Page:Jean Jaurès socialist and humanitarian 1917.djvu/19

This page has been validated.
15
INTRODUCTION

completed whole. Thus in order to separate the State from the Church and defend the Republic, he declared for the Radical-Socialist bloc which supported the Waldeck-Rousseau and the Combes Ministries. But he took none of the spoils of the bloc. He himself did not serve in Cabinets. He could defend his friends who seemed to sacrifice Socialism in order to serve the nation, but he chose the humbler but more effective way of standing by and keeping the spirit of liberty alive and vital. The poison of power gripped them one after another. Millerand went; Briand went; Viviani went; Jaures remained.

I saw him at Copenhagen when our own Ulster trouble was threatening and he and Vaillant drew me aside into a corner of a room and discussed coalitions. His own experiences had made him doubt their wisdom. Times might come he thought when they might be necessary in defence of liberty, but on the whole his view was that it was better for a Socialist Party to maintain a government in office without accepting responsibility for acts which it really could not control, because it could not be properly represented in Cabinets, and wait until it was strong