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The Crystal Goblet I

The Chancellor.

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The Chancellor. HOW MR. LLOYD GEORGE HAS POPULARISED HIS OFFICE. FIXE TRIBUTE TO WELSH GENIUS. 'lhte I1Ion-.JW- F- Russell, in the latest of his splendid weekly columns in the MRnchestci Guard Ian," writes on the sub- ject of Chancellors, and reveals an inter- esting change for which Mr. Lloyd George is responsible. There are many Chancellors, and until recent times the term The Chan- cellor' was understood to apply only to the Lord High Chancellor. But" The Chancellor" is the Chancellor of the Ex- chequer. This is the change referred to, a change entirely due to the personality and power of Mr. Lloyd George. Mr. Russell say's: Even Gladstone at the height of his financial fame; even Disraeli when he was leading the House of Commons and refash- 'h,e Constitution, was never called Ilie Chancellor. 1 J'-ach in his turn was Chancellor of the Exchequer; and, though Gladstone s financial genius raised that office to a celebrity which it had never known before, neither he nor any of his successois -as ever known as The Chan- cellor. When Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- man formed his Government m 1905, he gathered round him, among other stalwarts Sir Robert Reid and Mr. Asquith. The former he made Lord Chancellor and the latter Chancellor of the Exchequer, and anyone who spoke of the Chancellor meant tne sturdy Radical who had lately been Bob Reid and now became Lord Loreburn. When Sir Henry resigned and ihe Government was reconstituted under Mr. Asquith, Mr. Lloyd George became Chan- cellor of the Exchequer, as all of us know to our cost and some of us to our delight. From that date the style began to change, and, by an insidious process which it is hard to trace, The Chancellor in journalistic parlance came to mean the Chancellor of the Exchequer. At first it was a 1-ttle bewilder- ing to old-fashioned people like myself. Our conception of The Chancellor was something ineffably stiff and stately, which could not move a yard without a mace and a seal and a trainbearer, and would sooner perish than appear upon a political platform. So, when we began :o read in the headlines of our papers The Chancellor in the Hebrides The Chancellor in the Channel Islands "The Chancellor at Be'.h-;sda" "The Chan- cellor at Salem "Scathing Oration by the Chancellor The Chancellor indulges in Billingsgate,1' we rubbed our eves, and thought that the Great Seal had fallen into strange keeping, and that the old order of Chancellorship had indeed yielded place to new. But then, as Lord Nozoo's daughter indignantly remarked, When T have read all this fuss about the C hancellor, and have shuddered to think about what my Father would have said about it, I discover that it is only Mr Lloyd George. Of course, I'm not the least surprised at anything he says, but why in the world should he be called The Chancellor?" Why indeed! I think because he is by very far the .most conspicuous Chancellor now before the public gaze, and one of the most remarkable people who have ever borne the titie in any of its manifold significances. For my own part I h.i,,e known Chancellors of all deao.ninationsâLoid High Chan- cellors, and Chancellors of the Exchequer, Chancellors of the Duchy, of the Universi- tie: dr,d oJ every diocese in England but I have known none so interesting as the present custodian of the national finances (I invent that title by a feat of journalistic art, in order to avoid an irritating repetition). Mr. Lloyd George is, as we all know. a Celt, and it is the glory of the Celtic races that they can transcend the invidious bars of birth and social station, and REAR GENTLEMEN IN THE SHEPHERDS' HUT, at the plough-:ail, and in the coal mine. Everyone who remembers Tom Ellis"- for no more formal designation befits his bright memoryâmust admit that the Welsh farmer's son was, in all the highest senses of the word, a true and perfect gentleman. Mr. Lloyd George has, by the happy gift of nature, that innate refinement which no school can bestow, which wealth tends to coarsen, and which learning sometimes makes priggish. His refinement is akin to a kind of spirituality-I know no other word to express it-which sees visions and cher- ishes ideals and breathes a soul into the too solid flesh of English politics. It is a British convention to assume that every- one has physical courage, and indeed it is true that few people have the moral courage to be physically cowardly. In Mr. Lloyd George the two forms of courage are com- bined. He has displayed them both, or rather they have displayed themselves, at each conjuncture of his political life, and never more onsricucusly than when he de- rounced the infamies of the South African War amid the murderous frenzy of the drunken Jingo mob. Who'll wear the beaten colours, and cheer the beaten :nen? Who'll wear the beaten colours, till our time comes again? Where sullen crowds are densest and fickle as the sea Who'll wear the beaten colours, and wear them home with me? To that challenge our official Liberalism made indeed a lamentable response but Mr. Lloyd George pinned the "beaten colours" over his heart, and carries them there still. His eloquence befits his nature, and is part of it; unstudied, unrehearsed, or, if re- hearsed at all, liable to sudden gusts of in- spiration which totally transfigure it. He fascinates, persuades, attracts; turns, as lightly as a spirit, from grave to gay, and with a bow drawn at a venture can speed an arrow which goes straight homeâand rankles. As lightly as a spirit I said and as I write the words I bethink me of a Shakespearean cleation which no other Chancellor, of any description, has ever re- sembled Mr. Lloyd George is the delicate Ariel," the tricksy spirit," of the political tempest. He appears, and vanishes, and re- appears in unexpected places and at uncalcu- lated times. He is ready, as the moment requires, to fly to swim, to dive into the fire, to ride on the cuil'd clouds." His mission is TO RIGHT THE WRONG, but he is not ashamed to play tricks upon his victims. Though his spells "flame amazement," still he does his spiriting gently and he says, with literal truth, to the usurping Lords, I have made you mad." You fools I and my fellows Are ministers of Fate: the elements, Of whom your swords are temper'd, may as well Wound the loud winds, or with bemock'd-at stabs Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish One dowle that's in my plume. My fellow- Ministers Are like invulnerable. If you could hurt, Your swords are now too massy for your 'strengths, And will not be uplifted.

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