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alpha and omega of its aim and its design, may ever be disregarded or ignored, we should likewise have to admit that Jonson had in this instance achieved a success as notable as we must otherwise consider his failure. For the accusation of weakness in moral design, of feeble or unnatural treatment of character, cannot with any show of justice be brought against him. Coleridge, whose judgment on a question of ethics will scarcely be allowed to carry as much weight as his authority on matters of imagination, objects with some vehemence to the incredible inconsistency of Sejanus in appealing for a sign to the divinity whose altar he proceeds to overthrow, whose power he proceeds to defy, on the appearance of an unfavourable presage. This doubtless is not the conduct of a strong man or a rational thinker: but the great minister of Tiberius is never for an instant throughout the whole course of the action represented as a man of any genuine strength or any solid intelligence. He is shown to us as merely a cunning, daring, unscrupulous and imperious upstart, whose greed and craft, impudence and audacity, intoxicate while they incite and undermine while they uplift him.

The year which witnessed the appearance of Sejanus on the stage -acclaimed by Chapman at greater length if not with greater fervour than by any other of Jonson's friends or satellites-witnessed also the first appearance of its author in a character which undoubtedly gave free play to some of his most remarkable abilities, but which unquestionably diverted and distorted and absorbed his genius as a dramatist and his talent as a poet after a fashion which no capable student can contemplate without admiration or consider without regret. The few readers whose patient energy and conscientious curiosity may have led them to traverse--a pilgrimage more painful than Dante's or than Bunyan's—the entire record of the · Entertainment' which escorted and delayed, at so many successive stations, the progress through London and Westminster of the long-suffering son of Mary Queen of Scots, will probably agree that of the two poetic dialogues or eclogues contributed by Jonson to the metrical part of the ceremony, the dialogue of the Genius and the Flamen is better than that of the Genius and Thamesis : more smooth, more vigorous, and more original. The subsequent prophecy of Electra is at all points unlike the prophecies of a Cassandra: there is something doubly tragic in the irony of chance which put into the mouth of Agamemnon's daughter a prophecy of good fortune to the royal house of Stuart on its first entrance into the capital and ascension to the throne of England. The subsequent Panegyre is justly praised by Gifford for its manly and dignified style of official compliment-courtliness untainted by servility: but the style is rather that of fine prose, sedately and sedulously measured and modulated, than that of even ceremonial poetry.

In the same energetic year of his literary life the Laureate pro

duced one of his best minor worksThe Satyr, a little lyric drama so bright and light and sweet in fancy and in finish of execution that we cannot grudge the expenditure of time and genius on so slight a

abject. The Penates, which appeared in the following year, gave evidence again of the strong and lively fancy which was to be but too often exercised in the same field of ingenious and pliant invention. The metre is well conceived and gracefully arranged, worthy indeed of nobler words than those which it clothes with light and pleasant melody. The octosyllabics, it will be observed by metrical students, are certainly good, but decidedly not faultless : the burlesque part sustained by Pan is equally dexterous and brilliant in execution.



The Government of the United States and the various Australian Governments object to the immigration of Chinese. In each case the popular vote has guided the Government. Those who admit that the objection to the influx of Chinese into an Anglo-Saxon community is well founded will probably acknowledge that the objection is really stronger in Australia than in the United States. Nevertheless the United States have succeeded, where the Australian Governments have failed. It was announced in New York on the 14th of March that a treaty between the United States and China prohibiting the entry of Chinese labourers into the United States for a period of twenty years has been signed. Whilst this effectual remedy has been secured for the United States, the Australian colonies are still fighting the question with their hands tied.

At the very moment when American diplomacy had succeeded, the Premier of Queensland issued an address to the North Brisbane electors in which he declares his belief that all Queensland can be cultivated by wbites, and that the Chinese should be excluded; but the exclusion is to be partial only, an exclusion dependent on the operation of an increased poll tax, the prohibition of naturalisation, and a tax on residence.

In Sydney, Victoria, and New Zealand leading statesmen are propounding remedies somewhat similar to Sir Samuel Griffith's. But all their speeches are in a half-hearted and despairing vein. For ten years past the Chinese have paid a poll tax, and have continued arriving in Australian ports in larger numbers. Every one knows that they will pay the increased tax, but that their numbers will not diminish. No foreign nationality is so indifferent to the advantages of naturalisation in our colonies generally as the Chinese, and the threat of stopping the naturalisation of Chinese will have no real effect on their immigration.

The partial remedies discussed more warmly than ever in Australia have all been tried and have all failed in the United States. Why should not our self-governing colonies adopt the radical cure that the statesmen of America are now applying ? The answer is, they are not allowed to do so. Downing Street rightly interprets the sentiment of the House of Commons in objecting to the prohibition of Chinese. Our Foreign Office, directly under the same influence and moved indirectly by some Indo-Chinese questions, objects to prohibition. Therefore we say to our self-governing colonies, ‘In this matter, of such general interest to you and so vital to your future, you are not to be self-governing. There is a twofold danger in this : there is the direct injury to Australia ; there is the risk of embittering the relations between Australia and England.

I believe the parliamentary sentiment on this subject in England is founded on a misapprehension, and that the traditional policy of the Foreign Office is mistaken.

The common opinion in Parliament is that the governing classes in China as well as the people of China would be offended if we prohibited Chinese immigration into a British colony. During the five years that her Majesty entrusted to my care the government of British China, that is the island of Hong Kong and the territory of Kowloon on the mainland of China, I had some opportunity of ascertaining how far this common opinion was well founded. When I assumed the administration of Hong Kong in 1877 I entertained a similar opinion. But direct communication with intelligent Chinese, and especially with the literati of China (from whom the governing classes are drawn), soon taught me that I was mistaken. My interviews at Tientsin with Li Hung Chang and at Peking with Prince Kung and other members of the Tsung-li-Yamen convinced me that the experience I had gained in Hong Kong and Canton was well founded, and that, so far from there being in China any general objection to the policy of prohibition, such a policy would be viewed at least with indifference and probably with satisfaction.

The argument on the subject was briefly stated by an interesting guest that I had the honour of entertaining. When the Chinese envoy to the German Emperor was returning from Berlin to Peking, in speaking of Prince Bismarck he gave two reasons for doubting the infallible statesmanship of the Prince, one connected with the overgrown armies that he traced to him ; the other he thus referred to: * The Prince said that China and Germany were natural allies, because, unlike Russia, England, or France, no territorial jealousies could arise, and because there were plenty of German steamships now ready to convey away the surplus population of China to San Francisco, to Australia, to Peru, and other places suited to Chinese emigrants.' 'Fancy,' said the envoy, 'a European statesman addressing the latter argument to me-to me, a Chinaman!' And then he went on to explain how hateful to a true Chinaman was the idea of Chinese emigration to foreign countries-how objectionable it was on political and religious grounds. He described vast regions of the Chinese Empire where a migration of the agricultural population was taking place followed by an increase of food sent in to the great cities. We have no desire,' he said, to see the enormous resources of our own country undeveloped by our own industrious people. He is a bad

Chinaman,' he said emphatically, who, except on the Emperor's business, leaves his country, for every Chinaman has duties to his family, to the village community in which he lives, and to the Emperor, which cannot be discharged when he emigrates. He explained how essential it was for every Chinaman to visit at stated periods the graves of his ancestors. Again he repeated, “The Chinaman who voluntarily puts thousands of miles of sea between himself and the graves of his ancestors—between himself and the ancestral tablet-is a bad Chinaman, always excepting a servant of the Emperor proceeding abroad on official duty.'

But even without meeting leading Chinamen in Hong Kong, Canton, or Peking, a careful observer of the sources of Chinese emigration will have some reason to suspect the true feeling of the Chinese Government and people on this subject. Chinese emigration is practically conducted through the British colony of Hong Kong. That colony is the conduit pipe of Chinese emigration to Australia. When I discovered that it had been the practice to export Chinese convicts from Hong Kong to Australia, I issued a proclamation denouncing the system, and with reference to the general employment of coolie ships I gave instructions to the harbour officials which tended to check Chinese emigration to Australia. What happened? No complaints came from the Australian Governments or from the Government of China. On the contrary, the Premier of New South Wales, Sir Henry Parkes, wrote to thank me warmly, and the Viceroy of Canton also cordially supported me. But complaints, loud and persistent, were made by British, American, and German shipowners in Hong Kong. Even one of my harbour officials wrote to Downing Street complaining that my action threatened injury to a flourishing branch of Hong Kong trade—the Chinese coolie trade to Australia. It is easy to guess the result. A trade from which a few influential shipowners in Hong Kong make a profit has been kept up, though it has been alike distasteful to the governing classes of China and to the people of Australia.

And is there no remedy for all this? Evidently there is if Lord Knutsford can do that which has enabled him to solve with success some older and more difficult problems—if he can get at the real facts and can induce the Foreign Office to act upon them.

No doubt the unsettled question of treaty revision with China indirectly complicates the question. For temporary purposes it may suit Chinese officials abroad to make a grievance of a prohibitory act in Australia if such an act were passed. But if we learn to treat China frankly and with more justice, or if we would probe the whole of this question to the bottom, our Government would soon secure for Australia a treaty similar to that which President Cleveland's Cabinet has obtained for the United States.


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