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* There is, no doubt, a great difference between the United States and countries in Europe, with the exception of one great countryFrance. They differ from us in sobriety. It quite true Mr. Potter said he only saw four drunken people in America. Well, but he did not see one emperor. Call it empress or king or queen, or imperial or royal,these institutions are not the foremost in America ; and I have no doubt where men are not intelligent enough and moral enough to maintain a Government like they have in the United States, they may in some particulars still possess great benefits. I think that Mr. Shawcross or Mr. Potter, or both perhaps, said that they had no great army.
There are persons who come to England from Germany, France, and Russia who are surprised, and perhaps delighted, to find so few soldiers here compared with some of the European nations. In America they disbanded their great army of a million of men ; they have now a force of about 25,000
It is not maintained for the purpose of war abroad-nor is it maintained for the purpose of suppressing liberty at home; and yet there is no country which is more universally respected throughout the globe than the United States of America ; and there is no country where, on the whole, the laws are better observed, and order more steadily maintained. Another thing in which they differ from us is this, they have, as I believe, almost no political treaties. Washington, their first great President, advised them to have no political treaties,-commercial treaties if you like, as much trade as you can have with all countries. They have not followed his advice in that so much as I should like ; but in regard to political treaties, in the main they have followed his advice ; and yet I believe there is no country with whom other countries are more friendly at this moment than the United States.'
They had no bishops, and no great favoured Church organization, but he (Mr. Bright) did not commiserate them in that. They had also no land monopoly; they had not preferred, as we have preferred in this country, to maintain a thousand great houses and great properties, when we might have had hundreds of thousands of comfortable and happy homesteads adorning the land.
Mr. Bright nevertheless admitted that the American tariff was 'barbarous; ' but it was not long since we
had a tariff as bad as the United States, and we had a tariff that actually starved our people. Their tariff did nothing of the kind. They had so much food that they were sending it over here by hundreds of shiploads, and their people did not feel their tariff with the sort of pressure in every household that we felt our tariff in this country; and therefore the hostility to it, and the desire to get rid of it or amend it, was not so keen and universal as it was in this country before our Corn Laws were abolished. The Americans, however, were a people of great common sense, and he believed that before long the farmers throughout the Union would find that the protection under which they sell everything in the cheapest and buy everything in the dearest market was a system they would no longer support. He did not hope much from the conviction of the Protectionists themselves, but he trusted to the great heart and the great mind of the American nation. Mr. Bright concluded by saying what a grand thing it would be if England and all her colonies and dependencies—including the colonies of the United States—attaining altogether to a population of nearly four hundred millions, would adopt the principle of Free Trade, and set that great example to the world which the world before long must inevitably follow. The influence on the rest of mankind would be enormous. With the fall of tariffs by the union of peoples through Free Trade between nations,—with the fall of tariffs, I say, we shall find also that there will be a fall
of the military system which now oppresses all the nations of the earth, and which even in this country, in my opinion, dishonours and rejects the Christianity which we profess.
We have now reached the close of that remarkable series of addresses which Mr. Bright has delivered in recent years upon political, social, and educational questions. There is no one, be he a supporter or be he an opponent of the right hon. gentleman, who will not, in following these addresses, have discovered much material for thought, and it may be some ideas, which, if translated into action, would redound to the advantage and the glory of our common country.
In closing this chapter, we record with regret a heavy domestic calamity which befell Mr. Bright in the year 1878, by the death of his wife. Mrs. Bright died suddenly, on the 13th of May, at their residence of One Ash. On the previous day she was in her usual state of health, and attended the meeting at the Friends' chapel. On the morning of the 13th she was seized with apoplexy, became instantly unconscious, and died in a few minutes. Mr. Bright was in London at the time, but a telegram being immediately sent to him, he arrived at Rochdale in the evening. On the day succeeding Mrs. Bright's death, Her Majesty the Queen sent a telegram from Windsor Castle to Rochdale, expressing her deep sympathy with Mr. Bright in his bereavement. Expressions of sympathy also poured in from all
quarters upon Mr. Bright, and from many public bodies.
Mrs. Bright's remains were interred in the burialground of the Friends' meeting-house, Rochdale, on the 16th of May. In addition to the family and friends, Messrs. Bright's workpeople attended the funeral. As the coffin was borne to the grave, it was followed by the mourners, at the head of whom was Mr. Bright, with his youngest son on one side, and his sister, Mrs. Maclaren, on the other. The Friends have no regularly appointed burial service, the last sad offices for the dead being spontaneously performed. The interment on this occasion was touchingly simple. Precisely at noon the body was lowered into its final resting-place. The coffin, on which were placed three floral wreaths, bore a memorial tablet, with the inscription, Margaret Elizabeth Bright, died 13th May, 1878, aged 58 years.' As the body descended, the sobs of some of the mourners were very audible. One who witnessed the melancholy ceremony states that Mr. J. B. Braithwaite, barrister, of London, in a voice indistinct from emotion, delivered—not a prayer over the dead, whose life was a closed book in the keeping of her Maker—but words of consolation to the living. Meanwhile Mr. Bright was so overcome with emotion that he clasped his son round the neck and leaned upon him for support. Mr. W. E. Turner, of Liverpool, gave utterance to the thought which the occasion inspired, taking several passages of
Scripture for his theme. Mr. Bright then walked to the edge of the grave, and looked down upon the coffin with that lingering look which marks the reluctance of the bereaved finally to part with the beloved dead. The assembly afterwards retired into the meeting-house, where further exhortation and prayer were offered, and finally the whole of those present engaged in silent prayer.
The sympathy expressed with Mr. Bright in his profound sorrow was most widespread, extending as well through the ranks of his political antagonists as through those of his more immediate friends in private and public life.