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THE SURE WITNESS.
Play on the square with Foss-in Sir Brook, blandly; "a matter, of course,
"I am very grateful for his kind estimate of me. It is, however, no more than I looked for at his hands." This he said with a marked feeling, and then added, in a lighter tone, "I have also a debt of gratitude to yourself, of which I know not how to acquit myself better than by accepting this appointment, and taking the earliest opportunity to die afterwards."
"No, don't do that; I don't mean that. You can do like that fellow they made a Pope because he looked on the verge of the grave, and who pitched his crutch into the air when he had put on the tiara."
"I understand; so that it is only in Baron Lendrick's eyes I am to look short-lived." "Just so; call on him- have a meeting with him; say that his Excellency desires to act with every delicacy towards him — that should it be discovered hereafter the right of nomination lies with the Court and not with us, we'll give him an equivalent somewhere else, till -till
“Till I shall have vacated the post," chimed
"You see the whole thing -you see it in all its bearings; and now, if you only could know something about the man you have to deal with, there would be nothing more to tell you."
"I have heard about him passingly."
"Oh yes, his eccentricities are well known. The world is full of stories of him, but he is one of those men who play wolf on the species- he must be worrying somebody to keep him from worrying himself; he smashed the last two Governments here, and he'd have upset us too if I hadn't been here. He hates me cordially; and if you don't want to rouse his anger, don't let your lips murmur the name, Cholmondley Balfour."
"You may rely upon me, sir," said Sir Brook, bowing. "I have scarcely ever met a gentleman whose name I am not more likely to recall than your own."
"Sharp, that; did you mean it?" said Balfour, with his glass to his eye.
"I am never ambiguous, sir, though it occasionally happens to me to say somewhat less than I feel. I wish you a good day.
"Curtains they are," I said,
The moon in splendor shone;
Who hides himself from men,
In that great power through Nature interfused?"
Waking one time, strange awe
"Hung dim and still about the house of prayer;" A kindly splendor round about the night;
Loftly among the limbs,
Turning the leaves of hymns,
I heard the winds, and asked if God were there!
With rudely-open hand,
I cried, "Sweet Hermitess,
Such cunning work and grand,
No spinner ever planned;
The finest wool may not be washed so white.
Then my heart said "Give o'er;
The wind, the snow-storm, the wild hermit
The illuminated air,
The pleasure after prayer,
Proclaim the unoriginated Power!
The mystery that hides him here and there,
From the Spectator, Sept. 2. THE "BALANCE OF POWER" OUT OF
THE Convention of Gastein has probably given the coup de grâce to most sensible men's faith in the European political instrument called "balance of power." As the "provisional" disposal made of the quondam Danish Duchies by that document, of course these disposals are always "provisional" till the nerves of Europe are a little accustomed to the new shock, and then they are declared permanent, was the third instance of pure spoliation by a "great power" within the last six years, and the spoilation in each case was ignored by the other great Powers, on the ground that their own interests were not sufficiently involved to give occasion to interfere, the fine theory that the great Powers of Europe are always sitting as a sort of committee to prevent encroachments on the weaker Powers which are dangerous in principle to the peace of Europe, can no longer hold out before the "logic of events." The truth is that as four out of five of the great Powers of Europe are in fact all but despotisms, and as no despotism can pretend alarm at the principle of conquest so long as the conquest is made from weak peoples and not so made as to threaten strong thrones, it needs a very special shock, a shock such as does not often startle the world, to make those great Powers feel any real uneasiness at an inroad, however cynical, upon the weak. The gigantic wars of Napoleon did indeed for a time frighten the great Powers of Europe into a certain community of antagonism towards anything which savoured of territorial encroachment. But that feeling has long been dying away. First, Austria gulped down the little republic of Cracow, when an empty and vain protest followed. Then Russia began to deal with the " sick man's" possessions, and would probably have been permitted to annex them, had it not suited the French Emperor to make a name for the dynasty in Europe. The Crimean episode no doubt a little delayed the backsliding of the great Powers of Europe into their natural policy of preying unrebuked on their weaker neighbours. Nor were they easy enough to begin again, till France had stopped her own mouth by taking willing Savoy and unwilling Nice for her pay after the campaign in Lombardy. At that proceeding Austria, Prussia, and Russia looked on with grim satisfaction, feeling no doubt that their own turn would come soon; and only England-the one great power not despot
ic but free-professed any resentment. Next came the turn of Russia to break through the treaty of Vienna by deliberately absorbing Poland and setting the opinions of the Western Powers at defiance. Last of all, Prussia and Austria - or rather Prussia with Austria as a reluctant accomplicehave found their turn come round, France and Russia not finding their own interests sufficiently deeply involved to take any step on behalf of Denmark. England, the only great power which has not followed the same policy, which indeed by her free, popular constitution, has been forced into a nearly opposite policy, and has given up the Ionian Islands to Greece while all the other Powers were enclosing new territory within their borders, England, though herself giving instead of taking, has learned even better than the other great Powers to regulate her interference or non-interference abroad by the amount of the selfish risk she might incur in the individual case through remaining neutral. That England will only interfere when English interests are threatened, is, or appears to be, better established than the same principle in the case of any of the despotic States. The other Powers have stood aloof, as much for the wish for a grasping precedent which it may be convenient for them to quote and follow, as from any abstract principle of policy. But England, while uniformly objecting in words to acts of public robbery, has been praised by men of all parties for refusing to draw the sword except on her own behalf.
Who, then, can now talk of "balance of power" as a principle guarded by the great Powers, and favourable to the weaker Powers of Europe, because protecting the latter from wanton aggression. The great Powers, instead of really co-operating to regulate the territorial changes of Europe, take, each what it can get for itself, without seriously alarming the others for their own safety, and feels a modest confidence that no one will interfere so long as only the little neighbours are eaten up. That balance of power" consists in indulging only a moderate greediness has been the principle of the great Powers since the assimulation of Savoy and Nice by France. If they can only manage to take it turn and turn about, to annex, and to let their annexations keep a fair proportion to those of their sister Powers, the balance may still be retained, though constantly trimmed by equal additions to opposite scales. If France without Nice and Savoy balanced Russia without a digested and assimilated Poland, Prussia without Schleswig, and Austria without Holstein,
then France plus Nice and Savoy probably | fear of a new stroke of the same kind were balances just as well Russia with an over-run undoubtedly the disturbing forces which and denationalized Poland, Prussia plus prevented England from coming to any Schleswig and Lauenburg, and Austria plus Holstein, or whatever she ultimately intends to take in place of Holstein, when she gives up Holstein to Prussia. Such, apparently, is the only kind of trimming of the balance which at present has any strong hold of the imagination of the four great despotic European Powers. France has indeed a more generous conception of foreign policy and a certain amount of sympathy with the patriotic aspirations of distressed peoples, but her own conduct in relation to Nice and Savoy, her selfish views upon the frontier of the Rhine, and finally her task in Mexico, render her both unwilling and unable to do anything alone in the interests of mere justice to prevent the other despotic Governments from following the example of moderate encroachment on convenient territory which she had set.
But this selfish substitute for "balance of power," this tacit agreement on the part of all the great Powers that each should let the other plunder in turn, so long as nothing is done to disturb the relative importance of the more powerful States, is not a sort of balance that can long rest undisturbed upon its pivot. It was not this sort of balance of power which was intended when Switzerland was declared neutral, when Belgium was guaranteed against attack, nor even so late as 1852, when the succession was fixed for the throne of Denmark by that common consent of the European Powers on which the Convention of Gastein furnishes so cynical. a commentary. The only "balance of power" which can have any sort of tranquillizing effect on Europe is a virtual co-operation of the greater Powers to check any one of their own number, or any second-rate power not of their own number, in the unjust use of force against the weaker independent States. At present it appears to mean "the privilege to annex, limited only by fear of each other," instead of "the privilege to resist territorial change, limited only by respect for the legitimate wishes of the great populations." The effect of acting on the former principle is more and more visible every year in Europe. France has never yet laid the anger and the jealousy to sleep which her cynical seizure of Nice produced. The Radical party in Italy regarded it, and regard it, as more than an offset against all her timely help. England has never yet quite forgiven it, and the resentment it produced and the
hearty agreement with France to protect Denmark. Russia has succeeded in swallowing Poland, and whether she can keep it down or not, she deeply irritated the popular feeling both in France and England in the process. Now that Prussia has followed suit by punishing Denmark for not uniting Schleswig and Holstein, and immediately separating them herself with preparations for absorbing one if not both absolutely into the Prussian monarchy, German popular feeling is roused into a similar flame of indignation, and the peoples of Europe at least, if not their rulers, are fast learning to believe, with the poet, that "Earth is sick and Heaven is weary of the hollow words which States and Kingdoms utter when they talk of truth and justice." A state of European feeling in which every weak State knows for certain that the Powers of Europe except England will do each what is right in its own eyes, on condition only of not alarming each other, and England, though abstaining from all selfish aggrandizement, has completely made up her mind to abstain also from all acts of unselfish generosity that may involve her in war, is not significant of a peaceful future. Some popular confidence in international justice is even more necessary than a mere balance of forces, to keep Europe at rest. The balance of forces may be unsettled any day by a genuine alliance amongst some of these at present mutually distrustful Powers. While each acts sullenly and alone for its own interests there may be a sort of equilibrium indeed, but only unstable equilibrium, which once disturbed is never restored. But if two great Powers are once heartily allied for offence and defence, either for the sake of doing or preventing some great injustice, the smouldering irritation of the peoples of Europe will be fuel to the flame, and we may have another war on a grand scale, which these cynical annexations of territory from weak States will in reality have provoked. Talk as we will, and as the laissez-faire school does, of the pacific results of non-intervention, there is a kind of non-intervention which the great Powers of Europe have recently been studying and practising, that will do as much to stir the passions of Europe as the most fussy and mis-timed intervention. Without a disposition to enforce justice among the strong, the weak can never be either happy or quiet. Permitting your
neighbour to be robbed in peace so long as you have reason to believe that you have yourself some security against that unpleasant operation which he has not, will not promote the security of even the best guarded property long.
From the Spectator.
THE BOSTON MEN ON RECONSTRUCTION. ONE of the ablest State papers which the American war has yet produced has been put forth by a Committee-chiefly, we believe, of merchants - at Boston, in the shape of a letter to the President on the question of reconstruction. It is signed by Mr. J. M. Forbes, Mr. Loring, Mr. Jared Sparkes, Mr. Washburne, and a number of other gentlemen who, throughout the war, have done more to infuse the popular view with a spirit of real statesmanship than any other group of Americans not actually engaged in the administration. But they have never yet issued a memorial so wide, searching, and statesmanlike as this, which might compare favourably with the ablest papers ever issued by the ablest school of State-paper writing England has ever produced the Indian pupils of the late Lord Dalhousie. Sir John Lawrence's minute on the mutiny after its suppression - prepared, we believe by one of the ablest of them, Mr. Richard Temple was not a more remarkable document than this Boston memorandum on the principles regulating any permanent pacification of the South. Of course the principal point really discussed in this document is the future constitutional position of the negro in the South, for that, whether the decision be against him or for him, is the one question that must in some way be settled before society in the Southern States can be re-organized. We regret to see that President Johnson has already been signifying his intention of suspending the military occupation in Mississippi, and restoring the State to the Union with all its old privileges directly she has "returned to her allegiance," without any further guarantee for the settlement of this vexed question than the formal abolition of slavery by the Mississippi Convention. Everything else that the convention has done points to a disposition hostile to the rights of the negro. It especially presses for the withdrawal of all negro troops whose presence is probably the strongest check on ill-treatment of the negro. There will be no security whatever for his fair treatment as a freeman except the power
of appeal from the local courts to the Court of the United States, and how many units among the three or four millions of negroes will be in a position to press that right of appeal? There is nothing to show that the Mississippians, any more than the Alabamians, who definitely reject negro evidence, will consent to have the negro's evidence against a white man received in court;and a powerful white oligarchy, unrestrained by the local courts in their proceedings against the negroes, will soon be able to restore a system as near to slavery as was the apprentice system of Brazil, which was perhaps a little worse.
With the President thus eager to restore "State rights" before he has secured human rights, the memorandum of which we speak, certain as it is to exercise a strong influence on the shrewd people of the United States, becomes of the greatest importance. Its logic seems to us so clear and irresistible, that it will mould opinion far and wide on that great subject on which Mr. Johnson knows his duty far too well not to obey any distinct resolve of the people. It begins by pointing out that whenever the States that have been in rebellion are fully restored to their constitutional rights in the Federal Union, the very first point to be determined will be the basis of population on which representation shall be accorded them in Congress. Hitherto the constitu tional rule has been to give to each Southern State representation in proportion to the number of free persons plus three-fifths of the number of "all other persons" (i. e., persons not free) contained in the State. Now there will be no longer any persons not free, and the effect of the rule will therefore be to give each Southern State a still greater proportionate influence in Congress than it had before the war. Thus before the war Mississippi had 354,000 whites and 436,000 slaves, consequently the population for Federal electoral purposes would have been reckoned at 354,000 plus three-fifths of 436,000, that is, 615,000. Now, however, supposing the population had remained the same during the war, the State would claim an influence in Congress calculated on the basis of a population of 790,000, although out of these much less than half, namely, only 354,000, would have any influence over the election. For though the United States Constitution prescribes representation on a basis, of population, it leaves to the individual States to determine what proportion of that population shall exercise any influence in sending representatives. Hence the effect of the emancipation proclamation and
the adhesion of the seceded States to the constitutional amendment will be to give them a much larger proportionate influence in Congress than before, but an influence wielded exclusively by the secessionist section of the population. The freedmen will increase the political weight of the people most hostile to the freedmen; the only absolutely loyal inhabitants will put a new and very formidable weapon into the hands of the disloyal inhabitants, for the purpose of weakening the emancipation policy of Congress. The slaveowners of Mississippi always had political credit for three-fifths of their slaves; now they are to be given credit for the other two-fifths at the very moment when they most need such a gift to cripple the liberal policy of the loyal States in the Federal assembly. The result will be, says the memorandum, that "every hundred of the white inhabitants of South Carolina will have as much power through their representatives as two hundred and forty of the people of Iowa; one hundred white men in Mississippi will equal two hundred and twenty-three men in Wisconsin; one hundred white men in Louisiana will equal one hundred and ninety-eight in Maine; one hundred white men in Alabama will equal one hundred and eighty-three in Connecticut; and one hundred white men in Alabama and Louisiana together will equal one hundred and eighty-nine in Indiana." Thus the result of this anomaly will be that the emancipation of the Southern slaves will operate as a relative disfranchisement of the Northern freemen. Even the memorialists do not put the case strongly enough. Because the South has obliged the loyal Americans to turn the slaves into freemen, the Southern oligarchy, which caused the rebellion, gains, at the expense of those who resisted it, an accession of power which makes on the average every quondam secessionist's vote as powerful as that of two Northern loyalists, an anomaly surely which no sane nation can permit. And how would this anomaly be brought about? By throwing the weight of the freedman without his consent into the scale opposite to that into which he would throw it himself. And who would be guilty of this injustice? Not the Secessionist, who would profit by it, but who has not yet obtained any power to influence the course of events, but the Northern people, who will suffer by it, and whose will for the future is at the present moment law. In other words, the North are asked to increase the moral influence of the secessionists by an artificial arrangement which gives them en bloc a mass of votes every one of which
would be naturally cast in their own favour. Is it conceivable that they would thus stultify themselves? that they will be guilty of the grossest of all injustices to their allies in order to increase the power of their enemies? that they will oblige the freedmen - for that is what it really means, swell the power of those who grudge them freedom, when those who gave them freedom might have all that power on their own side. For if the old constitutional rule be allowed to work after emancipation, the freedmen will not only be no political benefit to the Northern States; their extermination would be necessary in order to put the Northern States on terms of political equality with the Southern States. Having powerful allies in the South, the administration is asked so to twist the influence of those allies, that to all intents and purposes they will double the power of their enemies instead of indefinitely increasing their own. Is such a combination of tolly and crime possible to a shrewd American people?
Should so absurd and suicidal a policy be really pursued, the memorandum points out with great force the natural result:- “We felt that we needed- we waited until we were compelled to feel that we needed — their [the negroes'] assistance in the war, before we accepted it; but when we accepted it, victory came with it, certainly with it, whether because of it or not. And again we need their aid. If we permit in the conflicts that await us the assistance they will gladly give, it will certainly add greatly to the safety and strength of our country. If we reject it, we can do so only by a wrong, of which the retribution must be to lessen our strength and increase our danger, and maybe to defeat and destroy those interests upon. which the prosperity and the good faith of the country are founded; to defeat and destroy those interests, because we see fit to take from the loyal the force which of right belongs to them, and give it to the disloyal to increase their strength." Nay, the memorialists quite rightly deny the right of the North to make a sacrifice which is not only injurious to itself, but may be deadly to the freedmen. Having destroyed the interest of the Southern whites in taking care of the physical lite of the negroes, by emancipation, the effect of denying the negroes all political weapons is to refuse them the right of protecting themselves against the inhumanity and vindictiveness of their former masters. Nevertheless, the memorialists admit that a great difficulty exists in giving the negro his only natural protection, namely, the suffrage, at