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to a genuine vanity, not to a false reason, and they had no other aim than the adornment of their person. The taste which persuaded them to clip and crop the glory of their hair was bad enough, but the evil ended with their fallen looksand who would grudge a feather to their cap, if it were worn with grace and impudence? While they usurped the costume and earriage of man, they had no desire to oust him from his place or reduce him to serfdom. Politics were as little to their taste as learning, and they designed no assault either on the Universities or the Commons. Resenting the effeminaey of the other sex, they determined to show themselves the better fellows; but they achieved their purpose without the smallest suspicion of New-Womanliness, and they resolutely preferred a prompt action to a vain theory. You cannot imagine them clubbed together in a close sombre room, discussing the treatment of recalcitrant husbands who refused to do the housework; you cannot imagine them setting forth in base English and other baser sentiment the fabulous injustice of their fate. No, they hung a sword at their hip and swaggered in the Mall without a word of whining or complaint; and though their braggart pose shocked the pamphleteers of the seventeenth century, we whe have watched the insidious policy of their descendants, accepting over and over again a "final" settlement, only to enlarge
their demands, would gladly give in exchange the modern blue-stocking for the ancient swashbuckler.
For the swashbuckler was frank in her admiration of an alien coat, and you may be sure she carried it with an air. The woman who knocks at the door of men's Universities is also fighting for the "right" (as she calls it) to wear the costume of a man; she would don the cap and gown of bachelorhood, and claim with them the freedom of college courts, and a seat at the high table. But, cherishing a prig. gish contempt for dress, she demands raiment designed for men and unbecoming her nether skirt, not in the proper spirit of the dandy, but with a greedy desire to filch the privileges which this raiment symbolises. She sees herself in an ardent fancy taking the floor of the Senate House, a square cap set sternly upon her closecropped hair, a monkish gown thrown round the shoulders formed to wear a comelier mantle. And she claims these ill-fitting embellishments not with the frank curiosity of one half in love with strangeness, but with an imperious desire to grasp that which was endowed and intended for others. The world is wide, and our old Universities occupy but modest corners; yet the Man-Woman of to-day would leave vast tracts uninhabited, if she might lay hands upon the houses which centuries of exclusiveness have consecrated
The proper solution of the
question is that the women ments of women-for a while only, since, wherever they go, those who preach equality and intend exclusion will surely follow them.
should establish a university of their own, which should have the power to grant the degrees which they covet. Thus they might obtain justice and avoid insanity. One thing is certain: if once the women take hold of Oxford and Cambridge, they will, if they can, presently exclude the men from the seats of learning which were established for them. Revolution is never content to attain the object which it set out to achieve. Lenin, pretending to aim at freedom, has attained the vilest tyranny ever known to mankind. And women, having secured admission to the Universities, will insist that they shall be theirs and theirs alone. It is said that concession is inevitable, because the battle has continued for many years. There could not be a worse argument. Many years ago Disraeli denounced those false Conservatives who preserved their institutions like pheasants, only to destroy them. And if the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are weak enough to surrender their privileges, they will deserve the extinction which will surely follow. Whither, then, will the men in search of learning betake themselves? They will not demand the policy of the open door at Newnham or Girton. They will not batter upon the sacred walls of Holloway College. Perhaps they will take refuge in the forgotten, disembodied University of Stamford, and defy for a while the encroach
If anything were needed to prove that politicians have short memories, the triumphant return of Mr Asquith to Parliament should be evidence enough, He came back to Westminster blessed by Lord Robert Cecil and applauded by Lord Chaplin. In one moment of success all his orimes were forgotten. Lord Chaplin, we believe, is a staunch upholder of the constitution, and he welcomed to the national council the man who had passed the Parliament Act, and who, by his neglect, had involved Ireland in bloodshed and civil rebellion. What Lord Robert Cecil's opinions are none would venture to explain. But he desired, no doubt, England's victory in the war, and he smiled approval upon the man who, in 1914, though he boasts that he knew in 1912 all about Germany's warlike intention, contrived that England should be wholly unprepared. But the ways of politicians are strange, and past finding out. "Politics," said Burke, "so far as I understand them, are only an enlarged morality." Were he alive to-day he would be forced to correct his definition. longer are politios and morality even remotely akin. Membership of the House of Commons changes a man's character in the twinkling of an eye, and persuades him to do and say things which in his days
never have dreamed of doing or saying. However, Mr Asquith, who a year ago was exeorated by the mob, is now the mob's darling for a moment. We are told by his adulators, who believe in the sanctity of temporary success, that his presence in the House will turn the whole current of public life. In a few weeks Mr George will lie prostrate at the feet of the man whom he displaced, and the country will go to sleep again, pleasantly convinced that nothing can be wrong with the State so long as Mr Asquith is there to utter sonorous platitudes about free trade, the hardships of Germany, and Liberal principles.
of honest freedom he would the House, or by what method he was minded to reform it, we do not know. It is still a mystery whether or not he intended to restore to the Upper Chamber the power of veto, a restoration which is of far higher importance than the mere composition of the House. A single chamber is not consonant with the preservation of the monarchy, and in times of reckless change like our own, when revolution is freely offered as a bribe to the voters, a powerful Senate is above all things essential. The House of Commons declines daily both in morals and intelligence. Our governors have long ceased to ask or to think what is right. The interest of their ambition is to win popularity, and unless we are willing to see our Empire flung away in exchange for an electoral majority, we must insist that Mr Asquith's debt of honour is paid by somebody.
Whether Tweedledum or Tweedledee wins in the duel is not a matter of great importance. But if Mr Asquith were to get the better of all his adversaries, he would find a hundred awkward promises olamouring for fulfilment. To In the last five-and-twenty say nothing of the pledges years the Peerage has underwhich, in competition with gone a complete change. Peers Labour, he gave at Paisley, have been made recently with there are many solemn under- small pretext or none at all. takings which go back to the A contribution to the party days when he was a callous funds has been adjudged an exand irresponsible Prime Min- cellent excuse for ennoblement. ister. There is, for instance, The Radicals especially, having "the debt of honour," famous a natural love of titles, have in its infamy, which has never insisted upon Peerages as the been paid. When Mr Asquith, natural reward for what they for reasons of his own, de- call political services. Mr stroyed the constitution by George's creations have been abolishing the veto of the peculiarly reckless and numerHouse of Lords, he acknow- ous. The result is that the ledged the reform of that Peerage has largely ceased to House as a "debt of honour." be aristocratio. It has become What he meant to do with a collection of business men
and lawyers, differing little from the House of Commons in quality or composition. The proportion of the Peers who have inherited their titles from a long line of ancestors to those newly oreated grows smaller year by year. Moreover, the Peerage is gradually being divorced from the land, and thus is undergoing another change. The Death Duties and the War have done their work, and the Peers are no longer what they were once the fathers of the countryside, the proper representatives of the landed interest. Yet in the mouths of our demagogues all the Peers are the members of "an effete aristocracy." The gentlemen who hold aloft the banner of Labour are not at the pains to discriminate between the old and the new creations. Their jealousy persuades to include in a general condemnation all those who are honourably distinguished. And the truth is that the reform of the House of Lords cannot be undertaken intelligently until its modern and composite nature is clearly understood.
When the House of Lords consisted of Peers of ancient race, there was a vast deal to be said in its favour. The hereditary principle is wise and sound, as it was interpreted of old. It is more difficult to defend when it is increased almost daily by the accession of the party hack. It grows unwieldy and confused, and democratio and fearless though it be, it must
still bear the weight of prejudice flung upon it by the angry Radicals whose increase has debauched it. How, then, shall it be reformed? A friend has sent us the inglorious suggestion of what he calls a "terminable Peerage," which he thinks is not hostile to the spirit of our institutions. "The cardinal principle put forward," says he, "is that no Peer should transmit to his successor his actual rank in the Peerage, but the rank immediately below it, and such successor on inheriting an inferior title should be summoned to Parliment in right of such inferior title. Thus all Barons would become life Peers only; Viscounts would be Peers for two lives-a Viscount in the case of a created Viscount, and a Baron for his immediate suooessor. For sufficiently great services a man would be rewarded with any rank up to and including a Dukedom, which would make his four successors Peers of the Realm in gradually descending rank,"
Of course the son of a Peer who distinguished himself in the service of his country would be restored to his father's rank, or set above it, as a just reward of his noble actions. Thus there would always be an incentive to the eldest son of a Peer to justify his rank, and to take care that the honour done his family should not be withdrawn. Moreover, the plan would not be displeasing to the statesmen of our Dominions statesmen who are born out
of sympathy with the heredi- with freedom, courage, and independence.
tary principle, and whose presence in our House of Lords would be welcome and valuable. If, then, some reform of the House of Lords be necessary, and we are told that it is; if the House, noisily insulted by Radical Ministers, is still increased by those Ministers at the rate of twenty a year, then the plan of diminution outlined above is at once moderate and conservative. It does not break with the tradition of the past-it preserves something of the spirit of ancient times; and it would ensure us presently a House of Lords wise enough and strong enough to check revolutionary legislation, and so shaped that even the demagogue would hesitate to shout "back woodsmen" if ever his passing whim were thwarted. At any rate, it would be a far better scheme of reform than any hitherto suggested. What sort of an Upper House should we get if we permitted its members to be elected by the mob, to be chosen by County Councils, or sent up by the House of Commons to do their tyrannical bidding in another place? The system of "terminable Peerages" would at least
ensure us a House of Lords whose opinion could not be purchased by the House of Commons, and which would do its work of veto and revision
But if such a House were to be effective, it must be proteoted against insult. It must stand on an equality with the House of Commons, a rough body, whose insensate campaign oonducted ten years ago against the House of Lords has robbed that Assembly of all faith in itself or in its duties. It must be protected also against the lavish introduction of undesirables. The sale of honours to ambitious politicians must be sternly suppressed, and in future no man must be given a barony whose elevation is not generally acclaimed. From time to time we are assured by anxious Ministers that no Peerage has ever been bought or sold. And then the next list of honours gives the lie to the rash assurance, However, there is as little reason why the House of Lords should not be permitted to act as heretofore as a check upon the folly and arrogance of the Commons, as that a place within its walls should be chaffered for in the market place. And though we have a natural and well-founded distrust of change, we are convinced that if reform come to us in the form of terminable Peerages, no violence will be done to the safety or the spirit of the Constitution.
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