Page:The Victorian Age.djvu/26

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[22]

he set before his countrymen, in glowing language, the beauty of the eternal Ideas or absolute Values, pleaded that there was no necessary connection between equality of production and equality of remuneration, and instituted various experiments, not all unsuccessful, in restoring the old handicrafts and the temper which inspired them.

The problem of mending or ending industrialism, foolishly called capitalism, remains unsolved. Ruskin's own artistic life would have been impossible without the paternal sherry and the rich men who drank it; and Morris' exquisite manufactures depended absolutely on the patronage of the capitalists whom he denounced. But the indignation which these Victorian social reformers exhibited had much justification, even after the worst abuses had been partially remedied.

A mixture of rapid progress and extreme departmental inefficiency is one of the characteristics of the earlier part of the reign. Lord Justice Bowen has written an instructive sketch of the administration of the Law between 1837