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placement in this respect makes a considerable difference, and the disc becomes, when viewed out of focus, a large luminous round patch. The disc of a fixed star being spurious (depending for its size upon the aperture of the object-glass), can never be well defined at its edges, but the planets, showing in a telescope real discs, ought, especially Jupiter and Saturn, to have a welldefined outline.

It can hardly be necessary to recommend the owner of a telescope to be extremely careful in its preservation, to keep every part clean, and to avoid exposing it to blows or strains. When it is necessary to

wipe the object-glass, it should be done with great delicacy, using silk, or some other soft material.

In conclusion, we would remark that, although as science progresses, its battle-field becomes more and more appropriated by those who have large instruments at their command, the more easily-seen phenomena being more and more exhausted, yet from time to time instances occur which prove that even now it is possible to add something to our knowledge by the diligent use of means which might have been thought utterly inadequate to produce any such result.


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gate the life and extraordinary career of Mr. Gladstone, soon discovers that any literary or biographical attempt necessarily resolves itself into a study of character. Such a study speedily becomes a social puzzle, an ethical problem. Mr. Gladstone is a many-sided man. There are all kinds of diverging lines in his character. His orbital range has been so abnormal and eccentric, that it seems at first hard to refer it to any kind of law. There


contradictions and inconsistencies are alleged, inconsistencies and contradictions which he himself admits, and which the world hastens to condone. Like Moore's Alciphron, as he takes each successive step the step behind crumbles for ever away beneath his feet. He has falsified every prediction which men have made of him, or which he has made of himself. To understand him, we have to investigate abstruse veins of thought in his mind, which to


most men are utterly dry and repellent, but which, when suddenly transferred to the region of practical politics, spring a mine with meteoric explosion. There are, we believe, people who deny that Mr. Gladstone possesses the least honesty of purpose. They refuse to believe that he is a good writer, or even that he is a really great orator. With such persons we can have no common ground. We do not profess to say whether Mr. Gladstone is a first-rate statesman, or only, as it has been happily said, a second-rate statesman with his mind in a first-rate state of effervescence.' However that may be, Mr. Gladstone is a man of whose high nature and great gifts his country may well be proud. That indeed would be a miserable party spirit which, for the sake of party, would seek to derogate unjustly from these great qualities. With whatever measure of infirmity and alloy, Mr. Gladstone is the most brilliant Englishman of the century, and is, in the main, inspired by a chivalrous and most scrupulous honour. The reputation of her great statesmen is dear to England; and to us it seems utterly impossible to construct any theory of Mr. Gladstone's character, or to find any clue to its changes and chances, without in the fullest degree demanding these two elements as the basis of our estimate. There may be flaws in the shining harness. The image, with its head of fine gold, may have an admixture of iron and clay. There is, no doubt, speaking generally, a tendency towards the sophistical in his mind. There is something parasitical in his nature. The oratorical genius is not, after all, the statesmanlike genius; and Mr. Gladstone, with his concentrated power of oratory, is often reflecting the thoughts and guidance of other intellects, from whom he receives thoughts, and to whose thoughts he lends his great gift of varied and eloquent expression. His principles resemble a system of stratification, where each new set of ideas overlays and wellnigh obliterates its predecessor; and to this is to be attributed that

want [of proportion in his mind which by many is held to be its cardinal defect. The study of a career, so noble and varied and rich in achievement, with whatever admixture of error and infirmity, is necessarily fraught with the highest and most elevated interest.

Mr. Gladstone entered parliament through what was then the favourite avenue of academic distinction. He had done very little in parliament a few remarks, almost conversational, about the freedmen of Liverpool, about slavery in the island of Demerara, where his father held property, and a short set speech chiefly remarkable as being a defence of the Irish Church-when he was made a Lord of the Treasury, and afterwards Under-Secretary of State. But Sir Robert Peel had the quick eye to detect early political genius and the happy ability to foster it. Mr. Gladstone could not fail to commend himself heartily to Peel's sympathies. Like Peel, he had passed through Eton and Christ Church. Like Peel, he had taken from the University of Oxford its highest honours. Like Peel, he had sprung from a family that owed all its greatness tothe honourable and successful pursuits of commerce. In process of time the young statesman procured for himself a peculiar kind of reputation. He almost approximated to the ethical reputation which Wilberforce had obtained in the unreformed parliament. There was an earnestness, a seriousness about him to which the House was not accustomed, but which it did not dislike. There was a gentle hortatory and religious vein about him, not unmusical, to which they willingly listened. They saw that he was nervous, scrupulous, sensitive to a degree. In every political step, in every speech and vote, he avowed a lofty religious motive and followed an inflexible principle. This was fine, superfine, in fact; and men thought that a political casuist was too far removed from the region of practical politics. In those days there was a kind of gentle languor and melancholy about him. He seemed a recluse, of scholarly poetic

temperament. He was a political lotus-eater. His voice was called 'the echo of a voice;' the voice of one in whose breast all human passions were lulled. It was thought that he lacked the combativity' necessary for parliamentary conflict. It was thought that both his physique and his morale were against him. Men regretted that one of so much mind and culture should be never likely to prove an orator, and should turn out on so many points to be altogether impracticable. There was much vague admiration for him. Evidently he loved truth with a passionate love, and he mixed in controversy with the courtesy of a knight of romance, avoiding selfishness and personality, and only seeking to defend the better cause. The Tadpoles and Tapers must have shaken their heads despairingly at him.

But in the mean time Mr. Gladstone was developing another side to his character, for which the public were hardly prepared. He manifested, if indeed any man, a dual character. If he was great as a thinker in the study, he was equally great as a man of business in the office. All the commercial genius of his family appeared to find an existence in himself. He had all a financier's taste for figures and statistics. Business men who were brought in contact with him found that the young statesman understood their own line of commerce as well as, or better than they did themselves. His information was unbounded, and his mastery of detail. It was said of him that he possessed vast information in connection with that undercurrent of commerce which flows in warehouses and counting-houses, but of which the Cabinet and the library know scarcely the existence.' It is probable that from the very first he was a free-trader, and that be anticipated his great political master in the fulness and ripeness of his views. There was no financial detail in which he could not detect and state the underlying principle. It was noted that not even Sir Robert Peel nor Sir James Graham had so broad and philosophical a grasp of principle. It was

well known that the great revised Customs Tariff Act of 1842, when out of twelve hundred duty-paying articles more than half were relieved from taxation in whole or part, was, under Peel's guidance, Mr. Gladstone's sole handiwork. Mr. Gladstone watched the bill, clause by clause, through the committee; the acute intellect that dealt so much with abstract ideas with all the subtlety of a casuist or a theologian was absorbed with the great subject of Baltic timber, or the duties on salt meat and salt herrings. Practically, so well did this fiscal legislation work, that the Whig deficit was exchanged for a surplus of some millions. There seems also every reason to believe that Mr. Gladstone was the author of that great institution in railways, the parliamentary train.

Thirdly, Mr. Gladstone was now winning himself a great position as a parliamentary debater. With each step that he made in political life his mind seemed to expand. Men did not clearly understand the character of his mind; they questioned whether he understood his own mind; but he was able and he was conscientious. For successful oratory, character is as important an element as ability. When Demosthenes said that action was the first, second, and third thing necessary, what Demosthenes meant was most probably earnestness. And Mr. Gladstone was always terribly earnest to the acknowledged point of being crotchetty. If he put on his hat, it was as if, to use a modern expression, he was 'crowning the edifice,' and would draw on his gloves as if he were enunciating an immortal principle. Still this was a fault in the right direction. He became a great debater; in some points of view the best debater in the house. His freshness and vitality were astonishing. He had not the great drawbacks which other great debaters had. It was always felt that Peel was plausible, and had a Pecksniffian odour about him. Sir James Graham was sarcastic and weighty, but then many people thought that Sir James Graham was a hypocrite. Disraeli was mighty, but then his

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