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port, had not Mr. Disraeli, who, with his immense strategical ability, has an aptitude for blunders, gone back to them, in order to found a charge of inconsistency against his mighty rival. Had Mr. Disraeli possessed the advantage of a public school and University education he would have been saved this blunder. He alluded to a debate at the Union on the 16th of May, 1831: 'I am sure hon. gentlemen opposite will remember Wyatt's rooms and the Oxford Union,' and he quoted a resolution, of a ferociously Tory character, adding, 'The amendment, as I have read it, was quoted by Mr. William Gladstone, of Christ Church.' The reference was ill-judged; the common sense of the House could not tolerate that the speaker should go back to undergraduate college days in search of weapons of attack. It had however the advantage of eliciting from Mr. Gladstone some autobiographic sentences of much interest. The right honourable gentleman, when he addressed the hon. member for Westininster, took occasion to show his magnanimity, for he declared that he would not take the philosopher to task for what he wrote twenty-five years ago. But when he caught one, who, thirty-five years ago, who, just emerged from boyhood, and still an undergraduate at Oxford, had expressed an opinion adverse to the Reform Bill of 1832, of which he had so long and bitterly repented, then the right hon. gentleman could not resist the temptation that offered itself to his appetite for effect. . . . Sir, as the right hon. gentleman has done me the honour thus to exhibit me, let me for a moment trespass on the patience of the House to exhibit myself. What he has stated is true. I deeply regret it. But I was bred under the shadow of the great name of Canning; every influence connected with that name governed the first political impressions of my childhood and my youth; with Mr. Canning I rejoiced in the removal of religious disabilities from the Roman Catholic body, and in the free and truly British tone which he gave to our policy abroad; with Mr Canning I

rejoiced in the opening he made towards the establishment of free commercial interchanges between nations; with Mr. Canning, and under the shadow of that great name, and under the shadow of the yet more venerable name of Burke, I grant my youthful mind and imagination were impressed with the same idle and futile fears which still bewilder and distract the matured mind of the right hon. gentleman.'

Mr.

It was hardly fair of Mr. Gladstone to give this speech this mere boyish character, as it was delivered only the year before he was first elected to his seat in the first Reformed Parliament. That phase of the constitution has now ceased to exist, but up to this point Mr. Gladstone's career has been commensurate with it, and the parliamentary life of Mr. Gladstone during the constitution of 1832, like that constitution, has become matter of history. Looking broadly at that career, and attempting honestly to arbitrate between conflicting views, it appears to us that, on the whole, Mr. Gladstone has adopted a disinterested and patriotic course. Mr. Gladstone is certainly fond of office. Bright once said that he thought Mr. Gladstone was much happier in office, but he thought he would live longer without it. But, nevertheless, he has repeatedly refused or sacrificed office, and by so doing well-nigh reduced himself to a state of Ishmaelitish isolation. There was something almost Quixotic and indubitably austere in his resignation of office in 1845. It was not even professed that he was in antagonism with his chief, Sir Robert Peel, on the question of the Maynooth Grant. His rigid Church principles were then perceptibly beginning to thaw. He was aware that by supporting the bill he should be departing from the principles of his famous book on the Church in relation to the State,' and he held it his duty to resign office, and so study the subject free from all biassed and selfish considerations. His friends strongly remonstrated with him, conspicuously among them the present Lord

might was dwarfed by personalities. Macaulay and Sheil were both born orators in their way; but Macaulay was too imaginative, and Sheil was too passionate. Mr. Gladstone was at least perfectly free from all such extremes as these. His speeches were no longer on merely special subjects, but dealt with all matters of broad imperial interest. It

was known that he could be a victorious competitor with great commercial authorities. The lawyers found that both in subtlety and grasp the young statesman was able to vie with them. Ecclesiastics, in the outward world, knew that he could meet them exactly on their own ground and precisely with their own weapons. He always seemed to be developing fresh powers of which he and the world had been unconscious. He made many very able specches before he attained the height of those great orations which thrilled the House and the country. Only slowly and gradually he became what Mr. Bernal Osborne called the Red Indian' of debate. By such gradual approaches Mr. Gladstone has made his way to the Fremiership; and the only wonder is that he had not attained it before the shadows of age were beginning to close upon him.

We will now attempt to follow Mr. Gladstone's career somewhat more in detail.

Mr. Gladstone stated at a Glasgow meeting some time back that he had not a particle of any but Scotch blood in his veins. Almost simultaneously Scotland has given to the country a prime minister and an archbishop. The Gladstones, in the last generation, though they came from an old stock of Lanarkshire lairds, were only humble traders at Leith. Mr. Gladstone's father came as a youth to Liverpool, became a member of a firm of the greatest reputation on the 'Change, made a splendid fortune, purchased the estate of Fasque in Kincardineshire, obtained a baronetcy, saw his son a Cabinet Minister, and died in 1851, nearly a nonagenarian. It was through this distinguished parent that Mr. Gladstone may be supposed to derive his astonishing

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intimacy with our commercial system, and it may here be said that both his mother and his wife may be worthily associated with his own high feeling and high intellect. At Liverpool he was often brought into contact with Mr. Canning, who, at election time, used to be his father's guest at Seaforth. It may well be imagined how potent an influence was the mind of Canning over the dawning mind of the Liverpool merchant's son. It was at Eton that he first formed that frier ship with Lord Lincoln, afterwards of Newcastle, which, through the father of his friend, was destined first to bring him into political life. One of his school friends has made the following interesting mention of him: Gladstone was a perfect scholar; and the only lad who afterwards was at all equal to him was Selwyn [the Bishop of Lichfield and New Zealand]. They both lived at the same dame's, a house that took very few boarders, and, therefore, it was the more remarkable that the two leading men of Eton should come from under the same roof. The house is situated just opposite to the Christopher Inn. Gladstone was tall, with a particularly clear and tranquil eye, and good complexion; and indeed he always went by the name of "handsome" Gladstone. I should have thought Gladstone too contemplative and deep in his mind to have wished to become a statesman, and embroiled in all the evanescent toils of politics; and he, like Froude, engaged in no rough games, although I think Gladstone was a cricketer. I should have set Gladstone down for a second Wordsworth in after life.' He was, at Eton, a great friend of Hurrell Froude's, and it has been supposed that this friendship was not without effect in determining the peculiar complexion of Mr. Gladstone's ecclesiastical views.

We believe that at Oxford Mr. Gladstone, Sir Roundell Palmer, and Mr. Lowe, all entertained for a time the intention of taking holy orders. How different might have been the condition of English politics if this determination had been maintained! These early days would not have been of any political im

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port, had not Mr. Disraeli, who, with his immense strategical ability, has an aptitude for blunders, gone back to them, in order to found a charge of inconsistency against his mighty rival. Had Mr. Disraeli possessed the advantage of a public school and University education he would have been saved this blunder. He alluded to a debate at the Union on the 16th of May, 1831: 'I am sure hon. gentlemen opposite will remember Wyatt's rooms and the Oxford Union,' and he quoted a resolution, of a ferociously Tory character, adding, The amendment, as I have read it, was quoted by Mr. William Gladstone, of Christ Church.' The reference was ill-judged; the common sense of the House could not tolerate that the speaker should go back to undergraduate college days in search of weapons of attack. It had however the advantage of eliciting from Mr. Gladstone some autobiographic sentences of much interest. The right honourable gentleman, when he addressed the hon. member for Westininster, took occasion to show his magnanimity, for he declared that he would not take the philosopher to task for what he wrote twenty-five years ago. But when he caught one, who, thirty-five years ago, who, just emerged from boyhood, and still an undergraduate at Oxford, had expressed an opinion adverse to the Reform Bill of 1832, of which he had so long and bitterly repented, then the right hon. gentleman could not resist the temptation that offered itself to his appetite for effect.

Sir, as the right hon. gentleman has done me the honour thus to exhibit me, let me for a moment trespass on the patience of the House to exhibit myself. What he has stated is true. I deeply regret it. But I was bred under the shadow of the great name of Canning; every influence connected with that name governed the first political impressions of my childhood and my youth; with Mr. Canning I rejoiced in the removal of religious disabilities from the Roman Catholic body, and in the free and truly British tone which he gave to our policy abroad; with Mr. Canning I

rejoiced in the opening he made towards the establishment of free commercial interchanges between nations; with Mr. Canning, and under the shadow of that great name, and under the shadow of the yet more venerable name of Burke, I grant my youthful mind and imagination were impressed with the same idle and futile fears which still bewilder and distract the matured mind of the right hon. gentleman.'

Mr.

It was hardly fair of Mr. Gladstone to give this speech this mere boyish character, as it was delivered only the year before he was first elected to his seat in the first Reformed Parliament. That phase of the constitution has now ceased to exist, but up to this point Mr. Gladstone's career has been commensurate with it, and the parliamentary life of Mr. Gladstone during the constitution of 1832, like that constitution, has become matter of history. Looking broadly at that career, and attempting honestly to arbitrate between conflicting views, it appears to us that, on the whole, Mr. Gladstone has adopted a disinterested and patriotic course. Mr. Gladstone is certainly fond of office. Bright once said that he thought Mr. Gladstone was much happier in office, but he thought he would live longer without it. But, nevertheless, he has repeatedly refused or sacrificed office, and by so doing well-nigh reduced himself to a state of Ishmaelitish isolation. There was something almost Quixotic and indubitably austere in his resignation of office in 1845. It was not even professed that he was in antagonism with his chief, Sir Robert Peel, on the question of the Maynooth Grant. His rigid Church principles were then perceptibly beginning to thaw. He was aware that by supporting the bill he should be departing from the principles of his famous book ou the Church in relation to the State,' and he held it his duty to resign office, and so study the subject free from all biassed and selfish considerations. His friends strongly remonstrated with him, conspicuously among them the present Lord

Derby.I respectfully submit,' says Mr. Gladstone, in his recent Chapter of Autobiography,' 'that by this act my freedom was established, and that it has never since, during a period of five-and-twenty years, been compromised.' After a year of penitential expiation, Mr. Gladstone became Secretary for the Colonies in the reconstructed Free Trade Administration of Sir Robert Peel. But Newark was now closed against him. The Lord of Clumber, who had hopelessly quarrelled with his own heir on the Free Trade question, was not likely to assist that son's recreant friend. Mr. Gladstone was now without a seat in Parliament for nearly two years, during a considerable portion of which he was a Cabinet Minister. From the gallery, or beneath it, he watched that great battle of Free Trade, where he could not himself mingle in its fray and lift his voice above the din. It must have been a sore trial to him to sit silent while weaker men were dealing with the profound subject which he knew so intimately.

In the general election of 1847 he obtained the parliamentary blue ribbon of representing the University of Oxford. He himself has told us how fondly, how passionately, he desired and clung to his seat. He would be content to sit as member, he once said, if he only had a majority of a single vote. The representation of the University was, I think, stated by Mr. Canning to be to him the most coveted prize of political life. I am not ashamed to own that I desired it with almost passionate fondness.' He says, perhaps with a shade of reproachfulness, that it used to be a trust, which, once given, was not recalled. But abnormal politicians must expect abnormal electoral treatment. Indeed if the worthy electors had been far-sighted enough to have followed out the logical results of the principles Mr. Gladstone now professed, that persistent resistance which was always made to him at Oxford would have been successful at the outset. But they looked at his career as a whole, and not at its recent phases. He was a High

Churchman; those stood sponsors for him who were high in the estimation of the University, and, above all, there was the immortal essay, which had never, in so many express terms, been repudiated. One of his first steps as member was to give a vehement support to the Jewish bill, to which he had hitherto been vehemently opposed. This was taking up an entirely new position. He now adopted the principle of Religious Equality, which was fraught with serious results to be gradually worked out in course of time. cerning men saw that he was effectually severing himself from the Oxford majority, but Oxonians repeatedly sought to retain him as one who, in spite of growing differences, in the main so faithfully reflected their intellectual tendencies and religious sympathies.

Dis

For years the scanty band of Peelites occupied the cross-benches. That party was all head and no tail; generals without an army, leaders without a following. The tendencies of the Peelites were confused and contradictory, gravitating partly towards the Whigs and partly towards the party which they had disorganized and abandoned. The instinct of Conservatism was still strong upon Mr. Gladstone, and for long years that instinct retained its vitality. For the most part, Sir Robert Peel gave Lord John Russell an effectual support; but just before his death, in that great Pacifico debate in which Mr. Gladstone made his first great oration, of some hours' length, Sir Robert appeared to be veering in the opposite direction. Mr. Gladstone struck out a course for himself, and by so doing, ran the peril of being stranded high and dry as a politician. The whole Peelite party were subsequently very much in this condition when they withstood the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill. Events justified them. Lord John having loaded his gun, was too much frightened to pull the trigger. The leave of the Attorney-General was necessary before any prosecution could be brought, and this leave was never given. The bill was an abortion from the first. Mr. Gladstone supported Mr. Disraeli in his

motion for inquiry into agricultural distress, on one occasion answering Graham, and being answered by Peel. After the death of Peel, he would probably have joined the Conservative ranks in 1852, but the question of protection was not then thought to be closed, and was a barrier to his doing so. He declared that he hoped he should find the policy and measures of the new Government such as he could support. This generous language, however, did not prevent him from being largely instrumental in the downfall of the first Derby ministry. There ensued between him and Mr. Disraeli one of those oratorical duels, which once made the latter express his thankfulness that there was a piece of solid furniture between them. Then followed the Coalition Ministry of All the Talents, under the Earl of Aberdeen, in which, for the first time, he became Chancellor of the Exchequer. Still Mr. Gladstone might cling to the lingering idea that after all he was something of a Conservative. The Peelites with whom he acted would certainly refuse to call themselves Whigs. Once there was an ugly fracas at the Carlton Club, because Mr. Gladstone, while acting against the Conservative party, still frequented the Conservative headquarters. Very ungentlemanly conduct is absolutely indefensible; but still these blunt Tories knew what Mr.Gladstone, with all his acuteness, had failed to detect: that he had entirely forsaken the first love of his youth, and that now mountains were rising and seas were rolling between him and the familiar but long-abandoned shores of the past.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer he now made his first great Budget speech, which lasted five hours, and introduced his system of fiscal reforms. The Cabinet drifted into war, and calculations based on conditions of peace were thwarted under conditions of war. The Ministry of suspended opinions and smothered antipathies' fell pieces; but though Mr. Gladstone resumed office under Lord Palmerston, he soon parted company with the new Premier, being forced into

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the step by Lord Palmerston himself. Mr. Gladstone was very restive under exclusion from office; he always is under such circumstances. In 1856 his speches were incessant. He had almost a mania for speaking. It was, indeed, said that all this was abnormal, and almost looked like a diseased condition of brain. Members would look at the bar, and exclaim, ' What, Gladstone again! Why, he has spoken every night this week!' And not only would he speak that night, but he would speak over and over again the same night. As he was not in express collision with Lord Palmerston, he once more began to draw near to the Conservatives. The China question allowed a temporary amalgamation of Peelites, Radicals, and Tories. On that great debate on the lorcha Arrow,' Mr. Gladstone delivered another of those finest speeches, which have now become historical. Lord Palmerston's success at the General Election only paved the way for his downfall, the following year, on the cry of submitting to French dictation. The Tory administration came in, and on the whole Mr. Gladstone gave them a generous and discerning support. He would not enter the Cabinet, but he accepted from them his commission to the Ionian Isles. This occasioned much speculation and surprise; but we are inclined to believe that the simple reason was that he was desirous of clearing up some points in Homeric geography, and gathering some hints towards the vindication of Helen's much damaged character. He saw that nothing would satisfy the Ionians but annexation to Greece, and this was afterwards conceded to them, to their own eventual dissatisfaction. He supported the Tories by speech and vote in their attempt to introduce a Reform Bill, and though he did not speak on their behalf, he voted with them on that want of confidence motion which ejected them from office. The Tories were greatly disgusted when, without the slighest hesitation, he immediately accepted office in Lord Palmerston's broad-based administration. It seemed very probable

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