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for one to be seen often in the company pay no attention to the devotional aspects
of young men. In all their festivals and of religion, though they are, notwithstand-
dances the two sexes are kept quite sepa. ing, intensely superstitious. They have
rate and apart, and it is a thing unheard a code of morality which, in some respects,
of for a Druse male and female to dance appears curious to the mind of a Chris-
together. Uoder these circumstances, the tian; but to this code, such as it is, they
Druse maidens are trained from their ear. faithfully and strictly adhere. Their place
liest childhood to keep themselves from in civilization cannot
intercourse with the opposite sex, until high; though they have within them capa-
the time shall arrive for them to enter bilities which, under careful and patient
upon the duties of wifehood.

guidance, would enable them to become a
lo a race which, like the Druses, inter- splendid race ; and it is not improbable
marry exclusively amongst themselves, it that in the future they may
is not to be wondered at that the laws of

rise on stepping-stones consanguinity are not so strict as they are

Of their dead selves, to higher things. in European countries. Nevertheless the cases are comparatively rare in which the Such are the Druses of the Holy Land. bride and bridegroom are nearer of kin

HASKETT SMITH. tban first cousins. This is, indeed, in far the majority of instances, the relation which actually exists between them. The eldest son of a family is, as a matter of fact, expected to marry a daughter of his

From Temple Bar. father's brother; and he can claim her

STAFFORD NORTHCOTE. over the heads of all other suitors. The WRITING to Mr. Disraeli from Harley object of this is doubtless to keep prop- Street on the 19th April, 1862, Stafford erty and possessions in the same family, Northcote profoundly observes, “No man and its tendency is to foster a great spirit can see both sides of a question with of clannishness amongst the whole race. equal clearness; at least, if he can, he Indeed, so universally is the custom rec would probably be unfit for action. What ognized, that a husband never speaks of one wants is a friend who would look at bis spouse as “my wife," nor a wife of the matter in a different light, and who hers as

my husband;” he calls her " the would fairly take counsel with one as to daughter of my father's brother," and she the line to be followed." Here we have in like maoner styles him “the son of my struck, all unconsciously, the keynote of father's brother." This is even the case the character of the statesman who filled when there is really no such relation ex. so prominent and peculiar a part in En. isting between them; and the Druse name glish political life during the last quarter for "father-in-law” is “father's brother." of a century. Stafford Northcote

To sum up the principal points of the pre-eminently a man blessed (or cursed) present paper, the Druses, those hardy with the faculty of seeing both sides of á children of the mountain-home, are the question with equal clearness, occasionrepresentatives at the present day of the ally a bewildering gift for a man from Phænician bighlanders. The principal whom action is expected. Lacking in feature of their character - exclusiveness self-confidence, he was always feeling -induced them to adopt a religion unlike forth for the “ friend who would look at that of any other people, and has pre- the matter in a different light,” and would served them as a distinctive race. It is a either help hiin to make up his mind, or mistake to imagine that they have any would peremptorily lead him on connection either with Islamism or with definite path. Christianity. But, in all probability, they From his earliest days, and almost to are, in their origin, closely allied to Free. the last, Northcote was provided with this masonry. Their religion has a mystic controlling force, which, oddly enough, esoteric side ; but this has little or no in- came in succession from two conflicting Auence on their practical daily life. As poles. In his early manhood it was Mr. regards the latter, they believe in the Gladstone ; later, all through middle life, ever-present providence of God, and this it was Mr. Disraeli. When Lord Bea. creed they carry to the extent of fatalism. consfield died, Stafford Northcote had They are incapable of feeling the finer reached an age and a standing which sentiments of sympathy, whilst at the seemed to make it unfit for any of his same time they are remarkably callous to colleagues and contemporaries to do him pain and suffering in themselves. They the accustomed kindness. Lord Salisbury

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would have served admirably had he come | Then he went to the Middle Temple, read earlier to the task; but Northcote, though with a special pleader, and even took not approaching Lord Salisbury in mental rooms in Lincoln's Inn Fields. But al. vigor or intellectual strength, was an ready his thoughts were turned towards “older boy.” The two had long served politics, of which he took the gloomy view together, Northcote nominally in a posi- that often oppresses ingenuous youth. tion ahead of Lord Salisbury. The gentle baronet, always ready to take a lower state [he writes in 1841), Church and State

Everything is in so dreadfully a disorganized place, or even to efface himself, might in alike shaken, and men so generally inclined time have laid hold of Lord Salisbury's to look to human means of setting all to rights skirts and walked behind him as he had that the prospect is discouraging enough; or troited after Mr. Gladstone or followed rather would be so did it not seem that the Disraeli; but there was not time for this present condition of affairs was only a prelude arrangement to be made before catas. to some great working of the Lord. trophe came. Lord Salisbury, succeeding

The spirit of devout, unaffected piety to the premiership under peculiar circum- that breathes over these sentences ani. stances, was hurried along till he stumbled mated Stafford Northcote throughout his into that fatal blunder the memory of life. Religion was reality to him, and his which will doubtless ever remain with him a poignant gret. Had Lord Beacons- loyalty to the Church of England, as its field lived there might have been no Lord trol over bis political action. He could

authorized expositor, held supreme con. Iddesleigh. Certainly Stafford Northcote, under whatever name or title, would forgive Mr. Gladstone everything but his not have been hustled about in the contriv.

dealing with the Church. ance of convenient ministerial arrange cally at the proffer of the secretaryship to

Young Northcote grasped enthusiastiments, and one morning, opening his paper Mr. Gladstone, who was already his hero. in the breakfast-room at Pynes, have

" From what I know of Gladstone's char. learned through this medium that be was acter," he writes to his father announcing no longer a minister of the crown.

the negotiation, “there is no single statesWhilst the removal from the scene of his later friend and chief grievously altered men of the present day to whom I would the close of Stafford Northcote's life, his more gladly attach myself.” To another early connection with Mr. Gladstone in correspondent he says:fluenced, not to say overshadowed, his With any other man than Gladstone I might whole career. It is curious to speculate have hesitated longer; but he is one whom I upon what he might have been had he not respect beyond measure. He stands almost started in public life as private secretary, which I cordially agree; and as a man of

alone as the representative of principles with to Mr. Gladstone. He would probably business and one who, humanly speaking, is have attached himself to some one else, sure to rise, he is pre-eminent. as he did in later life to Mr. Disraeli. His gentle, faithful, in some aspects feminine, Northcote “believed without vanity character made it necessary that he should that he should be equal to the duties likely have something to cling to, some rock to to be imposed upon him, and the expectalean against. In the enthusiasm of his tion was abundantly fulfilled. He proved young manhood he found the full realiza. an inestimable treasure to Mr. Gladstone, tion of his desire when he came to be toiling terribly and never tiring. private secretary to "the rising hope of There grew up between the two an es. the Conservative party.'

That he had teem and affection never obliterated even already admired Mr. Gladstone at a dis. in the storm and stress of political war. tance is evident from his letters. It was fare. At a time during the bitterness of in the early summer of 1842 that the two feeling engendered by Mr. Gladstone's came together, Gladstone in the splendor attitude on Mr. Disraeli's foreign policy, of his young manhood; Northcote (twenty. the once powerful statesman seemed to sour) nine years younger than his new have finally fallen. There gathered round master. At this time Northcote was the supposed carcass of the lion the cuslooking sound him, wondering what he tomary troop of unworthy assailants. Mr. should do. He had passed a pleasant Gladstone rising in the House of Com. time at Eton, and run a creditable career mons was like the Stuart king riding at college, winning election to a Balliol through the streets of what had once been scholarship. He had been much troubled a boisterously loyal town. about religion, and at one time thought he none to cry •God bless him.'

Even his had found salvation with the Irvingites. I friends and old colleagues on the fron

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bench: stood apart from him. Stafford from 1876 till Stafford Northcote walked Northcote never joined in the contumely out of the House of Commons for the last with wbich his interposition in debate was time, there is no picture that rises more greeted. On the contrary, he was even vividly to the mind than Sir Stafford sit. increasingly respectful in tone and man- ting on one front bench, spectacled, meek

In the two volumes of " Memoirs, visaged, with head bent before the storm, Letters, and Diaries,” which Mr. Andrew and hands thrust up the sleeves of his Lang has just given to the world, there is coat, literally trying to make as little of only one peevish remark about his old himself as possible; on the other side of master. This is very small indeed, its the table, partly leaning across it as if only excuse being that it was penned at a desirous of closing his extended band on time when Sir Stafford was in the full heat the collar of his old friend's coat and shakof the fight on the Bradlaugh question. ing him, stands Mr. Gladstone, his eyes Writing in bis diary after a night's debate, flaming wrath, and his voice uplifted in says:

“Unfortunately the House had angry denunciation. greatly emptied for dinner when Glad. It is one of the little etiquettes of the stone sat down. It is a favorite habit of House of Commons that the term honor. bis to speak into the dinner hour, so that able or right honorable friend should be his opponent must speak either to empty reserved for members sitting together on benches or forego the advantage of reply the same side of the House. The custom ing on the instant." This is not only not was at one time varied in the case of the true, but, for reasons that will strike any Irish members, who have always sat on one familiar with the course of debate in the same side as the Liberals. There is the House of Commons, it could not be nothing which in these days inore sharply true.

marks the march of political events during On the whole, when in these later days the last ten years than to hear Sir William they sat in the House of Commons with Harcourt referring to Mr. Healy or Mr. the breadth of the table between them, Parnell as “my honorable friend.” Mr. one leader of the House the other leader Gladstone, most punctilious of Parliamenof the opposition, Northcote's gentler and tarians, deviated from this custom only more affectionate nature bore the change under very special circumstances. Oddly with the least sign of strain. Mr. Glad. enough, one exception was made in the stone was wont occasionally to testify to case of Mr. Balfour, who all through the the depth of his affection in a singular Parliament of 1880, even when he was fashion by directing against his old pupil ranked as a member of the fourth party, outbursts of withering anger. More espe- was with the premier "my honorable cially in debates on financial questions he friend.”. Between Mr. Gladstone and resented Northcote's criticisms:

Stafford Northcote it was, almost up to Keen are his pangs, but keener far to feel

the last, "my right honorable friend." He nursed the pinion wbich impelled the steel. Gradually, insensibly, there was imported

into the phrase a ring of sarcasm that In the Parliament of 1874, and in fuller made it more biting than the ordinary and degree in that of 1878, there was no man colder form of address. Then the inevi. on the Conservaiive benches whom, with table change, meaning much more than the or without occasion, Mr. Gladstone was simple alteration of phrase would imply, prone to rate with the tremendous sever befell, and the two old friends became ity be curned upon Stafford Northcote. each to the other, “the right honorable Oihers might contradict or argue with gentleman.”. I am not quite sure who him and be met with argument or contra- began the change, but I think it was Mr. diction in return; but if by chance North Gladstone. cote ventured to step into the arena, Mr. Sir Stafford Northcote took his seat in Gladstone, when bis turn came, often the House of Commons on the 16th of before it was due, flung himself upon his March, 1855. He was returned member former secretary and hewed him in pieces for Dudley on the recommendation of Mr. before the Commons. Writing to him in Gladstone, and at the instance of Lord 1855, when some little cloud was on the Ward, who owned most of the shops and horizon, Mr. Gladstone says: "Nothing houses in the town, and in those days the which you say can offend me. But I do Parliamentary seat went with them. Lord not agree with you, which is quite another Ward seems to have been a very practical malter." Twenty-five years later this fine person, going about to choose a member distinction became no longer possible. for his borough much as he might have

Lookiag back on the heated debates gone to select a pair of trousers for his LIVING AGE. VOL LXXIII. 3752

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wardrobe. “Lord Ward is a staunch for him, but when elected to make him Peelite," Northcote writes during the financial secretary to the Treasury, probcontest, and very anxious that the bor. ably the most important of offices in the ough should be represented by a pure government classified as second rate. animal of that breed. But if there was to Northcote's first idea was what would Mr. be any admixture, he would rather it were Gladstone think or say ? “I would,” he Derbyism than Radicalism." Dropping writes to Lady Northcote, “much rather in to consult Mr. Gladstone and Sidney give up all thoughts of Parliament and Herbert on the subject, Northcote was office than do anything that would give recommended to him as a person coming him the impression that I was deserting as nearly as possible up to his require him. Moreover, I should take care to let ments. He was accordingly nominated Disraeli know, if I do accept, that I shall and of course returned. But the patron of never act against Gladstone in a personal the borough presently learned that he, as question, should such arise,” - a pledge was not uncommon with the passer-by, had which, as we have seen, was faithfully mistaken Northcote's affability of manner kept. “ As for Dizzy," as Northcote calls for docility of character. After he had his proximate new chief, “I only look been in Parliament two years there arose upon my obligation to him as binding me a ministerial crisis. It was on the Chi- to be personally civil to him and not as nese question, in which Lord Ward voted committing me to him in the event of any with the government. He expected that great break up." Even later in this year, his nominee would do the same, or at after he had been in office pretty nearly a least would abstain from voting, and in an session, he regards Disraeli from a lofty interview he sought with him on the eve standpoint curious to look back upon with of a division in the Commons he politely the knowledge of the years that followed. but plainly told him so. This was a crit- He was a guest at Knowsley in the autumn ical moment for young Northcote. He of this year (1859), and found himself in was just commencing his career. He had company with Mr. and Mrs. Disraeli. a safe seat, and everything depended upon Mrs. Disraeli [he writes to Lady Northhis being in the House. Lord Ward had cote) is great fun, and we made capital friends built a golden bridge for him. He did not in the train, though I could not help occainsist upon his stultifying himself by vot. sionally pitying her husband for the startling ing against his conscience, merely asked effect her natural speeches must have upon

What do him to take a course, ordinary enough the ears of his great friends. even in these days when a fiercer light you say of asking them to Pynes? It would beats on the House of Commons, and complete the astonishment of our neighbors. walk out of the House. Northcote Twenty years later that is not quite the promptly declined. “Had I done so," he way in which Sir Stafford would have said, " I should have accepted the position discussed the suggestion of inviting Mr. of a mere tool, which would not suit me.” Disraeli to be his guest in his ancestral So he voted against the government and home. But a great deal had happened in sacrificed his seat for Dudley, believing the mean time. at the time that it meant subsidence into Even five years later, Sir Stafford private life. “ As to standing anywhere showed himself prone to regard Disraeli else, I think in the circumstances of our as a person who might be safely chaffed. family and fortune I must give up the Writing from a country house in Yorkidea."

shire, in the autumn of 1864, he says, Parliament was dissolved in 1857, and “The principal delight of our friends here Northcote, standing for North Devon, was is Dizzy's advice to the farmers to cross beaten after a contest, the expense of their sheep with the Cotswolds. Can't which crippled him for a short time. He you imagine him gravely giving it; as if went to France to economize, occasionally he knew the difference between a Cotsvisiting England. During one of these wold and a Southdown ?". Here is the trips Disraeli, who had had opportunity of lordly English landowner, with an ancestry judging of his value whilst he sat in the which, according to a pedigree preserved House for Dudley, made_overtures to at Pynes, went back within half a century bim. Like the Greeks Disraeli came of the Conquest, disclosiag bis latent bearing gifts, and Stafford Northcote, scoro for a man who even yet was regarded steeped in classic lore, was inclined to by some of the party, who profited by his distrust him. The Conservative chief leadership, as an adventurer. was so anxious to gain the new recruit In the somewhat disappointing compilathat he offered not only to procure a seat Ition of familiar episodes in the life of

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Disraeli which Mr. Froude has just pub- him the duty of winding up a debate. It lished there is a passage which admirably was said at the time that Stafford North. sums up a long period in his career which cote was " feeling his feet," and no fond some of the adulators of Lord Beaconsfield mother watched her firstborn with greater are apt to forget.

assiduity tban Disraeli looked on NorthHe had [Mr. Froude writes] started on his cote, nor was any more delighted at his own merits, for he had nothing else to recom- growing ease and strength. mend him, and he had challenged fate by the

The personal intercourse between these pretensions which he had put forward for him two men, extending over a period of more self. His birth was a reproach to be got over. than twenty years, was, I believe, unruffled He had no great constituency at his back, no by a single misunderstanding. Stafford popular cause to represent. He was with Northcote was a hard man to quarrel with, out the academic reputation which so often and Disraeli, according to the testimony smooths the entrance to public life, and the of all who worked with him, was the most Tory gentlemen among whom he had taken his place looked upon him with dubious eyes. erate of leaders. °Northcote formed the

courteous of colleagues, the most consid: It was pot till Disraeli had been justified habit of writing letters to him at critical of his resolve not to be lured into accept- periods. They were, perhaps, a little ing office when, in 1873, Mr. Gladstone prosy, but full of wise counsel. What was defeated on the Dublin University Disraeli thought as he read is not told. Bill, that there disappeared from the writ. There is a charming account in the diary ing and conversation of members of his of a Sunday spent at Hughenden in the party all trace of the contemptuous distrust summer of 1880. Parliament was busy which had for more than forty years ham. with the Irish Land Bill, and Northpered his progress.

cote went down to "give the chief an acIt is interesting to watch Stafford count of the Parliamentary position.” Northcote pausing and pondering at this (At this epoch one notes that the person. parting of the ways, lingering around the age who was written and spoken of at the old love before he finally committed him- outset as “ Dizzy," who next lapsed into self to companionship with the new. But “ Dis,” becomes “the chief,” and is albaviog once given his hand to Disraeli, ways so called. Mr. Gladstone, it may be was drawn closer and closer, never be obser is in private conversation or again to part. Thereafter, whenever a correspondence in these days always goveromeot was formed in which Disraeli alluded to by his colleagues on the front had prominent place, he always cared for bench as " Mr. G.") On this July SunNorthcote, advancing him step by step day, Northcote “found the chief very

well till, when he quitted the House of Com- and delighted to see me.”. • He has been moos, be installed him in his own place quite alone with his peacocks, and revelas leader. Mr. Lang's account of North- ling in the country, which he says he has cote's Parliamentary

naturally never seen in May or June before.” After grows more reticent as he approaches dinner the talk chiefly turned on books, later times. There is no reference either Northcote making the pleasant, and to in the memoir, the diary or the letters to some surprising, remark that "the chief what took place in the Session of 1876, is always at his best in his library, and in the closing weeks of which Disraeli seemed thoroughly to enjoy a good ramble disappeared from the scene. To those over literature." who chanced to be eye-witnesses of the One other peep we get of the chief and course of events it was pretty to see how his lieutenant in company which is of the premier, contemplating his departure, more dramatic interest. The precise date dexterously accustomed the House to the is not made very clear in Mr. Lang's book, idea of Stafford Northcote as their leader. but reference in other quarters show that The course was not absolutely clear. it was on the 24th of January, 1878. The There was in the person of Mr. Gathorne meeting of the House of Commons had Hardy at least one other in the running been prefaced by alarming news from the But Mr. Disraeli, a consummate judge of East, where the Russians and the Turks men, preferred to promote Mr. Hardy to were still fighting. It was rumored that a peerage, reserving the post of leader foi he Russians were marching on Gallipoli Siafford Northcote. Gradually, by almost sound for Constantinople. In a House imperceptible steps, he drew Northcote densely crowded and wrought to a pitch to ibe froot, leaving him to answer ques of high excitement, Sir Stafford Northtions addressed to the leader of the cote, with that air of offering a casual House, and occasionally transferring to remark always assumed when he had a

career

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