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every fresh political departure, he reed shaken with the wind," has had acted conscientiously and per- hardly the right to condemn, after suaded himself that he was right, this unsparing fashion, the men find themselves utterly unable to with whom he acted up to a recent hug themselves any longer in this period, and the party from whom belief, and turn away with averted he received a generous and hearty looks and sorrowful eyes from the support when his old leader was leader who has trampled under stabbing him in the back at the foot, one by one, all those prin- general election. But no one disciples of unselfish patriotism which putes that Sir George Trevelyan elevate the nature of a man and is an honest man; and although ennoble the career of a statesman. he has unhappily come once more
Mr Gladstone's latest adherent under the glamour of Mr Gladis the man whom he has perhaps stone, it is worth while to scrutinused worse than any other of his ise the arguments by which he followers. There is something defends this last eccentricity of touching in the Christian forgive a weak but well-meaning nature. ness with which Sir George Trevel- One palpable vein is perceptible yan once more sits humbly at the throughout the whole of that feet of the leader who showed a speech at the “ Eighty Club" on spirit so entirely the reverse and the 16th May, in which Sir opposite when the Border Burghs' George gives to the world the election was in question. Indeed carefully prepared justification of the relentless persecution (for it his desertion of Lord Hartington was nothing less) with which Mr and the Unionists. “ Party first Gladstone and his clique visited -principles afterwards," is the every Liberal Unionist at the last idea paramount in the Trevelyan general election must be well re- mind. “ The Liberal party must be membered, and brought to mind held together"-to accomplish this when we come to-day to gauge object should be the main end and the sincerity of those Gladstonian object of a Liberal; and this should orators who are proclaiming far have dominated every other feeling and wide the cruel and unnatural in other breasts, as it has in the conduct of the “ Liberal Unionists” breast of Sir George Trevelyan. in" getting their back to the wall," By the light of this overpowerand “organising" with the view ing idea, Sir George's speech is of preserving their own existence. easy of comprehension. He was This is a proceeding which, in his in favour of the Union. Many present state of mind, Sir George Gladstonians have all along avowed Trevelyan utterly condemns, and, the same feeling, utterly ignoring having crept back into the fold" the fact that Mr Gladstone himunder the cover of the “Crimes self, recklessly perverting and exBill," he lectures his recent com- aggerating the history of the time, panions in misfortune in a some- has never ceased, since his adopwhat pharisaical strain, and endea- tion of the Home Rule platform, vours to show that on their side to vilify the passing of the Union lies all the blame for the schism and its authors in such a manner in the Liberal party. There are as would be ridiculous if he really those who would say that Sir believed that Union to be for the George Trevelyan, who has shown benefit of the two islands. But himself, after all, to be but “a Sir George Trevelyan was so truly
in favour of the Union, and so sider the “unity” of any mere much opposed to Mr Gladstone's political party as their first object. assault upon it, that he suffered The cause of the Union is just as political death for the sake of his much a great and a national cause opinions upon this question. And as when Sir George Trevelyan when he pointedly minimises the thought so last year.
last year. Yet to-day extent of his differences with Mr he calmly declares that “of all Gladstone at the time of the the parties in the House of ComHawick election, in order to show mons, the “ Liberal Unionists, that he is still practically un- long as they insist on being a changed in opinion, he appears to separate party, are on the least overlook the fact that in so doing stable ground,” and proceeds to he is affording proof of that which condemn them for “ keeping up a is so resolutely denied by his new separate organisation.” It is oballies, namely, the unreasoning, vious that the justice or injustice utter, and complete obedience and of Sir George's criticism depends humble submission which was re- entirely upon whether the mainquired by Mr Gladstone in order tenance of the Union between to avert his opposition, personal Great Britain and Ireland is of and unrelenting, to all those who sufficient importance to override refused it. Sir George Trevelyan and outweigh any party considerafought and fell as a Unionist, tions. Sir George thought so last and for the cause of the Union, year - this year he thinks difthreatened by Mr Gladstone's pro- ferently; and without accusing posed legislation. That cause is him of a preference of party to the same in the summer of 1887 patriotism, we owe that we think as it was in the summer of 1886. he is placing party upon a higher But, says Sir George, “Mr Glad- pedestal than it deserves to ocstone's bills are—or at least the cupy, and is thereby lowering the text of the bills is—dead.” He standard by which public men quotes from
Liberal address who love their country should lately sent to him, and says it guide their political conduct. exactly defines the political situa- When Sir George Trevelyan protion." These · bills are not now ceeds to tell the Liberal Unionists before the country, and are never what their “true policy” should likely again to be introduced into have been, and how wrong they the House of Commons in their are to support a Conservative original form.” This may or may Government, he again falls into not be so; but it cannot be denied the confusion of ideas natural to that the principle of these bills a thick-and-thin “party man." -i.e., the establishment of a sep- Those whom he condemns do not arate Parliament in Ireland - is support the present Government alive, and is the one principle because it is i Conservative," but which holds the Gladstonian-Par- because it is “Unionist”; and the nellites together. That principle introduction of a “ scheme for the must be abandoned and repudiated settlement of Ireland,” upon which by those who assume to lead the we are told the Liberal Unionists Liberal party, before patriotic should have insisted, has for the Liberals can feel the union safe present been rendered impossible, enough to dispense with
not by the action of the Govern" Unionist party,” or con- ment, but by the factious conduct of
the Gladstonian-Parnellites. One friends to treat the Irish repreof the conditions upon which Sir sentatives with courtesy and comGeorge Trevelyan tells us that he mon decency." No one upon the was prepared to have supported Unionist side would wish to acthe Home-Rule Bill
that cord different treatment to the " the Central Government kept a representatives of Irish constitusufficient hold on law and order." encies. But the treatment should That is the very thing which the be reciprocal ; and no one can have « Central”-i.c., the “ British ”- attended the House of Commons' Government is determined to do, debates during the present session and which it is bouud to do before without feeling that Sir Geore any such scheme as Sir George Trevelyan might with advantage alludes to can be produced with have recommended to his own a hope of beneficial results. But clients to take a share in that how are they encountered by determination which is so highly such backsliding Unionists as Sir creditable to those who have formed George Trevelyan ? The Bill by it, and which, we trust, they will means of which they seek to extend to those Unionists and “keep a sufficient hold on law," members of the Government who by vindicating its supremacy, is have certainly had cause to comdenounced as “coercion”; and plain of somewhat different treatthe very man who boasts of having ment. It is melancholy to observe made this "condition,” now pro- how party feeling seems to have tests against the said Bill, because warped Sir George Trevelyan's he says it “is framed for the sup- judgment, and deprived him of pression of the National League;" all claim to that impartiality which --that is, for the suppression of he has assumed in his late speeches. the body which has prevented, His exhibition at the Eighty Club” and is still striving to prevent, (which has since evinced its unfitthe "o Central Government" from ness to be classed as a “Liberal” having that “sufficient hold on society, by driving from it all those law and order” which he himself who would not agree to bow their esteems it a necessity that they necks before Mr Gladstone and should possess.
Home Rule) was surpassed in folly When we remember the position and extravagance by his speech at which Sir George Trevelyan has Manchester on May 19th, in which, held, and the knowledge which he referring to the action of the Govmust have acquired of the diffi- ernment, he went so far as to say culty of governing Ireland, we con- that “the parliamentary atmosphere fess that we feel deep regret on now positively reeks with injusreading his misdescription of the tice," and spoke of it being necesCrimes Bill, his upholding of the sary that the Liberal Unionists “ National League," and his open should exact, as the price of their avowal that one of his main reasons support, “that Conservatives should for joining in the opposition to the treat Liberals with decent civility.” Bill is his unwillingness to trust This is pretty good, when we conits powers to his political oppon- sider the language which has been ents. To a speech tinged with so aimed at the Conservatives and bitter a party spirit, it was a fitting the Government by Gladstonians conclusion that Sir George should " below the gangway," the insultspeak of the determination of his ing words and demeanour, and the unparliamentary jeers and gestures same question is not “the question which have been employed, and the of the day"? The Gladstonians extraordinary patience by which and Parnellites have at least they have been endured by those been consistently energetic in their who now constitute the majority endeavours to make it so; and in of the House of Commons.
the “Eighty Club” schism to It is almost cruel to dwell which we have just alluded, they longer upon Sir George Trevelyan, have insisted that “it is the duty who must still be writhing under of the Liberal party to maintain the complete and merciless ex- and enforce the policy of Home posure of his inconsistency which Rule."
With what decent prehas been inflicted upon him by Lord tence can Sir George justify his Randolph Churchill, and which statement that " the battle is places him in a pitiable light in- over"? The Gladstonians have deed before the public eye. It is not accepted the verdict of the impossible, however, to omit to call country, but, on the contrary, are attention to the commencement of doing their utmost to obtain its this Manchester speech, in which reversal; and it is their action the repentant sinner again halts and which has “kept open ” and wavers between his country and widened " old wounds." The his party, even after he has yielded “organised opposition” was be,
. to the mandate of the latter and gun on their side; and the Liberal deserted the cause of the former. Unionists, in following the exHe shows, indeed, a sad want of ample, are only fighting for their power to appreciate the importance own existence. It would have of the issues involved in the con- been well for Sir George Trevelyan test, when he speaks of himself as if he could have remained silent one who, “having felt bound to during that exclusion from Paroppose the majority of his own liament which we all hope will be party on the question of two but temporary, for his reputation famous Bills," –"now that the battle for statesmanship has suffered irreis over, and the contest is trans- trievable damage from his recent ferred into other fields, refuses to utterances. Nor can his present keep open old wounds, and to take mental condition be entirely compart in an organised opposition to fortable, for he tells us that he a party with which he agrees on “heartily endorses Lord Hartingnineteen questions out of twenty, ton's conditions" with respect to because a twelvemonth ago he dis- Irish legislation, to all appearance agreed with them in their treat- entirely forgetting that compliance ment of what was then the question or agreement with these same conof the day.” Was ever such non- ditions was denounced by Mr Gladsense written by a sensible man? stone at Carlisle as an invitation If the question of Home Rule was to him to “walk into the gutter," not a great and overshadowing and urged as a reason why the question, far away above and be- Unionist member for Carlisle yond ordinary political matters, should be rejected. Sir George Trevelyan ought not It is idle, however, further to to have, and never would have, follow the vacillation and inconseparated himself from his party. sistency of Sir George Trevelyan, But having conscientiously done who, no later than the 13th of so, how can he pretend that the March last, emphatically told the people of Liskeard that "it is fact that in Radical and Nonconthe decided duty of the Liberal formist Cornwall, the majority of Unionists to strengthen the hands 2000 for the Gladstonian in the of the Government in dealing with St Austell division in 1885 should disorder in Ireland.” We can only have fallen to 200 in 1887,- for regret that the giver of such sound although the Unionist candidate advice should have afforded another had the advantage of being a Corinstance of the power of party pre- nish man, not only were the Liberal judice to weaken patriotic inspira- Unionists completely unorganised, tions and deprive the country of but the Radical candidate had a good and valuable services. But Wesleyan connection which told there is little hope of good service largely in his favour. But the to his country from a man who, at light is beginning to shine in Cornsuch a crisis as the present, tells wall as well as in other parts of us that “the reunion of the Liberal the country; and as the conduct party at this moment is the one and policy of Mr Gladstone and object of his life;" and we can only his Parnellite allies become more hope that the lapse of time may and more conspicuously identified yet show him that there are higher before the eyes of the constituenand nobler objects which should cies, we confidently believe that guide the career of a statesman the followers of the ex-Premier and a patriot. Fortunately for the will gradually fall away, that the country, the issue before us is be- cause of the Union will be felt to coming better and better under- be the cause of patriotism, and stood, in spite of Gladstonian that a great and lasting triumph misrepresentation and Parnellite will crown the efforts of the Coneffrontery. It is a noteworthy stitutional party.