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fled from Ireland shortly after the Phoenix Park murders.
It is impossible at this moment to predict the termination of the internecine struggle between the two sections of the Nationalist party, but it is very safe to prophesy that it will leave behind it a spirit of bitterness which cannot easily or speedily be allayed. It is not our duty, nor is it our desire, to exult over the conflict of our political foes. It should rather stimulate us to take the opportunity, by pressing forward useful legislation, to show the Irish people that it is our policy to help Ireland, and to encourage Irishmen to help themselves. If we do this, and only seek this advantage from the divisions of our opponents, we shall show to the people of Ireland that it is the Unionist party which really deserves their support. The best friends of Ireland are those who will help her to shake off the despotism of illegal organisations and the tyranny of secret societies— who will teach her that no nation ever prospered which did not recognise, obey, and support the laws which protect life and property against lawlessness and outrage-who will point out to her that equal participation in the rights and privileges of a mighty empire is better for any country than the isolation of her nationality for sentimental or political reasons ; and that in her own case, whilst her children have assisted and do assist in promoting the welfare and maintaining the strength of the British empire, their fellowcitizens in Great Britain have no other wish than to see Ireland happy and contented-no more earnest desire than that their Irish brethren should march side by side with them upon the onward path of progressive improvement.
that it was to this very Mr Parnell that Mr Gladstone (according to his East Retford speech already referred to) was about to hand over the chief power as "constitutional governor of Ireland." When they deny Mr Parnell's account of the Hawarden conference, we ask them whether the contrary of that account is true, and that Mr Gladstone is prepared to do what he was not prepared to do in 1886 namely, to give to the Parliament in Dublin the settlement of the land question and the control of the constabulary; and when they talk of the "union of hearts," we point to the heated discussions at the meetings of the Irish Parliamentary party, and to the bitter conflict now raging throughout the whole of Ireland, and we ask whether these afford the slightest indication, or can inspire the smallest hope, that to hand the government of Ireland over to either of the contending parties would be a proceeding which could, by any possibility, produce harmony in the country, and tend in the most infinitesimal degree to the pacification, the contentment, and the prosperity of Ireland? If we desired further proofs of the impossibility of trusting the "Nationalists" with "Home Rule," we need only point out that the two sections of their party are both openly bidding for the support of the anti- British element. It is an instructive fact that upon the very same day (December 18) there appeared on Mr Parnell's side the "appeal" to the "children of those (rebels) who fought in '98," and on the side of the anti-Parnellites the letter of approval which Mr Justin M'Carthy exultingly read to his packed meeting at Cork from Patrick Egan, the man convicted by the Special Commission as one of the dynamite conspirators, and who
THE ROYAL STUARTS AND THEIR CAPITAL.
MR FROUDE assures us that since the palmy days of Imperial Rome there has been no age so devoted to luxury as our own. Apart altogether from its grosser manifestations, one is often tempted to confess that he is right. The English or American millionaire has become rich beyond the dreams of avarice or Monte Cristo ; and what has been easily gained is lavishly spent. Some of his foibles, indeed, do not need to be excused. The first edition of a great poem, like the Pisa "Adonais," has, no doubt, an appreciable interest of its own; and many of us, it may be assumed, would like to read Vanity Fair' or 'Pickwick' again in the old green and yellow covers. But why first editions of Rossetti or Swinburne or Matthew Arnold, which could be had a few years back for a few
shillings, should now bring as many pounds, is one of those tantalising caprices of fashion which it is impossible to explain. Then the passion for sumptuous books is manifestly growing. During the past month, for instance, a London publisher has issued two volumes relating to Scotland, which are certainly among the most splendid ever published in this country,-Mr Gibb's 'Relics of the Royal House of Stuart,' and. the large-paper edition of Mrs Oliphant's Royal Edinburgh.' These are books which rich people only can afford to buy. But the cost of producing such works is so great, that unless the sale is comparatively large there must be a very narrow margin of profit. The Stuart book costs seven guineas net, and five hundred copies have been printed for sale here and in
Royal Edinburgh. By Mrs Oliphant. London: Macmillan & Co., 1890.
Illustrated by George Reid, R.S.A.
Illustrated by a Series of 40 Plates in
Relics of the Royal House of Stuart. Colours by William Gibb, with an Introduction by John Skelton, C.B., LL.D. London: Macmillan & Co., 1891.
VOL. CXLIX.-NO. DCCCCIV.
America. Most of the copies, it is stated, have been already sold to subscribers, and in the course of a few weeks the price will probably be raised. And this is one only of some ten or twelve books, nearly if not quite as costly, which have appeared within the year! From all which we deduce that, in so far, at least, as sumptuous books are concerned, the will and the ability to buy were never more marked than at present. Moreover, the taste for lavish, if not ostentatious and indiscriminate, expenditure, is not confined to books; it embraces the whole of the fine arts: and the competition for a buxom wench by Millais or an emaciated saint by Burne-Jones, for a Japanese screen or a scrap of old china, is brisker than ever.
The Stuart Relics' is a book of illustrations; 'Royal Edinburgh' is an an illustrated book. The letterpress in the one is altogether subordinate to the pictures; in the other the letterpress and the pictures are of not unequal value. Mr Skelton's introduction is merely a succinct and rapid résumé of the elaborate apologies for the Stuarts and their adherents which will be found in his other works, and notably in Maitland 6 of Lethington'; whereas Mrs Oliphant's narrative is not only lively and picturesque, but is original in the sense that we have here the first-fruits of the independent research which she has lately undertaken into the earlier records of her native country. Whatever comes from Mrs Oliphant is sure to be interesting; and this sketch of the Scotland of the Stuarts is as brilliant and vivacious as anything she has written. The engravings from Mr George Reid's
admirable and striking drawings of "the grey metropolis of the North" are extremely fine. Edinburgh has always been the delight of the artist; but she is certainly at her best in Mr Reid's spirited presentation. The extraordinarily graphic force, the vigorous idiomatic personality, of this essentially Scotch artist, have never been sufficiently recognised out of Scotland. The portraits in 'Johnny Gibb' must always remain inimitable; in them his native genius most completely expressed itself: but for purely artistic work we do not remember anything that he has done which is quite equal to one or two of the sketches in this book; and all of them will contribute to make him better known across the Border.
Of Mr Gibb's drawings, too, it is difficult to speak too warmly. For deftness of manipulation, accuracy of eye, fineness of touch, they may be compared with the missal-work of the medieval artist. They manifest the same absolute sincerity, the same patient truthfulness; the labour must have been immense, but it is never shirked, and every shade of colour, every line of the most intricate and elaborate design, is reproduced with entire fidelity. It was a happy thought to preserve in this imperishable form (for, after all, a sheet of paper, fragile as it looks, is as durable as bronze or marble) the most characteristic of the relics which were brought together for a month or two during the winter and spring of 1889.1 The Stuart Exhibition was a great success; and we trust that this memorial, on which so much skill and labour and money have been spent, will be equally successful. There can be no doubt, at least,
1 Mainly through the industry and intelligence of Mr Leonard Lindsay, to whom
a word of thanks might have been given by the compilers of the volume.
that it merits success. Such a book, indeed, could only have been produced within the last few years, when the new processes connected with the lithographic art have been brought to something like perfection. Many of the plates are marvellously fine; the drawings of the Scottish regalia and of the relics more directly associated with Mary Stuart, for instance, have all the freshness, delicacy, and spirit of the best water-colours. There is no glare or crudity of tone to offend the eye, and yet the general effect is brilliant in the extreme.1
Mrs Oliphant and Mr Skelton have moved very much along the same lines. Mrs Oliphant takes the capital of Scotland as the starting-point for a history of the Stuart sovereigns up to the time when Edinburgh ceased to be the capital of a community which had hitherto regarded their neighbours on the other side of the Tweed as "the auld enemy." The Stuart
relics furnish Mr Skelton with the text for a somewhat more extensive survey. He traverses the same ground up to the Union of the Crowns; but he follows the Stuarts to England: Cromwell, the Civil War, the Court of Charles II., Montrose, Claverhouse, St John, the Revolution of 1688, Prince Charlie's adventure in the '45, are passed in rapid review. The conclusions of the two writers have been independently arrived at; but upon the whole, Mrs Oliphant and Mr Skelton are in substantial accord.
The history of the Stuart family is a brilliant and romantic one;
and, on its picturesque side, full justice has been done to it by Mrs Oliphant. She appreciates with the instinct of a practised storyteller the tragic element in each of their lives; and the portraits of the five Jameses in particular are faithfully drawn and finely discriminated. It is just possible that she has done scant justice to James III., and more than justice to James IV.; but her view is the popular one, and naturally so; for James IV., though rash and vainglorious, was a brave soldier who died on the battle-field with his face to the foe. Mary also is a notable figure; and though we are not sure that Mrs Oliphant has mastered the problem of her life, she has tried hard to be impartial. She recognises the great and commanding qualities of Mary, as she recognises the great and commanding qualities of Knox; and her ultimate award is probably as just as in such an intricate business the award of mere man or woman can now be. It would not be in accordance with the practice of our courts to put Mary or Bothwell into the witness-box; but if we could cross-examine Morton, or Moray, or Huntly, we would unquestionably learn a good deal more than we are ever likely to learn from the documents that remain.
One of the most striking qualities of the Stuarts was their persistent vitality, their determination, in spite of every sort of discouragement, not to die out. For more than five hundred years a great Scottish family, remotely of Norman extraction, played a not in
1 Both the 'Stuart Relics' and 'Royal Edinburgh' have been printed in Edinburgh-as was proper and fitting; and both reflect the utmost credit upon the present representatives of a trade with which many of the best traditions of the northern metropolis are associated. The manner in which Mr Gibb's drawings have been reproduced by Messrs M'Lagan & Cumming of that city has never been surpassed, and cannot be too highly praised.
considerable part in the history of Europe. "It was capable of true heroism; its follies have made it a by-word; yet its tenacity has been more striking than either its heroism or its folly. The individual members were short-lived; more than one died on the battlefield; more than one died on the scaffold; it was quite exceptional
indeed for a Stuart to die in his bed; yet the house survived, and its last direct representative was a cardinal of the Church of Rome within the memory of men now living." This persistent tenacity is all the more noticeable, inasmuch as it was associated with persistent il- luck. From this point of view Mr Skelton's summary of their history is instructive:
sponsible, they were still found upon the side which in the long-run was Mary was the reprebound to fail. sentative of Catholicism among a people who had definitely accepted the Reformation. Her son, and her grandson, and her great-grandsons were the representatives of a theory of kingly right which was inconsistent with the maxims of popular government. The later Stuarts strove to arrest the march of the democracy, as
the earlier had striven to curb the power of the aristocracy. It seemed at intervals as if they were ready to go with the tide; but they never cordially accepted the new order of things. It is probable that in their hearts they detested it; they openly or stealthily resisted it; and to the very last, they could not be brought to understand that resistance to the inevitable must be fatal. Situated as they were, they can hardly be blamed, perhaps, for what we call their obstinate wrong-headedness; it was no easy matter even for the wisest in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, to follow out to its end all that the new departure in Church and State involved. The notion that the exiled princes, who attempted to recover what they considered their birthright, 'could succeed, was the dream of a fanatical fidelity which was blind but not ignoble. The rebellion of 1745 was only a dashing foray, which, even if Charles Edward had entered London as he entered Edinburgh, could have had no permanent result. The Stuarts had become impossible, and the rising of the clans was the last flicker of the flame. It has been said that there were men to whom a smile from Mary on her scaffold would have been more than any Ribbon or Garter that the prosperous Elizabeth could bestow; and the unavailing heroism of the men who clung with obstinate devotion to the last of her unhappy house has not been unappreciated either by the people or by their poets. In
"A pathetic interest attaches to the memory of many of the Stuarts. It may be said with some truth, though it sounds like paradox, that their history, almost from the beginning, is the history of a losing cause. Collectively, as well as individually, they failed. They bore themselves bravely; there was not a poltroon among them; even the sixth James, in spite of his nervous infirmities, could not justly be called a coward. The women were as high-spirited as the men; Mary's intrepidity was not exceptional, and of Mary her bitterest enemy declared that 'albeit the most part waxed weary, yet the Queen's courage increased manlike, so much that she was ever with the foremost.' But life was very hard with them; the assertion of what they held to be their rights involved a constant conflict; the hostile forces were formidable and persistent. They were the victims of war, of treason, of foreign craft, of domestic conspiracy. One after the other went down in the protracted struggle with feudalism. When the power of the great nobles waned, when March, and Douglas, and Hamilton had ceased to be rivals, their ill-luck still pursued them. Whether from some fatal defect of character, or whether from circumstances for which they were not re