this, that, and the other subject, and the illusion, aptly fostered by agitators, would soon become invincible. Well, we shall see how that may be, but there are certainly no signs of it at present.

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October 6.-It is unlucky to boast. This morning the text of a new Bill, issuing from the Home Office, has appeared in all the newspapers. It is to lie before the Council for six weeks, during which time of course it will be subjected to every sort of public criticism. Now," said one of my Parliamentarian friends to me to-day, rubbing his hands in malicious anticipation of triumph, Now you will see what government by newspapers means, my boy." Of course I replied that if the expectations of my party were realized, it would not be a case of government by newspapers at all, but simply through them, just as a vital force is exerted through a bodily organism; and of course he replied that the bodily organism contributed nothing of its own, whereas the newspapers might contribute a great deal to the result, and that the whole question was, How much, and of what sort?

October 28.-I have not met my Parliamentarian friend for some days, and I should think he must be glad of it. For a more signal refutation of his evil prophecies than he has witnessed during the last few weeks it would be difficult to conceive. The newspaper Parliament, as he contemptuously called it, has worked admirably. All the ablest men in both Houses have contributed to the discussion of the Bill-most of them more weightily, all of them more grammatically than they would have done from the green or the red benches. The bores and the pretenders, the prigs and the pedants, have, as I foresaw, been excluded by a natural process of selection. The best newspapers have evidently found that they simply cannot afford with their limited space to print the letters of such persons to the exclusion of more valuable matter. Some few of these cashiered chatterers contrived, on the strength of their Parliamentary and platform reputations, to force their way into print; but the editors who made this concession to a supposed popularity soon saw reason to regret it. For when reduced to literary,

or to what was meant for literary, form, and above all when brought into contiguity and unavoidable comparison with the letters of really capable political critics, the deplorable weakness of these gentlemen's contributions, the hollow tricks of their platitudinous rhetoric, the vices of their poor but dishonest arguments, became so painfully apparent to every eye that the editors themselves were quite ashamed of them, and religiously excluded them from their columns for the future. Pretenders, in fact, were snuffed out in the first few days, and since then the debate has been confined, with the exception of an occasional suggestion from some shrewd outsider, to experts in the true sense of the word. Well-known administrators, that is to say, have discussed the probable working of the Bill; lawyers of recognized capacity have examined its construction and phraseology; nay, jealous, and perhaps justly jealous, as we are of the intrusion of the political philosopher into practical politics, it has been possible to find room for the disquisitions of one or two of the ablest of those thinkers whose habit it is to apply certain fixed "sociological" principles, as they still will call them to every political question of the day.

November 4.-Last Wednesday appeared the amended draft of the Bill, together with a statement explaining the reasons of the Government for not admitting into it certain of the suggested amendments which appeared worthy of consideration. It is a very able paper, or so, at least, it seems to me. It has at any rate converted me to the ministerial view on many points which before seemed to me doubtful. Two or three replies to it have made their appearance in the newspapers, but none of them have done much to shake the position of ministers.

November 17.-The Bill becomes law to-day, amid general satisfaction. It meets a real need, and would not have been introduced, no Government having anything to gain now by fussy and uncalled-for legislation, if it had not. The whole history of the business has, it seems to me, been most encouraging. The Bill just passed has been deliberately and above all impartially discussed by what is, in an entirely new and hap

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pier sense of the word, a Committee of the Lords and Commons, ably assisted, but in no sense dictated to, by a companion committee of journalists and other unofficial politicians. The notion that the newspapers would habitually "govern, as they succeeded now and then in intermittently doing under the old system, has turned out a complete delusion. I always said that newspapers would be utterly unable to coerce Governments when they had no Parliament to act upon-no frightened herd of members always in anxiety about their seats and easily to be persuaded that a mere newspaper outcry is the voice of their cons- I was almost writing consciences instead of constituencies, but to this order of politician the two words mean much the same thing. Deprived of this leverage the newspaper exercises its legitimate persuasive influence and no more.

November 19.-I was amused to-day to hear that Lord Longwind's letter to the Morning Statesman on the Bill, one of the ablest but one of the latest which appeared on the subject, was delayed for no less than a week by reason of its author's obstinate refusal to cut it down to a column and a half. It was not till every one of the chief London newspapers had refused admission to it except on these terms that Longwind did consent to cut it down, and now I un derstand he is candid enough to admit that he thinks it has been vastly improved by the operation. So that our new system of government will be not only an improvement of political methods but a school of literary style.

May 3, 1900.-The Budget just settled with very little difficulty. And people thought that this would be so

formidable a test of the working of the Quinquennial Act! Yet why? How often in our political history has any Budget been materially amended in the House of Commons? Surely very seldom. A decent Chancellor of the Exchequer, with his excellent permanent officials at his back, is stronger in fact than any of his Parliamentary critics. And the same remark applies to a good head of a Spending Department in the matter of the Estimates, which have gone through this year as smoothly as oil.

December 14, 1901.-I am almost ashamed to look my diary in the face : it is more than a year and a half since I made any entry in it. But the gaps in its chronology only measure the progress of the national welfare. Happy. country which can find no material even for such humble annals as these! Little more than two of our five unparliamented years have gone by, and what a change has taken place! England prosperous, Ireland tranquil and healing her of her grievous wound; classes united, factions dispersed; wisdom vocal, folly silent; administration immensely improved, legislation enormously reduced; the mother country drawing her colonies closer to her day by day, and, for the first time since the early years of the century, resuming that position in Europe which only a continuous foreign policy could ever have regained for her. It is possible that the Old Radical may make a last struggle for the repeal of the Quinquennial Act in 1904; but though I am not a sporting man I am ready to bet that when Parliament meets again in that year, it will meet not to repeal that beneficial statute, but to make it, under proper safeguards, perpetual. -Nineteenth Century.





FIFTY times the rose has flower'd and faded,

Fifty times the golden harvest fallen,

Since our Queen assumed the globe, the sceptre.

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"FOR better for worse. How many young creatures repeat these words, unthinkingly, or thinking that the future will be all better and no worse-that marriage is a kind of earthly paradise, and those only are to be pitied who stand without the gate. They are; for a single life is necessarily an imperfect life. But a perfect married life, though there is such a thing, is the rarest thing under the sun. Of the thousands who have known the rapture of love, even of satisfied love, there are only tens, nay units, who live to know what the poet calls "comfort of marriage''-the unity of interests, the entire reliance, the constant, faithful companionship the peaceful habitual affection which re

places passion; which month after month, year after year, sits every day at the same board, and lays the tired head every night on the same pillow, quite certain and quite content in that certainty, that nothing but the inevitable till death us do part" will ever involve separation.

It is only those who understand and believe in such marriage who have a right to speak on a much-discussed subject, which has been viewed in many phases, but all chiefly from the worldly side-the man's side. I wish to say a word or two on the moral and spiritual side-and the woman's.

There is a difference between the two. A man makes his own marriage.

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It is he who is supposed to take the initiative; to woo, ask, and win. If the union turns out a mistake, he has, ordinarily, no one to blame but himself. But there are myriads of women who, by persuasion of friends, or of the lover himself, by the self-delusion and selfsacrifice which the weaker sex" is constantly prone to, from poverty, pride, or disappointed affections, and other less pitiable and more ignoble motives -marry in haste and repent at leisure; wake up from a temporary hallucination to find themselves in the position of a creature fallen into a bog, where the more it struggles the deeper it sinks. All the deeper that its struggles are, for the most part, dumb.

Not always. It is a curious fact that while a man who has made an unfortunate marriage is generally totally silent on the subject, women, if they utter no open outcry, often secretly complain, and those most who have the least to complain of. For such there need not be felt the slightest pity. If their life is destroyed, they destroy it themselves; not merely by the first foolish stepwhich many take, for the average of marriages are not ideal, but result only in a convenient mutual toleration-but because they will not make the best of things, will not take in the vital truth that happiness-or perhaps I should say blessedness-consists, not in obtaining what we crave for, but in turning to noble uses that which we have.

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Many a wife goes about making poor mouth' about mere trifles. Her husband has not given her the position she expected; he likes town and she the country, or vice versa; he has a good heart but a bad temper; his relatives are unpleasant, or he takes a dislike, just or unjust, to hers; all these minor miseries silly women dwell upon, instead of accepting them, like the husband," for better for worse," and striving by all conceivable means, by patience, by self-denial, by courage when necessary, and by silent endurance always, to change worse into better. This can be done, and often is done. If we, who have lived long enough to look on life with larger eyes than the young, are often saddened to see how many of the most passionate love-marriages melt away into a middle age of

misery, we have also seen others which, beginning in error, and possessing all the elements of future wretchedness, have yet by wise conduct-generally on the wife's side-ended in something not far short of happiness.

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Every woman who takes upon herself the 'holy estate'-and it is indeed holy-" of matrimony" has to learn soon or late-happy if she learn it soon! —that no two human beings can be tied together for life without finding endless difficulties, not only in the world outside, but in each other. These have to be solved, and generally by the wife. She must have a strong heart, a sweet temper, an unlimited patience, and above all, a power to see the right, and do it, not merely for the love of man

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as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord" (a state of things belonging to a polygamous and not a Christian community)-but for the love of God, which alone can tide an ill-assorted couple over the rocks and quicksands of early married life into a calm sea and a prosperous voyage.

I state this, that if what I am about to say be somewhat iconoclastic, it should be clearly seen that I wage war against false idols and not against true gods. And I write, not for those whose matrimonial lot is the average one, neither very happy nor very miserable, who having made their bed must lie upon it and make the best of it; but for those whose lot has turned out-as the man said of his bad wife-" all worse and no better," who are tied and bound, not always by their own fault, with a ghastly chain, the iron of which enters their very soul, and from which they have no hope of escape but death.

The question I wish to raise is, how long a woman should endure that chain; how far she may righteously put up with the husband, whom, under whatever circumstances, she has taken "for better for worse, and found hopelessly

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worse. The opposite question, as to how a good man should deal with a bad wife, I do not enter into. Men are the law-makers, and can be trusted to take care of themselves.

In ancient times, most nations were polygamous, including the Jews, upon whose marriage laws ours-rightly or wrongly-are founded; witness St.

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