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to survive. Much against his will and ours, Sir Edward Grey was forced in our name to assume the part that Mazzini had wished us to assume in 1848-the part of liberty's crusaders. Well, 'being in it,' let us finish the affair and make it the last crusade.

At the present stage of the war (September, 1918) Western Europe could be saved-for a time-by a compromise. But only at the price of leaving the Slav races subject to the Germans and Magyars. And if the German military despots can point to newly subjected Slav provinces as the spoils of war, they will be able to retain their own immemorial supremacy over the German masses. They can also proceed to organize the Slav millions of Austria-Hungary, Posen, and Russia for the next world war. We have no more right to interfere in forms of German government by Germans than the French Jacobins had to interfere in forms of British government by Britons. But if we free the Slavs the Germans will free themselves. If not, not.

Futhermore, we have incurred a debt of honour. We have used the gallant Czecho-Slovaks for our own purposes in Italy, France, and Russia. If we liberate them at the peace, this policy will have been wise and righteous. But if we leave Bohemia and the Slav races of Hungary to the vengeance of their old masters after the war, the name of England and America, of France and Italy, will have become a hissing and a reproach, and no one will ever trust us again. Our Czecho-Slovak policy of the last six months involves a moral obligation to win the war.

When Wellington raised his cocked hat over his head for 'everything to go in,' in the immortal sunset hour upon the ridge, he gave the signal for the best hundred years of English history to begin. He saved us and he gave us peace. But for others-for the Poles, for the Italians, for the inhabitants of Austria-that field had other meanings than freedom, progress, peace. For it was won by the ominous aid of sinister forces. C'est les Prussiens qui arrivent!' And behind old Blücher and his student dupes the slave hosts of Austria and the Czar were moving on.

But now, in this more protracted and terrible Waterloo

now while we are not yet sure of victory-we are already sure of this, that if victory comes it will not this time be half defeat. For this time we can trust our allies. C'est les 'Américains qui arrivent !'

The world to-day is like the United States in Lincoln's time. It cannot any longer continue half slave and half free. Ever since Waterloo we have been living in a house divided against itself, and it has not stood. We are all buried under its ruins. Popular government and military despotism can no longer co-exist in a world drawn narrowly together by modern means of locomotion. The war must go on to its issue-the issue of 'all free.' If, instead, we leave the various branches of the Slav race, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean in the hands of German and Magyar, there will be a fifth great war. If we liberate them now, whatever the cost, the world is sufficiently' weary of the past' to find other means in future of settling its disputes. The road to the League of Nations lies through victory.

G. M. TREVELYAN.

THE AGONY OF THE VICTORIAN AGE

1. Some Eminent Victorians. By LYTTON STRACHEY. Chatto & Windus. 1918.

2. Some Aspects of the Victorian Age. By the RIGHT HON. H. H. ASQUITH, M.P. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1918.

OR a considerable time past everybody must have noticed, especially in private conversation, a growing tendency to disparagement and even ridicule of all men and things, and aspects of things, which can be defined as 'Victorian.' Faded habits of mind are lightly dismissed as typical of the Victorian Age, and old favourite poets, painters, and musicians are treated with the same scorn as the glued chairs and glass bowls of wax flowers of sixty years go. The new generation are hardly willing to distinguish what was good from what was bad in the time of their grandmothers. With increasing audacity they repudiate the Victorian Age as a sæclum insipiens et infacetum, and we meet everywhere with the exact opposite of Montaigne's 'Je 'les approuve tous l'un après l'autre, quoi qu'ils disent.' Our younger contemporaries are slipping into the habit of approving of nothing from the moment that they are told it is Victorian.

This may almost be described as an intellectual and moral revolution. Every such revolution means some liberation of the intellect from bondage, and shows itself first of all in a temper of irreverence; the formulas of the old faith are no longer treated with respect and presently they are even ridiculed. It is useless to close our eyes to the fact that a spirit of this kind is at work amongst us, undermining the dignity and authority of objects and opinions and men that seemed half a century ago to be more perennial than bronze. Successive orators and writers have put the public in possession of arguments, and especially have sparkled in pleasantries, which have sapped the very foundations of the faith of 1850. The infection has attacked us all, and there is probably no one who is not surprised, if he seriously

reflects, to realize that he once implicitly took his ideas of art from Ruskin and of philosophy from Herbert Spencer. These great men are no longer regarded by anybody with the old credulity; their theories and their dogmas are mined, as were those of the early eighteenth century in France by the Encyclopædists, by a select class of destructive critics, in whose wake the whole public irregularly follows. The ordinary unthinking man accepts the change with exhilaration, since in this country the majority have always enjoyed seeing noses knocked off statues. But if we are to rejoice in liberation from the bondage of the Victorian Age we ought to know what those bonds were.

The phenomena of the decadence of an age are never similar to those of its rise. This is a fact which is commonly overlooked by the opponents of a particular section of social and intellectual history. In the initial stages of a 'period' we look for audacity, fire, freshness, passion. We look for men of strong character who will hew a channel along which the torrent of new ideals and subversive sentiments can rush. But this violence cannot be expected to last, and it would lead to anarchy if it did. Slowly the impetus of the stream diminishes, the river widens, and its waters reach a point where there seems to be no further movement in their expanse. No age contains in itself the elements of endless progress; it starts in fury, and little by little the force of it declines. Its decline is patent-but not until long afterwards-in a deadening of effort, in a hardening of style. Dryden leads on to Pope, Pope points down to Erasmus Darwin, after whom the world can but reject the whole classical system. The hungry sheep of a new generation look up and are not fed, and this is the vision which seems to face us in the last adventures of the schools of yesterday.

But what is, or was, the Victorian Age? The world speaks glibly of it as though it were a province of history no less exactly defined than the career of a human being from birth to death; but in practice no one seems in a hurry to mark out its frontiers. Indeed, to do so is an intrepid act. If the attempt is to be made at all, then 1840, the year of Queen Victoria's marriage with Prince Albert, may be suggested as the starting-point, and 1890 (between the death-dates of Browning, Newman, and Tennyson) as the year in which

the Victorian Age is seen sinking into the sands. Nothing could be vaguer, or more open to contention in detail, than this delineation, but at all events it gives our deliberations a frame. It excludes Pickwick,' which is the typical picture of English life under William IV., and Sartor Resartus,' which was the tossing of the bound giant in his sleep; but it includes the two-volume Tennyson, chiefly lyrical,' the stir of the Corn Law agitation, the Tractarian Crisis of 1841, and the 'History of the French Revolution' and 'Past and 'Present,' when the giant opened his eyes and fought with his chains. Darwin was slowly putting together the notes he had made on the Beagle,' and Hugh Miller was disturbing convention by his explorations of the Old Red Sandstone. Most of all, the discussion of permanent and transient elements in Christianity was taking a foremost place in all strata of society, not merely in the form of the contest around 'Tract '90,' but in the divergent directions of Colenso, the Simeon Evangelicals, and Maurice.

The Victorian Age began in rancour and turmoil. This is an element which we must not overlook, although it was in a measure superficial. A series of storms, rattling and recurrent tempests of thunder and lightning, swept over public opinion, which had been so calm under George IV. and so dull under William IV. Nothing could exceed the discord of vituperation, the Hebraism of Carlyle denouncing the Vaticanism of Wiseman, Free Kirk and other rubbish' pitted against 'Comtism, ghastliest of algebraic spectralities.' This theological tension marks the first twenty years and then slowly dies down, after the passion expended over ‘Essays ' and Reviews.' It was in 1840 that we find Macaulay, anxious to start a scheme of Whig reform and to cut a respectable figure as Secretary of State for War, unable to get to business because of the stumbling-block of religious controversy. Everything in heaven and earth was turned into 'a theological treatise,' and all that people cared about was the nature of the sacraments, the operation of holy orders, 'the visibility of the Church and baptismal regeneration.' The sitting member goes down to Edinburgh to talk to his constituents about Corn Laws and Sugar Duties and the Eastern Question; he is met by 'a din' of such objections as 'Yes, Mr. Macaulay, that is all very well for a statesman,

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