while
circumstances changed and laws failed of their objects. 'The
inventions,' he says, 'of the Talmudical doctors, incorporated in their
ceremonies, have bound them hand and foot, and cast them into the
caverns of the lone and sullen genius of rabbinical Judaism, cutting
them off from the great family of mankind and perpetuating their sorrow
and their shame.' The explanation is sufficient, but the resolution was
probably of older date. The coincidence between the date of his father's
death and his own secession points to a connection between the two
events. His mother's impatience of her Jewish fetters must naturally
have left a mark on his mind, and having no belief himself in the
system, he must have wished to relieve his children of the disabilities
and inconveniences which attached to them as members of the synagogue.
At all events at this period he followed the example of his Spanish
ancestors in merging himself and them in the general population of his
adopted country. The entire household became members of the Church of
England. The children read their Prayer Books and learned their
catechisms. On July 31 in that year Benjamin Disraeli was baptised at
St. Andrew's Church, Holborn, having for his godfather his father's
intimate friend the distinguished Sharon Turner.

The education problem was thus simplified, but not entirely solved. The
instruction at Mr. Poticary's was indifferent. 'Ben' had learnt little
there. The Latin and Greek were all behindhand, and of grammar, which in
those days was taught tolerably effectively in good English schools, he
had brought away next to nothing. But he was quick, clever, impetuous.
At home he was surrounded with books, and had read for himself with
miscellaneous voracity. In general knowledge and thought he was far
beyond his age. His father's wish was to give him the best education
possible--to send him to Eton, and then to a university. His mother
believed that a public school was a place where boys were roasted alive.
'Ben' was strong and daring, and might be trusted to take care of
himself. The objections, however, notwithstanding the removal of the
religious difficulty, were still considerable. The character of a public
school is more determined by the boys than by the masters. There were no
institutions where prejudice had freer play at the beginning of the
present century. The nationality of a Disraeli could neither be
concealed nor forgotten, and though he might be called a Christian, and
though he might be ready to return blow for blow if he was insulted or
ill-used, it is not likely that at either one of our great public
foundations he would have met with any tolerable reception. He would
himself have willingly run the risk, and regretted afterwards, perhaps,
that he had no share in the bright Eton life which he describes so
vividly in 'Coningsby.' It was decided otherwise. The school chosen for
him was at Walthamstow. The master was a Dr. Cogan, a Unitarian. There
were many boys there, sons most of them of rich parents; but the
society at a Unitarian school seventy years ago could not have been
distinguished for birth or good breeding. Neither 'Vivian Grey' nor
'Contarini Fleming' can be trusted literally for autobiographical
details; but Disraeli has identified himself with Contarini in assigning
to him many of his own personal experiences, and Vivian has been always
acknowledged as a portrait sketched from a looking-glass. In both these
novels there are pictures of the hero's school days, so like in their
general features that they may be taken as a fair account of Disraeli's
own recollections. He was fifteen when he went to Walthamstow, and was
then beyond the age when most boys begin their school career.

'For the first time in my life,' says Contarini, 'I was surrounded by
struggling and excited beings. Joy, hope, sorrow, ambition, craft,
dulness, courage, cowardice, beneficence, awkwardness, grace, avarice,
generosity, wealth, poverty, beauty, hideousness, tyranny, suffering,
hypocrisy, tricks, love, hatred, energy, inertness, they were all there
and sounded and moved and acted about me. Light laughs and bitter cries
and deep imprecations, and the deeds of the friendly, the prodigal, and
the tyrant, the exploits of the brave, the graceful, and the gay, and
the flying words of native wit and the pompous sentences of acquired
knowledge, how new, how exciting, how wonderful!'


Contarini is Disraeli thus launched into a school epitome of the world
after the Unitarian pattern. It was a poor substitute for Eton. The
young Disraeli soon asserted his superiority. He made enemies, he made
friends, at all events he distinguished himself from his comrades.
School work did not interest him, and he paid but slight attention to
it. He wanted ideas, and he was given what seemed to him to be but
words. He lost the opportunity of becoming an exact scholar. On the
other hand in thought, in imagination, in general attainments, he was
superior to everyone about him, masters included. Superiority begets
jealousy. Boys never pardon a comrade who is unlike themselves. He was
taunted with his birth, as it was inevitable that he would be. As
inevitably he resented the insult. Contarini Fleming and Vivian Grey
both fight and thrash the biggest boy in their school. The incident in
the novels is evidently taken from the writer's experience. Disraeli
was a fighter from his youth, with his fist first, as with his tongue
afterwards. It was characteristic of him that he had studied the art of
self-defence, and was easily able to protect himself. But both his
heroes were unpopular, and it may be inferred that he was not popular
any more than they. The school experiment was not a success and came to
an abrupt end. Vivian Grey was expelled; Contarini left of his own
accord, because he learnt nothing which he thought would be of use to
him, and because he 'detested school more than he ever abhorred the
world in the darkest moment of experienced manhood.' The precise
circumstances under which Disraeli himself made his exit are not known
to me, but his stay at Walthamstow was a brief one, and he left to
complete his education at home. His father, recollecting the troubles of
his own youth, abstained from rebukes or reproaches, left him to
himself, helped him when he could, and now and then, if we may identify
him with Vivian, gave him shrewd and useful advice. Disraeli wanted no
spurring. He worked for twelve hours a day, conscious that he had
singular powers and passionately ambitious to make use of them. He was
absolutely free from the loose habits so common in the years between
boyhood and youth; his father had no fault to find with his conduct,
which he admitted had been absolutely correct. The anxiety was of
another kind. He did not wish to interfere with his son's direction of
himself, but warned him, very wisely, 'not to consider himself a
peculiar boy.' 'Take the advice,' said Mr. Grey to Vivian, 'of one who
has committed as many--aye, more--follies than yourself. Try to
ascertain what may be the chief objects of your existence in this world.
I want you to take no theological dogmas for granted, nor to satisfy
your doubts by ceasing to think; but whether we are in this world in a
state of probation for another, or whether at death we cease altogether,
human feelings tell me that we have some duties to perform to our
fellow-creatures, to our friends, and to ourselves.'


Disraeli's conception of himself was that he had it in him to be a great
man, and that the end of his existence was to make himself a great man.
With his father's example before him literature appeared the readiest
road. Contarini when a boy wrote romances and threw them into the river,
and composed pages of satire or sentiment 'and grew intoxicated with his
own eloquence.' He pondered over the music of language, studied the
cultivation of sweet words, and constructed elaborate sentences in
lonely walks, and passed his days in constant struggle to qualify
himself for the part which he was determined to play in the game of
life. Boyish pursuits and amusements had no interest for him. In
athletic games he excelled if he chose to exert himself, but he rarely
did choose unless it was in the science of self-defence. He rode well
and hard, for the motion stimulated his spirits; but in galloping across
the country he was charging in imagination the brooks and fences in the
way of his more ambitious career.

This was one side of him in those early years; another was equally
remarkable. He intended to excel among his fellow-creatures, and to
understand what men and women were like was as important to him as to
understand books. The reputation of Vivian Grey's father--in other
words, his own father--had always made him an honoured guest in the
great world. For this reason he had been anxious that his son should be
as little at home as possible, for he feared for a youth the fascination
of London society. This particular society was what Disraeli was most
anxious to study, and was in less danger from it than his father
fancied. He was handsome, audacious, and readily made his way into the
circle of the family acquaintances. 'Contarini was a graceful,
lively lad, with enough of dandyism to prevent him from committing
_gaucheries_, and with a devil of a tongue.' 'He was never at a loss for
a compliment or a repartee,' and 'was absolutely unchecked by foolish
modesty.' 'The nervous vapidity of my first rattle,' says the _alter
ego_ Vivian, 'soon subsided into a continuous flow of easy nonsense.
Impertinent and flippant, I was universally hailed as an original and a
wit. I became one of the most affected, conceited, and intolerable atoms
that ever peopled the sunbeam of society.' The purpose which lay behind
Disraeli's frivolous outside was as little suspected by those who saw
him in the world as the energy with which he was always working in his
laborious hours. The stripling of seventeen was the same person as the
statesman of seventy, with this difference only, that the affectation
which was natural in the boy was itself affected in the matured
politician, whom it served well as a mask or as a suit of impenetrable


 The Austen Family--Choice of a Profession--Restlessness--Enters a
   Solicitor's Office--'Vivian Grey'--Illness--Travels Abroad--Migration
   of the Disraelis to Bradenham--Literary Satires--'Popanilla'--Tour in
   the East--Gibraltar--Cadiz--Seville--Mountain Adventures--Improved
   Health--Malta--James Clay--Greece--Yanina--Redshid
   Pasha--Athens--Constantinople--Plains of Troy and Revolutionary
   Epic--Jaffa--Jerusalem--Egypt--Home Letters--Death of William
   Meredith--Return to England.


In the neighbourhood of the square in which the Disraelis now resided
there lived a family named Austen, with whom the young Benjamin became
closely intimate. Mr. Austen was a solicitor in large practice; his wife
was the daughter of a Northamptonshire country gentleman--still
beautiful, though she had been for some years married, a brilliant
conversationalist, a fine musician, and an amateur artist of
considerable power. The house of this lady was the gathering-place of
the young men of talent of the age. She early recognised the unusual
character of her friend's boy. She invited him to her salons, talked to
him, advised and helped him. A writer in the 'Quarterly Review' (January
1889), apparently a connection of the Austens, remembers having been
taken by them as a child to call on the Disraelis. 'Ben, then perhaps a
school-boy returned for the holidays, was sent for, and appeared in his
shirt-sleeves with boxing gloves.' His future destination was still
uncertain. Isaac Disraeli, who had no great belief in youthful genius,
disencouraged his literary ambition, and was anxious to see him
travelling along one of the beaten roads. Mr. Austen was probably of the
same opinion. 'Ben's' own views on this momentous subject are not likely
to have been much caricatured in the meditations of Vivian Grey.

'The Bar!--pooh! Law and bad jokes till we are forty, and then with the
most brilliant success the prospect of gout and a coronet. Besides, to
succeed as an advocate I must be a great lawyer, and to be a great
lawyer I must give up my chances of being a great man. The "services" in
war time are fit only for desperadoes (and that truly am I), and in
peace are fit only for fools. The Church is more rational. I should
certainly like to act Wolsey, but the thousand and one chances are
against me, and my destiny should not be a chance.' Practical always
Disraeli was, bent simply on making his way, and his way to a great
position. No _ignes fatui_ were likely to mislead him into spiritual
morasses, no love-sick dreams to send him wandering after imaginary
Paradises. He was as shrewd as he was ambitious, and he took an early
measure of his special capabilities. 'Beware,' his father had said to
him, 'of trying to be a great man in a hurry.' His weakness was
impatience. He could not bear to wait. Byron had blazed like a new star
at five-and-twenty; why not he? Pitt had been Prime Minister at a still
earlier age, and of all young Disraeli's studies political history had
been the most interesting to him. But to rise in politics he must get
into Parliament, and the aristocrats who condescended to dine in
Bloomsbury Square, and to laugh at his impertinence, were not likely to
promise him a pocket borough. His father could not afford to buy him
one, nor would have consented to squander money on so wild a prospect.
He saw that to advance he must depend upon himself and must make his way
into some financially independent position. While chafing at the
necessity he rationally folded his wings, and on November 18, 1821, when
just seventeen, he was introduced into a solicitor's office in Old
Jewry. Mr. Maples, a member of the firm, was an old friend of Isaac
Disraeli, and to Mr. Maples's department 'Ben' was attached. Distasteful
as the occupation must have been to him, he attached himself zealously
to his work. He remained at his desk for three years, and Mr. Maples
described him as 'most assiduous in his attention to business, as
showing great ability in the transaction of it,' and as likely, if
allowed to go to the Bar, to attain to eminence there.

[Sidenote: 'VIVIAN GREY']

If the project had been carried out the anticipation would probably have
been verified. The qualities which enabled Disraeli to rise in the House
of Commons would have lifted him as surely, and perhaps as rapidly, into
the high places of the profession. He might have entered Parliament
with greater facility and with firmer ground under his feet. He
acquiesced in his father's wishes; he was entered at Lincoln's Inn, and
apparently intended to pursue a legal career; but the Fates or his own
adventurousness ordered his fortunes otherwise. His work in the office
had not interfered with his social engagements. He met distinguished
people at his father's table--Wilson Croker, then Secretary to the
Admiralty; Samuel Rogers; John Murray, the proprietor of the 'Quarterly
Review,' and others of Murray's brilliant contributors. The Catholic
question was stirring. There were rumours of Reform, and the political
atmosphere was growing hot. Disraeli observed, listened, took the
measure of these men, and thought he was as good as any of them. He
began to write in the newspapers. The experienced Mr. Murray took notice
of him as a person of whom something considerable might be made. These
acquaintances enabled him to extend his knowledge of the world, which
began to shape itself into form and figure. To understand the serious
side of things requires a matured faculty. The ridiculous is caught more
easily. With Mrs. Austen for an adviser, and perhaps with her
assistance, he composed a book which, however absurd in its plot and
glaring in its affectation, revealed at once that a new writer had
started into being, who would make his mark on men and things. That a
solicitor's clerk of twenty should be able to produce 'Vivian Grey' is
not, perhaps, more astonishing than that Dickens, at little more than
the same age, should have written 'Pickwick.' All depends on the eye.
Most of us encounter every day materials for a comedy if we could only
see them. But genius is wanted for it, and the thing, when accomplished,
proves that genius has been at work.

The motto of Vivian Grey was sufficiently impudent:

    Why, then, the world's mine oyster,
    Which with my sword I'll open.

The central figure is the author himself caricaturing his own
impertinence and bringing on his head deserved retribution; but the
sarcasm, the strength of hand, the audacious personalities caught the
attention of the public, and gave him at once the notoriety which he
desired. 'Vivian' was the book of the season; everyone read it, everyone
talked about it, and keys were published of the characters who were
satirised. Disraeli, like Byron, went to sleep a nameless youth of
twenty-one and woke to find himself famous.

A successful novel may be gratifying to vanity, but it is a bad
introduction to a learned profession. Attorneys prefer barristers who
stick to business and do not expatiate into literature. A single fault
might be overlooked, and 'Vivian Grey' be forgotten before its author
could put on his wig, but a more serious cause interrupted his legal
progress. He was overtaken by a singular disorder, which disabled him
from serious work. He had fits of giddiness, which he described as like
a consciousness of the earth's rotation. Once he fell into a trance,
from which he did not completely recover for a week. He was recommended
to travel, and the Austens took him abroad with them for a summer tour.
They went to Paris, to Switzerland, to Milan, Venice, Florence, Geneva,
and back over Mont Cenis into France. His health became better, but was
not re-established, and he returned to his family still an invalid.

[Sidenote: BRADENHAM]

The 'law' was postponed, but not yet abandoned. In a letter to his
father, written in 1832, he spoke of his illness as having robbed him of
five years of life; as if this, and this alone, had prevented him from
going on with his profession. Meanwhile there was a complete change in
the outward circumstances of the Disraeli household. Isaac Disraeli, who
had the confirmed habits of a Londoner, whose days had been spent in
libraries and his evenings in literary society, for some reason or other
chose to alter the entire character of his existence. Like Ferrars in
'Endymion,' though not for the same cause, he tore himself away from all
his associations and withdrew with his wife and children to an old manor
house in Buckinghamshire, two miles from High Wycombe. Bradenham, their
new home, is exactly described in the account which Disraeli gives of
the Ferrars's place of retirement; and perhaps their first arrival
there and their gipsy-like encampment in the old hall, the sense,
half-realised, that they were being taken away from all their interests
and associations, may equally have been drawn from memory. The
Disraelis, however, contrived happily enough to fit themselves to their
new existence. Disraeli all through his life delighted in the country
and country scenes. The dilapidated manor house was large and
picturesque. The land round it was open down, or covered thinly with
scrub and woods. They had horses and could gallop where they pleased.
They had their dogs and their farmyard; they made new friends among the
tenantry and the labourers. Disraeli's head continued to trouble him,
but the air and the hills gave him his best chance of recovery. His
father, contented with an occasional lecture, left him to himself. He
was devoted to his mother and passionately attached to his sister.
Altogether nothing could be calmer, nothing more affectionately peaceful
than the two or three years which he passed at Bradenham after this
migration. Though he could not study in London chambers, he could read
and he could write, and over his writing he worked indefatigably, if not
with great success. He added a second part to 'Vivian Grey.' Clever it
could not help being, but it had not the flavour of the first. He wrote
the 'Young Duke,' a flashy picture of high society which might have
passed muster as the ephemeral production of an ordinary novelist.
Neither of these, however, indicated any literary advance, nor did he
himself attach any value to them. In a happier interval, perhaps, when
he had a respite from his headaches, he threw off three light satires,
which, with one exception, are the most brilliant of all his
productions. 'Ixion in Heaven' is taken from the story of the King of
Thessaly who was carried to Olympus and fell in love with the queen of
the gods. Disraeli's classical knowledge probably went no farther than
Lemprière's Dictionary, but Lemprière gave him all that he wanted. The
form and tone are like Lucian's, and the execution almost as good. No
characters in real life are more vivid than those which he draws of the
high-bred divinities at the court of the Father of the gods, while the
Father himself is George IV. Apollo Byron, and the ladies well-known
ornaments of the circles of the Olympians of May Fair.


Equally good is the 'Infernal Marriage,' the rape of Proserpine and her
adventures in her dominions below. The wit which we never miss in
Disraeli rises here into humour which is rare with him, and a deeper
current of thought can be traced when the Queen of Hell pays a visit to
Elysium, finding there the few thousand families who spend their time in
the splendid luxury of absolute idleness; high-born, graceful beings
without a duty to perform, supported by the toil of a million gnomes,
and after exhausting every form of amusement ready to perish of ennui.

The third fragment, written in these years, which Lord Beaconsfield
included in his collected works (he probably wrote others which are lost
in the quicksands of keepsakes and annuals) was 'Popanilla,' a satire on
the English Constitution. He has changed his manner from Lucian's to
Swift's. 'Popanilla' might have been another venture of Mr. Lemuel
Gulliver if there had been malice in it. The satire of Swift is inspired
by hatred and scorn of his race. The satire of Disraeli is pleasant,
laughing, and good-humoured. In all his life he never hated anybody or
anything, never bore a grudge or remembered a libel against himself.
Popanilla is a native of an unknown island in an unknown part of the
Pacific, an island where modern civilisation had never penetrated and
life was a round of ignorant and innocent enjoyment. In an evil hour a
strange ship is wrecked upon the shore. A box of books is flung up upon
the sands, books of useful knowledge intended for the amelioration of
mankind, spiritual, social, moral, and political. Popanilla finds it,
opens it, and with the help of these moral lights sets to work to
regenerate his countrymen. He makes himself a nuisance, and is sent
floating in a canoe which carries him to Vray Bleusia, or modern
England. Being a novelty, he is enthusiastically welcomed, becomes a
lion, and is introduced to the charms and wonders of complicated
artificial society. The interest is in the light which is thrown on
Disraeli's studies of English politics. The chapter on 'Fruit' is a
humorously correct sketch of the Anglican Church. Mr. Flummery Flum
represents political economy, and the picture of him betrays Disraeli's
contempt for that once celebrated science, now relegated to the exterior
planets. 'Popanilla' can be still read with pleasure as a mere work of
fancy. It has more serious value to the student of Disraeli's character.
As a man of letters he shows at his best in writings of this kind. His
interest in the life which he describes in his early novels was only
superficial, and he could not give to others what he did not feel. In
'Ixion,' in the 'Infernal Marriage,' in 'Popanilla' we have his real
mind, and matter, style, and manner are equally admirable.

His future was still undetermined. His father continued eager to see him
at the Bar, but his health remained delicate and his disinclination more
and more decided. There was a thought of buying an estate for him and
setting him up as a country gentleman. But to be a small squire was a
poor object of ambition. He wished to travel, travel especially in the
East, to which his semi-Asiatic temperament gave him a feeling of
affinity. The Holy Land, as the seat of his own race, affected his
imagination. He had a romantic side in his mind in a passion for
Jerusalem. His intellect had been moulded by the sceptical philosophy of
his fathers; but, let sceptics say what they would, a force which had
gone out from Jerusalem had governed the fate of the modern world.

His desire, when he first made it known, was not encouraged. 'My
wishes,' he said, 'were knocked on the head in a calmer manner than I
could have expected from my somewhat rapid but too indulgent sire.' He
lingered on at Bradenham till even his literary work had to end. He
could not 'write a line without effort,' and he wandered aimlessly about
the woods; 'solitude and silence' not making his existence easy, but at
least tolerable.

[Sidenote: FOREIGN TOUR]

The objection to his travelling had been perhaps financial. If this was
the difficulty it was removed by his friends the Austens, who, we are
briefly told, came to his assistance and enabled him to carry out his
purpose. He found a companion ready to go with him in Mr. William
Meredith, a young man of talent and good fortune who was engaged to be
married to his sister. They started in June 1830, and their adventures
are related in a series of brilliant and charming letters to his family,
letters which show the young Disraeli no longer in the mythological
drapery of 'Vivian Grey' and 'Contarini Fleming,' but under his own hand
as he actually was. Spain was their first object. The Disraelis retained
their pride in their Spanish descent in a dim and distant fashion, and
had not forgotten that in right of blood they were still Spanish nobles.
Steam navigation was in its infancy, but small paddle-wheeled vessels
ran from London to Cork and Dublin, touching at Falmouth, from which
outward-bound ships took their departure. They reached Falmouth with no
worse adventure than a rough passage, and Disraeli was flattered to find
that the family fame had so far preceded him. He met a Dr. Cornish
there, who was full of admiration for 'Vivian Grey,' 'knows my father's
works by heart and thinks our revered sire the greatest man that ever
lived.' From Gibraltar on July 1 he wrote to his father himself:--

'The rock is a wonderful place, with a population infinitely
diversified--Moors with costumes radiant as a rainbow in an Eastern
melodrama, Jews with gabardines and skull caps, Genoese highlanders and
Spaniards whose dress is as picturesque as those of the sons of Ivor....
In the garrison are all your works, in the merchants' library the
greater part. Each possesses the copy of another book supposed to be
written by a member of our family which is looked upon at Gibraltar as
one of the masterpieces of the nineteenth century. At first I apologised
and talked of youthful blunders and all that, really being ashamed, but
finding them, to my astonishment, sincere, and fearing they were stupid
enough to adopt my last opinion, I shifted my position just in time,
looked very grand, and passed myself off for a child of the sun, like
the Spaniards in Peru.'

Government House opened its hospitalities. Sir George D----, a proud,
aristocratic, but vigorous old man, was not a person likely to find such
a pair of travellers particularly welcome to him. Disraeli's
affectations of dress and manner approached vulgarity, and Meredith,
though a superior person, was equally absurd in this respect. But
Disraeli, at any rate where he cared to please, never failed to make
himself liked. Sir George was polite, Lady D. more than polite. Though
she was old and infirm, 'her eyes were so brilliant and so full of
_moquerie_ that you forgot her wrinkles.' Of course they were welcome
guests in the regimental mess-rooms, clever young civilians who could
talk and were men of the world being an agreeable change in the
professional monotony, though perhaps the visitors mistook to some
extent the impression which they produced.

'Tell my mother,' Disraeli wrote, 'that as it is the fashion among the
dandies of this place (that is, the officers, for there are no others)
not to wear waistcoats in the morning, her new studs come into fine play
and maintain my reputation for being a great judge of costume, to the
admiration and envy of many subalterns. I have also the fame of being
the first who ever passed the Straits with two canes, a morning and an
evening cane. I change my cane on the gun-fire and hope to carry them
both on to Cairo. It is wonderful the effect those magical wands
produce. I owe to them even more attention than to being the supposed
author of--what is it? I forget.'


With Gibraltar for head-quarters they made excursions into the Spanish
territory; the first through the Sierra Nevada, on a route arranged for
them by the governor. Travelling was dangerous, and accommodation no
better than at Don Quixote's enchanted castle. The banditti were
everywhere. Two Englishmen had just arrived from Cadiz whom José Maria
had stopped and rifled on the way. The danger was exciting. They set out
in the long hot days of July, taking a model valet with them. Brunet had
been all over the world and spoke all languages except English. Their
baggage was of the slightest, not to tempt José Maria, Disraeli
confining himself to 'the red bag' which his mother had made for his

'We were picturesque enough in our appearance,' he wrote. 'Imagine M.
and myself on two little Andalusian mountain horses with long tails and
jennet necks, followed by a large beast of burden, with Brunet in white
hat and slippers, lively, shrivelled, and noisy as a pea dancing upon
tin; our Spanish guide, tall and with a dress excessively _brodé_ and
covered with brilliant buttons, walking by the side. The air of the
mountains, the rising sun, the rising appetite, the variety of
picturesque persons and things we met, and the impending danger made a
delightful life, and had it not been for the great enemy I should have
given myself up entirely to the magic of the life. But that spoiled all.
It is not worse. Sometimes I think it lighter about the head, but the
palpitation about the heart greatly increases; otherwise my health is
wonderful. Never have I been better. But what use is this when the end
of all existence is debarred me? I say no more upon this melancholy
subject, by which I am ever and infinitely depressed, and often most so
when the world least imagines it. To complain is useless and to endure
almost impossible.'

José Maria was in everyone's mouth, but the travellers did not fall in
with him. After a week they were again enjoying the hospitalities of
Gibraltar. The climate, the exercise, the novelty were all delightful.
Disraeli was a child of the sun, as he often said of himself. His health
mended and his spirits rose. He wore his hair in long curls. The women,
he said, mistook it for a wig, and 'I was obliged to let them pull it to
satisfy their curiosity.' The Judge Advocate buttonholed him. 'I found
him a bore and vulgar. Consequently I gave him a lecture upon canes,
which made him stare, and he has avoided me ever since.' But everyone
liked Disraeli. 'Wherever I go,' he said, 'I find plenty of friends and
plenty of attention.' He had not come to Spain to linger in a garrison
town. The two friends were soon off again for a ride through Andalusia.
Cadiz was enchanting with its white houses and green _jalousies_
sparkling in the sun; 'Figaro in every street and Rosina in every
balcony.' He saw a bull-fight; he was introduced to the Spanish
authorities, and conducted himself with Vivian Grey-like impudence.
'Fleuriz, the governor of Cadiz,' he wrote, 'is a singular brute. The
English complain that when they are presented to him he bows and says
nothing. The consul announced me to him as the son of the greatest
author in England; the usual reception, however, only greeted me. But I,
being prepared for the savage, was by no means silent, and made him
stare for half an hour in a most extraordinary manner. He was sitting
over some prints just arrived from England--a view of Algiers and--the
fashions for June. The question was whether the place was Algiers, for
it had no title. I ventured to inform his Excellency that it was, and
that a group of gentlemen displaying their extraordinary coats and
countenances were personages no less eminent than the Dey and his
principal councillors of State. The dull Fleuriz, after due examination,
insinuated scepticism, whereupon I offered renewed arguments to prove
the dress to be Moorish. Fleuriz calls a young lady to translate the
inscription, which proves only that they are fashions for June. I add at
Algiers. Fleuriz, unable to comprehend badinage, gives a Mashallah look
of pious resignation, and has bowed to the ground every night since that
he has met me.'

After Cadiz Seville, and then Malaga. Brigands everywhere, but not
caring to meddle with travellers who had so little with them worth
plundering. Once only there was alarm. 'We saved ourselves by a
moonlight scamper and a change of road.' An adventure, however, they had
at Malaga which recalls Washington Irving's story of the inn at
Terracina, with this difference, that Disraeli and his companion did not
show the gallantry of Irving's English hero.

'I was invited,' he says, 'by a grand lady of Madrid to join her escort
to Granada, twenty foot-soldiers armed, and _tirailleurs_ in the shape
of a dozen muleteers. We refused, for reasons too long to detail, and
set off alone two hours before, expecting an assault. I should tell you
we dined previously with her and her husband, having agreed to meet to
discuss matters. It was a truly Gil Blas scene. My lord, in an undress
uniform, slightly imposing in appearance, greeted us with dignity; the
señora young and really very pretty, with infinite vivacity and grace. A
French valet leant on his chair, and a dueña such as Staphenaff would
draw, broad and supercilious, with jet eyes, mahogany complexion, and a
cocked up nose, stood by my lady bearing a large fan. She was most
complaisant, as she evidently had more confidence in two thick-headed
Englishmen with their Purdeys and Mantons than in her specimens of the
once famous Spanish infantry. She did not know that we were cowards upon
principle. I could screw up my courage to a duel in a battle--but----'

In short, in spite of the lady's charms and their united eloquence,
Disraeli and Meredith determined to start alone. They had learnt that a
strong band of brigands were lying in wait for the noble pair. They took
a cross road, lost their way, and slept with pack-saddles for pillows,
but reached Granada without an interview with José. A fine description
of Granada and Saracenic architecture was sent home from the spot.
In return Disraeli requires his sister to 'tell him all about
Bradenham--about dogs and horses, orchards, gardens; who calls, where
you go, who my father sees in London, what is said.' 'This is what I
want,' he writes; 'never mind public news. There is no place like
Bradenham, and each moment I feel better I want to come back.'

Affectation, light-heartedness, and warm home feelings are strangely
mixed in all this; and no one of his changing moods is what might be
expected in a pilgrim to Jerusalem in search of spiritual light. But
this was Disraeli--a character genuine and affectionate, whose fine
gifts were veiled in foppery which itself was more than half assumed.
His real serious feeling comes out prettily in a passage in which he
sums up his Peninsular experiences. 'Spain is the country for adventure.
A weak government resolves society into its original elements, and
robbery becomes more honourable than war, inasmuch as the robber is paid
and the soldier is in arrears. A wonderful ecclesiastical establishment
covers the land with a privileged class.... I say nothing of their
costume. You are wakened from your slumbers by the _rosario_, the
singing procession by which the peasantry congregate to their labours.
It is most effective, full of noble chants and melodious responses, that
break upon the still fresh air and your ever fresher feelings in a
manner truly magical. Oh, wonderful Spain! I thought enthusiasm was dead
within me and nothing could be new. I have hit, perhaps, upon the only
country which could have upset my theory, a country of which I have read
little and thought nothing.'

Health was really mending. 'This last fortnight,' he says, 'I have made
regular progress, or rather felt, perhaps, the progress which I had
already made. It is all the sun--not society or change of scene. This,
however agreeable, is too much for me and ever turns me back. It is when
I am alone and still that I feel the difference of my system, that I
miss the old aches and am conscious of the increased activity and
vitality and expansion of the blood.'

[Sidenote: MALTA]

After Spain Malta was the next halting-place; Malta, with its garrison
and military society, was Gibraltar over again, with only this
difference, that Disraeli fell in with a London acquaintance there in
James Clay, afterwards member for Hull and a figure in the House of

The arrival of a notoriety was an incident in the uniformity of Maltese
existence. 'They have been long expecting your worship's offspring,' he
tells his father, 'so I was received with branches of palm.' He accepted
his honours with easy superiority. 'To govern men,' he said, 'you must
either excel them in their accomplishments or despise them. Clay does
one, I do the other, and we are both equally popular. Affectation here
tells better than wit. Yesterday at the racket court, sitting in the
gallery among strangers, the ball entered and lightly struck me and fell
at my feet. I picked it up, and observing a young rifleman excessively
stiff, I humbly requested him to forward its passage into the court, as
I really had never thrown a ball in my life.... I called on the
Governor, and he was fortunately at home. I flatter myself that he
passed through the most extraordinary quarter of an hour of his
existence. I gave him no quarter, and at last made our nonchalant
Governor roll on the sofa from his risible convulsions. Clay confesses
my triumph is complete and unrivalled.'

'I continue much the same,' he reported of himself--'still infirm but
no longer destitute of hope. I wander in pursuit of health like the
immortal exile in pursuit of that lost shore which is now almost
glittering in my sight. Five years of my life have been already wasted,
and sometimes I think my pilgrimage may be as long as that of Ulysses.'
Like the Greek he was exposed to temptations from the Circes and the
Sirens, but he understood the symptoms and knew where to look for
safety. 'There is a Mrs. ---- here in Malta,' he writes to Ralph
Disraeli, 'with a pretty daughter, _cum multis aliis_; I am sorry to
say, among them a beauty very dangerous to the peace of your unhappy
brother. But no more of that. In a few weeks I shall be bounding, and
perhaps sea-sick, upon the Egean, and then all will be over. Nothing
like an emetic in these cases.'


James Clay was rich, and had provided a yacht in which, with the Byronic
fever on him, he professed to intend to turn corsair. He invited
Disraeli and Meredith to join him, and they sailed for Corfu in October
equipped for enterprise. 'You should see me,' he said, 'in the costume
of a Greek pirate--a blood-red shirt with silver studs as big as
shillings, an immense scarf for girdle, full of pistols and daggers, red
cap, red slippers, broad blue-striped jacket and trowsers.' 'Adventures
are to the adventurous;' so Ixion had written in Athene's album. Albania
was in insurrection. Unlike Byron, whom he was supposed to imitate,
Disraeli preferred the Turks to the Greeks whom he despised, and thought
for a moment of joining Redshid's army as a volunteer, to see what war
was like. When they reached Corfu the rebellion was already crushed, but
Redshid was still at Yanina, the Albanian capital, and he decided at
least to pay the Grand Vizier a visit. The yacht took them to Salora.
There they landed, and proceeded through the mountains with a handful
of horse for an escort. They halted the first night at Arta, 'a
beautiful town now in ruins.' 'Here,' he said, 'for the first time I
reposed upon a divan, and for the first time heard a muezzin from a
minaret.' In the morning they waited on the Turkish governor. 'I cannot
describe to you,' he wrote in a humorous description of his interview,
'the awe with which I first entered the divan of a great Turk, and the
curious feeling with which I found myself squatting on the right hand of
a bey, smoking an amber-mouthed chibouque, drinking coffee, and paying
him compliments through an interpreter.'

The Turks had been kind to his own race at a time when Jews had no other
friends, and from the first Disraeli had an evident liking for them.
They set out again after a few hours. 'We journeyed over a wild mountain
pass,' the diary continues, 'a range of ancient Pindus, and before
sunset we found ourselves at a vast but dilapidated khan as big as a
Gothic castle, situated on a high range, built as a sort of half-way
house for travellers by Ali Pasha, now turned into a military post.'
They were received by a bey, who provided quarters for them. They were
ravenously hungry; but the bey could not understand their language, nor
they his. He offered them wine; they produced brandy, and communication
was thus established. 'The bey drank all the brandy; the room turned
round; the wild attendants who sat at our feet seemed dancing in strange
and fantastic whirls. The bey shook hands with me; he shouted English, I
Greek. "Very good," he had caught up from us. "Kalo, kalo," was my
rejoinder. He roared; I smacked him on the back. I remember no more. In
the middle of the night I woke, found a flagon of water, and drank a
gallon at a draught. I looked at the wood fire and thought of the
blazing blocks in the hall at Bradenham; asked myself whether I was
indeed in the mountain fortress of an Albanian chief, and shrugging my
shoulders went to bed and woke without a headache. We left our jolly
host with regret. I gave him my pipe as a memorial of our having got
tipsy together.'

[Sidenote: YANINA]

At Yanina they found the Turkish army quartered in the ruins of the
town. The Grand Vizier occupied the castle with the double dignity of a
prince and a general. He was surrounded with state, and they were made
to wait ten minutes before they could be admitted to his presence.

'Suddenly we are summoned to the awful presence of the pillar of the
Turkish Empire, the renowned Redshid; an approved warrior, a consummate
politician, unrivalled as a dissembler in a country where dissimulation
is part of the moral culture.... The hall was vast, covered with gilding
and arabesques.... Here, squatted up in a corner of a large divan, I
bowed with all the nonchalance of St. James's Street to a little
ferocious-looking, shrivelled, careworn man, plainly dressed, with a
brow covered with wrinkles and a countenance clouded with anxiety and
thought.... I seated myself on the divan of the Grand Vizier, who, the
Austrian consul observed, "had destroyed in the course of the last three
months, not in war, upwards of 4,000 of my acquaintance," with the
self-possession of a morning call. Some compliments passed between us.
Pipes and coffee were brought. Then his Highness waved his hand, and in
an instant the chambers were cleared. Our conversation I need not
repeat. We congratulated him on the pacification of Albania. He rejoined
that the peace of the world was his only object and the happiness of
mankind his only wish. This went on for the usual time. He asked us no
questions about ourselves or our country, as the other Turks did, but
seemed quite overwhelmed with business, moody and anxious. While we were
with him three separate Tartars arrived with despatches. What a life!...
I forgot to tell you that with the united assistance of my English,
Spanish, and fancy wardrobe I sported a costume in Yanina which produced
a most extraordinary effect on that costume-loving people. A great many
Turks called on purpose to see it. "Questo vestito Inglese, o di
fantasia?" asked a little Greek physician. I oracularly replied,
"Inglese e fantastico."'

Had the Greek physician enquired not about the _vestito_, but about the
wearer of it, the answer might have been the same.

The account of this visit to Yanina was composed after the return of the
party to the yacht. Here is a description in Disraeli's other manner:--

'I write you this from that Ambracian gulf where the soft triumvir
gained more glory by defeat than attends the victory of harsher
warriors. The site is not unworthy of the beauty of Cleopatra. From the
summit of the land the gulf appears like a vast lake walled in on all
sides by mountains more or less distant. The dying glory of a Grecian
eve bathes with warm light promontories and gentle bays and infinite
modulation of purple outline. Before me is Olympus, whose austere peak
glitters yet in the sun. A bend in the land alone hides from me the
islands of Ulysses and Sappho. When I gaze upon this scene, and remember
the barbaric splendour and turbulent existence which I have just quitted
with disgust, I recur to the feelings in the indulgence of which I can
alone find happiness and from which an inexorable destiny seems
resolved to shut me out.'

In a sketch like the present the tour cannot be followed minutely.
Athens is finely painted, but Disraeli's classical education had been
too imperfect to enable him to fill with figures and incidents the
scenes which he was looking upon. The golden city was more after his
heart. 'It is near sunset,' he wrote on November 20, 'and Constantinople
is in full sight. It baffles description, though so often described. I
feel an excitement which I thought dead.' He did describe, however,
and drew magnificent pictures of the towns and palaces, and the
motley-coloured crowd which thronged the bazaars. Lytton Bulwer was one
of his London acquaintances. To him he wrote from Constantinople--

'I confess to you that my Turkish prejudices are very much confirmed by
my residence in Turkey. The life of this people greatly accords with my
taste. To repose on voluptuous divans and smoke superb pipes, daily to
indulge in the luxury of a bath which requires half a dozen attendants
for its perfection, to court the air in a carved caique by shores which
are a perpetual scene, and to find no exertion greater than a canter on
a barb, this I think a more sensible life than the bustle of clubs, the
boring of drawing-rooms, and the coarse vulgarity of our political


Disraeli's English contemporaries who were aspiring to Parliamentary
fame, and with whom in a few years he was to cross swords, were already
learning the ways of the House of Commons, or training in subordinate
official harness. Little would any of those who saw him lounging on
divans, with a turban on his head and smoking cherry sticks longer than
himself, have dreamt that here was the man who was to rise above them
all and be Prime Minister of England. He too was forming himself for
something, though as yet he could not tell for what. Ambitious visions
haunted his imagination, even grander than he was ever to realise. On
their way back through the Dardanelles the party paused for a sight of
the Plain of Troy. As Disraeli stood on the sacred soil and gazed on the
grass mound which was called the tomb of Patroclus, the thought passed
through him that as the heroic age had produced its Homer, the Augustan
era its Virgil, the Renaissance its Dante, the Reformation its Milton,
why should not the revolutionary epoch produce its representative poet?
Why should not that poet be himself? Why not but for two reasons? that
the modern European revolution is disintegration and not growth, the
product of man's feebleness, not of his greatness, and therefore no
subject for a poem; and again because Disraeli could never learn to
detach himself from his work and forget the fame with which success was
to reward him; and therefore to be a poet was not among the gifts which
the Fates had in store for him. It was well for him, however, to indulge
the dream. No man ever rises to greatness in this world who does not aim
at objects beyond his powers.

Cyprus followed, and then Jaffa, and from Jaffa they crossed the
mountains to Jerusalem. Disraeli was not given to veneration, but if he
venerated anything it was the genius and destiny of his own race. Even
the Holy City could not transport him out of himself, but it affected
him more than anything which he had ever seen in his life. The elaborate
but artificial account of his impressions, which is to be read in
'Tancred,' is a recollection of what he wrote to his sister about twenty
years before.

'From Jaffa, a party of six, well mounted and armed, we departed for
Jerusalem, and crossed the plain of Ramle, vast and fertile. Ramle--the
ancient Arimathea--is the model of one's idea of a beautiful Syrian
village--all the houses isolated and each surrounded by palm trees; the
meadows and the exterior of the village covered with olive trees, or
divided by rich plantations of Indian fig.... Next day, at length, after
crossing a vast hill, we saw the Holy City. I will describe it to you
from the Mount of Olives. This is a high hill, still partially covered
with the tree which gives it its name. Jerusalem is situated upon an
opposite height which descends as a steep ravine and forms, with the
assistance of the Mount of Olives, the narrow valley of Jehosaphat.
Jerusalem is entirely surrounded by an old feudal wall, with towers and
gates of the time of the crusaders, and in perfect preservation. As the
town is built upon a hill you can from the opposite height discern the
roof of almost every house. In the front is the magnificent mosque built
upon the site of the Temple. A variety of domes and towers rise in all
directions. The houses are of bright stone. I was thunderstruck. I saw
before me apparently a gorgeous city. Nothing can be conceived more wild
and terrible and barren than the surrounding scenery, dark, strong, and
severe; but the ground is thrown about in such picturesque undulation
that the mind [being] full of the sublime, not the beautiful, rich and
waving woods and sparkling cultivation would be misplaced.

[Sidenote: JERUSALEM]

'Except Athens I never saw anything more essentially striking, no city
except that whose sight was so pre-eminently impressive. I will not
place it below the city of Minerva. Athens and Jerusalem in their glory
must have been the first representatives of the beautiful and the
sublime. Jerusalem in its present state would make a wonderful subject
for Martin, and a picture from him could alone give you an idea of it.

'This week has been the most delightful of all our travels. We dined
every day on the roof of a house by moonlight; visited the Holy
Sepulchre of course, though avoided the other _coglionerie_. The House
of Loretto is probability to them. But the Easterns will believe
anything. Tombs of the Kings very fine. Weather delicious; mild summer
heat. Made an immense sensation. Received visits from the Vicar-General
of the Pope, two Spanish priors, &c.... Mr. Briggs, the great Egyptian
merchant, has written from England to say that great attention is to be
paid me, because I am the son of the celebrated author.'

The extracts must be cut short. The visit to Jerusalem was in February
1831. In April Disraeli was in Egypt, and ascended the Nile to Thebes.
'Conceive a feverish and tumultuous dream full of triumphial gates,
processions of paintings, interminable walls of heroic sculpture,
granite colossi of gods and kings, prodigious obelisks, avenues of
sphinxes, and halls of a thousand columns thirty feet in girth and of
proportionate height. My eyes and mind yet ache with a grandeur so
little in unison with our own littleness. The landscape was quite
characteristic; mountains of burning sand. Vegetation unnaturally vivid,
groves of cocoa trees, groups of crocodiles, and an ebony population in
a state of nudity armed with spears of reeds.'

Far in the future lay the Suez Canal and the influence which the young
visitor was one day to exercise over the fortunes of Egypt. The tour was
over. His health was recovered. He was to return to England and take to
work again, uncertain as yet whether he was not to go back to his Coke
and Blackstone. His thoughts for the present were turned on Bradenham
and its inmates. A chest of Eastern armour, pipes, and other curiosities
was ready-packed at the end of May, to accompany him home for the
decoration of the hall. On May 28 he wrote in high spirits of his
approaching return: 'I am delighted with my father's progress. How I
long to be with him, dearest of men, flashing our quills together,
standing together in our chivalry as we will do, now that I have got the
use of my brain for the first time in my life.'

These letters from abroad, and the pictures which Disraeli draws of
himself and of his adventures in them, show him as he really was, making
no effort to produce an effect, in the easy undress of family
confidence, not without innocent vanities, but light-hearted and gay at
one moment, at another deeply impressionable with anything which was
interesting or beautiful. The affectations which so strongly
characterised his public appearances were but a dress deliberately
assumed, to be thrown off when he left the stage like a theatrical

The expedition, which had remained so bright to the end, unhappily had a
tragic close. On the eve of departure William Meredith caught the
small-pox at Alexandria, and died after a few days' illness. His
marriage with Sarah Disraeli was to have taken place immediately after
their arrival in England. The loss to her was too deep for reparation;
she remained single to her own life's close. To Disraeli himself the
shock gave 'inexpressible sorrow,' and 'cast a gloom over him for many


 'Contarini Fleming'--The Poetical Life--Paternal advice--A Poet, or not
   a Poet?--'Revolutionary Epic'--Unfavourable verdict--Success of the
   Novels--Disraeli a new Star--London Society--Political ambition--Mrs.
   Wyndham Lewis--Financial embarrassments--Portraits of Disraeli by N.
   P. Willis--Lady Dufferin and others--Stands for High Wycombe--Speech
   at the Red Lion--Tory Radicalism--Friendship with Lord
   Lyndhurst--Self-confidence--Vindication of the British
   Constitution--Conservative Reaction--Taunton Election--Crosses swords
   with O'Connell--The Runnymede Letters---Admitted into the Carlton
   Club--'Henrietta Temple' and 'Venetia.'


The law had not been finally abandoned--perhaps in deference to Isaac
Disraeli's continued anxiety on the subject. Schemes and projects,
however, which had shaped themselves in Disraeli's own mind during his
travels had to be executed first. He brought home with him a brain
restored to energy, though with saddened spirits. There was the
'Revolutionary Epic' to be written, and an Eastern story which was
brought out afterwards as the tale of 'Alroy.' Before undertaking either
of them, however, he drew a second portrait of himself in 'Contarini
Fleming.' Vivian Grey was a clever, independent youth, with the world
before him, with no purpose save to make himself conspicuous. Disraeli
now hoped to be a poet, and in 'Contarini' his aim, he said, was to
trace the development and function of the poetic character. The
flippancy of 'Vivian' is gone. The tone is calm, tender, and at times
morbid. The hero is taken through a series of adventures. He tries
politics, but politics do not interest him. He falls in love. The lady
of his affections dies and leaves him in despair. Contarini revives to
find a desire, and perhaps a capacity--for he cannot be confident that
he is not deceiving himself--to become the poet which Disraeli was then
aspiring to make himself. The outward characteristics of that character
could at least be assumed. Contarini becomes a wanderer like Byron, and
visits the same scenes from which Disraeli had just returned. The book
contains passages of striking beauty, so striking that Goethe sent
praises and compliments, and Milman, who reviewed it, said it was a work
in no way inferior to 'Childe Harold,' and equally calculated to arrest
public attention. Yet the story ends in nothing. The river loses itself
in the sands. Contarini is but Disraeli himself in the sick period of
undetermined energies. He meditates on the great problems of life, and
arrives at the conclusions adopted almost universally by intellectual
men before they have learnt to strike out their course and to control
circumstances and their own nature.

'I believe in that destiny before which the ancients bowed. Modern
philosophy has infused into the breast of man a spirit of scepticism,
but I think that ere long science will become again imaginative, and
that as we become more profound we may also become more credulous.
Destiny is our will, and our will is nature. The son who inherits the
organisation of the father will be doomed to the same fortunes as his
sire, and again the mysterious matter in which his ancestors were
moulded may in other forms, by a necessary attraction, act upon his
fate. All is mystery; but he is a slave who will not struggle to
penetrate the mystery.'

Such passages as this were not ominous of much success in the high
functions to which Contarini was aspiring. Much more interesting,
because more natural, is a dialogue which was probably an exact
reproduction of a conversation between Disraeli and his father. The
father of Contarini entirely objects to his son's proposed destination
of himself.

'A poet!' exclaims the old man. 'What were the great poets in their
lifetime? The most miserable of their species--depressed, doubtful,
obscure, or involved in petty quarrels and petty persecutions; often
unappreciated, utterly uninfluential, beggars, flatterers of men,
unworthy even of their recognition. What a train of disgustful
incidents! what a record of degrading circumstances is the life of a
great poet! A man of great energies aspires that they should be felt in
his lifetime; that his existence should be rendered more intensely vital
by the constant consciousness of his multiplied and multiplying powers.
Is posthumous fame a substitute for all this? Try the greatest by this
test, and what is the result? Would you rather have been Homer or Julius
Cæsar, Shakespeare or Napoleon? No one doubts. We are active beings, and
our sympathy, above all other sympathies, is with great actions.
Remember that all this time I am taking for granted you may be a Homer.
Let us now recollect that it is perhaps the most impossible incident
that can occur. The high poetic talent, as if to prove that the poet is
only at the best a wild, although beautiful, error of nature, is the
rarest in creation. What you have felt is what I have felt myself. Mix
in society and I will answer for it that you lose your poetic feeling;
for in you, as in the great majority, it is not a matter of faculty
originating in a peculiar organisation, but simply the consequence of
nervous susceptibility that is common to us all.'

Contarini admits the truth of what his father said, but answers that his
ambition is great, as if he must find some means to satisfy it. He did
not think he would find life tolerable unless he was in an eminent
position, and was conscious that he deserved it. Fame, and not
posthumous fame, was necessary to his felicity. Such a feeling might
lead to exertion, and on some roads might lead to success; but poetry is
a jealous mistress and must be pursued for her own sake if her favours
are ever to be won. Disraeli would not part with his hope till the
experiment had been tried. He destroyed a tragedy which he had already
composed; but he was better satisfied with his 'Revolutionary Epic.'
Three cantos were written, and fifty copies were printed. These he
resolved to submit to the judgment of his friends. If the verdict was
unfavourable he would burn his lyre.


The recitation was at a party at Mrs. Austen's, and a scene is thus
described which 'was never to be forgotten' by those who witnessed it.
'There was something irresistibly comic in the young man dressed in the
fantastic coxcombical costume that he then affected--velvet coat thrown
wide open, ruffles on the sleeves, shirt collars turned down in Byronic
fashion, an elaborate embroidered waistcoat from which issued voluminous
folds of frill, shoes adorned with red rosettes, his black hair
pomatumed and elaborately curled, and his person redolent with perfume.
Standing with his back to the fire, he explained the purpose of his
poem. It was to be to the revolutionary age what the 'Iliad,' the
'Æneid,' and 'Paradise Lost' had been to their respective epochs. He
had imagined the genius of feudalism and the genius of federation
appearing before the almightly throne and pleading their respective and
antagonistic causes.'[1]

With this prelude he recited his first canto. It was not without
passages sonorous and even grand, but the subject itself was hopeless.
Disraeli had not yet discerned that modern revolution had nothing grand
about it, that it was merely the resolution of society into its
component atoms, that centuries would have to pass before any new
arrangement possessing worth or dignity would rise out of the ruin. The
audience was favourably disposed, but when the poet left the room a
gentleman present declaimed an impromptu burlesque of the opening lines,
which caused infinite merriment to those present. Disraeli said
afterwards of himself that in his life he had tried many things, and
though he had at first failed he succeeded at last. This was true; but
poetry was not one of these many things. He was wise enough to accept
the unfavourable verdict, and to recognise that, although his ambition
was feverish as ever, on this road there were no triumphs before him.
The dream that he could become a great poet was broken.


His prose writings deserved better and fared better. 'Contarini Fleming'
and the tale of 'Alroy' were well received. Milman, as was said above,
compared 'Contarini' to 'Childe Harold.' Beckford found 'Alroy' wildly
original, full of intense thought, awakening, delightful. Both these
eminent critics were too lavish of their praise, but they expressed the
general opinion. The fame of 'Vivian Grey' was revived. The literary
world acknowledged that a new star had appeared, and Disraeli became a
London lion. The saloons of the great were thrown open to him. Bulwer he
knew already. At Bulwer's house he was introduced to Count d'Orsay,
Lady Morgan, Mrs. Norton, Mrs. Gore, and other notabilities. Lady
Blessington welcomed him at Kensington. Flying higher he made
acquaintance with Lord Mulgrave, Lord William Lennox, and Tom Moore. He
frequented the fashionable smoking-rooms, sporting his Eastern
acquirements. A distinguished colonel, supposing that he meant to push
his good fortune, gave him a friendly warning. 'Take care, my good
fellow. I lost the most beautiful woman in the world by smoking; it has
prevented more liaisons than the dread of a duel or Doctors' Commons.'
'You have proved it a very moral habit,' replied Disraeli. His ambition
did not run in the line which the colonel suspected. Success as a
novelist might gratify vanity, but could never meet Disraeli's
aspirations. He met public men, and studied the ways of them, dimly
feeling that theirs was the sphere where he could best distinguish
himself. At a dinner at Lord Eliot's he sat next to Peel. 'Peel most
gracious,' he reported to his sister next day.[2] 'He is a very great
man indeed, and they all seem afraid of him. I observed that he attacked
his turbot almost entirely with his knife. I could conceive that he
could be very disagreeable; but yesterday he was in a most condescending
humour, and unbent with becoming haughtiness. I reminded him by my
dignified familiarity both that he was an ex-Minister and I a present
Radical.' He went to the gallery of the House of Commons, 'heard
Macaulay's best speech, Shiel, and Charles Grant. Macaulay admirable,
but between ourselves I could floor them all. This _entre nous_. I was
never more confident of anything than that I could carry everything
before me in that House.' In that House, perhaps. He knew that he had a
devil of a tongue, that he was clever, ready, without fear, and, however
vain, without the foolish form of vanity which is called modesty. He had
studied politics all his life, and having no interests at stake with
either of the great parties, and, as being half a foreigner, lying
outside them both, he could take a position of his own. In that House;
but, again, how was he to get there? Young men of genius may be invited
to dinners in the great world, but seats in Parliament will be only
found for them if they will put on harness and be docile in the shafts.
Disraeli had shown no qualities which promised official usefulness; he
called himself a Radical, but he was a Radical in his own sense of the
word. He did not talk democratic platitudes, and insisted that if he
entered Parliament he would enter it independent of party ties.
Notoriety as a novelist even in these more advanced days is no
recommendation to a constituency, unless backed by money or connection,
and of these Disraeli had none.

One chance only seemed to offer. There was a possibility of a vacancy at
High Wycombe, close to his father's house. There he was personally
known, and there, if the opportunity were offered, he intended to try.
Meantime he extended his London acquaintance, and one friend he acquired
the importance of whom to his future career he little dreamt of. He was
introduced by Lytton Bulwer, 'at particular desire,' to Mrs. Wyndham
Lewis, 'a pretty little woman,' he says, 'a flirt and a rattle--indeed,
gifted with a volubility, I should think, unequalled. She told me she
liked silent, melancholy men. I answered that I had no doubt of it.'


The intimacy with Mrs. Wyndham Lewis was matured, and was extended to
her husband, a gentleman of large fortune and member for Maidstone.
Meantime his chief associates in London were the set who gathered about
Lady Blessington, young men of fashion and questionable reputation, who
were useful to him perhaps as 'studies' for his novels, but otherwise of
a value to him less than zero. Although he never raced, never gambled,
or gave way to any kind of dissipation, his habits of life were
expensive, and his books, though they sold well, brought him money in
insufficient quantity. His fashionable impecunious friends who wanted
loans induced him to introduce them to men in the City who knew him, or
who knew his connections. These persons were ready to make advances if
Disraeli would give his own name as an additional security. The bills,
when due, were not paid. Disraeli had to borrow for himself to meet
them,[3] and to borrow afterwards on his own account. When he was once
involved the second step was easy, and this was the beginning of
difficulties which at one time brought him to the edge of ruin. He was
careless, however, careless in such matters even to the end of his life.
His extraordinary confidence in his own powers never allowed him to

Several sketches of him have been preserved as he appeared in these
years in the London world. N. P. Willis, the American, met him at a
party at Lady Blessington's.

'He was sitting in a window looking on Hyde Park, the last rays of
sunlight reflected from the gorgeous gold flowers of a splendidly
embroidered waistcoat. Patent leather pumps, a white stick with a black
cord and tassel, and a quantity of chains about his neck and pockets,
served to make him a conspicuous object. He has one of the most
remarkable faces I ever saw. He is lividly pale, and but for the energy
of his action and the strength of his lungs would seem to be a victim of
consumption. His eye is black as Erebus, and has the most mocking, lying
in wait sort of expression conceivable. His mouth is alive with a kind
of working and impatient nervousness; and when he has burst forth, as he
does constantly, with a particularly successful cataract of expression,
it assumes a curl of triumphant scorn that would be worthy of
Mephistopheles. His hair is as extraordinary as his taste in waistcoats.
A thick, heavy mass of jet black ringlets falls on his left cheek almost
to his collarless stock, which on the right temple is parted and put
away with the smooth carefulness of a girl. The conversation turned on
Beckford. I might as well attempt to gather up the foam of the sea as to
convey an idea of the extraordinary language in which he clothed his
description. He talked like a racehorse approaching the winning post,
every muscle in action.'

His dress was purposed affectation. It led the listener to look for only
folly from him, and when a brilliant flash broke out it was the more
startling as being so utterly unlooked for from such a figure. Perhaps
he overacted his extravagance. Lady Dufferin told Mr. Motley that when
she first met him at a dinner party he wore a black velvet coat lined
with satin, purple trousers with a gold band running down the outside
seam, a scarlet waistcoat, long lace ruffles falling down to the tips of
his fingers, white gloves with several brilliant rings outside them, and
long black ringlets rippling down upon his shoulders. She told him that
he made a fool of himself by appearing in such fantastic shape, never
guessing for what reason it had been adopted.

Here is another picture from Mr. Madden's memoirs of Lady
Blessington:--'I frequently met Disraeli at her house. Though in general
society he was usually silent and reserved, he was closely observant. It
required generally a subject of more than common interest to animate
and stimulate him into the exercise of his marvellous powers of
conversation. When duly excited, however, his command of language was
truly wonderful, his powers of sarcasm unsurpassed. The readiness of his
wit, the quickness of his perception, the grasp of his mind, that
enabled him to seize all the points of any subject under discussion,
persons would only call in question who had never been in his company at
the period I refer to.'

[Sidenote: HIGH WYCOMBE]

Such was Disraeli when, in the summer of 1832, he offered himself as a
candidate to the electors of High Wycombe. The expected vacancy had
occurred. It was the last election under the unreformed constituency.
The voters were only some forty or fifty in number. One seat in the
borough had been a family property of the Whig Carringtons; the other
was under the influence of Sir Thomas Baring, whose interest went with
the Government. Disraeli started as a Radical. He desired generally to
go into Parliament as a profession, as other men go to the Bar, to make
his way to consequence and to fortune. But he did not mean to take any
brief which might be offered him. He was infected to some extent by the
general Reform enthusiasm. Lord Grey's measure had taken half their
power from the aristocracy and the landed interest, and had given it to
the middle classes. There the Whigs desired to stop and to put off the
hungry multitude (who expected to be better clothed and fed and housed)
with flash notes on the Bank of Liberty. Ardent young men of ability
had small belief in the virtues of the middle classes. They were
thinking of a Reform which was to make an end of injustice and misery, a
remodelling of the world. Carlyle, in the Dumfriesshire Highlands,
caught the infection, and believed for a time in the coming of a new
era. Disraeli conceived that 'Toryism was worn out, and he could not
condescend to be a Whig.' He started against the Carringtons on the line
of the enthusiasts, advocating the ballot and triennial Parliaments. For
cant of all kinds he had the natural hatred which belongs to real
ability. The rights of man to what was called liberty he never meddled
with. He desired practical results. His dislike of the Whigs recommended
him to their enemies, and half his friends in the borough were Tories.
The local newspapers supported him as an independent. But help was
welcome from any quarter but the Whigs. Bulwer, who worked hard for him,
procured commendatory letters from O'Connell, Burdett, and Hume, and
these letters were placarded ostentatiously in the Wycombe market-place.

The Government was in alarm for Sir T. Baring's seat; Colonel Grey, Lord
Grey's son, was brought down as their candidate. Isaac Disraeli seems to
have stood aloof and to have left his son to his own resources. Disraeli
himself did not mean to lose for want of displaying himself. He drove
into Wycombe in an open carriage and four, dressed with his usual
extravagance--laced shirt, coat with pink lining, and the morning cane
which had so impressed the Gibraltar subalterns. Colonel Grey had
arrived on his first visit to the borough, and Disraeli seized the
opportunity of his appearance for an impromptu address. 'All Wycombe was
assembled,' he wrote, describing the scene. 'Feeling it was the crisis,
I jumped upon the portico of the 'Red Lion' and gave it them for an hour
and a quarter. I can give you no idea of the effect. I made them all
mad. A great many absolutely cried. I never made so many friends in my
life, and converted so many enemies. All the women are on my side, and
wear my colours--pink and white.' Colonel Grey told Bulwer that he never
heard a finer command of words. Wycombe was prouder than ever of its
brilliant neighbour; but of course he failed. Hume had shaken the
Radicals by withdrawing his support before the election; Government
influence and the Carringtons did the rest. Disraeli, however, had made
a beginning and never let himself be disheartened.

This election was in June. On August 16 Parliament was dissolved, and he
offered himself a second time to the new constituency. He invited them,
in his address, to have done with 'political jargon,' to 'make an end of
the factious slang of Whig and Tory, two names with one meaning, and
only to delude the people,' and to 'unite in forming a great national
party.' 'I come before you,' he said, 'to oppose this disgusting system
of factions; I come forward wearing the badge of no party and the livery
of no faction. I seek your suffrages as an independent neighbour.... I
will withhold my support from every Ministry which will not originate
some great measure to ameliorate the condition of the lower orders.'
This too was not to serve him. Party government may be theoretically
absurd when the rivalry is extended from measures to men. When the
functions of an Opposition are not merely to resist what it disapproves,
but to dethrone the other side, that they may step into its place, we
have a civil war in the midst of us, and a civil war which can never end
because the strength of the combatants is periodically renewed at the
hustings. Lord Lyndhurst and the Duke of Wellington were by this time
interested in Disraeli.

'The Duke and the Chancellor are besetting old Carrington in my favour,'
he wrote. 'They say he must yield. I am not sanguine, but was
recommended to issue the address. The Duke wrote a strong letter to the
chairman of the election committee, saying if Wycombe was not ensured
something else must be done for Disraeli, as a man of his acquirements
and reputation must not be thrown away. L. showed me the letter, but it
is impossible to say how things will go. It is impossible for anyone to
be warmer than the Duke or Lyndhurst, and I ought to say the same of

The Carrington family would not yield; Disraeli was defeated again, and
it became clear that he must look elsewhere than to Wycombe. More than
one seat might have been secured for him if he would have committed
himself to a side, but he still insisted that if he entered Parliament
he would enter it unfettered by pledges. There was an expected chance at
Marylebone. When he proposed himself as a candidate he was asked on what
he intended to stand. 'On my head,' he answered. Lyndhurst wished him to
stand at Lynn as a friend of Lord Chandos. Lord Durham offered to return
him as a Radical. 'He must be a mighty independent personage,' observed
Charles Greville, when he persisted in the same reply. He realised by
degrees that he was making himself impossible, but he would not yield
without a further effort. There was curiosity about him, which he
perhaps overrated, for he published a pamphlet as a self-advertisement,
with the title 'What is He?' of the same ambitiously neutral tint. His
object now was to make himself notorious, and the pamphlet, he said,
'was as much a favourite with the Tories as with the Rads.'


In society he was everywhere, dining with Lyndhurst, dining with
O'Connell, or at least invited to dine with him, at fêtes and water
parties, at balls and suppers. D'Orsay painted his picture. The world
would have spoilt him with vanity if his self-confidence had not been
already so great that it would admit of no increase. His debts were
growing. He had again borrowed for his election expenses. It was hinted
to him that he might mend his fortune by marriage. 'Would you like Lady
---- for a sister-in-law?' he says in a letter to Miss Disraeli. 'Very
clever, 25,000_l._, and domestic.' 'As for love,' he added, 'all my
friends who married for love and beauty either beat their wives or live
apart from them. This is literally the case. I may commit many follies
in life, but I never intend to marry for love, which I am sure is a
guarantee for infelicity.'

Whatever might be his faults he was no paltry fortune-hunter. He
trusted to himself, and only himself. He did not sit down upon his
disappointments. The press at any rate was open to him. He wrote
incessantly, 'passing days in constant composition.' In the season he
was always in London; in the winter either at Bradenham or at some quiet
place by himself, riding for health and 'living solely on snipes.'
Determined to be distinguished, he even made a show, and not a bad one,
in the hunting field. Writing from Southend in 1834, he says, 'Hunted
the other day with Sir H. Smythe's hounds, and though not in pink was
the best mounted man in the field, riding an Arabian mare, which I
nearly killed--a run of thirty miles, and I stopped at nothing.'

It was as a politician that he was desiring to keep himself before
men's eyes, if not in Parliament yet as a political writer; his pen was
busy with a 'Vindication of the British Constitution,' but he meant also
to be known for the manly qualities which Englishmen respect.

Public events meantime hastened on. In England after each rush in the
direction of Liberalism there is always a reaction. Within two years of
the passing of the Reform Bill Lord Grey and his friends had disgusted
the Radicals in Parliament. The working men, finding that they had been
fed with chaff instead of corn, had turned to Chartism. The Tories
closed up their broken ranks. The king dismissed the Ministers, and sent
to Rome for Peel to take the helm. The step itself may have been
premature; but Sir Robert was able to take a commanding position before
the country, and form a party strong enough to hold the Whigs in check
if too weak to prevent their returning to office. Disraeli, though he
never much liked Peel, had found by this time that there was no place in
Parliament for a man who had a position to make for himself, unless he
joined one party or the other. He swallowed his pride, probably on the
advice of Lyndhurst, with whom he was now on intimate terms. The cant of
Radicalism was distasteful to him. The Whigs were odious. He made up his
mind to enlist under Peel. In the spring of 1835 Lord Melbourne came
back in alliance with O'Connell, while the world was ringing with the
Rathcormack massacre. Thirteen lives had been lost, and 'something was
to be done' for the pacification of Ireland. 'O'Connell is so powerful,'
wrote Disraeli, 'that he says he will be in the Cabinet. How can the
Whigs submit to this? It is the Irish Catholic party that has done all
this mischief.' O'Connell was not taken into the Cabinet, but under the
new arrangement would be more powerful than if restrained by office.
Disraeli, who had shown in 'Popanilla' what he thought about the English
administration of that unfortunate island, had said openly that large
changes were needed there, but it was another thing to truckle to
anarchy and threats of rebellion.


Mr. Labouchere, the member for Taunton, was in the new Ministry. Custom
required that he should resign his seat and be re-elected. Disraeli,
supported by the Carlton Club, went down to oppose him in the Tory
interest. He was late in the field. He soon saw that for the present
occasion at least he must again fail; but he found supporters enough to
make it worth his while to fight and keep himself conspicuous. 'As to
Taunton itself,' he wrote in the heat of the conflict,[4] 'the
enthusiasm of Wycombe is a miniature to it, and I believe in point of
energy, eloquence, and effect I have far exceeded my former efforts.' He
was beaten, though two-thirds of the electors promised him their votes
on the next opportunity. The Taunton election went by, and would have
been forgotten like a thousand others but for an incident which grew out
of it. Disraeli desired notoriety, and notoriety he was to have. The
Irish alliance was not popular in England. Irish alliances never are
popular when the meaning of them is to purchase the support of a
disloyal faction, to turn the scale in a struggle for power between
English parties. Such an alliance had been last tried by Strafford and
Charles I., with unpleasant consequences both to them and to Ireland.
Now the Whigs were trying the same game--the Whigs, who were the heirs
of the Long Parliament. The combination of English Liberals and Irish
Papists was in itself a monstrous anomaly. Disraeli had no personal
dislike of O'Connell, and had been grateful for his support at Wycombe;
but he was now retained on the Tory side, and he used the weapons which
were readiest to his hand. In one of the speeches which he thought so
successful he had called O'Connell an incendiary, and spoke of the Whigs
as 'grasping his bloody hand.' The Protestant Somersetshire yeomen
no doubt cheered him to his heart's content. The speech, being
exceptionally smart, was reported at length and fell under O'Connell's
eyes. O'Connell was good-natured, but he knew Disraeli only as a young
politician whom he had asked to dinner and had endeavoured to serve.
Disraeli had gone out of his way to call him bad names, he might well
have thought ungraciously and ungratefully. He was himself the
unrivalled master of personal abuse. He saw an opening for a bitter
joke, and very naturally used it. At a public meeting in Dublin he
mentioned the part which he had taken at Wycombe; he had been repaid, he
said, by an atrocity of the foulest description.

'The miscreant had the audacity to style me an incendiary. I was a
greater incendiary in 1831 than I am at present, if ever I was one, and
he is doubly so for having employed me. He calls me a traitor; my answer
to this is, he is a liar. His life is a living lie. He is the most
degraded of his species and kind, and England is degraded in tolerating
and having on the face of her society a miscreant of his abominable,
foul, and atrocious nature. His name shows that he is by descent a Jew.
They were once the chosen people of God. There were miscreants amongst
them, however, also, and it must certainly have been from one of those
that Disraeli descended. He possesses just the qualities of the
impenitent thief that died upon the cross, whose name I verily believe
must have been Disraeli. For aught I know the present Disraeli is
descended from him, and with the impression that he is I now forgive the
heir at law of the blasphemous thief that died upon the cross.'


All the world shouted with laughter. The hit was good, and the
provocation, it was generally felt, had been on Disraeli's side. But
there are limits to license of tongue even in political recrimination,
and it was felt also that O'Connell had transgressed those limits. An
insult so keen and bitter could be met in one way only. Disraeli had
already been spattered by the mud which flies so freely in English
political contests. He had found that 'the only way to secure future
ease was to take up a proper position early in life, and to show that he
would not be insulted with impunity.' He put himself into the hands of
Count d'Orsay. D'Orsay considered that a foreigner should not interfere
in a political duel, and found Disraeli another friend; but he undertook
himself the management of the affair. O'Connell having once killed an
antagonist on an occasion of this kind, had 'registered a vow in heaven'
that he would never fight again. But Morgan O'Connell had recently
fought Lord Alvanley in his father's behalf, and was now invited to
answer for the Dublin speech. If he was to meet every person who had
suffered from his father's tongue his life would have been a short one.
He replied that he had fought Lord Alvanley because Lord Alvanley had
insulted his father; he was not accountable for what his father might
say of other people. Disraeli undertook to obviate this difficulty. He
addressed O'Connell in a letter published in the 'Times,' which, if less
pungent, at least met Morgan O'Connell's objection. 'Although,' he said,
'you have placed yourself out of the pale of civilisation I am one who
will not be insulted even by a yahoo without chastising it.... I admire
your scurrilous allusion to my origin; it is clear the hereditary
bondsman has already forgotten the clank of his fetters.... I had
nothing to appeal to but the good sense of the people. No threatening
skeleton canvassed for me. A death's-head and cross-bones were not
blazoned on my banners; my pecuniary resources too were limited. I am
not one of those public beggars that we see swarming with their
obtrusive boxes in the chapels of your creed, nor am I in possession of
a princely revenue from a starving race of fanatical slaves.'

He expected, he said in conclusion, to be a representative of the people
before the repeal of the Union. 'We shall meet at Philippi.'

Disraeli waited at home till the night of the day on which the letter
appeared for the effect of his missive. No notice being taken of it, 'he
dressed and went to the opera.' When Peel had challenged O'Connell some
years before, the police interfered; on this occasion the same thing had
happened. 'As I was lying in bed this morning,' Disraeli wrote on May 9
to his sister, 'the police officers from Marylebone rushed into my
chamber and took me into custody. I am now bound to keep the peace in
500_l._ sureties--a most unnecessary precaution, as if all the
O'Connells were to challenge me I could not think of meeting them now.
The general effect is the thing, and that is that all men agree I have
shown pluck.'


If Disraeli gained nothing by this encounter he at least lost nothing.
He was more than ever talked about, and he had won approval from a high
authority at any rate. 'You have no idea,' said Lord Strangford to him,
'of the sensation produced at Strathfieldsaye. The Duke said at dinner
it was the most manly thing done yet.' On one side only his outlook was
unfavourable. The Taunton election had been a fresh expense. He had
again to borrow, and his creditors became pressing. Judgments were out
against him for more debts than he could meet. About this time--the date
cannot be fixed exactly, but the fact is certain--a sheriff's officer
appeared at Wycombe on the way to Bradenham to arrest him. Dr. Rose,[5]
a medical man in the town, heard of the arrival, and sent on an express
with a warning 'to hide Ben in the well.' Affairs were again
smoothed over for the moment. 'Ben,' undaunted as ever, worked on
upon his own lines. He completed his 'Vindication of the British
Constitution'--vindication rather of Democratic Toryism--amidst the
harassing of duns. It was dedicated to Lyndhurst, and Lyndhurst paid him
a visit at his father's house. He had a smart quarrel with the 'Globe'
over a revival of the O'Connell business. In the spring of 1836 appeared
the Runnymede letters in the 'Times,' philippics against the Whig
leaders after the manner of Junius. He was elected at the Carlton Club,
to his great satisfaction, and when the newspapers abused him he quoted
a saying of Swift, 'that the appearance of a man of genius in the world
may be always known by the virulence of dunces.' To assist his finances
a proposal was made to him 'to edit the "Arabian Nights" with notes and
an additional tale by the author of "Vivian Grey."' He described it as
'a job which would not take up more than a month of his time' and by
which he might make 'twelve or fifteen hundred pounds.' Happily for his
literary reputation this adventure was not prosecuted. Some one in the
City introduced him to a speculation connected with a Dutch loan, which
took him twice to the Hague and taught him the mysteries of finance.
More legitimately in the midst of embarrassments and platform speeches
he wrote 'Henrietta Temple' and 'Venetia,' the first a pretty love-story
which offered no opportunities for his peculiar gifts, the second an
attempt to exhibit in a novel the characters of Byron and Shelley. They
would have made a reputation for an ordinary writer. They sustained the
public interest in Disraeli. Of his speeches there was one at Wycombe in
which he said that there would be no tranquillity in Ireland 'till the
Irish people enjoyed the right to which the people of all countries were
entitled, to be maintained by the soil which they cultivated with their
labour.' In another there is a prophetic passage. 'I cannot force from
my mind the conviction that a House of Commons concentrating in itself
the whole powers of the State might--I should say would--constitute a
despotism of the most formidable and dangerous description.' A third was
the celebrated Ducrow speech--the Whig Premier as Ducrow first riding
six horses at once, and as they foundered one by one left at last riding
a jackass, which showed what Disraeli could do as a mob orator when he
chose to condescend to it.

Bulwer said of one of these speeches that it was the finest in the
world, and of one of the novels that it was the very worst. The
criticism was smartly worded, and on both sides exaggerated; but it was
true that, if Disraeli had been undistinguished as a speaker, his early
novels would have been as the 'flowers of the field,' charming for the
day that was passing over them and then forgotten. His political
apprenticeship was at last over; the object of his ambition, the so
deeply coveted seat in the House of Commons, was within his reach, and
he was to pass into his proper sphere--to pass into it too while still
young, for after all that he had done and experienced he was still only
thirty-three. Few men, with the odds so heavy against them, had risen so
high in so short a time.


 Returned to Parliament for Maidstone--Takes his place behind Sir R.
   Peel--Maiden speech--Silenced by violence--Peel's opinion of
   it--Advice of Shiel--Second speech on Copyright completely
   successful--State of politics--England in a state of change--Break-up
   of ancient institutions--Land and its duties--Political Economy and
   Free Trade--Struggle on the Corn Laws.

The acquaintance with Mr. and Mrs. Wyndham Lewis had grown into a close
friendship. Mr. Lewis, as has been said, was member for Maidstone, and
had large local influence in the borough. The death of William IV., in
the summer of 1837, dissolved Parliament; and Disraeli, being adopted by
Mr. Lewis as his colleague, was returned by an easy majority. The
election again gave the Whigs a majority, but not a large one. The tide
was fast ebbing, and the time was near when the Conservatives, as the
Tories now called themselves, were to see the balance turn in their
favour. Lord Melbourne meanwhile remained Minister, but a Minister who
desired to be able to do nothing. Ministers with a powerful party behind
them are driven occasionally into measures which they would have
preferred to avoid. The electors who have given them power require them
to use it. Whigs and Tories alike know that their time will be short
unless by some sensational policy they can gratify public expectation.
Nothing was expected of Lord Melbourne, and persons who dreaded change
of any kind, from whichever side it might come, were satisfied that it
should be so. I remember Bishop Philpotts rubbing his hands over the
situation, and saying that he hoped never more to see a strong

It was a time of 'slack water;' nevertheless Disraeli was supremely
happy. He had now a career open before him, and a career in which he was
certain that he could distinguish himself. His delight was boyish. He
said, 'It makes a difference in public opinion of me.' The election was
in July, and Parliament met in November. He took his seat on the second
bench behind Peel, a place which he intended, if possible, to secure for
himself. Peel's character had rallied the Conservative party, and to
Peel personally they looked for guidance. Yarde Buller being asked his
opinion on some question, replied that Peel had not made up his mind;
Old Toryism was gone with Lord Eldon; the Reform Bill, once passed, was
to be the law of the land. Disraeli had no personal interest in any of
the great questions which divided English opinion. He owned no land; he
was unconnected with trade; he had none of the hereditary prepossessions
of a native Englishman. He was merely a volunteer on the side with
which, as a man of intellect, he had most natural sympathy. He took a
brief from the Conservatives, without remuneration in money, but
trusting to win fame, if not fortune, in an occupation for which he knew
that he was qualified. He began in the ranks, and Peel was his leader;
and his leader, till he had made a place for himself, he loyally
prepared to serve.

'Peel welcomed me very warmly,' he reported to Bradenham, 'and all
noticed his cordial demeanour. He looks very well, and asked me to join
a swell dinner at the Carlton on Thursday--a House of Commons dinner
purely,' he said. 'By that time we shall know something of the temper of
the House.' A fortnight later he mentioned, with evident pride, that he
had met Peel again, and Peel took wine with him.



Success to Disraeli in the House of Commons was the alternative of a
financial catastrophe. His debts were large; money had been necessary to
him for the position to which he aspired. He had no securities to offer,
and never entangled friends in his pecuniary dealings. He had gone
frankly to the professional money-lenders, who had made advances to him
in a speculation upon his success. There was no deception on either
side--Disraeli was running his talents against the chance of failure. If
he succeeded the loans would be paid. If he did not succeed, the usurers
had played for a high stake and had lost it, that was all. At worst he
was but following the example of Burke and the younger Pitt. As his
bills fell due, they had been renewed at 8 and 10 per cent. and even
more, and when he commenced his political life would have been
formidable to anyone but himself. They were all eventually paid, and he
was never charged, even in thought, with having abused afterwards the
opportunities of power to relieve himself. But it was with this weight
upon his back that he began his Parliamentary career. He had started on
his own merits, for he had nothing else to recommend him, and he had
challenged fate by the pretensions which he had put forward for himself.
His birth was a reproach to be got over. He had no great constituency at
his back, no popular cause to represent. He was without the academic
reputation which so often smooths the entrance to public life, and the
Tory gentlemen, among whom he had taken his place, looked upon him with
dubious eyes. 'Had I been a political adventurer,' he said at Wycombe,
'I had nothing to do but join the Whigs.' The Radicals would have
welcomed him into their ranks; but the Radicals looked on him as an
apostate, as a mischievous insect to be crushed on the first
opportunity. The 'Globe' had assailed him brutally, and he had replied
in kind. 'The Whig Samson should never silence him with the jaw of an
ass. He would show the world what a miserable poltroon, what a craven
dullard, what a literary scarecrow, what a mere thing stuffed with straw
and rubbish was the _soi-disant_ director of public opinion and official
organ of Whig politics.' A first speech in the House of Commons is
usually treated with indulgence. The notoriety which Disraeli had
brought on himself by these encounters was to make him a solitary
exception. He had told O'Connell that they would meet at Philippi. Three
weeks after Disraeli had taken his seat there was a debate upon some
election manœuvres in Ireland. Hard blows had been exchanged. Sir F.
Burdett had called O'Connell a paid patriot. O'Connell had replied that
he had sacrificed a splendid professional income to defend his country's
rights. 'Was he for this to be vilified and traduced by an old
renegade?' Immediately after O'Connell Disraeli rose. His appearance was
theatrical, as usual. He was dressed in a bottle-green frock coat, with
a white waistcoat, collarless, and with needless display of gold chain.
His face was lividly pale, his voice and manner peculiar. He began
naturally and sensibly, keeping to the point of the debate. He was
cheered by his own side, and might have got through tolerably enough;
but the gentlemen below the gangway had determined that his Philippi
should not end with a victory. Of course he did not yet know the House
of Commons. Affected expressions, which would have been welcomed at
Wycombe or Taunton, were received with scornful laughter. He bore it
for a time good-humouredly, and begged them to hear him out. He was
answered with fresh peals of mockery. He had to speak of the alliance
between the Whigs and the Irish Catholics. With a flourish of rhetoric
he described Melbourne as flourishing in one hand the keys of St. Peter,
in the other, he was going to say, 'the cap of Liberty,' but the close
of the sentence was drowned in derisive shouts. The word had gone out
that he was to be put down. Each time that he tried to proceed the
storm burst out, and the Speaker could not silence it. Peel cheered
him repeatedly. The Tory party cheered, but to no purpose. At last,
finding it useless to persist, he said he was not surprised at the
reception which he had experienced. He had begun several times many
things and had succeeded at last. Then pausing and looking indignantly
across the House, he exclaimed in a loud and remarkable tone, which
startled even the noisy hounds who were barking loudest, 'I will sit
down now, but the time will come when you will hear me.'

No one suffers long through injustice. His ill-wishers had tried to
embarrass him and make him break down. They had not succeeded, and
probably even O'Connell himself felt that he had been unfairly dealt
with. People watched him curiously the rest of the evening to see how he
bore his treatment. He was said to have sat with his arms folded,
looking gloomily on the floor. His own account shows that he was not
depressed at all, and that indeed the experience was not entirely new.


'I made my maiden speech last night,' he tells his sister, 'rising very
late after O'Connell, but at the request of my party and with the full
sanction of Sir Robert Peel. I state at once that my _début_ was a
failure--not by my breaking down or incompetency on my part, but from
the physical power of my adversaries. It was like my first _début_ at
Aylesbury, and perhaps in that sense may be auspicious of ultimate
triumph in the same scene. I fought through all with undaunted pluck and
unruffled temper, made occasionally good isolated hits when there was
silence, and finished with spirit when I found a formal display was
ineffectual. My party backed me well, and no one with more zeal and
kindness than Peel, cheering me repeatedly, which is not his custom. The
uproar was all organised by the Rads and the Repealers. In the lobby, at
the division, Chandos, who was not near me in speaking, came up and
congratulated me. I replied I thought there was no cause for
congratulation, and muttered "Failure." "No such thing," said Chandos;
"you are quite wrong. I have just seen Peel, and I said to him, 'Now
tell me exactly what you think of Disraeli.' Peel replied, 'Some of my
party were disappointed and talk of failure; I say just the reverse. He
did all that he could under the circumstances; I say anything but
failure: he must make his way.'" The Attorney-General (Campbell), to
whom I never spoke in my life, came up to me in the lobby and spoke to
me with great cordiality. He said, "Now, Mr. Disraeli, could you just
tell me how you finished one sentence in your speech? We are anxious to
know. 'In one hand the keys of St. Peter and in the other ----'" "In the
other the cap of Liberty, Sir John." He smiled and said, "A good
picture." I replied, "But your friends would not allow me to finish my
picture." "I assure you," he said, "there was the liveliest desire to
hear you from us. It was a party at the bar, over whom we have no
control; but you have nothing to be afraid of." Now I have told you
all.--Yours, D., in very good spirits.'

Disraeli's collapse was the next day's delight at the clubs. Shiel,
though an Irish leader, declined to join in it. 'I have heard what you
say,' he answered to the wits who appealed to him, 'and what is more, I
heard this same speech of Mr. Disraeli; and I tell you this: If ever the
spirit of oratory was in a man it is that man. Nothing can prevent him
from being one of the first speakers of the House of Commons.'

The speech, however, might have been a failure, Shiel admitted, if
Disraeli had been allowed to go on. The manner was unusual; the House of
Commons had not grown accustomed to it. 'Get rid of your genius for a
session,' he said to Disraeli himself. 'Speak often, for you must not
show yourself cowed, but speak shortly. Be very quiet; try to be dull;
only argue and reason imperfectly. Astonish them by speaking on subjects
of detail; quote figures, dates, and calculations. In a short time the
House will sigh for the wit and eloquence they know are in you. They
will encourage you to pour them forth, and thus you will have the ear of
the House and be a favourite.'

Disraeli's sense was stronger than his vanity. His whole fate was at
stake, and he knew it. He took Shiel's advice. A week after he had been
howled down he spoke again on the Copyright Bill, a subject which he
perfectly understood. Again when he rose he was observed with
curious attention. It was thought that he would allude to his first
misadventure; he made not the least reference to it. His voice,
naturally impressive, was in good condition. What he said was exactly to
the purpose. His conclusion, if simple, was excellent.

'I am glad to hear from her Majesty's Government that the interests of
literature have at length engaged their attention. It has been the boast
of the Whig party, and a boast not without foundation, that in many
brilliant periods of our literary annals they have been the patrons of
letters. As for myself, I trust that the age of literary patronage has
passed; and it will be honourable to the present Government if under its
auspices it is succeeded by that of literary protection.'

The House was willing to be pleased. Lord John Russell cheered the
allusion to his Liberal predecessors. The Radicals approved of the
independence which he claimed for the future of his own profession. Peel
loudly applauded, and never after had Disraeli to complain that he was
not listened to with respect. The cabal which would have silenced him
had, in fact, made his reputation. His colleague and his Maidstone
constituents were delighted. In the remainder of the session he was
frequently on his feet, but only to say a few sensible sentences and
never putting himself forward on great occasions.

Notwithstanding all that has been said and continues to be said about
the outset of his Parliamentary career, he had made solid progress in
the estimation of the House and, far more to the purpose, his quick
apprehension had learnt the temper and disposition of the House itself.


Before proceeding further a brief sketch must be given of the state of
public affairs when Disraeli's political life commenced. The British
Islands were covered with the shells of institutions which no longer
answered the purpose for which they were intended. The privileges
remained. The duties attaching to them were either unperformed or, from
change of circumstances, incapable of performance. Down to the
Reformation of the sixteenth century the beliefs and habits of the
English nation were formed by the Catholic Church. Men and women of all
ranks were brought up on the hypothesis that their business in this
world was not to grow rich, but to do their duties in the state of life
to which they had been called. Their time on earth was short. In the
eternity which lay beyond their condition would wholly depend on the way
in which it had been spent. On this principle society was constructed,
and the conduct, public and private, of the great body of the people was
governed by the supposition that the principle was literally true.

History takes note of the exception of the foolish or tyrannical king,
the oppressive baron, the profligate Churchman, the occasional
expressions of popular discontent. Irregularities in human life are like
the river cataracts and waterfalls which attract the landscape painter.
The historian dwells upon them because they are dramatically
interesting, but the broad features of those ages must be looked for in
the commonplace character of everyday existence, which attracts little
notice and can be traced only in the effects which it has produced. It
was thus that the soil of this island was cleared and fenced and divided
into fields as by a pencil. It was then that in every parish there arose
a church, on which piety lavished every ornament which skill could
command, and then and thus was formed the English nation, which was to
exercise so vast an influence on the fortunes of mankind. They were
proud of their liberty. A race never lived more sternly resolute to keep
the soil of their sea-girt island untrodden by the foot of the invader.
Liberty in the modern sense, liberty where the rights of man take the
place of the duties of a man--such a liberty they neither sought nor
desired. As in an army, each man had had his own position under a
graduated scale of authority, and the work was hardest where the rank
was highest. The baron was maintained in his castle on the produce of
the estate. But the baron had the hardest knocks in the field of battle.
In dangerous times he was happy if he escaped the scaffold. He
maintained his state in the outward splendour which belonged to his
station, but in private he lived as frugally as his tenants, sleeping on
a hard bed, eating hard, plain food, with luxury unheard of and undreamt
of. The rule was loyalty--loyalty of the lord to the king, loyalty of
lord to peasant and of peasant to lord. So deeply rooted was the mutual
feeling that for long generations after the relation had lost its
meaning, and one of the parties had forgotten that it ever had a
meaning, reverence and respect to the owner of the land lingered on and
is hardly extinct to-day.

In the towns the trades were organised under the guilds. The price of
food, the rate of wages from household servant to field labourer and
artisan, were ordered by statute on principles of equity. For each trade
there was a council, and false measure and bad quality of goods were
sharply looked to. The miller could not adulterate his flour. The price
of wheat varied with the harvest, but the speculator who bought up grain
to sell again at famine price found himself in the hands of the
constable. For the children of the poor there was an education under the
apprentice system, to which the most finished school-board training was
as copper to gold. Boys and girls alike were all taught some useful
occupation by which they could afterwards honestly maintain themselves.
If there were hardships they were not confined to a single class, but
were borne equally by the great and the humble. A nation in a healthy
state is an organism like the human body. If the finger says to the
hand, 'I have no need of thee; I will go my way, touch what pleases me,
and let alone what I do not care to meddle with,' the owner of the hand
will be in a bad way. A commonwealth, or common weal, demands that each
kind shall do the work which belongs to him or her. When he or she, when
individuals generally begin to think and act for themselves, to seek
their rights and their enjoyments, and forget their duties, the work of
dissolution has already set in.


The fear of God made England, and no great nation was ever made by any
other fear. When the Catholic Church broke down it survived under
Protestant forms, till Protestantism too dwindled into opinion and
ceased to be a rule of life. We still read our Bibles and went to
church; we were zealous for the purity of our faith, and established our
societies to propagate it; but the faith itself became consistent with
the active sense that pleasure was pleasant and wealth was power, and
while our faith would make things right in the next world we might
ourselves make something out of the present. From the Restoration
downwards the owners of land began to surround themselves with luxuries,
and the employers of labour to buy it at the cheapest rate. Selfishness
became first a practice and then developed boldly into a theory. Life
was a race in which the strongest had a right to win. Every man was to
be set free and do the best which he could for himself. The Institutions
remained. Dukes and earls and minor dignitaries still wore their
coronets and owned the soil. Bishops were the spiritual lords of their
dioceses, and the rector represented the Church in his parish. The
commercial companies survived in outward magnificence. But in aiming at
wealth they all alike forfeited their power. Competition became the sole
rule of trade; a new philosophy was invented to gild the change;
artisans and labourers were taught to believe that they would gain as
largely as the capitalists. They had been bondsmen; they were now free,
and all would benefit alike. Yet somehow _all_ did not benefit alike.
The houses of the upper classes grew into palaces, and the owners of
them lived apart as a separate caste; but the village labourer did not
find his lot more easy because he belonged to nobody. As population
increased his wages sank to the lowest point at which he could keep his
family alive. The 'hands' in the towns fared no better. If wages rose
the cost of living rose along with them. The compulsory apprentice
system was dropped, and the children were dragged up in squalor upon the
streets. Discontent broke out in ugly forms: ricks were burnt in the
country, and in the northern cities there was riot and disorder. They
were told that they must keep the peace and help themselves. Their
labour was an article which they had to sell, and the value of it was
fixed by the relations between supply and demand. Man could not alter
the laws of nature, which political economy had finally discovered.
Political economy has since been banished to the exterior planets; but
fifty years ago to doubt was heresy, to deny was a crime to be censured
in all the newspapers. Carlyle might talk scornfully of the 'Disraeli
science.' Disraeli might heap ridicule on Mr. Flummery Flum. But Mr.
Flummery Flum was a prophet in his day and led the believers into
strange places. The race for wealth went on at railroad speed. Vast
fortunes were accumulated as the world's markets opened wider. The
working classes ought to have shared the profits, and they were
diligently instructed that they had gained as much as their employers.
But their practical condition remained unaltered, and they looked with
strange eyes upon the progress in which, for one cause or another, they
did not find that they participated. The remedy of the economists was to
heat the furnace still hotter, to abolish every lingering remnant of
restraint, and stifle complaint by admitting the working men to
political power. The enlightened among the rich were not afraid, for
they were entrenched, as they believed, behind their law of nature. In
its contracts with labour capital must always have the advantage; for
capital could wait and hungry stomachs could not wait. In the meantime
let the Corn Laws go. Let all taxes on articles of consumption go. Trade
would then expand indefinitely, and all would be well. 'The wealth of
the nation,' the Free-Traders of Manchester said, depends on its
commerce. The commerce of England is shackled by a network of duties.
The consumer pays dear for the necessaries of life, which he might buy
cheap but for artificial interference. The raw materials of our industry
are burdened with restrictions. But for these we might multiply our
mills, expand our connections, provide work and food for the millions
who are now hungry. With your Corn Laws you are starving multitudes to
maintain the rents of a few thousand Elysians, who neither toil nor
spin, who might be blotted off the surface of the soil to-morrow and
none would miss them; who consume the labours of the poor on a splendour
of living unheard of since the Roman Empire, and extort the means of
this extravagance by an arbitrary law. You say you must have a revenue
to maintain your fleets and armies, and that it cannot be raised except
by customs duties. Your fleets and armies are not needed. Take away your
commercial fetters, allow the nations of the earth a free exchange of
commodities with us, and you need not fear that they will quarrel with
us: wars will be heard of no more, and the complaints of the poor that
they are famished to supply the luxuries of the rich will no longer cry
to Heaven.

The Free-Traders might have been over-sanguine, but on the Corn Laws it
was hard to answer them. The duties attaching to the ownership of land
had fallen to shadows. The defence of the country had passed to the
army. Internal peace was maintained by the police. Unless they
volunteered to serve as magistrates the landlords had but to receive
their rents and do as they pleased with their own. An aristocracy whose
achievements, as recorded in newspapers, were the slaughter of unheard
of multitudes of pheasants, an aristocracy to one of whose distinguished
members a granite column was recently erected on a spot where he had
slain fifty brace of grouse in half an hour, were scarcely in a position
to demand that the poor man's loaf should be reduced in size, for fear
their incomes should suffer diminution. Carlyle said that he had never
heard an argument for the Corn Laws which might not make angels weep. If
the fear of suffering in their pockets had been the only motive which
influenced the landed interest in its opposition to free trade, there
would have been nothing to be said for it; but if that had been all,
Corn Laws in such a country as England could never have existed at all.
Protection for native industry had been established for centuries. It
had prevailed and still prevails in spite of the arguments of
free-traders all the world over, and under all forms of government. The
principle of it has been and is that no country is in a sound or safe
condition which cannot feed its own population independent of the
foreigner. Peace could not be counted on with an empire so extended as
ours. Occasions of quarrel might arise which no prudence could avert.
The world had seen many a commercial commonwealth rise to temporary
splendour, but all had gone the same road, and a country which depended
on its imports for daily bread would be living at the mercy of its
rivals. Christianity had failed to extinguish war. It was not likely
that commerce would succeed better, and the accidents of a single
campaign, the successful blockade of our ports even for a month or a
fortnight, might degrade us into a shameful submission. British
agriculture was the creation of protection. Under the duties which kept
out foreign corn waste lands had been reclaimed, capital had been
invested in the soil, and with such success and energy that double the
wheat was raised per acre in England as was produced in any country in
the world. The farmer prospered, the labourer at least existed, and the
country population was maintained. Take protection away and wheat would
cease to be grown. The plough would rust in the shed; the peasantry of
the villages would dwindle away. They would drift into the towns in
festering masses, living precariously from day to day, ever pressing on
the means of employment with decaying physique and growing discontent.
Cobden said the cost of carriage would partially protect the farmer. His
own industry must do the rest. The ocean steamers have made short work
of the cost of carriage; the soil could yield no more than it was
bearing already. Cobden's more daring followers said that if the country
districts returned to waste and forest the nation itself would be no
poorer. In the defence of protection and in the denunciation of it there
was alike a base element. The landlords were alarmed for their private
interests. The manufacturer did expect that if the loaf was cheaper
labour would be cheaper, for by orthodox doctrine labour adjusted itself
to the cost of living. But to statesmen, whose business it was to look
beyond the day that was passing over them, there was reason to pause
before rushing into a course from which there could be no return, and
which in another century might prove to have been a wild experiment. The
price of food might be gradually reduced without immediate revolution,
and the opportunity might be used to attach the colonies more closely to
the mother country. The colonies and India, with the encouragement of an
advantage in the home market, could supply corn without limit, and their
connection with us would be cemented by interest; while if they were
placed on the same level as foreigners they would perhaps take us at our
word and become foreigners. The traders insisted that if we opened our
ports all the world would follow our example. But prophecies did not
always prove correct, and, if the world did not follow our example, to
fight prohibitive duties with free imports might prove a losing


 Disraeli's belief, political and religious--Sympathy with the
   people--Defends the Chartists--The people, the middle classes, and
   the aristocracy--Chartist riots--Smart passage at arms in the House
   of Commons--Marriage--Mrs. Wyndham Lewis--Disraeli as a husband.


Into this Maelstrom Disraeli was plunged when he entered Parliament. He
had his own views. He knew the condition of the poor both in England and
Ireland. He had declared that no Government should have his support
which did not introduce some large measure to improve that condition. He
had chosen the Conservative side because he had no belief in the
promises of the political economists, or in the blessed results to
follow from cutting the strings and leaving everyone to find his level.
He held to the old conception of the commonwealth that all orders must
work faithfully together; that trade was to be extended not by cheapness
and free markets, but by good workmanship and superior merit; and that
the object which statesmen ought to set before themselves was the
maintenance of the character of the people, not the piling up in
enormous heaps of what wealth had now come to mean. The people
themselves were groping, in their trades unions, after an organisation
which would revive in other forms the functions of the Guilds; and the
exact science of political economy would cease to be a science at all,
whenever motives superior to personal interest began to be acted upon.
Science was knowledge of facts; the facts most important to be known
were the facts of human nature and human responsibilities; and the
interpretation of those facts which had been revealed to his own race,
Disraeli actually believed to be deeper and truer than any modern
speculations. Though calling himself a Christian, he was a Jew in his
heart. He regarded Christianity as only Judaism developed, and, if not
completely true, yet as immeasurably nearer to truth than the mushroom
philosophies of the present age. He had studied Carlyle, and in some of
his writings had imitated him. Carlyle did not thank him for this.
Carlyle detested Jews, and looked on Disraeli as an adventurer fishing
for fortune in Parliamentary waters. His novels he despised. His chains
and velvets and affected airs he looked on as the tawdry love of vulgar
ornament characteristic of Houndsditch. Nevertheless, Disraeli had taken
his teaching to heart, and in his own way meant to act upon it. He
regarded the aristocracy, like Carlyle also, in spite of the double
barrels, as the least corrupted part of the community; and to them, in
alliance with the people, he looked for a return of the English nation
to the lines of true progress. The Church was moving at Oxford. A wave
of political Conservatism was sweeping over the country. He thought that
in both these movements he saw signs of a genuine reaction, and Peel, he
still believed, would give effect to his hopes.


These were his theoretic convictions, while outwardly he amused himself
in the high circles which his Parliamentary notoriety had opened to him.
His letters are full of dukes and princes and beautiful women, and balls
and dinners. He ventured liberties, even in the presence of the great
Premier, and escaped unpunished. In the spring of 1839 he notes a dinner
in Whitehall Gardens. 'I came late,' he says, 'having mistaken the hour.
I found some twenty-five gentlemen grubbing in solemn silence. I threw a
shot over the table and set them going, and in time they became noisy.
Peel, I think, was pleased that I broke the awful stillness, as he
talked to me a good deal, though we were far removed.' But though he
enjoyed these honours and magnificences perhaps more than he need have
done, he kept an independence of his own. It was supposed that he was
looking for office, and that Peel's neglect of him in 1841 was the cause
of his subsequent revolt. Peel did make some advances to him through a
third person, and said afterwards in the House that Disraeli had been
ready to serve under him; but if office was really his object, never did
any man take a worse way of recommending himself. In the summer of the
same year (1839) the monster Chartist petition was brought down to the
House of Commons in the name of the working people of England, and the
general disposition was to treat it as an absurdity and an insult.
Disraeli, when his turn came to speak, was not ashamed to say that,
though he disapproved of the Charter, he sympathised with the Chartists.
They were right, he thought, in desiring a fairer share in the profits
of their labour, and that fairer share they were unlikely to obtain from
the commercial constituences whom the Reform Bill had enfranchised.
Great duties could alone confer great station, and the new class which
had been invested with political station had not been bound up with the
mass of the people by the exercise of corresponding obligations. Those
who possessed power without discharging its conditions and duties, were
naturally anxious to put themselves to the least possible expense and
trouble. Having gained their own object, they wished to keep it without
appeal to their pockets, or cost of their time. The true friends of the
people ought to be the aristocracy, and in very significant words he
added that 'the English nation would concede any degree of political
power to a class making simultaneous advances in the exercise of great
social duties.'

The aristocracy had lost their power because their duties had been
neglected. They might have wealth or they might have power; but not both
together. It was not too late to reconsider the alternative. The
Chartists, finding themselves scoffed out of the House of Commons, took
to violence. There were riots in Birmingham, and a Chartist convention
sat in London threatening revolution. Lord John Russell appealed for an
increase of the police. Disraeli was one of a minority of five who dared
to say that it was unnecessary, and that other measures ought to be
tried. When the leaders were seized, he supported his friend, Tom
Duncombe, in a protest against the harshness of their treatment. The
Chancellor of the Exchequer rebuked him. Fox Maule, a junior member of
the Government, charged him with being 'an advocate of riot and
disorder.' In later times Disraeli never struck at small game. When he
meant fight, he went for the leading stag of the herd. On this occasion
he briefly touched his two slight antagonists. 'Under-Secretaries,' he
said, 'were sometimes vulgar and ill-bred. From a Chancellor of the
Exchequer to an Under-Secretary of State was a descent from the sublime
to the ridiculous, though the sublime was on this occasion rather
ridiculous, and the ridiculous rather trashy!'

It is scarcely conceivable that if Disraeli was then aspiring to
harness under Sir Robert, he would have committed himself with such
reckless audacity; and his action was the more creditable to him as the
profession which he had chosen brought him no emoluments. His financial
embarrassments were thickening round him so seriously, that without
office it might soon become impossible to continue his Parliamentary
career. Like Bassanio,

                      When he had lost one shaft,
    He shot his fellow of the self-same flight
    The self-same way with more advised watch
    To find the other forth, and by adventuring both
    He oft found both.

But one shaft had disappeared after another till he had reached the last
in his quiver. He had not been personally extravagant. He had moved in
the high circles to which he had been admitted rather as an assured
spectator than as an imitator of their costly habits. But his resources
were limited to the profits of his writings, and to such sums as he
could raise on his own credit. His position was critical in the extreme,
and Disraeli's star might then have set like a planet which becomes
visible at twilight on the western horizon, and shows out in its
splendour only to set into the sea. The temptation to sell oneself under
such circumstances would have been too much for common Parliamentary
virtue. But Disraeli was a colt who was not to be driven in a team by a
master. Lord Melbourne had asked him once what he wished for. He had
answered coolly that he wished to be Prime Minister. The insanity of
presumption was in fact the insanity of second sight; but 'vaulting
ambition' would have 'fallen on the other side' if a divinity had not
come to his assistance.

[Sidenote: MARRIAGE]

The heroes of his political novels are usually made to owe their first
success to wealthy marriages. Coningsby, Egremont, Endymion, though they
deserve their good fortune, yet receive it from a woman's hand. Mr.
Wyndham Lewis, who had brought Disraeli into Parliament, died
unexpectedly the year after. His widow, the clever rattling flirt, as he
had described her on first acquaintance, after a year's mourning, became
Disraeli's wife. She was childless. She was left the sole possessor of a
house at Grosvenor Gate, and a life income of several thousands a year.
She was not beautiful. Disraeli was thirty-five, and she was approaching
fifty. But she was a heroine if ever woman deserved the name. She
devoted herself to Disraeli with a completeness which left no room in
her mind for any other thought. As to him, he had said that he would
never marry for love. But if love, in the common sense of the word, did
not exist between these two, there was an affection which stood the
trials of thirty years, and deepened only as they both declined into
age. She was his helpmate, his confidante, his adviser; from the first
he felt the extent of his obligations to her, but the sense of
obligation, if at first felt as a duty, became a bond of friendship
perpetually renewed. The hours spent with his wife in retirement were
the happiest that he knew. In defeat or victory he hurried home from the
House of Commons to share his vexation or his triumph with his
companion, who never believed that he could fail. The moment in his
whole life which perhaps gave him greatest delight was that at which he
was able to decorate her with a peerage. To her he dedicated 'Sybil.'

'I,' he says, 'would inscribe this work to one whose noble spirit and
gentle nature ever prompt her to sympathise with the suffering; to one
whose sweet voice has often encouraged, and whose taste and judgment
have ever guided its pages, the most severe of critics, but a "perfect
wife."' The experience of his own married life he describes in
'Coningsby' as the solitary personal gift which nature had not bestowed
upon a special favourite of fortune. 'The lot most precious to man, and
which a beneficent Providence has made not the least common--to find in
another heart a perfect and profound sympathy, to unite his existence
with one who could share all his joys, soften all his sorrows, aid him
in all his projects, respond to all his fancies, counsel him in his
cares and support him in his perils, make life charming by her charms,
interesting by her intelligence, and sweet by the vigilant variety of
her tenderness--to find your life blessed by such an influence, and to
feel that your influence can bless such a life; the lot the most divine
of divine gifts, so perfect that power and even fame can never rival its
delights--all this nature had denied to Sidonia.' It had not been denied
to Disraeli himself.

The carriage incident is well known. On an anxious House of Commons
night, Mrs. Disraeli drove down with her husband to Palace Yard. Her
finger had been caught and crushed in the carriage-door. She did not let
him know what had happened, for fear of disturbing him, and was not
released from her torture till he had left her. That is perfectly
authentic, and there are other stories like it. A husband capable of
inspiring and maintaining such an attachment most certainly never ceased
to deserve it. Savagely as he was afterwards attacked, his most
indignant enemy never ventured to touch his name with scandal. A party
of young men once ventured a foolish jest or two at Mrs. Disraeli's age
and appearance, and rallied him on the motives of his marriage.
'Gentlemen,' said Disraeli, as he rose and left the room, 'do none of
you know what gratitude means?' This was the only known instance in
which he ever spoke with genuine anger.

'Gratitude,' indeed, if deeply felt, was as deeply deserved. His
marriage made him what he became. Though never himself a rich man, or
endeavouring to make himself such, he was thenceforward superior to
fortune. His difficulties were gradually disposed of. He had no longer
election agents' bills to worry him, or debts to usurers running up in
compound ratio. More important to him, he was free to take his own line
in politics, relieved from the temptation of seeking office.


 The enthusiasm of progress--Carlyle and Disraeli--Protection and Free
   Trade--Sir Robert Peel the Protectionist Champion--High Church
   movement at Oxford--The Church as a Conservative power--Effect of the
   Reform Bill--Disraeli's personal views--Impossible to
   realise--Election of 1841--Sir Robert Peel's Ministry--Drifts towards
   Free Trade--Peel's neglect of Disraeli--Tariff of 1842--Young
   England--Symptoms of revolts--First skirmish with Peel--Remarkable
   speech on Ireland.


The discovery of the steam engine had revolutionised the relations of
mankind, and during the decline of the Melbourne Ministry was
revolutionising the imagination of the English nation. The railroads
were annihilating distances between town and town. Roads were opening
across the ocean, bringing the remotest sea-coasts in the world within
sure and easy reach. Possibilities of an expansion of commerce
practically boundless inflated hopes and stimulated energies. In past
generations England had colonised half the new world; she had become
sovereign of the sea; she had preserved the liberties of Europe, and had
made her name feared and honoured in every part of the globe; but this
was nothing compared to the prospect, which was now unfolding itself, of
becoming the world's great workshop. She had invented steam; she had
coal and iron in a combination and quantity which no other nation could
rival; she had a population ingenious and vigorous, and capable, if
employment could be found for them, of indefinite multiplication. The
enthusiasm of progress seized the popular imagination. No word was
tolerated which implied a doubt, and the prophets of evil, like Carlyle,
were listened to with pity and amusement. The stars in their courses
were fighting for the Free Traders. The gold-discoveries stimulated the
circulation in the national veins, and prosperity advanced with leaps
and bounds.

The tide has slackened now; other nations have rejected our example,
have nursed their own industries, and supply their own wants. The volume
of English trade continues to roll on, but the profits diminish. The
crowds who throng our towns refuse to submit to a lowering of wages, and
perplex economists and politicians with uneasy visions: we are thus
better able to consider with fairness the objections of a few far-seeing
statesmen forty and fifty years ago.


As far as the thoughts of an ambitious youth who had taken Pistol's 'The
world's mine oyster' as the motto of his first book, and perhaps as the
rule of his life--of a gaudy coxcomb who astonished drawing-rooms with
his satin waistcoats, and was the chosen friend of Count D'Orsay--as far
as the thoughts of such a person as this could have any affinity with
those of the stern ascetic who, in the midst of accumulating splendour,
was denouncing woe and desolation, so far, at the outset of his
Parliamentary life, the opinions of Benjamin Disraeli, if we take
'Sybil' for their exponent, were the opinions of the author of 'Past and
Present.' Carlyle thought of him as a fantastic ape. The interval
between them was so vast that the comparison provokes a smile. Disraeli
was to fight against the Repeal of the Corn Laws: Carlyle said that of
all strange demands, the strangest was that the trade of owning land
should be asking for higher wages; and yet the Hebrew conjuror, though
at a humble distance, and not without an eye open to his own
advancement, was nearer to him all along than Carlyle imagined. Disraeli
did not believe any more than he that the greatness of a nation depended
on the abundance of its possessions. He did not believe in a progress
which meant the abolition of the traditionary habits of the people, the
destruction of village industries, and the accumulation of the
population into enormous cities, where their character and their
physical qualities would be changed and would probably degenerate. The
only progress which he could acknowledge was moral progress, and he
considered that all legislation which proposed any other object to
itself would produce, in the end, the effects which the prophets of his
own race had uniformly and truly foretold.

Under the old organisation of England, the different orders of men were
bound together under reciprocal obligations of duty. The economists and
their political followers held that duty had nothing to do with it.
Food, wages, and all else had their market value, which could be
interfered with only to the general injury. The employer was to hire his
labourers or his hands at the lowest rate at which they could be induced
to work. If he ceased to need them, or if they would not work on terms
which would remunerate him, he was at liberty to turn them off. The
labourers, in return, might make the best of their own opportunity, and
sell their services to the best advantage which competition allowed. The
capitalists found the arrangement satisfactory to them. The people found
it less satisfactory, and they replied by Chartism and rick-burnings.
The economists said that the causes of discontent were the Corn Laws and
the other taxes on food. Farmers and landowners exclaimed that if the
Corn Laws were repealed, the land must go out of cultivation. The
Chartists were not satisfied with the remedy, because they believed
that, with cheap food, wages would fall, and they would be no better off
than they were. It was then slack water in the political tides. Public
feeling was at a stand, uncertain which way to turn. The Reform Bill of
1832 had left to property the preponderance of political power, and
everyone who had anything to lose began to be alarmed for himself. The
Conservative reaction became more and more evident. The faith of the
country was in Sir Robert Peel. He had been opposed to the Reform Bill,
but when it was passed he had accepted it as the law of the land, and
had reconstituted his party out of the confidence of the new
constituencies. He had been a declared Protectionist. He had defended
the Corn Laws, and had spoken and voted for them. He had resisted the
proposal by the Whigs of a fixed eight-shilling duty, and had accepted
and gloried in the position of being the leader of the gentlemen of
England. But he had refused to initiate any policy of his own. He was
known to be cautious, prudent, and a master of finance. He was no
believer in novel theories or enthusiastic visions, but he had shown by
his conduct on the Catholic question that he could consider and allow
for the practical necessities of things. He was, however, above all
things an avowed Conservative, and as a Conservative the country looked
to him to steer the ship through the cataracts.


Another phenomenon had started up carrying a Conservative colour.
Puseyism had appeared at Oxford, and was rapidly spreading. The Church
of England, long paralysed by Erastianism and worldliness, was awaking
out of its sleep, and claiming to speak again as the Divinely-appointed
ruler of English souls. Political economy had undertaken to manage
things on the hypothesis that men had no souls, or that their souls, if
they possessed such entities, had nothing to do with their commercial
relations to one another. The Church of England, as long as it remained
silent or sleeping, had seemed to acquiesce in the new revelation, but
it was beginning to claim a voice again in the practical affairs of the
world, and the response, loud and strong, indicated that there still
remained among us a power of latent conviction which might revive the
force of noble and disinterested motive. A Church of England renovated
and alive again might, some thought, become an influence of incalculable
consequence. Carlyle's keen, clear eyes refused to be deceived.
'Galvanic Puseyism,' he called it, and 'dancings of the sheeted dead.' A
politician like Disraeli looking out into the phenomena in which he was
to play his part, and thinking more of what was going on among the
people than of the immediate condition of Parliamentary parties,
conceived that he saw in the new movement, not only an effort of
Conservative energy, but an indication of a genuine recoil from moral
and spiritual anarchy towards the Hebrew principle in which he really
believed. Two forces he saw still surviving in England which had been
overlooked, or supposed to be dead--respect for the Church, and the
voluntary loyalty (which, though waning, might equally be recovered) of
the people towards the aristocracy. Perhaps he overrated both because he
had been himself born and bred outside their influence, and thus looked
at them without the insight which he gained afterwards on more intimate
acquaintance. To some extent, however, they were realities, and were
legitimate subjects of calculation. Extracts from his writings will show
how his mind was working. He had been studying the action of the Reform
Bill of 1832. No one pretended, he said, that it had improved the
character of Parliament itself.

'But had it exercised a beneficial influence in the country? Had it
elevated the tone of the public mind? Had it cultivated the popular
sensibilities to noble and ennobling ends? Had it proposed to the people
of England a higher test of national respect and confidence?... If a
spirit of rapacious covetousness, desecrating all the humanities of
life, has been the besetting sin of England for the last century and a
half, since the passing of the Reform Act the altar of Mammon has blazed
with a triple worship. To acquire, to accumulate, to plunder each other
by virtue of philosophic phrases--to propose a Utopia to consist only of
Wealth and Toil--this has been the business of enfranchised England for
the last twelve years, until we are startled from our voracious strife
by the wail of intolerable serfage.'[6]


Again: 'Born in a library, and trained from early childhood by learned
men who did not share the passions and the prejudices of our political
and social life, I had imbibed on some subjects conclusions different
from those which generally prevail, and especially with reference to the
history of our own country. How an oligarchy had been substituted for a
kingdom, and a narrow-minded and bigoted fanaticism flourished in the
name of religious liberty, were problems long to me insoluble, but which
early interested me. But what most attracted my musing, even as a
boy, were the elements of our political parties, and the strange
mystification by which that which was national in our Constitution had
become odious, and that which was exclusive was presented as popular.

'What has mainly led to this confusion is our carelessness in not
distinguishing between the excellence of a principle and its injurious
or obsolete application. The feudal system may have worn out; but its
main principle--that the tenure of property should be the fulfilment of
duty--is the essence of good government. The divine right of kings may
have been a plea for feeble tyrants; but the divine right of government
is the key of human progress, and without it governments sink into a
police, and a nation is degraded into a mob.... National institutions
were the ramparts of a multitude against large estates, exercising
political power, derived from a limited class. The Church was in theory,
and once it had been in practice, the spiritual and intellectual trainer
of the people. The privileges of the multitude and the prerogative of
the sovereign had grown up together, and together they had waned. Under
the plea of Liberalism, all the institutions which were the bulwark of
the multitude had been sapped and weakened, and nothing had been
substituted for them. The people were without education, and relatively
to the advance of science and the comfort of the superior classes, their
condition had deteriorated and their physical quality as a race was

'To change back the oligarchy into a generous aristocracy round a real
throne; to infuse life and vigour into the Church as the trainer of the
nation by the revival of Convocation, then dumb, on a wise basis; to
establish a commercial code on the principles successfully negotiated by
Lord Bolingbroke at Utrecht, and which, though baffled at the time by a
Whig Parliament, were subsequently and triumphantly vindicated by his
pupil and political heir, Mr. Pitt; to govern Ireland according to the
policy of Charles I., and not of Oliver Cromwell; to emancipate the
political constituency of 1832 from its sectarian bondage and contracted
sympathies; to elevate the physical as well as the moral condition of
the people by establishing that labour required regulation as much as
property--and all this rather by the use of ancient forms and the
restoration of the past, than by political revolutions founded on
abstract ideas--appeared to be the course which the circumstances of the
country required, and which, practically speaking, could only, with all
their faults and backslidings, be undertaken and accomplished by a
reconstructed Tory party.

'When I attempted to enter public life, I expressed these views, long
meditated, to my countrymen.... I incurred the accustomed penalty of
being looked on as a visionary.... Ten years afterwards, affairs had
changed. I had been some time in Parliament, and had friends who had
entered public life with myself, who listened always with interest, and
sometimes with sympathy.... The writer, and those who acted with him,
looked then upon the Anglican Church as a main machinery by which these
results might be realised. There were few great things left in England,
and the Church was one. Nor do I doubt that if a quarter of a century
ago there had arisen a Churchman equal to the occasion, the position of
ecclesiastical affairs in this country would have been very different
from that which they now occupy. But these great matters fell into the
hands of monks and schoolmen. The secession of Dr. Newman dealt a blow
to the Church under which it still reels. That extraordinary event has
been "apologised" for, but it has never been explained. The tradition of
the Anglican Church was powerful. Resting on the Church of Jerusalem
modified by the Divine school of Galilee, it would have found that rock
of truth which Providence, by the instrumentality of the Semitic race,
had promised to St. Peter. Instead of that, the seceders sought refuge
in mediæval superstitions; which are generally only the embodiments of
Pagan ceremonies and creeds.'[7]


Writing after the experience of thirty years of Parliamentary life,
Disraeli thus described the impressions and the hopes with which he
commenced his public career. He was disappointed by causes which he
partly indicates, and by the nature of things which he then imperfectly
realised. But, carefully considered, they explain the whole of his
action down to the time when he found his expectation incapable of
realisation. His Church views were somewhat hazy, though he was right
enough about the Pagan ceremonies.

After their marriage, the Disraelis spent two months on the Continent.
They went to Baden, Munich, Frankfort, Ratisbon, Nuremburg, seeing
galleries and other curiosities. In November they returned to England,
to the house in Grosvenor Gate which was thenceforward their London
home, and Disraeli took his place on an equal footing as an established
member of the great world. He was introduced to the Duke of Wellington,
who had hitherto known him only by reputation. He received Peel's
congratulations on his marriage with admitted pride and pleasure, and
began to give dinners on his own account to leading members of his
party. The impecunious adventurer had acquired the social standing
without which the most brilliant gifts are regarded with a certain


At the general election in 1841, Sir Robert Peel was borne into power,
with a majority returned on Protectionist principles, larger than the
most sanguine enthusiast had dared to hope for, Disraeli himself being
returned for Shrewsbury--his connection with Maidstone having been
probably broken by his late colleague's death. When the new Parliament
settled to work, Peel took the reins, and settled the finances by an
income-tax--then called a temporary expedient, but in fact a necessary
condition of the policy which at once he proceeded to follow. Duties
were reduced in all directions, but there was no word of commercial
treaties. Free Trade principles were visibly to be adopted, so far as
the state of parties would allow, and the indications grew daily
stronger that no such policy as Disraeli desired had come near the
Premier's mind. The middle classes had confidence in Peel. It seemed
that Peel had confidence in them, and Disraeli had none at all. Still,
Peel was his political chief, and Disraeli continued to serve him, and
to serve effectively and zealously. More and more he displayed his
peculiar powers. When he chose he was the hardest hitter in the House of
Commons; and as he never struck in malice, and selected always an
antlered stag for an adversary, the House was amused at his audacity.
Palmerston on some occasion regretted that the honourable member had
been made an exception to the rule that political adherents ought to be
rewarded by appointments. He trusted that before the end of the Session
the Government would overlook the slight want of industry for the sake
of the talent. Disraeli 'thanked the noble viscount for his courteous
aspirations for his political promotion. The noble viscount was a
master of the subject. If the noble viscount would only impart to him
the secret by which he had himself contrived to retain office during so
many successive administrations, the present debate would not be without
a result.' Such a passage at arms may have been the more entertaining
because Disraeli was supposed to have resented the neglect of his claims
when Peel was forming his Administration. It is probable that Peel had
studied the superficial aspects of his character, had underrated his
ability, had discerned that he might not be sufficiently docile, or had
suspected and resented his advocacy of the Chartists. Disraeli may have
thought that the offer ought to have been made to him, but it is evident
that on other grounds the differences between them would tend to widen.
The Tariff of 1842 was the first note of alarm to the Conservative
party--Disraeli defended it, but not with an entire heart. 'Peel,' he
said in a letter to his sister,[8] 'seems to have pleased no party, but
I suppose the necessity of things will force his measure through:
affairs may yet simmer up into foam and bubble, and there may be a row.'
The Conservatives had been trusted by the country with an opportunity of
trying their principles which, if allowed to pass, might never be
renewed. Their leader was not yet openly betraying them, but everyone
but himself began to perceive that the Conservatism of the Government
was only to be Liberalism in disguise.

Disraeli individually had the satisfaction of feeling that he was
becoming a person of consequence. He ran across to Paris, and dined
privately with Louis Philippe. In London he was presented to the King of
Hanover, 'the second king who has shaken hands with me in six months.'
Public affairs he found 'uncertain and unsatisfactory,' Peel 'frigid and
feeble,' and 'general grumbling.' He continued to speak, and speak often
and successfully; but the mutual distrust between him and his chief was

Peel among his magnificent qualities had not the art of conciliating the
rank-and-file of his supporters. He regarded them too much as his own
creatures, entitled to no consideration. Disraeli, taking the whole
field of politics for his province, met with rebuke after rebuke. He had
seen by this time that for his own theories there was no hope of
countenance from the present chief. He had formed a small party among
the younger Tory members--men of rank and talent, with a high-bred
enthusiasm which had been kindled by the Church revival. A party
including Lord John Manners, George Smyth, Henry Hope, and Baillie
Cochrane was not to be despised; and thus reinforced and encouraged, he
ventured to take a line of his own.

Among the articles of faith was the belief that Ireland ought to be
treated on the principles of Charles I., and not on the principles of
Cromwell. O'Connell in 1843 was setting Ireland in a flame again, and
Peel, better acquainted with Ireland than Disraeli, and hopeless of
other remedy, had introduced one of the periodic Coercion Bills. The
Young Englanders, as he and his friends were now called, had Catholic
sympathies, and they imagined that religion was at the bottom of these
perpetual disturbances. Coercion answered only for the moment. A more
conciliatory attitude towards the ancient creed might touch the secret
of the disease. Disraeli perhaps wished to show that he bore no malice
against O'Connell or against his tail. He thought that he could persuade
the Irish that they had more to hope for from Cavalier Tories than from
Roundhead Whigs. Of Irish history he knew as little as the rest of the
House of Commons. He had heard, perhaps, of the Glamorgan Articles and
Charles I.'s negotiations with the Kilkenny Parliament. Peel, when in
opposition, had talked about conciliation. In office he had nothing to
propose but force. Disraeli, when the Bill came before the House, gave
the first sign of revolt; he said that it was one of those measures
which to introduce was degrading, and to oppose disgraceful. He would
neither vote for it nor against it; but as Peel had departed from the
policy which he had led his party to hope that he meant to pursue before
he came into power, he (Disraeli), speaking for himself and his friends,
declared that they were now free from the bonds of party on this subject
of Ireland, for the right hon. gentleman himself had broken them. They
had now a right to fall back on their own opinions.


Something still more significant was to follow. A few days later (August
1843) the Eastern question came up. Disraeli, whose friendship for the
Turks was of old standing, asked a question relating to Russian
interference in Servia. Peel gave an abrupt answer to end the matter.
Palmerston, however, taking it up, Disraeli had a further opportunity of
speaking. He complained that Turkey had been stabbed in the back by the
diplomacy of Europe; that the integrity and independence of the Turkish
dominions were of vital consequence, &c. But the point of his speech was
in the sting with which it concluded. Winding up in the slow, deliberate
manner which he made afterwards so peculiarly effective, he reminded the
House of his own previous question, couched, he believed, in
Parliamentary language, and made with all that respect which he felt for
the right hon. gentleman. 'To this inquiry,' he said, 'the right hon.
gentleman replied with all that explicitness of which he was a master,
and all that courtesy which he reserved only for his supporters.'


The House of Commons had much of the generous temper of an English
public school. Boys like a little fellow who has the courage to stand up
to a big one, and refuses to be bullied. The Whigs were amused at the
mutiny of a Tory subordinate. The Tory rank-and-file had so often
smarted under Peel's contempt that the blow told, and Disraeli had
increased his consequence in the House by another step. Those who judge
of motive by events, and assure themselves that when the actions of a
man lead up to particular effects, those effects must have been
contemplated by himself from the outset of his career, see indication in
these speeches of a deliberate intention on Disraeli's part to supersede
Sir Robert Peel in the leadership of the Conservative party. The vanity
of such a purpose, had it been really entertained, would have been
exceeded by the folly of his next movement. In the following year
O'Connell's monster meetings had become a danger to the State. Peel had
again to apply to the House of Commons, with a general sense on both
sides that the authority of the Crown must be supported. Disraeli,
almost alone among the English members, took the same daring attitude
which he had assumed on the Chartist petition. Being in reality a
stranger in the country of his adoption, he was able to regard the
problems with which it was engaged in the light in which they appeared
to other nations. The long mismanagement of Ireland, its chronic
discontent and miserable state, were regarded everywhere as the blot
upon the English escutcheon, and the cause of it was the mutual jealousy
and suspicion of parties at Westminster. If a remedy was ever to be
found, party ties must be thrown to the winds. What, he asked, did this
eternal Irish question mean? One said it was a physical question,
another a spiritual question. Now it was the absence of an aristocracy,
then the absence of railroads. It was the Pope one day, potatoes the
next. Let the House consider Ireland as they would any other country
similarly situated, in their closets. They would see a teeming
population denser to the square mile than that of China, created solely
by agriculture, with none of those sources of wealth which are developed
by civilisation, and sustained upon the lowest conceivable diet. That
dense population in extreme distress inhabited an island where there was
an Established Church which was not their Church, and a territorial
aristocracy the richest of whom lived in distant capitals. They had a
starving population, an absentee aristocracy, and an alien Church, and,
in addition, the weakest executive in the world. That was the Irish
question. Well, then, what would honourable gentlemen say if they were
reading of a country in that position? They would say at once 'the
remedy was revolution.' But Ireland could not have a revolution; and
why? Because Ireland was connected with another and more powerful
country. Then what was the consequence? The connection with England
became the cause of the present state of Ireland. If the connection with
England prevented a revolution, and a revolution was the only remedy,
England logically was in the odious position of being the cause of all
the misery in Ireland. What, then, was the duty of an English Minister?
To effect by his policy all those changes which a revolution would do by
force. That was the Irish question in its integrity.... If the noble
lord (Lord John Russell) or any other honourable member came forward
with a comprehensive plan, which would certainly settle the question of
Ireland, no matter what the sacrifice might be, he would support it,
though he might afterwards feel it necessary to retire from Parliament
or to place his seat at the disposal of his constituency ('Life of Lord
Beaconsfield,' T. P. O'Connor, 6th edition p. 255, &c.).

Truer words had not been spoken in Parliament on the subject of Ireland
for half a century, nor words more fatal to the immediate ambition of
the speaker, if ambition he then entertained beyond a patriotic one; and
many a session, and many a century perhaps, would have to pass before a
party could be formed in England strong enough to carry on the
government on unadulterated principles of patriotism.


 Young England and the Oxford Tractarians--Disraeli a Hebrew at
   heart--'Coningsby'--Sidonia--'Sybil; or, the Two Nations'--The
   great towns under the new creed--Lords of the soil as they were and
   as they are--Disraeli an aristocratic Socialist--Practical working of
   Parliamentary institutions--Special importance of 'Sybil.'


According to Disraeli's theory of government, the natural rulers of
England were the aristocracy, supported by the people. The owners of the
soil were the stable element in the Constitution. Capitalists grew like
mushrooms, and disappeared as rapidly; the owners of the land remained.
Tenants and labourers looked up to them with a feeling of allegiance;
and that allegiance might revive into a living principle if the
aristocracy would deserve it by reverting to the habits of their
forefathers. That ancient forces could be awakened out of their sleep
seemed proved by the success of the Tractarian movement at Oxford. The
bold motto of the 'Lyra Apostolica' proclaimed that Achilles was in the
field again, and that Liberalism was to find its master. The Oxford
leaders might look doubtfully on so strange an ally as a half-converted
Israelite. But Disraeli and the Young Englanders had caught the note,
and were endeavouring to organise a political party on analogous lines.
It was a dream. No such regeneration, spiritual or social, was really
possible. Times were changed, and men had changed along with them. The
Oxford movement was already undermined, though Disraeli knew it not. The
English upper classes were not to be persuaded to alter habits which had
become a second nature to them, or the people to be led back into social
dependence by enthusiasm and eloquence. Had any such resurrection of the
past been on the cards, Disraeli was not the necromancer who could have
bid the dead live again. No one had a keener sense of the indications in
others than he had. Fuller self-knowledge would have told him that the
friend of D'Orsay and Lady Blessington, of Tom Duncomb and Lytton
Bulwer, was an absurd associate in an ecclesiastical and social revival.
He seemed to think that if Newman had paid more attention to
'Coningsby,' the course of things might have been different. Saints had
worked with secular politicians at many periods of Christian history;
why not the Tractarian with him? Yet the juxtaposition of Newman and
Disraeli cannot be thought of without an involuntary smile. It would be
wrong to say that Disraeli had no sincere religious convictions. He was
a Hebrew to the heart of him. He accepted the Hebrew tradition as a true
account of the world, and of man's place in it. He was nominally a
member of the Church of England; but his Christianity was something of
his own, and his creed, as sketched in his 'Life of Lord George
Bentinck,' would scarcely find acceptance in any Christian community.

[Sidenote: 'CONINGSBY']

I have mentioned 'Coningsby.' It is time to see what 'Coningsby' was.
Disraeli's novels had been brilliant, but he had touched nowhere the
deeper chords of enduring feeling. His characters had been smart, but
trivial; and his higher flights, as in the 'Revolutionary Epic,' or his
attempts to paint more delicate emotion, as in 'Henrietta Temple' or in
'Venetia,' if not failures, were not successes of a distinguished kind.
He had shown no perception of what was simple, or true, or tender, or
admirable. He had been at his best when mocking at conventional humbug.
But his talent as a writer was great, and, with a subject on which he
was really in earnest, might produce a powerful effect. To impress the
views of the Young Englanders upon the public, something more was needed
than speeches in Parliament or on platforms. Henry Hope, son of the
author of 'Anastasius,' collected them in a party at his house at
Deepdene, and there first 'urged the expediency of Disraeli's treating
in a literary form those views and subjects which were the matter of
their frequent conversations.' The result was 'Coningsby' and 'Sybil.'

'Coningsby; or, the New Generation' carried its meaning in its title. If
England was to be saved by its aristocracy, the aristocracy must alter
their ways. The existing representatives of the order had grown up in
self-indulgence and social exclusiveness; some excellent, a few vicious,
but all isolated from the inferior ranks, and all too old to mend. The
hope, if hope there was, had to be looked for in their sons.

As a tale, 'Coningsby' is nothing; but it is put together with extreme
skill to give opportunities for typical sketches of character, and for
the expression of opinions on social and political subjects. We have
pictures of fashionable society, gay and giddy, such as no writer ever
described better; peers, young, middle-aged, and old, good, bad, and
indifferent, the central figure a profligate old noble of immense
fortune, whose person was easily recognised, and whose portrait was also
preserved by Thackeray. Besides these, intriguing or fascinating
ladies, political hacks, country gentlemen, mill-owners, and occasional
wise outsiders, looking on upon the chaos and delivering oracular
interpretations or prophecies. Into the middle of such a world the hero
is launched, being the grandson and possible heir of the wicked peer.
Lord Monmouth is a specimen of the order which was making aristocratic
government impossible. To tax corn to support Lord Monmouth was plainly
impossible. The story opens at Eton, which Disraeli describes with an
insight astonishing in a writer who had no experience of English public
school life, and with a fondness which confesses how much he had lost in
the substitutes to which he had been himself condemned. There Coningsby
makes acquaintance with the high-born youths who are to be his
companions in the great world which is to follow, then in the enjoyment
of a delightful present, and brimming with enthusiastic ambitions. They
accompany each other to their fathers' castles, and schemes are
meditated and begun for their future careers; Disraeli letting fall, as
he goes on, his own political opinions, and betraying his evident
disbelief in existing Conservatism, and in its then all-powerful leader.
He finds Peel constructing a party without principles, with a basis
therefore necessarily latitudinarian, and driving into political
infidelity. There were shouts about Conservatism; but the question, What
was to be conserved? was left unanswered. The Crown was to keep its
prerogatives provided they were not exercised; the House of Lords might
keep its independence if it was never asserted; the ecclesiastical
estate if it was regulated by a commission of laymen. Everything, in
short, that was established might remain as long as it was a phrase and
not a fact. The Conservatism of Sir Robert 'offered no redress for the
present, and made no preparations for the future. On the arrival of one
of those critical conjunctures which would periodically occur in all
States, the power of resistance would be wanting; the barren curse of
political infidelity would paralyse all action, and the Conservative
Constitution would be discovered to be a _caput mortuum_.

'Coningsby found that he was born in an age of infidelity in all things,
and his heart assured him that a want of faith was a want of nature. He
asked himself why governments were hated and religions despised, why
loyalty was dead and reverence only a galvanised corpse. He had found
age perplexed and desponding, manhood callous and desperate. Some
thought that systems would last their time, others that something would
turn up. His deep and pious spirit recoiled with disgust and horror from
lax chance medley maxims that would, in their consequence, reduce men to
the level of brutes.'

He falls in with all varieties of men bred in the confusion of the old
and the new. An enthusiastic Catholic landlord tries to revive the
customs of his ancestors, supported by his faith, but perplexed by the
aspect of a world no longer apparently under supernatural guidance. 'I
enter life,' says Mr. Lyle, 'in the midst of a convulsion in which the
very principles of our political and social system are called in
question. I cannot unite myself with the party of destruction. It is an
operative cause alien to my being. What, then, offers itself? The duke
talks to me of Conservative principles, but he does not inform me what
they are. I observe, indeed, a party in the State whose rule it is to
consent to no change until it is clamorously called for, and then
instantly to yield: but those are concessionary, not Conservative,
principles. This party treats our institutions as we do our pheasants.
They preserve only to destroy them. But is there a statesman among these
Conservatives who offers us a dogma for a guide, or defines any great
political truth which we should aspire to establish? It seems to me a
barren thing, this Conservatism; an unhappy cross-breed, the mule of
politics, that engenders nothing.'

Coningsby had saved the life of a son of a Northern mill-owner at Eton.
They became attached friends, though they were of opposite creeds.
Coningsby's study of the social problem carries him to Manchester, where
he hears from Millbank the views entertained in the industrial circles
of the English aristocracy. Mr. Millbank dislikes feudal manners as out
of date and degenerate.

'I do not understand,' he says, 'how an aristocracy can exist, unless it
is distinguished by some quality which no other class of the community
possesses. Distinction is the basis of aristocracy. If you permit only
one class of the population, for example, to bear arms, they are an
aristocracy: not much to my taste, but still a great fact. That,
however, is not the characteristic of the English peerage. I have yet to
learn that they are richer than we are, better informed, or more
distinguished for public or private virtue. Ancient lineage! I never
heard of a peer with an ancient lineage. The real old families of the
country are to be found among the peasantry. The gentry, too, may lay
claim to old blood: I know of some Norman gentlemen whose fathers
undoubtedly came in with the Conqueror. But a peer with an ancient
lineage is to me quite a novelty. The thirty years' Wars of the Roses
freed us from these gentlemen, I take it. After the battle of Tewkesbury
a Norman baron was almost as rare a being as a wolf.... We owe the
English peerage to three sources--the spoliation of the Church, the open
and flagrant sale of its honours by the elder Stuarts, and the
borough-mongering of our own times. These are the three main sources of
the existing peerages of England, and in my opinion disgraceful ones.'

'And where will you find your natural aristocracy?' asked Coningsby.
'Among those,' Millbank answers, 'whom a nation recognises as the most
eminent for virtue, talents, and property, and, if you will, birth and
standing in this land. They guide opinions, and therefore they govern. I
am no leveller; I look upon an artificial equality as equally pernicious
with a factitious aristocracy, both depressing the energies and checking
the enterprise of a nation. I am sanguine. I am the disciple of
progress, but I have cause for my faith. I have witnessed advance. My
father often told me that in his early days the displeasure of a peer of
England was like a sentence of death.'

A more remarkable figure is Sidonia, the Hebrew financier, who is
represented very much in the position of Disraeli himself, half a
foreigner, and impartial onlooker, with a keen interest in the stability
of English institutions, but with the insight possible only to an
outsider, who observes without inherited prepossessions. Sidonia, the
original of whom is as easily recognised, is, like Disraeli, of Spanish
descent. His father staked all that he was worth on the Waterloo Loan,
became the greatest capitalist in Europe, and bequeathed his business
and his fortune to his son.

The young Sidonia 'obtained, at an early age, that experience of refined
and luxurious society which is a necessary part of a finished education.

'It gives the last polish to the manners. It teaches us something of
the powers of the passions, early developed in the hotbed of
self-indulgence. It instils into us that indefinable tact seldom
obtained in later life, which prevents us from saying the wrong thing,
and often impels us to do the right. He was admired by women, idolised
by artists, received in all circles with great distinction, and
appreciated for his intellect by the very few to whom he at all opened
himself; for, though affable and generous, it was impossible to
penetrate him: though unreserved in his manners, his frankness was
limited to the surface. He observed everything, thought ever, but
avoided serious discussion. If you pressed him for an opinion, he took
refuge in raillery, and threw out some grave paradox with which it was
not easy to cope.... He looked on life with a glance rather of curiosity
than contempt. His religion walled him out from the pursuits of a
citizen. His riches deprived him of the stimulating anxieties of a man.
He perceived himself a lone being without cares and without duties. He
might have discovered a spring of happiness in the sensibilities of the
heart; but this was a sealed fountain to Sidonia. In his organisation
there was a peculiarity, perhaps a great deficiency: he was a man
without affection. It would be harsh to say that he had no heart, for he
was susceptible of deep emotions; but not for individuals--woman was to
him a toy, man a machine.'

Though Sidonia is chiefly drawn from another person, Disraeli himself
can be traced in this description. The hand is the hand of Esau; the
voice is the voice of Jacob. 'The secret history of the world was
Sidonia's pastime.' 'His great pleasure was to contrast the hidden
motive with the public pretext of transactions.' This was Disraeli
himself, and through Sidonia's mouth Disraeli explains to Coningsby the
political condition of England. The Constitution professed to rest
on the representation of the people. Coningsby asks him what a
representative system means. He replies: 'It is a principle of which
only a limited definition is current in this country. People may be
represented without periodic elections of neighbours who are incapable
to maintain their interests, and strangers who are unwilling.... You
will observe one curious trait in the history of this country. The
depositary of power is always unpopular: all combine against it: it
always falls. Power was deposited in the great barons; the Church, using
the king for its instrument, crushed the great barons. Power was
deposited in the Church; the king, bribing the Parliament, plundered the
Church. Power was deposited in the king; the Parliament, using the
people, beheaded the king, expelled the king, changed the king, and
finally for a king substituted an administrative officer. For a hundred
and fifty years Power has been deposited in Parliament, and for the last
sixty or seventy years it has been becoming more and more unpopular. In
1832, it endeavoured by a reconstruction to regain the popular
affection; but, in truth, as the Parliament then only made itself more
powerful, it has only become more odious. As we see that the barons, the
Church, the king, have in turn devoured each other, and that the
Parliament, the last devourer, remains, it is impossible to resist the
impression that this body also is doomed to be devoured; and he is a
sagacious statesman who may detect in what form and in what quarter the
great consumer will arise.'

'Whence, then,' Coningsby asks, 'is hope to be looked for?' Sidonia

     'In what is more powerful than laws and institutions, and without
     which the best laws and the most skilful institutions may be a dead
     letter or the very means of tyranny: in the national character. It
     is not in the increased feebleness of its institutions that I see
     the peril of England. It is in the decline of its character as a
     community. In this country, since the peace, there has been an
     attempt to advocate a reconstruction of society on a purely
     rational basis. The principle of utility has been powerfully
     developed. I speak not with lightness of the disciples of that
     school: I bow to intellect in every form: and we should be grateful
     to any school of philosophers, even if we disagree with them:
     doubly grateful in this country where for so long a period our
     statesmen were in so pitiable an arrear of public intelligence.
     There has been an attempt to reconstruct society on a basis of
     material motives and calculations. It has failed. It must
     ultimately have failed under any circumstances. Its failure in an
     ancient and densely-peopled kingdom was inevitable. How limited is
     human reason the profoundest engineers are most conscious. We are
     not indebted to the reason of man for any of the great achievements
     which are the landmarks of human action and human progress. It was
     not reason that besieged Troy. It was not reason that sent forth
     the Saracen from the desert to conquer the world, that inspired the
     Crusader, that instituted the monastic orders. It was not reason
     that created the French revolution. Man is only truly great when he
     acts from the passions, never irresistible but when he appeals to
     the imagination. Even Mormon counts more votaries than Bentham. The
     tendency of advanced civilisation is, in truth, to pure monarchy.
     Monarchy is indeed a government which requires a high degree of
     civilisation for its full development. It needs the support of free
     laws and manners, and of a widely-diffused intelligence. Political
     compromises are not to be tolerated except at periods of rude
     transition. An educated nation recoils from the imperfect vicariate
     of what is called representative government. Your House of Commons,
     that has absorbed all other powers in the State, will in all
     probability fall more rapidly than it rose. Public opinion has a
     more direct, a more comprehensive, a more efficient organ for its
     utterance than a body of men sectionally chosen. The printing-press
     absorbs the duties of the sovereign, the priest, the Parliament. It
     controls, it educates, it discusses.'

No attempt can be made here to analyse 'Coningsby.' The object of these
extracts is merely to illustrate Disraeli's private opinions. Space must
be made for one more--a conversation between Coningsby and the younger
Millbank. 'Tell me, Coningsby,' Millbank says, 'exactly what you
conceive to be the state of parties in this country.'

Coningsby answers:

     'The principle of the exclusive Constitution of England having been
     conceded by the Acts of 1827-1832, a party has arisen in the State
     who demand that the principle of political Liberalism shall
     consequently be carried to its full extent, which it appears to
     them is impossible without getting rid of the fragments of the old
     Constitution which remain. This is the destructive party, a party
     with distinct and intelligible principles. They are resisted by
     another party who, having given up exclusion, would only embrace as
     much Liberalism as is necessary for the moment--who, without any
     embarrassing promulgation of principles, wish to keep things as
     they find them as long as they can; and these will manage them as
     they find them, as well as they can: but, as a party must have the
     semblance of principles, they take the names of the things they
     have destroyed. Thus, they are devoted to the prerogatives of the
     Crown, although in truth the Crown has been stripped of every one
     of its prerogatives. They affect a great veneration for the
     Constitution in Church and State, though everyone knows it no
     longer exists. Whenever public opinion, which this party never
     attempts to form, to educate, or to lead, falls into some
     perplexity, passion, or caprice, this party yields without a
     struggle to the impulse, and, when the storm has passed, attempts
     to obstruct and obviate the logical and ultimately inevitable
     results of the measures they have themselves originated, or to
     which they have consented. This is the Conservative party.

     'As to the first school, I have no faith in the remedial qualities
     of a government carried on by a neglected democracy who for three
     centuries have received no education. What prospect does it offer
     us of those high principles of conduct with which we have fed our
     imaginations and strengthened our wills? I perceive none of the
     elements of government that should secure the happiness of a people
     and the greatness of a realm. But if democracy be combated only by
     Conservatism, democracy must triumph and at no distant date. The
     man who enters political life at this epoch has to choose between
     political infidelity and a destructive creed.'

     'Do you declare against Parliamentary government?'

     'Far from it: I look upon political change as the greatest of
     evils, for it comprehends all. But if we have no faith in the
     permanence of the existing settlement ... we ought to prepare
     ourselves for the change which we deem impending.... I would
     accustom the public mind to the contemplation of an existing though
     torpid power in the Constitution capable of removing our social
     grievances, were we to transfer to it those prerogatives which the
     Parliament has gradually usurped, and used in a manner which has
     produced the present material and moral disorganisation. The House
     of Commons is the house of a few: the sovereign is the sovereign of
     all. The proper leader of the people is the individual who sits
     upon the throne.'

     'Then you abjure the representative principle?'

     'Why so? Representation is not necessarily, or even in a principal
     sense, Parliamentary. Parliament is not sitting at this moment: and
     yet the nation is represented in its highest as well as in its most
     minute interests. Not a grievance escapes notice and redress. I see
     in the newspapers this morning that a pedagogue has brutally
     chastised his pupil. It is a fact known over all England--opinion
     is now supreme, and opinion speaks in print. The representation of
     the Press is far more complete than the representation of
     Parliament. Parliamentary representation was the happy device of a
     ruder age, to which it was admirably adapted. But it exhibits many
     symptoms of desuetude. It is controlled by a system of
     representation more vigorous and comprehensive, which absorbs its
     duties and fulfils them more efficiently.... Before a royal
     authority, supported by such a national opinion, the sectional
     anomalies of our country would disappear. Under such a system even
     statesmen would be educated. We should have no more diplomatists
     who could not speak French, no more bishops ignorant of theology,
     no more generals-in-chief who never saw a field. There is a polity
     adapted to our laws, our institutions, our feelings, our manners,
     our traditions: a polity capable of great ends, and appealing to
     high sentiments: a polity which, in my opinion, would render
     government an object of national affection, would terminate
     sectional anomalies, and extinguish Chartism.'

Disraeli was singularly regardless of the common arts of party
popularity. He had spoken in defence of the Chartists when he was
supposed to be bidding for a place under Sir Robert Peel; he had used
language about Ireland, sweeping, peremptory, going to the heart of the
problem, which Whig and Tory must have alike resented; and he had risked
his seat by his daring. He was now telling the country, in language as
plain as Carlyle's, that Parliament was an effete institution--and the
House of Commons which he treated so disdainfully was in a few years to
choose him for its leader. The anomalies in Disraeli's life grow more
astonishing the deeper we look into them.

[Sidenote: 'SYBIL']

'Sybil,' published the next year, is more remarkable than even
'Coningsby.' 'Sybil; or, the Two Nations,' the two nations being the
Rich and the Poor. Disraeli had personally studied human life in the
manufacturing towns. He had seen the workman, when trade was brisk and
wages high, enjoying himself in his Temple of the Muses; he had seen
him, when demand grew slack, starving with his family in the garret,
with none to help him. He had observed the insolent frauds of the
truckmaster. He had seen the inner side of our magnificent industries
which legislation was struggling to extend: he had found there hatred,
anarchy, and incendiarism, and he was not afraid to draw the lurid
picture in the unrelieved colours of truth.

The first scene opens on the eve of the Derby, when, in a splendid
club-room, the languid aristocrats, weary of the rolling hours, are
making up their betting-books--they the choicest and most finished
flowers of this planet, to whom the Derby is the event of the year. They
are naturally high-spirited young men, made for better things, but
spoilt by their education and surroundings.

From the youth we pass to the mature specimens of the breed who are in
possession of their estates and their titles. Lord Marney's peerage
dates from the suppression of the monasteries, in which his ancestor had
been a useful instrument.

The secretary of Henry VIII.'s vicar-general had been rewarded by the
lands of a northern abbey. The property had grown in value with the
progress of the country. The family for the three centuries of its
existence had never produced a single person who had contributed any
good thing to the service of the commonwealth. But their consequence had
grown with their wealth, and the Lord Marney of 'Sybil' was aspiring to
a dukedom. He is represented (being doubtless drawn from life) as the
harshest of landlords, exacting the utmost penny of rent, leaving his
peasantry to squalor and disease, or driving them off his estates to
escape the burden of the poor-rate, and astonished to find Swing and his
bonfires starting up about him as his natural reward. The second great
peer of the story, Lord Mowbray, of a yet baser origin and character,
owns the land on which has grown a mushroom city of mills and
mill-hands. The ground-rents have made him fabulously rich, while,
innocent of a suspicion that his wealth has brought obligations along
with it, he lives in vulgar luxury in his adjoining castle.

On both estates the wretchedness is equal, though the character of it
is different. Lord Marney rules in a country district. A clergyman asks
him how a peasant can rear his family on eight shillings a week. 'Oh, as
for that,' said Lord Marney, 'I have generally found the higher the
wages, the worse the workmen. They only spend their money in the
beershops. They are the curse of the country.' The ruins of the
monastery give an opportunity for a contrast between the old England and
the new, by a picture of the time when the monks were the gentlest of
landlords, when exactions and evictions were unknown, and when churches
were raised to the service of God in the same spots where now rise the
brick chimneys and factories as the spires and temples of the modern

In Mowbray, the town from which the earl of that name drew his revenue,
the inhabitants were losing the elementary virtues of humanity.
Factory-girls deserted their parents, and left them to starve,
preferring an independence of vice and folly; mothers farmed out their
children at threepence a week to be got rid of in a month or two by
laudanum and treacle. Disraeli was startled to find that 'infanticide
was practised as extensively and legally in England as it was on the
banks of the Ganges.' It is the same to-day: occasional revelations lift
the curtains, and show it active as ever; familiarity has led us to look
upon it as inevitable; the question, what is to be done with the swarms
of children multiplying in our towns, admitting, at present, of no moral

With some elaboration, Disraeli describes the human creatures bred in
such places which were growing up to take the place of the old English.

'Devilsdust'--so one of these children came to be called, for he had no
legitimate name or parentage--having survived a baby-farm by toughness
of constitution, and the weekly threepence ceasing on his mother's
death, was turned out into the streets to starve or to be run over.

     Even this expedient failed. The youngest and feeblest of the band
     of victims, Juggernaut spared him to Moloch. All his companions
     were disposed of. Three months' play in the streets got rid of this
     tender company, shoeless, half-naked, and uncombed, whose ages
     varied from two to five years. Some were crushed, some were lost;
     some caught cold and fever, crept back to their garrets or their
     cellars, were dosed with Godfrey's Elixir, and died in peace. The
     nameless one, Devilsdust, would not disappear: he always got out of
     the way of the carts and horses, and never lost his own. They gave
     him no food: he foraged for his own, and shared with the dogs the
     garbage of the streets. But still he lived: stunted and pale, he
     defied even the fatal fever which was the only habitant of his
     cellar that never quitted it, and slumbering at night on a bed of
     mouldering straw, his only protection against the plashy surface of
     his den, with a dung-heap at his head and a cesspool at his feet,
     he still clung to the only roof that sheltered him from the
     tempest. At length, when the nameless one had completed his fifth
     year, the pest which never quitted the nest of cellars of which he
     was a citizen raged in the quarter with such intensity that the
     extinction of its swarming population was menaced. The haunt of
     this child was peculiarly visited. All the children gradually
     sickened except himself: and one night when he returned home he
     found the old woman herself dead and surrounded only by corpses.
     The child before this had slept on the same bed of straw with a
     corpse; but then there were also breathing things for his
     companions. A night passed only with corpses seemed to him itself a
     kind of death. He stole out of the cellar, quitted the quarter of
     pestilence, and, after much wandering, lay down near the door of a

The child is taken in, not out of charity, but because an imp of such a
kind happens to be wanted, and Devilsdust grows up, naturally enough, a
Chartist and a dangerous member of society. But was there ever a more
horrible picture drawn? It is like a chapter of Isaiah in Cockney
novelist dress. Such things, we are told, cannot happen now. Can they
not? There was a recent revelation at Battersea not so unlike it. The
East-end of London produces crimes which are not obliterated because
they are forgotten; and rag bundles may be seen on frosty nights at
London house-doors, which, if you unroll them, discover living things
not so unlike poor Devilsdust. For the future, these waifs and strays
are at least to be sent to school. The school will do something,
especially if one full meal a day is added to the lessons; but what is
the best of Board schools compared to the old apprenticeship? The
apprentice had his three full meals a day, and decent clothes, and
decent lodging, and was taught some trade or handicraft by which he
could earn an honest living when his time was out. The school cannot
reach the miserable home. The school teaches no useful occupation, and
when school-time is over the child is again adrift upon the world. He is
taught to read and write. His mind is opened. Yes. He is taught to read
the newspapers, and the penny dreadfuls, and his wits are sharpened for
him. Whether this will make him a more useful or more contented member
of society, time will show.

Devilsdust was but one of many products of the manufacturing system
which Disraeli saw and meditated upon.

He found a hand-loom weaver starving with his children in a garret,
looking back upon the time when his loom had given him a cottage and a
garden in his native village. The new machinery had ruined him, and he
did not complain of the inevitable. But, as it was too late for him to
learn another trade, he argued that if a society which had been created
by labour suddenly became independent of it, that society was bound to
maintain those whose only property was labour, out of the profits of
that other property which had not ceased to be productive.

He talks with a superior artisan, who says to him:

     'There is more serfdom in England now than at any time since the
     Conquest. I speak of what passes under my daily eyes when I say
     that those who labour can as little change or choose their masters
     now as when they were born thralls. There are great bodies of the
     working classes of this country nearer the condition of brutes than
     they have been at any time since the Conquest. Indeed, I see
     nothing to distinguish them from brutes, except that their morals
     are inferior. Incest and infanticide are as common among them as
     among the lower animals. The domestic principle wanes weaker and
     weaker every year in England: nor can we wonder at it when there is
     no comfort to cheer and no sentiment to hallow the home.

     'I am told a working man has now a pair of cotton stockings, and
     that Henry VIII. himself was not as well off.... I deny the
     premisses. I deny that the condition of the main body is better now
     than at any other period of our history--that it is as good as it
     has been at several. The people were better clothed, better lodged,
     and better fed just before the Wars of the Roses than they are at
     this moment. The Acts of Parliament, from the Plantagenets to the
     Tudors, teach us alike the prices of provisions and the rate of

'And are these the people?' the hero of the story asks himself, after
such conversations. 'If so, I would I lived more among them. Compared
with this converse, the tattle of our saloons has in it something
humiliating. It is not merely that it is deficient in warmth and depth
and breadth; that it is always discussing persons instead of principles;
choking its want of thought in mimetic dogmas, and its want of feeling
in superficial raillery. It is not merely that it has neither
imagination, nor fancy, nor sentiment, nor knowledge to recommend it,
but it appears to me, even as regards manners and expressions, inferior
in refinement and phraseology, trivial, uninteresting, stupid, really

The tattle of politics was no better than the tattle of the saloons.
Disraeli's experience in the northern towns had shown him what a problem
lay before any Government of England which deserved the name. The Reform
Bill was now twelve years old, and political liberty, so far, had not
touched the outside of the disease. London, with its cliques and
parties, its balls and festivities, seemed but an iridescent scum over
an abyss of seething wretchedness. Here was work for rulers, if ruling
was ever again to mean more than intrigue for office and manipulation of
votes. Devilsdusts by thousands were generating in the vapour of Free
Trade industry, while the Tadpoles and the Tapers, the wirepullers of
the House of Commons, were in a fever of agitation whether the Great
Bedchamber question was to bring back the Melbourne Ministry, or whether
Peel was to have his way.

     _Tadpole_: The malcontent Liberals who have turned them out are not
     going to bring them in again. That makes us equal. Then we have an
     important section to work upon, the Sneaks, the men who are afraid
     of a dissolution. I will be bound we make a good working
     Conservative majority of twenty-five out of the Sneaks.

     _Taper_: With the Treasury patronage, fears and favours combined,
     and all the places we refuse our own men, we may count on the

     _Tadpole_: There are several religious men who have wanted an
     excuse for a long time to rat. We must get Sir Robert to make some
     kind of a religious move, and that will secure Sir Litany Lax and
     young Mr. Salem.

     _Taper_: It will never do to throw over the Church Commission.
     Commissions and committees ought always to be supported.

     _Tadpole_: Besides, it will frighten the saints. If we could get
     Sir Robert to speak at Exeter Hall, were it only a slavery
     meeting!--that would do.

     _Taper_: It is difficult: he must be pledged to nothing, not even
     to the right of search. Yet if we could get up something with a
     good deal of sentiment and no principle involved, referring only to
     the past, but with his practical powers touching the present! What
     do you think of a monument to Wilberforce or a commemoration of

     _Tadpole_: There is a good deal in that. At present go about and
     keep our fellows in good humour. Whisper nothings that sound like
     something. But be discreet. Do not let there be more than
     half-a-hundred fellows who believe they are going to be
     Under-Secretaries of State. And be cautious about titles. If they
     push you, give a wink and press your finger to your lips. I must
     call here on the Duke of FitzAquitaine. This gentleman is my
     particular charge. I have been cooking him these three years. I had
     two notes from him yesterday, and can delay no longer. The worst of
     it is he expects I shall bear him the non-official announcement of
     his being sent to Ireland, of which he has about as much chance as
     I have of being Governor-General of India. It must be confessed
     ours is critical work sometimes, friend Taper. But never mind: we
     have to do with individuals; Peel has to do with a nation; and
     therefore we ought not to complain.

Is this a libel, or is it a fair account of the formation and working of
English governments? Let those answer who have read the memoirs of the
leading statesmen of the present century. Is there anywhere to be found,
in the records of the overthrow or building-up of Cabinets, any hint,
even the slightest, of an insight into the condition of the country, or
of a desire to mend it? Forces were at work shattering the bodily frames
and destroying the souls of millions of those whom they were aspiring to
guide. Do we find anything at all, save manœuvres for a new turn of the
political kaleidoscope? Might not Sidonia, might not Disraeli himself,
reasonably doubt whether such methods of selecting administrations would
be of long continuance?

Enough of 'Sybil.' Disraeli skilfully contrives to distribute poetical
justice among his imaginary characters--to bring his unworthy peers to
retribution, and to reward the honest and the generous. He could do it
in a novel. Unfortunately, the reality is less tractable. 'A year ago,'
he says, in concluding the story, 'I presumed to offer to the public
some volumes ("Coningsby") that aimed at calling their attention to the
state of political parties, their origin, their history, their present
position. In an age of mean passions and petty thoughts, I would have
impressed upon the rising race not to despair, but to seek in a right
understanding of the history of their country, and in the energies of
heroic youths, the elements of national welfare. The present work
advances a step in the same emprise. From the state of parties it would
draw public thought to the state of the people whom those parties for
two centuries have governed. The comprehension and the cure of this
greater theme depend upon the same agencies as the first. It is the past
alone that can explain the present, and it is youth alone that can mould
the remedial future.... The written history of our country for the last
ten years has been a mere phantasm.... Oligarchy has been called
Liberty; an exclusive priesthood has been christened a National Church.
Sovereignty has been the title of something that has had no dominion,
while absolute power has been wielded by those who profess themselves
the servants of the people. In the selfish strife of factions, two great
existences have been blotted out of the history of England: the monarch
and the multitude. As the power of the Crown has diminished, the
privileges of the people have disappeared, till at length the sceptre
has become a pageant, and the subject has degenerated again into a

'That we may live to see England once more possess a free monarchy, and
a privileged and prosperous people, is my prayer; that these great
consequences can only be brought about by the energy and devotion of our
youth, is my persuasion.... The claims of the future are represented by
suffering millions, and the youth of a nation are the trustees of


 The New Gospel--Effect on English character--The Manchester
   School--Tendencies of Sir Robert Peel--The Corn Laws--Peel brought
   into office as a Protectionist--Disraeli and Peel--Protracted
   duel--Effect of Disraeli's speeches--Final declaration of Peel
   against the Corn Laws--Corn Laws repealed--Lord George
   Bentinck--Irish Coercion Bill--The Canning episode--Defeat and fall
   of Peel--Disraeli succeeds to the Leadership of the Conservative

[Sidenote: THE NEW CREED]

With the light which is thrown by 'Sybil' on the workings of Disraeli's
mind, it is easy to understand the feelings with which he regarded the
words and actions of Sir Robert Peel. He had seen, or supposed himself
to have seen, a poisonous fungus eating into the heart of English life.
In town and country, among the factory operatives, and on the estates of
the rich and the noble, there was one rapid process of degeneracy. The
peasantry were serfs, without the redeeming features of serfdom; the
town artisans were becoming little better than brutes. In the cities,
family and the softer influences of home were ceasing to exist. Children
were being dragged up in misery or were left to die, and life was turned
into a flaring workshop in which the higher purposes of humanity were
obliterated or forgotten. The cause was everywhere the same. The gospel
of political economy had been substituted for the gospel of Christ. The
new law was to make money; the new aim of all classes, high and low
alike, was to better their condition, as it was called, and make the
most of their opportunities. Each must look out for himself: one man was
not another's keeper; labour was an article of trade, which the employer
was to buy as cheap as he could get it, and the workman was to sell for
the most that he could get. There their duties to each other ended, and
the results were the scenes which he had witnessed in Marley and
Mowbray. The further trade was extended under the uncontrolled
conditions demanded by the 'Manchester school,' the more these scenes
would multiply.


With the powerful Protectionist majority returned by the elections of
1841, Peel, in Disraeli's opinion, had an opportunity of bringing these
demoralising tendencies under the authority of reason and conscience.
The Corn Laws were but one feature of the problem. The real question was
whether England was to remain as she had been, the nursing mother of a
noble breed of men, or whether the physical and moral qualities of a
magnificent race were to be sacrificed to a rage for vulgar wealth.
Disraeli had not flattered his party. In Trafford and in the elder
Millbank, he had drawn manufacturers who were splendidly alive to their
duties. The ennobled landowners he had left to be represented by such
men as Lord Marley. He was a Radical of the Radicals, a Radical who went
to the root of the mischief. Like Carlyle, he was telling his country
that unless they brought authority to deal with it, the England which we
were so proud of would speedily forfeit her place among the nations of
the world. It is likely enough that Peel would have failed if he had
tried. His own followers were thinking more of their rents than of the
moral condition of the people. But at any rate he was not trying, and
evidently had no thought of trying. He took the course which promised
most immediate success. To restore authority required an aristocracy who
could be trusted to use it, and there was none such ready to hand. Wages
must be left to the market where he found them. All that he could do to
help the people was to cheapen the food which was bought with them, to
lay taxation on the shoulders best able to bear it, and by education and
such other means as he could provide to enable the industrious and the
thoughtful to raise themselves, since neither legislation nor
administration could raise them. Cheap food and popular education was
his highest ideal. Peel could see what was immediately before him
clearer than any man. His practical sagacity forbade him to look farther
or deeper.

But the difficulty of his position lay in his having been brought into
power as a Protectionist. The constituencies had given him his majority
in reply to his own Protectionist declarations. If Free Trade was to be
made the law of the land was Peel to repeat the part which he had played
in Catholic emancipation? All reasonable Conservatives knew that the
corn laws must be modified; but the change, if inevitable, need not be
precipitate. Peel's great defect, Disraeli said in his 'Life of Lord
George Bentinck,' was that he wanted imagination, and in wanting that he
wanted prescience. No one was more sagacious when dealing with the
circumstances before him. His judgment was faultless, provided that he
had not to deal with the future. But insight into consequences is the
test of a true statesman, and because Peel had it not Catholic
emancipation, Parliamentary Reform, and the abrogation of the commercial
system were carried in haste or in passion, and without conditions or
mitigatory arrangements. On Canning's death the Tories might have had
the game in their hands. A moderate reconstruction of the House of
Commons, the transfer of the franchises of a few corrupt boroughs to the
great manufacturing towns, would have satisfied the country. Peel let
the moment pass, and the Birmingham Union and the Manchester Economic
School naturally followed. His policy was to resist till resistance was
ineffectual, and then to grant wholesale concessions as a premium to
political agitation. The same scene was being enacted over again. Sir
Robert had rejected Lord John Russell's eight-shilling duty. It appeared
now, from the course in which he was drifting, that the duty would be
swept away altogether.

In whatever way Peel had acted it is not likely that the state of
England at present would have differed materially from what it is. The
forces which were producing either the decay or the renovation of the
Constitution, whichever it proves to be, were too powerful for the
wisest statesman either to arrest or materially direct. Plato thought
that had he been born a generation sooner he might have saved Greece.
The Olympian gods themselves could not have saved Greece. But when
untoward events arrive they are always visited on the immediate actors
in them, and Disraeli visited on Peel the ruin of his own party and the
disappointment of his own hopes. Perhaps, as he was but half an
Englishman, his personal interest in the question at issue was not
extreme. It is possible that he had resented Peel's neglect of him. At
any rate he saw his opportunity and used it to make his name famous.
Hitherto he had been known in the House of Commons as a brilliant
and amusing speaker, but of such independent ways that even the
Conservatives gave him but a limited confidence. So little had he
spared his own friends in vote, speech, or writing that he may be
acquitted of having dreamt of becoming their immediate leader. But Peel
had laid himself open. The Premier's policy, supported as it was by his
political pupils and the Liberal Opposition, Disraeli knew to be
practically irresistible. He was therefore spared the necessity of
moderating his own language. At least he could avenge his party and
punish what he could not prevent. It was his pride when he made an
attack to single out the most dangerous antagonist. Sir Robert Peel was
the most commanding member of the House of Commons, and the most
powerful oratorical athlete.


Disraeli's speeches during Peel's Ministry and the effects which they
produced can be touched but superficially in a narrative so brief as
this, but they formed the turning-point of his public life. His assaults
when he began were treated with petulant contempt, but his fierce
counter-hits soon roused attention to them. The Liberals were
entertained to see the Conservative chief dared and smitten by one of
his own followers. The country members felt an indignant satisfaction at
the deserved chastisement of their betrayer. The cheers in Parliament
were echoed outside the walls and rang to the farthest corner of the
Continent. With malicious skill Disraeli touched one after the other the
weak points of a character essentially great but superficially
vulnerable. Like Laertes he anointed his point, but the venom lay in the
truth of what he said, and the suffering which he inflicted was the more
poignant because administered by a hand which Peel had unfortunately
despised. Disraeli was displaying for the first time the peculiar
epigrammatic keenness which afterwards so much distinguished him, and
the skill with which he could drive his arrows through the joints in
the harness. Any subject gave him an opening. Peel supposed that he had
rebuked and silenced him by quoting in a dignified tone Canning's lines
upon 'A Candid Friend.' The allusion was dangerous, for Peel's conduct
to Canning had not been above reproach. Disraeli took an occasion when
the general policy of the Ministry was under discussion to deliver
himself in his clear, cold, impassive manner of a few sentences which
hit exactly the temper of the House. Peel was generally accused of
having stolen the Liberal policy. The right honourable gentleman, he
said, had caught the Whigs bathing and had walked away with their
clothes. He had tamed the shrew of Liberalism by her own tactics. He was
the 'political Petruchio who had outbid them all.' Then came the sting.
Peel had a full memory, and was rather proud of the readiness with which
he could introduce quotations. Disraeli first touched his vanity by
complimenting him on the success with which he used such weapons,
'partly because he seldom quoted a passage which had not previously
received the meed of Parliamentary approbation, partly because his
quotations were so happy.... We all admire Canning,' he said; 'we all,
or at least most of us, deplore his untimely end. We sympathised with
him in his fierce struggle with supreme prejudice and sublime
mediocrity, with inveterate foes and with candid friends. Mr. Canning!
and quoted by the right honourable gentleman. The theme, the poet, the
speaker!--what a felicitous combination!'

The shaft which Peel had lightly launched was returned into his own
breast and quivered there. The House of Commons, bored with dulness,
delights in an unusual stroke of artistic skill. The sarcasm was
received with cheers the worse to bear because while the Radicals
laughed loud Peel's own side did not repress an approving murmur. He
was like the bull in the Spanish arena when the _chulos_ plant their
darts upon his shoulders. 'He hoped,' he said, 'that the honourable
member, having discharged the accumulated virus of the last week, now
felt more at his ease;' but the barb had gone to the quick, and Peel,
however proudly he controlled himself, was the most sensitive of men.

The tormentor left him no rest. A few days later came Mr. Miles's motion
for the application of surplus revenue to the relief of agriculture.
Peel, when in opposition, had argued for the justice of this proposal.
In office he found objections to it; and Disraeli told his friends that
they must not be impatient with Sir Robert Peel. 'There is no doubt,' he
said, 'a difference in the right honourable gentleman's demeanour as
leader of the Opposition and as Minister of the Crown. But that is the
old story. You must not contrast too strongly the hours of courtship
with the years of possession. I remember the right honourable
gentleman's Protection speeches. They were the best speeches I ever
heard. But we know in all these cases when the beloved object has ceased
to charm it is vain to appeal to the feelings.'

Sidney Herbert had spoken of the agricultural members as whining to
Parliament at every recurrence of temporary distress. Disraeli again
struck at Peel, dealing Sidney Herbert an insolent cut by the way.

'The right honourable gentleman,' he continued, 'being compelled to
interfere, sends down his valet, who says in the genteelest manner, "We
can have no whining here." But, sir, that is exactly the case of the
great agricultural interest, that beauty which everyone wooed and one
deluded. Protection appears to me to be in the same condition that
Protestantism was in 1828. For my part, if we are to have Free Trade,
I, who honour genius, prefer that such measures should be proposed by
the honourable member for Stockport [Mr. Cobden] than by one who, though
skilful in Parliamentary manœuvres, has tampered with the generous
confidence of a great people and a great party. For myself, I care not
what may be the result. Dissolve, if you please, the Parliament, whom
you have betrayed, and appeal to the people, who I believe mistrust you.
For me there remains this at least, the opportunity for expressing thus
publicly my belief that a Conservative Government is an organised

This speech became famous. O'Connell, who, like Disraeli himself, bore
no malice, when asked his opinion of it said it was all excellent except
the peroration, and that was matchless. Disraeli, who had calmly watched
the effect of his assaults, told his sister that 'Peel was stunned and
stupefied, lost his head, and vacillating between silence and spleen,
spoke much and weakly, assuring me that I had not hurt his feelings,
that he would never reciprocate personalities, having no venom, &c. &c.'

A wasp which you cannot kill buzzing round your face and stinging when
it has a chance will try the patience of the wisest. The Maynooth grant
might have been a safe subject, for no one had advocated justice to
Ireland more strongly than Disraeli; but he chose to treat it as a bid
for the Irish vote. He called Peel 'a great Parliamentary middleman,'
swindling both the parties that he professed to serve, and with deadly
ingenuity he advised the Roman Catholic members to distrust a man 'whose
bleak shade had fallen on the sunshine of their hopes for a quarter of a

Driven beside himself at last, either on this or on some similar
occasion, I have been assured that Peel forgot his dignity and asked a
distinguished friend to carry a challenge from him to his reviler. The
friend, unwilling to give Disraeli such a triumph and more careful of
Peel's reputation than Peel himself, did not merely refuse, but
threatened, if the matter was pursued farther, to inform the police.[9]

Disraeli asked Lord John Russell if he was not weary of being dragged at
the triumphal car of a conqueror who had not conquered him in fair
fight. 'Habitual perfidy,' he said, 'was not high policy of state.' He
invited the Whig leader to assist him 'in dethroning the dynasty of
deception and putting an end to the intolerable yoke of official
despotism and Parliamentary imposture.'

[Sidenote: THE CORN LAWS]

Though the Free-Traders were revolutionising the tariff old-fashioned
statesmen on both sides still hesitated at the entire abolition of the
Corn Laws. It had been long assumed that without some protection the
soil of England must fall out of cultivation. The Corn Law Leaguers were
prepared even for that consummation, although they denied the
probability of it. Disraeli, laying aside his personalities, showed in a
noble passage that when he chose he could rise to the level of a great
subject. He said--

'The leading spirits on the benches I see before me have openly declared
their opinion that if there were not an acre of land cultivated in
England it would not be the worse for this country. You have all of you
in open chorus announced your object to be the monopoly of the commerce
of the universe, to make this country the workshop of the world. Your
system and ours are exactly contrary. We invite union; we believe that
national prosperity can only be produced by the prosperity of all
classes. You prefer to remain in isolated splendour and solitary
magnificence. But, believe me, I speak not as your enemy when I say it
will be an exception to the principles which seem hitherto to have ruled
society if you can maintain the success at which you aim without the
possession of that permanence and stability which the territorial
principle alone can afford. Although you may for a moment flourish after
their destruction, although your ports may be filled with shipping, your
factories smoke on every plain, and your forges flame in every city, I
see no reason why you should form an exception to that which the page of
history has mournfully recorded, that you should not fade like Tyrian
dye and moulder like the Venetian palaces.'

The great Whig peers, who were the largest of the territorial magnates,
were not yet prepared to cut their own throats. Lord John was still for
his eight-shilling duty. Peel was for a sliding scale which would lower
the duty without extinguishing it. But, as Disraeli observed, 'there is
nothing in which the power of circumstance is more evident than in
politics. They baffle the forethought of statesmen and control even the
apparently inflexible laws of national development and decay.' In the
midst of the debate on the customs duties came the Irish famine, and the
Corn Laws in any shape were doomed. Protection might have been continued
in a moderate form if this catastrophe had not occurred, provided the
lords of the soil could have reverted to the practice of their
forefathers and looked on their rents as the revenue of their estates,
to be expended on the welfare of their dependents. But it was not in
them and could not come out of them. On the top of distress in England
followed the destruction of the sole means of support which the
recklessness of the Irish proprietors had left to five millions of
peasants. Sir Robert Peel informed his Cabinet that the duties on grain
must be suspended by order of Council, and that if once removed they
could never be reimposed. The Cabinet split; Lord Stanley left him. He
felt himself that if the Corn Laws were to be repealed he was not the
statesman who ought to do it. He resigned, but he could not escape his
fate. Lord John Russell could not form a Ministry and 'handed the
poisoned chalice back to Peel,' who was forced to return and fulfil his
ungracious office. He announced at the opening of the session of 1846
that the debates had convinced him not only of the impolicy but of the
injustice of the Corn Laws, and he warned his followers that if they
defeated him on a question of their personal interests 'an ancient
monarchy and a proud aristocracy might not be found compatible with a
reformed House of Commons.' The intimation and the threat were received
with silent dismay. Disraeli alone was able to give voice to their
indignation, and in the style of which he had made himself such a master
he said that he at least was not one of the converts; he had been sent
to the House to advocate protection, and to protection he adhered. In
bitter and memorable words he compared Peel to the Turkish admiral who
had been sent out to fight Mehemet Ali, and had carried his fleet into
the harbour at Alexandria, alleging as his excuse that he had himself an
objection to war, that the struggle was useless, and that he had
accepted the command only to betray his master. Up to this time the Tory
party had but half liked Disraeli. Many of his utterances in the House
and out of it had a communistic taint upon them. Now, forlorn and
desperate, a helpless flock deserted by the guardian whom they trusted,
they cheered him with an enthusiasm which is only given to an accepted
chief. 'So keen was the feeling and so spurring the point of honour that
a flock deserted by their shepherds should not be led, as was intended,
to the slaughter-house without a struggle, that a stimulus to exertion
was given which had been rarely equalled in the House of Commons.'

Lord George Bentinck sold his racehorses and converted himself into a
politician with a vigour of which no one had suspected him of being the
possessor. Bentinck in youth had been Canning's secretary. He was then a
moderate Whig, but had deserted politics for the turf. He was roused out
of his amusements by the menaced overthrow of the principles in which he
had been bred. His sense of honour was outraged by this second instance
of what he regarded as Peel's double-dealing, and the Tories, whose
pride would have been wounded by submitting avowedly to be led by an
adventurer, were reconciled to Disraeli as second in command while they
had Bentinck for his coadjutor and nominal chief. After the Peelites had
separated from them they were still a powerful minority. If parties
could but be forced back into their natural positions 'they could still
exercise the legitimate influence of an Opposition in criticising
details and insisting on modifications.' Free trade 'could be better
contended against when openly and completely avowed than when brought
forward by one who had obtained power by professing his hostility to
it.' They were betrayed and they had a right to be angry; for Peel only,
as parties stood, could carry repeal complete, and it was they who had
given Peel his power.

Complaint, resistance were equally vain. The Bill for the repeal of the
Corn Laws went through its various stages. On the third reading on May
15, when the battle was practically over, Disraeli again delivered a
speech in which, dispensing with his epigrams and sarcasms, he displayed
the qualities of a great and far-seeing statesman.

'I know,' he said, 'that there are many who believe that the time has
gone by when one can appeal to those high and honest impulses that were
once the mainstay and the main element of the English character. I know,
sir, that we appeal to a people debauched by public gambling, stimulated
and encouraged by an inefficient and shortsighted Minister. I know that
the public mind is polluted by economic fancies, a depraved desire that
the rich may become richer without the interference of industry and
toil. I know that all confidence in public men is lost. But, sir, I have
faith in the primitive and enduring elements of the English character.
It may be vain now in the midnight of their intoxication to tell them
that there will be an awakening of bitterness. It may be idle now in the
springtide of their economic frenzy to warn them that there may be an
ebb of trouble. But the dark and inevitable hour will arrive. Then when
their spirit is softened by misfortune they will recur to those
principles which made England great, and which, in our belief, alone can
keep England great. Then too, perhaps, they may remember, not with
unkindness, those who, betrayed and deserted, were neither ashamed nor
afraid to struggle for the good old cause, the cause with which are
associated principles the most popular, sentiments the most entirely
national, the cause of labour, the cause of the people, the cause of


The Bill passed both Houses, the noble Lords preferring their coronets
to their convictions. The Conservative defeat was complete and
irreparable. 'Vengeance, therefore, had succeeded in most breasts to
more sanguine sentiments; the field was lost, but at any rate there was
retribution for those who betrayed it.' The desire of vengeance was
human. Perhaps there was a feeling, more respectable, that if Peel was
allowed to triumph some other institution might be attacked on similar
lines; but it cannot be said that the occasion which the Conservatives
used to punish him was particularly creditable to them. Ireland was
starving, and Ireland was mutinous. Ordinary law proving, as usual,
unequal to the demand upon it, Peel was obliged to bring in one of the
too familiar Coercion Bills. Both parties when in office are driven to
this expedient. The Liberals when in opposition generally denounce it.
The Conservatives, as believing in order and authority, are in the habit
of supporting the Administration, even if it be the Administration of
their rivals. However discontented Peel might know his followers to be,
he had no reason to expect that they would desert him on such a ground
as this. His Coercion Bill passed the Lords without difficulty. It was
read a first time in the House of Commons in an interval in the Corn
Laws debate. A Conservative Opposition at such a crisis was at least
factious, for there was danger of actual rebellion in Ireland. It was
factious and it was not easy to organise. The opportunity was not a good
one, but if it was allowed to escape a second was not likely to offer.
Disraeli was a free-lance, and had opposed Coercion before. Lord George
had committed himself by his vote on the first reading. But he had a
private grudge of his own against Peel. They resolved to try what could
be done, and called a meeting of the Conservative party. They found
their friends cold. 'There is no saying how our men will go,' Lord
George said to Disraeli. 'It may be perilous, but if we lose this
chance the traitor will escape. I will make the plunge.' Lord George's
avowed ground was that he could no longer trust Peel and 'must therefore
refuse to give him unconstitutional powers.' On the merits he would
probably have been defeated; but the main point was lost sight of in the
personal quarrel to which the debate gave rise. Peel's conduct on the
Corn Laws had revived the recollection of his treatment of Catholic
Emancipation. When Canning, in 1827, was proposing to deal with it Peel
had refused to join his Ministry on this avowed ground, and Canning's
death was popularly connected with his supposed mortification at his
failure on that occasion. Disraeli, as we have seen, had given Peel one
sharp wound by referring to this episode in his career. Lord George
dealt him another and a worse. The object was to prove that Peel's
treachery was an old habit with him. He insisted that while he had
refused to support Emancipation if introduced by Canning in 1827 he had
himself changed his opinion about it two years before, and that he had
himself heard him avow the alteration of his sentiments.

'We are told now,' Lord George said, speaking on the Coercion Bill--'we
hear it from the Minister himself--that he thinks there is nothing
humiliating in the course which he has pursued, that it would have been
base and dishonest in him, and inconsistent with his duty to his
Sovereign, if he had concealed his opinions after he had changed them;
but I have lived long enough, I am sorry to say, to remember the time
when the right honourable Baronet chased and hunted an illustrious
relative of mine to death, and when he stated that he could not support
his Ministry because, as leading member of it, he was likely to forward
the question of Catholic Emancipation. That was the conduct of the
right honourable Baronet in 1827, but in 1829 he told the House he had
changed his opinion on that subject in 1825 and had communicated that
change of opinion to the Earl of Liverpool.' 'Peel,' he said, 'stood
convicted by his own words of base and dishonest conduct, conduct
inconsistent with the duty of a Minister to his Sovereign.' 'He' (Lord
George) 'was satisfied that the country would not forgive twice the same
crime in the same man. A second time had the right honourable Baronet
insulted the honour of Parliament and of the country, and it was now
time that atonement should be made to the betrayed constituencies of the

[Sidenote: FALL OF PEEL]

This had nothing to do with the Coercion Bill, and the motive of a
charge so vindictive could only have been to irritate passions which did
not need any further stimulus. The manners of Parliament are not
supposed to have improved in recent periods, but the worst scenes in our
own day are tame reproductions of the violence of forty years ago. The
House of Commons was then the real voice of the country, and the anger
of the Conservatives was the anger of half a nation. Lord George's
charge was based on a speech alleged to have been made in the House
itself. It was therefore absurd to accuse Peel of secret treachery. Any
treachery which there might have been was open and avowed. But did Peel
ever make such a speech? He rose as if stunned by the noise, and said
peremptorily that the accusation was destitute of foundation. 'It was as
foul a calumny as a vindictive spirit ever directed against a public
man.' The House adjourned in perplexity and astonishment. Lord George
was positive; he had been himself present, he said, when the words were
spoken. The question became more perplexed on reference to the reports
in the newspapers. The incriminated passage was not in the report in
'Hansard,' which had been revised by Sir Robert; but it was found in the
'Mirror of Parliament,' and also in the 'Times.' It was discovered also
that Sir Edward Knatchbull had drawn attention to Peel's words at the
time, and had enquired why he had not supported Canning if, as he
alleged, he had changed his mind as early as 1825. This seemed decisive.
Lord George could not speak again by the rules of the House, and handed
his authorities to Disraeli to use for him when the debate was renewed.
Disraeli was not likely to fail with such materials, and delivered an
invective to which the fiercest of his previous onslaughts was like the
cooing of a dove. He was speaking as an advocate. It does not follow
that he believed all he said, but the object was to make Peel suffer,
and in this he undoubtedly succeeded. Peel made a lame defence, and the
matter was never completely cleared up. Sir Edward Knatchbull's speech
could not be explained away. The House, however, was willing to be
satisfied. Lord John Russell, winding up the discussion and speaking for
the Opposition, accepted Peel's denial, declaring that both on Catholic
Emancipation and on the Corn Laws he had done good service to his
country, but agreed that on both occasions he had turned round upon his
pledges and ought not to be surprised if his friends were angry with
him. Disraeli, in telling the story afterwards in his Life of Lord
George, said that the truth was probably this: 'that Peel's change on
the Emancipation question had not been a sudden resolve--that he had
probably weighed the arguments for and against for a considerable time,
and that having to make a complicated and embarrassing statement when
he announced that he had gone round, and to refer by dates to several
periods as to his contingent conduct, had conveyed a meaning to the
House different from what he had intended.' Thus looked at his conduct
might be explained to his entire vindication. Disraeli, however, still
insisted that both Bentinck and himself had been also right in bringing
the charge. The point before the House was Peel's general conduct. He
had twice betrayed the party who had trusted his promises. Lord George
said that to denounce men who had broken their pledges was a public
duty. 'If the country could not place faith in the pledges of their
representatives the authority of the House of Commons would fall.'
However that might be the storm decided the wavering minds of the Tory
army, and with it the fate of Sir Robert Peel. In voting against the
Coercion Bill they would be voting against their own principles, and the
utmost efforts were made to retain them in their allegiance. Persuasion
and menace were alike unavailing. 'The gentlemen of England,' of whom it
had once been Sir Robert's proudest boast to be the leader, declared
against him. He was beaten by an overpowering majority, and his career
as an English Minister was closed.

Disraeli's had been the hand which dethroned him, and to Disraeli
himself, after three years of anarchy and uncertainty, descended the
task of again building together the shattered ruins of the Conservative
party. Very unwillingly they submitted to the unwelcome necessity.
Canning and the elder Pitt had both been called adventurers, but they
had birth and connection, and they were at least Englishmen. Disraeli
had risen out of a despised race; he had never sued for their favours;
he had voted and spoken as he pleased, whether they liked it or not. He
had advocated in spite of them the admission of the Jews to Parliament,
and many of them might think that in his novels he had held the Peerage
up to hatred. He was without Court favour, and had hardly a powerful
friend except Lord Lyndhurst. He had never been tried on the lower steps
of the official ladder. He was young too--only forty-two--after all the
stir that he had made. There was no example of a rise so sudden under
such conditions. But the Tory party had accepted and cheered his
services, and he stood out alone among them as a debater of superior
power. Their own trained men had all deserted them. Lord George remained
for a year or two as nominal chief: but Lord George died; the
Conservatives could only consolidate themselves under a real leader, and
Disraeli was the single person that they had who was equal to the
situation. Not a man on either side in the House was more than his match
in single combat. He had overthrown Peel and succeeded to Peel's

His situation was now changed. So far he had remained the Tory Radical
which he had first professed himself. He had his own views, and he had
freely enunciated them, whether they were practical or only theoretic.
No doubt he had thought that use might have been made of the reaction of
1841 to show the working men of England that the Tories were their real
friends. He knew that the gulf which was dividing the rich from the poor
was a danger to the Constitution. But, instead of far-reaching social
legislation, Parliament had decided for the immediate relief of cheap
bread. The country was committed to _laissez-faire_ and liberty, and no
reversion to earlier principles was now possible until _laissez-faire_
had been tried out and the consequences of it tasted and digested. As an
outsider he would have been still free to express his own opinions; as
the leader of a party he had now to consider the disposition of his
followers and the practical exigencies of the situation. All that was
for the present possible was to moderate the pace of what was called
Progress, keep the break upon the wheels, and prevent an overturn in the
descent of the incline. In the life of nations the periods of change are
brief; the normal condition of things is permanence and stability. The
bottom would be reached at last, and the appetite for innovation would
be satiated.


 Disraeli as Leader of the Opposition--Effects of Free Trade--Scientific
   discoveries--Steam--Railroads--Commercial revolution--Unexampled
   prosperity--Twenty-five years of Liberal government--Disraeli's
   opinions and general attitude--Party government and the conditions of
   it--Power of an Opposition Leader--Never abused by Disraeli for party
   interests--Special instances--The _coup d'état_--The Crimean War--The
   Indian Mutiny--The Civil War in America--Remarkable warning against
   playing with the Constitution.


Mr. Disraeli's career has been traced in detail from his birth to the
point which he had now reached. Henceforward it is neither necessary nor
possible to follow his actions with the same minuteness. The outer side
of them is within the memory of most of us. The inner side can only be
known when his private papers are given to the world. For twenty-five
years he led the Conservative Opposition in the House of Commons, varied
with brief intervals of power. He was three times Chancellor of the
Exchequer under Lord Derby--in 1852, in 1858-9, and again in 1867--but
he was in office owing rather to Liberal dissensions than to recovered
strength on his own side. Being in a minority he was unable to initiate
any definite policy; nor if the opportunity had been offered him would
he have attempted to reverse the commercial policy of Peel. The country
had decided for Free Trade, and a long Trade Wind of commercial
prosperity seemed to indicate that the Manchester school had been right
after all. On this question the verdict had gone against him, and the
opinion of the constituencies remained against him. More than all, what
Cobden had prophesied came to pass. Science and skill came to the
support of enterprise. Railroads cheapened transport and annihilated
distance. The ocean lost its terrors and became an easy and secure
highway, and England, with her boundless resources, became more than
ever the ocean's lord. Exports and imports grew with fabulous rapidity,
and the prosperity which Disraeli had not denied might be the immediate
effect exceeded the wildest hopes of the Corn Law League. Duty after
duty was abandoned, and still the revenue increased. The people
multiplied like bees, and yet wages rose. New towns sprang out of the
soil like mushrooms, and the happy owners of it found their incomes
doubled without effort of their own. Even the farmers prospered, for
time was necessary, before America, and Russia, and India could pull
down the market price of corn. Meat rose, farm produce of all kinds
rose, and rent rose along with it, and the price of land. The farm
labourer had his advance of a weekly shilling or two, and the
agricultural interest, which had been threatened with ruin, throve as it
had never thriven before. Althea's horn was flowing over with an
exuberance of plenty, and all classes adopted more expensive habits,
believing that the supply was now inexhaustible. The lords of the land
themselves shook off their panic, and were heard to say that 'Free Trade
was no such a bad thing after all.'


When things are going well with Englishmen they never look beyond the

    Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
    We see the lords of human kind go by.

Our countrymen of the last generation had confidence in themselves. They
were advancing by leaps and bounds, and the advance was to continue for
ever. Carlyle told them that their 'unexampled prosperity' was in itself
no such beautiful thing, and was perhaps due to special circumstances
which would not continue. Carlyle was laughed at as a pessimist. Yet as
time goes on a suspicion does begin to be felt that both he and Disraeli
were not as wrong as was supposed. The anticipated fall in wheat, though
long delayed, has come at last; at last the land is falling out of
cultivation, and the rents go back once more, and the labourers have
lost their extra shillings. The English farmer is swamped at last under
the competition of the outer world, and the peasantry, who were the
manhood of the country, are shrinking in numbers. The other nations, who
were to have opened their ports after our example, have preferred to
keep them closed to protect their own manufactures and supply their own

Chimneys still smoke and engines clank, and the volume of our foreign
trade does not diminish, but if the volume is maintained the profits
fall, and our articles must be produced cheaper and ever cheaper if we
are to hold our ground. As employment fails in the country districts the
people stream into the towns. This great London of ours annually
stretches its borders. Five millions of men and women, more than the
population of all England at the time of the Commonwealth, are now
collected within the limits of the Bills of Mortality. Once our English
artisans were famous throughout Europe. They were spread among the
country villages. Each workman was complete of his kind, in his way an
artist; his work was an education to him as a man. Now he is absorbed in
the centres of industry and is part of a machine. In the division of
labour a human being spends his life in making pins' heads or legs of
chairs, or single watch wheels, or feeding engines which work instead of
him. Such activities do not feed his mind or raise his character, and
such mind as he has left he feeds at the beer shop and music hall. Nay,
in the rage for cheapness his work demoralises him. He is taught to
scamp his labour and pass off bad materials for good. The carpenter, the
baker, the smith, the mason learns so to do his work that it may appear
what it professes to be, while the appearance is delusive. In the shop
and manufactory he finds adulteration regarded as a legitimate form of
competition. The various occupations of the people have become a
discipline of dishonesty, and the demand for cheapness is corroding the
national character.

Disraeli as a cool looker-on foresaw how it would be, but it was his
fate to steer the vessel in the stream when it was running with the
impetuosity of self-confidence. He could not stem a torrent, and all
that he could do was to moderate the extent of its action. Only he
refused to call the tendency of things Progress. 'Progress whence and
progress whither?' he would ask. The only human progress worth calling
by the name is progress in virtue, justice, courage, uprightness, love
of country beyond love of ourselves. True, as everyone was saying, it
was impossible to go back; but why? To go back is easy if we have missed
our way on the road upwards. It is impossible only when the road is


His function was to wait till the fruit had ripened which was to follow
on such brilliant blossom, and to learn what the event would teach him;
to save what he could of the old institutions, to avoid unnecessary
interference, and forward any useful measures of detail for which
opportunity might offer: meantime to watch his opponents and take fair
advantage of their mistakes provided he did not injure by embarrassing
them the real interests of the country. Party government in England is
the least promising in theory of all methods yet adopted for a
reasonable management of human affairs. In form it is a disguised civil
war, and a civil war which can never end, because the strength of the
antagonists is periodically recruited at the enchanted fountain of a
general election. Each section in the State affects to regard its rivals
as public enemies, while it admits that their existence is essential to
the Constitution; it misrepresents their actions, thwarts their
proposals even if it may know them to be good, and by all means, fair or
foul, endeavours to supplant them in the favour of the people. No nation
could endure such a system if it was uncontrolled by modifying
influences. The rule till lately has been to suspend the antagonism in
matters of Imperial moment, and to abstain from factious resistance when
resistance cannot be effectual in the transaction of ordinary business.
But within these limits and independent of particular measures each
party proceeds on the principle that the tenure of office by its
opponents is an evil in itself, and that no legitimate opportunity of
displacing them ought to be neglected. That both sides shall take their
turn at the helm is essential if the system is to continue. If they are
to share the powers of the State they must share its patronage, to draw
talent into their ranks. The art of administration can be learnt only by
practice; young Tories as well as young Whigs must have their chance of
acquiring their lessons. No party can hold together unless encouraged by
occasional victory. Thus the functions of an Opposition chief are at
once delicate and difficult. He must be careful _ne quid detrimenti
capiat Respublica_ through hasty action of his own. He must consider, on
the other hand, the legitimate interests of his friends. As a member of
a short-lived administration once bluntly expressed to me, 'you must
blood the noses of your hounds,' but you must not for a party advantage
embarrass a Government to the general injury of the Empire.

Under such circumstances the details of past Parliamentary sessions are
for the most part wearisome and unreal. The opposing squadrons are
arranged as if for battle, exhorted night after night in eloquence so
vivid that the nation's salvation might seem at stake. The leaders cross
swords. The newspapers spread the blaze through town and country, and
all on subjects of such trifling moment that they are forgotten when an
engagement is over, the result of which is known and perhaps determined
beforehand. When the division is taken, the rival champions consume
their cigars together in the smoking-room and discuss the next Derby or
the latest scandal. Questions are raised which wise men on both sides
would willingly let alone, because neither party can allow its opponents
an opportunity of gaining popular favour. The arguments are insincere.
The adulterations of trade pass into Parliament and become adulterations
of human speech. It is a price which we pay for political freedom, and a
price which tends annually to rise. Thus it is rightly felt to be unfair
to remember too closely the words or sentiments let fall in past
debates. The modern politician has often to oppose what in his heart he
believes to be useful, and defend what he does not wholly approve. He
has to affect to be in desperate earnest when he is talking of things
which are not worth a second's serious thought. Everyone knows this and
everyone allows for it. The gravest statesman of the century could be
proved as uncertain as a weathercock, lightly to be moved as
thistle-down, if every word which he utters in Parliament or on platform
is recorded against him as seriously meant.


The greater part of our Parliamentary history during the twenty-five
years of Disraeli's leadership of the Tory Opposition in the House
of Commons is of this character. The nation was going its own
way--multiplying its numbers, piling up its ingots, adding to its
scientific knowledge, and spreading its commerce over the globe.
Parliament was talking, since talk was its business, about subjects the
very names of which are dead echoes of vanished unrealities. It may be
claimed for Disraeli that he discharged his sad duties during all this
time with as little insincerity as the circumstances allowed, that he
was never wilfully obstructive, and that while he was dexterous as a
party chief he conducted himself always with dignity and fairness. It
cost him less than it would have cost most men, because being not deeply
concerned he could judge the situation with coolness and impartiality.
He knew that it was not the interest of the Conservative party to
struggle prematurely for office, and he had a genuine and loyal
concern for the honour and greatness of the country. Any proposals
which he considered good he helped forward with earnestness and
ability--proposals for shortening the hours of labour, for the
protection of children in the factories, for the improvement of the
dwelling-houses of the poor. He may be said to have brought the Jews
into Parliament a quarter of a century before they would otherwise have
been admitted there, for the Conservatives left to themselves would
probably have opposed their admission to the end. He could accomplish
little, but he prevented harm. The interesting intervals of the long
dreary time were when the monotony was broken in upon by incidents from
without--Continental revolutions, Crimean campaigns, Indian mutinies,
civil wars in America, and such like, when false steps might have swept
this country into the whirlpools, and there was need for care and
foresight. On all or most of these occasions he signalised himself not
only by refraining from taking advantage of them to embarrass the
Government, but by a loftiness of thought and language unfortunately not
too common in the House of Commons.

The _coup d'état_ of Louis Napoleon did not deserve to be favourably
received in England. The restoration of a military Government in France
alarmed half of us by a fear of the revival of the Napoleonic
traditions. The overthrow of a Constitution exasperated the believers in
liberty. All alike were justly shocked by the treachery and violence
with which the Man of December had made his way to the throne. The
newspapers and popular orators, accustomed to canvass and criticise the
actions of statesmen at home, forgot that prudence suggested reticence
about the affairs of others with whom we had no right to interfere. The
army was master of France, and to speak of its chief in such terms as
those in which historians describe a Sylla or a Marius was not the way
to maintain peaceful relations with dangerous neighbours. Neither the
writers nor the speakers wished for war with France. They wished only
for popularity as the friends of justice and humanity; but war might
easily have been the consequence unless pen and tongue could be taught
caution. Disraeli applied the bit in a powerful speech in the House. He
had been acquainted with Louis Napoleon in the old days at Lady
Blessington's. He had no liking for him and no belief in him; but he
reminded the House and he reminded the nation that it was not for us to
dictate how France was to be governed, and that the language, so freely
used might provoke a formidable and even just resentment.


The Crimean war he was unable to prevent, but as good a judge as Cobden
believed that if Disraeli and Lord Derby had not been turned out of
office in 1852 they would have prevented it, and a million lives and a
hundred millions of English money, which that business cost, need not
have been sacrificed over a struggle which events proved to be useless.
Much was to be said for a policy which would have frankly met and
accepted the Emperor Nicholas's overtures to Sir Hamilton Seymour. If a
joint pressure of all the European Powers had been brought to bear on
Turkey, internal reforms could have been forced upon her, and
preparation could have been made peacefully for the disappearance,
ultimately inevitable, of the Turks out of Europe. If the state of
public opinion forbade this (and Disraeli himself would certainly never
have adopted such a course) something was to be said also for adhering
firmly from the first to the traditionary dogmas on the maintenance of
the integrity of the Turkish Empire, and this the Conservatives were
prepared to do. Nothing at all was to be said for hesitation and waiting
upon events. The Tzar was deceived into supposing that while we talked
we meant nothing, and we drifted into a war of which the only direct
result was a waste of money which, if wisely used, might have drained
the Bog of Allen, turned the marshes of the Shannon into pasture ground,
and have left in Ireland some traces of English rule to which we could
look with satisfaction.

The indirect consequences of fatuities are sometimes worse than their
immediate effects. It was known over the world that England, France,
Turkey, and Italy had combined to endeavour to crush Russia, and had
succeeded only in capturing half of a single Russian city. The sepoy
army heard of our failures, and the centenary of the battle of Plassy
was signalised by the Great Mutiny. The rebellion was splendidly met. It
was practically confined to the army itself, and over the largest part
of the peninsula the general population remained loyal; but the murder
of the officers, the cruelties to the women and children, and the
detailed barbarities which were paraded in the newspapers, drove the
English people into fury. Carried away by generous but unwise emotion,
they clamoured for retaliatory severities, which, if inflicted, would
have been fatal to our reputation and eventually perhaps to the Indian
Empire. Disraeli's passionless nature was moved to a warmth which was
rare with him. Such feelings, he said, were no less than 'heinous.' We
boasted that we ruled India in the interests of humanity; were we to
stain our name by copying the ferocities of our revolted subjects?


His influence was no less fortunately exerted at the more dangerous
crisis of the American civil war. On all occasions English instinct
inclines to take the weaker side, but for many reasons there was in
England a particular and wide-spread inclination for the South. There
was a general feeling that the American colonies had revolted against
ourselves; if they quarrelled, and a minority of them desired
independence, the minority had as good a right to shake off the North as
the thirteen original States to shake off the mother country. The North
in trying to coerce the South was contradicting its own principle.
Professional politicians even among the Liberals were of opinion that
the transatlantic republic was dangerously strong, that it was
disturbing the balance of power, and that a division or dissolution of
it would be of general advantage. Those among us who disliked republican
institutions, and did not wish them to succeed, rejoiced at their
apparent failure, and would willingly have lent their help to make it

The Northern Americans were distasteful to the English aristocracy. The
Southern planters were supposed to be gentlemen with whom they had more
natural affinity. The war was condemned by three-quarters of the London
and provincial press, and when the Emperor Napoleon invited us to join
with him in recognising the South and breaking the blockade it perhaps
rested with Disraeli to determine how these overtures should be
received. Lord Palmerston was notoriously willing. Of the Tory party the
greater part would, if left to themselves, have acquiesced with
enthusiasm. With a word of encouragement from their leader a great
majority in Parliament would have given Palmerston a support which would
have allowed him to disregard the objections of some of his colleagues.
But that word was not spoken. Disraeli was as mistaken as most of us on
the probable results of the conflict. He supposed, as the world
generally supposed, that it must leave North America divided, like
Europe, into two or more independent States; but he advised and he
insisted that the Americans must be left to shape their fortunes in
their own way. England had no right to interfere.

Events move fast. Mankind make light of perils escaped, and the
questions which distracted the world a quarter of a century ago are
buried under the anxieties and passions of later problems. Hereafter,
when the changes and chances of the present reign are impartially
reviewed, Disraeli will be held to have served his country well by his
conduct at this critical contingency.

In domestic politics he was a partisan chief. His speeches in Parliament
and out of it were dictated by the exigencies of the passing moment. We
do not look for the real opinions of a leading counsel in his forensic
orations. We need not expect to find Disraeli's personal convictions in
what he occasionally found it necessary to say.

There did, however, break from him remarkable utterances on special
occasions which deserve and will receive remembrance. Two extracts only
can be introduced here, one on the state of the nation in 1849, when he
spoke for the first time as the acknowledged Conservative leader, the
other on Parliamentary Reform in 1865, the subject on which his own
action two years later called out Carlyle's scornful comment. The first
referred to the changed condition of things brought about by the
adoption of Free Trade.


'In past times,' he said, 'every Englishman was taught to believe that
he occupied a position better than the analogous position of individuals
of his order in any other country in the world. The British merchant was
looked on as the most creditable, the wealthiest, the most trustworthy
merchant in the world. The English farmer ranked as the most skilful
agriculturist.... The English manufacturer was acknowledged as the most
skilful and successful, without a rival in ingenuity and enterprise. So
with the British sailor; the name was a proverb. And chivalry was
confessed to have found a last resort in the breast of a British
officer. It was the same in the learned professions. Our physicians and
lawyers held higher positions than those of any other countries.... In
this manner English society was based upon the aristocratic principle
in its complete and most magnificent development.

'You set to work to change the basis on which this society was
established. You disdain to attempt the accomplishment of the _best_,
and what you want to achieve is the _cheapest_. The infallible
consequence is to cause the impoverishment and embarrassment of the
people. But impoverishment is not the only ill consequence which the new
system may produce. The wealth of England is not merely material wealth.
It does not merely consist in the number of acres we have tilled and
cultivated, nor in our havens filled with shipping, nor in our
unrivalled factories, nor in the intrepid industry of our miners. Not
these merely form the principal wealth of our country; we have a more
precious treasure, and that is _the character of the people_. This is
what you have injured. In destroying what you call class legislation you
have destroyed the noble and indefatigable ambition which has been the
source of all our greatness, of all our prosperity, of all our powers.'

The noble ambition of which Disraeli was speaking was the ambition of
men to do their work better and more honestly than others, and the rage
for cheapness has indeed destroyed this, and destroyed with it English
integrity. We are impatiently told that the schools will set it right
again. Character, unfortunately, is not to be formed by passing
standards, second or first. It is the most difficult of all attainments.
It is, or ought to be, the single aim of every government deserving the
name, and there is a curious remark of Aristotle that while aristocratic
governments recognised the obligation and acted upon it, democracies
invariably forget that such an obligation exists. They assume that
character will grow of itself. Of character ὁπόσον οὖν, ever so little
would suffice, and so the old republics went to ruin, as they deserved
to go. No subject deserves more anxious reflection. Yet Disraeli is the
only modern English statesman who has given it a passing thought.

The second passage referred to the playing with the Constitution which
had been going on ever since 1832. Lord Grey had dispossessed the gentry
and given the power to the middle classes. The operatives, the numerical
majority, were left unrepresented. Neither party wished to enfranchise
them, for fear they might be tempted to inroads upon property. Each was
afraid to confess the truth, and thus year after year the extension of
the suffrage was proposed dishonestly and dropped with satisfaction.
Lord John Russell made his last experiment in 1865, and Disraeli gave
the House a remarkable warning, which, if he afterwards neglected it
himself, the statesmen who are now with light hearts proposing to break
the Constitution to pieces may reflect upon with advantage.

[Sidenote: A WARNING]

'There is no country at the present moment that exists under the same
circumstances and under the same conditions as the people of this realm.
You have an ancient, powerful, and richly endowed Church, and perfect
religious liberty. You have unbroken order and complete freedom. You
have landed estates as large as the Romans, combined with a commercial
enterprise such as Carthage and Venice united never equalled. And you
must remember that this peculiar country, with these strong contrasts,
is not governed by force. It is governed by a most singular series of
traditionary influences, which generation after generation cherishes and
preserves because it knows that they embalm custom and represent law.
And with this you have created the greatest empire of modern times. You
have amassed a capital of fabulous amount. You have devised and
sustained a system of credit still more marvellous, and you have
established a scheme so vast and complicated of labour and industry that
the history of the world affords no parallel to it. And these mighty
creations are out of all proportion to the essential and indigenous
elements and resources of the country. If you destroy that state of
society remember this: _England cannot begin again_. There are countries
which have gone through great suffering. You have had in the United
States of America a protracted and fratricidal civil war, which has
lasted for four years; but if it lasted for four years more, vast as
would be the disaster and desolation, when ended, the United States
might begin again, because the United States would then only be in the
same condition that England was in at the end of the wars of the Roses,
when probably she had not three millions of population, with vast tracts
of virgin soil and mineral treasures not only undeveloped but undreamt
of. Then you have France. France had a real revolution in this century,
a real revolution, not merely a political but a social revolution. The
institutions of the country were uprooted, the order of society
abolished, even the landmarks and local names removed and erased. But
France could begin again. France had the greatest spread of the most
exuberant soil in Europe, and a climate not less genial. She had, and
always had, comparatively a limited population, living in a most simple
manner. France, therefore, could begin again. But England, the England
we know, the England we live in, the England of which we are proud,
could not begin again. I do not mean to say that after great trouble
England would become a howling wilderness, or doubt that the good sense
of the people would to some degree prevail, and some fragments of the
national character survive; but it would not be the old England, the
England of power and tradition and capital, that now exists. It is not
in the nature of things. And, sir, under these circumstances I hope the
House, when the question is one impeaching the character of our
Constitution, will hesitate; that it will sanction no step that has a
tendency to democracy, but that it will maintain the ordered state of
free England in which we live.'


 Literary work--'Tancred; or, the New Crusade'--Modern philosophy--The
   'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation'--'Life of Lord George
   Bentinck'--Disraeli's religious views--Revelation as opposed to
   science--Dislike and dread of Rationalism--Religion and
   statesmanship--The national creed the supplement of the national
   law--Speech in the theatre at Oxford--Disraeli on the side of the

[Sidenote: 'TANCRED']

As Disraeli's public life grew more absorbing his literary work was
necessarily suspended. But before the weight of leadership was finally
laid upon him he had written two more books--'Tancred; or, the New
Crusade,' the third of the series of novels which he called a trilogy,
and the biography of his friend and comrade Lord George Bentinck.

'Tancred' of all his writings was that which he himself most esteemed.
When it was composed he was still under the illusion of a possible
regenerated aristocracy. He saw that they had noble qualities, but they
wanted the inspiration of a genuine religious belief. Tancred, the only
child and heir of a ducal family, is an enthusiastic and thoughtful
youth with high aspirations after excellence. He is a descendant of the
Crusaders, and his mind turns back to the land which was the birthplace
of his nominal creed. There alone the Maker of the universe had held
direct communication with man. There alone, perhaps, it was likely that
He would communicate with his creature again. Christian Europe still
regarded the Israelites as the chosen people. Half of it still
worshipped a Jew and the other half a Jewess. But between criticism and
science and materialism, and the enervating influence of modern habits,
the belief which lingered in form had lost its commanding power.

Before the diseases of society could be cured the creed must be restored
to its authority. The Tractarians were saying the same thing in tones of
serious conviction. Disraeli, the politician and the man of the world,
was repeating it in a tone which wavered between mockery and
earnestness, the mockery, perhaps, being used as a veil to cover
feelings more real than they seemed.

Tancred, on leaving the University where he had brilliantly
distinguished himself, is plunged into the London world. He meets
attractive beings, whose souls, he imagines, must be as beautiful as
their faces. One illusive charmer proves to be a gambler on the Stock
Exchange; another has been studying the 'Vestiges of the Natural History
of Creation,' called here 'Revelations of Chaos,' and expounds the great
mystery to him in a gilded drawing-room.

'"The subject is treated scientifically," said the Lady Constance.
"Everything is explained by geology and astronomy, and in that way it
shows you exactly how a star is formed. Nothing can be so pretty, a
cluster of vapour, the cream of the Milky Way, a sort of celestial
cheese churned into light. You must read it. 'Tis charming."

'"Nobody ever saw a star formed," said Tancred.

'"Perhaps not. You must read the 'Revelations;' it is all explained. But
what is more interesting is the way in which man has been developed. You
know all is development. The principle is perpetually going on. First
there was nothing; then there was something; then--I forget the next. I
think there were shells, then fishes. Then came--let me see--did we come
next? Never mind that; we came at last, and at the next change there
will be something very superior to us, something with wings. Ah, that is
it! we were fishes. I believe we shall be crows; but you must read it."

'"I do not believe I ever was a fish," said Tancred.

'"Oh! but it is all proved. Read the book. It is impossible to
contradict anything in it; you understand it is all science. Everything
is proved by geology, you know. You see exactly how everything is made,
how many worlds there have been, how long they lasted, what went before,
what comes next. We are a link in the chain as inferior animals were
that preceded us. We in time shall be inferior. All that will remain of
us will be some relics in a new Red Sandstone. This is development. We
had fins; we may have wings."'

The theory thus airily sketched has been established since, in a more
completed argument, by Darwin. Such solid evidence as there is for it
has been before mankind for thousands of years, and has not seemed
unanswerable. The Jews and the Greeks knew as well as modern
philosophers that human bodies are built on the same type, and are bred
and supported by the same means as the bodies of animals; that the minds
of animals are in the same way clumsy likenesses of ours. Compared to
the real weight of these acknowledged facts the additions of Darwin, or
of the author of the 'Vestiges,' are relatively nothing. If the doctrine
of development has passed into popular acceptance, if it has been
received into Churches and adapted to Catholic theology, the
explanation is not in the increased form of evidence but in a change in
ourselves. Candid consideration of our natures, as we now find them
makes it appear not so improbable that we are but animals after all.
Tancred, fresh from Tractarian Oxford, is unconvinced. He hurries to
Palestine, sees a vision of angels on Mount Sinai, falls in love with a
Jewish maiden who is an embodied spirit of inspiration, and is
interrupted at the moment of pouring out his homage by the arrival of
'the Duke and Duchess at Jerusalem.' Whether the coming of these
illustrious persons was to end in a blessing on his enthusiasm or in
recalling him to a better recognition of what was due to his station in
society the story is silent.

The 'Life of Lord George Bentinck' is an admirably written biography of
the friend who had stood by Disraeli in his conflict with Peel, and who,
after living long enough to show promise of eminence, had suddenly and
prematurely died. To the student of the Parliamentary history of those
times the book is of great value. To the general reader the most
interesting parts of it are those which throw light on Disraeli's own

The most important fact to every man is his religion. If we would know
what a man is we ask what notions he has formed about his duty to man
and God. The question is often more easily asked than answered, for
ordinary persons repeat what they have learnt, and have formed no clear
notions at all; and the few wise, though at bottom they may be as
orthodox as a bishop, prefer usually to keep their thoughts to
themselves. Disraeli, however, in this book invites attention to his own
views. An insincere profession on such a subject forfeits the respect of
everyone, and we are entitled to examine what he says and to enquire
how far he means it.


Those who cannot bear suspense and feel the necessity of arriving at a
positive conclusion, make their choice between two opinions--one, that
God created the world and created man to serve Him, that He gave to man
a revelation of His law and holds him answerable for disobedience to it:
the other, that the world has been generated by the impersonal forces of
nature: that all things in it, animate and inanimate, find their places
and perform their functions according to their several powers and
properties; that man having ampler faculties than other animals,
discovers the rules which are good for him to follow, as he discovers
other things, and that what he calls 'revelations' are no more than
successive products of the genius of gifted members of his race thrown
out in a series of ages. The second of these theories is what we
generally call the 'creed of science;' the first is the religious and is
represented by Judaism and Christianity. Disraeli, with a confessed
pride in belonging himself to the favoured race, desires us to
understand that he receives with full and entire conviction the fact
that a revelation was really made to his forefathers, and rejects the
opposite speculation as unsupported by evidence and degrading to human
nature. The subject is introduced in an argument for the admission of
the Jews to Parliament. He does not plead for their admission on the
principle of 'toleration,' which he rejects as indifferentism, but on
the special merits of the Jews themselves, and on their services to
mankind. He regards Christianity as simply completed Judaism. Those who
profess to be Jews only he considers unfortunate in believing only the
first part of their religion, but still as defending and asserting the
spiritual view of man's nature in opposition to the scientific, and as
holding a peculiar place in the providential dispensation. He speaks of
the mysteries of Christianity in a tone which, if not sincere, is
detestable. 'If,' he says, 'the Jews had not prevailed upon the Romans
to crucify our Lord, what would have become of the atonement? But the
human mind cannot contemplate the idea that the most important deed of
time could depend upon human will. The immolator was preordained, like
the Victim, and the holy race supplied both.' The most orthodox divine
could not use severer words of censure than Disraeli used for the
critical rationalism which treats the sacred history as a myth--for
Bishop Colenso, for the Essayists and Reviewers. His words have not the
ring of the genuine theological metal. Artificial and elaborate diction
is not the form in which simple belief expresses itself. Yet the fault
may not be entirely in Disraeli. Even when most in earnest he was
inveterately affected. It is to be remembered also that in his real
nature he remained a Jew, and his thoughts on these great subjects ran
on Asiatic rather than on European lines. We imagine that the Scriptures
must be read everywhere into the same meaning; we forget how much
European thought has passed into them through the traditions of the
Church and through the various translations. In the English version St.
Paul reasons like an Englishman. A Jew reads in St. Paul's language
allusions to oriental customs and beliefs of which Europeans know
nothing; we have therefore no reason to suspect Disraeli of insincerity
because he did not express himself as we do.


Perhaps the truth may be this: He was a Conservative English statesman;
he knew that the English Church was the most powerful Conservative
institution still remaining. Criticism was eating into it on one side,
and ritualism on the other, breaking through the old use and wont, the
traditionary habits which were its strongest bulwarks. He wished well to
the Church. He was himself a regular communicant, and he desired to keep
it as it was. He believed in the religious principle as against the
philosophic; and from the nature of his mind he must have known that
national religions do not rest upon argument and evidence. When forms
vary from age to age and country to country no one of them can be
absolutely free from error. Plato, having drawn the model of a
commonwealth with a code of laws as precise as positive enactment can
prescribe, goes on to say that for conduct in ordinary life which law
cannot reach there is the further rule of religion. Religion, however,
is a thing which grows and cannot be made. The central idea that man is
a responsible being is everywhere the same; but the idea shapes various
forms for itself, into which legend, speculation, and prevailing
opinions necessarily enter. As time goes on, therefore, questions rise
concerning this or that fact and this or that ceremony, which if
indulged will create general scepticism. Such enquiries must be sternly
repressed. In religion lies the only guidance for human life. The wise
legislator, therefore, will regard the Church of his country as the best
support of the State. The subject will reflect that although observances
may seem offensive and stories told about the gods may seem incredible;
yet as a rule of action a system which has been the growth of ages is
infinitely more precious than any theory which he could think out for
himself. He will know that his own mind, that the mind of any single
individual, is unequal to so vast a matter, that it is of such
immeasurable consequence to him to have his conduct wisely directed
that, although the body of his religion be mortal like his own, he must
not allow it to be rudely meddled with. He may think as he likes about
the legends of Zeus and Here, but he must keep his thoughts to himself:
a man who brings into contempt the creed of his country is the deepest
of criminals; he deserves death and nothing less. Θανάτῳ ζημιούσθω, 'Let
him die for it' a remarkable expression to have been used by the wisest
and gentlest of human lawgivers.

Disraeli's opinions on these subjects were perhaps the same as Plato's.
He too may have had his uncertainties about Zeus and Here, and yet have
had no uncertainty at all about the general truth of the teaching of the
Church of England, while as a statesman he was absolutely convinced of
the necessity of supporting and defending it, defending it alike from
open enemies and from the foolish ecclesiastical revivalism into which
Tractarianism had degenerated. The strength of the Church lay in its
hold upon the habits of the people, and whoever was breaking through the
usages which time had made familiar and consecrated was equally
dangerous and mischievous. The critics were bringing in reason to decide
questions which belonged to conscience and imagination. The ritualists
were bringing back pagan superstition in a pseudo-Christian dress. He
despised the first. He did what he could to restrain the second with a
Public Worship Bill as soon as he had power to interfere. Late in his
career, when he was within view of the Premiership, he used an
opportunity of expressing his feeling on the subject in his own
characteristic manner.


Oxford having produced the High Churchmen, was now generating
rationalists and philosophers. Intellectual society was divided into the
followers of Strauss and Darwin and those who believed that the only
alternative was the 'Summa Theologiæ.' Both streams were concentrated in
support of the Liberal leader, who was Disraeli's political antagonist;
one because he represented progress, the other because in matters
spiritual he was supposed to hold the most advanced Catholic doctrines.
In the year 1864 Disraeli happened to be on a visit at Cuddesdon, and it
happened equally that a diocesan conference was to be held at Oxford at
the time, with Bishop Wilberforce in the chair. The spiritual atmosphere
was, as usual, disturbed. The clerical mind had been doubly exercised by
the appearance of Colenso on the 'Pentateuch' and Darwin on the 'Origin
of Species.' Disraeli, to the surprise of everyone, presented himself in
the theatre. He had long abandoned the satins and silks of his youth,
but he was as careful of effect as he had ever been, and had prepared
himself in a costume elaborately negligent. He lounged into the assembly
in a black velvet shooting-coat and a wide-awake hat, as if he had been
accidentally passing through the town. It was the fashion with
University intellect to despise Disraeli as a man with neither sweetness
nor light; but he was famous, or at least notorious, and when he rose to
speak there was general curiosity. He began in his usual affected
manner, slowly and rather pompously, as if he had nothing to say beyond
perfunctory platitudes.

The Oxford wits began to compare themselves favourably with the dulness
of Parliamentary orators, when first one sentence and then another
startled them into attention. They were told that the Church was not
likely to be disestablished. It would remain, but would remain subject
to a Parliament which would not allow an _imperium in imperio_. It must
exert itself and reassert its authority, but within the limits which
the law laid down. The interest grew deeper when he came to touch on the
parties to one or other of which all his listeners belonged. High Church
and Low Church were historical and intelligible, but there had arisen
lately, the speaker said, a party called the Broad, never before heard
of. He went on to explain what Broad Churchmen were.

     It would not be wise to treat the existence and influence of this
     new party with contempt.... It is founded on the principle of
     criticism. Now doubt is an element of criticism, and the tendency
     of criticism is necessarily sceptical. It is quite possible that
     such a party may arrive at conclusions which we may deem monstrous.
     They may reject inspiration as a principle and miracles as a
     practice. That is possible: and I think it quite logical that
     having arrived at such conclusions they should repudiate creeds and
     reject articles of faith, because creeds and articles of faith
     cannot exist or be sustained without acknowledging the principle of
     inspiration and the practice of miracles. All that I admit. But
     what I do not understand, and what I wish to draw the attention of
     this assembly and of this country generally to, is this: that,
     having arrived at these conclusions, having arrived conscientiously
     at the result that with their opinions they must repudiate creeds
     and reject articles, they should not carry their principles to
     their legitimate end, but are still sworn supporters of
     ecclesiastical establishments, fervent upholders of or dignitaries
     of the Church.... If it be true, as I am often told it is, that the
     age of faith has passed, then the fact of having an opulent
     hierarchy, supported by men of high cultivation, brilliant talents
     and eloquence, and perhaps some ambition, with no distinctive
     opinions, might be a very harmless state of affairs, and it would
     certainly not be a very permanent one. But, my Lord, instead of
     believing that the age of faith has passed when I observe what is
     passing round us, what is taking place in this country, and not
     only in this country, but in other countries and other hemispheres,
     instead of believing that the age of faith has passed I hold that
     the characteristic of the present age is a craving credulity. My
     Lord, man is a being born to believe, and if no Church comes
     forward with its title-deeds of truth sustained by the traditions
     of sacred ages, and by the convictions of countless generations to
     guide him, he will find altars and idols in his own heart, in his
     own imagination. And what must be the relations of a powerful
     Church without distinctive creeds with a being of such a nature?
     Before long we shall be living in a flitting scene of spiritual
     phantasmagoria. There are no tenets, however extravagant, and no
     practices, however objectionable, which will not in time develop
     under such a state of affairs, opinions the most absurd and
     ceremonies the most revolting....

     Consider the country in which all this may take place. Dangerous in
     all countries, it would be yet more dangerous in England. Our
     empire is now unrivalled for its extent; but the base, the material
     base of that empire is by no means equal to the colossal
     superstructure. It is not our iron ships, it is not our celebrated
     regiments, it is not these things which have created or indeed
     really maintain an empire. It is the character of the people. I
     want to know where that famous character of the English people will
     be if they are to be influenced and guided by a Church of immense
     talent, opulence, and power without any distinctive creed. You have
     in this country accumulated wealth that has never been equalled,
     and probably it will still increase. You have a luxury that will
     some day peradventure rival even your wealth; and the union of such
     circumstances with a Church without a distinctive creed will lead,
     I believe, to a dissolution of manners and morals, which prepares
     the tomb of empires.

     The opinions of the new school are paralysing the efforts of many
     who ought to be our friends. Will these opinions succeed? My
     conviction is that they will fail.... Having examined all their
     writings, I believe without exception, whether they consist of
     fascinating eloquence, diversified learning, or picturesque
     sensibility exercised by our honoured in this University [Dean
     Stanley], and whom to know is to admire and regard; or whether you
     find them in the cruder conclusions of prelates who appear to have
     commenced their theological studies after they have grasped the
     crozier [Bishop Colenso]; or whether I read the lucubrations of
     nebulous professors [Frederick Maurice] who, if they could persuade
     the public to read their writings, would go far to realise that
     eternal punishment which they deny; or, lastly, whether it be the
     provincial arrogance and precipitate self-complacency which flash
     and flare in an essay or review--I find the common characteristic
     of their writings is this: that their learning is always
     second-hand.... When I examine the writings of their masters, the
     great scholars of Germany, I find that in their labours [also]
     there is nothing new. All that inexorable logic, irresistible
     rhetoric, bewildering wit could avail to popularise these views was
     set in motion to impress the new learning on the minds of the two
     leading nations of Europe [by the English and French deistical
     writers of the last century], and they produced their effect [in
     the French Revolution]. When the turbulence was over, when the
     waters had subsided, the sacred heights of Sinai and of Calvary
     were again revealed, and amidst the wreck of thrones, extinct
     nations, and abolished laws mankind, tried by so many sorrows,
     purified by so much suffering, and wise with such unprecedented
     experience, bowed again before the Divine truths that Omnipotence
     had entrusted to the custody and promulgation of a chosen

     The discoveries of science are not, we are told, consistent with
     the teachings of the Church.... It is of great importance when this
     tattle about science is mentioned that we should attach to the
     phrase precise ideas. The function of science is the interpretation
     of nature, and the interpretation of the highest nature is the
     highest science. What is the highest nature? Man is the highest
     nature. But I must say that when I compare the interpretation of
     the highest nature by the most advanced, the most fashionable
     school of modern science with some other teaching with which we are
     familiar, I am not prepared to admit that the lecture-room is more
     scientific than the Church. What is the question now placed before
     society with a glib assurance the most astounding? The question is
     this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my Lord, I am on the side of
     the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence the
     contrary view, which I believe foreign to the conscience of
     humanity. More than that, from the intellectual point of view the
     severest metaphysical analysis is opposed to such a conclusion....
     What does the Church teach us? That man is made in the image of his
     Maker. Between these two contending interpretations of the nature
     of man and their consequences society will have to decide. This
     rivalry is at the bottom of all human affairs. Upon an acceptance
     of that Divine interpretation for which we are indebted to the
     Church, and of which the Church is the guardian, all sound and
     salutary legislation depends. That truth is the only security for
     civilisation and the only guarantee of real progress.


Mr. Disraeli is on the side of the angels. Pit and gallery echoed with
laughter. Fellows and tutors repeated the phrase over their port in the
common room with shaking sides. The newspapers carried the announcement
the next morning over the length and breadth of the island, and the
leading article writers struggled in their comments to maintain a decent
gravity. Did Disraeli mean it, or was it but an idle jest? and what must
a man be who could exercise his wit on such a subject? Disraeli was at
least as much in earnest as his audience.

The phrase answered its purpose. It has lived and become historical when
the decorous protests of professional divines have been forgotten with
the breath which uttered them. The note of scorn with which it rings has
preserved it better than any affectation of pious horror, which indeed
would have been out of place in the presence of such an assembly.


 Indifference to money--Death of Isaac Disraeli--Purchase of
   Hughenden--Mrs. Brydges Willyams of Torquay--An assignation with
   unexpected results--Intimate acquaintance with Mrs.
   Willyams--Correspondence--Views on many subjects--The Crown of
   Greece--Louis Napoleon--Spanish pedigree of Mrs. Willyams.


'Adventures are to the adventurous:' so Ixion had written in Athene's
album. Nothing is more commonplace than an ordinary Parliamentary
career. Disraeli's life was a romance. Starting with the least promising
beginning, with a self-confidence which seemed like madness to everyone
but himself, his origin a reproach to him and his inherited connections
the least able to help him forward on the course which he had chosen, he
had become, at a comparatively early age, by the mere force of his
personal genius, the political chief of the proudest aristocracy in the
world. His marriage had given him independence for the time, but his
wife's income depended on her life, and a large part of it had long to
be expended in paying the interest of his debts. Like his own Endymion
he had no root in the country. The talents which he had displayed in
Parliament would have given him wealth in any other profession. But he
had neglected fortune for fame and power, and was not clear of his early
embarrassments even when first Chancellor of the Exchequer. Being the
leader of the country gentlemen, he aspired to be a country gentleman
himself, to be a magistrate, to sit in top boots at quarter sessions
and manage local business. Part of his ambition he attained. In 1847 he
became member for his own county, and was so popular that he kept his
seat without a contest as long as he remained in the House of Commons;
but for several years after he represented Buckinghamshire his
connection with the soil was no more than nominal. Fortune, however, was
again to stand his friend in a strange manner. He received a large sum
from a private hand for his 'Life of Lord George Bentinck,' while a
wealthy Conservative millionaire took upon himself in addition the debts
to the usurers, the three per cent. with which he was content being
exchanged for the ten per cent. under which Disraeli had so long been
staggering. Isaac Disraeli lived long enough to see his son realise the
dreams which he had himself long regarded with indifference or
provocation. Dying in 1848, he left the remainder of the family fortune
to be divided among his children. Benjamin Disraeli discharged his last
filial duties in re-editing his father's works and prefixing to them an
interesting biography of him. The portion which came to him was not
considerable, but it was sufficient to enable him to purchase the manor
of Hughenden, in the immediate neighbourhood of Bradenham, and Mrs.
Disraeli raised in the park a handsome monument to the old man, as if to
fasten the name and fame of the Disraelis upon the ground. Neither,
however, would the estate have been bought or the monument erected upon
it but for another singular accident, as romantic as the rest of his

At Mount Braddon, at Torquay, there resided an elderly widowed lady
named Mrs. Brydges Willyams. She was of Jewish birth, daughter and
heiress of a certain Mendez da Costa, who traced his origin, like
Disraeli, to a great family in Spain. Her husband, one of the
Willyamses of Cornwall, who was a man of some note there, had died in
1820. His wife was left without children; she had no near relations, and
with a large fortune at her own disposal. She was reputed, because
perhaps she lived much in retirement, to be of eccentric habits. Being
vain of her race, she was attracted by Disraeli's career, and she was
interested in his writings. A Spanish Jewish origin was common to
herself and to him, and some remote connection could, I have heard, be
traced between the House of Lara, from which Disraeli descended, and her
own, Mendez da Costa. At last, at the beginning of 1851, she wrote to
him, professing general admiration and asking for his advice on some
matter of business.


Men whose names are before the world often receive letters of this kind
from unknown correspondents. Disraeli knew nothing of Mrs. Willyams, and
had no friends at Torquay whom he could ask about her. He threw the
letter in the fire and thought no more of it. The lady persevered.
Disraeli happened about the same time to be on a visit to Monckton
Milnes at Frystone; one of the party was a Devonshire man, and Disraeli
asked him if he knew anything of a mad woman living in Torquay named
Willyams. The gentleman, though not personally acquainted with Mrs.
Willyams, was able to assure him that, though eccentric, she certainly
was not mad. The lady, when the first Great Exhibition was opened, wrote
again, pressing for an interview, and appointing as a place of meeting
the fountain in the Exhibition building. The Disraeli of practical life
was as unlike as possible to the heroes of his own novels. His
mysterious correspondent might be young and beautiful or old and ugly.
In either case the proposal could have no attraction for him. His
person was well known, and an assignation at so public a place could not
pass unnoticed. In his most foolish years he had kept clear of
entanglements with women, and did not mean to begin. He was out of town
when the letter arrived. He found it when he returned, but again left it
unnoticed. A third time, however, the lady wrote, and in more pressing
terms appointed another hour at the same place. The perseverance struck
him as singular. He showed the note to two intimate friends, who both
advised him not to neglect a request which might have meaning in it. He
went. By the side of the fountain he found sitting an old woman, very
small in person, strangely dressed, and peculiar in manner; such a
figure as might be drawn in an illustrated story for a fairy godmother.
She told him a long story of which he could make nothing. Seeing that he
was impatient she placed an envelope in his hands, which, she said,
contained the statement of a case on which she desired a high legal
opinion. She begged him to examine it at his leisure. He thrust the
envelope carelessly in his pocket, and supposing that she was not in her
right mind thought no more about the matter. The coat which he was
wearing was laid aside, and weeks passed before he happened to put it on
again. When he did put it on the packet was still where it had been
left. He tore it open, and found a bank note for a thousand pounds as a
humble contribution to his election expenses, with the case for the
lawyers, which was less absurd than he had expected. This was, of
course, submitted to a superior counsel, whose advice was sent at once
to Torquay with acknowledgments and apologies for the delay. I do not
know what became of the thousand pounds. It was probably returned. But
this was the beginning of an acquaintance which ripened into a close
and affectionate friendship. The Disraelis visited Mount Braddon at the
close of the London season year after year. The old lady was keen,
clever, and devoted. A correspondence began, which grew more and more
intimate till at last Disraeli communicated freely to her the best of
his thoughts and feelings. Presents were exchanged weekly. Disraeli's
writing-table was adorned regularly with roses from Torquay, and his
dinners enriched with soles and turbot from the Brixham trawlers. He in
turn provided Mrs. Willyams with trout and partridges from Hughenden,
and passed on to her the venison and the grouse which his friends sent
him from the Highlands. The letters which they exchanged have been
happily preserved on both sides. Disraeli wrote himself when he had
leisure; when he had none Mrs. Disraeli wrote instead of him. The
curious and delicate idyl was prolonged for twelve years, at the end of
which Mrs. Willyams died, bequeathing to him her whole fortune, and
expressing a wish, which of course was complied with, that she might be
buried at Hughenden, near the spot where Disraeli was himself to lie.
The correspondence may hereafter be published, when a fit time arrives,
with the more secret papers which have been bequeathed to the charge of
the executors. I have been permitted a hasty perusal of these letters.
Disraeli tells Mrs. Willyams of his work in Parliament, of the great
people that he falls in with, of pomps and ceremonies, grand
entertainments, palaces of peers and princes, such things as all women,
old or young, delight to hear of. More charming are pictures of his life
at Hughenden, his chalk stream and his fish, his swans and his owls, and
his garden, which he had made a Paradise of birds. Now and then his
inner emotions break out with vehemence. The Indian Mutiny and the
passions called out by it shocked him into indignation; although in his
allusions to persons with whom he was either in contact or in collision
there is not a single malicious expression. A few extracts follow,
gathered at random.


'What wondrous times are these,' he writes in 1861. 'Who could have
supposed that the United States of America would have been the scene of
a mighty revolution? No one can foresee its results. They must, however,
tell immensely in favour of an aristocracy.'

In 1862 came the second exhibition at South Kensington.

'This,' he wrote, 'is not so fascinating a one as that you remember when
you made me an assignation by the crystal fountain, which I was
ungallant enough not to keep, being far away when it arrived at
Grosvenor Gate. But though not so charming it is even more wonderful.
One was a woman--this is a man.'

In the session of the same year he had been overworked, and Mrs.
Willyams had prescribed for him.

_Hughenden_: _September_ 2, 1862.--'I am quite myself again; and as I
have been drinking your magic beverage for a week, and intend to pursue
it, you may fairly claim all the glory of my recovery, as a fairy cures
a knight after a tournament or a battle. I have a great weakness for
mutton broth, especially with that magical sprinkle which you did not
forget. I shall call you in future after an old legend and a modern poem
"the Lady of Shalot." I think the water of which it was made would have
satisfied even you, for it was taken every day from our stream, which
rises among the chalk hills, glitters in the sun over a very pretty
cascade, then spreads and sparkles into a little lake in which is a
natural island. Since I wrote to you last we have launched in the lake
two most beautiful cygnets, to whom we have given the names of Hero and
Leander. They are a source to us of unceasing interest and amusement.
They are very handsome and very large, but as yet dove-coloured. I can
no longer write to you of Cabinet Councils or Parliamentary struggles.
Here I see nothing but trees or books, so you must not despise the news
of my swans.'

Here follows an historical incident not generally known:--

_December_ 9, 1862.--'They say the Greeks, resolved to have an English
king, in consequence of the refusal of Prince Alfred to be their
monarch, intend to elect Lord Stanley. If he accepts the charge I shall
lose a powerful friend and colleague. It is a dazzling adventure for the
House of Stanley, but they are not an imaginative race, and I fancy they
will prefer Knowsley to the Parthenon, and Lancashire to the Attic
plains. It is a privilege to live in this age of rapid and brilliant
events. What an error to consider it a utilitarian age. It is one of
infinite romance. Thrones tumble down, and crowns are offered like a
fairy tale; and the most powerful people in the world, male and female,
a few years back were adventurers, exiles, and demireps. _Vive la
bagatelle!_ Adieu. D.'

_February_ 7, 1863.--'The Greeks really want to make my friend Lord
Stanley their king. This beats any novel. I think he ought to take the
crown; but he will not. Had I his youth I would not hesitate even with
the earldom of Derby in the distance.'

_March_ 21, 1863.--'The wedding [of the Prince of Wales] was a fine
affair, a thing to remember. After the ceremony there was a splendid
_déjeuner_ at Windsor. The Queen was very anxious that an old shoe
should be thrown at the royal pair on their departure, and the Lord
Chamberlain showed me in confidence the weapon with which he had
furnished himself. He took out of his pocket a beautiful white satin
slipper which had been given him for the occasion by the Duchess of
Brabant. Alas! when the hour arrived his courage failed him. This is a
genuine anecdote which you will not find in the "Illustrated London

In 1863 Poland revolted, encouraged by the results of the Crimean war,
which had enfeebled Russia, by the French campaign for the liberation of
Italy, and by the supposed sympathy of England with oppressed
nationalities. Louis Napoleon knew that his own throne was undermined,
and was looking for safety in some fresh successful adventure. England
had refused to join him in the recognition of Southern independence in
America. Poland was another opportunity. The two extracts which follow
deserve particular attention. Disraeli had known the French Emperor in
London and did not trust him.

_October_ 17, 1863.--'The troubles and designs of the French Emperor
are aggravated and disturbed by the death of Billault, his only
Parliamentary orator and a first-rate one. With, for the first time, a
real Opposition to encounter, and formed of the old trained speakers of
Louis Philippe's reign, in addition to the young democracy of oratory
which the last revolution has itself produced, the inconveniences,
perhaps the injuries, of this untimely decease are incalculable. It may
even force by way of distraction the Emperor into war. Our own Ministry
have managed their affairs very badly, according to their friends. The
Polish question is a diplomatic Frankenstein, created out of cadaverous
remnants by the mystic blundering of Lord Russell. At present the peace
of the world has been preserved not by statesmen, but by capitalists.
For the last three months it has been a struggle between the secret
societies and the Emperor's millionaires. Rothschild hitherto has won,
but the death of Billault may be as fatal to him as the poignard of a
Polish patriot, for I believe in that part of the world they are called
"patriots," though in Naples only "brigands."'

_November_ 5, 1863.--'The great Imperial sphinx is at this moment
speaking. I shall not know the mysterious utterances until to-morrow,
and shall judge of his conduct as much by his silence as by his words.
The world is very alarmed and very restless. Although England appears to
have backed out of this possible war there are fears that the French
ruler has outwitted us, and that by an alliance with Austria and the aid
of the Italian armies he may cure the partition of Poland by a partition
of Prussia; Austria in that case to regain Silesia, which Frederick the
Great won a century ago from Maria Theresa, France to have the Rhine,
and Galicia and Posen to be restored to Poland. If this happens it will
give altogether a new form and colour to European politics. The Queen is
much alarmed for the future throne of her daughter; but as the war will
be waged for the relief of Poland, of which England has unwisely
approved, and to which in theory she is pledged, we shall really be
checkmated and scarcely could find an excuse to interfere even if the
nation wished.'


Disraeli's arms and motto have been a subject of some speculation. The
motto, 'Forti nihil difficile,' has been supposed to have been
originated by himself, as an expression of his personal experience. The
vanity, if vanity there was in the assumption of such a bearing, was the
vanity of ancestry, not the vanity of a self-made man. When he told the
electors at Aylesbury that his descent was as pure as that of the
Cavendishes, he was not alluding to Abraham, but to his Castilian
progenitors. While leading the aristocracy of England he claimed a place
among them in right of blood. Mrs. Willyams descended from a similar
stock. She desired to quarter her coat with the bearings of the Mendez
da Costas, and Disraeli undertook to manage it for her. He had to use
the help of 'ambassadors and Ministers of State.' He laid under
contribution the private cabinet of the Queen of Spain, and gave himself
infinite trouble that the poor old lady might have the panels of her
carriage painted to her satisfaction. Among the many letters on the
subject there is one which explains the arms of Beaconsfield.

_July_ 23, 1859.--'The Spanish families never had supporters, crests, or
mottoes. The tower of Castile, which I use as a crest, and which was
taken from one of the quarters of my shield, was adopted by a Lara in
the sixteenth century in Italy, where crests were the custom--at least
in the north of Italy--copied from the German heraldry. This also
applies to my motto. None of the southern races, I believe, have
supporters or crests. This is Teutonic. With regard to the coronet, in
old days, especially in the south, all coronets were the same, and the
distinction of classes from the ducal strawberry leaf to the baron's
balls is of comparatively modern introduction.'

When the harlequin's wand of Pitt converted Warren, the club waiter,
into an earl, the Heralds' College traced his descent for him to the
Norman Fitzwarren. Robert Burns was content to take his patent of
nobility from a more immediate source. Disraeli doubtless had a right to
use the bearings of the Laras if he cared about such things. But a
Spanish pedigree at best was a shadowy sort of business, and one could
rather wish that he had let it alone.


 Fall of the Whigs in 1867--Disraeli as Chancellor of the
   Exchequer--Reform Bill, why undertaken--Necessities real or fancied
   of a Party Leader--Alternatives--Split in the Cabinet--Disraeli
   carries his point--Niagara to be shot--Retirement of Lord
   Derby--Disraeli Prime Minister--Various judgments of his
   character--The House of Commons responsible for his
   elevation--Increasing popularity with all classes.


Something else too as well as the Castilian pedigree Disraeli might have
done better to leave to others. In 1865 he had uttered his memorable
warning in the House of Commons against playing tricks with the
Constitution. Other countries might emerge out of a revolution and
'begin again.' England could not begin again. Lord John Russell's Reform
Bill was thrown out. The Whig Ministry fell in 1867, and Lord Derby came
a third time to the helm with Disraeli for his Chancellor of the
Exchequer. They at least, it might have been thought, would have let
alone a subject on which the latter had pronounced so recently so
emphatic an opinion. But they were still a Ministry on sufferance, and
how to turn a minority into a majority was still an unsolved problem.
The spectre of Reform was unexorcised. Both parties had evoked it at
intervals, when they wished ultimately to pose before the world as the
people's friends. Yet no experienced statesman, Whig or Tory, unless
from unworthy jealousy, would have opened his lips to recommend a
change from which he could not honestly expect improvement. Even the
working classes themselves, who were to be admitted to the suffrage,
were not actively demanding it. No good had come to them from the great
Bill of 1832. 'I don't care who is in or who is out,' said a rough
artisan to me. 'I could never see that any of them cared for us.' They
had been told that they were living in a world where everyone was to
look out for himself, that their interests would never be attended to
till they had representatives who would force attention to them. But
their general sense was that the ills which they complained of were out
of reach of Parliament, and they were looking for a remedy in
combination among themselves which would take the place of the old
Guilds. The ancient organisation of labour had been destroyed in the
name of Liberty. Their employers had piled up fortunes. They had been
left 'free,' as it was called, with their families to multiply as they
would, and to gather their living under the hoofs of the horses of a
civilisation which had become an aggregate of self-seeking units. To
this they had been brought by a Parliamentary government, which, as far
as they were concerned, was no government at all; and they were
incredulous of any benefit that was to arrive to them from improvements
in a machine so barren. Thus they were looking rather with amused
indifference than active concern while the parties in the House of
Commons were fencing for the honour of being their champion.

And yet Reform was in the air. The educated mind of England had been
filled to saturation with the new Liberal philosophy. In the old days a
'freeman' was a master of his craft, and not till he had learnt to do,
and do well, some work which was useful to society did he enter upon
his privileges as a citizen. The situation was now reversed. To be
'free' was to have a voice in making the laws of the country. Those who
had no votes were still in bondage, and bondage was a moral degradation.
Freedom was no longer a consequence and a reward, but the fountain of
all virtue; a baptismal sacrament in which alone human nature could be
regenerated. In Great Britain and Ireland there were some thirty
millions of inhabitants. Of these, under the Reform Bill of 1832, three
hundred thousand only were in possession of their birthright. What
claim, it was asked, had a mere fraction to monopolise a privilege which
was not only a power in the State but the indispensable condition of
spiritual growth and progress? We heard much about generous confidence
in the people, about the political stability to be expected from
broadening the base of the pyramid, about the elevating consciousness
of responsibility which would rise out of the possession of a
vote--beautiful visions of the return of Astræa, the millennium made
into a fact by the establishment of universal liberty. Of all this
Disraeli believed nothing. No one hated empty verbiage more than he. His
dislike of cant was the most genuine part of him. But he too had once
imagined that the working-men were safer depositaries of power than the
ten-pound householders; and even old Tories, though they thought an
extension of the franchise foolish and needless, did not suppose it
would be necessarily dangerous unless accompanied with a vast
redistribution of seats. Thus, although the mass of the existing voters
were content with their privileges, and were not eager to share them,
the House of Commons had already committed itself by second readings to
the principle of Reform. The question would return upon them again and
again till it was settled, and as things stood either party had a
Parliamentary right to deal with it.

What were Lord Derby and Disraeli to do? Accident had brought them into
power, and accident or some adverse resolution of the House might at any
time displace them. Experienced Parliamentary politicians had observed
that the shake of the Constitution from the Act of 1832 had arisen more
from the manner in which it was carried than from the measure in itself.
A second Radical Reform Bill, which might be passed in a similar manner,
was evidently imminent; the multitude, who were so far quiet, might
again be stirred; and if once the classes and the masses were pitted
against one another the breaking loose of a torrent might sweep away
Church, House of Lords, landed estates, and all that was left of the old
institutions of England. Such were the arguments on public grounds; to
which, though it was unavowed, might be added the pleasure of 'dishing
the Whigs.'

But if Disraeli had looked back upon his own past career he might have
remembered to have once said that there were considerations higher than
any of these--that public men ought to be true to their real
convictions. The Liberals had professed to believe in Reform. The Tories
had never looked on it as more than an unwelcome and a useless
necessity. Lord Derby had been a member of Lord Grey's first Reform
Cabinet. Disraeli in his enthusiastic youth had called himself a
Radical. But Lord Derby had been cured of his illusions; and Disraeli
had learnt the difference between realities and dreams. They might think
that the danger of concession was less than the danger of resistance,
but that was all. There were persons credulous enough to hope that there
might be found men at last among their Parliamentary leaders who would
adhere in office to what they had said in Opposition. In the opinion of
the Conservatives, the need of England was wise government, not
political revolution. They might have said that if the experiment of
Democracy was to be tried it should be tried by those who were in favour
of the change on their own responsibility. They themselves would have no
hand in it. They might be turned out of office, but the country would
know that they had been faithful to their word, and could be relied upon
when there was need of them again. Tories of the old school would have
said so and dared the consequences, which might not have been very
terrible after all, and Parliamentary government would have escaped the
contempt into which it is now so rapidly falling.

Unfortunately political leaders have ceased to think of what is good for
the nation, or of their own consistency, or even of what in the long run
may be best for themselves. Their business is the immediate campaign, in
which they are to outmanœuvre and defeat their enemies. On this
condition only they can keep their party together. The Conservatives had
been out of office, with but short-lived intervals, for thirty-five
years. Peel's Government had been, as Disraeli said, not Conservative at
all, but an organised hypocrisy. If they were to regard themselves as
condemned to be in a perpetual minority, with no inducement to offer to
tempt ability or ambition into their ranks, they would inevitably become
disheartened and indifferent. The Parliamentary Constitution depended on
the continuance of two parties, and if one of these disappeared the
constitution would itself cease to exist.


Disraeli's notion that the aristocracy were to recover their power by
an alteration of their ways had proved 'a devout imagination.' The
ancient organisation was visibly crumbling, and progress, whether it was
upwards or downwards, was the rule of the hour. Lord Derby was old and
out of health, and Disraeli himself was the ruling spirit of the
Cabinet. Though born an Englishman, and proud of the position which he
had won, he had not an English temperament, and he was unembarrassed by
English prejudices. He surveyed the situation with the coolness of a
general and the impartiality of a friend who had no personal interests
at stake. He prided himself on his knowledge of the English character;
and to some extent he did know it, though he mistook the surface for the
substance. He believed--and the event a few years later seemed to show
that he was right--in the essential Conservatism of the great mass of
the people, and he resolved upon a 'leap into the dark.' He regretted
the necessity. He did not hide from himself that he too was 'stealing
the Whigs' clothes while they were bathing.' History was repeating
itself. His situation too much resembled that of his old leader whom he
had overthrown. His own language could be retorted upon him, and the
more violent he had been at Peel the more severe would be his
condemnation. But a strategist must be governed by circumstances, and he
could plead that the position was not entirely the same. Peel had been
pledged to Protection, and was at the head of an unbroken majority
returned in the Protectionist interest. In going over to Free Trade he
had made a social revolution and destroyed his party. Disraeli could say
that he had never opposed the principle of an extension of the suffrage,
that he had more than once openly advocated it. He had always protested
against the assumption that the Liberals had a monopoly of the

All agreed that reform was inevitable; if conducted by the Conservatives
with a drag upon the wheel, it might be harmless, and might add to their
strength. To persuade himself was more easy than to convince his party.
Old-fashioned Toryism was stubborn and distrustful--distrustful of the
measure in itself, and distrustful of the leader whom, for want of
ability in themselves, they were compelled to follow. He found it
necessary to 'educate' them, as he scornfully said. He told them that
they could not hold together on the principle of mere resistance to the
spirit of the age. Change was the order of the day. To cease to change
would be to cease to live. They must accept the conditions. Party
government is perhaps an accident of a peculiar period. To divide the
intellect of the country into hostile camps, each struggling to outwit
or outbid the other, is not a promising, and may not be a permanent,
method of conducting the affairs of a great country. But it is a present
fact, theoretically admired and practically accepted and acted on, and
while it continues, the opposing chiefs have to disregard the reproaches
of inconsistency. They have to do what occasion requires--attack,
defend, snatch advantages, and improve opportunities.

In earlier years, Disraeli, by speech and writing, had tried for a
nobler policy. He had hoped for a real government again, to be brought
about by an aristocratic regeneration. But the aristocracy had not
regenerated themselves. The American war, which was to have shown the
superiority of aristocracies to democratic republics, had had precisely
the opposite effect. He was carrying on the administration with a
minority. His business now as a general was to go with the times, and if
possible change his minority into a majority. Tory principles were dead.
His best chance was in the daring stroke, on which Carlyle so
scornfully commented, and in throwing himself boldly upon the masses of
the people.


All admit Disraeli's dexterity as a Parliamentary commander. To succeed,
he knew that he must outbid the highest offers of his opponents. He
shook his Cabinet in the process. Three of his most distinguished
supporters--Lord Salisbury, Lord Carnarvon, and General Peel--threw up
their offices and left him. But the body of his army consented to go
with him. He could be confident in the general support of the
Opposition. Their consent could not be refused. For form's sake, and to
satisfy his followers, he introduced a few limitations of which he must
have foreseen that the Liberals would demand the surrender, and to which
his easy sacrifice of them showed that he attached no importance. He
carried a bill which in its inevitable developments must give the
franchise to every householder in the United Kingdom; and he gained for
his party the credit, if credit it was, of having passed a more
completely democratic measure than the most Radical responsible
statesman had as yet dared to propose. The reproaches which were heaped
upon him are fresh in the memories of many of us. Carlyle roused himself
out of the sorrows into which he had been plunged by his wife's death to
write his 'Shooting Niagara.' In Carlyle's opinion, the English people
had gone down the cataract at last, and nothing was left to them but to
continue their voyage to the ocean on such shattered fragments of their
old greatness as they could seize and cling to. A quarter of a century
has gone by and the Constitution still holds together. The prophet of
Chelsea may yet prove to have been clear-sighted. There are sounds in
the air of cracking timbers, and signs of rending and disruption. But a
powerfully organised framework does not break with a single shock, and
Disraeli scored a victory. Enemies said that he had covered himself with
ignominy; but the disgrace sat light upon him, and by his manœuvres he
had secured for his party at least one more year of office. Time must
pass before the newly enfranchised voters could be placed upon the
register. If the Liberals forced a dissolution before the process was
completed, a new Parliament would have to be chosen by the old
constituencies, and they would gain nothing even if they were again in a
majority, for there would be an appeal to the fresh electors, whose
votes no one could count upon. Two general elections close one upon
another would be so inconvenient that the country would resent it upon
them. They had therefore to wait and digest their spleen, while new
honours descended upon the triumphant Disraeli. Lord Derby's health
broke down; he was no longer equal to the work of office. He retired,
and the author of 'Vivian Grey' became Prime Minister. The post which in
the extravagance of youthful ambition he had told Lord Melbourne could
alone satisfy his ambition was actually his own, and had been won by
courage, skill, and determination, and only these. He _libertino patre
natus_, a _libertinus_ himself--without wealth, without connection, for
the peers and gentlemen of England resented his supremacy while they
used his services--had made himself the ruler of the British Empire. He
had not stooped to the common arts of flattery. He had achieved no
marked successes in the service of the country. It was supposed, perhaps
without ground, that he was not even a _grata persona_ to the highest
person in the realm, till Her Majesty was compelled to accept his
supremacy. He had won his way by parliamentary ability and by
resolution to succeed. Whether it be for the interest of the nation in
the long run to commit its destinies to men of such qualifications is a
question which it will by-and-by consider. If a time comes when party
becomes faction, and the interests of the empire are sacrificed visibly
in contention for office, when the wise and the honest hold aloof from
politics as a game in which they can no longer take part, Parliamentary
government will fall into the contempt which Disraeli himself already
secretly felt for it. The system will collapse, and other methods will
be tried. Disraeli, however, had risen by the regular process, and
according to the representative principle was the chosen of the country.
Among rival politicians his elevation created irritation more than
surprise, for it had been long regarded as inevitable. Outside
Parliamentary circles there was no irritation at all, but rather pride
and pleasure. Englishmen like those who have made a position for
themselves by their own force of character. Disraeli's public life was
before the world. He had made innumerable enemies. A thousand calumnies
had pursued him. His actions, good, bad, and indifferent, had been
coloured to his least advantage. He had been described as an adventurer
and a charlatan, without honesty, without sincerity, without patriotism;
a mercenary, a gladiator; the Red Indian of debate.


If this was the true account of him, one has to ask oneself in wonder
what kind of place the House of Commons must be, when such a man can be
selected by it as its foremost statesman. There he had sat for thirty
years, session after session, ever foremost in the fight, face to face
with antagonists who were reputed the ablest speakers, the most powerful
thinkers whom the country could produce. Had his enemies' account of him
been true, why had they not exposed and made an end of him? The English
people had too much respect for their institutions to believe in so
incredible a story. The violence of the attacks recoiled upon their
authors. With his accession to the Premiership he became an object of
marked and general regard. When he went down to Parliament for the first
time in his new capacity, he was wildly cheered by the crowds in Palace
Yard. The shouts were echoed along Westminster Hall and through the
lobbies, and were taken up again warmly and heartily in the House
itself, which had been the scene of so many conflicts--the same House in
which he had been hooted down when he first rose to speak there.

And the tribute was to himself personally. He was not the representative
of any great or popular cause. Even in carrying his Reform Bill he had
not stooped to inflated rhetoric, or held out promises of visionary
millenniums. He was regarded merely as a man of courage and genius, not
less honest than other politicians because his professions were few.


 Reply of the Liberals to the Tory Reform Bill--State of Ireland--The
   Protestant Establishment--Resolution proposed by Mr. Gladstone--Decay
   of Protestant feeling in England--Protestant character of the Irish
   Church--The Upas Tree--Mr. Gladstone's Irish policy--General effect
   on Ireland of the Protestant Establishment--Voltaire's
   opinion--Imperfect results--The character of the Protestant
   gentry--Nature of the proposed change--Sprung on England as a
   surprise--Mr. Gladstone's resolutions carried--Fall of Disraeli's


Disraeli, in appropriating Parliamentary Reform, obliged the
Liberals to look about them for another battle-cry at the next
election--something popular and plausible which would touch the passions
of the constituencies. The old subjects were worn out or disposed of. It
had become necessary to start new game. The genuine Radical desires to
make a new world by a reconstruction of society. He has his eye always
on one or other of the old institutions, which he regards as an obstacle
to progress. There are, therefore, at all times, a number of questions
which are gradually 'ripening,' as it is called, but which wait to be
practically dealt with till the opportunity presents itself. Among these
the Liberal leader had now to make his choice. A small advance would not
answer. Disraeli had ventured a long and audacious step. The other side
must reply with a second and a longer if the imagination was to be
effectively awakened.

[Sidenote: FENIANISM]


The Established Church of England, the Land Laws, the House of Lords,
perhaps the Crown, were eventually to be thrown into the crucible; but
the nation was not yet prepared for an assault on either of these. The
weak point was found in Ireland, which at all times had been the
favourite plaything of English faction. Three millions of Irish had fled
across the Atlantic to escape from famine since the failure of the
potato. Some had gone of their own wills, some had been roughly expelled
from their homes. With few exceptions, they had borne the cost of their
own exportation. Those who went first sent home money to bring out their
families and friends, and the economists had congratulated themselves
that the Irish difficulty was at last disposed of, at no expense to the
British taxpayer. A few insignificant persons, who understood the Irish
character, knew too well that the congratulations were premature. If the
poor Irish were really our fellow-subjects, these persons thought that
some effort should have been made to soften their expulsion, and to
provide or at least to offer them homes in the vast colonial territories
which then belonged to us. Past efforts in that direction, indeed, had
not been encouraging. For several generations we had poured shiploads of
Irish into the West Indies. Scarcely a survivor of Celtic blood is now
to be found in those islands. It would have been something, however, to
have shown that we were generously anxious to bear our share in the
undeserved calamity which had fallen on an ill-used people, and to try
to repair the efforts of centuries of negligence. If we left them to
their own resources without regret, with an avowed confession that we
were glad to be rid of them, Irish disaffection would become more
intense than ever. We did so leave them. They streamed across to the
United States, carrying hatred of England along with them, while the
walls of the deserted villages in Connaught preached revenge to those
who were left at home. The exiles throve in their new land--a fresh
evidence, if they needed more, that English domination had been the
cause of their miseries. They multiplied, and became a factor in
American political life. They fought, and fought well, in the American
Civil War. When the Civil War was over, they hoped for a war with
England, and tried to kindle it in Canada. The 'Alabama' question having
been settled peacefully, they failed in their immediate purpose; but
none the less they were animated with an all-pervading purpose of
revenge; and there were many thousands of them who had escaped the
Southern bullets who were ready for any desperate adventure. An invading
force was to cross the Atlantic, while Ireland organised itself in
secret societies to receive them as it did to receive the French in
1797. Chester Castle and the Fenian rebellion of 1867 are not yet
forgotten even in these days of short memories and excited hopes. The
rising was abortive. It failed, as Irish rebellions have so often
failed, because the Irish people trusted in their numbers and neglected
to make serious preparations. The American general who came over to take
the command had been told that he would find ten thousand men drilled
and armed. He did not find five hundred, and he left the enterprise in
contempt. The scattered risings which followed were easily suppressed,
and were suppressed with gentleness. The exhortation of a leading
Liberal journal to make an example of the rebels in the field, because
executions afterwards were inconvenient, was happily not attended to.
But the leniency with which the leading insurgents were treated was
construed into a confession of weakness. The rebellious spirit was fed
from America, and detached acts of violence, attempted rescues of
prisoners, and blowing up of gaols showed that Ireland was as unsubdued
as ever. The great Liberal champion saw the occasion which he required.
The Clerkenwell explosion, he said, had brought the Irish question
within the range of practical politics, and in this extraordinary
acknowledgment invited an inflammable people to persevere in outrage if
they desired to secure their rights. He declared in a memorable speech
that the cause of Irish wretchedness had been Protestant Ascendency.
Protestant Ascendency was the Irish upas-tree, with its three branches,
the Church, the land, and the education. The deadly growth once cut
down, the animosity would end, and the English lion and the Irish lamb
would lie down together in peace. That to disarm the garrison was a
likely mode of reconciling an unwilling people to a connection which
they detest, was an expectation not in accordance with general human
experience; still less when it was confessedly recommended as a reward
of insurrection. But the Irish question was ingeniously selected as a
counterstroke to Disraeli's Reform Bill. Had Disraeli but left Reform to
its owners the Liberals would have been provided with work at home and
have left Ireland alone. But the deed was done, and many circumstances
combined to suggest to the eminent statesman who had discovered the
secret of Irish disaffection that here was the proper field for his
genius, and that he was peculiarly the person to put his hand to the
plough. The Irish Church had long been a scandal to Liberal sentiment,
and Disraeli himself had denounced it. The land was the favourite
subject of Radical declamation. Land-owning in Ireland showed under
its least favourable aspect, and could there be assaulted at best
advantage. It was true that the control of Ireland was vital to the
safety of Great Britain, and that the Protestants there were the only
part of the population whose loyalty could be depended on. Until recent
years the Protestant feeling in England and Scotland would have
forbidden a revolutionary change avowedly intended to weaken the
Protestant settlement; but the extended franchise, either already
conceded or made inevitable by Disraeli's Bill, would throw four-fifths
of the representation of Ireland into Nationalist hands, and the
adhesion of such a phalanx would give the party which could secure
it an overwhelming preponderance, while the Protestant prejudices
which had served hitherto as a check were wearing away.

Sixty years ago the British nation adhered almost unanimously to the
traditions of the Reformation. It had grown to its present greatness as
a Protestant power. The Pope was still the Man of Sin. Roman doctrine,
either pure or modified into Anglicanism, was regarded with suspicion,
aversion, or contempt. Conversions were unheard of, and the few
surviving hereditary Catholics were unobtrusive and politically ciphers.
Catholic Emancipation in restoring them to power restored them at the
same time to social consequence. The Liberals who had advocated that
great measure, historians, statesmen, and philosophers, broke with the
principles of which their predecessors had once been the staunchest
advocates, changed front, and traduced the Reformation itself, to which
Liberalism owed its existence. While Macaulay and Buckle were cursing
Cranmer, the Oxford Movement made its way among the clergy, was welcomed
largely by the upper classes, whose nerves were offended by Puritan
vulgarities, and leavened gradually the whole organisation of the Church
of England. Men of intellect who would once have interfered had ceased
to care for such things, and allowed them to go their own way. The
Rationalists and critics, whom Disraeli so sagaciously disliked,
worked havoc in a party whose whole belief was in their Bible. The
Evangelicals, who had been narrow and tyrannical in the days of their
power, found themselves fading into impotence; while in the mass of the
people a doctrinal faith was superseded by a vague religiosity which saw
no particular difference between one creed and another.


The High Churchmen, who grew strong as their rivals declined, called
themselves Catholics again, and abjured the name of Protestant. To
unprotestantise the Church of England had been the confessed purpose of
the first Tractarians, and the work had been effectively done. Mr.
Gladstone was the most distinguished of their lay adherents. The purity
of his life, the loftiness of his principles, his well-known because
slightly ostentatious piety commended him generally to the national
confidence, English statesmen with strong religious convictions having
been recently uncommon articles. Thus, in addition to the ordinary
Radical forces, Mr. Gladstone had the support of a great body of
influential clergy, who, although tried at times by his questionable
associations, continued to believe in him and uphold him--to uphold him
especially in his onslaught upon their unfortunate Irish sister. The
Irish Church had refused to follow in the new counter-Reformation. The
Irish Church was Evangelical to the heart--actively, vigorously,
healthily Evangelical--a Church militant in Luther's spirit. 'We have no
Tractarians here,' said the Bishop of Cashel to me. 'We have the real
thing, and know too much about it.' The life which was showing was of
late growth too, and was therefore likely to continue. The Church of
Ireland as a missionary institution had not been a success. Established
by Elizabeth for political reasons, it had existed for two centuries and
a half, making no impression on the mass of the population. Such
Protestant spirituality as remained was confined to the Presbyterians of
Ulster and the few Southern Nonconformists who were descended from the
Cromwellian colonists. The bishops, secured after the Revolution by the
Penal Laws, had received their large incomes and consumed them with
dignity; but when they exerted themselves it was to persecute Protestant
dissenters and drive them out of Ireland. The ancient churches fell to
ruins. Incumbents ceased to reside where they had no congregations, left
their parishes to underpaid curates, or more commonly to the tithe
proctor. So things went on till the long negligence had borne its
inevitable fruit. The Nonconformists were then let alone. The rebellion
of 1798, the rapid growth of the Catholic population, the immediate
contact with the Catholic system in an aggressive form, and the
relaxation of the Penal Code gradually roused the clergy to exertion.
The ruined churches were repaired or others provided, and before the
middle of the present century the Protestant ministers in Ireland were
showing a sincerity, a piety, a devotion to the work of their calling of
exceptional and peculiar interest. I was myself at that time brought in
contact with many of the Established clergy in the southern provinces.
They had more of the saintly character of the early Christians than any
clergy of any denomination that I had ever fallen in with.

After the tithe question had been settled they had no quarrels with the
Catholic peasantry. They were poor, but they were charitable beyond
their means. They were beloved, respected, trusted by all classes of the
population. In every parish there was a resident educated gentleman,
whose help in the most miserable times was never asked in vain if the
occasion was not beyond the resources of those to whom the appeal was
made. They made some few proselytes, and this was treated as a crime in
them, while their rivals thought it no crime to convert a heretic. The
Evangelical Calvinism which they generally professed was more attractive
to the Celtic peasantry than the Episcopal _Via Media_. The Irish nature
is impressible by a real belief, and the old creed which roused half
Europe to fight for spiritual liberty in the sixteenth century in this
one corner of the globe remained alive and active. The differences which
had separated the Establishment from the Ulster Presbyterians had
practically disappeared. For the first time since the Reformation the
Protestants of Ireland were of one heart and one mind.


The time had been when such a disposition would have had the warm
sympathies of the sister island. But the Protestant fire on this side of
the Channel had sunk to ashes, and the ashes themselves were cooling.
Even among the Scotch and the Dissenters the creed of Knox and Cromwell
had subsided into opinion flavoured with a vague Liberalism. While the
English Church parties were drifting Romeward with an eagerness which to
some persons appeared like the descent over a steep place of certain
foolish animals, their poor Irish brethren who adhered to the faith of
their fathers had lost their sympathy, and when the statesman whom they
regarded with so much admiration proposed to disable and disendow the
Irish branch of the Establishment, they looked on with indifference and
did not withdraw their confidence in him. They did not actively
approve. Even Mr. Gladstone himself professed to feel some qualms of
conscience. 'We do it wrong,' he said, 'being so majestical, to offer it
the show of violence.' But by their silence they gave him their tacit
sanction, and lent an air of respectability to a proceeding which
without it he might have failed to go through with. They allowed the
Irish Church to be dealt with politically, as a branch of his Protestant
Ascendency which had been called a upas-tree.


As a Churchman Mr. Gladstone was a Tractarian; as a statesman, he had
become an advanced Radical. From neither point of view was the Irish
Church to his liking. Yet as English statesman he was taking a bold,
perhaps a rash step in endeavouring to weaken English authority in a
country so ill-affected to us, when it had been built up with so many
centuries of effort. Geographical position compels us to keep Ireland
subject to the British Crown. That is the first fact of the situation--a
situation which cannot be changed till we have lost our place as a great
European power. The Irish, perhaps as much for this reason as for any
other, have resisted and still resist. They might have been reconciled
to their fate in return for other advantages if their own wills had been
consulted; but they have resented the claim of necessity. Difference of
religion has not been the cause of the hostility. Before the Reformation
as much as after it they never missed an opportunity of injuring or
attempting to break from us. The Reformation appeared to sanctify their
quarrel, and caused a century of civil war and desolation; and the
English Parliament, after all other means had been tried in vain to
bring them to obedience, had determined to colonise the island with
Scotch and English Protestants whose loyalty could be depended on. The
land was taken forcibly away from the native owners, and was given to
adventurers or to Cromwell's soldiers who would undertake to defend it.
It was a violent measure; but to hold a country in subjection against
its will is itself an act of violence which entails others. The Irish
people had shown in five centuries of resistance that they could only be
held to us by force. The colonists were the English garrison, and
however grave their faults and miserable their deficiencies, the result
was that Ireland had a century of peace. Twice during that period there
was a civil war in Great Britain, and Ireland remained quiet. When the
American colonies revolted, the Irish Catholics offered their swords and
their services to 'the best of kings,' and only when the Penal Laws were
relaxed and they were allowed an instalment of liberty did they again
attempt insurrection. The Penal Laws are considered an atrocity. They
were borrowed from the terms of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes,
and Voltaire, an impartial witness on such a subject, was able to use
language about Ireland during the time when they were in force which
deserves more attention than it has met with. 'Ce pays est toujours
resté sous la domination de l'Angleterre, mais inculte, pauvre et
inutile jusqu'à ce qu'enfin dans le dix-huitième siècle l'agriculture,
les manufactures, les arts, les sciences, tout s'y est perfectionné, et
l'Irlande, quoique subjuguée, est devenue une des plus florissantes
provinces de l'Europe.' ('Essai sur les Mœurs,' chap. 50.) So Ireland
appeared to the keenest eye in Europe at the time when it is the fashion
to say that she was groaning under the hatefullest tyranny. The
description was too favourable, yet it was relatively correct. The Irish
are a military people. They are admirable as soldiers and police. They
obey authority and prosper under it. They run wild when left to their
own wills. An industrious people thrive best when free. A fighting
people require to be officered, and when authority is firm and just are
uniformly loyal. In Ireland, unfortunately, authority was not firm and
was not just. The trade laws were iniquitous. The Protestant gentry were
forced into idleness. They became a garrison without wholesome
occupation; yet at worst such advance as Ireland did make was wholly due
to them, and every step which was taken to reduce their power brought
back the old symptoms. It cannot be said that the system was
satisfactory; yet to abolish it altogether, to declare it to be a
poisonous plant which required to be uprooted, was an adventure which
ought not to have been entered upon without maturer consideration than
it received. The injustice (such as there was) lay in the original sin
of forcing an unwilling people into a connection which they detest.
Protestant ascendency was the instrument by which the connection was
maintained, and the only one which had even partially succeeded. If it
was swept away, what was to take its place? Conciliation, we are told.
But what had conciliation effected hitherto? The abolition of the Penal
Laws was to have brought peace. It brought only a sword. The admission
of the Catholics to the franchise was to have brought peace. It was
followed instantly by rebellion. Parliament was opened to them, and
tithe riots broke out, and midnight murdering. On the heel of each
concession came a Coercion Act, because Ireland could not be governed
otherwise. The eager Celt has regarded each step gained as the conquest
of an outwork of English dominion which has served but to whet the
appetite for attack and to weaken the defence. What reason was there to
suppose that when they heard Church and landlords denounced, when they
were told by a great English statesman that their grievances would only
be attended to when they made themselves dangerous, the result would be
different? The great grievance of all, the English sovereignty, would be
left. If that too was to be sacrificed--if after the internal
administration of their country was made over to themselves they showed
that nothing would satisfy them except national independence--were the
advocates of a trusting policy prepared to concede this point also? They
might answer 'Yes' perhaps. Better Ireland should be free altogether
than chained to England against her will. This might be their own
opinion, but they could not answer for the English nation; and if the
English nation refused, there would be nothing for it but civil war and
a fresh conquest.

Before letting loose an agitation so far-reaching and of such uncertain
consequence, Mr. Gladstone ought to have laid out the whole problem for
consideration in all its possible issues; not partially and crudely for
an immediate election cry, but in a form in which it could be maturely
discussed and paused over for years. To reverse and undo the policy of
centuries was a step which ought not to have been ventured without the
national consent. The electors knew less of Ireland even than Mr.
Gladstone himself, who ought to have made them first understand what it
was which they were called on to sanction.

But these are not times for long reflection. A Parliamentary leader sees
an opportunity. His followers echo him. Sentiment displaces reason, and
a majority is the most conclusive of arguments.


Mr. Gladstone brought forward his famous resolutions, carried them
against Mr. Disraeli's Government, and at the dissolution was rewarded
by a majority so sweeping that resistance was impossible. Disraeli
resigned without waiting for the meeting of Parliament--a sensible
example which has been since followed. With his usual calmness he
rallied his distracted followers and waited patiently while the two
great branches of the upas-tree were being hacked off, well aware that
the hot stage would be followed by a cold one when the effects of this
new departure began to show themselves. The Irish Church was reduced to
a voluntary communion. Tenants and landlords were made joint owners of
their lands--ill-mated companions set to sleep in a single bed, from
which one or other before long was likely to be ejected. Ireland made
its usual response; and within two years the state of Westmeath became
so serious that the Cabinet which was to have won the Irish heart
was obliged to move for a secret committee to consider how the
administration was to be carried on. Disraeli on leaving office might if
he had chosen have retired to the Upper House. He pleased himself better
by prevailing on the Queen to confer a coronet on his faithful
companion, and no act of his life gave him greater pride or pleasure.
Mrs. Disraeli[10] became Viscountess Beaconsfield, and he himself
remained in the House of Commons, where he could watch and criticise.


A secret committee is only moved for on grave occasions. An evidence so
rapid and so palpable of the results of Mr. Gladstone's operations was
an opportunity for the exercise of Mr. Disraeli's peculiar powers. Of
late years he had been sparing in his sarcasms. His speeches had been
serious and argumentative, and the rapier and the whip lash had been
laid aside. But they were lying ready for him, and he had not forgotten
his old art. He did not again object as he had objected in Peel's case
to granting extraordinary powers to a Government which he distrusted. He
was willing to assist the Cabinet, since they needed assistance, in
maintaining order in Ireland; Lord Hartington had reminded him that he
had himself made a similar application in another Parliament. But he
confessed his astonishment that such an application should be necessary.
'The noble lord,' he said, 'has made some reference, from that richness
of precedent with which he has been crammed on this occasion, to what
occurred in 1852; and in the midst of the distress of this regenerating
Government of Ireland supported by a hundred legions and elected by an
enthusiastic people in order to terminate the grievances of that country
and secure its contentment and tranquillity, he must needs dig up our
poor weak Government of 1852 and say, "There was Mr. Napier, your
attorney-general: he moved for a committee, and you were a member of his
Cabinet." If I had had a majority of a hundred behind my back I would
not have moved for that committee. I did the best I could. But was the
situation in which I was placed similar to the situation of her
Majesty's present Ministers? Look for a moment to the relations which
this Government bears to the House of Commons with regard to the
administration of Ireland. The right hon. gentleman opposite (Mr.
Gladstone) was elected for a specific purpose. He was the Minister who
alone was able to cope with these long-enduring and mysterious evils
that had tortured and tormented the civilisation of England. The right
hon. gentleman persuaded the people of England that with regard to
Irish politics he was in possession of the philosopher's stone. Well,
sir, he has been returned to this House with an immense majority, with
the object of securing the tranquillity and content of Ireland. Has
anything been grudged him--time, labour, devotion? Whatever has been
proposed has been carried. Under his influence, and at his instance, we
have legalised confiscation, we have consecrated sacrilege, we have
condoned treason, we have destroyed Churches, we have shaken property to
its foundations, and we have emptied gaols; and now he cannot govern one
county without coming to a Parliamentary committee. The right hon.
gentleman, after all his heroic exploits, and at the head of his great
majority, is making government ridiculous.'

'We have legalised confiscation, we have consecrated sacrilege, we have
condoned treason,' pronounced with drawling alliteration, was worth a
whole Parliamentary campaign. Everyone recollected the words from the
neatness of the combination; everyone felt and acknowledged their biting
justice. No one was a match for Disraeli in the use of the rapier. The
composition of such sentences was an intellectual pleasure to him. A few
years later, when the Prince Imperial was killed in South Africa, he
observed, on hearing of it, 'A very remarkable people the Zulus: they
defeat our generals, they convert our bishops, they have settled the
fate of a great European dynasty.'

No Government was ever started on an ambitious career with louder
pretensions or brighter promises than Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet in 1868.
In less than three years their glory was gone, the aureole had faded
from their brows. The bubble of oratory, which had glowed with all the
colours of the rainbow, had burst when in contact with fact, and the
poor English people had awoke to the dreary conviction that it was but
vapour after all. In April, 1872, the end was visibly coming, and
Disraeli could indulge again, at their expense, in his malicious
mockery. In a speech at Manchester he said:

'The stimulus is subsiding. The paroxysms ended in prostration. Some
took refuge in melancholy, and their eminent chief alternated between a
menace and a sigh. As I sat opposite the Treasury bench, the Ministers
reminded me of those marine landscapes not unusual on the coasts of
South America. You behold a range of exhausted volcanoes. Not a flame
flickers on a single pallid crest. But the situation is still dangerous.
There are occasional earthquakes, and ever and anon the dark rumbling of
the sea.'


 The calm of satisfied ambition--A new novel--'Lothair'--Survey of
   English society--The modern aristocracy--Forces working on the
   surface and below it--Worship of rank--Cardinal
   Grandison--Revolutionary socialism--Romeward drift of the higher
   classes--'Lothair' by far the most remarkable of all Disraeli's

[Sidenote: 'LOTHAIR']

Once again in Opposition, Disraeli found leisure to return to his early
occupations. As a politician, and at the head of a minority for the time
hopelessly weak, he had merely to look on and assist, by opportune
sarcasms, the ebb of Liberal popularity.

In this comparative calm he resumed his profession as a novelist, which
he had laid aside for more than twenty years, and delivered himself of a
work immeasurably superior to anything of the kind which he had hitherto
produced. 'Vivian Grey' and 'Contarini Fleming' were portraits of
himself, drawn at an age of vanity and self-consciousness. 'Henrietta
Temple' and 'Venetia' were clever stories--written, probably, because he
wanted money--but without the merit or the interest which would have
given them a permanent place in English literature. The famous trilogy,
'Coningsby,' 'Sybil,' and 'Tancred,' though of far greater value, have
the fatal defect, as works of art, that they were avowedly written for a
purpose. 'Lothair' has none of these faults--Disraeli himself is
imperceptible; the inner meaning of the book does not lie upon the
surface. It was supposed, on its first appearance, to be a vulgar
glorification of the splendours of the great English nobles into whose
society he had been admitted as a _parvenu_, and whose condescension he
rewarded by painting them in their indolent magnificence. The glitter
and tinsel was ascribed to a Jewish taste for tawdry decoration, while
he, individually, was thought to be glutted to satiation in the social
Paradise, like 'Ixion at the feasts of the gods.' The divinities
themselves were amused and forgiving. They did not resent--perhaps they
secretly liked--the coloured photographs in which they saw themselves
depicted. The life which Disraeli described was really their own, drawn
naturally, without envy or malice; a life in which they enjoyed every
pleasure which art could invent or fortune bestow, where they could
discharge their duties to society by simply existing, and where they had
the satisfaction of knowing that, by the mere gratification of their
wishes, they were providing employment for multitudes of dependents.
They had cultivated the graces of perfected humanity in these splendid
surroundings, and 'Lothair' was accepted as a voluntary offering of not
undeserved homage.

In all Disraeli's writings, from his earliest age, there is traceable a
conviction that no country could prosper under a free Constitution,
without an aristocracy with great duties and great privileges; an
aristocracy who, as leaders of the people, should be their examples also
of manliness and nobility of character. He had observed how, as
political power had passed away from the English peers, while their
wealth remained, and increased, their habits had become more
self-indulgent--they had become a superior but socially exclusive caste.
They were still an estate of the realm, but they had become, like the
gods of Epicurus, lifted above the toils and troubles of this mortal
world, still feeding on the offerings which continued to smoke upon the
altars, but of no definite use, and likely, it might be, to lose their
celestial thrones, should mankind cease to believe in them. The
occupation of the Elysians in the 'Infernal Marriage' was to go to
operas and plays and balls, to wander in the green shades of the forest,
to canter in light-hearted cavalcades over breezy downs, to banquet with
the beautiful and the witty, to send care to the devil, and indulge the
whim of the moment. It was easy to see who were meant by the Elysians.
Privileged mortals they might be, but mortals out of whom, unless they
roused themselves, no future rulers would ever rise to govern again the
English nation. The Emperor Julian imagined that he could galvanise the
dead gods of Paganism; Disraeli, believing that an aristocracy of some
kind was a political necessity, had dreamt of an awakening of the young
generation of English nobles to the heroic virtues of the age of the

A quarter of a century had gone by since he had sent Tancred for
inspiration to Mount Sinai. During all that time he had lived himself
within the privileged circle. He had not over-estimated the high native
qualities of the patrician lords and dames, but he had recognised the
futility of his imaginations. They were as little capable of change as
Venus and Apollo, and in his enforced leisure he drew their likenesses,
with a light satire--so light that they failed to perceive it. The
students of English history in time to come, who would know what the
nobles of England were like in the days of Queen Victoria, will read
'Lothair' with the same interest with which they read 'Horace' and
'Juvenal.' When Disraeli wrote, they were in the zenith of their
magnificence. The industrial energy of the age had doubled their already
princely revenues without effort of their own. They were the objects of
universal homage--partly a vulgar adulation of rank, partly the
traditionary reverence for their order, which had not yet begun to wane.
Though idleness and flattery had done their work to spoil them, they
retained much of the characteristics of a high-born race. Even Carlyle
thought that they were the best surviving specimens of the ancient
English. But their self-indulgence had expanded with their incomes.
Compared with the manners of the modern palace or castle, the habits of
their grandfathers and grandmothers had been frugality and simplicity:
and they had no duties--or none which they had been taught to
understand. So they stand before us in 'Lothair.' Those whom Elysian
pleasures could not satisfy were weary of the rolling hours, and for
want of occupation are seen drifting among the seductions of the Roman
harlot; while from below the surface is heard the deep ground-tone of
the European revolution, which may sweep them all away. We have no
longer the bombast and unreality of the revolutionary epic. Disraeli has
still the same subject before him, but he treats it with the mellow
calmness of matured experience. He writes as a man of the world, with
perfect mastery of his material, without a taint of ill-nature--with a
frank perception of the many and great excellences of the patrician
families, of the charm and spirit of the high-born matrons and girls, of
the noble capabilities of their fathers and brothers, paralysed by the
enchantment which condemns them to uselessness. They stand on the canvas
like the heroes and heroines of Vandyck; yet the sense never leaves us
that they are but flowers of the hothouse, artificially forced into
splendour, with no root in outer nature, and therefore of no

The period of the story was the immediate year in which Disraeli was
writing. The characters, though in but few instances portraits of living
men and women, were exactly, even ludicrously, true to the prevailing
type. We are introduced on the first page into a dukery the grandest of
its kind; the owner of it, _the_ duke, being too great to require a
name, while minor dukes move like secondary planets in the surrounding

_The_ duke has but one sorrow--that he has no home, his many palaces
requiring a periodic residence at each. He is consoled each morning in
his dressing-room, when he reviews his faultless person, by the
reflection that his family were worthy of him. The hero is an ingenuous,
pure-minded youth, still under age, though fast approaching his
majority, the heir of enormous possessions, which, great as they
descended from his father, have been increased to fabulous proportions
by the progress of the country. His expectations rather oppress than
give him pleasure, for he is full of generous aspirations, to which he
knows not how to give effect. He feels only that his wealth will give
him boundless powers for good or evil, and all that his natural piety
and simplicity can tell him is that he ought to do something good with
it. In an ordinary novel, a youth so furnished would be the natural prey
of scheming mothers. Disraeli makes him the intended victim of a far
more subtle conspiracy. His rank is vaguely indicated as only second to
that of the duke himself. An absurd and unnatural consequence attaches
to him in society, and he is marked as a prey by the power which aims at
recovering England to the Church of Rome by the conversion of lords and
ladies. He is exposed to temptation through the innocence of his nature.
Of his guardians, one is a Scotch Presbyterian earl, narrow, rugged, and
honest; the other, a distinguished clergyman of the Anglican Church, an
early friend of his father, who has 'gone over' to Rome, risen to high
rank, and is at the head of the English Mission. The personality of this
eminent man is visibly composed of the late Cardinal Wiseman and his
successor, who is still present among us, and is so favourably known by
his exertions for the improvement of the people. The function of
Cardinal Grandison, as Disraeli represents him, is the propagation of
Catholic truth among patrician circles. He has operated successfully on
young and beautiful countesses, who, in turn, have worked upon their

The first converts of the apostles were the poor and the unknown. The
Cardinal's superficial, but not altogether groundless, calculation, was
that if he could convert earls and countesses, the social influence of
those great persons would carry the nation after them. Lothair, with his
enormous fortune, would be a precious acquisition. His boyhood had been
spent in Scotland, and, through his guardians' precautions, the Cardinal
has no opportunities of influencing him--indeed, had scarcely seen him.
They meet when he enters the world. Their connection places them on
terms of immediate intimacy, and the web is spun round the fly with
exquisite skill. Lothair is naturally religious, and no direct attempts
are made upon his faith. Theological differences are treated with
offhand ease; but he finds himself imperceptibly drawn into Catholic
society. Accomplished Monsignori are ever at his side. Great ladies
treat him with affectionate confidence, and he is delighted with an
element where the highest breeding is sanctified by Spiritual devotion.
More delicate attractions are brought to bear--a lovely girl, so angelic
that she is intended for a convent, lets him see that her destiny may,
perhaps, be changed if she can find a husband with a spirit like her
own. Lothair sinks rapidly under the combination of enchantments. An
immense balance lies at his bankers, the accumulations of his minority.
His conversations with Miss Arundel convince him that he must build a
cathedral in London with it. It never occurred to him--nobody had even
suggested to him--that his rent-roll entailed responsibilities towards
the thousands of working families who were his own dependents, and by
whose toil that wealth had been created. To build a cathedral, at any
rate, would be a precious achievement--whether Catholic or Protestant
might be decided when it was completed. He was, himself, the only person
who seemed ignorant which it was to be.

The spell which was cast by a lady, could be broken only by another
lady's hand. Before Lothair is finally subdued, accident brings him in
contact with Theodora, the wife of a rich American, dazzlingly
beautiful, the incarnation of the Genius of the European revolution, to
which her devotion is as intense as that of Miss Arundel to the Catholic
Church. Two emotional impulses divide at present the minds of the
passionate and the restless. The timid see salvation only in the reunion
of Christendom and the returning protection of the Virgin. The bold and
generous, weary of the cants, the conventionalisms, and unrealities of
modern life, fling themselves into the revolutionary torrent, which
threatens the foundations of existing civilisation.

In the convulsions of 1848, the revolutionary societies had shaken half
the thrones in Europe. Disraeli, whose vision, unlike that of most
contemporary statesmen, was not limited to the coming session, but
looked before and after, had watched these two tendencies all through
his life, well aware that they would have more to do with the future of
mankind than the most ingenious Parliamentary manœuvrings. While Premier
he had learnt much of the working of the republican propaganda in
France, Germany, and Russia. In the Irish Conspiracy, Catholic priests
had been found, curiously, co-operating with American Fenians.
Particular persons had fallen under his notice who were unknown to the
outside world. At the moment when Lothair's future is hanging in the
balance, he is led into relation with the fascinating representative of
the revolutionary spirit. Theodora, whom Disraeli evidently likes better
than any one else in the book, had been devoted from childhood to the
cause of liberty. Her father and brothers had been killed in the fights
of 1848. She herself, an orphan and an exile, had wandered to Paris, had
sung in the streets, had been received into the secret associations,
where, for her beauty and her genius, she had been regarded as a
tutelary saint.

Pure as snow, Theodora had no thought but for the cause. The women
worshipped her, the men idolised her. Like Rachel, she had electrified
the Paris mob by starting forward at a great moment, and singing the
'Marseillaise.' She was the Mary Anne of the universal conspiracy
against the existing tyranny which was called order, and a word from her
at any moment could kindle the fire into a blaze. At the moment when
this lady, an idealised Margaret Fuller, is introduced upon the scene,
her thoughts are concentrated on the delivery of Rome from the Papacy.
Thus simultaneously the two enthusiasms were centred on the same spot.
The Catholic devotees were dreaming of the reunion of Christendom. Pio
Nono was to summon an Ecumenical Council which was to be the greatest
event of the century. To the revolutionists Rome was the mystic centre
of European liberty. Rome being once free, and the detested priests made
an end of, the Genius of Evil would spread its wings and depart, and
mankind would at last be happy. Louis Napoleon was the uncertain element
in the situation. Would he continue to support the Pope, or leave him to
his fate?

The two parties watched each other, waiting the decision, and Theodora
and her husband are in England, living at Belmont, a villa on the edge
of Wimbledon, with an artistic and intellectual circle of friends. Here
Lothair is introduced. He finds himself in an atmosphere delightful, yet
entirely strange to him, presided over by a divine being. The lady is
ten years older than himself, on the best terms with her American, and
without further room in her heart for any but ideal objects. Disraeli
contrives, with extraordinary skill, to let the fascination exercise its
full power without degenerating into a vulgar intrigue. All is airy and
spiritual. Lothair was on the edge of becoming a Catholic, because
'society ought to be religious.' Theodora is as 'religious' as Miss
Arundel, but with a religion independent of dogma. He confides in her,
tells her of his struggles, confesses his devotion to herself. When his
passion takes too warm a tone she gently waves it aside with a grace
which intensifies the affection without allowing it to degrade itself.

Cardinal Grandison and his countesses are watching for their council,
which is to be the 'event of the century.' To Lothair the great 'event'
is his own coming of age, and the celebration of it at his magnificent
castle. Dukes and earls, bishops and cardinals, Monsignori and English
clergy, sheriffs and county magistrates, gather at Muriel for the
occasion, and Theodora and her husband are specially-invited guests. All
that is loyallest and brightest in the English nation is brought out in
Lothair's welcome to his inheritance. The object is to show the
unadulterated respect which still remains for our great nobles, the
future which is still within their reach if they know how to seize it--a
respect, however, tinged slightly with artificiality and unreality in
the exaggeration of the outward splendour. As a by-play, the chiefs of
the two Churches continue their struggle for Lothair's soul. The
'Bishop,' a well-known prelate of those days, and a college friend of
Cardinal Grandison before their creed had divided them, now meet in the
lists, followed by their respective acolytes. The Bishop and the
Anglican countesses arrange an early 'celebration' in the chapel, where
Lothair is to renew his vows to the Church of his fathers. The Catholics
look at it as a magical rite, which may spoil the work which they are
hoping to accomplish. The sureness of foot with which Disraeli moves in
these intricate labyrinths, the easy grace with which the various actors
play their parts, might tempt one to forget what a piece of gilded
tinsel it all is, but for the disbelieving interjections of common sense
from less devout spectators. St. Aldegonde, the most attractive of all
the male characters in the book, a patrician of the patricians and the
heir of a dukedom, affects Radicalism of the reddest kind. Bored with
the emptiness of an existence which he knows not how to amend, a man who
in other times might have ridden beside King Richard at Ascalon, or
charged with the Black Prince at Poitiers, lounges through life in
good-humoured weariness of amusements which will not amuse, and outrages
conventionalism by his frank contempt for humbug. Him they had not
dared to invite to be present at the 'celebration.' On a Sunday morning,
when the party generally were observing the ordinary proprieties, he
appears in the breakfast-room in rough and loose weekday costume, pushes
his hands through his dishevelled locks, and exclaims, as he stands
before the fire, regardless of the Bishop's presence, 'How I hate
Sundays!' The Bishop makes a dignified retreat. When St. Aldegonde's
wife gently reproves him, he adds impenitently to his sins, saying, 'I
don't like bishops, I don't see the use of them; but I have no objection
to him personally. I think him an agreeable man, not at all a bore. Just
put it right, Bertha,' &c. St. Aldegonde is a perfect specimen of a
young English noble, who will not cant or lie; the wisest and truest
when counsel or action is needed of him, yet with his fine qualities all
running to waste in a world where there is no employment for them.

Neither Bishop nor Cardinal secure their prey. Theodora carries the day.
The French withdraw from Rome; she has secret information that they are
not to return, and that the secret societies are ready to move. The
opportunity has arrived. Nothing is wanted but arms and money. The
cathedral is abandoned, the accumulations of Lothair's minority are
thrown into Theodora's hands, and he himself enters into the campaign
for the liberation of Rome.

A republican general, who has been incidentally seen before, a friend of
Mazzini and Garibaldi, now appears on the scene. From Muriel we pass to
an Italian valley on the Roman frontier, where a force is collecting to
join Garibaldi and advance on the Holy City. Theodora is in the camp.
Rome itself is ready to rise on the first glinting of their lances. The
General moves forward, and fights and wins a battle at Viterbo; but in
the moment of victory all is lost. Louis Napoleon has changed his mind,
and the French return; a stray shot strikes Theodora, and mortally
wounds her. The sound of the guns at Civita Vecchia saluting the arrival
of the French ships reaches her ears as she hangs between life and
death. Her heart breaks; her last words are to tell Lothair that
'another and a more powerful attempt will be made to gain him to the
Church of Rome,' and she demands and obtains a promise from him that 'he
will never enter that communion.'

When he wrote 'Coningsby' and 'Sybil,' Disraeli regretted the
Reformation. The most ardent admirer of the Middle Ages did not regard
the overthrow of the ecclesiastical rule, and the suppression of the
religious houses, with more displeasure, or believed more devotedly in
the virtues of the abbots and the beneficent working of the monastic
system. In his 'Life of Lord George Bentinck' he had so far changed his
mind that he refuses to _Roman Catholic_ the dignity of capital letters.
Twenty additional years of experience had taught him that the modern
Roman hierarchy was as unscrupulous as the Reformers had described their
predecessors, and that, of the many dangers which threatened England,
there was none more insidious than the intrigues of ultramontane

The battle of Mentana follows, and Garibaldi's defeat by the French.
Lothair is shot down at the General's side, and is left for dead on the
field. Being found breathing, he is taken up with the other wounded. His
English Catholic friends are in Rome for the winter, and devote
themselves to the care of the hospitals. An Italian woman brings word to
Miss Arundel that one of her countrymen is lying at the point of death,
who may be recovered if she takes charge of him. He is found to be
Lothair, and the opportunity is seized for a thaumaturgical performance
as remarkable as the miracle-working at Lourdes. The woman who brought
the account is discovered, by a halo round her head, to have been the
Virgin in person; Lothair, unknown to himself, to have fallen not as a
Garibaldian but as a volunteer in the Papal army. He is carried,
unconscious, to the enchanter's cave, in the shape of a room in the
Agostini Palace. He is watched over while in danger by a beautiful
veiled figure. He is surrounded in convalescence by adroit Monsignori,
and prevailed on to assist in a ceremony which is represented to him as
a mere thanksgiving for his recovery, but in which he finds himself
walking first in a procession, candle in hand, at Miss Arundel's side,
she and he the special objects of the Virgin's care. The next morning
the whole performance is published in full in the 'Papal Gazette,' and
his Cardinal guardian then appears on the stage, to tell him that he is
'the most favoured of men,' and that the Holy Father in person will
immediately receive him into the Church.

Too weak from illness to express his indignation in more than words, he
protests against the insolent deceit. Nowhere in English fiction is
there any passage where the satire is more delicate than in the
Cardinal's rejoinder. Lothair opens a window into Disraeli's mind,
revealing the inner workings of it more completely than anything else
which he wrote or said. For this reason I have given so many pages to
the analysis of it, and must give one or two more.

'"I know there are two narratives of your relations with the battle of
Mentana," observed the Cardinal, quietly. "The one accepted as authentic
is that which appears in this Journal; the other account, which can
only be traced to yourself, has, no doubt, a somewhat different
character. But considering that it is in the highest degree improbable,
and that there is not a tittle of collateral or confirmatory evidence to
extenuate its absolute unlikelihood, I hardly think you are justified in
using, with reference to the statements in this article the harsh
expressions which I am persuaded on reflection you will feel you have
hastily used."

'"I think," said Lothair, with a kindling eye and a burning Cheek, "that
I am the best judge of what I did at Mentana."

'"Well, well," said the Cardinal, with dulcet calmness, "you naturally
think so; but you must remember you have been very ill, my dear young
friend, and labouring under much excitement. If I was you--and I speak
as your friend--I would not dwell too much on this fancy of yours about
the battle of Mentana. I would, myself, always deal tenderly with a
fixed idea. Nevertheless, in the case of a public event, a matter of
fact, if a man finds that he is of one opinion, and all orders of
society of another, he should not be encouraged to dwell on a perverted
creed. Your case is by no means an uncommon one. It will wear off with
returning health. King George IV. believed he commanded at the battle of
Waterloo, and his friends were at one time a little alarmed; but
Knighton, who was a sensible man, said, 'His Majesty has only to leave
off Curaçoa, and, rest assured, he will gain no more victories.'
Remember, sir, where you are. You are in the centre of Christendom,
where truth, and alone truth, resides. Divine authority has perused this
paper, and approved it. It is published for the joy and satisfaction of
two hundred millions of Christians, and for the salvation of all those
who, unhappily for themselves, are not yet converted to the faith. It
records the most memorable event of this century. Our Blessed Lady has
personally appeared to her votaries before during that period, but never
at Rome; wisely and well she has worked, in villages, as did her Divine
Son. But the time is now ripe for terminating the infidelity of the
world. In the Eternal City, amid all its matchless learning and profound
theology, in the sight of thousands, this great act has been
accomplished in a manner which can admit of no doubt and lead to no
controversy. Some of the most notorious atheists of Rome have already
solicited to be admitted to the offices of the Church. The secret
societies have received their deathblow. I look to the alienation of
England as virtually over. I am panting to see you return to the home of
your fathers, and recover it for the Church in the name of the Lord God
of Sabaoth. Never was a man in a greater position since Godfrey or
Ignatius. The eyes of all Christendom are upon you, as the most favoured
of men, and you stand there like St. Thomas."

'"Perhaps he was bewildered, as I am," said Lothair.

'"Well, his bewilderment ended in his becoming an apostle, as yours
will. I am glad we have had this conversation, and that we agree. I knew
we should. To-morrow the Holy Father will himself receive you into the
bosom of the Church. Christendom will then hail you as its champion and

Conscious that he was the victim of a lying conspiracy, yet as if his
will was magnetised, he finds himself driven to the slaughter, 'a
renegade without conviction.' He is virtually a prisoner, but he
contrives at night to pass the Palace gate, wander about the ghostly
city, and at last into the Coliseum, where Benvenuto Cellini had seen a
vision of devils, and Lothair imagines that he sees Theodora, who
reminds him of her warning. He is brought back, senseless, by a
spiritual sleuth-hound who had been sent after him; and the result was,
that on the morning which was to have made the unfortunate Lord of
Muriel a Papist against his will, he is visited by an English doctor,
'who abhorred priests, and did not particularly admire ladies.' He is
ordered instant change of scene, and is sent to Sicily--still in the
custody of 'familiars'; but he evades their vigilance, embarks in a
fishing-boat, reaches Malta and an English yacht--and thenceforward his
fortunes brighten again. He visits the Greek islands. Of course he must
go to Jerusalem--all Disraeli's heroes who want spiritual comfort are
sent to Jerusalem--not, however, any longer to see visions of angels,
but to find a 'Paraclete' in a Syrian Christian from the Lake of
Gennesaret, an Ebionite of the primitive type, whose religion was a
simple following of Christ.

In recovered health of mind and body, Lothair returns to England, where
he finds the world as he had left it. He supposes his adventures would
be on everyone's lips. His acquaintances ask him, coolly, what he has
been doing with himself, and how long he has been in town. The Cardinal
is again gliding through the gilded drawing-rooms, but ignores the Roman
incident as if it had never been. Miss Arundel subsides into her sacred
vocation. The hero, freed from further persecution, marries the
beautiful daughter of the duke, who had been the object of his boyish
affection--a lady, needless to say, of staunchest Protestant integrity.

Such is 'Lothair,' perhaps the first novel ever written by a man who had
previously been Prime Minister of England. Every page glitters with wit
or shines with humour. Special scenes and sentences are never to be
forgotten: the Tournament of Doves at the Putney Villa, where the
ladies gather to see their lords at their favourite summer amusement;
the wounded blue rock, which was contented to die by the hand of a duke,
but rose and fluttered over a paling, disdaining to be worried by a
terrier; the artist who hesitates over a mission to Egypt, but reflects
that no one has ever drawn a camel, and that, if he went, a camel would
at last be drawn; the definition of critics--as those who had failed in
literature and art. But the true value of the book is the perfect
representation of patrician society in England in the year which was
then passing over; the full appreciation of all that was good and noble
in it; yet the recognition, also, that it was a society without a
purpose, and with no claim to endurance. It was then in its most
brilliant period, like the full bloom of a flower which opens fully only
to fade.


 The exhausted volcanoes--Mr. Gladstone's failure and
   unpopularity--Ireland worse than before--Loss of influence in
   Europe--The Election of 1874--Great Conservative majority--Disraeli
   again Prime Minister with real power--His general position as a
   politician--Problems waiting to be dealt with--The relations between
   the Colonies and the Empire--The restoration of the authority of the
   law in Ireland--Disraeli's strength and Disraeli's weakness--Prefers
   an ambitious foreign policy--Russia and Turkey--The Eastern
   Question--Two possible policies and the effects of each--Disraeli's
   choice--Threatened war with Russia--The Berlin Conference--Peace with
   honour--Jingoism and fall of the Conservative party--Other features
   of his administration--Goes to the House of Lords as Earl of
   Beaconsfield and receives the Garter--Public Worship Act--Admirable
   distribution of patronage--Disraeli and Carlyle--Judgment of a
   conductor of an omnibus.


The destinies were fighting for Disraeli. The exhausted volcanoes
continued on the Treasury bench; but England had grown tired of them.
They had been active when their activity had been mischievous. In
quiescence they had allowed the country to become contemptible. The
defeat of France and the establishment of a great German empire had
changed the balance of power in Europe. England had not been consulted,
and had no voice in the new arrangements. Russia took advantage of the
confusion to tear up the Black Sea Treaty, and throw the fragments in
our faces. The warmest Radical enthusiast could not defend the
imbecility with which the outrage was submitted to. A Minister was sent
to Paris to inform Prince Bismarck that, if Russia persisted, we should
go to war. When Russia refused to be frightened, the uncertain Premier
said in Parliament that the Minister had exceeded his instructions. It
appeared, on inquiry, that the instructions had not been exceeded, but
that nothing had been meant but an idle menace, which had failed of its
effect. The English people, peculiarly sensitive about the respect paid
to their country abroad, because they feel that it is declining,
resented the insult from the Russians upon the Cabinet, which was
charged with pusillanimity. The settlement of the Alabama claims, though
prudent and right, was no less humiliating. The generous policy which
was to have won the Irish heart had exasperated one party without
satisfying the other. The third branch of the upas tree still waited for
the axe. The minds even of Radicals could not yet reconcile themselves
to the terms of a concordat which would alone satisfy the Catholic
hierarchy. The Premier, deceived by the majority which still appeared to
support him, disregarded the rising murmurs. He had irritated powerful
interests on all sides, from the army to the licensed victuallers; while
of work achieved he had nothing to show but revolutionary measures in
Ireland, which had hitherto been unattended with success. The
bye-elections showed with increasing distinctness the backward swing of
the political pendulum, and very marked indeed at this time was the
growth of the personal popularity of Disraeli. At least, he had made no
professions, and had ventured no extravagant prophecies. He had always
stood up staunchly for the honour of his country. Brief as had been his
opportunities of office, he had accomplished, after all, more positive
practical good than his rivals who boasted so loudly. Their function had
been to abolish old-established institutions, and the effect had been
but a turn of the kaleidoscope--a new pattern, and nobody much the
better for it. Disraeli had been contented with a 'policy of sewage,' as
it was disdainfully called. He had helped to drain London; he had helped
to shorten the hours of children's labour. His larger exploit had been
to bring the Jews into Parliament, and to bring under the crown the
government of India. Sensible people might question the wisdom of his
Reform Bill, but he had shown, at any rate, that he was not afraid of
the people; and the people, on their side, were proud of a man who had
raised himself to so high a place in the face of thirty years of insult
and obloquy. His position was the triumph of the most respectable of
Radical principles--the rule to him that deserves to rule. They came to
call him Dizzy; and there is no surer sign that a man is liked in
England than the adoption of a pet name for him. His pungent sayings
were repeated from lip to lip. He never courted popular demonstrations,
but if he was seen in the streets he was followed by cheering crowds. At
public meetings which had no party character he was the favourite of the
hour. At a decorous and dignified assembly where royalties were present,
and the chiefs of both political parties, I recollect a burst of emotion
when Disraeli rose which, for several minutes, prevented him from
speaking, the display of feeling being the more intense the lower the
strata which it penetrated, the very waiters whirling their napkins with
a passion which I never on any such occasion saw exceeded or equalled.


Mr. Gladstone was inattentive to the symptoms of the temper of the
people, and proceeded with his Irish Education Bill. The secularist
Radicals were dissatisfied with a proposal which gave too much power to
the Catholic priests. The Court of Rome and the Irish bishops were
dissatisfied because it did not give enough. Impatient of opposition,
Mr. Gladstone punished Parliament with a dissolution, and was astonished
at the completeness of his overthrow.

For the first time since 1841 a strong Conservative majority was
returned, independent of Irish support--a majority large and harmonious
enough to discourage a hope of reducing it either by intrigue or by
bye-elections. England, it really seemed, had recovered from her
revolutionary fever-fit, and desired to be left in quiet after
half-a-century of political dissipation. Seven or six years of
Conservative administration were now secured. There were those who shook
their heads, disbelieved in any genuine reaction till lower depths had
been reached, and declared that 'it was only the licensed victuallers.'
Mr. Gladstone's long Parliamentary experience led him to think that, at
any rate, it would last out the remainder of his own working life, and
that his political reign was over. Disraeli had taken Fortune's buffets
and Fortune's favours with equal composure, and had remained calm under
the severest discomfitures. Mr. Gladstone retired from the leadership of
the Liberal party, and left Lord Hartington to repair the consequences
of his own precipitancy. 'Power,' the Greek proverb says, 'will show
what a man is.' Till this time Disraeli had held office but on
sufferance. He was now trusted by the country with absolute authority,
and it remained to be seen what he would make of it. He could do what he
pleased. He could dictate the foreign and colonial policy. He was
master of the fleet and the army. He had made himself sovereign of
England, so long as his party were true to him; and the long eclipse
through which he had conducted them to eventual triumph guaranteed their
fidelity. He had won his authority, not by the favour of a sovereign,
not by having been the champion of any powerful interest, but by the
personal confidence in himself which was felt by the body of the people.


He was now to show whether he was or was not a really great man. In his
early career he had not concealed that his chief motive was ambition. He
had started as a soldier of fortune, and he had taken service with the
party among whom, perhaps, he felt that he would have the best chance of
rising to eminence. Young men of talent were chiefly in the other
camp--among the Conservatives he might expect fewer rivals. But the side
which he had chosen undoubtedly best suited the character of his own
mind; under no circumstances could Disraeli have been a popular apostle
of progress, or have taught with a grave face the doctrines of visionary
freedom. He regarded all that as nonsense, even as insincere nonsense,
not believed in even by its advocates. On all occasions he had spoken
his mind freely, careless what prejudice he might offend. Even on the
abolition of slavery, on which English self-applause was innocently
sensitive, he alone of public men had dared to speak without enthusiasm.
The emancipation of the negroes, he said in a debate upon the sugar
trade, 'was virtuous but was not wise.' Politics was his profession, and
as a young barrister aspires to be Lord Chancellor Disraeli aspired to
rise in the State. He had done the Conservatives' work, and the
Conservatives had made him Prime Minister; but he had committed himself
to few definite opinions, and, unlike most other great men who had
attained the same position, he was left with a comparatively free hand.
Lord Burghley was called to the helm to do a definite thing; to steer
his country through the rocks and shoals of the Reformation. His course
was marked out for him, and the alternatives were success or the
scaffold. Disraeli had the whole ocean open, to take such course as
might seem prudent or attractive. There was no special measure which he
had received a mandate to carry through, no detailed policy which he had
advocated which the country was enabling him to execute. He was
sincerely and loyally anxious to serve the interests of the British
Empire and restore its diminished influence, but in deciding what was to
be done it was natural that he would continue to be guided by an
ambition to make his Ministry memorable, and by the cosmopolitan and
oriental temperament of his own mind.

Two unsettled problems lay before him after his Cabinet was formed, both
of which he knew to be of supreme importance. Ireland, he was well
aware, could not remain in the condition in which it had been left by
his predecessors. The Land Act of 1870 had cut the sinews of the
organisation under which Ireland had been ruled since the Act of
Settlement. The rights of owners were complicated with the rights of
tenants, and the tenants had been taught that by persevering in
insubordination they might themselves become the owners altogether. The
passions of the Irish nation had been excited; they had been led to
believe that the late measures were a first step towards the recovery of
their independence. Seeds of distraction had been sown broadcast, which
would inevitably sprout at the first favourable season. A purely English
Minister with no thought but for English interests, and put in
possession of sufficient power to make himself obeyed, would, I think,
have seized the opportunity to reorganise the internal government of
Ireland. The land question might have been adjusted on clear and
equitable lines, the just rights secured of owners and occupiers alike.
The authority of the law could have been restored, nationalist visions
extinguished, and a permanent settlement arrived at which might have
lasted for another century. No one had said more emphatically than
Disraeli that the whole system of Irish administration demanded a
revolutionary change. He was himself at last in a position to give
effect to his own words. This was one great subject. The other was the
relation of the colonies to the mother country. In the heyday of Free
Trade, when England was to be made the workshop of the world, the
British Empire had been looked on as an expensive illusion. The colonies
and India were supposed to contribute nothing to our wealth which they
would not contribute equally if they were independent, while both
entailed dangers and responsibilities, and in time of war embarrassment
and weakness. A distinguished Liberal statesman had said that the only
objection to parting with the colonies was that without them England
would be so strong that she would be dangerous to the rest of the world.
These doctrines, half avowed, half disguised under specious pleas for
self-government, had been acted on for a number of years by the Liberal
authorities at the Colonial Office. The troops were recalled from New
Zealand, Canada, and Australia. Constitutions were granted so
unconditional, so completely unaccompanied with provisions for the
future relations with the mother country, that the connection was
obviously intended to have an early end. These very serious steps were
taken by a few philosophical statesmen who happened to be in power
without that consultation with the nation which ought to have preceded
an action of such large consequence. The nation allowed them to go on in
unsuspicious confidence, and only woke to know what had been done when
the dismemberment of the Empire came to be discussed as a probable
event. One is tempted to regret that the old forms of ministerial
responsibility have gone out of fashion. They might have served as a
check on the precipitancy of such over-eager theorists. The country,
when made aware of what had been designed, spoke with a voice so
unanimous that they disclaimed their intentions, sheltered themselves
behind the necessity of leaving the colonies to manage their own
affairs, and assured the world that they desired nothing but to secure
colonial loyalty; but these hasty measures had brought about a form of
relation which, not being designed for continuance, had no element of
continuance in it; and the ablest men who desire the maintenance of the
Empire are now speculating how to supply the absence of conditions which
might have been insisted on at the concession of the colonial
constitutions, but which it is now too late to suggest.

Disraeli's attention had been strongly drawn to this question. He was
imperialist in the sense that he thought the English the greatest nation
in the world and wished to keep them so. At the Crystal Palace in 1872
he had spoken with contempt and indignation of the policy which had been
followed, and had indicated that it would be the duty of the
Conservatives as far as possible to remedy the effects of it. His words
show that he thought a remedy not impossible, and it is worth while to
quote them.

'Gentlemen,' he said, 'if you look to the history of this country since
the advent of Liberalism forty years ago you will find there has been
no effort so continuous, so subtle, supported by so much energy, and
carried on with so much ability and acumen as the attempts of Liberalism
to effect the disintegration of the Empire of England. And, gentlemen,
of all its efforts this is the one which has been the nearest to
success. Statesmen of the highest character, writers of the most
distinguished ability, the most organised and efficient means have been
employed in this endeavour.

'It has been proved to all of us that we have lost money by our
colonies. It has been shown with precise, with mathematical
demonstration that there never was a jewel in the crown of England that
was so truly costly as the possession of India. How often has it been
suggested that we should at once emancipate ourselves from this incubus?
Well, that result was nearly accomplished. When those subtle views
were adopted by the country under the plausible plea of granting
self-government to the colonies I confess that I myself thought that the
tie was broken. Not that I, for one, object to self-government. I cannot
conceive how our distant colonies can have their affairs administered
except by self-government. But self-government, in my opinion, when it
was conceded ought to have been conceded as part of a great policy of
imperial consolidation. It ought to have been accompanied with an
imperial tariff, by securities for the people of England for the
enjoyment of the unappropriated lands which belonged to the sovereign as
their trustee, and by a military code which should have precisely
defined the means and the responsibilities by which the colonies should
be defended, and by which, if necessary, this country should call for
aid from the colonies themselves. It ought, further, to have been
accompanied by some representative council in the metropolis which would
have brought the colonies into constant and continuous relations with
the home Government. All this, however, was omitted because those
who advised that policy--and I believe their convictions were
sincere--looked upon the colonies of England, looked even upon our
connection with India, as a burden on this country, viewing everything
in a financial aspect, and totally passing by those moral and political
considerations which make nations great and by the influence of which
alone men are distinguished from animals.

'Well, what has been the result of this attempt during the reign of
Liberalism for the disintegration of the Empire? It has entirely failed.
But how has it failed? Through the sympathy of the colonies with the
mother country. They have decided that the Empire shall not be
destroyed; and in my opinion no Minister in this country will do his
duty who neglects any opportunity of reconstructing as much as possible
our colonial empire and of responding to those distant sympathies which
may become the source of incalculable strength and happiness to this

A few persons, perhaps many, had hoped from these words that Disraeli,
when he came into power again, would distinguish his term of rule by an
effort which, even if it failed by immediate result, would have
strengthened the bonds of good feeling, and if it succeeded, as it might
have done, would have given him a name in the world's history as great
as Washington's. Difficult such a task would have been, for the
political and practical ties had been too completely severed; but the
greatness of a statesman is measured by the difficulties which he
overcomes. Whether it was that Disraeli felt that he was growing old,
and that he wished to signalise his reign by more dazzling exploits
which would promise immediate results; whether it was that he saw the
English nation impatient of the lower rank in the counsels of Europe to
which it had been reduced by the foreign policy of his predecessors,
that he conceived that the people would respond to his call and would
repay a Tory Government which was maintaining the honour of the country
by a confirmed allegiance; whether there was something in his own
character which led him, when circumstances gave him an opening, to
prefer another course to that which he had sketched in the words which I
have quoted; or whether--but it is idle to speculate upon motives. He is
said to have believed that there was a Conservative Trade Wind which
would blow for many years; he may have thought that Ireland and the
colonies might lie over to be dealt with at leisure. 'Ceux qui
gouvernent,' says Voltaire, 'sont rarement touchés d'une utilité
éloignée, tout sensible qu'elle est, surtout quand cet avantage futur
est balancé par les difficultés présentes.' The two great problems which
he could have, if not settled, yet placed on the road to settlement, he
decided to pass by. He left Ireland to simmer in confusion. His zeal for
the consolidation of the Empire was satisfied by the new title with
which he decorated his sovereign. And his Administration will be
remembered by the part which he played in the Eastern question, and by
the judgment which was passed upon him by the constituencies. Disraeli
particularly prided himself on his knowledge of the English character.
He had seen that no Ministers were ever more popular in England than the
two Pitts; and they were popular because they maintained in arms the
greatness of their country. He had seen Lord Palmerston borne
triumphantly into power to fight Russia, and rewarded for the imperfect
results of the Crimean war with a confidence which was continued till
his death. But in these instances there had been, or had seemed to be,
a real cause which the nation understood and approved. Lord Chatham was
winning America for the Anglo-Saxon race. His son was defending the
independence and commerce of England against the power of Bonaparte. And
Lord Palmerston had persuaded the country that its safety was really
threatened by Russian preponderance. Disraeli strangely failed to
perceive that times were changed, that the recollections of the Crimean
war no longer excited enthusiasm, that it was no longer possible to
speak of Turkey with a serious face as the 'bulwark of civilisation
against barbarism.' He was right in supposing that his party would go
along with him, and that of the rest the scum and froth would be on his
side. The multitude would shout for war out of excitement, and for war
with Russia because Russia was a Power with which they supposed we could
fight with a chance of success. But the serious thought of the nation,
which always prevails in the end, was against him and he could not
perceive it. The English bishops persuaded Henry V. to pursue his title
to the crown of France to detach him from schemes of Church reform.
Louis Napoleon attacked Germany to save his own shaking throne. Disraeli
hoped to cool the Radical effusiveness by rousing the national pride.
The barren conquests of Henry prepared the way for the wars of the
Roses. Louis Napoleon brought only ruin upon himself. Disraeli failed,
as he deserved to fail. He thought that he was reviving patriotic
enthusiasm, and all that he did was to create jingoism.


Of the tens of thousands who gathered in Hyde Park to shout for war how
many had considered what a war with Russia might involve? Bismarck could
not understand Disraeli's attitude. 'Why cannot you be friends with
Russia and settle your differences peacefully?' he said to him at the
beginning of the dispute. 'Why not put an end once for all to this
miserable Turkish business, which threatens Europe every year or two
with war?' Why not, indeed? Russian interests and English interests
divide the continent of Asia. These two Powers between them are engaged
in the same purpose of bringing the Eastern nations under the influence
of Western civilisation. It would be a misfortune to humanity if either
they or we should cease our efforts. The world smiles when we complain
of Russian aggression. The Asiatic subjects of the Queen of England are
two hundred millions. The Asiatic subjects of Russia are forty millions.
The right on both sides is the right of conquest.

They have annexed territories and we have annexed territories.
Annexations are the necessary results of the contact of order with
anarchy. If we work together the regeneration of Asia may proceed
peacefully and beneficently. If we quarrel in earnest, as things now
stand, the whole enormous continent will be split into factions, nation
against nation, tribe against tribe, family against family. From the
Bosphorus to the Wall of China, and perhaps inside it, there will be an
enormous faction-fight, with an amount of misery to mankind of which no
recorded war has produced the like. It will be a war, too, which can
lead to no atoning results. England staggers already under the vastness
of her responsibilities, and even if she conquers can undertake no more.
That we might not conquer is an eventuality which our pride may refuse
to entertain; yet such a thing might happen, and if we are defeated we
are a lost nation. Russia might recover, but we could not; a disaster on
the Dardanelles or the Afghan frontier would cost us our Indian Empire.


In such a war we stand to lose all and to gain nothing, while in itself
it would be nothing less than a crime against mankind. We are told that
a cordial co-operation with Russia is impossible. It will not be made
more possible by a quarrel over Turkey. Yet to a peaceful arrangement we
must come at last if the quarrel is not to be pursued till one or other
of us is destroyed. These are the broad facts of the situation, to which
the fate of the Principalities or of the Bosphorus itself are as
feathers in the balance. Disraeli, in whose hands for the moment the
tremendous decision rested, chose to overlook them. He persevered in the
policy of upholding the Turkish Empire. It was the traditional policy of
England, and, as he professed to consider, the most consistent with
English interests. It may be that he remembered also that the Turks had
befriended his own race when the Russians had been their bitterest
enemies. It may be that something of his early vanity still lingered in
him, and that he was tempted by the proud position of being the arbiter
of Europe. But fact was against him. Turkish rule in Europe is an
anachronism, and neither force nor diplomacy can prevent the final
emancipation of Christian nations from Mahometan dominion. He chose a
course which gave him for a moment an ephemeral glory, but it was at the
cost of undoing the effects of his whole political life, wrecking again
the party which he had reorganised and giving a fresh lease of power to
the revolutionary tendencies which threatened the dismemberment of the

The Eastern question was beginning to simmer when Disraeli came into
power, but the symptoms had not yet become acute and he had leisure for
internal politics. He desired to strengthen Conservative institutions.
Of these the Church of England ought to have been the strongest, but it
was distracted by internal disorders. The Romanising party was the
counterpart of Radicalism. The original Tractarians had imagined
themselves to be champions of old Tory principles, but revolutionary
movements draw instinctively together. Romanisers and Radicals had the
common belief that they were wiser than their fathers, that they must
have something 'deeper and truer than satisfied the last century.' The
reformers of the State wished to remodel the Constitution, the
Ritualists to restore Church principles and bring back the Mass. The
Radical chief sympathised with both of them. They returned his regard;
and vast numbers of the clergy fell off from their old allegiance.

Disraeli, keenly as he observed the outer features of the situation, was
not entirely at home in such subjects. He did not see that the lay
members of the Church, who had once been earnest Protestants, had now
grown indifferent about it. If the clergy liked to amuse themselves with
altars and vestments and elaborate services the clergy might have their
way for all that the laity cared about the matter. Old Tory families
still hated Puritans and Puritanism, and had not realised the change of
front which made Protestants Conservatives and Radicals into allies of
the Papacy. Disraeli believed that an Act of Parliament could check a
tendency which ran in a current where legislation could not reach. He
passed a Public Worship Act to put down ritualism,[11] and it has been
scarcely more effective than Lord John Russell's demonstration against
Papal aggression. This disease has not been checked; acrimonious
lawsuits promoted by a few antediluvian Protestant parishioners have
failed, and will continue to fail, because public opinion refuses to
support the promoters. Suffering priests and bishops pose as martyrs,
and there is unwillingness to punish them. By the Constitution the
Church of England rests on an Act of Parliament, but sooner than
effectively use its controlling power Parliament will consent to
disestablishment. The Public Worship Act exasperated the enthusiastic
clergy and their friends. It secretly offended not a few of Disraeli's
aristocratic followers. For the purpose for which it was passed it was
as ineffectual as, to use President Lincoln's simile, 'a Pope's Bull
against a comet,' and demonstrations which are not followed by action do
not add to a statesman's influence.


This, however, and all other internal subjects lost their interest when
Servia rose against the Turks, when the Servian defeat brought the
Russians across the Danube, and the passions, the alarms, the panics of
the Crimean episode revived in all their frenzy. Circumstances had
altered. England had no longer France for an ally. Turkey had then been
saved, and allowed a fresh lease of life on condition of mending her
administration and behaving better to her Christian subjects. Turkey had
amended nothing, and could amend nothing. So far as Turkey was
concerned, the only result had been a Turkish loan, and on this the
interest had ceased to be paid. Nevertheless the familiar cries rose
again. Our old ally was in danger. The Dardanelles were the keys of
India. We were threatened on the Indus, we were threatened in the
Mediterranean. Quiet voices could get no hearing, and eloquence could be
only met by eloquence. Mr. Gladstone, if by his Irish action he had let
loose the winds at home, did a service then which must be remembered to
his honour. He forced the country to observe what the rule of Turkey
meant. He insisted, not entirely in vain, on the indignity, the shame,
the dishonour which we should bring on ourselves by taking the side of
the Bulgarian assassins. He succeeded in making Disraeli pause at a
critical time and preventing measures which might have led to an
immediate conflict, and the Turkish successes at Plevna and in Armenia
seemed for a time to dispense with the necessity of armed interference.
The Turk, it was hoped, would be able to defend his provinces with his
own hand. But, as Disraeli said truly, the English are the most
enthusiastic people in the world. They have an especial love for
courage, and the bravery of the Turks in the field made them forget or
disbelieve in the 'atrocities.' When Kars fell and Plevna fell, when the
Russian armies forced the Balkans in the dead of winter, and the Ottoman
resistance collapsed, the storm rose again into a hurricane. Mr.
Gladstone and the 'Daily News' stood their ground. Disraeli waved aside
the horrible story of Turkish cruelties, as, if not false, yet as
enormously exaggerated. Such as it was the ferocity had not after all
cut deep into Bulgarian memories. If the dead have any knowledge of what
is passing upon earth he must laugh in his grave when the Bulgarian
survivors of these horrors are now inviting the Turks into an alliance
with them against their Russian deliverers. Deeds of violence have been
too common in some countries to make a deep impression. The fugitive
Macdonalds from Glencoe were lost in astonishment at the interest which
political passion had created in the murder of their kinsmen. Public
opinion, so far as it expressed itself in words, continued strongly in
Disraeli's favour. He said amidst general applause that he would not
allow Turkey to be crushed. He did not desire war, but he was prepared
for war if the Russians entered Constantinople, and on two occasions
peace hung upon a thread. A plan of campaign was formed, not for local
resistance but for war on an universal scale. The British fleet went up
within sight of the Golden Horn to cover the Turkish capital. Gallipoli
was to be occupied. Turkestan was to be set on fire through the Afghan
country; and, I believe, so ambitious was the scheme, another force was
to have advanced from the Persian Gulf into Armenia. Not all the Cabinet
were prepared for these adventures. Lord Carnarvon and Lord Derby
resigned, and caused some passing hesitation, and as the Russians left
Constantinople unentered that particular crisis passed away. But the
Russian conquerors had dictated their own terms of peace, and when
Disraeli insisted that the terms should not stand till they had been
revised at a European Conference England again applauded and admired. He
determined to attend the Conference in person, and the remarkable
impression which he produced there was the culminating point of his
singular career. On Prince Bismarck, who respects firmness more than
eloquence, it was an impression eminently favourable. French is the
language generally used at the meetings of European plenipotentiaries.
Disraeli spoke French tolerably, and had prepared a French address. It
was represented to him, however, that his peculiar power of creating an
effect would be impaired by his accent, and he spoke actually in
English. There were two points, I believe, on which the peace of Europe
hung in the balance, one referring to Batoum, which was not to be
fortified; the other to the division of the two Bulgarias, which the
treaty of San Stefano had joined. Heavy guns are now mounted at Batoum,
and we are none the worse for it. The large Bulgaria, so much dreaded,
has become a fact again, with the warm approbation of the anti-Russian
Powers. Yet on threads so slight as these the lives or deaths, perhaps,
of millions of men at that moment depended. After a stormy debate on
the Balkan question Disraeli broke up the Conference and announced that
he should return home and take other measures. Russia, at Bismarck's
entreaty, yielded a point which had no substantial significance.
Disraeli had the glory of extorting a concession by a menace. We imagine
that the days are past when nations can go to war for a point of honour,
but we are no wiser than our fathers after all.


War, however, was avoided, and Disraeli had won his diplomatic victory.
He returned to London in a blaze of glory, bringing peace with honour,
and all the world sang the praises of the patriot Minister. He thought
himself that he had secured the ascendency of the Conservatives for a
quarter of a century at least. In 1876 he had passed from the leadership
of the House of Commons to the House of Lords, reviving in an earldom
the title which he had given to his wife, and which had died with her.
He now received the Garter, the most coveted of all English decorations,
because bestowed usually of free grace and not for merit, but for him
the reward of his unequalled services. Yet it was all hollow. The public
welfare, the public security of the Empire had not been advanced a step.
Before the shouts had died away we were astonished by a secret treaty
with Turkey, by which we had bound ourselves to the future defence of
her Asiatic dominions, an obligation which we shall fulfil as much and
as little as we fulfilled a similar obligation to Denmark. We had bound
ourselves to secure a better administration of the Turkish provinces, an
undertaking which we cannot fulfil; and we had acquired an addition to
our Empire in Cyprus, a possession of which we can make no use. The
country was surprised, and not particularly pleased, but on the whole
it was still proud and gratified, and if Disraeli had dissolved
Parliament when he returned from Berlin there is little doubt what its
verdict would then have been. But he waited, believing himself secure in
his achievements, and Fortune, which had stood his friend so long, now
turned upon him. The spirit of a great nation called into energy on a
grand occasion is the noblest of human phenomena. The pseudo-national
spirit of jingoism is the meanest and the most dangerous. A war had been
lighted in Afghanistan as part of the Eastern policy. It was easier to
kindle than to extinguish. Sir Bartle Frere in South Africa imagined
that he too could have an Imperial policy. He went to war with the
Kaffirs. He went to war with the Zulus, whom, if he had been wise, he
would have helped and favoured as a check upon the ambition of the
Boers. A British regiment was cut to pieces. The Zulus in expiation were
shot down in thousands and their nationality extinguished. Frere's
policy was his own; Lord Beaconsfield was not responsible for it, and
did not approve of it. Yet the war went on.

The Transvaal had been annexed against the will of the people. Disraeli
had fallen before that measure had borne its fruits, but he lived to
hear of Majuba Hill and the ignominious capitulation in which, in that
part of the world also, jingoism came to its miserable end.

The grand chance had been given to English Conservatism, and had been
lost in a too ambitious dream. Like drunkards recovering from a debauch
and revolting at their own orgies, the constituencies once more recalled
the Radicals to power with a fresh impulse to the revolutionary
movement, and Disraeli may have reflected too late on the uselessness of
embarking on 'spirited policies,' which the next swing of the
democratic pendulum may reduce to impotence.


His administration was not useless. Unambitious home measures were
passed for the comfort or benefit of the people, which may be remembered
gratefully when the Berlin Conference is forgotten. His patronage, and
especially his literary and art patronage, was generously and admirably
exercised. John Leech had for twenty years made him ridiculous in the
cartoons in 'Punch.' Leech had a pension which would have died with him.
Disraeli continued it to his widow and his children. Most notable was
his recognition of the duty of the country to bestow some public honour
on Thomas Carlyle. For half a century Carlyle had worked his way in
disregarded poverty. The wise throughout Europe had long acknowledged in
him the most remarkable writer of his age. He had been admired for his
genius and reverenced for his stern integrity; the German Empire had
bestowed upon him its most distinguished decoration; but in England it
is held that the position which an eminent man of letters makes for
himself can receive no added lustre from the notice of the Government;
and Carlyle had been left severely alone in his modest home at Chelsea
under all the changes of Administration, while peerages and titles were
scattered among the brewers and the City millionaires. Disraeli, who was
a man of intellect as well as a politician, perceived the disgrace which
would attach to all parties if such a man as this was allowed to pass
away as one of the common herd. Carlyle, indeed, had never spoken of him
except with contempt, but it was Disraeli's special credit that while he
never forgot a friend he never remembered a personal affront. He saw at
once that no common pension or decoration at so late an hour could atone
for the long neglect. In a letter as modest as it was dignified he
implied that he did not offer Carlyle a peerage because a hereditary
honour would be a mockery to a childless old man; but he did offer in
the Queen's name, and pressed him to accept, the Grand Cross of the
Bath, a distinction never before conferred upon any English author, with
a life income corresponding to such a rank. Carlyle in his poorest days
would never have accepted a pension. Stars and ribands had no attraction
for him at any time, and less than none when he had one foot in the
grave. He declined, but he was sensible of the compliment, and was
touched at the quarter from which it came.

'Very proper of the Queen to offer it,' said the conductor of a Chelsea
omnibus to me, 'and more proper of he to say that he would have nothing
to do with it. 'Tisn't they who can do honour to the likes of he.' But
Disraeli saved his country from the reproach of coming centuries, when
Carlyle will stand among his contemporaries as Socrates stands among the
Athenians, the one pre-eminently wise man to whom all the rest are as


 Retirement from office--Dignity in retreat--Hughenden--Lord
   Beaconsfield as a landlord--Fondness for country
   life--'Endymion'--Illness and death--Attempted estimate of Lord
   Beaconsfield--A great man? or not a great man?--Those only great who
   can forget themselves--Never completely an Englishman--Relatively
   great, not absolutely--Gulliver among Lilliputians--Signs in 'Sybil'
   of a higher purpose, but a purpose incapable of
   realisation--Simplicity and blamelessness in private
   life--Indifference to fortune--Integrity as a statesman and

'Was man in der Jugend wünscht, davon hat man im Alter die Fülle' (What
one desires in one's youth one has enough of in one's age).

Disraeli had won it all, all that to his young ambition had seemed the
only object for which it was worth while to live. Yet he had gained the
slippery height only, perhaps, to form a truer estimate of the value of
a personal triumph. It was his to hold but for a moment, and then he
fell, too late in life to retrieve another defeat. When the shadows
lengthen and the sun is going down, earthly greatness fades to tinsel,
and nothing is any longer beautiful to look back upon but the
disinterested actions, many or few, which are scattered over the
chequered career. Disraeli, like many other distinguished men, had to
pay the penalty of his character. A fool may have his vanity satisfied
with garters and peerages; Disraeli must have been conscious of their


When the result of the elections of 1880 was known he again accepted his
fate, as Mr. Gladstone had done six years before, without waiting for
the meeting of Parliament. He submitted with dignity, though with the
fatal consciousness that at his age he could not hope to witness a
reversal of the judgment upon him. He did not talk petulantly of
retiring from politics. He took his place again as leader of the
Opposition in the House of Lords, and showed no signs of weakened power.
But he had always been impatient of the details of business, and his
chief pleasure was now to retire to Hughenden, with or without
companions, most frequently alone. For a fortnight together he would
remain there in solitude, wandering through the park or through the
Bradenham woods, which in his youth had been the scene of so many
ambitions or moody meditations. His trees, his peacocks, his swans, his
lake and chalk stream were sadly associated with the memories of his
married life. He was so fond of his trees that he directed in his will
that none of them should be cut down. He was on pleasant terms with his
tenants and labourers; he visited them in their cottages, and was
specially kind to old people and to little children. The 'policy of
sewage,' with which he had been taunted as a Minister, was his practice
as a landlord. No dust-heaps, or cesspools, or choked drains, or damp
floors were to be seen among the Hughenden tenements. To such things he
looked with his own eyes, and he said he never was so happy as when left
to himself in these occupations.

Of his reflections at this period some may be found hereafter in the
papers which he bequeathed to Lord Rowton. No particular traces appear
in the last literary work which in his final leisure he contrived to
accomplish. He had left 'Endymion' half finished when he took office in
1874; he went on with it when office had left him, perhaps because he
had thought himself obliged to buy a house in London on retiring from
Downing Street and wanted money.

There is nothing remarkable in 'Endymion' except the intellectual
vivacity, which shows no abatement. It is in the style of his earlier
novels, and has little of the serious thought which is so striking in
'Sybil' and 'Lothair.' There are the same pictures of London fashionable
life and fashionable people, in the midst of them a struggling youth
pushing his way in the great world, and lifted out of his difficulties,
as he himself had been, by a marriage with a wealthy widow. As before
many of the figures are portraits. Myra, the heroine, impatient,
restless, ambitious, resolute to raise herself and her brother above the
injuries of fortune, is perhaps a likeness of himself in a woman's
dress. But the calm mastery of modern life, the survey, wide as the
world, of the forces working in English society, the mellow and
impartial wisdom which raises 'Lothair' from an ephemeral novel into a
work of enduring value, all this is absent. It is as if disappointment
had again clouded his superior qualities and had brought back something
of his original deficiencies. The most interesting feature in 'Endymion'
is the exact photograph of the old manor house at Bradenham, and the
description of the feelings with which a fallen and neglected statesman
of once brilliant promise retired there into unwelcome poverty. Except
for this the book might have been unwritten and nothing would have been
lost of Disraeli's fame. It throws no fresh light upon his own
character. He wanted money and it brought him ten thousand pounds.


The sand ran rapidly out. Lord Beaconsfield was in his place at the
opening of the session of 1881. The effects of the return of the
Liberal party were already visible in all parts of the Empire. He spoke
with something of his old force on the state of things which was to be
expected in Ireland. He spoke on India and foreign politics. He could
not foresee the bombardment of the Alexandrian forts, the conquest of
Egypt, to be followed by the disgrace of Khartoum. He escaped the
mortification of the surrender to Russia on the Afghan frontier. But he
lived to hear of the conclusion of the annexation of the Transvaal. He
saw the enemies of England again at their work across St. George's
Channel, and a Government again in power whose rule was to purchase
peace by concession. His own part was played out. He had not succeeded,
and it was time for him to be gone. In the middle of March he had an
attack of gout, which was aggravated by a cold. At first no danger was
anticipated, but he grew worse day after day, and on the 19th of April
Benjamin Disraeli had taken his last leave of a scene in which he had so
long been so brilliant an actor. When an English statesman dies,
complimentary funeral orations are spoken over him in Parliament as part
of the ordinary course; but Disraeli had been so uncommon a man that the
displays on this occasion had more in them than they often have of
genuine sincerity. He had been so long among us that his name had become
a household word. The whole nation, of all shades of politics, felt that
a man was gone whose place could not be filled, who in a long and
chequered career had not only won his honours fairly but deserved
affectionate remembrance.

He was infinitely clever. In public or private he had never done a
dishonourable action; he had disarmed hatred and never lost a personal
friend. The greatest of his antagonists admitted that when he struck
hardest he had not struck in malice. A still higher praise belongs to
himself alone that he never struck a small man.

The Abbey was offered, and a public funeral; and if honour there be in
such interments he had an ample right to it. By his own desire he was
buried at Hughenden, by the side of his wife and the romantic friend who
had conceived so singular an attachment to him. There those three rest
side by side, Disraeli and his faithful companion disguised as Earl and
Viscountess, but thought of only by the present generation under their
own familiar name, and the eccentric and passionate widow who had
devoted her fortune to him. In life there had been a peculiar bond
between these three. Disraeli had innumerable admirers, but there were
not many to whom he trusted his inmost confidence. Gratitude was
stronger in him even than ambition, and as to his wife and to Mrs.
Willyams he owed the most, to them, perhaps, he was most completely
attached. It was a strange union, but they had strange natures, and they
lie fitly and well together--far away from the world, for which neither
of them cared, in a quiet parish church in Buckinghamshire.


A biography, however brief, must close with a general estimate. What
estimate is to be formed of Disraeli? We have a standard by which to
measure the bodily stature of a man; we have none by which to measure
his character; neither need we at any time ask how great any man is, or
whether great at all, but rather what he is. Those whom the world agrees
to call great are those who have done or produced something of permanent
value to humanity. We call Hipparchus great, or Newton, or Kepler,
because we owe to them our knowledge of the motion of the earth and the
stars. Poets and artists have been great men; philosophers have been
great men. The mind of Socrates governs our minds at the present day.
Founders of religion have been great men; reformers have been great men:
we measure their worth by the work which they achieved. So in society
and politics we call those great who have devoted their energies to some
noble cause, or have influenced the course of things in some
extraordinary way. But in every instance, whether in art, science,
religion, or public life, there is an universal condition, that a man
shall have forgotten himself in his work. If any fraction of his
attention is given to the honours or rewards which success will bring
him there will be a taint of weakness in what he does. He cannot produce
a great poem, he cannot paint a great picture, he cannot discover
secrets of science, because these achievements require a whole mind and
not a divided mind. The prophet will be a prophet of half-truths,
because the whole truth will not be popular. The statesman who has not
purified himself of personal motives will never purify a disordered
Constitution. Even kings and conquerors who are credited with
nothing but ambition--the Alexanders and the Cæsars, the Cromwells
and Napoleons--have been a cause in themselves, have been the
representatives of some principle or idea. Their force, when they have
succeeded, has been an impulse from within. They have aimed at power to
impress their own personality outside them, but their operations are
like the operations of the forces of nature, working from within
outwards rather than towards an end of which they have been conscious. A
man whose object is to gain something for himself often attains it, but
when his personal life is over his work and his reputation perish along
with him.

In this high sense of the word Lord Beaconsfield cannot be called
great, either as a man of letters or as a statesman. 'Vivian Grey' is
nothing but a loud demand on his contemporaries to recognise how clever
a man has appeared among them. In every one of his writings there is the
same defect, except in 'Sybil' and in 'Lothair.' It is absent in 'Sybil'
because he had been deeply and sincerely affected by what he had
witnessed in the great towns in the North of England; it is absent in
'Lothair' because when he wrote that book his personal ambition had for
the time been satisfied, and he could look round him with the _siccum
lumen_ of his intellect. He had then reached the highest point of his
political aspiration, and money he did not care for unless required for
pressing necessities. It is clear from 'Sybil' that there had been a
time when he could have taken up as a statesman, with all his heart, the
cause of labour. He had suffered himself in the suffering and
demoralisation which he had witnessed, and if the 'young generation' to
whom he appealed would have gone along with him he might have led a
nobler crusade than Cœur de Lion. But it was not in him to tread a
thorny road with insufficient companionship. He had wished, but had not
wished sufficiently, to undertake a doubtful enterprise. He was
contented to leave things as he found them, instead of reconstructing
society to make himself Prime Minister.


Thus it was that perhaps no public man in England ever rose so high and
acquired power so great, so little of whose work has survived him. Not
one of the great measures which he once insisted on did he carry or
attempt to carry. The great industrial problems are still left to be
solved by the workmen in their own unions. Ireland is still in the
throes of disintegration. If the colonies have refused to be cast loose
from us their continued allegiance is not due to any effort of his.
From Berlin he brought back peace with honour, but if peace remains the
honour was soon clouded. The concessions which he prided himself on
having extorted are evaded or ignored, and the imperial spirit which he
imagined that he had awakened sleeps in indifference. The voices which
then shouted so loudly for him shout now for another, and of all those
great achievements there remain only to the nation the Suez Canal shares
and the possession of Cyprus, and to his Queen the gaudy title of
Empress of India. What is there besides? Yet there is a relative
greatness as well as an absolute greatness, and Lemuel Gulliver was a
giant among the Lilliputians. Disraeli said of Peel that he was the
greatest member of Parliament that there had ever been. He was himself
the _strongest_ member of Parliament in his own day, and it was
Parliament which took him as its foremost man and made him what he was.
No one fought more stoutly when there was fighting to be done; no one
knew better when to yield, or how to encourage his followers. He was a
master of debate. He had perfect command of his temper, and while he ran
an adversary through the body he charmed even his enemies by the skill
with which he did it. He made no lofty pretensions, and his aims were
always perhaps something higher than he professed. If to raise himself
to the summit of the eminence was what he most cared for, he had a
genuine anxiety to serve his party, and in serving his party to serve
his country; and possibly if among his other gifts he had inherited an
English character he might have devoted himself more completely to great
national questions; he might have even inscribed his name in the great
roll of English worthies. But he was English only by adoption, and he
never completely identified himself with the country which he ruled. At
heart he was a Hebrew to the end, and of all his triumphs perhaps the
most satisfying was the sense that a member of that despised race had
made himself the master of the fleets and armies of the proudest of
Christian nations.

But though Lord Beaconsfield was not all which he might have been he
will be honourably and affectionately remembered. If he was ambitious
his ambition was a noble one. It was for fame and not for fortune. To
money he was always indifferent. He was even ostentatious in his neglect
of his own interests. Though he left no debts behind him, in his life he
was always embarrassed. He had no vices, and his habits were simple; but
he was generous and careless, and his mind was occupied with other
things. He had opportunities of enriching himself if he had been
unprincipled enough to use them. There were times when he could set all
the stock exchanges of Europe vibrating like electric wires in a
thunderstorm. A secret word from him would have enabled speculating
capitalists to realise millions, with no trace left how those millions
were acquired or how disposed of. It is said that something of the kind
was once hinted to him--once, but never again. Disraeli's worst enemy
never suspected him of avarice or dishonour. As a statesman there was
none like him before, and will be none hereafter. His career was the
result of a combination of a peculiar character with peculiar
circumstances, which is not likely to recur. The aim with which he
started in life was to distinguish himself above all his contemporaries,
and wild as such an ambition must have appeared, he at least won the
stake for which he played so bravely.


 Adventures in Spain, 30-35

 Afghanistan, war with, 251

 'Alabama' claims, the, 201

 Albania, 36-40

 'Alroy,' an Eastern story, 45, 49

 Alvanley, Lord, fight with O'Connell, 62

 American Civil War, 158, 159, 163, 183, 194, 201

 Anecdote of the Prince of Wales's wedding, 184, 185

 Angels, on the side of, at Oxford, 17

 Annexations, 244

 'Arabian Nights,' offer to edit, 64

 Aristocracy of England, the, 86, 107, 109, 112, 113, 187, 192-194, 217

 Arms, 186, 187

 Arta, 37

 Arundel, Miss, in 'Lothair,' 226-230

 Athens, 40, 42

 Austen family, the, 20-24, 28, 48

 Baillie Cochrane, 102

 Banditti in Spain, 30-34

 Bar, Disraeli and the, 22, 24, 27

 Baring, Sir Thomas, 54-56

 Batoum, 249

 Beaconsfield, Lord (see Benjamin Disraeli)

 Beckford and 'Alroy,' 49, 53

 Bentinck, Lord George, 140;
   and Peel, 142-146;
   death of, 147 (see also 'Life of Lord Bentinck')

 Berlin Conference, 249, 250, 252, 261

 Billault, death of, 185, 186

 Birth and early days, 12-14, 69

 Bismarck, Prince, and Russia, 233, 243;
   and Berlin Conference, 249, 250

 Blessington, Lady, 50, 52, 54, 108, 156

 Bolingbroke, Lord, 97, 98

 Bradenham, 24, 25, 28, 34, 44, 58, 255, 256

 Briggs, Mr., 43

 British Empire, the, 238-241, 244, 245, 250

 Buckle, 203

 Buller (Yarde), 68

 Bulwer, Lytton, 40, 49, 51, 55;
   and Disraeli's speeches, 65, 108

 Burdett, Sir F., 55;
   and O'Connell, 70

 Burghley, Lord, 237

 Burke, 69

 Burns, Robert, 187

 Byron 21, 23, 36, 65

 Cadiz, 32

 Campbell, Sir J., and D.'s maiden speech, 72, 73

 Canning, death of, 132;
   lines on 'A Candid Friend,' 134;
   Peel and, 143-146

 Carlton Club, 60;
   elected at, 64;
   dinner at the, 68, 69

 Carlyle on Lord Beaconsfield, 1-3, 130;
   'Shooting Niagara,' 1-3, 195;
   and Reform, 55;
   and the 'Disraeli' science, 79;
   and the Corn Laws, 80;
   and Jews, 84;
   'Past and Present,' 92, 93;
   and Puseyism, 95;
   and Free Trade, 151;
   on Parliamentary Reform, 160;
   and 'Lothair,' 218;
   honours for, 252, 253

 Carnarvon, Lord, 195, 249

 Carriage incident, the, 89

 Carringtons, the, 54-56

 Carthage, the Jews in, 4

 Catholic emancipation, Peel and, 131, 143-146, 203

 Catholic question, the, 22

 Chandos, Lord, 57, 72

 Charles I. and Ireland, 60, 98, 102, 103

 Chartists and Chartism, 59;
   petition of 1839, 85, 86, 93, 94, 101

 Chatham, Lord, 243

 'Childe Harold' compared to 'Contarini,' 46, 49

 Christianity, 169-172

 Church of England, revival of, 94-99, 102;
   and State, 170-177, 200, 204, 206, 245-247

 Church of Ireland, the, 204-211

 Civil War in America, 158, 159, 163, 183, 194, 201

 Clay, James, 35, 36

 Cobden, Mr., 81, 82;
   and Free Trade, 136, 150;
   and the Crimean War, 157

 Coercion Bills, 102, 142-146, 209

 Cogan's school, Dr., 15-17

 Colenso, Bishop, 170, 173, 175

 'Coningsby; or, the New Generation'--Sidonia, 88;
   married life in, 89;
   Dr. Newman and, 108;
   outline of, 108-119, 127, 128, 215;
   the Reformation in, 226

 Conservative constitution, in 'Coningsby,' 110-112, 117;
   35 years out of office, 192, 251, 252

 Constantinople, 40

 'Contarini Fleming,' school-days pictured in, 15-19, 28;
   passages from 45-48, 49, 215

 Copyright Bill, 73, 74

 Corfu, 36

 Cornish, Dr., 29

 Corn Laws, 79-82, 93, 94, 130;
   Peel and, 137-143;
   Bill for repeal of, 140, 141;
   league, 150

 Crimean War, 157, 242, 243, 247

 Croker, Wilson, 22

 Cuddesden, B. D. at, 173

 'Curiosities of Literature,' by Isaac D., 10

 Cyprus, 41, 250, 261

 Darwin, followers of, 172, 173;
   'Origin of Species,' 173

 Death, 257

 Democracy, 192

 Derby, Lord, 149, 157, 188, 191, 193, 196, 249

 Devilsdust in 'Sybil,' 121-123

 Dickens and 'Pickwick,' 23

 D'Israeli, Isaac, and the Jewish people, 5, 6;
   boyhood of, 8-11;
   family of, 12, 13;
   abandons Judaism for the Church of England, 13, 14;
   pictured in 'Vivian Grey,' 18;
   and High Wycombe election, 55;
   death of, 179

 Disraeli, Benjamin, the elder, 7-11

 -- James, son of Isaac D., 13

 -- Ralph, son of --, 13, 36

 -- Sarah, daughter --, 12, 13;
   and Wm. Meredith, 44

 Disraeli, Benjamin, birth and education, 12-16;
   baptism of, 14;
   school days, 16-19;
   and London society, 19, 50, 58;
   enters a solicitor's office, 22;
   first novel, 23-25;
   travels abroad, 24-44, 99;
   Bradenham, 24-25;
   satires of, 25-27;
   dress and manners, 29, 39, 53, 55;
   improved health, 34, 35;
   the poetical life, 45-49;
   prose writings, 49;
   political ambition, 50, 51;
   portraits of, 52-54;
   financial embarrassments, 52, 64, 65, 69, 178, 179;
   a Radical, 54;
   High Wycombe election, 55-57;
   on marriage, 58;
   takes seat in H. of C., 68, 119;
   maiden speech in the House, 70-73;
   outset of Parliamentary career, 74;
   a Conservative, 94, 95;
   political and religious belief, 83, 84;
   Carlyle and, 84, 92, 93, 130, 252, 253;
   and dinner at Whitehall Gardens, 85;
   marriage of, 88-90;
   Church views of, 94-99;
   creed, 108;
   as Sidonia in 'Coningsby,' 113;
   and Sir. R. Peel, 131-137, 144-147;
   and Tory party, 139, 140;
   leader of Opposition, 149-156;
   remarkable speeches of, 160-164;
   literary work, 165-168;
   religious views, 168-172;
   at Oxford, 173-177;
   and Mrs. Willyams, 179-187;
   Chancellor of the Exchequer, 188;
   arms and motto, 186, 187;
   and Parliamentary Reform, 199, 202;
   Prime Minister, 196-198, 235-242;
   wife, 211;
   and Ireland, 211;
   writings, 216;
   return to power, 235;
   on the abolition of slavery, 236;
   and Russia, 248, 249;
   retirement from office, 254, 255;
   illness and death, 257;
   general estimate of, 258-262.
   See also _Novels_, _Speeches_, _Satires_ and _Elections_

 D'Orsay, Count, 50, 58, 62, 92, 108

 Dress, 29, 39, 53, 55, 70, 92, 173

 Ducrow speech, 65

 Dufferin, Lady, and D.'s dress, 53

 Duncombe, Tom, 86, 108

 Durham, Lord, 57

 Early ambition, 18, 21

 Eastern Question of 1843, the, 103, 104;
   of 1877, 244-250

 Education, 13-19

 Effects of Mr. Gladstone's policy, 213, 214

 'Egremont,' 88

 Egypt, 43

 Eldon, Lord, and Toryism, 68

 Elections, see High Wycombe, Taunton, Maidstone, Shrewsbury

 Eliot, Lord, 50

 'Endymion,' Ferrars in, 24, 25, 88, 178, 255, 256

 England, the Jews in, 5, 7;
   past and present, 74-82;
   trade, 76;
   Christianity, 81;
   progress in, 91, 92;
   and economists, 93, 94;
   revival of Church of, 94-99, 102;
   feudal system of, 97;
   the aristocracy of, 86, 107, 109, 112, 113, 187, 192-194, 217;
   Constitution in 'Coningsby,' 114-119, 127, 128;
   working of English Government, 125, 126;
   party government in, 153-156;
   wealth of, 161;
   warning against playing with the Constitution, 162-164, 188;
   and Protestantism, 203

 English Constitution, a satire on, 26, 27

 Evangelicals, the, 204

 Exhibition of 1851, Mrs. Willyams and, 180;
   of 1862, 183

 Family history, 6-11

 Fenian Rebellion of 1867, 201, 202

 Feudal system in England, 97

 Financial embarrassments, 64, 65, 69, 178, 179

 Fleuriz, governor of Cadiz, 32

 France, and L. Napoleon, 156, 157;
   revolution in, 163;
   and Germany, 232

 Franchise Bill, a, 195

 Free Trade, 78-82, 92, 100, 125, 131;
   and Progress, 149-152;
   effects of, 160, 161, 193, 238

 Frere, Sir Bartle, 251

 'Genius of Judaism,' by Isaac Disraeli 5-6, 13, 14

 Germany and Carlyle, 25

 Gibraltar, 29-31;
   Government House at, 29, 30

 Gladstone, Mr. W. E., speech on Ireland, 202;
   Irish policy, 204-214, 235;
   and Turkey, 247

 'Globe' and O'Connell, 64, 70

 Gore, Mrs., 50

 Gospel, the new, 129, 130

 Granada, 33, 34

 Grandison, Cardinal in 'Lothair,' 220-230

 Grant, Chas., 50

 Greece, 36, 39;
   and Lord Stanley, 184

 Greville, Chas., 57

 Grey, Lord, 54, 59, 162;
   Reform Cabinet, 191;
   ----'s son, 55, 56

 Hanover, King of, 101

 Hartington, Lord, 212, 235

 'Henrietta Temple,' 65, 109, 215

 Herbert (Sidney), 135, 136

 High Wycombe election, 54-58, 60, 65

 Holland, the Jews in, 7;
   Isaac Disraeli sent to, 9

 Holy Land, the, 28

 Hope, H., 102, 108

 House of Commons, first visit to, 50, 51, 65, 69;
   maiden speech in, 70, 71;
   power in the, 100, 101;
   and Ireland, 104-106;
   and Disraeli, 139, 140

 Hughenden Manor, 179;
   life at, 182, 183, 255;
   buried at, 258

 Human greatness, condition of, 258-260

 Hume, 55, 56

 Hunting, 58

 India, 234, 238-240, 261

 Indian Mutiny, the, 158, 183

 'Infernal Marriage,' 26, 27, 217

 Inquisition, the, and the Jews, 6

 Ireland, 59;
   in 'Popanilla,' 60, 65, 70, 71, 98, 102-106, 136;
   famine in, 138, 142;
   Fenianism in, 200-203;
   Church of, 204-211, 233, 237, 238, 242, 260

 Irish Education Bill, 235

 Irving's (Washington) story of the Inn at Terracina, 33

 'Ixion in Heaven,' 26, 27

 Jaffa, 41

 Jerusalem, visit to, 41-43, 230

 Jews, the, 4;
   of Spain, 5, 6;
   in Venice, 6, 7;
   in Holland, 7;
   Carlyle and, 84;
   in Parliament, 155;
   Europe and the, 166;
   Judaism, 169, 170;
   and decoration, 216;
   in Parliament, 234;
   see also 'Genius of Judaism'

 Kaffir War, 251

 Knatchbull, Sir E., 145

 Labouchere, Mr., 60

 Landowners of Ireland, 202, 203

 -- Act of 1870, 237

 Lara, the house of, 6

 Leech, J., and _Punch_, 252

 Lemprière's dictionary, 26

 Lennox, Lord William, 50

 Letters, 84;
   on his travels abroad, 24-44;
   to 'The Times' _re_ O'Connell, 62, 63;
   Runnymede, 64;
   to sister about maiden speech, 71-73;
   to Mrs. Brydges Willyams, 182-187

 Lewis, Mr. and Mrs. Wyndham, 51, 67;
   death of Mr., 88

 'Life of Lord George Bentinck,' 108;
   Sir R. Peel in, 131, 145, 146, 165, 168, 179, 226

 London, society in, 19;
   of to-day, 151

 'Lothair,' Preface to, 98, 99;
   outline of, 215-231, 256, 260

 Lyle, Mr., in 'Coningsby', 111

 Lyndhurst, Lord, 57-59, 64, 147

 Macaulay, 50, 203

 Madden's memoirs of Lady Blessington, 54

 Maidstone, returned for, 67, 100

 Majuba Hill, 251

 Malaga, adventure at, 33

 Malta, 35, 36

 Manners, Lord John, 102

 Maples, Mr. and 'Ben,' 22

 Marney, Lord, in 'Sybil,' 120, 121, 130

 Marriage of B. D., 88-90

 Maule, Fox, 86

 Maurice, Fred, 176

 Maynooth grant, the, 136

 Melbourne, Lord, 59, 67, 68, 71, 87, 91, 196

 Mentana, battle of, in 'Lothair,' 226-228

 Meredith, William, 28-44

 Miles, Mr., and agriculture, 135

 Millbank and English aristocracy, 112;
   state of parties in England, 117-119, 130

 Milman, and 'Contarini,' 46, 49

 Monmouth, Lord, in 'Coningsby,' 110

 Moore, Tom, 50

 Morgan, Lady, 50

 Motley, Mr., 53

 Motto, 186, 187

 Mount of Olives, the, 42

 Mowbray, Lord, in 'Sybil,' 120, 121, 130

 Mulgrave, Lord, 50

 Murray, John, 22, 23

 Myra, in 'Endymion,' 256

 Napoleon, Louis, 156, 157, 159, 185, 226, 243

 Norton, Mrs., 50

 Newman, Dr., secession from the Church, 98, 99;
   and 'Coningsby,' 108

 Novels. See 'Contarini Fleming,' 'Vivian Grey,' 'Endymion,'
   'Tancred,' 'Alroy,' 'Coningsby'--Sidonia, 'Sybil,' 'Lothair,' &c.
   -- heroes of his political, 87, 88

 O'Connell (Morgan), and Disraeli, 55, 58-65;
   and Sir F. Burdett, 70;
   and Ireland in 1843, 102, 104, 136

 O'Connor, T. P., 'Life of Lord Beaconsfield,' Ireland in, 105, 106

 Oxford, Church at, 84;
   Tractarian movement at, 107, 108, 203;
   High Churchmen at, 172;
   B. D. at, 173-177

 Palmerston, Lord, 100, 101, 103, 159, 242, 243

 Paris, Isaac Disraeli in, 10, 12;
   dinner, with Louis Philippe, 101

 Parliament and Disraeli, 3, 4;
   in 'Coningsby,' 117-119;
   Jews in, 234

 Parliamentary government, Carlyle and, 1

 Penal laws, 205, 208, 209

 Personal characteristics, 260-262

 Philippe, Louis, 101, 185

 Philpotts, Bishop, 68

 Peel, Sir Robert, first meeting with, 50, 59;
   and O'Connell, 63, 104, 68, 69, 71, 72, 74, 84-87, 94, 99;
   in 1841, 100-102;
   and Eastern Question, 103;
   in 'Coningsby,' 110, 111, 119, 129;
   and Disraeli, 131-137;
   and Canning, 134, 143;
   and Free Trade, 135, 136, 192, 193;
   challenge to D., 136, 137;
   and the Corn Laws, 138-143;
   and Lord Bentinck, 144-146, 168;
   fall of, 146, 147, 212;
   Disraeli and, 261

 Pitt, 21;
   the younger, 69, 98;
   the elder, 146;
   and Warren, 187;
   the two, 242

 Plato and Greece, 132;
   and religion, 171, 172

 Poems, Isaac D.'s, 10, 11

 Poet, a, or not a poet? 47-49

 Poland, 185, 186

 Political economy, 78, 93, 94, 129, 130

 'Popanilla,' 26, 27, 60

 Poticary's school, Mr., 13, 14

 Press representation in 'Coningsby,' 118, 119

 Prince Imperial, the, 213

 Progress, 147, 148

 Protection, 78-82, 193

 Protestantism, 77, 203;
   in Ireland, 202, 203

 Public schools, 15

 Public Worship Bill, 172, 246, 247

 Puseyism at Oxford, 94-96

 'Quarterly Review,' January 1889, 20, 49

 Radicals in Parliament, 59, 70, 74, 246

 Ramle, plain of, 42

 Rathcormack massacre, the, 59

 Rationalism, 172, 173, 204

 Redshid Pasha, 36-40

 Reformation, the, 207

 Reform Bill of 1867, Carlyle and, 1-3, 59, 68, 85, 94;
   effects of, 96-98, 125;
   a new, 188-192, 198, 199, 202, 234

 'Revolutionary Epic,' a poem, 45, 48, 108

 Rogers, Samuel, 22

 Rose, Dr., of Wycombe, 64

 Rothschild, 186

 Rowton, Lord, 255

 Runnymede letters in 'The Times,' 64

 Russell, Lord John, 74;
   and the Chartist riots, 86;
   and Ireland, 105, 106;
   and Corn Law, 132, 137-139, 145, 162;
   and Reform Bill, 188;
   and the Polish Question, 185, 246

 Russia and the Black Sea Treaty, 232, 243-245;
   in Asia, 244;
   and Turkey, 247-250

 Salisbury, Lord, 195

 Satires. See 'Ixion in Heaven,' 'Popanilla,' 'The Infernal Marriage,'

 School life, 14-19

 Scott, Sir W., and Isaac D.'s poems, 10, 11

 Self-defence, the art of, 17

 Servia, 247

 Seville, 33

 Seymour, Sir H., 157

 Shiel (Irish leader), 50, 73

 'Shooting Niagara,' by T. Carlyle, 1-3, 195

 Shrewsbury election, 100

 Sidonia in 'Coningsby,' 113-116, 127

 Slavery, abolition of, 236

 Smyth, George, 102

 Smythe, Sir H., hunting with, 58

 Spain, the Jews of, 5, 6;
   visit to, 28, 29;
   adventures in, 30-35

 Spanish families and crests, 187

 Speeches, at the 'Red Lion,' High Wycombe, 55, 56;
   at Taunton, 61, 62;
   at Wycombe, 65;
   Ducrow, 65;
   maiden--in House of Commons, 70-73;
   on Copyright Bill, 73, 74;
   during Peel's Ministry, 133-138;
   on Free Trade, 135, 136, 140;
   on the Corn Laws, 137-138, 140-142;
   on the effects of Free Trade, 160, 161;
   on playing with the Constitution, 160-164;
   at Oxford, on the Church, 173-177;
   on tricks with British Constitution, 188;
   on secret committees, 212, 213;
   at Manchester, 214;
   at the Crystal Palace, 1872, 239;
   at Berlin Conference, 249

 Stanley, Dean, 175

 -- Lord, 139;
   and Greece, 184

 Strafford and Ireland, 60

 Strangford, Lord, 63

 Strauss, followers of, 172, 173

 Suez Canal, 43;
   shares, 261

 Swift, the satire of, 26

 'Sybil, or, the Two Nations,' dedicated to his wife, 88, 89, 92;
   Reform Act in, 96-98;
   extracts from, &c., 119-129, 215;
   the Reformation in, 226, 256, 260

 Tadpole and Taper in 'Sybil,' 125, 126

 'Tancred; or, the New Crusade,' impressions of the Holy Land in, 41-43;
   sketch of, 165-168, 215

 Tariff of 1842, the, 101

 Taunton election, 60, 64

 Theodora, in 'Lothair,' 221-226

 Theories of life, 169, 170

 'Times,' letter to, about O'Connell, 62, 63;
   Runnymede letters in, 64

 Tractarians at Oxford, 107, 108, 204;
   Mr. Gladstone a, 207, 246

 Trafford, 130

 Transvaal, 251

 Travels abroad, 24-44

 Troy, the plain of, 41

 Turkey in 1843, 103, 104, 157, 243, 244;
   and Russia, 247-350;
   treaty with, 250

 Turks, the, 36-38

 Turner, Mr. Sharon, 14

 Tyre, the Jews and, 4

 Under-Secretaries of State, 86

 'Venetia,' 65, 109, 215

 Venice, the Jew in, 6, 7

 'Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation,' 166-168

 'Vindication of the British Constitution,' 59, 64

 'Vivian Grey,' school-days pictured in, 15-19;
   and the Bar, 21;
   and the Church, 21;
   a successful novel, 23-25;
   the 'Young Duke' in, 25, 28, 29, 46, 49, 215, 260

 Voltaire on Ireland, 208, 242

 Wales's wedding, the Prince of, 184, 185

 Wellington, the Duke of, 57, 63, 64, 99

 'What is he?' a political pamphlet, 57, 58

 Whigs, and Ireland, 59-61, 67, 70;
   ministry in 1865, 188

 Wife, his, 88-90, 211

 Wilberforce, Bishop, 173

 William IV., death of, 67

 Willis, N. P., sketch of Benjamin Disraeli, 52, 53

 Willyams, Mrs. Brydges, of Torquay, 179-187, 258

 Wiseman, Cardinal, in 'Lothair,' 220

 Yanina, visit to, 36-40

 Young Englanders, the, 102, 107, 109

 Zulus, the, 213;
   war with, 251



[1] _Quarterly Review_, January 1889, p. 30.

[2] May 24, 1832.

[3] This is authentic, though I cannot give my authority.--J. A. F.

[4] April 27, 1835.

[5] Father of Sir Philip Rose, who was afterwards Disraeli's executor.

[6] _Sybil._

[7] Preface to _Lothair_.

[8] February 2, 1842.

[9] I do not mention this story without careful enquiry.

[10] Lady Beaconsfield enjoyed her honours only for four years. She died
December 15, 1872.

[11] It should be said that the Bill, though supported by Disraeli, was
introduced by the Primate, and was not a Cabinet measure.

 _A Catalogue of American and Foreign Books Published or
 Imported by_ MESSRS. SAMPSON LOW & CO. _can
 be had on application._

 _St. Dunstan's House, Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, London,
 October, 1889._

 A Selection from the List of Books




=Low's Standard Novels=, page 17.

=Low's Standard Books for Boys=, page 18.

=Low's Standard Series=, page 19.

=Sea Stories=, by W. CLARK RUSSELL, page 26.


 _Abbey and Parsons, Quiet life._ From drawings; the motive by Austin
   Dobson, 4to.

 _Abney (W. de W.) and Cunningham._ _Pioneers of the Alps._ With
   photogravure portraits of guides. Imp. 8vo, gilt top, 21_s._

 _Adam (G. Mercer) and Wetherald._ _An Algonquin Maiden._ Crown 8vo,

 _Alcott._ _Works of the late Miss Louisa May Alcott_:--

   Aunt Jo's Scrap-bag. Cloth, 2_s._

   Eight Cousins. Illustrated, 2_s._; cloth gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._

   Jack and Jill. Illustrated, 2_s._; cloth gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._

   Jo's Boys. 5_s._

   Jimmy's Cruise in the Pinafore, &c. Illustrated, cloth, 2_s._; gilt
       edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

   Little Men. Double vol., 2_s._; cloth, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

   Little Women, 1_s._       }  1 vol., cloth, 2_s._; larger ed., gilt
   Little Women Wedded, 1_s._}    edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

   Old-fashioned Girl. 2_s._; cloth, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

   Rose in Bloom. 2_s._; cloth gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._ Shawl Straps. Cloth,

   Silver Pitchers. Cloth, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

   Under the Lilacs. Illustrated, 2_s._; cloth gilt, 5_s._

   Work: a Story of Experience 1_s._         } 1 vol., cloth, gilt
   ---- Its Sequel, "Beginning Again." 1_s._ }   edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Life, Letters and Journals._ By EDNAH D. CHENEY. Cr. 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- See also "Low's Standard Series."

 _Alden (W. L.)_ _Adventures of Jimmy Brown, written by himself._
   Illustrated. Small crown 8vo, cloth, 2_s._

 ---- _Trying to find Europe._ Illus., crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Alger (J. G.)_ _Englishmen in the French Revolution_, cr. 8vo, 7_s._

 _Amateur Angler's Days in Dove Dale: Three Weeks' Holiday in 1884._ By
   E. M. 1_s._ 6_d._; boards, 1_s._; large paper, 5_s._

 _Andersen._ _Fairy Tales._ An entirely new Translation. With over 500
   Illustrations by Scandinavian Artists. Small 4to, 6_s._

 _Anderson (W.)_ _Pictorial Arts of Japan._ With 80 full-page and other
   Plates, 16 of them in Colours. Large imp. 4to, £8 8_s._ (in four
   folio parts, £2 2_s._ each); Artists' Proofs, £12 12_s._

 _Angling._ See Amateur, "Cutcliffe," "Fennell," "Halford," "Hamilton,"
   "Martin," "Orvis," "Pennell," "Pritt," "Senior," "Stevens,"
   "Theakston," "Walton," "Wells," and "Willis-Bund."

 _Arnold (R.)_ _Ammonia and Ammonium Compounds._ Translated, illus.,
   crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Art Education._ See "Biographies," "D'Anvers," "Illustrated Text
   Books," "Mollett's Dictionary."

 _Artistic Japan._ Illustrated with Coloured Plates. Monthly. Royal 4to,
   2_s._; vol. I., 15_s._; II., roy. 4to., 15_s._

 _Ashe (R. P.)_ _Two Kings of Uganda; Six Years in E. Equatorial
   Africa._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Attwell (Prof.)_ _The Italian Masters._ Crown 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Audsley (G. A.)_ _Handbook of the Organ._ Imperial 8vo, top edge gilt,
   31_s._ 6_d._; large paper, 63_s._

 ---- _Ornamental Arts of Japan._ 90 Plates, 74 in Colours and Gold,
   with General and Descriptive Text. 2 vols., folio, £15 15_s._; in
   specially designed leather, £23 2_s._

 ---- _The Art of Chromo-Lithography._ Coloured Plates and Text. Folio,

 _Bacon (Delia)_ _Biography, with Letters of Carlyle, Emerson, &c._
   Crown 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Baddeley (W. St. Clair)_ _Tchay and Chianti._ Small 8vo, 5_s._

 ---- _Travel-tide._ Small post 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Baldwin (James)_ _Story of Siegfried._ 6_s._

 ---- _Story of the Golden Age._ Illustrated by HOWARD PYLE. Crown 8vo,

 ---- _Story of Roland._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Bamford (A. J.)_ _Turbans and Tails._ Sketches in the Unromantic East.
   Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Barlow (Alfred)_ _Weaving by Hand and by Power._ With several hundred
   Illustrations. Third Edition, royal 8vo. £1 5_s._

 _Barlow (P. W.)_ _Kaipara, Experiences of a Settler in N. New Zealand._
   Illust., crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Bassett (F. S.)_ _Legends and Superstitions of the Sea._ 7_s._ 6_d._


Edited by the late J. HAIN FRISWELL.

Comprising Pleasure Books of Literature produced in the Choicest Style.

     "We can hardly imagine better books for boys to read or for men to
     ponder over."--_Times._

     _Price 2s. 6d. each Volume, complete in itself, flexible cloth
     extra, gilt edges, with silk Headbands and Registers._

 The Story of the Chevalier Bayard.

 Joinville's St. Louis of France.

 The Essays of Abraham Cowley.

 Abdallah. By Edouard Laboullaye.

 Napoleon, Table-Talk and Opinions.

 Words of Wellington.

 Johnson's Rasselas. With Notes.

 Hazlitt's Round Table.

 The Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, &c. By Sir Thomas Browne, Knt.

 Coleridge's Christabel, &c. With Preface by Algernon C. Swinburne.

 Ballad Poetry of the Affections. By Robert Buchanan.

 Lord Chesterfield's Letters, Sentences, and Maxims. With Essay by

 The King and the Commons. Cavalier and Puritan Songs.

 Vathek. By William Beckford.

 Essays in Mosaic. By Ballantyne.

 My Uncle Toby; his Story and his Friends. By P. Fitzgerald.

 Reflections of Rochefoucauld.

 Socrates: Memoirs for English Readers from Xenophon's Memorabilia. By
   Edw. Levien.

 Prince Albert's Golden Precepts.

     _A Case containing 12 Volumes, price 31s. 6d.; or the Case
     separately_, price 3s. 6d._

 _Beaugrand (C.)_ _Walks Abroad of Two Young Naturalists._ By D. SHARP.
   Illust., 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Beecher (H. W.)_ _Authentic Biography, and Diary._ Ill. 8vo, 21_s._

 _Behnke and Browne._ _Child's Voice: its Treatment with regard to After
   Development._ Small 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Bell (H. H. J.)_ _Obeah: Negro Superstition in the West Indies._ Crown
   8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Beyschlag._ _Female Costume Figures of various Centuries._ 12
   reproductions of pastel designs in portfolio, imperial. 21_s._

 _Bickerdyke (J.)_ _Irish Midsummer Night's Dream._ Illus. by E. M. COX.
   Crown 8vo, 1_s._ 6_d._; boards, 1_s._

 _Bickersteth (Bishop E. H.)_ _Clergyman in his Home._ 1_s._

 ---- _Evangelical Churchmanship._ 1_s._

 ---- _From Year to Year: Original Poetical Pieces._ Small post 8vo,
   3_s._ 6_d._; roan, 6_s._ and 5_s._; calf or morocco, 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _The Master's Home-Call._ N. ed. 32mo, cloth gilt, 1_s._

 ---- _The Master's Will._ A Funeral Sermon preached on the Death of
   Mrs. S. Gurney Buxton. Sewn, 6_d._; cloth gilt, 1_s._

 ---- _The Reef, and other Parables._ Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Shadow of the Rock._ Select Religious Poetry. 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Shadowed Home and the Light Beyond._ 5_s._

 ---- See also "Hymnal Companion."

_Biographies of the Great Artists_ (_Illustrated_). Crown 8vo,
emblematical binding, 3_s._ 6_d._ per volume, except where the price is

 Claude le Lorrain, by Owen J. Dullea.

 Correggio, by M. E. Heaton. 2_s._ 6_d._

 Delia Robbia and Cellini. 2_s._ 6_d._

 Albrecht Dürer, by R. F. Heath.

 Figure Painters of Holland.

 Fra Angelico, Masaccio, and Botticelli.

 Fra Bartolommeo, Albertinelli, and Andrea del Sarto.

 Gainsborough and Constable.

 Ghiberti and Donatello. 2_s._ 6_d._

 Giotto, by Harry Quilter.

 Hans Holbein, by Joseph Cundall.

 Hogarth, by Austin Dobson.

 Landseer, by F. G. Stevens.

 Lawrence and Romney, by Lord Ronald Gower. 2_s._ 6_d._

 Leonardo da Vinci.

 Little Masters of Germany, by W. B. Scott.

 Mantegna and Francia.

 Meissonier, by J. W. Mollett. 2_s._ 6_d._

 Michelangelo Buonarotti, by Clément.

 Murillo, by Ellen E. Minor. 2_s._ 6_d._

 Overbeck, by J. B. Atkinson.

 Raphael, by N. D'Anvers.

 Rembrandt, by J. W. Mollett.

 Reynolds, by F. S. Pulling.

 Rubens, by C. W. Kett.

 Tintoretto, by W. R. Osler.

 Titian, by R. F. Heath.

 Turner, by Cosmo Monkhouse.

 Vandyck and Hals, by P. R. Head.

 Velasquez, by E. Stowe.

 Vernet and Delaroche, by J. Rees.

 Watteau, by J. W. Mollett. 2_s._ 6_d._

 Wilkie, by J. W. Mollett.


 Barbizon School, by J. W. Mollett.

 Cox and De Wint, Lives and Works.

 George Cruikshank, Life and Works.

 Miniature Painters of Eng. School.

 Mulready Memorials, by Stephens.

 Van de Velde and the Dutch Painters.

 _Bird (F. J.)_ _American Practical Dyer's Companion._ 8vo, 42_s._

 ---- _(H. E.)_ _Chess Practice._ 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Black (Robert)_ _Horse Racing in France: a History._ 8vo, 14_s._

 ---- See also CICERO.

 _Black (W.)_ _Penance of John Logan, and other Tales._ Crown 8vo,
   10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- See also "Low's Standard Library."

 _Blackburn (Charles F.)_ _Hints on Catalogue Titles and Index Entries,
   with a Vocabulary of Terms and Abbreviations, chiefly from Foreign
   Catalogues._ Royal 8vo, 14_s._

 _Blackburn (Henry)_ _Art in the Mountains, the Oberammergau Passion
   Play._ New ed., corrected to date, 8vo, 5_s._

 ---- _Breton Folk._ With 171 Illust. by RANDOLPH CALDECOTT. Imperial
   8vo, gilt edges, 21_s._; plainer binding, 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Pyrenees._ Illustrated by GUSTAVE DORÉ, corrected to 1881. Crown
   8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._ See also CALDECOTT.

 _Blackmore (R. D.)_ _Kit and Kitty._ A novel. 3 vols., crown 8vo,
   31_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Lorna Doone._ _Édition de luxe._ Crown 4to, very numerous
   Illustrations, cloth, gilt edges, 31_s._ 6_d._; parchment, uncut, top
   gilt, 35_s._; new issue, plainer, 21_s._

 ---- _Novels._ See also "Low's Standard Novels."

 _Blackmore (R. D.)_ _Springhaven._ Illust. by PARSONS and BARNARD. Sq.
   8vo, 12_s._; new edition, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Blaikie (William)_ _How to get Strong and how to Stay so._ Rational,
   Physical, Gymnastic, &c., Exercises. Illust., sm. post 8vo, 5_s._

 ---- _Sound Bodies for our Boys and Girls._ 16mo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Bonwick._ _British Colonies._ Asia, 1_s._; Africa, 1_s._; America,
   1_s._; Australasia, 1_s._ One vol., cloth, 5_s._

 _Bosanquet (Rev. C.)_ _Blossoms from the King's Garden: Sermons for
   Children._ 2nd Edition, small post 8vo, cloth extra, 6_s._

 ---- _Jehoshaphat; or, Sunlight and Clouds._ 1_s._

 _Bowden (H.; Miss)_ _Witch of the Atlas: a ballooning story._ Crown
   8vo, 6_s._

 _Bower (G. S.) and Spencer_, _Law of Electric Lighting._ New edition,
   crown 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Boyesen (H. H.)_ _Modern Vikings: Stories of Life and Sport in
   Norseland._ Cr. 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _Story of Norway._ Illustrated, sm. 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Boy's Froissart._ _King Arthur._ _Knightly Legends of Wales._ _Percy._
   See LANIER.

 _Bradshaw (J.)_ _New Zealand as it is._ 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _New Zealand of To-day_, 1884-87. 8vo, 14_s._

 _Brannt (W. T.)_ _Animal and Vegetable Fats and Oils._ Illust., 8vo,

 ---- _Manufacture of Soap and Candles, with many Formulas._ Illust.,
   8vo, 35_s._

 ---- _Manufacture of Vinegar, Cider, and Fruit Wines._ Illustrated,

 ---- _Metallic Alloys. Chiefly from the German of Krupp and
   Wildberger._ Crown 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Bright (John)_ _Public Letters._ Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Brisse (Baron)_ _Ménus (366)._ A _ménu_, in French and English, for
   every Day in the Year. 2nd Edition. Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Brittany._ See BLACKBURN.

 _Browne (G. Lennox)_ _Voice Use and Stimulants._ Sm. 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _and Behnke (Emil)_ _Voice, Song, and Speech._ N. ed., 5_s._

 _Brumm (C.)_ _Bismarck, his Deeds and Aims; reply to "Bismarck
   Dynasty."_ 8vo, 1_s._

 _Bruntie's Diary._ _A Tour round the World._ By C. E. B., 1_s._ 6_d._

 _Bryant (W. C.) and Gay (S. H.)_ _History of the United States 4
   vols._, royal 8vo, profusely Illustrated, 60_s._

 _Bryce (Rev. Professor)_ _Manitoba._ Illust. Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Short History of the Canadian People._ 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Bulkeley (Owen T.)_ _Lesser Antilles._ Pref. by D. MORRIS. Illus.,
   crown 8vo, boards, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Burnaby (Mrs. F.)_ _High Alps in Winter; or, Mountaineering in Search
   of Health._ With Illustrations, &c., 14_s._ See also MAIN.

 _Burnley (J.)_ _History of the Silk Trade._

 ---- _History of Wool and Woolcombing._ Illust. 8vo, 21_s._

 _Burton (Sir R. F.)_ _Early, Public, and Private Life._ Edited by F.
   HITCHMAN. 2 vols., 8vo, 36_s._

 _Butler (Sir W. F.)_ _Campaign of the Cataracts._ Illust., 8vo, 18_s._

 ---- _Invasion of England, told twenty years after._ 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Red Cloud; or, the Solitary Sioux._ Imperial 16mo, numerous
   illustrations, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer binding, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _The Great Lone Land; Red River Expedition._ 7_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _The Wild North Land; the Story of a Winter Journey with Dogs
   across Northern North America._ 8vo, 18_s._ Cr. 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Bynner (E. L.)_ _Agnes Surriage._ Crown 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Cable (G. W.)_ _Bonaventure: A Prose Pastoral of Acadian Louisiana._
   Sm. post 8vo, 5_s._

 _Cadogan (Lady A.)_ _Drawing-room Plays._ 10_s._ 6_d._; acting ed.,
   6_d._ each.

 ---- _Illustrated Games of Patience._ Twenty-four Diagrams in Colours,
   with Text. Fcap. 4to, 12_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _New Games of Patience._ Coloured Diagrams, 4to, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Caldecott (Randolph)_ _Memoir._ By HENRY BLACKBURN. With 170 Examples
   of the Artist's Work. 14_s._; new edit., 7_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Sketches._ With an Introduction by H. BLACKBURN. 4to, picture
   boards, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _California._ See NORDHOFF.

 _Callan (H.)_ _Wanderings on Wheel and on Foot._ Cr. 8vo, 1_s._ 6_d._

 _Campbell (Lady Colin)_ _Book of the Running Brook: and of Still
   Waters._ 5_s._

 _Canadian People: Short History._ Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Carbutt (Mrs.)_ _Five Months' Fine Weather in Canada, West U. S., and
   Mexico._ Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Carleton_, _City Legends._ Special Edition, illus., royal 8vo, 12_s._
   6_d._; ordinary edition, crown 8vo, 1_s._

 ---- _City Ballads._ Illustrated, 12_s._ 6_d._ New Ed. (Rose Library),
   16mo, 1_s._

 ---- _Farm Ballads, Farm Festivals, and Farm Legends._ Paper boards,
   1_s._ each; 1 vol., small post 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Carnegie (A.)_ _American Four-in-Hand in Britain._ Small 4to,
   Illustrated, 10_s._ 6_d._ Popular Edition, paper, 1_s._

 ---- _Round the World._ 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Triumphant Democracy._ 6_s._; also 1_s._ 6_d._ and 1_s._

 _Chairman's Handbook._ By R. F. D. PALGRAVE. 5th Edit., 2_s._

 _Changed Cross, &c._ Religious Poems. 16mo, 2_s._ 6_d._; calf, 6_s._

 _Chess._ See BIRD (H. E.).

 _Children's Praises. Hymns for Sunday-Schools and Services._ Compiled
   by LOUISA H. H. TRISTRAM. 4_d._

 _Choice Editions of Choice Books._ 2_s._ 6_d._ each. Illustrated by C.

   Bloomfield's Farmer's Boy.
   Campbell's Pleasures of Hope.
   Coleridge's Ancient Mariner.
   Goldsmith's Deserted Village.
   Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield.
   Gray's Elegy in a Churchyard.
   Keats' Eve of St. Agnes.
   Milton's L'Allegro.
   Poetry of Nature. Harrison Weir.
   Rogers' (Sam.) Pleasures of Memory.
   Shakespeare's Songs and Sonnets.
   Tennyson's May Queen.
   Elizabethan Poets.
   Wordsworth's Pastoral Poems.

     "Such works are a glorious beatification for a poet."--_Athenæum._

 _Christ in Song._ By PHILIP SCHAFF. New Ed., gilt edges, 6_s._

 _Chromo-Lithography._ See AUDSLEY.

 _Cicero, Tusculan Disputation, I. (Death no bane)._ Translated by R.
   BLACK. Small crown 8vo.

 _Clarke (H. P.)_ See WILLS.

 _Clarke (P.)_ _Three Diggers: a Tale of the Australian Fifties._ Crown
   8vo, 6_s._

 _Cochran (W.)_ _Pen and Pencil in Asia Minor._ Illust., 8vo, 21_s._

 _Collingwood (Harry)_ _Under the Meteor Flag._ The Log of a Midshipman.
   Illustrated, small post 8vo, gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Voyage of the "Aurora."_ Gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Collinson (Sir R.; Adm.)_ _H.M.S. "Enterprise" in search of Sir J.
   Franklin._ 8vo.

 _Colonial Year-book._ Edited and compiled by A. J. R. TRENDELL. Crown
   8vo, 6_s._

 _Cook (Dutton)_ _Book of the Play._ New Edition, 1 vol., 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _On the Stage: Studies._ 2 vols., 8vo, cloth, 24_s._

 _Cozzens (F.)_ _American Yachts._ 27 Plates, 22 × 28 inches. Proofs,
   £21; Artist's Proofs, £31 10_s._

 _Craddock (C. E.)_ _Despot of Broomsedge Cove._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Crew (B. J.)_ _Practical Treatise on Petroleum._ Illust., 8vo, 28_s._

 _Crouch (A. P.)_ _Glimpses of Feverland: a Cruise in West African
   Waters._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _On a Surf-bound Coast._ Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Cumberland (Stuart)_ _Thought Reader's Thoughts._ Cr. 8vo., 10_s._

 ---- _Queen's Highway from Ocean to Ocean._ Ill., 8vo, 18_s._; new ed.,
   7_s._ 6_d._

 _Cumberland (S.)_ _Vasty deep: a Strange Story of To-day._ New Edition,

 _Cundall (Joseph)_. See "Remarkable Bindings."

 _Cushing (W.)_ _Initials and Pseudonyms._ Large 8vo, 25_s._; second
   series, large 8vo, 21_s._

 _Custer (Eliz. B.)_ _Tenting on the Plains; Gen. Custer in Kansas and
   Texas._ Royal 8vo, 18_s._

 _Cutcliffe (H. C.)_ _Trout Fishing in Rapid Streams._ Cr. 8vo, 3_s._

 _Daly (Mrs. D.)_ _Digging, Squatting, and Pioneering in Northern South
   Australia._ 8vo, 12_s._

 _D'Anvers._ _Elementary History of Art._ New ed., 360 illus., 2 vols.,
   cr. 8vo. I. Architecture, &c., 5_s._; II. Painting, 6_s._; 1 vol.,
   10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Elementary History of Music._ Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Davis (Clement)_ _Modern Whist._ 4_s._

 ---- _(C. T.)_ _Bricks, Tiles, Terra-Cotta, &c._ N. ed. 8vo, 25_s._

 ---- _Manufacture of Leather._ With many Illustrations. 52_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Manufacture of Paper._ 28_s._

 ---- _(G. B.)_ _Outlines of International Law._ 8vo. 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Dawidowsky._ _Glue, Gelatine, Isinglass, Cements, &c._ 8vo, 12_s._

 _Day of My Life at Eton._ By an ETON BOY. New ed. 16mo, 1_s._

 _Day's Collacon: an Encyclopædia of Prose Quotations._ Imperial 8vo,
   cloth, 31_s._ 6_d._

 _De Leon (E.)_ _Under the Stars and under the Crescent._ N. ed., 6_s._

 _Dethroning Shakspere._ _Letters to the Daily Telegraph; and Editorial
   Papers._ Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Dickinson (Charles M.)_ _The Children, and other Verses._ Sm. 8vo,
   gilt edges, 5_s._

 _Dictionary._ See TOLHAUSEN, "Technological."

 _Diggle (J. W.; Canon)_ _Lancashire Life of Bishop Fraser._ 8vo, 12_s._

 _Donnelly (Ignatius)_ _Atlantis; or, the Antediluvian World._ 7th
   Edition, crown 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel._ Illustrated, crown 8vo,
   12_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _The Great Cryptogram: Francis Bacon's Cipher in the so-called
   Shakspere Plays._ With facsimiles. 2 vols., 30_s._

 _Donkin (J. G.)_ _Trooper and Redskin: N. W. Mounted Police, Canada._
   Crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Dougall (James Dalziel)_ _Shooting: its Appliances, Practice, and
   Purpose._ New Edition, revised with additions. Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

     "The book is admirable in every way.... We wish it every

     "A very complete treatise.... Likely to take high rank as an
     authority on shooting."--_Daily News._

 _Doughty (H.M.)_ _Friesland Meres, and through the Netherlands._
   Illustrated, crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Dramatic Year: Brief Criticisms of Events in the U.S._ By W. ARCHER.
   Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Dunstan Standard Readers._ Ed. by A. GILL, of Cheltenham.

 _Earl (H. P.)_ _Randall Trevor._ 2 vols., crown 8vo, 21_s._

 _Eastwood (F.)_ _In Satan's Bonds._ 2 vols., crown 8vo, 21_s._

 _Edmonds (C.)_ _Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin. With Additional matter._
   New ed. Illust., crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._; large paper, 21_s._

 _Educational List and Directory for 1887-88._ 5_s._

 _Educational Works_ published in Great Britain. A Classified Catalogue.
   Third Edition, 8vo, cloth extra, 6_s._

 _Edwards (E.)_ _American Steam Engineer._ Illust., 12mo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Eight Months on the Argentine Gran Chaco._ 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Elliott (H. W.)_ _An Arctic Province: Alaska and the Seal Islands._
   Illustrated from Drawings; also with Maps. 16_s._

 _Emerson (Dr. P. H.)_ _English Idylls._ Small post 8vo, 2_s._

 ---- _Pictures of East Anglian Life._ Ordinary edit. 105_s._; édit. de
   luxe, 17 × 13-1/2, vellum, morocco back, 147_s._

 ---- _Naturalistic Photography for Art Students._ Illustrated. New
   edit. 5_s._

 ---- _and Goodall._ _Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads._ Plates
   12 × 8 inches, 126_s._; large paper, 210_s._

 _Emerson in Concord: A Memoir written by Edward Waldo_ EMERSON. 8vo,
   7_s._ 6_d._

 _English Catalogue of Books._ Vol. III., 1872-1880. Royal 8vo,
   half-morocco, 42_s._ See also "Index."

 _English Etchings._ Published Quarterly. 3_s._ 6_d._ Vol. VI., 25_s._

 _English Philosophers._ Edited by E. B. IVAN MÜLLER, M.A. Crown 8vo
   volumes of 180 or 200 pp., price 3_s._ 6_d._ each.

   Francis Bacon, by Thomas Fowler.
   Hamilton, by W. H. S. Monck.
   Hartley and James Mill.
   Shaftesbury and Hutcheson.
   Adam Smith, by J. A. Farrer.

 _Esmarch (F.)_ _Handbook of Surgery._ Translation from the last German
   Edition. With 647 new Illustrations. 8vo, leather, 24_s._

 _Eton._ _About some Fellows._ New Edition, 1_s._

 _Evelyn._ _Life of Mrs. Godolphin._ By WILLIAM HARCOURT, of Nuneham.
   Steel Portrait. Extra binding, gilt top, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Eves (C. W.)_ _West Indies._ (Royal Colonial Institute publication.)
   Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Farini (G. A.)_ _Through the Kalahari Desert._ 8vo, 21_s._

 _Farm Ballads, Festivals, and Legends._ See CARLETON.

 _Fay (T.)_ _Three Germanys; glimpses into their History._ 2 vols., 8vo,

 _Fenn (G. Manville)_ _Off to the Wilds: a Story for Boys._ Profusely
   Illustrated. Crown 8vo, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Silver Cañon._ Illust., gilt ed., 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._

 _Fennell (Greville)_ _Book of the Roach._ New Edition, 12mo, 2_s._

 _Ferns._ See HEATH.

 _Fitzgerald (P.)_ _Book Fancier._ Cr. 8vo, 5_s._; large pap. 12_s._

 _Fleming (Sandford)_ _England and Canada: a Tour._ Cr. 8vo, 6_s._

 _Florence._ See YRIARTE.

 _Folkard (R., Jun.)_ _Plant Lore, Legends, and Lyrics._ 8vo, 16_s._

 _Forbes (H. O.)_ _Naturalist in the Eastern Archipelago._ 8vo, 21_s._

 _Foreign Countries and British Colonies._ Cr. 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._ each.

   Australia, by J. F. Vesey Fitzgerald.
   Austria, by D. Kay, F.R.G.S.
   Denmark and Iceland, by E. C. Otté.
   Egypt, by S. Lane Poole, B.A.
   France, by Miss M. Roberts.
   Germany, by S. Baring-Gould.
   Greece, by L. Sergeant, B.A.
   Japan, by S. Mossman.
   Peru, by Clements R. Markham.
   Russia, by W. R. Morfill, M.A.
   Spain, by Rev. Wentworth Webster.
   Sweden and Norway, by Woods.
   West Indies, by C. H. Eden, F.R.G.S.

 _Franc (Maud Jeanne)._ Small post 8vo, uniform, gilt edges:--

   Emily's Choice. 5_s._
   Hall's Vineyard. 4_s._
   John's Wife: A Story of Life in South Australia. 4_s._
   Marian; or, The Light of Some One's Home. 5_s._
   Silken Cords and Iron Fetters. 4_s._
   Into the Light. 4_s._
   Vermont Vale. 5_s._
   Minnie's Mission. 4_s._
   Little Mercy. 4_s._
   Beatrice Melton's Discipline. 4_s._
   No Longer a Child. 4_s._
   Golden Gifts. 4_s._
   Two Sides to Every Question. 4_s._
   Master of Ralston. 4_s._

 ⁂ There is also a re-issue in cheaper form at 2_s._ 6_d._ per vol.

 _Frank's Ranche; or, My Holiday in the Rockies._ A Contribution to the
   Inquiry into What we are to Do with our Boys. 5_s._

 _Fraser (Bishop)._ See DIGGLE.

 _French._ See JULIEN and PORCHER.

 _Fresh Woods and Pastures New._ By the Author of "An Amateur Angler's
   Days." 1_s._ 6_d._; large paper, 5_s._; new ed., 1_s._

 _Froissart._ See LANIER.

 _Fuller (Edward)_ _Fellow Travellers._ 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- See also "Dramatic Year."

 _Gasparin (Countess A. de)_ _Sunny Fields and Shady Woods._ 6_s._

 _Geary (Grattan)_ _Burma after the Conquest._ 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Geffcken (F. H.)_ _British Empire._ Translated by S. J. MACMULLAN.
   Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

_Gentle Life_ (Queen Edition). 2 vols. in 1, small 4to, 6_s._


     Price 6_s._ each; or in calf extra, price 10_s._ 6_d._; Smaller
     Edition, cloth extra, 2_s._ 6_d._, except where price is named.

 _The Gentle Life._ Essays in aid of the Formation of Character.

 _About in the World._ Essays by Author of "The Gentle Life."

 _Like unto Christ._ New Translation of Thomas à Kempis.

 _Familiar Words._ A Quotation Handbook. 6_.s._; n. ed. 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Essays by Montaigne._ Edited by the Author of "The Gentle Life."

 _The Gentle Life._ 2nd Series.

 _The Silent Hour: Essays, Original and Selected._

 _Half-Length Portraits._ Short Studies of Notable Persons. By J. HAIN

 _Essays on English Writers_, for Students in English Literature.

 _Other People's Windows._ By J. HAIN FRISWELL. 6_s._; new ed., 3_s._

 _A Man's Thoughts._ By J. HAIN FRISWELL.

 _Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia._ By Sir P. SIDNEY. 6_s._; new ed.,
   3_s._ 6_d._

 _Germany._ By S. BARING-GOULD. Crown 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Gibbon (C.)_ _Beyond Compare: a Story._ 3 vols., cr. 8vo, 31_s._ 6_d._

 _Giles (E.)_ _Australia twice Traversed: five Expeditions_, 1872-76.
   With Maps and Illust. 2 vols, 8vo, 30_s._

 _Gillespie (W. M.)_ _Surveying._ Revised and enlarged by CADEY STALEY.
   8vo, 21_s._

 _Goethe._ _Faustus._ Translated in the original rhyme and metre by
   A. H. HUTH. Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Goldsmith._ _She Stoops to Conquer._ Introduction by AUSTIN DOBSON;
   the designs by E. A. ABBEY. Imperial 4to, 42_s._

 _Gordon (J. E. H., B.A. Cantab.)_ _Electric Lighting._ Ill. 8vo, 18_s._

 ---- _Physical Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism._ 2nd Edition,
   enlarged, with coloured, full-page, &c., Illust. 2 vols., 8vo, 42_s._

 ---- _Electricity for Schools._ Illustrated. Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Gouffé (Jules)_ _Royal Cookery Book._ New Edition, with plates in
   colours, Woodcuts, &c., 8vo, gilt edges, 42_s._

 ---- Domestic Edition, half-bound, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Grant (General, U.S.)_ _Personal Memoirs._ With Illustrations, Maps,
   &c. 2 vols., 8vo, 28_s._

 _Great Artists._ See "Biographies."

 _Great Musicians._ Edited by F. HJEFFER. A Series of Biographies, crown
   8vo, 3_s._ each:--

   English Church Composers. By BARRETT.
   Richard Wagner.

 _Groves (J. Percy)_ _Charmouth Grange._ Gilt, 5_s._; plainer, 2_s._

 _Guizot's History of France._ Translated by R. BLACK. In 8 vols.,
   super-royal 8vo, cloth extra, gilt, each 24_s._ In cheaper binding, 8
   vols., at 10_s._ 6_d._ each.

     "It supplies a want which has long been felt, and ought to be in
     the hands of all students of history."--_Times._

 ---- ---- ---- ---- _Masson's School Edition._ Abridged from the
   Translation by Robert Black, with Chronological Index, Historical and
   Genealogical Tables, &c. By Professor GUSTAVE MASSON, B.A. With
   Portraits, Illustrations, &c. 1 vol., 8vo, 600 pp., 5_s._

 _Guyon (Mde.)_ _Life._ By UPHAM. 6th Edition, crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Halford (F. M.)_ _Floating Flies, and how to Dress them._ New edit.,
   with Coloured plates. 8vo, 15_s._

 ---- _Dry Fly-Fishing, Theory and Practice._ Col. Plates, 25_s._

 _Hall (W. W.)_ _How to Live Long; or, 1408 Maxims._ 2_s._

 _Hamilton (E.)_ _Fly-fishing for Salmon, Trout, and Grayling; their
   Habits, Haunts, and History._ Illust., 6_s._; large paper, 10_s._

 _Hands (T.)_ _Numerical Exercises in Chemistry._ Cr. 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._
   and 2_s._; Answers separately, 6_d._

 _Hardy (A. S.)_ _Passe-rose: a Romance._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Hardy (Thomas)._ See "Low's Standard Novels."

 _Hare (J. L. Clark)_ _American Constitutional Law._ 2 vls., 8vo, 63_s._

 _Harper's Magazine._ Monthly. 160 pages, fully illustrated, 1_s._
   Vols., half yearly, I.--XVIII., super-royal 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._ each.

     "'Harper's Magazine' is so thickly sown with excellent
     illustrations that to count them would be a work of time; not that
     it is a picture magazine, for the engravings illustrate the text
     after the manner seen in some of our choicest _éditions de
     luxe_."--_St. James's Gazette._

     "It is so pretty, so big, and so cheap.... An extraordinary
     shillingsworth--160 large octavo pages, with over a score of
     articles, and more than three times as many
     illustrations."--_Edinburgh Daily Review._

     "An amazing shillingsworth ... combining choice literature of both

 _Harper's Young People._ Vols. I.-V., profusely Illustrated with
   woodcuts and coloured plates. Royal 4to, extra binding, each 7_s._
   6_d._; gilt edges, 8_s._ Published Weekly, in wrapper, 1_d._; Annual
   Subscription, post free, 6_s._ 6_d._; Monthly, in wrapper, with
   coloured plate, 6_d._; Annual Subscription, post free, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Harris (Bishop of Michigan)_ _Dignity of Man: Select Sermons._ Crown
   8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Harris (W. B.)_ _Land of African Sultan: Travels in Morocco._ Illust.,
   crown 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._; large paper, 31_s._ 6_d._

 _Harrison (Mary)_ _Complete Cookery Book._ Crown 8vo.

 ---- _Skilful Cook._ New edition, crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Harrison (W.)_ _Memorable London Houses: a Guide._ Illust. New
   edition, 18mo, 1_s._ 6_d._

 _Hatton (Joseph)_ _Journalistic London: with Engravings and Portraits
   of Distinguished Writers of the Day._ Fcap. 4to, 12_s._ 6_d._


 _Haweis (Mrs.)_ _Art of Housekeeping: a Bridal Garland._ 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Hawthorne (Nathaniel)_ _Life._ By JOHN R. LOWELL.

 _Heldmann (B.)_ _Mutiny of the Ship "Leander."_ Gilt edges, 3_s._
   6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Henty._ _Winning his Spurs._ Cr. 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._

 ---- _Cornet of Horse._ Cr. 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Jack Archer._ Illust. 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Henty (Richmond)_ _Australiana: My Early Life._ 5_s._

 _Herrick (Robert)_ _Poetry._ Preface by AUSTIN DOBSON. With numerous
   Illustrations by E. A. ABBEY. 4to, gilt edges, 42_s._

 _Hetley (Mrs. E.)_ _Native Flowers of New Zealand._ Chromos from
   Drawings. Three Parts, 63_s._; extra binding, 73_s._ 6_d._

 _Hicks (E. S.)_ _Our Boys: How to Enter the Merchant Service._ 5_s._

 ---- _Yachts, Boats and Canoes._ Illustrated. 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Hinman (R.)_ _Eclectic Physical Geography._ Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Hitchman._ _Public Life of the Earl of Beaconsfield._ 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Hoey (Mrs. Cashel)_ See LOW'S STANDARD NOVELS.

 _Holder (C. F.)_ _Marvels of Animal Life._ Illustrated. 8_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Ivory King: Elephant and Allies._ Illustrated. 8_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Living Lights: Phosphorescent Animals and Vegetables._
   Illustrated. 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Holmes (O. W.)_ _Before the Curfew, &c. Occasional Poems._ 5_s._

 ---- _Last Leaf: a Holiday Volume._ 42_s._

 ---- _Mortal Antipathy_, 8_s._ 6_d._; also 2_s._; paper, 1_s._

 ---- _Our Hundred Days in Europe._ 6_s._ Large Paper, 15_s._

 ---- _Poetical Works._ 2 vols., 18mo, gilt tops, 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- See also "Rose Library."

 _Howard (Blanche Willis)_ _Open Door._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Howorth (H. H.)_ _Mammoth and the Flood._ 8vo, 18_s._

 _Hugo (V.)_ _Notre Dame._ With coloured etchings and 150 engravings. 2
   vols. 8vo, vellum cloth, 30_s._

 _Hundred Greatest Men (The)._ 8 portfolios, 21_s._ each, or 4 vols.,
   half-morocco, gilt edges, 10 guineas. New Ed., 1 vol., royal 8vo,

 _Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer._ By BISHOP BICKERSTETH.
   In various styles and bindings from 1_d._ to 31_s._ 6_d._ _Price List
   and Prospectus will be forwarded on application._

 _Illustrated Text-Books of Art-Education._ Edited by EDWARD J. POYNTER,
   R.A. Illustrated, and strongly bound, 5_s._

 Now ready:--


   =Classic and Italian.= By HEAD.
   =German, Flemish, and Dutch.=
   =French and Spanish.=
   =English and American.=


   =Classic and Early Christian.=
   =Gothic and Renaissance.= By T. ROGER SMITH.


   =Antique: Egyptian and Greek.=
   =Renaissance and Modern.= By LEADER SCOTT.

 _Inderwick (F.A.; Q.C.)_ _Side Lights on the Stuarts. Essays._
   Illustrated, 8vo, 18_s._

 _Index to the English Catalogue, Jan., 1874, to Dec., 1880._ Royal
   8vo, half-morocco, 18_s._

 _Inglis (Hon. James; "Maori")_ _Our New Zealand Cousins._ Small post
   8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _Tent Life in Tiger Land: Twelve Years a Pioneer Planter._ Col.
   plates, roy. 8vo, 18_s._

 _Irving (Washington)_ Library Edition of his Works in 27 vols.,
   Copyright, with the Author's Latest Revisions. "Geoffrey Crayon"
   Edition, large square 8vo. 12_s._ 6_d._ per vol. _See also_ "Little

 _Jackson._ _New Style Vertical Writing Copy-Books Series I, Nos.
   I.--XII._, 2_d._ and 1_d._ each.

 ---- _New Series of Vertical Writing Copy-books._ 22 Nos.

 ---- _Shorthand of Arithmetic: a Companion to all Arithmetics._ Crown
   8vo, 1_s._ 6_d._


 _Jordan (Gertrude)_ _Key-hole Country._ Illustrated. Crown 8vo, cloth,

 _Johnston (H. H.)_ _River Congo, from its Mouth to Bolobo._ New
   Edition, 8vo, 21_s._

 _Johnstone (D. Lawson)_ _Land of the Mountain Kingdom._ Illust., crown
   8vo. 5_s._

 _Julien (F.)_ _English Student's French Examiner._ 16mo, 2_s._

 ---- _Conversational French Reader._ 16mo, cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _French at Home and at School._ Book I., Accidence. 2_s._

 ---- _First Lessons in Conversational French Grammar._ 1_s._

 ---- _Petites Leçons de Conversation et de Grammaire._ 3_s._

 ---- _Phrases of Daily Use._ Limp cloth, 6_d._

 _Karr (H. W. Seton)_ _Shores and Alps of Alaska._ 8vo, 16_s._

 _Keats._ _Endymion._ Illust. by W. ST. JOHN HARPER. Imp. 4to, gilt top,

 _Kempis (Thomas à)_ _Daily Text-Book._ Square 16mo, 2_s._ 6_d._;
   interleaved as a Birthday Book, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Kennedy (E. B.)_ _Blacks and Bushrangers, adventures in North
   Queensland._ Illust., crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Kent's Commentaries: an Abridgment for Students of American Law._ By
   EDEN F. THOMPSON. 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Kerr (W. M.)_ _Far Interior: Cape of Good Hope, across the Zambesi, to
   the Lake Regions._ Illustrated from Sketches, 2 vols. 8vo, 32_s._

 _Kershaw (S. W.)_ _Protestants from France in their English Home._
   Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _King (Henry)_ _Savage London; Riverside Characters, &c._ Crown 8vo,

 _Kingston (W. H. G.)_ _Works._ Illustrated, 16mo, gilt edges, 3_s._
   6_d._; plainer binding, plain edges, 2_s._ 6_d._ each.

   Ben Burton.
   Captain Mugford, or, Our Salt and Fresh Water Tutors.
   Dick Cheveley.
   Heir of Kilfinnan.
   Snow-Shoes and Canoes.
   Two Supercargoes.
   With Axe and Rifle.

 _Kingsley (Rose)_ _Children of Westminster Abbey: Studies in English
   History._ 5_s._

 _Knight (E. J.)_ _Cruise of the "Falcon."_ New Ed. Cr. 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Knox (Col.)_ _Boy Travellers on the Congo._ Illus. Cr. 8vo, 7_s._

 _Kunhardt (C. B.)_ _Small Yachts: Design and Construction._ 35_s._

 ---- _Steam Yachts and Launches._ Illustrated. 4to, 16_s._

 _Langley (S. P.)_ _New Astronomy._ Ill. Cr. 8vo. 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Lanier's Works._ Illustrated, crown 8vo, gilt edges, 7_s._ 6_d._ each.

   Boy's King Arthur.
   Boy's Froissart.
   Boy's Knightly Legends of Wales.
   Boy's Percy: Ballads of Love and Adventure, selected from the

 _Lansdell (H.)_ _Through Siberia._ 2 vols., 8vo, 30_s._; 1 vol., 10_s._

 ---- _Russia in Central Asia._ Illustrated. 2 vols., 42_s._

 ---- _Through Central Asia; Russo-Afghan Frontier, &c._ 8vo, 12_s._

 _Larden (W.)_ _School Course on Heat._ Third Ed., Illust. 5_s._

 _Laurie (A.)_ _Conquest of the Moon: a Story of the Bayouda._ Illust.,
   crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Layard (Mrs. Granville)_ _Through the West Indies._ Small post 8vo,
   2_s._ 6_d._

 _Lea (H. C.)_ _History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages._ 3 vols.,
   8vo, 42_s._

 _Lemon (M.)_ _Small house over the Water, and Stories._ Illust. by
   Cruikshank, &c. Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Leo XIII.: Life._ By BERNARD O'REILLY. With Steel Portrait from
   Photograph, &c. Large 8vo, 18_s._; _édit. de luxe_, 63_s._

 _Leonardo da Vinci's Literary Works._ Edited by Dr. JEAN PAUL RICHTER.
   Containing his Writings on Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, his
   Philosophical Maxims, Humorous Writings, and Miscellaneous Notes on
   Personal Events, on his Contemporaries, on Literature, &c.; published
   from Manuscripts. 2 vols., imperial 8vo, containing about 200
   Drawings in Autotype Reproductions, and numerous other Illustrations.
   Twelve Guineas.

 _Library of Religious Poetry._ Best Poems of all Ages. Edited by SCHAFF
   and GILMAN. Royal 8vo, 21_s._; cheaper binding, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Lindsay (W. S.)_ _History of Merchant Shipping._ Over 150
   Illustrations, Maps, and Charts. In 4 vols., demy 8vo, cloth extra.
   Vols. 1 and 2, 11_s._ each; vols. 3 and 4, 14_s._ each. 4 vols.,

 _Little (Archibald J.)_ _Through the Yang-tse Gorges: Trade and Travel
   in Western China._ New Edition. 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Little Britain_, _The Spectre Bridegroom_, and _Legend of Sleepy
   Hollow._ By WASHINGTON IRVING. An entirely New _Édition de luxe._
   Illustrated by 120 very fine Engravings on Wood, by Mr. J. D. COOPER.
   Designed by Mr. CHARLES O. MURRAY. Re-issue, square crown 8vo, cloth,

 _Lodge (Henry Cabot)_ _George Washington._ (_American Statesmen._) 2
   vols., 12_s._

 _Longfellow._ _Maidenhood._ With Coloured Plates. Oblong 4to, 2_s._
   6_d._; gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Courtship of Miles Standish._ Illust. by BROUGHTON, &c. Imp. 4to,

 ---- _Nuremberg._ 28 Photogravures. Illum. by M. and A. COMEGYS. 4to,
   31_s._ 6_d._

 _Lowell (J. R.)_ _Vision of Sir Launfal._ Illustrated, royal 4to,

 ---- _Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne._ Sm. post 8vo. [_In prep._

 _Low's Standard Library of Travel and Adventure._ Crown 8vo, uniform in
   cloth extra, 7_s._ 6_d._, except where price is given.

   1. =The Great Lone Land.= By Major W. F. BUTLER, C.B.
   2. =The Wild North Land.= By Major W. F. BUTLER, C.B.
   3. =How I found Livingstone.= By H. M. STANLEY.
   4. =Through the Dark Continent.= By H. M. STANLEY. 12_s._ 6_d._
   5. =The Threshold of the Unknown Region.= By C. R. MARKHAM.
        (4th Edition, with Additional Chapters, 10_s._ 6_d._)
   6. =Cruise of the Challenger.= By W. J. J. SPRY, R.N.
   7. =Burnaby's On Horseback through Asia Minor.= 10_s._ 6_d._
   8. =Schweinfurth's Heart of Africa.= 2 vols., 15_s._
   9. =Through America.= By W. G. MARSHALL.
   10. =Through Siberia.= Il. and unabridged, 10_s._ 6_d._ By H.
   11. =From Home to Home.= By STAVELEY HILL.
   12. =Cruise of the Falcon.= By E. J. KNIGHT.
   13. =Through Masai Land.= By JOSEPH THOMSON.
   14. =To the Central African Lakes.= By JOSEPH THOMSON.
   15. =Queen's Highway.= By STUART CUMBERLAND.

 _Low's Standard Novels._ Small post 8vo, cloth extra, 6_s._ each,
   unless otherwise stated

   JAMES BAKER. =John Westacott.=

   WILLIAM BLACK. =A Daughter of Heth.=--=House-Boat.=--=In Far
     Lochaber.=--=In Silk Attire.=--=Kilmeny.=--=Lady Silverdale's
     Sweetheart.=--=Sunrise.=--=Three Feathers.=

   R. D. BLACKMORE. =Alice Lorraine.=--=Christowell, a Dartmoor
     Tale.=--=Clara Vaughan.=--=Cradock Nowell.=--=Cripps the
     Carrier.=--=Erema; or, My Father's Sin.=--=Lorna Doone.=--=Mary
     Anerley.=--=Tommy Upmore.=

   G. W. CABLE. =Bonaventure.= 5_s._

   Miss COLERIDGE. =An English Squire.=

   C. E. CRADDOCK. =Despot of Broomsedge Cove.=

   Mrs. B. M. CROKER. =Some One Else.=


   E. DE LEON. =Under the Stars and Crescent.=

   Miss BETHAM-EDWARDS. =Halfway.=

   Rev. E. GILLIAT, M.A. =Story of the Dragonnades.=

   THOMAS HARDY. =A Laodicean.=--=Far from the Madding Crowd.=--=Mayor
     of Casterbridge.=--=Pair of Blue Eyes.=--=Return of the
     Native.=--=The Hand of Ethelberta.=--=The Trumpet Major.=--=Two on
     a Tower.=

   JOSEPH HATTON. =Old House at Sandwich.=--=Three Recruits.=

   Mrs. CASHEL HOEY. =A Golden Sorrow.=--=A Stern Chase.=--=Out of


   JEAN INGELOW. =Don John.=--=John Jerome= (5_s._).--=Sarah de

   GEORGE MAC DONALD. =Adela Cathcart.=--=Guild Court.=--=Mary
     Marston.=--=Stephen Archer= (New Ed. of "Gifts").--=The Vicar's
     Daughter.=--=Orts.=--=Weighed and Wanting.=

   Mrs. MACQUOID. =Diane.=--=Elinor Dryden.=

   HELEN MATHERS. =My Lady Greensleeves.=

   DUFFIELD OSBORNE. =Spell of Ashtaroth= (5_s._).

   Mrs. J. H. RIDDELL. =Alaric Spenceley.=--=Daisies and
     Buttercups.=--=The Senior Partner.=--=A Struggle for Fame.=

   W. CLARK RUSSELL. =Frozen Pirate.=--=Jack's Courtship.=--=John
     Holdsworth.=--=A Sailor's Sweetheart.=--=Sea Queen.=--=Watch
     Below.=--=Strange Voyage.=--=Wreck of the Grosvenor.=--=The Lady
     Maud.=--=Little Loo.=

   FRANK R. STOCKTON. =Bee-man of Orn.=--=The Late Mrs.
     Null.=--=Hundredth Man.=

   Mrs. HARRIET B. STOWE. =My Wife and I.=--=Old Town Folk.=--=We and
     our Neighbours.=--=Poganuc People, their Loves and Lives.=

   JOSEPH THOMSON. =Ulu: an African Romance.=

   LEW. WALLACE. =Ben Hur: a Tale of the Christ.=

   CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON. =Anne.=--=East Angels.=--=For the Major=
     (5_s._). =French Heiress in her own Chateau.=

     See also SEA STORIES.

 _Low's Standard Novels._ NEW ISSUE at short intervals. Cr. 8vo, 2_s._
   6_d._; fancy boards, 2_s._

   BLACKMORE. =Clara Vaughan.=--=Cripps the Carrier.=--=Lorna
     Doone.=--=Mary Anerley.=

   HARDY. =Madding Crowd.=--=Mayor of Casterbridge.=--=Trumpet-Major.=

   HATTON. =Three Recruits.=

   HOLMES. =Guardian Angel.=

   MAC DONALD. =Adela Cathcart.=--=Guild Court.=

   RIDDELL. =Daisies and Buttercups.=--=Senior Partner.=

   STOCKTON. =Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks.=

   STOWE. =Dred.=

   WALFORD. =Her Great Idea.=

   _To be followed immediately by_

   BLACKMORE. =Alice Lorraine.=--=Tommy Upmore.=

   CABLE. =Bonaventure.=

   CROKER. =Some One Else.=

   DE LEON. =Under the Stars.=

   EDWARDS. =Half-Way.=

   HARDY. =Hand of Ethelberta.=--=Pair of Blue Eyes.=--=Two on a Tower.=

   HATTON. =Old House at Sandwich.=

   HOEY. =Golden Sorrow.=--=Out of Court.=--=Stern Chase.=

   INGELOW. =John Jerome.=--=Sarah de Berenger.=

   MAC DONALD. =Vicar's Daughter.=--=Stephen Archer.=

   OLIPHANT. =Innocent.=

   STOCKTON. =Bee-Man of Orn.=

   STOWE. =Old Town Folk.=--=Poganuc People.=

   THOMSON. =Ulu.=

 _Low's Standard Books for Boys._ With numerous Illustrations, 2_s._
   6_d._; gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._ each.

   =Dick Cheveley.= By W. H. G. KINGSTON.

   =Heir of Kilfinnan.= By W. H. G. KINGSTON.

   =Off to the Wilds.= By G. MANVILLE FENN.

   =The Two Supercargoes.= By W. H. G. KINGSTON.

   =The Silver Cañon.= By G. MANVILLE FENN.

   =Under the Meteor Flag.= By HARRY COLLINGWOOD.

   =Jack Archer: a Tale of the Crimea.= By G. A. HENTY.

   =The Mutiny on Board the Ship Leander.= By B. HELDMANN.

   =With Axe and Rifle on the Western Prairies.= By W. H. G. KINGSTON.

   =Red Cloud, the Solitary Sioux: a Tale of the Great Prairie.= By Col.
     Sir WM. BUTLER, K.C.B.

   =The Voyage of the Aurora.= By HARRY COLLINGWOOD.

   =Charmouth Grange: a Tale of the 17th Century.= By J. PERCY GROVES.

   =Snowshoes and Canoes.= By W. H. G. KINGSTON.

   =The Son of the Constable of France.= By LOUIS ROUSSELET.

   =Captain Mugford; or, Our Salt and Fresh Water Tutors.= Edited by W.
     H. G. KINGSTON.

   =The Cornet of Horse, a Tale of Marlborough's Wars.= By G. A. HENTY.

   =The Adventures of Captain Mago.= By LEON CAHUN.

   =Noble Words and Noble Needs.=

   =The King of the Tigers.= By ROUSSELET.

   =Hans Brinker; or, The Silver Skates.= By Mrs. DODGE.

   =The Drummer-Boy, a Story of the time of Washington.= By ROUSSELET.

   =Adventures in New Guinea: The Narrative of Louis Tregance.=

   =The Crusoes of Guiana.= By BOUSSENARD.

   =The Gold Seekers. A Sequel to the Above.= By BOUSSENARD.

   =Winning His Spurs, a Tale of the Crusades.= By G. A. HENTY.

   =The Blue Banner.= By LEON CAHUN.

   _New Volumes for 1889._

   =Startling Exploits of the Doctor.= CÉLIÈRE.

   =Brothers Rantzau.= ERCKMANN-CHATRIAN.

   =Young Naturalist.= BIART.

   =Ben Burton; or, Born and Bred at Sea.= KINGSTON.

   =Great Hunting Grounds of the World.= MEUNIER.

   =Ran Away from the Dutch.= PERELAER.

   =My Kalulu, Prince, King, and Slave.= STANLEY.

 _Low's Standard Series of Books by Popular Writers._ Sm. cr. 8vo, cloth
   gilt, 2_s._; gilt edges, 2_s._ 6_d._ each.

   =Aunt Jo's Scrap Bag.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Shawl Straps.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Little Men.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Hitherto.= By Mrs. WHITNEY.

   =Forecastle to Cabin.= By SAMUELS. Illustrated.

   =In My Indian Garden.= By PHIL ROBINSON.

   =Little Women and Little Women Wedded.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Eric and Ethel.= By FRANCIS FRANCIS. Illust.

   =Keyhole Country.= By GERTRUDE JERDON. Illust.

   =We Girls.= By Mrs. WHITNEY.

   =The Other Girls.= A Sequel to "We Girls." By Mrs. WHITNEY.

   =Adventures of Jimmy Brown.= Illust. By W. L. ALDEN.

   =Under the Lilacs.= By Miss ALCOTT. Illust.

   =Jimmy's Cruise.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Under the Punkah.= By PHIL ROBINSON.

   =An Old-Fashioned Girl.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =A Rose in Bloom.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Eight Cousins.= Illust. By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Jack and Jill.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Lulu's Library.= Illust. By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Silver Pitchers.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =Work and Beginning Again.= Illust. By Miss ALCOTT.

   =A Summer in Leslie Goldthwaite's Life.= By Mrs. WHITNEY.

   =Faith Gartney's Girlhood.= By Mrs. WHITNEY.

   =Real Folks.= By Mrs. WHITNEY.

   =Dred.= By Mrs. STOWE.

   =My Wife and I.= By Mrs. STOWE.

   =An Only Sister.= By Madame DE WITT.

   =Spinning Wheel Stories.= By Miss ALCOTT.

   =My Summer in a Garden.= By C. DUDLEY WARNER.

 _Low's Pocket Encyclopædia: a Compendium of General Knowledge for Ready
   Reference._ Upwards of 25,000 References, with Plates. New ed., imp
   32mo, cloth, marbled edges, 3_s._ 6_d._; roan, 4_s._ 6_d._

 _Low's Handbook to London Charities._ Yearly, cloth, 1_s._ 6_d._;
   paper, 1_s._

 _Lusignan (Princess A. de)_ _Twelve years' Reign of Abdul Hamid II._
   Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _McCulloch (H.)_ _Men and Measures of Half a century._ Sketches and
   Comments. 8vo, 18_s._

 _Macdonald (D.)_ _Oceania. Linguistic and Anthropological._ Illust.,
   and Tables. Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Mac Donald (George)._ See LOW'S STANDARD NOVELS.

 _Macgregor (John)_ _"Rob Roy" on the Baltic._ 3rd Edition, small post
   8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._; cloth, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _A Thousand Miles in the "Rob Roy" Canoe._ 11th Edition, small
   post 8vo, 2_s._ _6d._; cloth, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Voyage Alone in the Yawl "Rob Roy."_ New Edition, with additions,
   small post 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._ and 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Mackenzie (Sir Morell)_ _Fatal Illness of Frederick the Noble._ Crown
   8vo, limp cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Mackenzie (Rev. John)_ _Austral Africa: Losing it or Ruling it?
   Illustrations and Maps._ 2 vols., 8vo, 32_s._

 _Maclean (H. E.)_ _Maid of the Golden Age._ Illust., cr. 8vo, 6_s._

 _McLellan's Own Story: The War for the Union._ Illust. 18_s._

 _Maginn (W.)_ _Miscellanies. Prose and Verse. With Memoir._ 2 vols.,
   crown 8vo, 24_s._

 _Main (Mrs.; Mrs. Fred Burnaby)_ _High Life and Towers of Silence._
   Illustrated, square 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Malan (C. F. de M.)_ _Eric and Connie's Cruise in the South Pacific._
   Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Manning (E. F.)_ _Delightful Thames._ Illustrated. 4to, fancy boards,

 _Markham (Clements R.)_ _The Fighting Veres, Sir F. and Sir H._ 8vo,

 ---- _War between Peru and Chili, 1879-1881._ Third Ed. Crown 8vo, with
   Maps, 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- See also "Foreign Countries," MAURY, and VERES.

 _Marston (W.)_ _Eminent Recent Actors, Reminiscences Critical, &c._ 2
   vols. Crown 8vo, 21_s._; new edit., 1 vol., 6_s._

 _Martin (F. W.)_ _Float Fishing and Spinning in the Nottingham Style._
   New Edition. Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Matthews (J. W., M.D.)_ _Incwadi Yami: Twenty years in South Africa._
   With many Engravings, royal 8vo, 14_s._

 _Maury (Commander)_ _Physical Geography of the Sea, and its
   Meteorology._ New Edition, with Charts and Diagrams, cr. 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _Life._ By his Daughter. Edited by Mr. CLEMENTS R. MARKHAM. With
   portrait of Maury. 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Melio (G. L.)_ _Manual of Swedish Drill for Teachers and Students._
   Cr. 8vo, 1_s._ 6_d._

 _Men of Mark: Portraits of the most Eminent Men of the Day._ Complete
   in 7 Vols., 4to, handsomely bound, gilt edges, 25_s._ each.

 _Mendelssohn Family (The), 1729-1847._ From Letters and Journals.
   Translated. New Edition, 2 vols., 8vo, 30_s._

 _Mendelssohn._ See also "Great Musicians."

 _Merrifield's Nautical Astronomy._ Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Mills (J.)_ _Alternative Elementary Chemistry._ Ill., cr. 8vo, 7_s._

 _Mitford (Mary Russell)_ _Our Village._ With 12 full-page and 157
   smaller Cuts. Cr. 4to, cloth, gilt edges, 21_s._; cheaper binding,
   10_s._ 6_d._

 _Mody (Mrs.)_ _Outlines of German Literature._ 18mo, 1_s._

 _Moffatt (W.)_ _Land and Work; Depression, Agricultural and
   Commercial._ Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Mohammed Benani: A Story of To-day._ 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Mollett (J. W.)_ _Illustrated Dictionary of Words used in Art and
   Archæology._ Illustrated, small 4to, 15_s._

 _Moore (J. M.)_ _New Zealand for Emigrant, Invalid and Tourist._ Cr.

 _Morley (Henry)_ _English Literature in the Reign of Victoria._ 2000th
   volume of the Tauchnitz Collection of Authors. 18mo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Mormonism._ See STENHOUSE.

 _Morse (E. S.)_ _Japanese Homes and their Surroundings._ With more than
   300 Illustrations. Re-issue, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Morten (Honnor)_ _Sketches of Hospital Life._ Cr. 8vo, sewed, 1_s._

 _Morwood._ _Our Gipsies in City, Tent, and Van._ 8vo, 18_s._

 _Moss (F. J.)_ _Through Atolls and Islands of the great South Sea._
   Illust., crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Moxon (Walter)_ _Pilocereus Senilis._ Fcap. 8vo, gilt top, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Muller (E.)_ _Noble Words and Noble Deeds._ Illustrated, gilt edges,
   3_s._ 6_d._; plainer binding, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Musgrave (Mrs.)_ _Miriam._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Music._ See "Great Musicians."

 _Nethercote (C. B.)_ _Pytchley Hunt._ New Ed., cr. 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _New Zealand._ See BRADSHAW and WHITE (J.).

 _New Zealand Rulers and Statesmen._ See GISBORNE.

 _Nicholls (J. H. Kerry)_ _The King Country: Explorations in New
   Zealand._ Many Illustrations and Map. New Edition, 8vo, 21_s._

 _Nordhoff (C.)_ _California, for Health, Pleasure, and Residence._ New
   Edition, 8vo, with Maps and Illustrations, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Norman (C. B.)_ _Corsairs of France._ With Portraits. 8vo, 18_s._

 _North (W.; M.A.)_ _Roman Fever: an Inquiry during three years'
   residence._ Illust., 8vo, 25_s._

 _Northbrook Gallery._ Edited by LORD RONALD GOWER. 36 Permanent
   Photographs. Imperial 4to, 63_s._; large paper, 105_s._

 _Nott (Major)_ _Wild Animals Photographed and Described._ 35_s._

 _Nursery Playmates (Prince of)._ 217 Coloured Pictures for Children by
   eminent Artists. Folio, in col. bds., 6_s._; new ed., 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Nursing Record._ Yearly, 8_s._; half-yearly, 4_s._ 6_d._; quarterly,
   2_s._ 6_d_; weekly, 2_d._

 _O'Brien (R. B.)_ _Fifty Years of Concessions to Ireland._ With a
   Portrait of T. Drummond. Vol. I., 16_s._, II., 16_s._

 _Orient Line Guide._ New edition re-written; by W. J. LOFTIE. Maps and
   Plans, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Orvis (C. F.)_ _Fishing with the Fly._ Illustrated. 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Osborne (Duffield)_ _Spell of Ashtaroth._ Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Our Little Ones in Heaven._ Edited by the Rev. H. ROBBINS. With
   Frontispiece after Sir JOSHUA REYNOLDS. New Edition, 5_s._

 _Palgrave (R. F. D.)_ _Oliver Cromwell and his Protectorate._ Crown

 _Pallser (Mrs.)_ _A History of Lace._ New Edition, with additional cuts
   and text. 8vo, 21_s._

 ---- _The China Collector's Pocket Companion._ With upwards of 1000
   Illustrations of Marks and Monograms. Small 8vo, 5_s._

 _Panton (J. E.)_ _Homes of Taste. Hints on Furniture and Decoration._
   Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Parsons (James; A.M.)_ _Exposition of the Principles of Partnership._
   8vo, 31_s._ 6_d._

 _Pennell (H. Cholmondeley)_ _Sporting Fish of Great Britain._ 15_s._;
   large paper, 30_s._

 ---- _Modern Improvements in Fishing-tackle._ Crown 8vo, 2_s._

 _Perelaer (M. T. H.)_ _Ran Away from the Dutch; Borneo, &c._
   Illustrated, square 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d_; new ed., 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Perry (J. J. M.)_ _Edlingham Burglary, or Circumstantial Evidence._
   Crown 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Phelps (Elizabeth Stuart)_ _Struggle for Immortality._ Cr. 8vo, 5_s._

 _Phillips' Dictionary of Biographical Reference._ New edition, royal
   8vo, 25_s._

 _Philpot (H. J.)_ _Diabetes Mellitus._ Crown 8vo, 5_s._

 ---- _Diet System._ Tables. I. Diabetes; II. Gout; III. Dyspepsia; IV.
   Corpulence. In cases, 1_s._ each.

 _Plunkett (Major G. T.)_ _Primer of Orthographic Projection._
   Elementary Solid Geometry. With Problems and Exercises. 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Poe (E. A.)_ _The Raven._ Illustr. by DORÉ. Imperial folio, 63_s._

 _Poems of the Inner Life._ Chiefly Modern. Small 8vo, 5_s._

 _Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin._ New ed., by CHARLES EDMONDS. Cr. 8vo,
   7_s._ 6_d._; large paper, 21_s._

 _Porcher (A.)_ _Juvenile French Plays._ With Notes and a Vocabulary.
   18mo, 1_s._

 _Porter (Admiral David D.)_ _Naval History of Civil War._ Portraits,
   Plans, &c. 4to, 25_s._

 _Portraits of Celebrated Race-horses of the Past and Present Centuries,
   with Pedigrees and Performances._ 4 vols., 4to, 126_s._

 _Powles (L. D.)_ _Land of the Pink Pearl: Life in the Bahamas._ 8vo,
   10_s._ 6_d._

 _Poynter (Edward J., R.A.)._ See "Illustrated Text-books."

 _Prince Maskiloff: a Romance of Modern Oxford._ By ROY TELLET. Crown
   8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Prince of Nursery Playmates._ Col. plates, new ed., 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Pritt (T. E.)_ _North Country Flies._ Illustrated from the Author's
   Drawings. 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Publishers' Circular (The), and General Record of British and Foreign
   Literature._ Published on the 1st and 15th of every Month, 3_d._

 _Pyle (Howard)_ _Otto of the Silver Hand._ Illustrated by the Author.
   8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Queen's Prime Ministers._ A series. Edited by S. J. REID. Cr. 8vo,
   2_s._ 6_d._ per vol.

 _Rambaud._ _History of Russia._ New Edition, Illustrated. 3 vols., 8vo,

 _Reber._ _History of Mediæval Art._ Translated by CLARKE. 422
   Illustrations and Glossary. 8vo.

 _Redford (G.)_ _Ancient Sculpture._ New Ed. Crown 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Redgrave (G. R.)_ _Century of Painters of the English School._ Crown
   8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Reed (Sir E. J., M.P.) and Simpson._ _Modern Ships of War._ Illust.,
   royal 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Reed (Talbot B.)_ _Sir Ludar: a Tale of the Days of good Queen Bess._
   Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Remarkable Bindings in the British Museum._ India paper, 94_s._ 6_d._;
   sewed 73_s._ 6_d._ and 63_s._

 _Reminiscences of a Boyhood in the early part of the Century: a Story._
   Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Ricci (J. H. de)_ _Fisheries Dispute, and the Annexation of Canada._
   Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Richards (W.)_ _Aluminium: its History, Occurrence, &c._ Illustrated,
   crown 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Richter (Dr. Jean Paul)_ _Italian Art in the National Gallery._ 4to.
   Illustrated. Cloth gilt, £2 2_s._; half-morocco, uncut, £2 12_s._

 ---- See also LEONARDO DA VINCI.

 _Riddell (Mrs. J. H.)_ See Low's STANDARD NOVELS.

 _Roberts (W.)_ _Earlier History of English Bookselling._ Crown 8vo,
   7_s._ 6_d._

 _Robertson (T. W.)_ _Principal Dramatic Works, with Portraits in
   photogravure._ 2 vols., 21_s._

 _Robin Hood; Merry Adventures of._ Written and illustrated by HOWARD
   PYLE. Imperial 8vo, 15_s._

 _Robinson (Phil.)_ _In my Indian Garden._ New Edition, 16mo, limp
   cloth, 2_s._

 ---- _Noah's Ark. Unnatural History._ Sm. post 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Sinners and Saints: a Tour across the United States of America,
   and Round them._ Crown 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Under the Punkah._ New Ed., cr. 8vo, limp cloth, 2_s._

 _Rockstro (W. S.)_ _History of Music._ New Edition. 8vo, 14_s._

 _Roe (E. P.)_ _Nature's Serial Story._ Illust. New ed. 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Roland, The Story of._ Crown 8vo, illustrated, 6_s._

 _Rose (F.)_ _Complete Practical Machinist._ New Ed., 12mo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Key to Engines and Engine-running._ Crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Mechanical Drawing._ Illustrated, small 4to, 16_s._

 ---- _Modern Steam Engines._ Illustrated. 31_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Steam Boilers. Boiler Construction and Examination._ Illust.,
   8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Rose Library._ Each volume, 1_s._ Many are illustrated--

   =Little Women.= By LOUISA M. ALCOTT.

   =Little Women Wedded.= Forming a Sequel to "Little Women."

   =Little Women and Little Women Wedded.= 1 vol., cloth gilt, 3_s._

   =Little Men.= By L. M. ALCOTT. Double vol., 2_s._; cloth gilt, 3_s._

   =An Old-Fashioned Girl.= By LOUISA M. ALCOTT. 2_s._; cloth, 3_s._

   =Work.= A Story of Experience. By L. M. ALCOTT. 3_s._ 6_d._; 2 vols.,
     1_s._ each.

   =Stowe (Mrs. H. B.)= =The Pearl of Orr's Island.=

   ---- =The Minister's Wooing.=

   ---- =We and our Neighbours.= 2_s._; cloth gilt, 6_s._

   ---- =My Wife and I.= 2_s._

   =Hans Brinker; or, the Silver Skates.= By Mrs. DODGE. Also 2_s._

   =My Study Windows.= By J. R. LOWELL.

   =The Guardian Angel.= By OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES. Cloth, 2_s._

   =My Summer in a Garden.= By C. D. WARNER.

   =Dred.= By Mrs. BEECHER STOWE. 2_s._; cloth gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._

   =City Ballads.= New Ed. 16mo. By WILL CARLETON.

   =Farm Ballads.= By WILL CARLETON.   }
   =Farm Festivals.= By WILL CARLETON. } 1 vol., cl., gilt ed.,
   =Farm Legends.= By WILL CARLETON.   }   3_s._ 6_d._

   =The Rose in Bloom.= By L. M. ALCOTT. 2_s._; cloth gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._

   =Eight Cousins.= By L. M. ALCOTT. 2_s._; cloth gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._

   =Under the Lilacs.= By L. M. ALCOTT. 2_s._; also 3_s._ 6_d._

   =Undiscovered Country.= By W. D. HOWELLS.

   =Clients of Dr. Bernagius.= By L. BIART. 2 parts.

   =Silver Pitchers.= By LOUISA M. ALCOTT. Cloth, 3_s._ 6_d._

   =Jimmy's Cruise in the "Pinafore," and other Tales.= By LOUISA M.
     ALCOTT. 2_s._; cloth gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._

   =Jack and Jill.= By LOUISA M. ALCOTT. 2_s._; Illustrated, 5_s._

   =Hitherto.= By the Author of the "Gayworthys." 2 vols., 1_s._ each; 1
     vol., cloth gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._

   =A Gentleman of Leisure.= A Novel. By EDGAR FAWCETT. 1_s._


 _Ross (Mars) and Stonehewer Cooper._ _Highlands of Cantabria; or, Three
   Days from England._ Illustrations and Map, 8vo, 21_s._

 _Rothschilds, the Financial Rulers of Nations._ By JOHN REEVES. Crown
   8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Rousselet (Louis)_ _Son of the Constable of France._ Small post 8vo,
   numerous Illustrations, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _King of the Tigers: a Story of Central India._ Illustrated. Small
   post 8vo, gilt, 3_s._ 6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Drummer Boy._ Illustrated. Small post 8vo, gilt edges, 3_s._
   6_d._; plainer, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Russell (Dora)_ _Strange Message._ 3 vols., crown 8vo, 31_s._ 6_d._

 _Russell (W. Clark)_ _Betwixt the Forelands._ Illust., crown 8vo,
   10_s._ 6_d._

 _Russell (W. Clark)_ _English Channel Ports and the Estate of the East
   and West India Dock Company._ Crown 8vo, 1_s._

 ---- _Sailor's Language._ Illustrated. Crown 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Wreck of the Grosvenor._ 4to, sewed, 6_d._

 ---- See also "Low's Standard Novels," "Sea Stories."

 _Saints and their Symbols: A Companion in the Churches and Picture
   Galleries of Europe._ Illustrated. Royal 16mo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Samuels (Capt. J. S.)_ _From Forecastle to Cabin: Autobiography._
   Illustrated. Crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._; also with fewer Illustrations,
   cloth, 2_s._; paper, 1_s._

 _Saunders (A.)_ _Our Domestic Birds: Poultry in England and New
   Zealand._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _Our Horses: the Best Muscles controlled by the Best Brains._

 _Scherr (Prof. F.)_ _History of English Literature._ Cr. 8vo, 8_s._

 _Schuyler (Eugène)_ _American Diplomacy and the Furtherance of
   Commerce._ 12_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _The Life of Peter the Great._ 2 vols., 8vo, 32_s._

 _Schweinfurth (Georg)_ _Heart of Africa._ 2 vols., crown 8vo, 15_s._

 _Scott (Leader)_ _Renaissance of Art in Italy._ 4to, 31_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Sculpture, Renaissance and Modern._ 5_s._

 _Sea Stories._ By W. CLARK RUSSELL. New ed. Cr. 8vo, leather back, top
   edge gilt, per vol., 3_s._ 6_d._

   Frozen Pirate.
   Jack's Courtship.
   John Holdsworth.
   Little Loo.
   Ocean Free Lance.
   Sailor's Sweetheart.
   Sea Queen.
   Strange Voyage.
   The Lady Maud.
   Watch Below.
   Wreck of the _Grosvenor._

 _Semmes (Adm. Raphael)_ _Service Afloat: The "Sumter" and the
   "Alabama."_ Illustrated. Royal 8vo, 16_s._

 _Senior (W.)_ _Near and Far: an Angler's Sketches of Home Sport and
   Colonial Life._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._; new edit., 2_s._

 ---- _Waterside Sketches._ Imp. 32mo, 1_s._ 6_d._; boards, 1_s._

 _Shakespeare._ Edited by R. GRANT WHITE. 3 vols., crown 8vo, gilt top,
   36_s._; _édition de luxe_, 6 vols., 8vo, cloth extra, 63_s._

 _Shakespeare's Heroines: Studies by Living English Painters._
   105_s._; artists' proofs, 630_s._

 ---- _Macbeth._ With Etchings on Copper, by J. MOYR SMITH. 105_s._ and
   52_s._ 6_d._

 ---- Songs and Sonnets. Illust. by Sir JOHN GILBERT, R.A. 4to, boards,


 _Sharpe (R. Bowdler)_ _Birds in Nature._ 39 coloured plates and text.
   4to, 63_s._

 _Sheridan._ _Rivals._ Reproductions of Water-colour, &c. 52_s_ 6_d._;
   artists proofs, 105_s._ nett.

 _Shields (C. W.)_ _Philosophia ultima; from Harmony of Science and
   Religion._ 2 vols. 8vo, 24_s._

 _Shields (G. O.)_ _Cruisings in the Cascades; Hunting, Photography,
   Fishing._ 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Sidney (Sir Philip)_ _Arcadia._ New Edition, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Siegfried, The Story of._ Illustrated, crown 8vo, cloth, 6_s._

 _Simon._ _China: its Social Life._ Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Simson (A.)_ _Wilds of Ecuador and Exploration of the Putumayor
   River._ Crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Sinclair (Mrs.)_ _Indigenous Flowers of the Hawaiian Islands._ 44
   Plates in Colour. Imp. folio, extra binding, gilt edges, 31_s._ 6_d._

 _Sloane (T. O.)_ _Home Experiments in Science for Old and Young._ Crown
   8vo, 6_s._

 _Smith (G.)_ _Assyrian Explorations._ Illust. New Ed., 8vo, 18_s._

 ---- _The Chaldean Account of Genesis._ With many Illustrations. 16_s._
   New Ed. By PROFESSOR SAYCE. 8vo, 18_s._

 _Smith (G. Barnett)_ _William I. and the German Empire._ New Ed., 8vo,
   3_s._ 6_d._

 _Smith (Sydney)_ _Life and Times._ By STUART J. REID. Illustrated. 8vo,

 _Spiers' French Dictionary._ 29th Edition, remodelled. 2 vols., 8vo,
   18_s._; half bound, 21_s._

 _Spry (W. J. J., R.N., F.R.G.S.)_ _Cruise of H.M.S. "Challenger."_ With
   Illustrations. 8vo, 18_s._ Cheap Edit., crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Stanley (H. M.)_ _Congo, and Founding its Free State._ Illustrated, 2
   vols., 8vo, 42_s._; re-issue, 2 vols. 8vo, 21_s._

 ---- _How I Found Livingstone._ 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._; cr. 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Through the Dark Continent._ Crown 8vo, 12s. 6d.

 _Start (J. W. K.)_ _Junior Mensuration Exercises._ 8_d._

 _Stenhouse (Mrs.)_ _Tyranny of Mormonism. An Englishwoman in Utah._ New
   ed., cr. 8vo, cloth elegant, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Sterry (J. Ashby)_ _Cucumber Chronicles._ 5_s._

 _Stevens (E. W.)_ _Fly-Fishing in Maine Lakes._ 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Stevens (T.)_ _Around the World on a Bicycle._ Vol. II. 8vo. 16_s._

 _Stockton (Frank R.)_ _Rudder Grange._ 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Bee-Man of Orn, and other Fanciful Tales._ Cr. 8vo, 5_s._

 ---- _Personally conducted._ Crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _The Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine._ 1_s._

 ---- _The Dusantes._ Sequel to the above. Sewed, 1_s._; this and the
   preceding book in one volume, cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _The Hundredth Man._ Small post 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _The Late Mrs. Null._ Small post 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _The Story of Viteau._ Illust. Cr. 8vo, 5_s._


 _Stowe (Mrs. Beecher)_ _Dred._ Cloth, gilt edges, 3_s._ 6_d._; cloth,

 ---- _Flowers and Fruit from her Writings._ Sm. post 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Life, in her own Words ... with Letters and Original
   Compositions._ 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Little Foxes._ Cheap Ed., 1_s._; Library Edition, 4_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _My Wife and I._ Cloth, 2_s._

 ---- _Old Town Folk._ 6_s._

 ---- _We and our Neighbours._ 2_s._

 ---- _Poganuc People._ 6_s._

 ---- See also ROSE LIBRARY.

 _Strachan (J.)_ _Explorations and Adventures in New Guinea._ Illust.,
   crown 8vo, 12_s._

 _Stranahan (C. H.)_ _History of French Painting, the Academy, Salons,
   Schools,_ &c. 21_s._

 _Stutfield (Hugh E. M.)_ _El Maghreb: 1200 Miles' Ride through
   Marocco._ 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Sullivan (A. M.)_ _Nutshell History of Ireland._ Paper boards, 6_d._

 _Sylvanus Redivivus, Rev. J. Mitford, with a Memoir of E. Jesse._ Crown
   8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Taine (H. A.)_ _"Origines."_ Translated by JOHN DURAND.

     I. =The Ancient Regime=. Demy 8vo, cloth, 16_s._
    II. =The French Revolution=. Vol. 1.  do.
   III.      =Do.      do.=      Vol. 2.  do.
    IV.      =Do.      do.=      Vol. 3.  do.

 _Tauchnitz's English Editions of German Authors._ Each volume, cloth
   flexible, 2_s._; or sewed, 1_s._ 6_d._ (Catalogues post free.)

 _Tauchnitz (B.)_ _German Dictionary._ 2_s._; paper, 1_s._ 6_d._; roan,
   2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _French Dictionary._ 2_s._; paper, 1_s._ 6_d._; roan, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Italian Dictionary._ 2_s._; paper, 1_s._ 6_d._; roan, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Latin Dictionary._ 2_s._; paper, 1_s._ 6_d._; roan, 2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Spanish and English._ 2_s._; paper, 1_s._ 6_d._; roan, 2_s._

 ---- _Spanish and French._ 2_s._; paper, 1_s._ 6_d._; roan, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Taylor (R. L.)_ _Chemical Analysis Tables._ 1_s._

 ---- _Chemistry for Beginners._ Small 8vo, 1_s._ 6_d._

 _Techno-Chemical Receipt Book._ With additions by BRANNT and WAHL.
   10_s._ 6_d._

 _Technological Dictionary._ See TOLHAUSEN.

 _Thausing (Prof.)_ _Malt and the Fabrication of Beer._ 8vo, 45_s._

 _Theakston (M.)_ _British Angling Flies._ Illustrated. Cr. 8vo, 5_s._

 _Thomson (Jos.)_ _Central African Lakes._ New edition, 2 vols. in one,
   crown 8vo, 7_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Through Masai Land._ Illust. 21_s._; new edition, 7_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _and Miss Harris-Smith._ _Ulu: an African Romance._ crown 8vo,

 _Thomson (W.)_ _Algebra for Colleges and Schools._ With Answers, 5_s._;
   without, 4_s._ 6_d._; Answers separate, 1_s._ 6_d._

 _Thornton (L. D.)_ _Story of a Poodle._ By Himself and his Mistress.
   Illust., crown 4to, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Thorrodsen, Lad and Lass._ Translated from the Icelandic by A. M.
   REEVES. Crown 8vo.

 _Tissandier (G.)_ _Eiffel Tower._ Illust., and letter of M. Eiffel in
   facsimile. Fcap. 8vo, 1_s._

 _Tolhausen._ _Technological German, English, and French Dictionary._
   Vols. I., II., with Supplement, 12_s._ 6_d._ each; III., 9_s._;
   Supplement, cr. 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Tompkins (E. S. de G.)_ _Through David's Realm._ Illust. by the
   Author. 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Tucker (W. J.)_ _Life and Society in Eastern Europe._ 15_s._

 _Tuckerman (B.)_ _Life of General Lafayette._ 2 vols., cr. 8vo, 12_s._

 _Tupper (Martin Farquhar)_ _My Life as an Author._ 14_s._; new edition,
   7_s._ 6_d._

 _Tytler (Sarah)_ _Duchess Frances: a Novel._ 2 vols., 21_s._

 _Upton (H.)_ _Manual of Practical Dairy Farming._ Cr. 8vo, 2_s._

 _Van Dam._ _Land of Rubens; a companion for visitors to Belgium._ Crown
   8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Vane (Young Sir Harry)._ By Prof. JAMES K. HOSMER. 8vo, 18_s._

 _Veres. Biography of Sir Francis Vere and Lord Vere, leading Generals
   in the Netherlands._ By CLEMENTS R. MARKHAM. 8vo, 18_s._

 _Verne (Jules)_ _Celebrated Travels and Travellers._ 3 vols. 8vo, 7_s._
   6_d._ each; extra gilt, 9_s._

 _Victoria (Queen)_ _Life of._ By GRACE GREENWOOD. Illust. 6_s._

 _Vincent (Mrs. Howard)_ _Forty Thousand Miles over Land and Water._
   With Illustrations. New Edit., 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Viollet-le-Duc (E.)_ _Lectures on Architecture._ Translated by
   BENJAMIN BUCKNALL, Architect. 2 vols., super-royal 8vo, £3 3_s._


                             |{Containing 350  |
                             |{to 600 pp. and  |Containing the whole of the
  LARGE CROWN 8vo.           |{from 50 to 100  |text with some illustrations.
                             |{full-page       |
                             |{illustrations.  |
                             |In very |In      |In cloth   |
                             |handsome|plainer |binding,   |Coloured boards,
 WORKS.                      |cloth   |binding,|gilt       |or cloth.
                             |binding,|plain   |edges,     |
                             |gilt    |edges.  |smaller    |
                             |edges.  |        |type.      |
                             |_s.  d._|_s. d._ |_s.  d._   |
 20,000 Leagues under the}   |        |        |           |
 Sea.                    }   | 10  6  | 5  0   | 3   6     |2 vols., 1_s._ ea.
 Parts I. and II.        }   |        |        |           |
 Hector Servadac             | 10  6  | 5  0   | 3   6     |2 vols., 1_s._ ea.
 The Fur Country             | 10  6  | 5  0   | 3   6     |2 vols., 1_s._ ea.
 The Earth to the Moon and a}|        |        |{2 vols., }|
 Trip round it              }| 10  6  | 5  0   |{2_s._ ea.}|2 vols., 1_s._ ea.
 Michael Strogoff            | 10  6  | 5  0   | 3   6     |2 vols., 1_s._ ea.
 Dick Sands, the Boy Captain | 10  6  | 5  0   | 3   6     |2 vols., 1_s._ ea.
 Five Weeks in a Balloon     |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1_s._ 0_d._
 Adventures of Three }       |        |        |           |
 Englishmen and Three}       |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 Russians            }       |        |        |           |
 Round the World in Eighty}  |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 Days                     }  |        |        |           |
 A Floating City     }       |        |        |{2   0     | 1   0
 The Blockade Runners}       |  7  6  | 3  6   |{2   0     | 1   0
 Dr. Ox's Experiment         |   --   |  --    | 2   0     | 1   0
 A Winter amid the Ice       |   --   |  --    | 2   0     | 1   0
 Survivors of the}           |        |        |           |
 "Chancellor"    }           |        |        |{3   6     |2 vols., 1_s._ ea.
 Martin Paz      }           |  7  6  | 3  6   |{2   0     | 1_s._ 0_d._
 The Mysterious Island,   }  |        |        |           |
 3 vols.:--               }  | 22  6  |10  6   | 6   0     | 3   0
   I. Dropped from the    }  |        |        |           |
      Clouds              }  |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
  II. Abandoned           }  |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 III. Secret of the Island}  |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 The Child of the Cavern     |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 The Begum's Fortune         |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 The Tribulations of a}      |        |        |           |
 Chinaman             }      |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 The Steam House, 2 vols.:--}|        |        |           |
  I. Demon of Cawnpore      }|  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 II. Tigers and Traitors    }|  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 The Giant Raft, 2 vols.:--} |        |        |           |
 I. 800 Leagues on the     } |        |        |           |
    Amazon                 } |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 II. The Cryptogram        } |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 The Green Ray               |  6  0  | 5  0   |  --       | 1   0
 Godfrey Morgan              |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 Kéraban the Inflexible:--  }|        |        |           |
 I. Captain of the "Gui'ara"}|  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 II. Scarpante the Spy      }|  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 The Archipelago on Fire     |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 The Vanished Diamond        |  7  6  | 3  6   | 2   0     | 1   0
 Mathias Sandorf             | 10  6  | 5  0   | 3   6     |2 vols., 1_s._ ea.
 The Lottery Ticket          |  7  6  | 3  6   |           |
 The Clipper of the Clouds   |  7  6  | 3  6   |           |
 North against South         |  7  6  |        |           |
 Adrift in the Pacific       |  7  6  |        |           |
 Flight to France            |  7  6  |        |           |

 CELEBRATED TRAVELS AND TRAVELLERS. 3 vols. 8vo, 600 pp., 100 full-page
 illustrations, 12_s._ 6_d._ gilt edges, 14_s._ each:--(1) THE

 _Walford (Mrs. L. B.)_ _Her Great Idea, and other Stories._ Cr. 8vo,
   10_s._ 6_d._; also new ed., 6_s._

 _Wallace (L.)_ _Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ._ New Edition, crown 8vo,
   6_s._; cheaper edition, 2_s._

 _Wallack (L.)_ _Memories of 50 Years; with many Portraits, and
   Facsimiles._ Small 4to, 63_s._ nett; ordinary edition 7_s._ 6_d._

 _Waller (Rev. C. H.)_ _Adoption and the Covenant._ On Confirmation.
   2_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Silver Sockets; and other Shadows of Redemption._ Sermons at
   Christ Church, Hampstead. Small post 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _The Names on the Gates of Pearl, and other Studies._ New Edition.
   Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Words in the Greek Testament._ Part I. Grammar. Small post 8vo,
   cloth, 2_s._ 6_d._ Part II. Vocabulary, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Walsh (A. S.)_ _Mary, Queen of the House of David._ 8vo, 3_s._ 6_d._

 _Walton (Iz.)_ _Wallet Book,_ ↀⅮLXXXV. Crown 8vo, half vellum, 21_s._;
   large paper, 42_s._

 ---- _Compleat Angler._ Lea and Dove Edition. Ed. by R. B. MARSTON.
   With full-page Photogravures on India paper, and the Woodcuts on
   India paper from blocks. 4to, half-morocco, 105_s._; large paper,
   royal 4to, full dark green morocco, gilt top, 210_s._

 _Walton (T. H.)_ _Coal Mining._ With Illustrations. 4to, 25_s._

 _War Scare in Europe._ Crown 8vo, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Warner (C. D.)_ _My Summer in a Garden._ Boards, 1_s._; leatherette,
   1_s._ 6_d._; cloth, 2_s._

 ---- _Their Pilgrimage._ Illustrated by C. S. REINHART. 8vo, 7_s._

 _Warren (W. F.)_ _Paradise Found; the North Pole the Cradle of the
   Human Race._ Illustrated. Crown 8vo, 12_s._ 6_d._

 _Washington Irving's Little Britain._ Square crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Watson (P. B.)_ _Swedish Revolution under Gustavus Vasa._ 8vo.

 _Wells (H. P.)_ _American Salmon Fisherman._ 6_s._

 ---- _Fly Rods and Fly Tackle._ Illustrated. 10_s._ 6_d._

 _Wells (J. W.)_ _Three Thousand Miles through Brazil._ Illustrated from
   Original Sketches. 2 vols. 8vo, 32_s._

 _Wenzel (O.)_ _Directory of Chemical Products of the German Empire._
   8vo, 25_s._

 _Westgarth (W.)_ _Half-century of Australasian Progress. Personal
   retrospect._ 8vo, 12_s._

 _Wheatley (H. B.)_ _Remarkable Bindings in the British Museum._
   Reproductions in Colour, 94_s._ 6_d._, 73_s._ 6_d._, and 63_s._

 _White (J.)_ _Ancient History of the Maori; Mythology, &c._ Vols.
   I.-IV. 8vo, 10_s._ 6_d._ each.

 _White (R. Grant)_ _England Without and Within._ Crown 8vo, 10_s._

 ---- _Every-day English._ 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Fate of Mansfield Humphreys, &c._ Cr. 8vo, 6_s._

 ---- _Studies in Shakespeare._ 10_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _Words and their Uses._ New Edit., crown 8vo, 5_s._

 _Whitney (Mrs.)_ _The Other Girls._ A Sequel to "We Girls." New ed.
   12mo, 2_s._

 ---- _We Girls._ New Edition. 2_s._

 _Whittier (J. G.)_ _The King's Missive, and later Poems._ 18mo, choice
   parchment cover, 3_s._ 6_d._

 ---- _St. Gregory's Guest, &c._ Recent Poems. 5_s._

 _William I. and the German Empire._ By G. BARNETT SMITH. New Edition,
   3_s._ 6_d._

 _Willis-Bund (J.)_ _Salmon Problems._ 3_s._ 6_d._; boards, 2_s._ 6_d._

 _Wills (Dr. C. J.)_ _Persia as it is._ Crown 8vo, 8_s._ 6_d._

 _Wills, A Few Hints on Proving, without Professional Assistance._ By a
   PROBATE COURT OFFICIAL. 8th Edition, revised, with Forms of Wills,
   Residuary Accounts, &c. Fcap. 8vo, cloth limp, 1_s._

 _Wilmot (A.)_ _Poetry of South Africa Collected._ 8vo, 6_s._

 _Wilmot-Buxton (Ethel M.)_ Wee Folk, Good Folk: a Fantasy._ Illust.,
   fcap. 4to, 5_s._

 _Winder (Frederick Horatio)_ _Lost in Africa: a Yarn of Adventure._
   Illust., cr. 8vo, 6_s._

 _Winsor (Justin)_ _Narrative and Critical History of America._ 8 vols.,
   30_s._ each; large paper, per vol., 63_s._

 _Woolsey._ _Introduction to International Law._ 5th Ed., 18_s._

 _Woolson (Constance F.)_ See "Low's Standard Novels."

 _Wright (H.)_ _Friendship of God._ Portrait, &c. Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Wright (T.)_ _Town of Cowper, Olney, &c._ 6_s._

 _Wrigley (M.)_ _Algiers Illustrated._ 100 Views in Photogravure. Royal
   4to, 45_s._

 _Written to Order; the Journeying of an Irresponsible Egotist._ By the
   Author of "A Day of my Life at Eton." Crown 8vo, 6_s._

 _Yriarte (Charles)_ _Florence: its History._ Translated by C. B.
   PITMAN. Illustrated with 500 Engravings. Large imperial 4to, extra
   binding, gilt edges, 63_s._; or 12 Parts, 5_s._ each.

 _Zillman (J. H. L.)_ _Past and Present Australian Life._ With Stories.
   Crown 8vo, 2_s._

       *       *       *       *       *



 St. Dunstan's House,


 Gilbert and Rivington, Ld., St. John's House, Clerkenwell Road, E.C.

    Transcriber's notes:

    A paragraph break was inserted before
    'It has been proved to all of us that we have lost money

    The following is a list of changes made to the original.
    The first line is the original line, the second the corrected one.

    and only served to swell the aggregate of many humiliating
    and 'only served to swell the aggregate of many humiliating

    Second speech on Copyright--Completely successful state of politics
    Second speech on Copyright completely successful--State of politics

    not a Poet?--'Revolutionary Epic'--Favourable verdict--Success
    not a Poet?--'Revolutionary Epic'--Unfavourable verdict--Success

    of Disraeli by W. P. Willis--Lady Dufferin and others--Stands
    of Disraeli by N. P. Willis--Lady Dufferin and others--Stands

    he said, was not high policy of state.' He invited the Whig
    he said, 'was not high policy of state.' He invited the Whig

    likely to offer. Disraeli was a free-ance, and had opposed
    likely to offer. Disraeli was a free-lance, and had opposed

    character will grow of itself. Of character ὅποσον οὖν,
    character will grow of itself. Of character ὁπόσον οὖν,

    she gently waives it aside with a grace which intensifies the
    she gently waves it aside with a grace which intensifies the

    Disraeli waived aside the horrible story of Turkish cruelties,
    Disraeli waved aside the horrible story of Turkish cruelties,

    _Moore (J. M.) New Zealand for Emigant, Invalid and Tourist._
    _Moore (J. M.) New Zealand for Emigrant, Invalid and Tourist._

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Earl of Beaconsfield" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.