Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

a

about to ride to Cuddesden and I never thought any future Palace. The Vice-Chancellor House of Commons would be leant forward, and in a low so foolish as to pass such voice said, “You must vote in Resolution.” your academicals, you know." The next day, the 14th, Dr This occasioned a little merri- Jacobson, Regius Professor of ment; and on the Bishop's re- Divinity, afterwards Bishop of turn Mr Granville Somerset, Chester, chairman of Mr Gladwho was acting as a kind of stone's committee, came to me legal adviser for Mr Hardy, and said that five Peers had called his lordship's attention recorded their votes for Mr to the resolution of the House Gladstone, and proposed that of Commons that no Peer should we should poll the same numtake part in the election of a ber, when after that no more member of the Commons' House, Peers should vote. I thanked and asked him if he had con- him very cordially, and residered it. He said he had. plied that I was infinitely Sir Robert Phillimore, who ap- obliged, but I was quite aware peared for Mr Gladstone, asked of the fact. They had brought if it was not held that that Church and State to bear resolution did not apply to against us, the bishop of the elections by members of Con- diocese voting in person, and vocation. The Bishop smiled, the stepson of the Prime Minisbut did not commit himself to ter, Earl Cowper, sending in his any answer, and immediately voting-paper on the first day. said, “ Samuel Wilberforce, But, I added, all these votes Oriel. I vote for Mr Glad- were illegal, and in the event of stone,” and the vote

a scrutiny would be struck off, recorded. Some

years

after- and, besides, I was confident of wards there was an election winning, and should only do so during a session of Parliament by legal votes, and that, as far for a member of the University as I was concerned, no Peers of Cambridge, and the names of would vote, though there were two bishops appeared on the some who wished to do so. committee of one of the candi- The voting went on steadily dates. A question was asked for five days. The majority about it in the House of Com- mounted up gradually from 34 mons, and both

on the first day to 70 on the withdrawn. I called the atten- second. On the third, the 15th, tion of the Bishop of Oxford to a large influx of Gladstonians this incident, and said that the appeared, and by mid-day our prelates of the sister university majority was gone for a time. had followed a bad example set But I had a reserve of votingthem at Oxford in 1865. The papers in Oxford, which I at Bishop, with his usual readiness, once induced those members of replied, “Not at all. The cases Convocation who held them to are not the same. When I put in, and so Mr Hardy was left voted there was no Parliament on the Saturday night with a and no Resolution in existence, majority of 100. On Tuesday

was

names were

the poll closed, and the return have mentioned a little incident showed a majority for us of which occurred when I met him 180

at Windsor in 1858. I much

appreciated his ready and corHardy

1904 Gladstone

1724

dial greeting and his kindly

manner, the more remarkable -being just the majority of 180 as coming from one who was shown by the estimate which neither a political leader nor I had placed in the hands of a personal friend. I always Mr Disraeli.

found him the same. Of Lord

Palmerston it is superfluous to At this point, where I near speak. He was naturally joythe close, in the death of ous, genial, and obliging. There Lord Palmerston, of a great was no hauteur in his manner parliamentary period, I would to a young member who wanted add a word respecting the

the to approach him. He led the great leaders and prominent House with signal success, exmembers in it with whom I cept during the short period was in contact, leaving for the from May 1857 to March 1858, future any comments about Mr when he seemed somewhat inDisraeli, Mr Gladstone, Sir toxicated with his popularity Stafford Northcote, Mr Hardy, after the China Dissolution. and others.

From 1859 to 1865 he was Lord John Russell deserves supreme

and unquestioned. most honourable mention as a He was a ready debater, but Leader of the House. There not a great speaker. He rose was a calm and statesmanlike to the occasion most when he demeanour which commanded had to repel the personal atrespect, and his reply in sum- tacks made upon him as Forming up the arguments after a eign Secretary in 1850, when long debate was a masterly he spoke from sunset to sunperformance. From his earliest rise. He knew his audience, days he had accepted the tra- and he knew how to conciliate dition that the universe was it. But I do not think he made for the Whigs. Mr Dis- made a single great speech in raeli well said that the char- the ten years of his ascendancy acter of Lord John Russell from 1855 to 1865 was a proud possession of the Other well-known figures House of Commons. Lord arise before me while dwelling Lytton said of him with some on these reminiscences. There exaggeration :

was no one for whom I had

a greater admiration than Sir “ How form’d to lead, if not too proud George Cornewall Lewis, no

to please, His fame will fire you, but his manners

one for whose memory I have freeze."

a profounder respect. His was

the very highest class of inMy experience was the re- tellect. He was always in

He was most courteous formed to the full on every and accessible in the House. I subject on which he spoke.

verse.

our

he was

Wise, thoughtful, and judicious, the shrewdest of judges, had his speeches, which I listened a high opinion of his political to with unfailing attention, talents, and it was acknowwere full of matter and cogent ledged by all that he developed argument. There have been great capacity for public life smarter debaters and more during his short tenure, withbrilliant rhetoricians in out any previous experience, of generation ; but to my mind the post of Secretary of State.

as able and sound a When he went to the Colonial statesman as any who have Office he at once impressed the served the Queen during her permanent officials. I asked long reign. Had he lived, and Herman Merivale, Permanent had the nation ever come to Under - Secretary for the Colappreciate his high qualities onies, a remarkable man himself and his consummate judgment, and a severe critic, how he liked he must have exercised a great his new chief. His eyes brightand moderating influence on ened, and he replied in tones the Liberal party, in spite of of enlightened admiration, “Oh, Mr Gladstone's predominance he is a splendid fellow !” in it. And he might have There are many others on filled a place in the estimation both sides not to be forgotten. of the public which had been General Peel, with whom I was left vacant since the death of brought into close contact in Sir Robert Peel. No man cer- 1858, and again in 1866, when tainly more entirely deserved he was War Minister and I was the compliment which Mr Judge Advocate, was intellectuGladstone paid him when he ally not far behind his illusdescribed him as

trious brother the great Prime

Minister (as I have heard Lord “justissimus unus Qui fuit in Teucris, et servantissimus Derby say), vigorous alike in æqui.”

mind and body, with a ready

smile and a joyous laugh. I When the news arrived of his shall never forget a short speech death one day after an Easter which he made in 1864, when recess, the House adjourned as Denmark was beset with her a mark of respect. Cardwell foes, and the House felt rather remarked to me at the time: ashamed that we kept aloof. “Ah, well, he wouldn't take He sat down, exclaiming, “We any exercise. He used to say, are rebuked of our neighbours, • I've heard of many men dying we are laughed to scorn and of hard riding, but never any of had in derision of them that hard reading

are round about us,” and never Another notable figure in did I hear more uproarious the House was Sir E. Bulwer cheers greet the peroration of Lytton, who, if he had gone any brilliant orator. Again, into official life earlier, would there were Sir James Grahamassuredly have taken a great so nearly first-class that none unplace as an administrator as derstood why he did not occupy well as

a debater. Disraeli, that position of a commanding

we

were

presence, a successful adminis- was dissolved. The writs were trator, and a powerful debater; returnable in August, on the Sir George Grey and Mr Sidney 15th of which month the new Herbert-statesmen of the high- Parliament was prorogued till est integrity, and as much be- November 1. Lord Palmerston loved in private life as they died in October, and was buried were honoured as most capable in Westminster Abbey on Fripublic servants; Mr Walpole, day, October 27. There were who seemed to have inherited points of contrast and points much of the stately dignity and of resemblance between that the classic style which adorned funeral and the funeral of Mr the oratory of the eighteenth Gladstone in May 1898. Mr century; Mr Henley, supreme Gladstone died in the midst of at Quarter Sessions, placed at a session. There was a resoluthe Board of Trade, and mak- tion that the House should ing his mark there at once, the attend, and we walked in promost acute critic of the lan- cession with the Speaker at our guage of any bill in Committee head to the Abbey. In 1865 that any draftsman ever had

a new Parliamentto dread; Sir John Pakington, gathered together I know not and Colonel Wilson Patten. how_in a time of prorogation.

I need not dwell on the un- We had never looked one anadorned eloquence of Mr Cobden other in the face, we had no or the magnificent utterances of Speaker, we had not taken Mr Bright. The speeches of our oaths or seats; Mr Denison the latter, notably two during was there, the Speaker of the the Crimean war, in December Parliament of 1859, but then 1854 and January 1855, have only a Member of Parliament left a profound impression on and a Privy Councillor. We me as the grandest I ever heard occupied the South Transept, as in Parliament. And already we did in 1898, and the place there are strong indications that of sepulture was also in the the verdict of posterity on the North Transept, where so many policy which those statesmen illustrious statesmen of whom maintained with so much pluck England is proud repose.

It and upheld with such perse- was an impressive scene. All verance in 1854 and 1855, will deplored the loss which the not be the same as their con- country had sustained, and temporaries expressed with so every individual had a kindly much passion at the polls in feeling for the memory of one 1857.

who was so well known and so On July 6, 1865, Parliament universally beloved.

FROM THE NEW GIBBON,

The re

The close of the nine- jealousy. The distinction of teenth century beheld the British Conservative and Liberal preEmpire at the highest pitch of its served the name of party govprosperity. The records of every ernment without its substance; contemporary nation celebrate, and the purely formal opposiwhile they envy, the multitude tion of denominations, rather of its subjects and the orderly than of principles, served as a felicity of its citizens. Its useful check on the dominant frontiers comprehended the party without risk of cataclysm fairest regions of the earth; in the general policy of the and its authority extended State. The example of France, alike over the most dutiful of her secular enemy, emphasised daughter-peoples and the wild- the just complacency with est and most sequestered bar- which Britain seemed to rebarians. The judicious delega- gard her condition. tion of the minor prerogatives public groaned under an alterof government conciliated the nation of licence and tyranny ; free affections of the Colonies; the monarchy breathed freely and the ruder dependencies in the reasonable acceptance were maintained in contented, of laws, enacted honestly for if unenthusiastic, submission by the general good and applied the valour, the conduct, and indifferently by judges of grave the impartial justice of their sacrosanctity. In her foreign alien administrators. Two cen- relations France alternately inturies of empire had seemed trigued and precipitately withinsufficient to oppress or ener

drew from the consequences of vate the virile and adventurous her duplicity; Britain pursued spirit of the British race. It her designs with unyielding tempted the ardours of the tenacity, but in uninjurious Sudan sun at midsummer, and silence. Unvexed by the concheerfully sustained the rigours scription which weighed upon of the icy winter of the Klon- their neighbours, and dyke. While the hardy soldier in the protection of their invindefended and continually pro- cible navy, the people affected pagated the distant boundaries the arts of peace, and received of Victoria's dominions, the the accustomed reward of a tranquil and prosperous state single devotion. The workshop of the British Islands was of the world since two generadeeply felt, if grudgingly ad- tions, Britain neither dreaded mitted, by every class of their the competition of strangers population. There, if

any

nor listened to the cautions of where on the earth, was to the more sagacious of her own be found wholesome public children. The Recessional of feeling untainted by faction the sublime Kipling and the and wealth, unobnoxious to economic speculations of the

secure

« AnteriorContinuar »