Imatges de pàgina

a woodland god were passing to awaken all the joys of the dawn.

The horses heard, too. In an instant hers had swerved wildly, and she lay on the ground at my feet.

'Believe what I have told you. For we shall meet again.'

I repeated, “We shall meet again.'
In my arms she died.

Later, when all was over, I asked myself if I believed this, and answered with full assurance, Yes.


Days had gone before I could recall If the story thus told sounds incredwhat had happened then. I lifted her ible, it was not incredible to me. I had in my arms and carried her into the had a profound experience. What is a rest-house near at hand, and the doctor miracle? It is simply the vision of the came and looked grave, and a nurse was Divine behind nature. It will come in sent from the Mission Hospital. No different forms according to the eyes doubt all was done that was possible; that see, but the soul will know that its but I knew from the first what it meant perception is authentic. and how it would be. She lay in a white I could not leave Kashmir, nor was quietness, and the room was still as there any need. On the contrary, I saw death. I remembered with unspeakable that there was work for me here among gratitude later that the nurse had been the people she had loved, and my first merciful and had not sent me away. aim was to fit myself for that and for

So Vanna lay all day and all night;and the writing I now felt was to be my when the dawn came again, she stirred career in life. After much thought, I and motioned with her hand, although bought the little Kedarnath and made her eyes were closed. I understood, and, it my home, very greatly to the satiskneeling, I put my hand under her faction of little Kahdra and all the head, and rested it against my shoulder. friendly people to whom I owed so Her faint voice murmured at my ear.

much. 'I dreamed — I was in the pine wood Vanna's cabin I made my sleepingat Pahlgam, and it was the Night of room, and it is the simple truth that No Moon, and I was afraid, for it was the first night I slept in the place that dark; but suddenly all the trees were was a Temple of Peace in my thoughts covered with little lights like stars, and I had a dream of wordless bliss, and the greater light was beyond. Nothing starting awake for sheer joy, I saw her to be afraid of.'

face in the night, human and dear, 'Nothing, beloved.'

looking upon me with that poignant 'And I looked beyond Peshawar, sweetness which would seem to be farther than eyes could see; and in the the utmost revelation of love and pity. ruins of the monastery where we stood, And as I stretched my hands, another you and I - I saw him, and he lay with face dawned solemnly from the shadow his head at the feet of the Blessed One. beside her, with grave brows bent on That is well, is it not?'

mine one I had known and seen in 'Well, beloved.

the ruins at Bijbehara. Outside, and And it is well I go? Is it not?' very near, I could hear the silver weav'It is well.'

ing of the Flute that in India is the symA long silence. The first sun-ray bol of the call of the Divine. A dream; touched the floor. Again the whisper:- but it taught me to live.

(The End)




It is a fact of universal admission that was an ogre that had lost its teeth and the prestige of the British Parliament its claws, and was henceforth harmless. has not been at so low an ebb in living And behold! Just at the moment when memory as it is to-day. We should have, the representative House is at last I think, to go back to the time when based on the broadest possible franGeorge III, in his pursuit of personal chise, when the suffrage is universal government, packed the House of Com- and women have the vote, we are conmons with his creatures, to parallel the fronted with the spectacle of a House of disrepute into which the present Parlia- Commons so negligible as to be almost ment has fallen. The House of Com- beneath contempt, and so mute and mons has lost its authority over the servile that, by comparison, the heredipublic mind and its influence upon tary Chamber stands out in contrast as events. The press has largely ceased to the guardian of public liberties and report its proceedings, and the scrappy

free institutions. For long years Libdescriptive summary has taken the erals have been fighting for a thorplace of the full-dress verbatim reports oughly representative system and for with which we were familiar a few years imposing restraint upon the reactionago. This is no doubt largely due to the ary tendencies of the Upper House. revolution in the press which has re- And having accomplished their aim, placed the sober seriousness of the past they find that they have to turn, for by a tendency to keep the public amused the experience of whatever remnant of with sensation and stunts. But the fact enlightened and liberal-minded opinion does reflect the public sense of the de there remains, from the House of Comcadence of Parliament.

mons to the House of Lords. There at And there is an odd touch of irony in least an occasional weighty voice is this — that the depreciation affects the heard in protest against the follies of the popular House much more than the government. There at least is some House of Lords. For generations the reminiscence of the spirit of independent latter has been a threatened institu- criticism, which has certainly vanished tion, the last hope of impossible causes from a House of Commons that exand the bugbear of the reformer. Its ists simply to register the decrees of a record of stupid opposition to every ministry. movement of enlightened and rational If we seek to discover the causes of change has been the tradition of a cen- the decline of the Parliamentary institury; but it seemed that, with the great tution, the most general conclusion will Budget fight of 1910 and the passing of be that it is an incident in the convulthe Parliament Act, its power for mis- sion of the war. There can, of course, chief had been finally controlled. It be no doubt on this point. It is the war that has shaken the pillars of West- archy. It led the public on stunts and minster and left the governance of sensations. It debased the currency of England more chaotic and indetermin- political controversy to phrases that ate than it has been for two centuries. could be put in a headline and passed But while this is undoubtedly true, it is from mouth to mouth. The old-fashionalso true that for some years before the ed newspaper, which reported speeches war there had been tendencies at work and believed in the sanctity of its newswhich had been undermining confidence columns, went under or had to join in in Parliamentary government. The the sauve qui peut. Parliament was transfer of power from the educated treated as a music-hall turn. If it was middle classes to the mass of the people, funny, it was reported; if it was seriwhile a just and inevitable development ous, it was ignored. With the exception of the democratic idea, was productive of a few papers, chiefly in the provinces, of results which were not wholly salu- like the Manchester Guardian and the tary. The appeal ceased to be to an in- Scotsman, the utterances of serious structed community, which could be statesmen other than the Prime Minreached by argument, and passed to the ister were unreported. The Midlothian millions who had neither the taste nor campaign of Gladstone, which used to the time for the consideration of affairs, fill pages of the newspapers, would toand became interested in them only day be dismissed in an ill-reported halfwhen passion was aroused.

column summary devoted, not to the The development enormously en- argument, but to the amusing asides hanced the power of the demagogue in and the irrelevant interruptions. politics. It made the appeal to reason All this profoundly affected the Parmore difficult and the appeal to violent liamentary atmosphere. The power emotion infinitely more profitable. outside the House was no longer a vigiAnd the change in the seat of power was lant influence upon events within the accompanied by another change, which House. The statesman ceased to rely intensified the demagogic tendency. upon his reasoned appeal to the facts. The press became aware of the big bat. He found that the way to dominion talions and set out to exploit them. An over Parliament was not by argument enterprising youth named Harmsworth, on the floor of the House, but by makhaving discovered, by the success of ing terms with the great lords of the Answers and similar erudite publica- press outside, who controlled the mations, that what the great public want- chine that manufactured public opined to know was how many acres there ion. Long before the war Mr. Lloyd were in Yorkshire, how many letters in George had appreciated the changed the Bible, how far the streets of Lon- circumstances and taken advantage of don put end to end would reach across them. A press man was much more imthe Atlantic, and so on, determined to portant to him than a Parliamentary apply the spirit of this illuminating gos- colleague or a prince of the blood. He pel to the conduct of the daily press. might forget to reply to an archbishop, His triumph was phenomenal. In the but he would never forget to reply to a course of a few years the whole char- journalist. His acquaintance among acter of the English press was changed. the craft was more various and peculiar It passed mainly into the hands of a than that of any politician of this day few great syndicates, with young Mr. or any other day. There was no newsHarmsworth, now Viscount Northcliffe,

paper man so poor that he would not as the head of the new journalistic hier- do him reverence and entertain him to


breakfast. While his former colleague, who, as editor of the British Weekly, Mr. Asquith, studiously ignored the keeps him right with the Nonconformpress and would no more have thought ist public; Sir Edward Hulbar, the ownof bargaining with Northcliffe and er of a great group of papers in London Beaverbrook for their support than of and Manchester (a baronetcy for him); asking his butler to write his speeches, Lord Beaverbrook of the Daily Express, Mr. George lived in the press world, who was given a peerage for engineerknew every leading journalist's vul- ing the overthrow of the Asquith minnerable point, humored his vanity, and istry. There are others, but these are gave him a knighthood or a peerage as the leaders of the claque through which readily as his breakfast.

Mr. George rules England and, in larger By these ingenious arts, which I have degree than any man living, the conhad the pleasure of watching at pretty tinent of Europe. It is a great achieveclose quarters for twenty years past, he ment. The press lords have so indocbuilt up that press legend of himself trinated the public mind with the which has been so invaluable an asset Lloyd George legend that it is doubtful to him. It has not only enabled him to whether they themselves can destroy establish his own political fortunes: it their own creation. Lord Northcliffe, has enabled him to destroy the political disappointed at not being chosen, as a fortunes of one set of colleagues after part of his contract, to represent Enganother — unhappy gentlemen, who land at the Peace Conference, has tried did not know the secret doors of Fleet to destroy it, but has found that he did Street, and found themselves frozen his work too thoroughly to undo it easout of the public affections by a mys- ily. The public has become so attached terious wind that emanated from they to the legend that they find it hard to knew not where.

surrender it until the press can agree It may be worth while to mention the

upon a new legend to put in its place. chief figures of the press bodyguard That will not be easy, for no other man with which Mr. George has displaced living has anything approaching Mr. the authority of Parliament and made George's genius for manipulating the himself more nearly a dictator than the press, and he has had five years of powcountry has seen since the days of er in which to consolidate his hold upon Cromwell. They are really very few, the machine of government and to esbut between them they influence the tablish his friends in all the strategic opinion and control the news-supply of positions of influence. nineteen twentieths of the people of the country. They are Lord Northcliffe,

II whom he made a viscount; his brother, Lord Rothermere, whom also he made a But, side by side with this transfer viscount; a third brother, Sir Leicester of real power from Parliament to the Harmsworth, whom he made a baronet; press, there has been another tendency Mr. George Riddell of the News of the operating to discredit the House of ComWorld, whom he made Lord Riddell; mons. This tendency has no doubt the manager of the Times, Sir Stuart been aggravated by the disrepute of Campbell, whom he made a knight; Parliament itself. It is the idea of the manager of the Mail, whom he made direct action. The Labor movement, a knight; Sir H. Dalziel of the Daily just when it seemed to have the control Chronicle and Pall Mall; Sir William of Parliament within its grasp, develRobertson Nichol (also made a knight), oped a school which aimed at repudiating Parliament altogether, or, at least things. While it is the intellectual who at subordinating it to the exercise of dictates the abstract policy of the party, direct industrial power outside. The it is the mass of the party that nomiview of the leaders of this movement nates and elects the members; and it is was that Parliament was an institution the practice to send to Westminster which, however democratic its basis, trade-union secretaries of third-rateabilbecame inevitably the instrument of ity and generally without either politithe capitalist interests, and that the cal training or Parliamentary instinct. realities of government must pass to the Nor is this the only handicap. They organized industrial classes before La

are deprived of all independent action, bor could get justice or achieve the aims and enter the House committed to a it had in view. Between the mutually certain collective course on any given destructive ideas of possessing Parlia- issue, regardless of what the debates ment and dispossessing Parliament, La- may reveal. All this has made Labor bor has temporarily lost its way. The a singularly negligible influence in the rank and file of the movement, I think, House, and has increased its disposiis still overwhelmingly in favor of a Par- tion to distrust an instrument it has liamentary system; but the intellectual failed to use. energy is largely behind the new school

III of thought, and the discredit that has fallen upon the present Parliament has And there is another cause of the destrengthened the motive of direct ac- cline of the Parliamentary institution. tion. The result has been disastrous I do not think it can be doubted that it both to Labor and to Parliament. The is not to-day attracting the best intelcleavage of politics tends more and more lectual and moral material of the counto be between Labor and Capital, with try to the extent to which it attracted the latter in control of Parliament and it a generation or two ago. The pushthe former increasingly disposed to ful and clever lawyer is still there in make its power felt outside by the in- abundance; but the great public-spiritterruption of the processes of industry. ed citizen, who entered Parliament, not

This insurgent disposition of the ad- for what he could make out of it, but vanced section of Labor is aggravated from a disinterested passion for the comby the subservience of the press to the monwealth, the man of the type of money interest. The present condition Cobden and Bright,- has disappeared. of journalistic production makes it No first-rate Parliamentary figure, has practically impossible for newspapers emerged during the past twenty years, to be run in the interests of the men; with the exception of Mr. Churchill, a and the conviction that both the press mere swashbuckler of politics. and Parliament are against them gives This, I fear, is not an accidental cirimpetus to the preachings of direct cumstance. It is due to the changed action.

conditions. In the past the private Another consideration that has help member of distinction had an oppored to make Labor distrust Parliament tunity of making his influence felt, is its own failure as a Parliamentary which is no longer possible. If he had factor. There are some seventy Labor anything to say, he was able to say it, members in the present House of Com- and he was assured that through the mons; but it is notorious that they are, press he would reach the mind of the as a whole, the least efficient body in country. All this is changed. The prithe Chamber. The fact is due to two vate member has few chances of being

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