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The History of the Fabian Society By Edward R. Pease Characters: 33686

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:04


"To your tents, O Israel": 1894-1900

Progress of the Society-The Independent Labour Party-Local Fabian Societies-University Fabian Societies-London Groups and Samuel Butler-The first Fabian Conference-Tracts and Lectures-The 1892 Election Manifesto-The Newcastle Program-The Fair Wages Policy-The "Fortnightly" article-The "Intercepted Letter" of 1906.

During the next two or three years the Society made rapid progress. The membership was 541 in 1892, 640 in 1893, and 681 in 1894. The expenditure, £640 to March, 1891, rose to £1100 for 1892, and £1179 in 1893. In both these years large sums-£350 and £450-were given by two members for the expenses of lectures in the provinces, and in provincial societies the growth was most marked. In March, 1892, 36 were recorded: the report for 1893 gives 74, including Bombay and South Australia. This was the high-water mark. The Independent Labour Party was founded in January, 1893, at a Conference at which the Fabian Society of London and nine local Fabian Societies were represented, and from this time onward our provincial organisation declined until, in 1900, only four local and four University Societies remained.

The attitude of the parent society towards its branches has always been somewhat unusual. In early days it made admission to its own ranks a matter of some difficulty. A candidate resident in London had to secure a proposer and seconder who could personally vouch for him and had to attend two meetings as a visitor. We regarded membership as something of a privilege, and a candidate was required not only to sign the Basis, but also to take some personal trouble as evidence of zeal and good faith. To our provincial organisation the same principle was applied. If the Socialists in any town desired to form a local society we gave them our blessing and received them gladly. But we did not urge the formation of branches on lukewarm adherents, and we always recognised that the peculiar political methods of the London Society, appropriate to a body of highly educated people, nearly all of them speakers, writers, or active political workers, were unsuitable for the groups of earnest workmen in the provinces who were influenced by our teaching. In fact the local Fabian Societies, with rare exceptions, of which Liverpool was the chief, were from the first "I.L.P." in personnel and policy, and were Fabian only in name.

This somewhat detached attitude, combined with the recognition of the differences between the parent society and its offspring, led to the adoption of a system of local autonomy. The parent society retained complete control over its own affairs. It was governed by a mass meeting of members, which in those days elected the Executive for the year. It decided that a local Fabian Society might be formed anywhere outside London, by any body of people who accepted the Fabian Basis. The parent society would send them lecturers, supply them with literature and "Fabian News," and report their doings in the "News." But in other respects complete autonomy was accorded. No fees were asked, or subventions granted: no control over, or responsibility for, policy was claimed. Just as the political policy of each Fabian was left to his own judgment, so we declined the impossible task of supervising or harmonising the political activities of our local societies. When the I.L.P. was founded in Bradford and set to work to organise Socialism on Fabian lines, adopting practically everything of our policy, except the particular methods which we had selected because they suited our personal capacities, we recognised that provincial Fabianism had done its work. There was no room, except here and there, for an I.L.P. branch and a local F.S. in the same place. The men who were active in the one were active also in the other. We made no effort to maintain our organisation against that of the I.L.P., and though a few societies survived for some years, and for a while two or three were formed every year at such places as Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone, and Swindon, they were bodies of small importance, and contributed scarcely anything to the sum of Fabian activity. The only local Fabian Society which survived the debacle was Liverpool, which has carried on work similar to that of the London Society down to the present time. Its relations with the I.L.P. have always been harmonious, and, like the I.L.P., it has always maintained an attitude of hostility towards the old political parties. Its work has been lecturing, the publication of tracts, and political organisation.

The University Fabian Societies are of a different character. Formed by and for undergraduates, but in some cases, especially at Oxford, maintaining continuity by the assistance of older members in permanent residence, such as Sidney Ball of St. John's, who has belonged to the Oxford Society since its formation in 1895, they are necessarily fluctuating bodies, dependent for their success on the personality and influence of a few leading members. Their members have always been elected at once to the parent society in order that the connection may be unbroken when they leave the University. Needless to say, only a small proportion become active members of the Society, but a few of the leading members of the movement have entered it in this way. Oxford, Glasgow, Aberystwyth, and latterly Cambridge have had flourishing societies for long periods, and quite a number of the higher grade civil servants and of the clergy and doctors in remote districts in Wales and Scotland are or have been members. Moreover, the Society always retains a scattering of members, mostly officials or teachers, in India, in the heart of Africa, in China, and South America, who joined it in their undergraduate days.

Almost from the first the Executive has endeavoured to organise the members in the London area into groups. The parent society grew up through years of drawing-room meetings; why should not the members residing in Hampstead and Hammersmith, in Bloomsbury or Kensington do the same? Further, the Society always laid much stress on local politics: there were County Council and Borough Council, School Board and Poor Law Guardians elections in which policy could be influenced and candidates promoted or supported.

In fact it is only in the years when London government was in the melting-pot, or in times of special socialist activity, and in a few districts, such as Hampstead, where Fabians are numerous, and especially when one or more persons of persistence and energy are available, that the groups have had a more than nominal existence. The drawing-room meetings of the parent society attracted audiences until they outgrew drawing-rooms, because of the exceptional quality of the men and women who attended them and the novelty of the doctrines promulgated. These conditions were not repeated in each district of London, and in spite of constant paper planning, and not a little service by the older members, who spent their time and talents on tiny meetings in Paddington or Streatham, the London group system has never been a permanent success. What has kept the Society together is the series of fortnightly meetings carried on regularly from the first, which themselves fluctuate in popularity, but which have never wholly failed.[26]

* * *

We now return to the point whence this digression started. Our local societies were then flourishing. They were vigorously supported from London. We had funds for the expenses of lecturers and many willing to give the time. W.S. De Mattos was employed as lecture secretary, and arranged in the year 1891-2 600 lectures, 300 of them in the provinces. In all 3339 lectures by members during the year were recorded. All this activity imparted for a time considerable vitality to the local societies, and on February 6th and 7th, 1892, the first (and for twenty years the last) Annual Conference was held in London, at Essex Hall. Only fourteen provincial societies were represented, but they claimed a membership of about 1100, some four-fifths of the whole.

The Conference was chiefly memorable because it occasioned the preparation of the paper by Bernard Shaw, entitled "The Fabian Society: What it has done and how it has done it," published later as Tract 41 and renamed, when the passage of years rendered the title obsolete, "The Fabian Society: Its Early History," parts of which have already been quoted. This entertaining account of the Society, and brilliant defence of its policy as opposed to that of the Social Democratic Federation, was read to a large audience on the Saturday evening, and made so great an impression that comment on it seemed futile and was abandoned. The Conference on Sunday was chiefly occupied with the discussion of a proposal that the electors be advised to vote at the coming General Election in accordance with certain test questions, which was defeated by 23 to 21. A resolution to expel from the Society any member becoming "an official of the Conservative, Liberal, Liberal Unionist, or National League parties" was rejected by a large majority, for the first but by no means for the last time. The Conference was quite a success, but a year later there was not sufficient eagerness in the provinces for a second, and the project was abandoned.

* * *

Amidst all this propaganda of the principles of Socialism the activity of the Society in local government was in no way relaxed. The output of tracts at this period was remarkable. In the year 1890-1, 10 new tracts were published, 335,000 copies printed, and 98,349 sold or given away. In 1891-2, 20 tracts, 16 of them leaflets of 4 pages, were published, 308,300 printed, and 378,281 distributed, most of them leaflets. This was the maximum. Next year only 272,660 were distributed, though the sales of penny tracts were larger. At this period the Society had a virtual monopoly in the production of political pamphlets in which facts and figures were marshalled in support of propositions of reform in the direction of Socialism. Immense trouble was taken to ensure accuracy and literary excellence. Many of the tracts were prepared by Committees which held numerous meetings. Each of them was criticised in proof both by the Executive and by all the members of the Society. Every tract before publication had to be approved at a meeting of members, when the author or authors had to consider every criticism and justify, amend, or delete the passage challenged.

The tracts published in these years included a series of "Questions" for candidates for Parliament and all the local governing bodies embodying progressive programmes of administration with possible reforms in the law-which the candidate was requested to answer by a local elector and which were used with much effect for some years-and a number of leaflets on Municipal Socialism, extracted from "Facts for Londoners." In 1891 the first edition of "What to Read: A List of Books for Social Reformers," classified in a somewhat elaborate fashion, was prepared by Graham Wallas, the fifth edition of which, issued as a separate volume in 1910, is still in print. "Facts for Bristol," drafted by the gentleman who is now Sir Hartmann Just, K.C.M.G., C.B., was the only successful attempt out of many to apply the method of "Facts for Londoners" to other cities.

It is impossible for me to estimate how far the Progressive policy of London in the early nineties is to be attributed to the influence of the Fabian Society. That must be left to the judgment of those who can form an impartial opinion. Something, however, the Society must have contributed to create what was really a remarkable political phenomenon. London up to 1906 was Conservative in politics by an overwhelming majority. In 1892 out of 59 seats the Liberals secured 23, but in 1895 and 1900 they obtained no more than 8 at each election. All this time the Progressive Party in the County Council, which came into office unexpectedly after the confused election in 1889 when the Council was created, maintained itself in power usually by overwhelming majorities, obtained at each succeeding triennial elections in the same constituencies and with substantially the same electorate that returned Conservatives to Parliament.

In the early nineties the Liberal and Radical Working Men's Clubs of London had a political importance which has since entirely disappeared. Every Sunday for eight months in the year, and often on weekdays, political lectures were arranged, which were constantly given by Fabians. For instance, in October, 1891, I find recorded in advance twelve courses of two to five lectures each, nine of them at Clubs, and fifteen separate lectures at Clubs, all given by members of the Society. In October, 1892, eleven courses and a dozen separate lectures by our members at Clubs are notified. These were all, or nearly all, arranged by the Fabian office, and it is needless to say that a number of others were not so arranged or were not booked four or five weeks in advance. Our list of over a hundred lecturers, with their subjects and private addresses, was circulated in all directions and was constantly used by the Clubs, as well as by all sorts of other societies which required speakers.

Moreover, in addition to "Facts for Londoners," Sidney Webb published in 1891 in Sonnenschein's "Social Science Series" a volume entitled "The London Programme," which set out his policy, and that of the Society, on all the affairs of the metropolis. The Society had at this time much influence through the press. "The London Programme" had appeared as a series of articles in the Liberal weekly "The Speaker." The "Star," founded in 1888, was promptly "collared," according to Bernard Shaw,[27] who was its musical critic, and who wrote in it, so it was said, on every subject under the sun except music! Mr. H.W. Massingham, assistant editor of the "Star," was elected to the Society and its Executive simultaneously in March, 1891, and in 1892 he became assistant editor of the "Daily Chronicle," under a sympathetic chief, Mr. A.E. Fletcher.

Mrs. Besant and the Rev. Stewart Headlam had been elected to the London School Board in 1888, and had there assisted a Trade Union representative in getting adopted the first Fair Wages Clause in Contracts. But in the first London County Council the Society, then a tiny body, was not represented.

At the second election in 1892 six of its members were elected to the Council and another was appointed an alderman. Six of these were members best known to the public as Trade Unionists or in other organisations, but Sidney Webb, who headed the poll at Deptford with 4088 votes, whilst his Progressive colleague received 2503, and four other candidates only 5583 votes between them, was a Fabian and nothing else. He had necessarily to resign his appointment in the Colonial Office, and thenceforth was able to devote all his time to politics and literary work. Webb was at once elected chairman of the Technical Education Board, which up to 1904 had the management of all the education in the county, other than elementary, which came under public control. The saying is attributed to him that according to the Act of Parliament Technical Education could be defined as any education above elementary except Greek and Theology, and the Board under his chairmanship-he was chairman for eight years-did much to bring secondary and university education within the reach of the working people of London. From 1892 onwards there was always a group of Fabians on the London County Council, working in close alliance with the "Labour Bench," the Trade Unionists who then formed a group of the Progressive Party under the leadership of John Burns. Under this silent but effective influence the policy of the Progressives was largely identical with the immediate municipal policy of the Society itself, and the members of the Society took a keen and continuous interest in the triennial elections and the work of the Council.

* * *

All this concern in local administration did not interfere with the interest taken by the Society in parliamentary politics, and one illustration of this may be mentioned. The Liberal Party has a traditional feud with Landlordism, and at this period its favourite panacea was Leasehold Enfranchisement, that is, the enactment of a law empowering leaseholders of houses built on land let for ninety-nine years, the common practice in London, to purchase the freehold at a valuation. Many Conservatives had come round to the view that the breaking up of large town estates and the creation of numerous freeholders, would strengthen the forces upholding the rights of property, and there was every prospect that the Bill would be passed. A few hours befo

re the debate on April 29th, 1891, a leaflet (Tract No. 22) was published explaining the futility of the proposal from the Fabian standpoint, and a copy was sent to every member of Parliament. To the astonishment of the Liberal leaders a group of Radicals, including the present Lord Haldane and Sir Edward Grey, opposed the Bill, and it was defeated by the narrow majority of 13 in a house numbering 354. A few years later the proposal was dropped out of the Liberal programme, and the Leasehold Enfranchisement Association itself adopted a new name and a revised policy.

But the main object of the Fabians was to force on the Liberal Party a programme of constructive social reform. With few exceptions their members belonged or had belonged to that party, and it was not difficult, now that London had learned the value of the Progressive policy, to get resolutions accepted by Liberal Associations demanding the adoption of a programme. Sidney Webb in 1888 printed privately a paper entitled "Wanted a Programme: An Appeal to the Liberal Party," and sent it out widely amongst the Liberal leaders. The "Star" and the "Daily Chronicle" took care to publish these resolutions, and everything was done, which skilful agitators knew, to make a popular demand for a social reform programme. We did what all active politicians in a democratic country must do; we decided what the people ought to want, and endeavoured to do two things, which after all are much the same thing, to make the people want it, and to make it appear that they wanted it. The result-how largely attributable to our efforts can hardly now be estimated-was the Newcastle Program, reluctantly blessed by Mr. Gladstone and adopted by the National Liberal Federation in 1891.[28]

The General Election of 1892 was anticipated with vivid interest. Since the election of 1886 English Socialism had come into being and Trade Unionism had been transformed by the rise of the Dockers, and the other "new" unions of unskilled labour. But a Labour Party was still in the future, and our Election Manifesto (Tract 40), issued in June, bluntly tells the working classes that until they form a party of their own they will have to choose between the parties belonging to the other classes. The Manifesto, written by Bernard Shaw, is a brilliant essay on labour in politics and a criticism of both the existing parties; it assures the working classes that they could create their own party if they cared as much about politics as they cared for horse-racing (football was not in those days the typical sport); and it concludes by advising them to vote for the better, or against the worse, man, on the ground that progress was made by steps, a step forward was better than a step backward, and the only thing certain is the defeat of a party which sulks and does not vote at all. The Manifesto was widely circulated by the then vigorous local societies, and no doubt had some effect, though the intensity of the antipathy to Liberal Unionism on the one side and to Home Rule on the other left little chance for other considerations.

Six members of the Society were candidates, but none of them belonged to the group which had made its policy and conducted its campaign. In one case, Ben Tillett at West Bradford, the Society took an active part in the election, sending speakers and collecting £152 for the Returning Officer's expenses. Of the six, J. Keir Hardie at West Ham alone was successful, but Tillett did well at West Bradford, polling 2,749, only a few hundred votes below the other two candidates, and preparing the field for the harvest which F.W. Jowett reaped in 1906.

The result of the election, which took place in July, was regarded as a justification for the Fabian policy of social advance. In London, where Liberalism was strongly tainted with it, the result was "as in 1885," the year of Liberal victory, and the only Liberal seat lost was that of the President of the Leasehold Enfranchisement Association! In the industrial cities, and in Scotland, where Liberalism was still individualist, the result was rather as in 1886, when Liberalism lost. In London also "by far the largest majorities were secured by Mr. John Burns and Mr. Keir Hardie, who stood as avowed Socialists, and by Mr. Sydney Buxton, whose views are really scarcely less advanced than theirs."[29]

I have pointed out that Fabian policy began with State Socialism, and in quite early days added to it Municipal Socialism; but in 1888 the authors of "Fabian Essays" appeared to be unconscious of Trade Unionism and hostile to the Co-operative movement. The Dock Strike of 1889 and the lecturing in London clubs and to the artisans of the north pointed the way to a new development. Moreover, in the summer of 1892 Sidney Webb had married Miss Beatrice Potter, author of an epoch-making little book, "The Co-operative Movement," and together they were at work on their famous "History of Trade Unionism."

The "Questions" for local governing bodies issued in 1892 were full of such matters as fair wages, shorter hours, and proper conditions for labour, and it was speedily discovered that this line of advance was the best suited to Fabian tactics because it was a series of skirmishes all over the country, in which scores and hundreds could take part. Each locality had then or soon afterwards three or four elected local councils, and hardly any Fabian from one end of the country to the other would be unable in one way or another to strike a blow or lift a finger for the improvement of the conditions of publicly employed labour.

But the Government of Mr. Gladstone had not been in office for much more than a year before a much more ambitious enterprise on this line was undertaken. In March, 1893, Sir Henry (then Mr.) Campbell-Bannerman had pledged the Government to "show themselves to be the best employers of labour in the country": "we have ceased," he said, "to believe in what are known as competition or starvation wages." That was a satisfactory promise, but enunciating a principle is one thing and carrying it into effect in scores of departments is another. Mr. Gladstone, of course, was interested only in Home Rule. Permanent officials doubtless obstructed, as they usually do: and but a few members of the Cabinet accepted or understood the new obligation. The Fabian Society knew the Government departments from the inside, and it was easy for the Executive to ascertain how labour was treated under each chief, what he had done and what he had left undone. At that time legislative reforms were difficult because the Government majority was both small and uncertain, whilst the whole time of Parliament was occupied by the necessary but futile struggle to pass a Home Rule Bill for the Lords to destroy. But administrative reforms were subject to no such limitations: wages and conditions of labour were determined by the department concerned, and each minister could do what he chose for the workmen virtually in his employment, except perhaps in the few cases, such as the Post Office, where the sums involved were very large, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer had the same opportunity.

Bernard Shaw and Sidney Webb then decided that the time had come to make an attack on old-fashioned Liberalism on these lines. The "Fortnightly Review" accepted their paper, the Society gave the necessary sanction, and in November the article entitled "To Your Tents, O Israel" appeared. Each of the great departments of the State was examined in detail, and for each was stated precisely what should be done to carry out the promise that the Government would be "in the first flight of employers," and what in fact had been done, which indeed, with rare exceptions, was nothing. The "Parish Councils Act" and Sir William Harcourt's great Budget of 1894 were still in the future, and so far there was little to show as results from the Liberal victory of the previous year. The case against the Government from the Labour standpoint was therefore unrelieved black, and the Society, in whose name the Manifesto appeared, called on the working classes to abandon Liberalism, to form a Trade Union party of their own, to raise £30,000 and to finance fifty candidates for Parliament. It is a curious coincidence that thirteen years later, in 1906, the Party formed, as the Manifesto demanded, by the big Trade Unions actually financed precisely fifty candidates and succeeded in electing thirty of them.

The Manifesto led to the resignation of a few distinguished members, including Professor D.G. Ritchie, Mrs. Bateson, widow of the Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, and more important than all the rest, Mr. H.W. Massingham. He was on the Continent when the Manifesto was in preparation; otherwise perhaps he might have come to accept it: for his reply, which was published in the same magazine a month later, was little more than a restatement of the case. "The only sound interpretation of a model employer," he said, "is a man who pays trade union rates of wages, observes trade union limit of hours, and deals with 'fair' as opposed to 'unfair' houses. Apply all these tests and the Government unquestionably breaks down on every one of them." If this was all that an apologist for the Government could say, no wonder that the attack went home. The opponents of Home Rule were of course delighted to find another weak spot in their adversary's defences; and the episode was not soon forgotten.

In January the article was reprinted with much additional matter drafted by Bernard Shaw. He showed in considerable detail how a Labour Party ought to be formed, and how, in fact, it was formed seven years later. With our numerous and still flourishing local societies, and the newly formed I.L.P., a large circulation for the tract was easily secured. Thousands of working-class politicians read and remembered it, and it cannot be doubted that the "Plan of Campaign for Labour," as it was called, did much to prepare the ground for the Labour Party which was founded so easily and flourished so vigorously in the first years of the twentieth century.

At this point the policy of simple permeation of the Liberal Party may be said to have come to an end. The "Daily Chronicle," under the influence of Mr. Massingham, became bitterly hostile to the Fabians. They could no longer plausibly pretend that they looked for the realisation of their immediate aims through Liberalism. They still permeated, of course, since they made no attempt to form a party of their own, and they believed that only through existing organisations, Trade Unions on one side, the political parties on the other, could sufficient force be obtained to make progress within a reasonable time. In one respect it must be confessed we shared an almost universal delusion. When the Liberal Party was crushed at the election of 1895 we thought that its end had come in England as it has in other countries. Conservatism is intelligible: Socialism we regarded as entirely reasonable. Between the two there seemed to be no logical resting place. We had discovered long ago that the working classes were not going to rush into Socialism, but they appeared to be and were in fact growing up to it. The Liberalism of the decade 1895-1905 had measures in its programme, such as Irish Home Rule, but it had no policy, and it seemed incredible then, as it seems astonishing now, that a party with so little to offer could sweep the country, as it was swept by the Liberals in 1906. But nobody could have foreseen Mr. Lloyd George, and although the victory of 1906 was not due to his leadership, no one can doubt that it is his vigorous initiative in the direction of Socialism which secured for his party the renewed confidence of the country.

* * *

Twelve years later another attempt to get administrative reform from the Liberal Party was made on somewhat similar lines. The party had taken office in December, 1905, and in the interval before the General Election of 1906 gave them their unprecedented majority, "An Intercepted Letter," adopted at a members' meeting in December, was published in the "National Review" for January. It purported to be a circular letter addressed by the Prime Minister to his newly appointed colleagues, giving each of them in turn advice how to run his department. In this case there was no necessity to suggest administrative reforms only. The Liberals were certain of a majority, and they had no programme: they were bound to win, not on their merits, but on the defects of their opponents. The Letter, written by Webb in a rollicking style, to which he rarely condescends, touched on each of the great departments of Government, and advocated both the old policy of Trade Union hours and wages, for which the new Prime Minister had made himself in 1893 personally responsible, but also all sorts of progressive measures, graduated and differentiated income-tax for the Treasury, Compulsory Arbitration in Labour Disputes for the Home Office-we discovered the flaw in that project later-reform of Grants in Aid for the Local Government Board, Wages Boards for Agriculture, and so on. A few weeks later the country had the General Election to think about, and the Letter was merely reprinted for private circulation amongst the members of the Society. But we took care that the new Ministers read it, and it served to remind them of the demands which, after the election, the Labour Party, at last in being, would not let them again forget.

FOOTNOTES:

[26] Bernard Shaw has sent me the following note on this paragraph:-

One London group incident should be immortalized. It was in the W.C. group, which met in Gt. Ormond St. It consisted of two or three members who used to discuss bi-metallism. I was a member geographically, but never attended. One day I saw on the notice of meetings which I received an announcement that Samuel Butler would address the group on the authorship of the Odyssey. Knowing that the group would have no notion of how great a man they were entertaining, I dashed down to the meeting; took the chair; gave the audience (about five strong including Butler and myself) to understand that the occasion was a great one; and when we had listened gravely to Samuel's demonstration that the Odyssey was written by Nausicaa, carried a general expression of enthusiastic agreement with Butler, who thanked us with old-fashioned gravity and withdrew without giving a sign of his feelings at finding so small a meeting of the famous Fabian Society. Considering how extraordinary a man Butler is now seen to have been, there is something tragic in the fact that the greatest genius among the long list of respectable dullards who have addressed us, never got beyond this absurd little group.

[27] Tract 41. "The Fabian Society," p. 18.

[28] Bernard Shaw has sent me the following note on this point:-

The exact facts of the launching of the Newcastle Program are these. Webb gave me the Program in his own handwriting as a string of resolutions. I, being then a permeative Fabian on the executive of the South St. Pancras Liberal and Radical Association (I had coolly walked in and demanded to be elected to the Association and Executive, which was done on the spot by the astonished Association-ten strong or thereabouts) took them down to a meeting in Percy Hall, Percy Street, Tottenham Court Road, where the late Mr. Beale, then Liberal candidate and subscription milch cow of the constituency (without the ghost of a chance), was to address as many of the ten as might turn up under the impression that he was addressing a public meeting. There were certainly not 20 present, perhaps not 10. I asked him to move the resolutions. He said they looked complicated, and that if I would move them he would second them. I moved them, turning over Webb's pages by batches and not reading most of them. Mr. Beale seconded. Passed unanimously. That night they went down to The Star with a report of an admirable speech which Mr. Beale was supposed to have delivered. Next day he found the National Liberal Club in an uproar at his revolutionary break-away. But he played up; buttoned his coat determinedly; said we lived in progressive times and must move with them; and carried it off. Then he took the report of his speech to the United States and delivered several addresses founded on it with great success. He died shortly after his last inevitable defeat. He was an amiable and worthy man; and the devotion with which he fought so many forlorn hopes for his party should have earned him a safe seat. But that debt was never paid or even acknowledged; and he felt the ingratitude very keenly.

[29] "Fabian News," August, 1892.

* * *

From a photograph by Emery Walker

G. BERNARD SHAW, IN 1889

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