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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 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
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
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
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, 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 a debater.
Disraeli, that position of a commanding
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 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.
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. 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.
It FROM THE NEW GIBBON.
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
inquisitive but censorious Mal- policy, a law of social developlock fell alike unheeded on the ment, a canon of taste. The ears of those who were content Englishman of the beginning to argue that the condition of of the nineteenth century was the lower orders, though in- accustomed to demand that his sufficient to their own appe- policy should be glorious, the tence, was luxurious compared accessories of his daily life unto that of their fellows abroad, surpassed in quality, the objects while the easy splendour of the of his æsthetic admiration beaurich inflamed the emulation of tiful. The Englishman of the all mankind; and that the end of that period of decadence public Exchequer supported was content if they were cheap. with facility all burdens which The student of that age the ever-increasing exigencies of will find melancholy evidence the Empire might impose. of degeneration in the printed It was scarcely possible that records, and especially in the
eyes of contemporaries newspapers, of the time. The should discern in the public reported speeches of public felicity the latent causes of men, the venal arguments of decay and corruption. To the leader-writers, the tattling of vulgar mind the British Em- the parasites of fashion, the pire was a triumphant proof statistics of the markets, the of the possibility, as of the very advertisements, bear unblessings, of a wise democracy; animous testimony to the deyet in that very process of based ideas which then enjoyed democracy were inherent the a ready and unprotested curseeds of ruin. In the domain rency. The empire, that magof Government the political nificent fabric founded upon the genius of the Anglo-Saxon generous impulse to conquer race, its bias toward compro- and to rule, was now formally mise and detestation of ex- regarded as a mere machine for tremity, surmounted with im- the acquisition of pounds sterpunity experiments that would ling. A Palmerston and a Dishave proved fatal to any other raeli had been the spokesmen *people less singularly endowed of the earlier Imperialism; the
. But while the leaders of the later found its apt mouthpiece nation were satisfied with pro- in a Chamberlain. The mastermoting or seeking to retard ful truculence of the British the popular encroachment upon gentleman, and the opulent imthe functions of Government, agination of the Anglicised Jew, democracy infused a slower and this generation cheerfully exmore secret poison into the changed for the ambitions of a vitals of society. If the opin- manufacturer fostered by the ion of the vulgar was arts of a demagogue. Gifted knowledged in Parliament, in with an extraordinary intuition every other department of life of the changing predilections of it insensibly permeated the his countrymen, Chamberlain whole spirit of the people. It was enabled to turn, to the adbecame a maxim of imperial vantage of his own popularity,
the flood of patriotism which estimation to manufacture and rose in the decade between the trade, these mercenary avocafirst and second Jubilees of Queen tions were themselves pursued Victoria. He became the high- without energy and almost priest of what was fondly sal- without common shrewdness. uted as the new Imperialism, Like the ostrich of mythology, on the lips of whose votaries her head buried in the sand of British Empire was synonymous obsolete traditions and with British commerce. His tiquated success, Britain alone declamations, while they will of the nations of Europe refused reward the curious investigator to educate her commercial travwith little that is either original ellers or to accede to the terms in thought or elegant in expres- of payment required by her sion, proclaim but too eloquently customers, clung to her chaotic the altered feelings with which weights and measures,
and the later Britons regarded their haughtily announced to the greatness. Where they had world that it must forgo such once resolved to possess, they goods as its wants demanded, now aspired but to trade. and purchase only what Britain
The jargon of the day clam- was pleased to sell. In Geroured for “the open door," by many, in Belgium, and in the which phrase was understood United States sprang up keen a market which British pro- and victorious competition; and ducts could enter on terms of though the vast wealth of Engfiscal equality with those of the land was as yet almost unimrest of the world. In the man- paired, a few sagacious minds, lier age of Drake and Hawkins while impartially blind to the Britain had opened her own more fatal deterioration of the door for herself; now her diplo- nation's spirit, were already macy all but petitioned for an enabled to foresee and to preequality of treatment which the dict the approaching disasters growing incapacity of her own to its traffic. traders must, in any event, have At the same time, as it was rendered fruitless. Among the thus sought, by menace or perstrange ironies which the his- suasion, to extend the principles torian of this period finds him- of Free Trade abroad, at home self compelled to record, none they were eating, like a deep is more deeply ironical than the and consuming canker, into the fact that, in proportion as the very marrow of Britain. The nation came to regard com- insidious principles of Bright merce as its highest and only and Cobden had made her the weal, so commerce itself lost workshop of the whole world ; vitality and astuteness. The but they brought to her the degeneracy of the people spread physical debility of the workto that very activity to which man as well as his wages. The they had sacrificed their nobler profits of the manufacturer and sentiments of empire; and while the cheap food of the operative arms and justice, arts and letters, were paid for by the starvation were postponed in the general of the hind, the bankruptcy of