OCTOBER, 1879,





In my last paper I rather indicated, than fully explained, in what way I think it possible to save the study of English history from that plague of party-spirit which now afflicts it to such a degree as almost to anaihi- late its practical influence. This question is seldom discussed, and yet the immense importance of it must be felt by every practical teacher of history. Especially must it be felt by one who, like myself, connects in the closest manner history and politics. Others may find ways of evading the difficulty, as we often see it evaded. For how many there are who pass their lives in the study of history without ever drawing or wishing to draw from it any political lessons! They regard it simply as a mine of delightful and curious information about famous events and persons, and the study of it as one of the most intellectual of pastimes, feeding the imagination and enlarging the mental range. They can therefore easily avoid the thorny parts of the study. They are not obliged to arrive at a definite conclusion about every controversy or take a side in every party-conflict, but can enjoy the excitement of the strug- gle, and take a quiet pleasure in de- tecting the weaknesses and admiring the good qualities of both parties, as Walter Scott showed us the way to do No. 240.—vou. XL.

in his historical novels. This is quite possible so long as history is regarded merely as a branch of belles /ettres, or, in education, merely as a means of nourishing the imagination and providing a stock of useful informa- tion. But it ceases to be possible when we transfer history from the ornamental to the practical studies, from the literary to the scientific side of education. And it is especially im possible when the particular science with which we try to connect it is not anthropology, under which head few of the questions debated among parties would fall to be discussed, but a poli- tical science or science of governments, to which almost all those questions necessarily belong.

It is only by throwing a direct light upon the questions which interest us most—and these are necessarily also the questions which divide us most— that history can become powerfully influential in education. It cannot be influential in the highest degree ex- cept as the key to politics, and it can- not be such a key if it declines to deal with the questions in which, as poli- ticians, we take the greatest interest. Above all things it must not fear to draw the true moral from the past of ourown country, and therefore it cannot decline to judge between the contending parties. It cannot regard Cavalier and Roundhead, Whig and Tory, Pittite and Foxite with equal tolerance, but is GG

450 History and Politics.

bound to answer the question by which party in each case the true interest of England was best understood. By doing this with full impartial investigation it will make the past history of Eng- land a guide for its future policy, and therefore a source of solid instruction for the politician. If it declines to do this, it will leave English history in the condition in which it found it, that is, a confused legend, infinitely curious and amusing, but of no practical use, because capable of the most opposite interpretations.

Here then arises the difficulty. In order actually to learn our politics from English history must we not come to the study without political opinions? And it will not do merely to pretend to do this, as has so often been done both in religion and poli- tics, when writers professing to seek instruction in history, have really only sought there for confirmation of their prejudices. And yet how can the student of politics, any more than the student of religion, be expected to show the quiet, impartial candour of the student of other subjects, or to be completely indifferent what results emerge from his investigations, pro- vided only the investigation is accu- rately conducted. If he is at all advanced in life he is likely to have committed himself publicly to some political creed; if he is young his family are committed, and his teachers are unwilling to disturb the belief in which he has been educated. Thus as soon as we treat history seriously, and connect it with science rather than with bel/es-lettres, we are met with the same difficulty that encounters us in theology. If it is serious at all, then it is too serious. If anything can be proved by it, then dangerous and in- convenient things can be proved by it. And meanwhile, in order to study it in this spirit you must be content to give up all political ear- nestness, to suspend all activity in public life until you have obtained your results. Are we prepared to make ourselves political quietists, to

renounce that eager personal interest in the details of public questions which has hitherto distinguished this nation and been envied by other na- tions, from some fatal notion that our common-sense judgments are not scien- tific enough to be trustworthy? Are we ready to sacrifice our healthy poli- tical energy and zeal in the pursuit of scientific exactness ?

To this question I might give one very simple and direct answer, which has indeed already been given by others. We really ought to be some- what more quietistic than we are, to have less faith in the blind zeal which on all questions has a violent opinion ready, and thinks it cannot go far wrong under the guidance of honest intentions and unselfish views. Honest intentions will not supply the place of accurate knowledge. It is wholly a mistake to suppose that the vague, hasty impressions of honest men on large questions are pretty sure to be right in the main, and will only err in unimportant details. The errors and confusion into which well-inten- tioned men fall by applying to great public affairs their loose private notions of wisdom and justice, are not small, but enormous. If, indeed, there were no choice between forming such inadequate judgments and forming no judgments at all, we might tolerate the greatest errors rather than damp their zeal. But as we start from the possibility of instituting a system of political educa- tion, that is, from the possibility of enabling ordinary men to form a sound judgment in politics, we must assert the necessity of the same quietism in politics, that men practise in every other subject that they take up seri- ously. Men must take time and thought; they must prepare and qualify themselves before entering upon political action. Zeal without knowledge is as dangerous here as in other departments. It may be morally better to be zealous in politics even on the wrong side than to be indifferent about them, and yet the effect of such zeal may easily be worse


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than the effect of indifference. Blind turbulent zeal may be a good com- mencement, because it may put off its blind turbulence with better instruc- tion, but it is not a good symptom when it lasts long or becomes ,chronic. And our party-heats, of which so many are proud, as if they proved political energy, last too long. They show too little disposition to give place to a calmer form of energy. They are too much like those religious fervours of the seventeenth century, under the reign of which each contending zealot prided himself chiefly on his own un- teachableness, so that on one occasion, as I remember, Oliver Cromwell him- self, in reasoning with Scotch Presby- terianism, was provoked tothe emphatic exclamation, ‘‘I beseech you in the bowels of Christ think it possible you may be mistaken !”’

But apart from this general conside- ration, another answer may be given to the question how impartiality in history may be made consistent with political earnestness, an answer which was indicated slightly in the last paper. I shall try to show that those party differences of which we make so much, as though they were radical and fundamental, as though they resembled the eternal hostility of good and evil, and like that ex- tended through all past time, are not really so serious, and that when they are looked at through a calmer medium than the atmosphere of controversy, they dwindle and appear narrowly limited in time as well as diminished in importance. I do not affect to slight their value in practical politics, or to.propose a better system for car- rying on parliamentary government. Ionly submit that they need not be allowed to hamper our studies, that we are not to confound political fac- tions with philosophical schools, or to suppose that because they struggle with such ardour and carry on their strife so long, therefore they represent very great or profound principles. What we observe in religious parties may easily be true also of political

ones, viz., that there is no correspond- ence at all between the heat of the controversy and the importance of the question discussed. And when once we admit this possibility it will strike us that, considering the strong tempta- tion either side in politics must feel to dignify its cause by inseribing the grandest possible principles on its banner, it would not be wonderful if an altogether delusive theory of parties had sprung up, giving dignity to quar- rels really insignificant, and an imagi- nary unity to the desultory, discon- nected parliamentary controversies of successive generations. It is certainly a current opinion among us that our party-war, which has been handed down through so many generations, is always substantially the same, though the particular questions discussed may differ, and even the names of the parties may alter. We think that Conserva- tives and Liberals might just as well be called Tories and Whigs, being certainly at issue on the same ques- tions, and it scarcely occurs to us to imagine that even while the names continued the same the questions at issue might change repeatedly, and the Tories or Whigs of one time have really no resemblance to those of another. It is because we think thus that we find ourselves hampered both in studying and teaching our history. And yet, if we will consider it, this current opinion is only a theory, nay, a theory not by any means easy to verify. If it should be actually an illusion, if the appearances which sup- port it should have been artificially contrived to gratify the vanity of the parties themselves, to feed their enthu- siasm and so hold them together, then though after making the discovery we should feel for a time that English history had become more confused, more difficult to understand than be- fore, yet we should also feel that it had been thrown open for study, that the conscience-clause might immediately be repealed, and that a general political education was made possible.

I referred to the extravagant doctrine


452 TTistory and Politics.

taught by Lord Stanhope, that be- tween Queen Anne and William IV. the Whigs and Tories had actually exchanged their opinions, and I re- marked that the facts he adduces are none the less interesting in them- selves because they will not support such an incredible conclusion. I select one of them, which seems to me par- ticularly well calculated to throw doubt on the current doctrine of the continuity of parties. The Tories of the present century have been in the main, whether for good or for evil, the war party of the country. Whether it has been from regard for the country’s honour, as they would say, or from aggressiveness, as their opponents would say, this has been the character of the party since the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Now nothing can be more certain than that they had precisely the opposite character, and were pre-eminently the party of peace during the period be- tween the English Revolution and the American War. The favourite charge against them in those days was that they made ignominious treaties of peace, just as in these days they are charged with making unnecessary wars. Compare the two great periods of war with France, which are so remarkably parallel to each other, that between 1688 and 1713, and that between 1793 and 1815. William III. and Marl- borough correspond closely in the one period to William Pitt and Wellington in the other. The one is the steadfast statesman of the time of adverse for- tune, the pilot that weathered the storm; the other is the victorious general of the season of final triumph. Now in both periods there was a pertinacious party which opposed these leaders, which preached peace and struggled hard to draw the country out of her foreign complications. As in the later period this peace-party was the Whigs, in the earlier it was the Tories.

In the later period the efforts of this peace-party were unsuccessful. The war was fought out to the end, and Wel-

lington’s course of victory was not inter- rupted. It was otherwise in the time when the Tories were the peacemakers, They were far more successful. They succeeded in arresting the triumphant career of Marlborough. They broke up the Grand Alliance, they rescued France, and they made the Treaty of Utrecht. I am not now concerned with the merits of that treaty. It used to be spoken of as one of the great blots upon our history, though Macaulay, perhaps feeling how closely parallel had been the conduct of the Whigs in the later war to that of the party that made the Treaty of Utrecht, declares that on the main question in- volved in it the Tories were in the right and the Whigs in the wrong. Whether right or wrong, wise or un- wise, the treaty is a signal proof that the Tories of that time were principally distinguished from the Whigs by their devotion to peace and their aversion to a grand and enter- prising foreign policy.

Nor was this the mere effect of a passing grudge or of malice against the great general who had left them for the Whigs. For it happened that half-a-century later they had another opportunity of showing their fidelity to the principle of avoiding military complications on the Continent—that principle which, as the sturdy old Tory Johnson tells us, has been held by all those who at any time have understood the true interest of England.” They had then been excluded from political power for two whole reigns, and during the time of their exclusion the Whig Walpole had gained, as I think, un- deserved credit for having first drawn England into the paths of peace, when in fact he had only adopted the prin- ciples of the Treaty of Utrecht. At the moment when George III. came to the throne the days of Marlborough seemed to have returned. The elder Pitt was in his glory, and France was again sinking under the blows of her old rival. The minister had not for- gotten the sudden reverse which over- took Marlborough in the moment of

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his triumph. He was heard to say that he at least would never be respon- sible for another Treaty of Utrecht. And he kept his word, for he retired

in time. But he could not save the country from another Treaty of Utrecht. We broke loose from our

alliance with Frederick of Prussia not less abruptly than half a century before we had abandoned the Dutch and the Emperor. And how was this ? It was because this was the moment of the return of the Tories to public life, and they lost no time in asserting their favourite principle. They tried to introduce into the young king’s first speech the phrase ‘“‘a bloody and ex- pensive war.”

Here surely isan example of the shifting nature of party principles which almost justifies Lord Stanhope in exclaiming, the Whigs have become Tories and the Tories Whigs. Is it possible then that in those days the Tories were like our modern indus- trialists who are terrified at the waste of wealth which war involves, or that they were a humanitarian party shocked at its horrors? No! on fur- ther inquiry we find indeed that they were just as far from modern Liberalism as from the opinions of those who at this day are called by their name, but on the other hand we are struck with the strangeness of their view and with its want of all relation to the politics of the present day. The old Tories had a horror of foreign wars because foreign wars de- mand a large standing army. And why did they object to a large standing army? Not so much be- cause it costs money, not so much because it withdraws the popula- tion from industry, as because it was supposed to be dangerous to liberty. The king surrounded by his paid troops seemed to them like one of the military tyrants of antiquity. They feared that sooner or later he would use his military force against the con- stitution,

Now, of course, it is quite possible that a party may alter and even re-

verse its mere policy to suit the cir- cumstances of a new time, and yet con- tinue faithful to its old principles. But in this old-world doctrine of non- intervention what is there that re- minds us even of the principles which, according to the current notion, con- stitute Toryism? For we expect to find the Tory on the side of authority against liberty, and less jealous at any rate than the Whigs of despotism. And yet in that age it was the Tory party that most anxiously guarded the country against those long wars which are favourable to the growth of an imperial authority.

Let me now give another example of the difference between those old parties and the parties which during the present century have borne their names. Who does not know that the Whigs are the champions of progress, of wise and temperate, but on that ac- count, as they say, all the surer, pro- gress? Thus Macaulay, when he re- plies with his usual triumphant vigour to that very doctrine of Lord Stan- hope’s which we have been consider- ing, takes for granted that this is and always has been the character of the party. The Whigs, he says, are no doubt not what they were in Queen Anne’s time ; true, because they have advanced so much. And the Tories are now what the Whigs were then, because they too cannot help advanc- ing in spite of themselves, and they have taken a century to overtake the Whigs. We see that this writer knows how to make not merely history but even the philosophy of history as won- derful as romance! But it seems that it has never occurred to him to doubt that the Whigs always were the party of progress. And now look back and turn over what remains on record of the Whiggism of the seven- teenth and eighteeenth centuries, from the Exclusion Bill down to the French Revolution, and see how much you can find init about progress. It would be rash tosay that you will find nothing ; the idea of human society as a thing in the course of development, was in

454 History and Politics,

those days one which might be taken up here and there by a speculative head, and there was nothing to pre- vent a Whig from adopting it. But what you will certainly find is that in the main such an idea was then wholly foreign to the essential creeds of both parties alike. The men of those days still lived in the old way of thinking. They looked back with reverence to the past ; they were disposed to think themselves inferior to their ancestors, and their great endeavour in politics, as in other departments, was not to degenerate, not to let the stream carry them back. They did not, therefore, aspire to create new institutions but were content to preserve ancient ones, and to save them from falling a prey to the usurpations of a tyrant. The efforts of the old Whigs were of this kind. Those liberties which they fought for so manfully were ancient liberties. They appealed to statutes so old that a modern lover of progress would almost feel that morally they must have lost their validity by lapse of time. Thus, in the middle of the seventeenth century they resisted Charles I. because he en- croached on rights which had been guaranteed to Parliament three cen- turies before, although it was not questioned that a usage in many re- spects different had grown up under the Tudors. We all think that they were right, and yet a modern believer in progress would hardly have rested the claims of Parliament on the same ground. He would have said much less about ancient precedent, and insisted much more upon the actual mischiev- ousness of the king’s encroachments ; he would have taken pains to show that the higher prerogative of the Tudors was no longer necessary or endurable, and that the ancient rights of Parlia- ment were not merely ancient but de- served on their own account to be revived. For a believer in progress is disposed to think that what is quite ancient may probably be obsolete, and when he sees it superseded gradually by a different practice will be inclined

to think that the new practice deserves the preference as being likely to be better adapted to the new time. What party would now present a Petition of Right to restore a state of things which had existed under Elizabeth or James I. and had been allowed to fall into abeyance since? Yet such was the profound conservatism of the champions of liberty who resisted Charles I., and whom we often see described as the leaders of the party of progress !

And yet, as I said, in those intensely Conservative times there were indi- viduals who had anticipated the modern idea of progress. There were some who looked forward rather than backward, some who have left words which remind us of the famous Saint Simonian dictum—that that golden age which the vain imagination of men has placed at an immeasurable distance in the past is really before us. Let us think of some of these exceptional men.

The first who will occur to our thoughts is Lord Bacon. His mind was indeed possessed with the idea of progress, so that he has been aptly compared to a Moses, who looks from the mountain-top upon a Promised Land awaiting his people, which he is never himself to tread, It is no doubt from science that Bacon expects most, and yet in his political writings the same eager imagination is to be traced. They exhibit precisely the temper so characteristic of modern continental reformers, that reckless precipitance which makes too light of difficulties, and, in order to introduce great improvements, treats the rights of individuals somewhat unceremo- niously. Another of these excep- tional men was probably Strafford. What! you will say, the great enemy of liberty! Yes, but an enemy of liberty may easily be a friend of re- form, only too easily, for authority is a much readier instrument of reform than liberty. Look at the great des- pots of the eighteenth century ; look at Frederick the Great and the Em-

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peror Joseph. Neither had any regard for liberty, and Joseph destroyed it wherever it lingered in his dominions. Yet both were indefatigable re- formers, both were possessed with the idea of progress. And it rather ap- pears that Strafford ought to be classed with these, that the love of innovation which ruined him was a sincere, how- ever injudicious, desire for improve- ment and reform. This at least is the judgment of the latest, the best, and hitherto almost the only impartial his- torian, of the period, Mr. Gardiner. Mr, Gardiner heartily disapproves of Strafford’s policy ; he regards him as a mischievous statesman ; but at the same time he insists that we must put him into the right class of mischievous states- men, that is, among those who, like Joseph IT., have trampled on liberty in their too precipitate zeal for reform. Here are his words:—“At the bot- tom,”’ writes Mr. Gardiner, “his life’s work was contention, not so much for the royal authority as for the supremacy of intellect. .... He stood for the king to bring order out of disorder, discipline out of amnarchy..... Wisdom, simply because it was wise, was to bind folly and _ slothful- ness to its car, and to compel them to bear it swiftly onward on its triumphant path. He could not stoop to the slow and irregular progress which is all that can be expected when a nation guides its own course.”

The third great Progressist of those times, whose name will occur to us, is Milton. He, too, looks onward. He sees glorious things which are yet to be, and indulges in prophecy. He .is confident that the future will excel the past, and that those who cannot get on without a precedent, and murmur that “it was never yet seen in such a fashion,” will some day learn that Providence is inventive and does not choose always to repeat itself.

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History and Politics. 455

politics a year or two after the youngest of the three, Milton, had left the scene. But all of them were engaged in party- conflicts which it is usual to regard as substantially the same as the conflict of Whigs and Tories. For in the fashionable view, the Roundheads and the followers of Eliot were virtually Whigs, the Cavaliers and followers of Strafford virtually Tories. This view regards without distinction the statesmen who represent the Court as the Tories, and those who in Parliament oppose the Court as the Whigs of their time. Observe, then, that two out of our three Progressists, Bacon and Straf- ford, would appear to have been not Whigs, but High Tories. Even the third, Milton, could not in the loosest classification be set down as a Whig. But even if he could, as no doubt the Whigs stood nearer to him than the Tories, still it would result that the doctrine of progress was in those days in no way peculiar to either of the two parties, that it was exceptional on both sides, but not at all more exceptional on one side than the other. And as the Whigs of those times were not Progressists in theory, neither were they so in practice. This has been often admitted by those historians who have believed themselves to belong to their party. Certainly the two reigns of uninterrupted Whig govern- ment, those of George I. and George IL., do not stand out in our history as a period of vigorous legislative reform. It was a prosperous period, because all great questions had been settled at the beginning of it, but politically it was a languid, inert period. When Walpole was humbly asked by the Dissenters when they might look for- ward to the removal of their dis- abilities, he replied, “Never!” and when the same minister appeared as a financial reformer, his scheme of an excise was opposed not less vehemently by the Whigs than the Tories. And for this the Whigs are not to be censured any more than the Tories as if they had forgotten their principles in the security of office. They had

456 History and Politics.

forgotten no principles; so long as the Hanover settlement was safe, their consciences were at ease. To sup- pose that their name pledged them to a policy of continuous moderate reform is to associate with the name Whig notions which only became con- nected with it a century later.

Now this is a fundamental point. If the modern Whigs are Reformers, and the ancient Whigs were not, we may surely say that the two parties are fundamentally different, and any resemblances that can be shown be- tween them must be of minor im- portance. Such resemblances no doubt can be pointed out; they are inevi- table from the way in which our parties are propagated from genera- tion to generation. For there is no solution of continuity, but a gradual process of modification conducted with regard to conventional decorum. They continue to be led by the same fami- lies, and they do their best to make the same watchwords serve them. But in spite of all such efforts these out- ward resemblances do not amount to much. Superficially, it is evident that parties are very unlike what they were. Our ancestors did not discuss Reform Bills; we do not quarrel over the dispensing power or the standing army. A substantial identity is all that can be—nay, all that usually is —claimed for them. The assumption commonly made is that there are such things as a Tory spirit and a Whig spirit, and that these are opposed to each other in the same way in every age. Now this is precisely what we find not to be the case. For that difference of spirit which we observe in the parties of the present day, namely, that the one looks forward and the other backward, that the one has faith in the future while the other seems afraid of it—this difference is not to be traced in the ancient parties, which seem both alike to cling to the past, and not to be familiar with the idea of progress.

As to the actual question which was agitated between those old parties, it

was evidently wholly different from that which is in issue between the parties of the present time—so dif- ferent, that it is only by an uncon- scious mystification that any analogy can be established between them. I| should myself go further, and say that the issue has been entirely changed several times in the course of our party-history. I should distinguish between the controversy of our own time and that of the reign of George III. before the French Revo- lution ; again between the controversy of George III.’s time and that of the original Whigs and Tories from the Exclusion Bill to the accession of the House of Hanover; and again I should consider the controversy between Charles’s parliaments and the party of Strafford and Laud to be radically different from that between the ori- ginal Whigs and Tories. But to attempt to establish all this here would lead me too far. I will con- tent myself with setting in opposition the present controversy, dating from the Reform Bill, and that of the ori- ginal Whigs and Tories of the Revo- lution, which of all past party-con- troversies we know best because we have read of it in Macaulay.

Our generation then has lived in the midst of a controversy which has turned entirely on the question of reform. A great war occupying us for twenty years, at the very time when a great industrial revolu- tion was going on at home, had cre- ated a cry for reform which may be compared with that which pre- ceded in France the Revolution of 1789. The burden of debt and taxa- tion and the throes of social trans- formation calling out on the one side for legislative change; on the other side the example of the French evolution making all such change seem dangerous in the extreme—here was a violent opposition of feeling which led to a long party-controversy. “Ts it safe to change ancient institu- tions?” this has been the question. Perfectly safe!” some have answered ;

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‘we need not think twice about it!” “Safe if you do it cautiously and gradually,” say others. ‘Not safe, but yet in some cases inevitable,” says a third party. Wholly unsafe, and not to be thought of,” says a fourth. Such is the debate we are all familiar with.

Now those who have lived all their lives in the midst of this controversy may no doubt easily fancy that it is a standing controversy wherever there have been political parties, and that our ancestors discussed it as per- tinaciously and as perpetually as we do. That this was so seems proved by the fact that we talked of Whigs and Tories then and that we talk of Whigs and Tories now. And if you come to the study of the Stuart period with this preconception strong on your mind you may continue for a long time under the dominion of it. You find the ancient Tories at times speaking ef the divine right of kings, and this reminds you of that sort of divine right of existing institutions which Conservatives seem sometimes to as- sert. On the other hand, the old Whigs discuss royal power in a rationalistic tone which resembles that of the modern Reformer when he argues for the removal of an old institution on the ground that it has ceased to be useful. But as you grow familiar with that old debate, and with the way of thinking of those who conducted it, you begin to think it a solecism in history, a confusion of two different phases of political consciousness, to identify it with the modern debate between Conservatives and Reformers. There was no ques- tion then of revising the institutions of the country, of putting each on its trial before the tribunal of reason. Both parties alike would have re- jected such a thought with something like horror, for to both parties ancient institutions were almost equally sacred. Divine right might theoretically be maintained by Tory theorists and de- nied by their Whig opponents. But as in its strict form many Tories

rejected it, so in a wider sense many —perhaps most—Whigs practically accepted it. The Tory Bolingbroke ridicules it, and when at this day we denounce it, we commonly use the words of the Tory Pope, and speak of “the right divine of kings to govern wrong,” of “the enormous faith of many made for one.’”’ On the other hand one may remark in Edmund Burke, that even in the days when he was the great light and philosopher of Whiggism, he accepts the doctrine of divine right as it has been held by modern Conservatives. One may say that he believes in the divine right of the constitution, though not of the king. He denies the right of human reason to discuss fundamental political institutions. He thinks them divine in the same sense that the family is divine. And there- fore without consciously abandoning old Whiggism he founded modern Conservatism. “I know,” he said, “that there is an order which is made for me, and I am made for it. I might as well desire another wife and other children.”

I fancy too that when we read our modern notions into that old con- troversy we efface other highly charac- teristic notions which really influenced the men of that time. That theory of divine right which seems to us so superstitious, expressed, I take it, for many Tories a perfectly practical and rational conviction. I confess I do not find the Tories of William and Anne’s time to have been the friends or tools of arbitrary power that Macaulay describes them. He seems to me to suppress the positive side of their creed, which, nevertheless, was highly important. It was, I take it, in one word, opposition to military impe- rialism. I have already dwelt upon the constant zeal with which they opposed a spirited foreign policy as being likely to lead to a large standing army. Now this is precisely of a piece with all the rest of their action, and it is not difficult to penetrate to the fundamental thought which actuates

458 History and Politics,

them. The Whigs are rightly con- sidered as the successors of the party that opposed Charles I, Now, in like manner, the Tories oppose the system of Cromwell. Both parties alike are the opponents of arbitrary power, but to the Tories it presents itself under the image of the Lord Protector. They are afraid of a military Emperor—for Cromwell was an Emperor. While the other party fears to see another Charles L., supported by his bishops and his judges, they are haunted by the dread of a new Oliver, propped firmly upon a standing army and re- ligious toleration. It is to meet this danger that the whole Tory creed is framed. They see the new Oliver rising first in William III., then in Marlborough. They see him foment- ing wars on the Continent in order to maintain his army, and leaning on the Dissenters at home in order to revive the old Cromwellian con- nexion. Their policy therefore is one of peace and intolerance—in one word, anti-Cromwellianism. This is why the Tories applauded Addison’s Cato as much as the Whigs, and this is the point of the Tory Bolingbroke’s cele- brated bon mot, when in the name of the Tory party he presented the actor with fifty guineas for having so well defended the cause of liberty against a perpetual dictator. This, too, is tne prac- tica] meaning of the theory of divine right. It means that you must cling to legitimism at all costs, because Eng- lish experience has shown that there is no alternative but the rule of force, that is, the military dictator.

My space is exhausted before I have been able to do more than barely state my case. But I shall be content if I have made it conceivable how the serious study of history may

modify those party preconceptions in which most of us have been bred—if I have only made out a primé facie case for the opinion, which I cannot pretend here to establish, that the politics of this age are divided by a much greater gulf than is imagined from those of the old régime of Europe. Our modern politics took their rise in the French Revolution. It is easy, no doubt, to trace analogies between modern political controversies and the controversies of that old régime. But when we infer from such analogies that the change has only been appa- rent, and that the party-war is sub- stantially the same that it always was, then, I say, we are radically mistaken. No, the resemblances are superficial, the differences are substantial. And still more is this remark applicable to older and remoter party-controversies. It is an unhistorical confusion, a false and shallow theory of history, con- cealing the true course of develop- ment, which imagines mankind as eternally debating the same question. And if this is so, you will see the consequence which follows from it. You will see that this truth throws open history to schools and univer- sities, takes the interdict off it, and restores to it the place in education and culture to which it has a right. From the higher schools of education —where assuredly the hindrance is al- ready little felt, for there the serious student soon sees these redoubtable party-disputes fade away and almost lose their meaning—a new tolerance, the result of wider views, may spread slowly downwards into popular educa- tion, until at last it may become pos- sible for English people to draw some useful instruction from the history of their country. J. R, SEevey.

To be continued,

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A.tmost at the same moment, Haworth was reading in his room at the Works the letter which had been left for himself,

“T have borne as much as I can bear,” it ended. “My punishment for my folly is that I am a ruined man and a fugitive. My presence upon the scene, when the climax comes, would be of no benefit to either of us. Pardon me, if you can, for the wreng I have unintentionally done you. My ill-luck was sheerly the result of circumstances. Even yet, I cannot help thinking that there were great possibilities in my plans. But you will not believe this, and I will say