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them into a fanaticism which is often Liberal merely in name. just because this is our creed, we would greatly deprecate any alienation of the more moderate from the more pronounced forces of Liberalism; and especially deprecate that a starting-point for such an alienation should be found in any phase of the Land question. There are possibilities here of political and social disturbance which are very incalculable. They will require all the combined wisdom of every phase of our complex political life, and more than all the trained intelligence of that type of political thought which has so long been the most powerful and elevating influence in English civilisation.
The suggestions of a Quarterly' Reviewer that the moderate Liberals should draw nearer to the Conservatives have, in the meantime, no practical meaning any more than the picture of the present political situation sketched by the reviewer has practical reality. He conjures up a dream of Radical ascendency, and then fits his advice to the phantasmagoric effects of his wild imagination. The Liberal party is still what it has always been-a party of progress with a Left or Advanced wing. The forward aspirations of Liberalism claim expression and influence now as they have always more or less done; but the staple of the Government is moderately Liberal, and there is no fear for the present that it will depart from the well-attested traditions of a party which has always cared more for freedom than for force of any kind, whether in the shape of a Dictator or not. The natural alliance of the two sides of Liberalism is with one another, so that they may mutually stimulate and control the complex movements of the political machine. Least of all are the old Whigs likely to seek allies among the modern Conservatives who have repeatedly shown a tendency to pander to the lowest forms of the democratic spirit when it served their purpose. The hopes of freedom for the future can hardly be in their keeping. Let us hope that they are safe where hitherto they have found their refuge, and their highest encouragement.
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THE ROMANCE OF THE FIRST RADICAL,
A PREHISTORIC APOLOGUE.
THE Devil, according to Dr. Johnson and other authorities, was the first Whig. History tells us less about the first Radical-the first man who rebelled against the despotism of unintelligible customs, who asserted the rights of the individual against the claims of the tribal conscience, and who was eager to see society organised, offhand, on what he thought a rational method. In the absence of history, we must fall back on that branch of hypothetics which is known as prehistoric science. We must reconstruct the Romance of the First Radical from the hints supplied by geology, and by the study of contemporary savages among whom no Radical reformer has yet appeared. In the following little apologue no trait of manners is invented. All the somewhat amazing customs against which our hero revolted do actually exist at this moment in Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Central Africa, and the South Sea Islands. The traditions of European races, particularly of the Greeks, prove that the people of Europe have passed through a stage of similar It is necessary to say this lest the reader of fiction, accustomed to the pure morality and the commonplace incidents, which her genius elevates, of Ouida's novels, should regard the story of the first Radical with disapprobation and incredulity.
The characters of our romance lived shortly after the close of the last glacial epoch in Europe, when the ice had partly withdrawn. from the face of the world, and when land and sea had almost assumed their modern proportions. At this period Europe was inhabited by scattered bands of human creatures, who roamed about its surface much as the black fellows used to roam over the Australian continent. The various groups derived their names from various animals and other natural objects, such as the sun, the cabbage, serpents, sardines, crabs, leopards, bears, and hyænas. It is important for our purpose to remember that all the children took their family name from the mother's side. If she were of the Hyæna clan, the children were Hyænas. If the mother were tattooed with the No. 609 (No. CXXIX. N. 9.)
badge of the Serpent, the children were Serpents, and so on. No two persons of the same family name and crest might marry, on pain of death. The man of the Bear family who dwelt by the Mediterranean might not ally himself with a woman of the Bear clan whose home was on the shores of the Baltic, and who was in no way related to him by consanguinity. These details are dry, but absolutely necessary to the comprehension of the First Radical's stormy and melancholy We must also remember that, among the tribes, there was no fixed or monarchical government. The little democratic groups were much influenced by the medicine-men or wizards, who combined the functions of the modern clergy and of the medical profession. The old men, too, had some power; the braves, or warriors, constituted a turbulent oligarchy; the noisy outcries of the old women corresponded to the utterances of an independent press. But the real ruler was a body of strange and despotic customs, the nature of which will become apparent as we follow the fortunes of the First Radical.
THE YOUTH OF WHY-WHY.
Why-Why, as our hero was commonly called in the tribe, was born in a cave which may still be observed in the neighbourhood of Mentone. On the warm shores of the Mediterranean, protected from winds by a wall of rock, the group of which Why-Why was the offspring had attained conditions of comparative comfort. The remains of their dinners, many feet deep, still constitute the flooring of the cave, and the tourist, as he pokes the soil with the point of his umbrella, turns up bits of bone, shreds of chipped flint, and other interesting relics. In the big cave lived several little families, all named by the names of their mothers. These ladies had been knocked on the head and dragged home, according to the marriage customs of the period, from places as distant as the modern Marseilles and Genoa. Why-Why, with his little brothers and sisters, were named Serpents, were taught to believe that the serpent was the first ancestor of their race, and that they must never injure any creeping thing. When they were still very young, the figure of the serpent was tattooed over their legs and breasts, so that every member of primitive society who met them had the advantage of knowing their crest and highly respectable family name.
The birth of Why-Why was a season of discomfort and privation. The hill tribe which lived on the summit of the hill now known as the Tête du Chien had long been aware that an addition to the population of the cave was expected. They had therefore prepared, according to the invariable etiquette of these early times, to come down on the cave people, maltreat the ladies, steal all the property they could lay hands on, and break whatever proved too heavy to carry. Good manners, of course, forbade the cave people to resist this visit, but etiquette permitted (and in New Caledonia still permits) the group to bury and hide its portable possessions. Canoes
29! had been brought into the little creek beneath the cave, to convey the women and children into a safe retreat, and the men were just beginning to hide the spears, bone daggers, flint fish-hooks, mats, shell razors, nets, and so forth, when Why-Why gave an early proof of his precocity by entering the world some time before his arrival was expected. Instantly all was confusion. The infant, his mother and the other non-combatants of the tribe, were bundled into canoes and paddled, through a tempestuous sea, to the site of the modern Bordighiera. The men who were not with the canoes fled into the depths of the Gorge Saint Louis, which now severs France from Italy. The hill tribe came down at the double, and in a twinkling had made hay' (to borrow a modern agricultural expression) of all the personal property of the cave dwellers. They tore the nets (the use of which they did not understand), they broke the shell razors, they pouched the opulent store of flint arrowheads and bone daggers, and they tortured to death the pigs, which the cave people had just begun to try to domesticate. After performing these rites, which were perfectly legal-indeed, it would have been gross rudeness to neglect them-the hill people withdrew to their wind-swept home on the Tête du Chien. Philosophers who believe in the force of early impressions will be tempted to maintain that Why-Why's invincible hatred of established institutions may be traced to these hours of discomfort in which his life began.
The very earliest years of Why-Why, unlike those of Mr. John Stuart Mill, whom in many respects he resembled, were not distinguished by proofs of extraordinary intelligence. He rather promptly, however, showed signs of a sceptical character. Like other sharp children, Why-Why was always asking metaphysical conundrums. Who made men? Who made the sun? Why has the cave-bear such a hoarse voice? Why don't lobsters grow on trees?-he would incessantly demand. In answer to these and similar questions, the mother of Why-Why would tell him stories out of the simple mythology of the tribe. There was quite a store of traditional replies to inquisitive children, replies sanctioned by antiquity and by the authority of the medicine-men, and in this lore Why-Why's mother was deeply versed. Thus, for example, Why-Why would ask his mother who made men. She would reply that long ago Pund-jel,' the first man, made two images of human beings in clay, and stuck on curly bark for hair. He then danced a corroboree round them, and sang a song. They rose up, and appeared as full-grown men. To this statement, hallowed by immemorial belief, Why-Why only answered by asking who made Pund-jel. His mother said that
Pund-jel came out of a plot of reeds and rushes. Why-Why was silent, but thought in his heart that the whole theory was boshbosh,' to use the early reduplicative language of these remote times.
1 Of these myths the first is slightly altered from the Australian; the latter is correctly given. See Mr. Brough Smyth's Aboriginals of Victoria, vol. i. p. 423.
Nor could he conceal his doubts about the frog who once drowned all the world. Here is the story of the frog:-Once, long ago, there was a big frog. He drank himself full of water. He could not get rid of the water. Once he saw a sand-eel dancing on his tail by the sea-shore. It made him laugh so that he burst, and all the water ran out. There was a great flood, and everyone was drowned except two or three men and women, who got on an island. Past came the pelican, in a canoe; he took off the men, but wanting to marry the woman, kept her to the last. She wrapped up a log in a 'possum rug to deceive the pelican, and swam to shore and escaped. The pelican was very angry; he began to paint himself white, to show that he was on the war trail, when past came another pelican, did not like his looks, and killed him with his beak. That is why pelicans are partly black and white, if you want to know, my little dear,' said the mother of Why-Why.
Many stories like this were told in the cave, but they found no credit with Why-Why. When he was but ten years old, his inquiring spirit showed itself in the following remarkable manner. He had always been informed that a serpent was the mother of his race, and that he must treat serpents with the greatest reverence. To kill one was sacrilege. In spite of this, he stole out unobserved and crushed a viper which had stung his little brother. He noticed that no harm ensued, and this encouraged him to commit a still more daring act. None but the old men and the warriors were allowed to eat oysters. It was universally held that if a woman or a child touched an oyster, the earth would open and swallow the culprit. Not daunted by this prevalent belief, Why-Why one day devoured no less than four dozen oysters, opening the shells with a flint spear-head, which he had secreted in his waist-band. The earth did not open and swallow him as he had swallowed the oysters, and from that moment he became suspicious of all the ideas and customs imposed by the old men and wizards.
Two or three touching incidents in domestic life, which occurred when Why-Why was about twelve years old, confirmed him in the dissidence of his dissent, for the first Radical was the first Dissenter. The etiquette of the age (which survives among the Yorubas and other tribes) made it criminal for a woman to see her husband, or even to mention his name. When, therefore, the father of Why-Why became weary of supporting his family, he did not need to leave the cave and tramp abroad. He merely ceased to bring in tree-frogs, grubs, roots, and the other supplies which Why-Why's mother was accustomed to find concealed under a large stone in the neighbourhood of the cave. The poor pious woman, who had always religiously abstained from seeing her lord's face, and from knowing his name, was now reduced to destitution. There was no one to grub up pignuts for her, nor to extract insects of an edible sort from beneath the bark of trees. As she could not identify her invisible husband, she was unable to denounce him to the wizards, who would, 'or a con