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not found in any one paragraph any distinct proposition of any policy that was intended to change the condition of things in Ireland. He enforced the necessity for the ballot, reviewed briefly the political reforms recently achieved, and with regard to his opponents, Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Evans, remarked, amid cheers and laughter, that the utmost ambition of each was to become the inferior member for Birmingham. Mr. Bright concluded by defending Mr. Gladstone from the slanders and calumnies which just at this time were widely and persistently circulated against him; and he treated with contempt the aspersions which had been made upon himself.
Past progress, and the possibility of a free breakfast-table and other reforms, were the chief points of another speech made by the hon. gentleman at Saltley. In yet another speech, delivered at Holder's Concert Hall, Coleshill Street, Mr. Bright spoke upon the question of national education. He said he had long been the advocate of Parliamentary Reform,
in order that a Parliament should be framed chiefly for this great purpose—that they might devise a policy which should lay hold of the vast mass of ignorance in the country, to raise the people many degrees in the social scale, and to remove that which was a discredit and a shame to our civilization and to our religion. 'I am weary, as
'I am weary, as I travel through the country, of looking upon those vast borough gaols and county gaols—those vast fabrics that rise up, which, if you ask their names, are poor-houses or lunatic asylums. I say that throughout the length and breadth of a great intelligent country like this, we ought to have buildings which shall strike the eye of every
traveller through the country—of every foreigner who visits it; buildings which shall be consecrated to the greatest and the noblest of all purposes —that of instructing the great mass of the people, and raising them up to the position to which they have a right to aspire, and which God intends them to occupy.' They were now fighting no mean battle. It was a battle of light as against darkness; it was a battle of justice against selfishness; it was a battle of instruction and intelligence against prejudice and against wrong.
The nomination took place on the 16th of November, the hustings being erected on a large space of ground behind the Town Hall. An immense crowd, computed at thirty thousand persons, was present. Mr. J. S. Wright, in coming forward to nominate Mr. Bright, said: 'I have had entrusted to me the honourable duty of nominating our long-tried and faithful friend, John Bright, as a fit and proper person to represent this borough in the ensuing Parliament-a Parliament that will more completely represent you, the commons, the people of England, than any one that has assembled since the Norman Conquest—a Parliament formed by a power which mainly owes its force, if not its creation, to the genius and untiring energy of John Bright. His life is known, his acts are written on the imperishable record of our country's
history. Mr. Raffles seconded the nomination. Mr. George Dixon was proposed and seconded by Mr. Lampard and Mr. Jaffray respectively; Mr. P. H. Muntz by Ald. Ryland and Mr. Monk, a working man ; Mr. S. S. Lloyd (the first Conservative candidate) by Mr. J. D. Goodman and Mr. Lowe; and Dr. Sebastian Evans by Mr. Hands and Mr. Bentley. Each candidate spoke very briefly, merely expressing his thanks.
Mr. Bright was received with one vast shout of applause from the whole assembly. While he was speaking, an enormous loaf was displayed from a distant window as an acknowledgment of his services in the cause of Free Trade. When Mr. Lloyd stood forward, a perfect storm of yells and groans arose on all sides. The large loaf, which had been waved at the end of a stick when Mr. Bright spoke, was now exchanged for a loaf of the most diminutive proportions, and simultaneously a hoisted voter displayed a black flag, emblematic of the death of the hopes of the Conservative candidates. The show of hands was overwhelmingly in favour of the Liberal candidates, that for Mr. Bright surpassingly so; as a spectator remarked, the moving forest of hands seemed in effect as though a wind had passed over a field of corn, waving and whitening the vast surface.
A poll was demanded, which was ordered to be taken on the following day. The Conservatives sustained a crushing defeat, which was rendered all the worse in consequence of their having published a preliminary statement to the effect that the result of their canvass gave a majority of 2,273 for Mr. Lloyd over Mr. Bright. At the declaration of the poll, the Mayor read out the numbers as follows: Dixon, 15,098; Muntz, 14,614; Bright, 14,601 ; Lloyd, 8,700; and Evans, 7,061. A plan had been suggested by which Mr. Bright could have been returned at the head of the poll, but the hon. member himself would not allow the existing arrangement to be disturbed. He desired that the scheme laid down by the Committee should be adhered to in its integrity. After the announcement of the figures, the three members and the defeated candidates briefly addressed the crowd surrounding the hustings. The pleasant amenities of an election contest were not forgotten, and as soon as the figures became known, cards with black borders were distributed, inscribed as follows: 'Sacred to the memory of Sampson S. Lloyd and Sebastian Evans, LL.D., who departed their political life on Tuesday, November 17, 1868, having fallen victims to that dread disease, Public Opinion, accelerated by the action of the Vote-as-you-are-told Committee. They were interred at the hustings, Town Hall, November 18, amid the woeful lamentations of their chapfallen supporters.'
The elections generally throughout the country resulted in the enormous Liberal majority of 115, the members returned being classed as follows : Liberals, 387; Conservatives, 272. But the Liberal majority was still further slightly enhanced by certain subsequent elections. The Liberals, however, sustained some severe individual losses. Mr. Gladstone, in conjunction with Mr. Grenfell, decided to contest South-West Lancashire against Mr. Cross and Mr. Turner; but although the polling was close, the Conservatives were returned. Fortunately, Mr. Gladstone had already been elected for Greenwich, which place he now sat for. In the northern division of Lancashire, the Marquis of Hartington, who had been a member of Lord Russell's Cabinet, was defeated by Col. Stanley; and in Westminster, Mr. John Stuart Mill was defeated by Mr. W. H. Smith. Amongst well-known members of both political parties who failed to secure seats at this election were Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Milner Gibson, Mr. Bernal Osborne, Lord Amberley, Mr. Horsman, Sir J. Karslake, Sir R. Baggallay, Mr. Huddleston, Q.C., and the LordAdvocate for Scotland.
On the 1st of December, Ministers, being in a hopeless minority, decided to tender their resignations at once, without waiting for a formal verdict to be delivered against them by the new Parliament. This unusual step was made known and defended in a circular addressed by Mr. Disraeli to the supporters of the Government in both Houses. This decision obviated the necessity of a formal debate in Parliament, with the inevitable result of a defeat of the Ministry by a large majority. It also gave time to their successors to consider their legislative plans for the ensuing session.