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points, !o challenge all comers, and lay as Mr. Gladstone as Mr. Gladstone is supe. many adversaries as possible sprawling, or the rior to Mr. Disraeli in his insight into the noble lord would be a master of his art ; but to control of those perennial forces which maintain that sound code of international dominate mankind in the aggregate. principles which is a monument of human wisdom, and a precious inheritance bequeathed Althorp's influence with the House of
It is an often cited instance of Lord by our fathers for the preservation of the future brotherhood of nations,
Commons that once, in answer to a speech
of Croker, he rose and merely observed This language explains why in foreign that he had made some calculations which policy Mr. Gladstone bas at times reached he considered as entirely conclusive in ihe heart of the multitude, precisely in refutation of the right honorable gentle. proportion as he has dissatisfied the cooler man's arguments. But unfortunately he critics of the House of Commons, and had mislaid them, so that he could only tried the patience of foreign statesmen say that if the House would be guided by and chancellors. It is literally true of his advice they would reject the amend. Mr. Gladstone to say that, Trojan or ment; which they accordingly did. Noth. Tyrian, Englishman, Égyptian, or Ethio. ing of exactly the same kind is recorded pian, Bulgarian peasant or Lancashire of Mr. Gladstone, but in many cases he artisan, he holds them in po difference. has exercised, if not in the House of ComTo bim the inhabitant of any country, in mons, yet in the country, an analogous whatsoever quarter of the globe, and authority, This prerogative has been whatsoever his complexion, is first of all displayed not only among professed Lib. a man; to him he appears denuded of all erais, but among those very Conservatives the accidents of his nationality, isolated who are most of all impervious to new from the influence exercised on him by ideas country gentlemen, merchants, custom and antecedents, merely a mem. and country clergymen. It may be doubtber of the great family of the human race. ed whether the Irish Church would have As Bacon assumed that the ingenia of all been abolished, or the Irish Land Act of men were equal, so Mr. Gladstone seems 1881 passed so easily, except for the perto assume that all who are born into this sonal ascendancy of the prime minister. world have, innate in them, the same ca. There is so large and active a Conservapacity as Englishmen of the nineteenth tive element in his nature that when he century, to become the orderly and pros- has advocated an organic change, some perous subjects of a constitutional and Conservatives, even though the leaders of popular government. There is steadily the great mass of the party may have de. fixed in his imagination the idea of a man nounced him with all the bitterness and to which all existing types of humanity rancor which the English vocabulary can under heaven are conformable an idea express, have secretly felt that Mr. Gladgathered from his experience of his fellow- stone must be the victim of a great and men within the four seas.
This generous overmastering necessity. He has carried appreciation of the happy possibilities the day rather by his móral influence than latent in a universal humanity, this ten by his political cunning, and this influence dency to reduce mankind to a common has in its turn been based upon his conyet beatified denominator, commends it- viction. And here it may be noticed that self to the fancy of the multitude just as the doubts cast upon Mr. Gladstone's sin. it exasperates those statesmen and diplo-cerity, the abuse with which, for qualities matists to whom human beings are merely the exact opposite of sincerity, he has pawns on the chessboard — the creature's been assailed, have only tended io confirm of circumstance, dependent for their ca. the impression that above all things he is pacities solely on geographical and physi- in earnest. When men are denounced cal conditions. Whatever misconception for hypocrisy, with the animus which has of Mr. Gladstone may exist in the mind characterized these denunciations in the of Prince Bismarck, or of any other Con. case of the prime minister, one may be tinental statesman, arises entirely from pretty sure that the real gravamen of the the circumstance that the point of view charge is an inconvenient devotion to an from which he regards human nature is unwelcome faith. diametrically opposite to that from which Mr. Gladstone's sincerity reveals itself they regard' it themselves. Hence, too, in various ways, some of them perhaps the difference which divided him from equivalent to congenital defects in nis Mr. Disraeli, who, in the tactical skill judgment and character. Among the with which he dealt with men as the mem- inany peculiarities of his mind few are bers of a party, was as much superior to more remarkable than its extraordinary
casuistical learning, coupled as it is with | how can he be described as a despot and intense interest in ecclesiastical ques. dictator? Nor is the common impression tions. The two traits together find their that he is arrogant and imperious in his expression in refinements of ratiocination official capacity less at variance with the which are often most puzzling to his facts. In the Cabinet he is modest and warmest admirers, and in occasional dis. conciliatory to a fault. Again and again, plays of a want of anything like a due when a word from him would settle a sense of proportion. Thus he is fre- question, he allows it to be discussed at quently as much agitated about and con- length, and accepts without objection the cerned in matters of the veriest detail as decision of the majority. What is the about affairs involving the highest princi- explanation of a conventional accusation, ples. During last session, for instance, absolutely unfounded upon any experiMr. Gladstone showed an eagerness for ence? The answer is not difficult. Power the Bishopric of Bristol Bill not inferior gravitates to the side of knowledge and to, and sometimes more aggressively visi. ability.
Water does not find its own ble than, bis eagerness for the Franchise level more sure than ascendancy comes Bill. “Our miraculous premier," the on to the hands of the man who has the Times remarked last week in an article qualifications for it. Mr. Gladstone is the unusually discriminating and able, “has most commanding figure in the House of just given us another opportunity of ad-Commons. He is the best debater in it; miring his many-sidedness and versatility. he has had an unrivalled acquaintance To-day begins an extraordinary and prob- with office and with affairs. He is, in a ably momentous session of Parliament, word, the first man in the popular chamfor which both sides have been preparing ber of the legislature, and his so-called by two full months of the most strenuous dictatorial arrogance is merely a stateagitation. . This is the occasion which ment of the fact. he selects for issuing a letter, more than One of the reasons of Mr. Gladstone's a column in length, to a Welsh bishop on influence with the English middle class. the subject of the Disestablishment of may not yet have received the attention the Church. It would seem, indeed, that due to it. He is himself one of the most except for the little interlude of a run brilliant ornaments that the middle class, into Scotland, with the twenty or thirty from which he himself is sprung, has ever speeches which that entailed, the prime possessed. He is the true representative minister's holiday has been given to top of many of the most characteristic senti. ics much less inundane than the extension ments of this social order. Like Sir Rob. of the suffrage to county householders. ert Peel, be bas a thorough sympathy with: There was a preface to write to the new the aspirations of the commercial arisa edition of Hamilton's Catechism; there tocracy, and in a far greater degree than was the question of the Hittite empire, Sir Robert Peel be has flung over the and its possible alliance with Troy, to be middle class a glamor higher than that taken in hand.”
derived from mere material prosperity. Closely allied with the quality just no. Mr. Gladstone is, in some respects, to ticed is his persistent attention to debates look at him for a moment not as a states, which to others seem duller than Satur- man but as an English gentleman, the nian lead. He has been known, and highest product of Eton and Oxford. As doubtless will be known again, to sit for such he would have won social distinction hours in the House of Commons with only if he had never plucked a single political a score of members present, listening, not laurel. The middle class, therefore, is merely with indefatigable patience, but proud of him on grounds independently of with positive enthusiasm to a succession bis achievements in statesmanship. At of bores holding forth on a subject of no bottom it admires him even when it may general interest. Could there be a more not quite understand him. The very obtouching testimony to the infinite tolera. scurity, which comes from subtlety, is tion of the prime minister? The charges accepied by the persons now spoken of levelled at hiin during the past recess by as flattering to themselves since it is the Lord Salisbury and others are absolutely attribute of one who is in a measure their inconsistent with this attribute. It may progeny. be observed incidentally, too, that they Mr. Gladstone's oratory is, as for that are mutually destructive. If Mr. Glad- matter all oratory is, the reflection of the stone is tossed about by every gust of intellectual being of the orator. It is laRadical passion, eager only to anticipate bored and lengthy because the mind and the will of his revolutionary associates, | brain, which furnish the tongue with language, are so keenly appreciative of the condensed than Mr. Bright. There is no difficulties which may suggest themselves writer the tones of whose voice it is easier to hearers. If Mr. Gladstone seldom to hear with the ear of imagination in the touches a theme without adorning it, he inflections and convolutions of his literary never touches a theme which he does not, style than Mr. Gladstone. There are few for the immediate purpose in hand, ex- speakers whose speeches it is less satishaust. His oratory is didactic, homiletic, factory to read. Yet nothing is more cerbeseeching, commentatorial, and micro- tain than that if Mr. Gladstone's oratory scopically minute, because he does not were better literature it would have been forget how tardy the process of conviction less fruitful of results. The style is the is, and how many obstacles must be dis. man. The persistency and even the proposed of before the desired result is lixity of the orator are the counterparts obtained. It is not long ago since one of and supplements of those qualities — the his colleagues gave an account of the dif. earnestness, the zeal, the wide-stretching ference between his own oratorical method sympathies which have made the states. and that of the prime minister. "When," man great. And if, as has been admitted, he said, “I speak, I strike across from there are single speeches of Mr. Bright's headland to headland. But Mr. Glad- or Mr. Disraeli's of a higher literary and stone coasts along, and whenever he intellectual merit than any single speech comes to a navigable iver he cannot reo of Mr. Gladstone, Mr Gladstone has still sist the temptation to explore it to its delivered a host of speeches every sensource," All the dissertations on rhet. tence of which is stamped with intellecoric since the world began, from Aristotle tual power, that could have come from no to Cicero, Tacitus, and Quintilian, down other statesman of the day except himto Whately, Alison, and Arnold, may be self. To this order the first of his last searched before so happy and terse an series of Midlothian addresses - that in illustration is encountered. For the rea. which he explained the whole history of son embodied in this figurative definition the Franchise Bill — belongs. Nor perof two oratorical schools, some of Mr. haps was he ever surpassed in the faculty Bright's single speeches are better than of carrying the whole House with him in a anything of Mr. Gladstone. Yet it may dialectical whirlwind when last session be doubted whether there is anything finer he demolished Sir Stafford Northcote. in nineteenth-century oratory than Mr. Never, again, did he astonish and delight Gladstone's impromptu speech on Mr. the House with a finer display of physiDisraeli's budget of 1853, or than his per. cal and intellectual vigor than when, after oration before the division on the second having been worried for a couple of hours reading of Lord Russell's Reform Bill in the Commons, he spoke for nearly three was taken in 1866. In the same way his hours subsequently on the Eastern ques. tribute to the memory of Lord Beacons. tion. On the whole the very finest speech field in 1881 was not only a masterpiece delivered by him during the lifetime of of taste and judgment, but of that peculiar the present Parliament is that on the class of oratorical composition to which it Bradlaugh case. One quality is unques. belonged. It also furnished a remarkable tionably wanting in Mr. Gladstone as an illustration of Mr. Gladstone's felicity in orator. He has little or no sense of quotations, an ornament of debate now humor. He seldom makes a joke; he practically obsolete. On the whole Mr. seldom tries to do so; and if he tries he Hayward's estimate of Mr. Gladstone as very seldom succeeds. a speaker leaves nothing unsaid: “ It is If this were the place in which to say Eclipse first, and all the rest nowhere. anything about Mr. Gladstone as a private He may lack Mr. Bright's impressive dic. member of society, it would, perhaps, be tion - impressive by its simplicity — or enough to remark that the fullest materials Mr. Disraeli's bumor and sarcasm. But for information on this point may be found he has made ten eminently successful in the memoirs of distinguished men not speeches to Mr. Bright's or Mr. Disraeli's long since departed and some of them still
His foot is ever in the stirrup; his with us, which have recently been publance is ever in the rest. He throws down lished. Lord Malmesbury has recorded the gauntlet to all comers. Right or wrong his impression that when he first met the he is always real, natural, earnest, unaf- present prime minister, then a rising fected, and unforced. He is a great de: young man, in 1842, he found him exceedbater, a great Parliamentary speaker." ingly agreeable. Much more copious He is also an eminently persuasive speak. materials for his personal portraiture will er, and that explains why he is less be discovered in the life of the late Bishop Wilberforce, writtes by his son. On the been and is engaged, and may attribute whole, however, those who will probably what seems to them his lack of attractive. be spoken of as Mr. Gladstone's equals ness in private life to his superficial desul. know little or nothing more of him ihan toriness and to his preference to discuss they know from their habitual contact with topics that are not of deep or living mohim in public. Few statesmen of the first ment to him. order possess many very intimate asso. Few persons will be disposed to deny ciates among their political peers or allies. that the exact position which Mr. Glad. Most of those who were once Mr. Glad- stone fills in English politics, and the stone's peculiar friends have been carried precise influence he wields, belong to himaway by death. The few who still survive self alone, and that when he disappears are either ranged in a hostile camp, or he will leave no successor in either of belong to a sphere of action and thought these capacities. Mr. Gladstone served so different that personal communication his Parliamentary apprenticeship under with them has become impossible. The the old régime. Canning had not passed persons who are now in his private confi- away five years when he entered the House dence appear to be chosen for reasons of of Commons, and many of the men with the validity of which Mr. Gladstone can whom he first went into the lobby were alone judge. Before the prime minister the associates and contemporaries of Pitt of England all doors fly open, and even and Fox. N
man who as caught the beyond the social limits of Liberalism or dying rays of the grand manner at St. Whiggism Mr. Gladstone is welcomed, Stephen's, who is so deeply imbued with and is agreeably, though, as should prob- the already half-forgotten traditions of the ably be said, superficially, known. The place, classical, literary, as well as politisubjects in which be takes an interest are cal and official, has lived so long into and multifarious. He reads immensely, and has played so prominent a part in the new within five years of fourscore his intel. order of things. Any man who had lacked lectual activity and resourcefulness are Mr. Gladstone's force of character, who such that time is never wanting to him had not combined even bis moral influence when any subject he is deeply interested with his early associations, would have in comes to the front. Has he not just failed to learn the era of democracy based written an introduction to a devotional on household suffrage, with so many ideas volume ? Just sixteen years ago, on De: of an essentially Tory kind. He was, as cember 11th and 12th, he was the guest of he himself has said, brought up at the Lord Salisbury at Hatfield, Bishop Wil. feet of Canning; and his first chief in the berforce being one of the company. The active business of political life was Sir episcopal diary for the former of these days Robert Peel. Whatever may be thought thus mentions Mr. Gladstone: “Glad. of Mr. Gladstone's personal merits or destone as ever; great, earnest, and honest; merits, it will at any rate be confessed as unlike the tricky Disraeli as possible.” that this particular combination is not But next day the bishop writes : "Morn. likely to present itself again. The statesing walk with Gladstone, Cardwell, and man who has inhaled the traditions of Salisbury. Gladstone was struck with Toryism with his earliest breath, who was Salisbury; 'never saw more perfect host.' saturated as a young man with academi
When people talk of Gladstone going cism and classicism, who in religious matmad they do not take into account the ters was the friend of Newman and Keble, wonderful elasticity of his mind and the and who is indebted for much or most of variety of his interests. This morning the hold he has had upon the clergyhe was just as much interested in the size which is, after all, the most Conservative of the oaks and their probable age as if interest in the country - to his allegiance no care of state ever pressed upon him.” to those sentiments which found expres. That is a pleasant picture, and one intel. sion in his speeches on the Divorce Act, ligibly full of charm to the good prelate and again on the Public Worship Regulawho drew it, and who subsequently speaks tion Act, is a phenomenon on whose reof Mr. Gladstone's power of detachment appearance no one will count. Already from the controversial matters of passing there has sprung up a school of political moment as his “chief safeguard." It thinkers who, while they follow Mr. Glad. may not, however, be his chief attraction to stone's politics, have not the slightest some of the more prominent members of sympathy with the sources, or the quality the party which he leads. These would of the moderating control which be exer. willingly hear him talk more about the cises upon the progress of affairs. There great political struggles in which he has | is an immense deal in common between
Mr. Gladstone and not only the old Whigs | there is for the errors and follies of others, but the old Tories, and if he ever seems and how little safety for ourselves, unless to go to the verge of the new Radicalism, at every step of the way we look up for it is with something more than a last long. the guiding of an unseen hand, and down ing, lingering look behind — with an ear. at the path for the footprints of the Master, nest desire to which, as far as may be, he Robert Sinclair was speeding away to the gives effect, to guard against the possible north, with his mind full of many things. errors of precipitancy and excess. Yet “I must be prompt and decided," he Mr. Gladstone is at the present moment, mused. • My mother is a woman who is and so long as he lives, or until he abdi. always easy to lead, unless her own mind cates, will continue to be the leader of the is fully made up. They won't be able to Radical party. His authority and his ex. go back to Quodda. There will be a new perience have upon different occasions, schoolmaster in the schoolhouse, and I and at no time more conspicuously than don't know another house into wbich they the present, induced his followers to limit could put their heads they couldn't live and curtail their demands. He has stood in a mere hovel, though of course they at the parting of two ways, and by stand will have to cut their coat according to ing there has preserved a separation of their cloth (and that will be narrow the two forces of which Liberalism is enough !), and my mother would make the composed. The history of the Liberal best of whatever was needful.” So far, party has illustrated thus far, and will illus. he thought, though silently, in words; but traté yet farther, the progressive move there was a reflection beyond, which he ment of Mr. Gladstone's own mind. Those left unexpressed, even to himself - a who affect to deplore the encouragement thought that since their poverty might be he has given to advanced ideas will when little beyond destitution, it would be well he has gone have abundant reason to re. that they should not endure itin Shetland, gret the check he has imposed to their where the Branders were almost sure to translation into fact. It may be that his go, sooner or later. He had not the redeparture will be followed by a schism in motest idea of what Tom had binted the Liberal ranks. In that case what has that the mother and sister should join bin happened before will happen again, and in the south, and either live with him in the party of movement will carry after it London or near him in Stockley. “If the party of inaction and delay. Liberal. only my father had lived a few years ism and Radicalism are only varying longer !” he sighed. By that time, modes of the same political agency. The doubtless, I could easily have done for difference between them is one, not of them everything I should like -- without principle, but of chronology. The part crippling myself. If one has to give away played by Lord Palmerston has in some one's first little savings, how are they to sort been played by Mr. Gladstone, but, increase so as to be of real service to as far as it is possible to frame any esti one's self or to anybody else? If I manmate of the political forces now at work, aged to spare them tiirty or forty pounds Toryism will for the reasons already as a year out of my little salary, how could I signed discover that the disappearance of ever get on? It would not be the mere Mr. Gladstone will be the prelude to an pittance wbich I should sacrifice, it would era of organic political change far more be all my prospects of any future wealth. stirring and drastic than that which com. If I could only get on unburdened for a menced with Lord Palmerston's death. few years, I should be able to give them
enough and to spare !”
Oh, how dangerous it is when future generosity looks so easy and delightful,
while present duty seems so hard as to be From The Sunday Magazine.
impossible! When we think of what we will do, when certain circumstances have
come to pass, and not of what we can do OCCUPATIONS OF A RETIRED Life," " THe in the existing necessity! And we forget
that the changes to which we look forward will be more searching than we contem
plate that when the fortune is made, the DIVIDING WAYS.
friend may be gone beyond mortal reach WHILE Tom went back to his duties, — that by the time our purse is full, our sorrowfully thinking what a tangle this fingers may have got an inveterate habit world is, and how much pitiful excuse of drawing its strings.
AT ANY COST.
BY EDWARD GARRETT.
CRUST AND THE CAKE,