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"Well, perhaps, to speak truly, a little of both. Yet, after a while, when I was sitting quietly 'in my place,' I assure you I felt little elation, little vanity, or pride; I think I never felt so humble in my life. I looked round,-I was in company with the greatest men of the day. There were the ministers, the real rulers of the land; there were the great orators, celebrated for their genius. I was in an assembly, the most enlightened in the world. I was sitting amid the great and powerful, as their equal. I assure you I felt my own insignificance. Then I thought of the past -how great had been the power of Parliament. Even Kings had bent to its authority. Peace and war depended on its word. How was the glory of our history mingled with its annals! The mighty spirits of the past seemed to throng around me, and ask how I dared tread their sacred floor. Should I presume to raise my voice within walls which had echoed with the impassioned eloquence of the dead-of the great dead, 'whose words were sparks of immortality,' whose memories live yet in our admiration? I asked myself, why was I here? And then, and then indeed, I felt my proud position. Yes, I was a representative of the people! I had been chosen by my fellow-men, and in their name I had a right, a sacred right. Yes, however igno

rant or humble I might be, as the representative of the people I was the equal of the highest and the noblest of the proudest minister or greatest orator within those walls.

"If I felt my own insignificance, it should have been on the hustings, when I ventured to ask the suffrages of the people. But now I had no cause to fear; I was elected, I was a member, I had a right to take my seat, to vote, or to speak. Yet, though such a right was unquestioned, I felt that my future fame and power depended on myself;-on me, and on me alone, rested my future fate, whether I should remain an unknown member on the back benches, or take the highest place, even that of the minister himself! An ambitious thought for a young member, but I assure you, all these ideas flashed through my mind; I remember it as well as if it had happened yesterday-as if it were passing now. But dreaming of the past and the future, I forgot the present; I knew not who was speaking, I did not hear a word, when Harry Lewis, who was beside me, touched my arm; I looked round, there was a general movement, all talking ceased, all were on the qui vive; some great orator was about to speak; yes, he was speaking, I could see him well.

"He seemed to have passed the middle age of

life, his mien was dignified, his face benignant; at the first glance I should have given him credit for a great intellect and good heart; but who was he? Surely I had seen him before-that quiet smile, that patronising air, were not new to me. Yes, for the first time in my life-I, the young member, just entered in the House-I was listening to the Prime Minister. And he was speaking to me, as one of that assembly. I listened with deep attention. I was quite unacquainted with the subject on which he spoke; for you may suppose I had not come down for any business that evening. But I listened in surprise,—was this a great speaker? Where was the fine language, the splendid declamation, the swelling periods, the brilliant images, I, in my ignorance, had thought inseparable from the discourse of one so celebrated? Was this a great speaker, I asked again? But I did not long remain in doubt. Without any of these adventitious endowments, I soon found that he possessed one of the best qualities of a great speaker-the power of persuasion. I know not whether it was from his accurate logical deductions, or his quiet impressive style, but I never felt so convinced by any arguments, as by those plain, plausible discoursesand I found he had eloquence too-truer eloquence than the showy kind I had imagined. In language

simple, forcible, and expressive, he affords information, enforces conviction, or when he pleases, speaks so much, yet says so little. But I need not talk of him to you, who, perhaps, understand him better than I do, I only wished to let you know my thoughts."

"Go on, my dear boy, what you say interests me deeply. By the way, it is rather dangerous for a young member of the opposition to be so easily convinced by the arguments of the minister. How do you reconcile your votes with these opinions?"

"I was only describing my feelings, the first time I heard Sir Robert. I had expected much. As I told you, I was disappointed at first; but I soon found his plausible manner more effective than the most studied eloquence. However my consistency was never afterwards endangered, I always settled the principle before he began to speak, and then I was proof against his arguments. I can well imagine his influence over the weak and undecided. He advances some slight proposition which you hardly take trouble to consider; then he goes on, quietly and cautiously, from step to step, carrying you on with him to the endunless you resist him at the first. If you fail to do that, his conclusions are inevitable and you must perforce agree. Never committing himself

by any promise, inducing both sides to hope everything, he artfully introduces his measures, sometimes, when he is sure of success, in a bold decided manner which is very effectual; but his favourite way is to remove all obstacles, to slope away the edges, as it were, and let his project glide gently down-silently but most securelynot unfrequently taking the most wary by surprise. But you know all this-you have read his speeches, and they always read well. Not like some, which in the evening are bright and sparkling as champagne, and like it too, are dull, flat and unprofitable the next day. No, Sir Robert Peel's eloquence is calm and composed, majestic yet simple, and certainly most effective. And now I have surely said enough of politics, my dear Sir, I had rather learn something from you."

"No, no, the time for learning from me is passed, I wish to know your own sentiments -which you have learned from experience. Now setting the great speakers aside, what did you think of politicians in general: you found an endless study there, an infinite variety of character?"

"Not at all. I soon divided them into three classes, and found the individuals of each class resembled each other very closely."

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