of course, men who voluntarily seek and are glad to get the Vice-Presidency; but they are almost invariably men who have concluded they can never be President, or else they are elderly politicians who desire to bow themselves pleasantly out of public life through a dignified sinecure. Deeply engraved on the American mind is the parable of the man who had two sons. One of them went to sea; the other became Vice-President. Neither was ever heard of afterwards.

The fundamental trouble with the office is, therefore, that it repels the best men while only the best men ought to have it. The Vice-President may become the President. If the experience of the past 123 years may be taken as typical, there would always seem to be one chance in six that he will. But politicians cannot afford to regard sixto-one chances. All they think of is what the Vice-Presidency is, not of what it may be. They are engrossed with the needs of the present and cannot pay attention to the possibilities of the future. In choosing a Vice-Presidential candidate they hardly ever stop to reflect that they are choosing a possible successor to the President. What occupies their minds is the necessity of getting hold of a man who will strengthen the party ticket in some doubtful State, or whose personal influence will conciliate some particular section of the country, or restrain a meditated "bolt." The nominating Convention does not take up the question of selecting a candidate for the VicePresidency until the very end of its proceedings, when the crucial issue of the Presidential nominee has been decided and everyone is worn out and anxious to get home. Under the circumstances any man whom the party leaders can agree upon is sure of being adopted without discussion, and the considerations which guide the choice of the party leaders are, in the main,

those of electioneering tactics. Thus if the Presidential candidate comes from the East, it is thought a good move to nominate the Vice-Presidential candidate from the West; and, of course, vice versa. And not only is it a general rule that the Vice-Presidential candidate should hail from the other side of the Alleghanies, but it is also considered of the first importance that he should be the "favorite son" of some "doubtful" State. This it is hoped will cause local patriotism to rally round him and so land his native State safely in the net.

But it sometimes happens that there are rival candidates for the Presidential nomination within the party itself. Their rivalry need not be over any matter of principle or policy. It may be, and frequently is, a purely personal rivalry, but none the less acrimonious for that. "In such circumstances," says Mr. Bryce, "it is a common practice to offer a nomination for the Vice-Presidency to the disappointed candidate for Presidential honors, using the office, in fact, as a sort of consolation prize, an olive branch, a propitiatory compliment." In the same way a powerful leader who seems inclined to bolt the party ticket may be won over by being allowed to nominate the candidate for the Vice-Presidency; or a mutinous faction, or some special element in the party that it is thought desirable to recognize, may be conciliated or encouraged by having the Vice-Presidential nominee taken from its ranks. But this, though an easy way out of the immediate difficulty, is fraught with tremendous risks. It happens from time to time that the nominees for the Presidency and the Vice-Presidency are not only in acute personal antagonism, but represent entirely opposite principles and policies, although both are nominally members of the same party. Their conjunction may be all very well for electioneering purposes and to keep

the party intact, but it is apt at times to lead to amazing results.

Supposing the President dies, or resigns, or is impeached, or becomes incapable of carrying on the duties of his post, he is at once succeeded by a man who is utterly opposed to his programme, who represents nothing but a small and antagonistic minority in his party, and who is fully within his rights if he reverses all the measures brought forward, and turns out all the Cabinet

The Nation.

Ministers and office-holders appointed by his predecessor. Three times at least this has happened in American history, to the immense confusion, not only of the party that chanced to be in power at the moment, but of the nation at large and of the national interests. Had Andrew Johnson, for instance, been in political sympathy and agreement with Abraham Lincoln, the horrors and blunders of the Reconstruction Period might, one and all, have been a voided.


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As theirs, the warrior knights of Christian fame,

Who for the Faith led on the battle line,

Who stormed the breach and swept through blood and flame

Under the Cross for sign,

Such was his life's crusade; and, as their death
Inspired in men a purpose pure of taint-
In some great cause to give their latest breath-
So died this soldier-saint.

Nay, his the nobler warfare, since his hands

Set free the thralls of misery and her brood-
Hunger and haunting shame and sin that brands-

And gave them hope renewed.

Bruised souls, and bodies broken by despair,

He healed their heartache and their wounds he dressed,
And drew them, so redeemed, his task to share,

Sworn to the same high quest.

Armed with the Spirit's wisdom for his sword,
His feet with tidings of salvation shod,
He knew no foes save only such as warred
Against the peace of God.

Scorned or acclaimed, he kept his harness bright,
Still, through the darkest hour, untaught to yield,
And at the last, his face toward the light,

Fell on the victor's field.

No laurelled blazon rests above his bier,

Yet a great people bows its stricken head

Where he who fought without reproach or fear,

Soldier of Christ, lies dead.


Owen Seaman.


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were destroyed it would have to be quickly reinvented. This reflection makes us reasonably optimistic about the peace of Europe. The signs are that if the nicely poised balance of strength is not disturbed by some flashy negligence on the part of any of the great Powers-negligence comparable to that of the owner of valuables who excites the cupidity of his neighbors by leaving his doors and windows open at night-or is not upset by a collapse of the subsidiary balance of strength in South-Eastern Europe, then the present quiet should last. Germany is behaving with exemplary politeness towards France. The spoke

which for some years interrupted the steady revolution of the French wheel has been withdrawn. And this has happened because at last Germany has recognized that what is necessary must be preserved. We trust that the recognition of this plain truth will be permanent. At present Germany frankly admits the necessity of the Triple Entente. If only she can be convinced that this truth will remain a truth the peace of Europe will not be broken for any purely perverse reason. It is a great satisfaction to be able to admit as much as this. For some years it has seemed unlikely that one would be able to find any element of constancy in the relentless variability of German policy. Now the law of necessary things is accepted as though it were a law of nature. After the meeting between the Russian and German Emperors at Baltic Port an official announcement was made that the "value" of the present grouping of the

Powers in the maintenance of equilibrium and of peace had been "proved.” Not since the signing of the AngloFrench Convention in 1904 had Germany lent herself to any such pregnant admission as this. It means nothing less than that the bottom has been knocked out of the pretence that Germany was being hemmed in maliciously by the members of the Triple Entente.

As though to prove emphatically that it has not changed its mind in the last few weeks, the German Government caused an exceptional salute of twentyone guns to be fired by German ships in honor of M. Poincaré on his way to St. Petersburg. He had not passed through German territory. The honor pursued him, so to speak. He must have been gratified when the customary seventeen passed into twenty-one. M. Sazonoff, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a statement to the Matin, said that the present arrangement of the Powers in their groups was the "consequence" of their armies, their fleets, and their particular political relations. The word exactly expresses the case. So we have an agreement on both sides-both on that of the Triple Alliance and on that of the Triple Entente-that a kind of law of gravity has declared itself in our modern Europe, and that he who defies it will suffer as all persons suffer who fall foul of something much greater than themselves. The meeting at Baltic Port was a mere exchange of civilities, but M. Poincaré at St. Petersburg has undoubtedly discussed with the Russian Ministers the whole gamut of questions in which France and Russia have either common interests or conflicting interests that suggest "accommodations." It is easy to draw up a list of such questions-the loan to

China, the condition of the Balkans, the Turco-Italian War, the proposed railways of Asia Minor, the trans-Persian railway, and above all the details of the new Naval Convention, which has already been agreed upon in principle.


In some of these matters the concern of Russia is of course infinitely greater than that of France. How then will Russia pay France for her support? The answer is by her naval programme. Germany could hardly have taken it for granted that her only naval rival in the North of Europe would be Great Britain. If she did she already knows that she was mistaken. Russian scheme for the rehabilitation of the Fleet is, we believe, perfectly serious. We must remember that Russian foreign policy which uses army and navy as its instruments is no longer chiefly dependent upon the caprices of archdukes and high bureaucrats: it is referred to, and deThe Spectator.

rives sanction from, the Duma. True, the Duma has no constitutional voice in foreign policy, yet the tendency we have described has been gradually growing up. Soon it will be established by custom. The Duma is a much more useful body, in spite of the narrow franchise, than is admitted by English Radicals, who prefer brilliant shadows to small and substantial facts; and the Duma is behind the fleet. Let us hope that there will be no more grasping at phantoms in the Far East. Russia's finer destiny is now in Europe. The Russian Deputy Naval Minister has told a representative of the Figaro that the construction of the new Navy will be rapid, and that in twelve years the German fleet will be equalled, and soon afterwards surpassed. Next year the first four Russian Dreadnoughts ought to be ready, and in five years, according to the programme, there should be nineteen battleships and forty-eight destroyers in the Baltic.


To live in the country, partaking of the pleasures and labors of country life through the week, and to have friends from town to stay with you over the week-end, is almost an ideal way of life, and of combining the interests of the small and the great worlds. You get the best of your friends, and the interests which they bring to your detached life prevent its peace from degenerating into stagnation. And to live in town, joining throughout the week in its loud and strenuous activities, and to retire from Saturday to Monday to the silence of some country retreat, there to quiet the nerves and slow down the pulses to their normal tune, is also an ideal condition for people whose lot it is to work in cities, or take a share in driv

ing the great machinery of national or metropolitan life. In either case, town and country influences act as correctives of one another, preserving the sense of proportion and preventing the character from being too much drugged by quietness or stimulated by excitement.

Out of these two simple and good things has grown that extremely complicated thing which has very little that is good about it, the smart week-end party; when some twenty people, with their paraphernalia of luggage and valets and maids, are conveyed by a nicely graduated series of trains to a country house on Saturday afternoon, and shot out again on Monday morning by another nicely graduated series. They are received by their host and

hostess in the true baronial manner, as though they were indeed the inhabitants of the house; but this is an illusion. They are week-enders like their guests; and they themselves, with their valets, maids and luggage, have but arrived an hour or two before, and will depart an hour or two after, their invited visitors. There is very little that is restful or recreative in such assemblies. They consist almost entirely of people who know one another well, and who constantly meet in the same houses in town; and they are employed in very much the same occupations as have employed them during the week. The simplicity of real English country life is entirely absent. From the moment when the second, third and fourth footmen respectively have burdened themselves with the responsibility of taking charge of your hat and stick and gloves, when the under-butler has delivered you to the groom of the chambers, when that functionary has presented you to your hostess (whom you took in to dinner the night before) until the bridge debts have been settled on Monday morning and the last of your modest assortment of half-sovereigns, crowns and half-crowns has been pocketed by its ungrateful recipient, you are engaged in a complicated though stereotyped routine, which is refreshing neither to the body nor to the spirit. You find yourself planted in a house full of people whom you are constantly meeting in London; you have to talk hard to them, probably about the same things which furnish the small talk f London dinner parties. You are requisitioned for games out of doors, or brought in for bridge or Coon-Can (if that is the way you spell it), and generally worried with elaborate efforts to amuse which only bore. Such matters as the clothes people are wearing, and the way they play games, and the extent to which they are on Christianname terms with the rest of the party,


are matters of great importance. dinner on Saturday the conversation is chiefly personal. "Tell me, who is that sitting rext to So-and-so?" is a frequent conversational opening which leads by easy stages to gossip and mild scandal. On Sunday at breakfast it is about the bridge of the night before. At lunch, of the golf of the morning, mildly stimulated again to personalities by the advent of some woman who makes an effective first appearance at that meal. By dinner-time two or three unfortunate people have been tacitly selected as objects of dislike by the rest of the party, which thus becomes consolidated in a brotherly kind of way by more or less good-nature:1 abuse of them. And at dinner the week-end topic will have definitely asserted itself, and rule supreme. It is probably a very silly topic, and may be anything from a low beam against which tall people knock their heads to the kind of hat or other garment which some pet or butt of the party may be wearing; but it serves to pass the time until the division of the guests into bridge parties and gossiping parties. What train people are going away by is more than enough topic for breakfast the next morning; and the series of anti-climaxes is reached when at the door one takes elaborate farewell of people whom one will probably meet again at lunch or dinner the same day. In the whole entertainment is hardly anything that is real or belonging to the life of the house. The chi!dren are either banished with their governesses to remote apartments, or allowed to play picturesquely and decorously for a little while on the lawn. The only person who really does exactly and only what he likes is the host, who perhaps selects some favored guest to share in his own superior pursuits, and his chief duty seems to be discharged when, with hearty and genial enthusiasm, be tells you

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