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public opinion. A whip or an election agent counts votes: a statesman should also weigh them. Amidst Mr. Gladstone's followers in the House of Commons there is no individuality of conduct left. It is true that in some cases where constituents take a strong view, as happened with the Employers' Liability Bill, members have found themselves, to use a common expression, between the devil and the deep sea, and have voted in some instances against Mr. Gladstone. In former days there were always in the Liberal Party and in the House of Commons, men out of office of high standing who had to be listened to, for they could and would make themselves heard and felt. Their independent action was due to their own character and their own self-respect. It was not dictated to them by their fears. Indeed, in rendering what they believed to be a service to the country, they were often willing to jeopardise their seats. members of this kind entirely disappeared from the ranks of the Liberal' party? To all appearance the sense of personal responsibility for their parliamentary action weighs as little nowadays with independent supporters of the Ministry as with Junior Lords of the Treasury! This may seem at first sight to add to the strength of the Minister; but, in truth, and in the long run, it is not so, for a parliamentary majority becomes discredited with the public when it is known to consist only of officials and of items.'


Some months ago Mr. Goschen pointed out, in a remarkable speech at Hartlepool,* the danger to which the country was exposed, from the fact that its destinies were in the hands of a preoccupied Prime Minister.' Mr. Gladstone does not care for, he hardly pretends to care for, such measures as Disestablishment, or the shortening the duration of Parliament, or the payment of members, for the sake of the measures themselves. With him they are but steppingstones by means of which he may attain the sole object of his desires. No institution is too venerable or too important to be treated by the Prime Minister as more than a mere counter in the game of Home Rule. In administration, in the general management of our national affairs, the absence, or rather the entire preoccupation, of what should be the superintending mind is disastrously apparent. Mr. Gladstone lives, politically, but for one purpose-the carrying of Home Rule. And whilst the people are for the most part indifferent, if not actually hostile, to the policy of the

* October 11, 1893.

Prime Minister, he is personally indifferent to those matters which, far more than Home Rule, occupy the minds of


It must now be as clear to the Prime Minister as it has long been to everyone else, that the existing Parliament will neither pass a Home Rule Bill nor give legislative effect to the principal planks' of the Newcastle Programme. For what, then, is its existence prolonged? To what ends are the energies of the House of Commons to be directed? There is only one answer, and it is one which those who respect the House of Commons hardly like to contemplate. The life of the House of Commons is prolonged for electioneering purposes alone, and in the hope that, if the advisers of the Queen can succeed in setting by the ears' the two branches of the British Legislature, some gain may accrue to the Democratic party when the General Election arrives.


Enmity to the House of Lords,' to use the language of Mr. John Morley, is not a policy--it is merely an election cry. Are the mystifications and the folly of Home Rule tactics to be repeated, and a vague phrase once more to be employed to conceal the absence from the minds of our statesmen of any definite plan of Reform? Are the Ministry really going to propose to abolish the House of Lords as a legislative chamber? Assuredly they have not said so. Indeed, it would appear from their crude attempt at constitution-building in Ireland that they are inclined to believe, in a general way, in the usefulness of a second chamber. Do they, then, intend to reconstruct our second chamber, and to limit its powers? If so, they have as yet given the country no inkling of their scheme, nor of the means by which they intend to carry it into effect. It is difficult to discover in the speeches of Ministers that the thoughts of any one of them are projected beyond the next polling-day. Hence their preference for a 'cry' rather than a policy. Should Enmity to the House of Lords' prove a good cry, and the Gladstonian party once more find themselves in a majority in the House of Commons, the country will doubtless be told that its approval has been given in advance, and that the next gimcrack constitution which may spring from the brains of Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues has behind it the mandate' of the nation.

We believe that these tactics are vain. The most important question at the present time before the country is the character of the House of Commons and its efficiency to do the work for which it exists. Englishmen are much more

interested in restoring to the House of Commons its old character and dignity as the great assembly of the nation, than in patching and tinkering the constitution of the House of Lords. It is, in truth, the House of Commons, and not the House of Lords, which is upon its trial. The country, as well as the House of Commons, is sorely in need of guidance; for men feel that the arts and methods of electioneerers and wirepullers have too long taken the place of responsible and patriotic statesmanship. We trust it will be long before a House of Commons again suffers the humiliating experiences of 1893. This House of Commons has been worse than mismanaged. It has been led to play a part quite unworthy of its great position in the State; and we fear there is but little prospect that it will regain the character it has lost. The nation will, indeed, be disappointed if in a new Parliament the House of Commons does not show itself once more worthy of its ancient fame.

No. CCCLXVIII. will be published in April.



APRIL, 1894.


ART. 1.-1. Discovery of Lakes Rudolf and Stefanie. By Lieutenant L. VON HÖHNEL. English translation by N. D'ANVERS. 2 vols. London: 1894.

2. The Rise of our East African Empire. By Capt. F. D. LUGARD, D.S.O. 2 vols. London: 1893.

3. The Sacred City of the Ethiopians. By J. T. BENT, F.S.A. 1 vol. London: 1893.

4. Travels and Adventures in South-East Africa. By F. C. SELOUS. 1 vol. London: 1893.


HE contrast between a map of Africa published twenty years ago and one published last year is astonishing. Not only have unknown regions been explored, and huge gaps filled up in geography, but, instead of vague district and tribal names, the latest maps are coloured, over almost the whole extent of the vast continent, so as to show definite boundaries between regions claimed by various European States. The geographical mysteries have been almost all solved, and the scramble for possession is nearly at an end. The objects which are supposed to have been held in view among statesmen include the establishment of peace, the developement of trade, the spread of European colonisation, and the propagation of the Christian faith. It is proposed here to inquire, while sketching the recent results of exploration, how far the actions of governments and of trading companies have as yet tended towards the attainment of these objects.

It must be confessed that the impression left after reading books on African travel-whether by Burton, Stanley, or



later writers-is that the dark places of the earth are full of bloodshed. The greed of traders, European or native, the ambition of soldiers, and the speculations of financiers have produced, perhaps, as much misery in Africa as has been caused by the slave raids of Arab ivory hunters or by the cannibalism of the Congo. On the north shores of the great continent the Spaniards are fighting Berbers. On the west the French are fighting their way from Dahomey to Timbuctoo. Further south the Germans are fighting Kaffirs. On the east coast Portuguese and Germans are fighting half-bred Arab slavers and fierce native tribes. On the Red Sea coast the Italians are fighting Abyssinians and Soudanese Moslems. In the Congo Free State (as it is humorously called) a strong tyranny of Arab origin has arisen, spreading massacre and slavery on every side. And above all Great Britain has been engaged in a series of African wars, in Egypt, the Soudan, in Abyssinia, and Ashantee, and frequent conflicts in Southern Africa with Kaffirs, Boers, and Zulus, down to the Matabele expedition. We look in vain for the new region in which trade has taken root, in which peace and good government are maintained, and to which a steady tide of European colonisation has begun to flow. We are forced to ask what good purpose is served by the suffering, the expense, and the strenuous efforts of Europeans. Are they due to the national vanity which leads nations to vie with one another in these contests; or are there high reasons of statesmanship and solid interests to be considered, pointing to future advantages to be won for Europe and Africa alike?

Among recent works on the subject, that in which Lieutenant Ludwig von Höhnel records the journeys of his chief, Count Samuel Teleki, in East Africa, will always hold a foremost place, both on account of the importance of the geographical discoveries, the description of regions and peoples never before visited, even by native caravans, the courage and endurance shown by the explorers, their many narrow escapes from wild beasts, wild men, and starvation, and not less because of the scientific results and numerous observations. The book is well written and well illustrated; and the language of the English translation offers a marked contrast to the vulgar style of other works mentioned at the head of this paper. The account given of the real character of the country now claimed by Germany and by the East Africa Company, coming from an independent witness, is of great value; and the maps explain both the geological forma

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