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bine they might take office under a new arrangement. With this view the ministry was from the first subjected to an unmitigated hostility. The Government, however, was not so much at the mercy of the Opposition as was expected. It evaded the Indian difficulty through the resignation of Lord Ellenborough and the plan of proceeding by Resolution. It was resolved at the Cambridge House conclave to eject the Tories before Whitsuntide, by a vote of censure on their despatch condemnatory of Lord Canning. But things arranged themselves differently. The only question at first was the amount of the majority, and the arrangement of offices.
delays took place which were fatal to the Opposition. Sir Charles Napier would not withdraw a motion which he had on the paper The Derby day came off. There was a schism among the Peelites. Fresh news arrived from India. On the eve of the Whitsuntide holidays there was an extraordinary scene in the House. The Whig phalanx reeled and utterly broke. The motion was withdrawn, and the Ministry, with whom the moral victory remained, tided over the rest of the session.
The Conservatives had resolved that they would attempt a settlement of the Reform question. They were almost bound to do so by the necessities of their position. It was the one sure card which their opponents could always play when they wanted to raise a popular cry in their own favour. The details of the measure were kept profoundly secret until Mr. Disraeli laid them before the House. Mr. Disraeli has always said that his lateral' scheme was a good one, and that he has been told by men most opposed to him that they regretted that his bill had not passed. It was not even allowed a second reading, being rejected, in a very full House, by a majority of thirty-nine. A dissolution of Parliament was the result. When the new Parliament met in the month of May, the Marquis of Hartington moved an amendment on the Address, for which he has never been fully forgiven, expressing a want of confidence. Then
Majority against Government 13
The majority was not large, but it was decisive. Lord Granville, being sent for, recommended Lord Palmerston. This Parliament, elected under the auspices of Lord Derby, gave, on the whole, a thorough support to Lord Palmerston, and became more and more Palmerstonian as it lived through its full term to the period of its natural demise. The wonderful old man never repeated the personal errors by which he had once alienated so many of his friends. On several occasions the Conservatives presented a bold front, and closely approximated in their numbers to the Liberals. They obtained a success in the House of Lords, which had to be retracted, on the remission of the paper duty. They worsted some of the ministers in detail, and succeeded in ejecting Lord Westbury and Mr. Lowe from office. On the Dano-German question they seriously imperilled the continuance of the Government. This was the most critical division of all the sessions of this Parliament. The numbers ran very close on both sides, and the result depended on votes that could not be safely calculated on. Then came a motion virtually condemnatory of Government, on which ensued a debate of four nights, in every degree worthy of the House, the commencement of which was signalized by a gladiatorial conflict between Mr. Disraeli and Mr. Gladstone. With his usual good fortune, Lord Palmerston obtained a majority of eighteen, and he hardly received any further serious attack to the end of his life.
The general election of 1865 infinitely strengthened the power of the aged but ever-youthful Premier. He was both a Liberal and a Conservative. Many country gentlemen were silently transferring their allegiance to him, and the Whigs never before took so high a place among the county constituencies. It was
felt that, with all his adherence to party, he was essentially a Constitutionalist, and that his safe and strong hands would best defend the Constitution. A large majority of the members returned to Parliament were pledged to support Lord Palmerston; but before Parliament assembled Lord Palmerston was dead -felix etiam opportunitate mortis. According to the rule of seniority, absurdly applied, Earl Russell now for the second time became Premier, and Mr. Gladstone was the leader of the House of Commons. A Liberal majority, however, has always a tendency towards disintegration; and that weakness which, historically speaking, has so greatly characterized it, broke out in a very remarkable way. On their 'one-barrelled' Reform Bill the Ministry were first left with a majority of only five, and they found themselves in a minority in Committee. They resigned, and for the third time Lord Derby became Premier. Had the Adullamite section coalesced with him, it is possible that the Government might have been maintained on strictly conservative principles; but as things were, Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli resolved to deal once more with the Reform question, which they had always consistently denied to be the perquisite of the Whig party. They succeeded in settling the question at the gain of a prolonged term of office to themselves, but of a serious schism in their own ranks.
Lord Derby's disinclination for office was now so effectually seconded by indisposition, that at the beginning of the year he was forced to resign, and Mr. Disraeli became Prime Minister. With the disadvantages of fortune, birth, and race against him, the man of letters, a 'gentleman of the press,' scaled the supreme height of `our English life, and there was generally a feeling of sympathy and admiration for the achievement. Mr. Gladstone's declaration of policy on the Irish Church speedily raised a direct issue between the rival parties in the State. A very large adverse majority appeared against Mr. Disraeli in the recent general election, and he has
resigned before Parliament has assembled The only precedent for this, and that not a very fortunate one, since it doomed him to political extinction, is furnished by the late Earl of Ripon, who was alternately known as 'Prosperity Robinson' and 'Goody Goderich,' and finally called by Mr. Disraeli himself an archmediocrity among a cluster of mediocrities. Mr. Disraeli is certainly not that. He is not following a precedent, but adopting a distinct strategical course which seems best for the interests of his party. On the fortunes of the forthcoming ministry we do not design to speculate, or exchange our historical for a political point of view. It is to be noted that the Liberal majority is hardly augmented in England since the meeting of the Lord Palmerston Parliament, but is mainly made up in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. It is also to be noted that the counties have fully returned to Conservative principles, indicating a clear antagonism of ideas between parties. The first election after this Reform Bill is in much like the first election after the first Reform Bill, with the exception that the Conservative party is three times as strong now as it was then, and that the standing weaknesses of a large Liberal majority are augmented by special difficulties. The general opinion seems to be that the country is prepared for a Liberal, but not for a Radical policy. It may be useful to have given a brief sketch of a period too near for historical treatment, and too remote for the most part for ordinary recollection. For ourselves, we only echo the aspiration proper for the meeting of Parliament, that 'peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may bo established among us for all generations.'
OLD OXFORD AND YOUNG OXFORD.
Those who have watched the progress of Oxford for many years past are aware through what remarkable processes of change the University and town have passed during the last decade. The rapid succession of university generations, the con
stant and varied contrast between the hoar antiquity of the institution and the fresh youth of its members, always gives a keen interest to the discussion of Oxford subjects. The thorough Oxonian of the old school, and even those who have not left their university for very many terms, are sufficiently astonished at the swift changes which recent years have brought. In the first place, the external aspect of things has greatly changed. It seems to have struck a vast number of people almost simultaneously within recent years that Oxford was an extremely desirable place of residence. The result is that almost a new town has sprung up, creating a distinct fashionable suburb to Oxford; and whole acres of ground, which was bare, dull country, outlying the parks, are now covered with terraces and mansions. The many social advantages possessed by the grand old city and its most pleasant neighbourhood, together with the course of alterations adopted of late years in the university system, all seem to promise a continual expansion to Oxford. The increase of the professoriate, the fact that fellows are now in so many instances permitted to marry, the existence of new orders of students, which may receive an infinite extension, are always widening social life in Oxford. The university, as a university, it must be frankly owned is very much given up to habits of luxury. Alma Mater, while she stores the minds, also takes abundant care of the bodily wants of her children. Every description of luxury and amusement have long been sedulously practised by the undergraduate, and he is now carefully imitated, by his seniors. Marrying and giving in marriage, and also the abundant giving of dinners, to a considerable degree absorb the energies of resident Oxonians. The professor class marry old, but they show their keen æsthetic sense by selecting young and pretty partners. Then ensue dinner and evening parties; and college grounds have become nymphhaunted groves, and every kind of academical bewilderment has set in. Taking higher ground, it must also
be owned that Oxford has achieved the highest fame for the unexampled variety and completeness of its educational resources. Oxford has understood and met every exigency of modern times. Art, natural science, modern languages, are all engrafted on the old system; and, so far from falling into the rear through the march of events, Oxford is far in the van of the educational influences of the country.
As we walk about Oxford, counting its towers and telling its palaces, we see that the changes in the university structures are as marked as in the suburbs. Though the city escaped the invasion of a manufactory threatened by the Great Western Railway Company, its operatives, who may reap great intellectual benefits from the existence of the University, are rapidly increasing. When Matthew Arnold writes another poem like the 'Gypsey Scholar,' he must introduce many new features into the delineation of the Oxford landscape. Look, for instance, at the vast changes at Christ Church. Dean Liddell has on the whole done much good, but I think he might have left the 'lilied Cherwell' alone. The stream flows now in embankments near the island; and there is a long line of railing opposite the barges, and a new Broad Walk is to be constructed through the meadow, and the Cathedral has been thoroughly altered, and Skeleton Corner has vanished, and the picturesque Fell building has been converted into a sumptuous pile of chambers, with every modern appliance and convenience. Shade of Gaisford! and can such things be? And what we see at Christ Church is, in a minor scale, repeated every where else over the University. Look at the new Palace of Science, the new Museum, and the new glories of Balliol and Exeter Chapels, and the Radcliffe changed into a Reading room, if people would only read, and the new and splendid structures of the town, and the commencement of the new Keble College, and the fresh churches that are rising, and the old Oxonian wakes up as if in a dream. He finds, too, that other things have altered. The
University and City police are to be amalgamated, and it is hoped that there will be an end of those blessed rows on the Fifth of November between Town and Gown. The degenerate populace, instead of making a bonfire at Carfax, which used to be the good old plan, on any ebullition of popular feeling now set the waterworks going, and get up a mild imitation of the Deluge.
Such is young Oxford, and just now we are opportunely presented with a book which gives us a very full and remarkable view of old Oxford.* The venerable Esquire Bedel has given us a volume of 'Recollections,' which commence with the great landmark of the French Revolution, 1789. We find very little about the momentous history of religious opinions, which is the deepest and most important history of Oxford, and Mr. Cox is constantly dealing with bare external facts, with only a most limited conception of the significance they possessed. But the book is a charming one. Mr. Cox's soul must have an elective affinity for good old Wood and lamented Dr. Bliss. There is a fine old aroma about it, redolent of the common room jokes, good and old as the port, miscellaneous ana, curious information, contemporary gossip. Even those who are most intent on the far more stirring epoch of young Oxford, will do well to notice for themselves the picture which Mr. Cox has presented of old Oxford.
In the modern conflict between old Oxford and young Oxford, we know that the good often will be taken and the bad be left. We must not exaggerate either the old elements or the new elements. The chief staple of Oxford is the same that it has ever been, and we fervently trust, despite of newfangled advantages, will ever continue to be. The large body of the members still come up from the great public schools, and still tread in the old classical course. We add, with regret, that they still wear the same loud garments, and drink the same
Recollections of Oxford.' By G. V. Cox, M.A., late Esquire Bedel and Coroner of the University of Oxford. Macmillan.
horrible mixtures sold as port and sherry. The public schoolmen still gather into their little clubs, but though the Union is as popular as ever, admission is eagerly sought into a society which also regales the members with any amount of coffee and bitter beer, included in the subscription. The healthy, vigorous love of athletic sports is, healthy and vigorous as ever. We can well understand how the Oxonian changes must be puzzling to an old Oxford man. The splendid first class of the old system, identified with recollections of so many illustrious men, is no longer attainable, being schismatically cut atwain by Moderations; while the introduction of Law, and Modern History, and Natural Science, and we hardly know what, are introducing all sorts of honours and corresponding candidates of the most puzzling description for outsiders. Moreover, educational reformers are constantly starting up with new theories and desires to revolutionize the University still more. Then again, there are varieties of students which would make the old Oxonian 'stare and gasp.' The curious contrivance of private halls, institutions which in our day rose and fell with mushroom-like rapidity, and the members of which were regarded as interesting objects in Natural History, seem to be taking a hold upon the place. Then again, at one of the colleges there is a set of young men who go upon what is called the Frugal System, and like the Early Christians, do their eating and drinking in common. again there are unattached students who are attached to the University, but to no particular college. Great expectations were attached to this notion, and it was imagined that, as in the days of Occam, some thirty thousand youthful lovers of knowledge would tramp into Oxford. At present, however, they only appear in infinitesimal driblets. In fact, these are only excrescences on the body collegiate, signs of superabundant health and vigour, and hardly meriting any very serious attention. They are encouraging proofs that Oxford thoroughly
comprehends its relations with the country, and desires to harmonize our oldest institutions with the queer wizard yclept the Spirit of the Age. It may truly also be said for her that she is a very centre and focus of intellectual life. It is a well-known fact, that every subject of national interest is eagerly discussed at Oxford even far in advance of the London Press, and that with a breadth and freedom to which current political journalism rarely aspires. Most political subjects that emerge into notice have received here a thorough ventilation beforehand.
One drawback is that there is a great deal of political cant and affectation in some of the colleges. This has lately taken practical form in a daring attempt of some Oxonians to secure some seat at the last election. Abingdon has always been a temptation to University aspirants, and we have known enterprising young men who would give lectures there, and cultivate friendly relations with the inhabitants, if by any means they could create a parliamentary interest. But as for Woodstock, though one might aspire, hopelessly aspire to shooting on the preserves and fishing in the Blenheim lakes, a man would as soon have thought of making a powerful entry into Blenheim Castle, or of pouncing into the Dean's right-hand stall of the cathedral, as of offering himself here as a Parliamentary candidate. But both these immemorial localities, chiefly associated in the undergraduate's mind with, so to speak, being 'out of bounds,' have been attempted by young Radical philosophers; and in various other parts of the country the Oxonian free-thinking in politics has made itself felt. But, somehow or other, they have all come to grief. We feel a measure of sympathy for some really earnest and careful thinkers among them, but very little for young men who take up Liberalism as the fashion and make it a social affectation. We know the kind of men, the men who will talk for hours in clubs over politics and the great things they mean to do, and
who render themselves liable to the terrible imputation of boredom. As a rule they subside into steady-going Toryism eventually, and at Oxford they have the happy knack of sometimes developing into poets or states
WHYMPER'S TRAVELS IN THE
The stream of literature has been terribly pent up by the elections, but the obstreperous obstacles are now removed, and its quiet wholesome waters will flow freely. When the publishing season sets in there is one especial set of books on which we always look with peculiar interest, and that is the invariable books of travel. They are sure to come out, some half dozen of them at least, with their records of energy and hardihood; irrepressible outbursts of daring and adventure, which all the luxuries and civilization of home life are powerless to repress. Mr. Whymper leads off with an account of his travels and adventures in the Alaska territory. The first inquiry which will suggest itself to many of our readers is, where on earth may the Alaska territory happen to be? The answer is that the Alaska territory is that which was called Russian America, and which America purchased from Russia, most probably as a consequence of the Monroe doctrine. They would now be ready to buy Iceland and Greenland. This territorial acquisition by America was not looked at in the most favourable light by some of us, but there can be no real objection to its acquisition of any possible amount of rocks and icebergs.
Mr. Whymper travelled in various regions of the North Pacific. He has some good chapters on British Columbia and Vancouver Island. He has exciting stories of the boundless forests, and men being lost in the woods, and a castaway writing his will in pencil on a white handkerchief. Mr. Whymper brings
*Travels and Adventures in the Territory of Alaska.' By Frederick Whymper, London: John Murray.