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the earth, but I assure you in Prussia we are very proud of ours, and think them the strength of the nation. Of late years the Hohenzollerns have taken up with the junkers, but for a long time their policy was to uphold the bauer class against the junker class; and, if you want to know the secret of the hold which the house of Hohenzollern has upon the heart of the Prussian people, it is not in Frederick the Great's victories that you will find it, it is in this policy of their domestic government." "My dear Arminius," said I, "you make me perfectly sick. Government here, government there! We English are for selfgovernment. What business has any Mr. Stein to settle that this or that estate is too large for Lord Clanricarde's virtues to expand in? Let each class settle its own affairs, and don't let us have Governments and Hohenzollerns pretending to be more enlightened than other people, and cutting and carving for what they call the general interest, and God knows what nonsense of that kind. If the landed class with us has got the magistracy and settled estates and game laws, has not the middle class got the vestries, and business, and civil and religious liberty? I remember when the late Sir George Cornwall Lewis wanted to get some statistics about the religious denominations, your friend Bottles, who is now a millionaire and a Churchman, was then a Particular Baptist. 'No,' says Bottles, 'here I put down my foot. No Government on earth shall ask me whether I am a Particular Baptist or a Muggletonian.' And Bottles beat the Government, because

of the thorough understanding the upper and middle classes in this country have with one another that each is to go its own way, and Government is not to be thrusting its nose into the concerns of either. There is a cordial alliance between them on this basis." "Yes, yes, I know," Arminius sneeringly answered; "Herod and Pontius Pilate have shaken hands."

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"But I will show you, Arminius," I pursued, "on plain grounds of political economy"Not tonight," interrupted Arminius, yawning; "I am going home to bed." And off he went, descending the garret stairs three at a time, and leaving me to burn the midnight oil in order to send you, Sir, what is really, I flatter myself, an interesting, and I may even say a valuable communication.

Your humble servant,






GRUB STREET, April 20, 1867.

Ir is a long while since you have heard anything of Arminius and me, though I do hope you have sometimes given a thought to us both. The truth is we have been in the country. You may imagine how horribly disagreeable Arminius made himself during the famous snow in London at the beginning of this About the state of the streets he was bad year. enough, but about the poor frozen-out working men who went singing without let or hindrance before our houses, he quite made my blood creep. "The dirge of a society qui s'en va," he used to call their pathetic songs. It is true I had always an answer for him— "Thank God, we are not Hausmannised yet!" and if that was not enough, and he wanted the philosophy of the thing, why I turned to a sort of constitutional common-place book, or true Englishman's vade mecum, which I have been these many years forming for my own use by potting extracts from the Times, and which I hope one day to give to the world, and I read him

this golden aphorism: "Administrative, military, and clerical tyranny are unknown in this country, because the educated class discharges all the corresponding functions through committees of its own body." "Well, then," Arminius would answer, "show me your administrative committee for ridding us of these cursed frozen-out impostors." "My dear Arminius," was my quiet reply, "voluntary organisations are not to be dealt with in this peremptory manner. The administrative committee you ask for will develop itself in good time; its future members are probably now at nurse. In England we like our improvements to grow, not to be manufactured."

However the mental strain, day after day, of this line of high constitutional argument was so wearing, that I gladly acceded to a proposal made by Arminius in one of his fits of grumbling to go with him for a little while into the country. So into the country we went, and there, under his able guidance, I have been assiduously pursuing the study of German philosophy. As a rule, I attend to nothing else just now; but when we were taking one of our walks abroad the other morning, an incident happened which led us to discuss the subject of compulsory education, and, as this subject is beginning to awaken deep interest in the public mind, I think you may be glad to have an account of the incident, and of the valuable remarks on compulsory education which were drawn from Arminius by it.

We were going out the other morning on one of our walks, as I said, when we saw a crowd before the




inn of the country town where we have been staying It was the magistrates' day for sitting, and I was glad of an opportunity to show off our local self-govern· ment to a bureaucracy-ridden Prussian like Arminius. So I stopped in the crowd, and there we saw an old fellow in a smock-frock, with a white head, a low forehead, a red nose, and a foxy expression of countenance, being taken along to the justice-room. Seeing among the bystanders a contributor to the Daily Telegraph, whom I formerly knew well enough,—for he had the drawing-room floor underneath me in Grub Street, but the magnificent circulation of that journal has long since carried him, like the course of empire, westward,-I asked him if he could tell me what the prisoner was charged with. I found it was a hardened old poacher, called Diggs,-Zephaniah Diggs,—and that he was had up for snaring a hare, -probably his ten-thousandth. The worst of the story, to my mind, was that the old rogue had a heap of young children by a second wife whom he had married late in life, and that not one of these children would he send to school, but persisted in letting them all run wild, and grow up in utter barbarism.

I hastened to tell Arminius that it was a poaching case; and I added that it was not always, perhaps, in poaching cases that our local self-government appeared to the best advantage. "In the present case, however, there is," said I, "no danger; for a representa

1 Do you recognise yourself, Leo? Is it presumptuous me, upon giving this volume to the world, to bid you too, my. friend, say with the poet : Non omnis moriar ?-ED.

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