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Then came the troublous times, and some legendary gossip has been handed down regarding them. From the mists and vapourings there emerge two Brocas figures-brothers armed in the opposing camps; they are grandsons of Sir PexsallCaptain Thomas Brocas of Roche Court, fighting on the side of the Parliament, and Robert, his brother, with the king at Oxford. Here is a sufficiently tragic illustration of what was going on in many an English household in those grim days. There was no trimming possible then, no halting between two opinions. “He that is not with me is against 'me' was thundered in the ears of any man and every man who had “a stake in the country,' anything to lose or anything to save, or anything to give to the one side or the other. This Robert Brocas, for example, could hardly 'lie

close '-he had married one of the queen's maids of honour; scandal said there was little love between them; but Robert Brocas was pledged to stand by the royal cause, there was no getting away from it.

Charles I. occupied Oxford on October 29, 1642, and evacuated it on June 3, 1644. Some day a diligent antiquary like Professor Burrows will give us an exhaustive monograph upon Orcford during the royal occupation. As yet we know but little of the busy, restless, anxious, noisy, violent, wicked life of the old city during those memorable two years. Only we all have a strong suspicion that Oxford must have been no pleasant resting place, no home of the domestic virtues, no retreat for quiet sober people in those days. Let us give the maid of honour and her husband all the benefit of our charity and the credit of being a united pair: their union did not last long.

• We know nothing of our young couple till the curtain lifts, with all the mystery of a stage tragedy, but also with all the horrible reality of life, and Robert Brocas's body is found one morning, covered with wounds, in the fosse of Oxford fortifications. The date is variously stated as 1643 and 1644, but beyond the fact, which is undoubted, none of the circumstances, nor even the exact date, have yet yielded to such research as has been bestowed on the matter.' Was there an inquest ? Was there any inquiry? Nobody

'It was only a dead gentleman found in a ditch.' From which we may infer that the occurrence was common enough, and that Oxford must have been in a strangely lawless and disorganised condition; the presence of the king or queen did not afford much security for the life or property of the inhabitants.

As for the Brocas house, it had evidently begun to decline ;

can tell.

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they were getting poor at last, and there is little more to be said about them. In 1662 an anomalous John Brocas turns up, a tradesman at Axminster, for, says Professor Burrows, euphemistically enough, the younger branch of the family

“ had merged in the commercial class. It is a comfort, however, to an antiquary that this member of the commercial class became famous in legal history. Being a Brocas he should not be as other men are !

• While ringing the church bells [at Axminster] he was caught by the bellrope and strangled. Not hung, observe, only strangled. The bell was claimed by the crown as

deodand;' for had it not strangled a Brocas ? But the precious relic was not to be surrendered without a struggle; there were those who were prepared to do battle for the sorry hemp that had twisted itself round the throat of a celebrity ; there was an appeal-the crown should not have that rope. 'In the Court of King's Bench, before which the case ' finally came, the judges being equally divided on the ques

tion, nothing was done. On a later and similar occasion • Chief Justice Holt decided against the claim upon a bell.' So the Brocas appellants, it seems, came off triumphant, and the rope that strangled the Brocas was still allowed to toll the bell in despite of the claims of the crown of England ! Once more after this there is a Brocas who becomes famous, for one year of his life at least. Sir Richard Brocas was Lord Mayor of London in 1730— a gentleman of strict integrity,' say the City records, but withal improvident. When he dies his widow, Dame Phæbe, is left in such straitened circumstances that the Corporation allow her an annuity of 1001. a year. This was in 1737—the race had very nearly come to an end.

When all is said that can be said for a family like this, it is impossible to feel any deep interest in their long career. Even of the first Sir Bernard, in Edward III.'s reign, we can say little more than that he had greatness thrust upon him rather than that he achieved it. In the course of nearly five centuries these respectable English worthies were harmless country gentlemen and nothing more; their name during all this long period is unknown in the muster roll of science, literature, politics, art, or even commerce, yet they cling to their possessions and hand them down from father to son till there is no son, and then they pass to daughters till there are no daughters—they simply come to an end.

What a testimony this chronicle affords to the abiding vitality of our institutions; to the grand continuity of our law system and empire;' to the security of our tenure of

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property from generation to generation; to the little disturbance there has been in the order of government of these islands during the lapse of ages. We have had no foreign armies playing havoc among us-- the land as a garden of

Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness.' We have known civil war and revolution-faction wrangling with faction and king and people in deadly conflict. Now and then a wild mob has got the upper hand for a week, or a dynasty has been tumbled down and blood has been shed, and the end of all things has seemed at hand. Patient people with the gift of silence held their tongues, went on their way doing as they were told, refusing to lead, bending under every storm, and submitting stolidly to the powers that be. At last things came right, and the patient people and their children were as their fathers had been. The next generation found that as far as they were concerned there had been no catastrophe and astonishingly little change; the deluge had not supervened, there had only been a thunderstorm and a downpour; some said there had been a shower of blood, but it had only been a red drop or two. Whatever it was, the kind earth covered it, and the average life of the average men went on pretty much as before. Such is the march of English history. We do not set ourselves to draw up new constitutions. We do not plant trees of liberty to-day and cut them down to-morrow. We do not try wild experiments of confiscation and deal in repudiation and the issue of assignats; our revolutions are not signalised by wholesale massacres; our reforms are remedial, not destructive of all that has its roots in the past. If we change, we change, as the trees of the forest change, by slow growth and silent progress; the dead branches are sometimes blown down by the fury of a storm, sometimes cleared away by the woodman's axe. But year by year the fresh leaves start, and the old boughs shelter us with their spreading greenery. Is it better to be for ever hacking and trimming and clipping and paring, or to meddle as little as may be with the living tree, and let it grow?

ART. IX.-Speeches of the Marquis of Hartington delivered at

Manchester on Friday, June 24, 1887, and at Blackburn on

Saturday, June 25, 1887. IN N the speech which Lord Hartington delivered in the Free

Trade Hall to the Liberal Unionists of Manchester on Friday, June 24, he expressed some misgiving as to the propriety of the course which he was adopting. He halt accused himself of indiscretion, and even of criminality and cruelty, in intruding a jarring note upon the unison and harmony with which the jubilee of the Queen had been celebrated during the week that was then closing. Lord Hartington's self-reproach was, like all he does and says, generous and ingenuous. But he is not open to blame. The accord had been marred before he spoke. Ireland-or rather the faction which calls itself Ireland-stood ostentatiously apart from the congratulations which the Queen's subjects offered her with otherwise unbroken unanimity. Irish members of Parliament refused to take part in the jubilee celebration of June 22. The busts of Brutus and Cassius were not more conspicuously absent on the occasion which the Roman historian commemorates than the persons of Mr. Parnell and his associates from Westminster Abbey. This sullen seclusion from the general rejoicings did not stand alone. The Pope sent his message and messenger of congratulation. But Ireland no longer listens when Rome speaks. The Roman Catholic Episcopate imitated the disloyal apathy or hostility of the Irish members. Town councils, and boards of guardians, and other

. public bodies passed resolutions refusing in terms of insolence to join in the congratulation. The Irish in New York held a crowded meeting on the day of the jubilee to protest against the celebration, appropriately selecting the Church of the Holy Innocents for a requiem service on behalf of the Phænix Park and Maamtrasna murderers, and the other • Irish victims of cruel laws during the Victorian era. The Irish recusants, both of the dispersion and at home, show little regard for Mr. Gladstone's feelings. During nearly half of the fifty years of the bloody Victorian era, Mr. Gladstone has been in office. During ten of them he was Prime Minister. These ten years deserve to be noted in the Irish (Newgate) Calendar of Holy Innocents with the blackest mark. The cruel laws' which the Cooper Institute agitators denounce were never more ruthless and never claimed more numerous victims.

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The facts we have recited acquit Lord Hartington of the charge of breaking the harmony of the jubilee week. They show that the disaffection of Ireland—that is to say, of that portion of the Irish people which is habitually spoken of as if it were the whole—is not confined to the Parliamentary Union. With a cynical disregard of the profession made, not so much indeed by them as on their behalf, they make no attempt to veil their disloyalty alike to the throne and to the person of the Sovereign. The last link which unites the two countries is in their view simply the link which is last of all to be broken. When the Queen was proclaimed, just fifty years ago, in St. James's Palace, the most conspicuous figure in the front line of the crowd which occupied the court below, was that of O'Connell, * waving his hat and cheering most vehemently' The contrast between the sentiments and conduct of the Irish leader then and of the Irish leaders now is of more than personal interest. The fifty years which preceded the accession of the Queen might have excused a certain languor of loyalty upon the part of O'Connell. The fifty years which have followed it leave this sentiment without excuse on the part of his suc

The Irish members express great reverence for the name and gratitude for the services of John Stuart Mill. Mr. John Morley, as he told the Cobden Club revellers at Greenwich a short time ago, loves to quote him. May we commend to Mr. Morley's attention a passage which he will find in the sixteenth chapter of Mr. Mill's work on "Repre“sentative Government'? Explaining the fact that the Irish —that is to say, the Irish Celts and Roman Catholics—were not yet as completely reconciled to England as the Bas Bretons and the Alsatians to France, he attributed it in part to the circunıstance that they were sufficiently numerous to form a respectable nationality by themselves, in part to the misgovernment of previous generations. But, he added :

cessors.

* This disgrace to England and calamity to the whole empire has, it may be truly said, completely ceased for nearly a generation. [These words were written in the years 1860–61.] No Irishman is now less free than an Anglo-Saxon, nor has a less share of any benefit, both to his country and to his individual fortunes, than if he were sprung from any other part of the British dominions. The only remaining real grievance of Ireland—that of the State Church—is one which halt, or nearly half, the people of the larger island have in common with them. There is now next to nothing, except the memory of the past, and the difference in the predominant religion, to keep apart two races, perhaps the most fitted of any two in the world to be the completing part of one another. The consciousness of being at last treated

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