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have reached, there are not wanting some signs and promise of better things to come. Lord Rosebery, with his freshness, spirit, and intelligence, one cannot but with pleasure see at the Foreign Office. Then the action of Lord Hartington and Mr. Trevelyan inspires hope: that of Mr. Chamberlain inspired high hope at first, but presently his attitude seemed to become equivocal. He has, however, instincts of government-what M. Guizot used to call 'the governmental mind.' But the mass of the great Liberal party has no such instincts; it is crude and without insight. Yet for the modern development of our society, great changes are required, changes not certainly finding a place in the programme of our Conservatives, but not in that of our Liberals either. Because I firmly believe in the need of such changes, I have often called myself a Liberal of the future. They must come gradually, however; we are not ripe for them yet. What we are ripe for, what ought to be the work of the next few years, is the development of a complete and rational system of local government for these islands. And in this work all reasonable Conservatives may heartily bear part with all reasonable Liberals. That is the work for the immediate future, and besides its own great importance, it offers us a respite from burning questions which we are not ripe to treat, and a basis of union for all good men. The development of the working class amongst us follows the development of the middle. But development for our bounded and backward middle class can be gained only by their improved education and by the practice of a rational, large, and elevating system of local government. The reasonableness and co-operation of the Conservatives are needed to attain this system. By reasonableness, by co-operation with reasonable Liberals, they have it in their power to do two good things: they can keep off many dangers in the present, and they will be helping to rear up a Liberalism of more insight for the future.

But is it possible, and is there time? Will not the great Parliamentary manager, with his crude Liberal party of the present, sweep everything before him now? The omens are not good. At Munich a few weeks ago I had the honour to converse with a wise and famous man, as pleasing as he is learned, Dr. Döllinger. He is an old friend of Mr. Gladstone. We talked of Mr. Gladstone, with the interest and admiration which he deserves, but with misgiving. His letter to Lord de Vesci had just then appeared. Does it not remind you,' Dr. Döllinger asked me, 'of that unfortunate French ministry on the eve of the Revolution, applying to the nation for criticisms and suggestions?' Certainly the omens are not good. However, that best of all omens, as Homer calls it, ourselves to do our part for our country, is in our own power. The circumstances are such that desponding and melancholy thoughts cannot be banished entirely. After all, we may sometimes be tempted to say mournfully to ourselves, nations do not go on for ever. In the immense procession

of ages, what countless communities have arisen and sunk unknown, and even the most famous nation, perhaps, is only for its day. Human nature will have in dark hours its haunting apprehensions of this kind. But till the fall has actually come, no firm English mind will consent to believe of the fall that it is inevitable, and of the ancient and inbred integrity, piety, good-nature, and good-humour of the English people,' that their place in the world will know them

no more.



THE plea that I made in the January number of this Review for the familiar forms of historic names has met with so much support, that I am encouraged to add some fresh observations; and I will take occasion to notice the only criticism of which I have heard. My contention was that, since a mass of names derived from all ages and languages has become embedded in our literature in familiar forms, it would cause needless confusion to recast the whole of them in the exact contemporary forms, and in the spelling of many different languages. Specialists are continually pressing us to write names in the forms found in distant ages, or in other tongues. The true answer is that which I set forth: that to admit all these separate claims (each plausible by itself) would turn our language into a chaos, and I appealed to what is almost the only effective argument in such a case, the laughable consequences of adopting all these claims together. The Court which must decide this matter will be formed out of common sense, general culture, and the best types of English literature.

To that plea as a whole I have heard no answer. It is plainly one to which no answer on any single line is possible; and where scholars dealing with their special subject alone have really no right to sit as judges. They are the persons on their trial. It is not a matter of research or any special learning at all. The question cannot be limited to any particular subject, to one language, or any one epoch. It must be argued as a whole; as a matter, not of research, but of literature. What will become of the English language, if all the schools of research have their way together? This question, I say, will ultimately be settled by common sense, general culture, and the practice of English literature in its best types.

The article by Mr. Freeman, in the April number of the Contemporary Review, is therefore no reply at all. He does not allude to the true question, the confusion in the language which general change would cause. He defends his own practice and deals with his own subject exclusively; and leaves Orientalists and Elizabethans to deal with theirs. He rates me for meddling with what I know nothing about. He makes a series of assertions about what I know and do not know, what I have read or have not read, and what he supposes I

think. In fact, he is Professor Freeman, in the Old-English warpaint that we all know and have so long enjoyed as Saturday night came round. I shall presently show that no one of these assumptions about myself is true. But, supposing they were true: that is, assuming that I had never seen a Saxon Charter, or that I took Mathildis for an Old-English name, or that I ever supposed Guelph to be an hereditary surname (every one of which assertions is a mere invention), it could have no effect on the general argument, or in any way weaken my contention.

The case stands thus. I say, that in a history of England intended for children it is a pity to cumber the pages with such forms as Ælfthryth and Ælfgifu. Mr. Freeman in effect answers, You don't know what Elf means. Surely, that is no answer, even if it were true. Again, I say, it is a pity to have our language interlarded with Orientalisms and Medievalisms. Go to, says Mr. Freeman, you are not a serious scholar. Well! I am warning people against letting the rather too serious scholars murder the Queen's English. Suppose I find a builder discharging a cartload of bricks in the Queen's highway, I remonstrate and appeal to the public authorities. You're not a builder, cries the culprit; you know nothing about bricks, and were never in a brickfield in your life. That may or may not be true; but my immediate purpose is to ask the Court if every builder in the mighty Temple of Research is free to discharge bricks of his own baking into the midst of the Queen's English.

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Mr. Freeman is much scandalised with me for beguiling the tedium of discussion with a jest or two; and he says my style of controversy is not that of a serious scholar.' I cannot undertake to be always in full academicals; and I think that, if an argument is sound, it is none the worse for being presented in a pleasant way. A great master told us it was best always to mix the dulce with the utile. I can remember how poor Robson used to preface his immortal ‘Villikins' with the warning: This is not a comic song!' but the warning was always lost on me. Why is it to be assumed that, if we are merry, we cannot be wise? I know that in this age of Teutonic Gründlichkeit, unless a man will school himself to be as dull as Professor Gneist, he is supposed not to have an ounce of Research in him. It used not to be so in the glorious eighteenth century. Hume and Gibbon, Diderot and Turgot, did not find learning incompatible with a lively manner or with good English and good French.

The line which Mr. Freeman adopts is the one with which his readers are quite familiar. He behaves like a tutor correcting a pupil's exercise, and giving him what schoolboys call a ballaraging' for false concords and quantities. He cries out, Read what I have written in So-and-so! I suppose you think this? and, Why do you not read the other? Every one knows that to cross Mr. Freeman in

one of his linguistic fads is to risk being treated as my little boy was treated in the Zoological Gardens, when he offered a bun to the porcupine. But I have had some experience with the fera naturæ; and I have been conversant with the English language for a good many years. Of his work as an historian I have spoken with the great respect I unfeignedly feel; but in the matter of the best mode of writing our native tongue I cannot accept the authority of the most serious of scholars. Were I to put on my own cap and gown, and had I the Professor before me to examine in the history of law, or of modern philosophy, or of the industrial movement, or the like, I should do my best to give him his Testamur' politely, and I certainly should try not to look as if I were about to give him a caning.

To employ such a tone to me is surely a little out of place. I have been occupied all my life, just as Mr. Freeman has, in learning, teaching, and studying; and, if my special periods or subjects are not quite the same as his, we are on fair terms in a question of general literature. Moreover, it so happens that, in my professional duty as professor of constitutional history, these books which he tells me to go and look into are the ordinary text-books of my daily work. It would seem as if no one is a scholar serious enough for Mr. Freeman, unless his life is spent over the Saxon Chronicle and the Codex Diplomaticus. He says that I will not stop to hear what he has to say; that I have not stopped to learn the simplest facts about these matters that I wrote purely at a venture; and have made a reckless raid into regions where I do not know the road.

None of these assertions are true. I have very carefully studied all that he has written on the subject. I well know all the reasons he gives for his practice in writing English names; and they do not seem to me good reasons. I re-read them again before writing about them. He hardly knows how diligent a student of his works he has in myself. I study them all-large and small, scientific and popular, old and new; and I had them all before my eyes at every step in my remarks on spelling. My examples are all drawn from his own books and those of his immediate followers, and I will give him chapter and verse. Kemble, Stubbs, Skeat, Freeman, Green, were in my hands at almost every sentence that I wrote about the forms of Old-English names. I do not find that I cited any of them incorrectly. The blunders, which he supposes and infers me to have made, I did not make.

My topic was the form of names to be used in familiar English; but I took care in speaking of the Battle of Senlac, or of Orderic, or of the title of Edward the Elder, to go again to the authorities, and not to speak without book. I did not quote the Bayeux Tapestry or the Continuation of Wace's Brut, or the poem of Guy of Amiens without examining them for myself. And before saying one word about the Battle of Hastings, I again read all that I could find in

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