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by the new title with which he redecorated his sovereign. All this strikes us as somewhat misleading. Ireland was quiescent under his premiership he parted with coercive powers; and as for further changes, it was necessary that the results of the portentous measures of the previous Administration should have time to develop. With regard to colonial empire, both the Canadian and the South African Federation Acts were passed by Ministries in which his voice predominated.
Mr Froude's fairness is more conspicuous when he is dealing with the personal qualities of the subject of his memoir. The criticisms he makes may readily be accepted by all who are familiar with Disraeli's career. It is a great tribute to a man's rectitude of life and purpose that he withstood the ordeal of thirty-five years of party leadership without deterioration of moral fibre, and without revealing through the fierce light which surrounds it any of the weaknesses which forfeit the respect of his fellow-men. No doubt Disraeli was in this favourable position, that, partly from race. feeling and partly from possessing political convictions which stood higher than the ordinary platforms of party politicians, he did not abandon himself to the ardour of the game, but held it in subjection to his ultimate purposes and aims. He was not the sort of man to be furiously in earnest, first on one side of a question and then on another, under the temporary dominion of convictions taken for the occasion. He deliberately placed himself from the first on an intellectual and moral level from which he could easily retain his sense of proportion, instead of abandoning himself to the purpose of the moment with a zeal which
too often transfers the conscience of a party leader to the unscrupulous keeping of his political wirepullers. No public man was ever less of a demagogue, or more free from the arts by which a fleeting popularity is won. He was a child of Parliament. It was in and from his place in Parliament that he won the confidence of his party and his power in the State. From that place he came into conflict successively with all the most powerful debaters which the House of Commons produced during forty years. He achieved his great success not by making himself the representative of any popular cause, or by placing himself on the crest of any outside wave of sentiment or conviction. He rose, says his biographer, by his personal qualifications alone. Manliness and courage were the basis of his character. As the Duke of Wellington said with regard to his challenge to O'Connell and his son, "It was the most manly thing done yet!" The manner in which he rose superior to his first failure in the House of Commons exhibited those dauntless qualities which are sure to win esteem in an assembly of Englishmen. In less than nine years from the date of his first failure it is recorded of him that not a man on either side of the House was more than his match in single combat. He had overthrown Sir Robert Peel, and had succeeded to the honours and to the position of a man who had seemed destined to rule this country till his death.
Launched upon the career of party leadership, where the business is to outmanœuvre and defeat your opponent, Disraeli never forgot that in his earlier years he had advocated and tried to bring about a nobler system; and accordingly, while exhibiting the utmost dex
terity as a parliamentary commander, he seems to have borne in mind, to a higher degree than his contemporaries, that it is by ultimate results, by lasting success, rather than by immediate triumphs, that a statesman will be judged at the bar of posterity. Accordingly he played the game of party fairly and honourably. No one can accuse him of sacrificing the interests of the empire to win office. When he won the premiership, in spite of calumny and acrimonious hostility, every one recognised that he had fought his way to it fairly, had won it honourably, and would use it for the public welfare.
As a result of a long career of this character, of constant struggle amidst jealousies, animosities, and fierce personal and political rivalry, it is no small thing to obtain from a somewhat critical and adverse biographer such a judgment as this: "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. Gratitude, says Mr Froude, was stronger in him even than ambition. His gratitude to his wife and the attachment which he inspired are not the least honourable portion of an honourable career. A party of young men once ventured, says Mr Froude, we should imagine on very doubtful authority, a foolish jest at Mrs Disraeli's age and appearance, and rallied him on the motive of his marriage. "Gentlemen," said Disraeli as he rose and left the room, "do none of you know what gratitude means ?" His name was never, even in the height of
party recrimination, touched with private scandal. Upon pecuniary matters, moreover, though often embarrassed, not a single whisper of detraction was ever heard. He had opportunities of enriching himself had he chosen to avail himself of them. A secret word from him, says Mr Froude, 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."
Mr Froude closes what we think, with marked shortcomings, is an admirable sketch, by propounding a general estimate of Disraeli's character. In the first place, he refuses to that character the title of "great," on this principle, which, notwithstanding the authority which lays it down, we venture to think too hard to be applied to mortal man. "If," he says, "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." Unless all personal motives are exorcised, when the personal life is over, he contends that a man's work and reputation perish along with him. If this is the only objection to attributing greatness to Disraeli, it is not one of overwhelming strength. It savours somewhat of Carlyle's objection to attributing greatness to Sir Walter Scott, that he had
no message to deliver." Disraeli's ambition, no doubt, was to win power and fame, and also to use them for his country's good. Without a strong ambition of that kind it is vain to expect that men will face the arduous duties and distracting vicissitudes of pub
lic life. Ambition of that kind, purified of everything, on Mr Froude's own showing, that is dishonourable or mean, is not a disqualification-it is an incentive to greatness. A man must not merely be conscious of great powers; he must dare to become great, and to accept the responsibilities of greatness. The biographer thinks that Disraeli should have reconstructed society according to his novels, or led a crusade on the lines laid down in 'Sybil,' in order to win the title of great. A more practical wisdom would suggest that he kept those objects in view, and did his best, having regard to the limitations which time and circumstances imposed upon his power. No public man, says his biographer, in England ever rose so high and acquired power so great, so little of whose work has survived him. This sentence is contradicted by the whole tenor of this book. He led a minority till he was nearly seventy, and, according to Mr Froude's own showing, powerfully helped on all measures which he approved, and conferred lasting benefits upon the country by his indirect control over the course of foreign policy. In office, not to mention smaller measures, he redistributed power in this country upon a principle which has proved permanent,-an achievement little short of miraculous in the leader of a minority. Armed with a majority, he presided over great European arrangements in the Conference at Berlin, and re-established the foreign authority of his country.
A man, however great, cannot set the whole world right in six years. Industrial problems and a disintegrated Ireland, Mr Froude complains, survived him. Those are questions which we have always with us. They belong to a remote past, and will possibly belong also to a remote future. Without inquiring further into Mr Froude's criterion of greatness, we note these as his real conclusions concerning the subject of his biography. He raised himself to the summit of eminence; he had a genuine anxiety to serve his party, and in serving his party to serve his country. He succeeded in many instances in deserving well of the English nation; and though he had to struggle against innumerable obstacles in cutting his way to power, a searching investigation into his whole life, private as well as public, has revealed no act which detracts from his character as a man of honour and integrity; while, on the other hand, it brings to light many actions and qualities which befit a hero. The Tory party may well be proud of the leader whom they followed for the space of a whole generation, and to whom, on every anniversary of his death, they, in common with masses of the people, offer the tribute of regret and regard. We shall all of us welcome the correspondence which, when it is brought to light, will reveal still more of Disraeli's inner life; but enough is known already to make us sure that it will serve only to increase his fame and the reverence with which his memory is preserved.
DEAR JOYCE,-I don't in the least mind doing what you ask. How could I think it anything but nice of you to want to know why I was rather unhappy the other day, and to hear more about Gladys, my only near relation in the world, and be told the story of my life before I came to Wemyss? Do you know, I sometimes forget, in a sort of a way, everything until the beginning of my time at Wemyss. It feels to me now as if I never was quite alive till I came here. My real life dates from the time you found me out, and I began to know you. Think of this, it is not quite two years since we got to be friends.
Do you remember the morning you waited for me to come out
She stands out the most clearly before me in the first gleams of my memory. I was a child my self at the time in which I am thinking of her, and Gladys was a child, and there was Wynne, our little half-brother; but amongst us all Theodora was the child our little Thee we called her; and surely there never was such a real child as Theodora. I was the eldest, then a year after me beautiful Gladys, and two years after Gladys Theodora, and three years after Theodora Wynne.
I was always a dreamer, and I don't think I felt anything very much, for I was divided between two lives, the one I shared with
from my drawing-class and asked me to walk with you? I did feel flattered, Joyce. I had always fancied you looked down upon me before that, and no wonder. I am so ignorant beside you. I have often resolved that I would not look on any long way, so I won't; but it is not long to look on five days, when you will come back, and we shall begin to carry out our plan of living together.
I think it is just a perfect life— working and living with a friend (I put loving before working, really, you know). Now I will tell you all-it will be rather dreadful, I begin to think. There are just five evenings until you come on which I can write for you, and the first of the five I dedicate to
Gladys and Thee, and another that I lived quite by myself a little way up in the air. In the air-life I never was myself, the elder sister of Gladys, the adored Madeleine of little Thee; I was somebody quite apart and very different, grown up always. At one time a "high-born maiden," such as I had read about in story-books and poetry, dazzlingly beautiful, with a crowd of lovers at her feet; at another, a queen controlling her people with a glance, bowed down to by warriors and statesmen, and strange fantastic scraps of personalities put together by my crude imagination. But Gladys was the really beautiful one of us two, and
Gladys dreamed no dreams about queens or lovers. She found scraps of ribbon, and gathered the roses in their bloom to fasten in her hair, and somebody was sure to give her beads or corals to clasp round her throat when we went to a Christmas gathering, or when mother had her summer parties on the lawn, and Theodora danced with joy at the sight of Gladys's clear sweet beauty. Sometimes my two consciousnesses would get entangled when I looked at my beautiful sister, and a pang of jealousy shot through me as I realised my actual insignificance beside her, compared with my imagined solitary greatness. Sometimes it would be the pride in mother's eyes, as she looked at Gladys, which sent that arrow through the net-works of my real and my ideal world, and flooded their meeting-point with the poisoned drop. Nothing could poison Theodora's joy, for that was born of love always.
If I felt very little, Thee felt very much. What perfect graceful ways she had, without a scrap of beauty! We did not know whether she was pretty or not: we only saw that her eyes glistened with fun, or looked up at us with utter love and pride. We liked her dainty, dancing steps, and her almost ecstatic playfulness,-not that she ever originated any game; she and Gladys said I was the inventor. They used to come and pull me down by main force from mid-air, and then I took the lead, as the elder sister naturally does take it; but Thee was the joyfulness of every joy, the heart of all our childish life.
"Oh, don't go yet, Madeleine," she used to plead, when, the game half over, I was tiring of it already and slipping back into cloud-land. Thee could feel me going long be
fore Gladys knew. Gladys never knew anything all her life but what she saw with her actual eyes. "Madeleine, Madeleine, oh stay!" Theodora used to plead with me.
I would not stay, I remember, one hot autumn morning, although we were only just beginning the game, that might have lasted for hours, of storming the castle of the tool-house, I defending, and Gladys and Theodora leading the attack, rushing round and round in the long tangled grass and clustering shrubs. This was Theodora's favourite game; how had I the heart to disappoint her of it? I think, but I am not sure, that we never got any further in that particular game again; something always prevented its being finished. On that morning it might have been played to the very end but for my moment's whim. I can feel that moment through again now, and the inward blowing aside of purpose, just as it came to pass in me. I happened to look up for a moment as I was waiting for the onslaught of my foes, and I saw the shadow of a cloud move across a field of corn. The play ended for me in that instant: it felt as if something spoke to me from outside—a new voice that I must go after.
Did I say it was a moment's whim? So it was as I stood towards Gladys and Theodora ; but in myself it was the beginning of a new life, and since then my dreams-some of them at leasthave been different.
Since that time I have often lived a life apart from myself; it was like striking out a fresh root, as creeping plants strike out from the parent stem.
"You're not playing, Madeleine." It was Theo's voice that brought me back.
"Nonsense, Thee! how can any