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Mr. Bright's Address on Parliamentary Reform at Glasgow in 1858, Commercial Treaty with France-Mr. Cobden's Visit to Paris,
Mr. Gladstone's Studies of Homer-His Address to the University of Edinburgh in 1865 His Mission to the Ionian Islands -Criticisms of his Opponents-Final Cession of the Islands to Greece, Sketch of Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton-His Style of Oratory-Punch and Thackeray on Sir Edward-His Novels and Dramas -His Political Creed-His unhappy Domestic Relations-Sergeant Ballantine's Anecdote of Lord Lytton-His Interest in Criminal Investigations,
Sir Hugh M'Calmont Cairns,
Sketch of Mr. Robert Lowe, .
Strengthening the National Defences, 305 Mr. Gladstone's Position in the House and in the Palmerston Cabinet, Austrian Rule in Italy-Policy of Cavour and of Mazzini-Mazzini and Garibaldi-Character of Cavour,
The Emperor Napoleon's Designs against
Austria prepares for War-Her Summons to Sardinia Victor Emmanuel's Declaration to his Soldiers-Commencement of Hostilities, . 312
Progress of Electric Telegraphy-First Atlantic Cable laid,
Sketch of Sir William Thomson,
Condition of the Country in 1859-Financial Association formed-Excessive Cost of Collecting the Revenue - Mr. Bright's Scheme for Financial Reform,.
Mr. Gladstone's great Budget of 1860—He unfolds its provisions in a Speech of four hours His Views on the Commercial Treaty with France-His Tribute to the Emperor and to Mr. Cobden-His Supplemental Measure of Customs ReformAbolition of the Duty on Paper-Mr. Gladstone's concluding Remarks on his Financial Proposals,
WAR-FEVER THE YEARS MILITANT.
Illustrative Events of the preceding Sessions 1852-3-Signs of Prosperity-Agriculture-Science-ArtPugin-Turner-d'Orsay-Social Topics-"Secularism "-Mr. Holyoake-The "Achilli" ScandalMr. Walpole's Militia Bill-Macaulay at Edinburgh-Gladstone and Oxford University-The Oaths Question-Brougham-Gladstone and the Frome-Bennett Case-Drifting into War-The Czar Nicholas -The Crimea-Commissariat Muddle-Florence Nightingale-Our Allies-The Sardinians-Russell and the Shifting Government-The Great Struggle-Death of Nicholas-Parliament-Divorce BillGovernment of India-Gladstone and the Ionian Islands.
SIGNS of advances in material prosperity and of a great increase in the means of social progress had not been wanting during the period which we have been considering; and the session of 1853 opened with excellent prospects for the country. Telegraphic communications were being adopted, not only between distant parts of Great Britain, but between England and other nations. A submarine electric telegraph already united us with France, and a system of international copyright had been arranged between the two countries. The construction of railways in the United Kingdom had been going on at an enormous rate, with the result that the receipts at the end of 1851 had diminished in proportion to the increased length of the lines opened, as compared with the years from 1842 to 1846. At the end of the year 1845 the length of railway opened in the United Kingdom was 2023 miles. The total expenditure on railways at that date was £71,647,000about £35,070 per mile; and the gross traffic receipts from the railways for that year were £6,669,230—about £3469 per mile per annum. At the end of the year 1851 the length of railway opened in the United Kingdom had increased to 6928 miles. The total expenditure on railways had swelled to £236,841,420 -about £35,058 per mile; and the gross
receipts of the year were £14,987,310-not more than £2281 per mile per annum. In 1842 the average cost per mile of the railways in existence had been £34,690; in 1845 it had been £35,070; in 1848 it had been £34,234; and in 1851 it was again £35,058. So that the practical cost per mile had increased instead of diminishing with a reduced cost of material and increase of skill. The gross traffic receipts per mile from 1842 had been-In 1842, £3113, or £8.29 per cent on the capital then expended; in 1843, £3083, or £8.82 per cent on the capital; in 1844, £3278, or £8.84 per cent; in 1845, £3469, or £9.30 per cent; in 1846, £3305, or £9.25 per cent; in 1847, £2870, or £8.20 per cent; in 1848, £2556, or £6.78 per cent; in 1849, £2302, or £6·13 per cent; in 1850, £2227, or £5·80 per cent; in 1851, £2281, or £6.35 per cent. Therefore the increased receipts fell behind their due proportion to the increased length opened every year between 1842 and 1850; but in the latter year, when the increased length opened, fell below the increased length opened in the preceding year by more than half (from about 590 additional miles to about 240 additional miles), there were signs of a healthy reaction. The over-construction on speculative railway enterprise had to a great extent ceased, and the lines which had been formed in many in
stances were the cause of the development of mers followed his plans the ox which went up fresh industrial centres, and of the opening to market on Monday would be back with up of new markets and increased productions. them again in manure before Friday." His There was a general increase in activity in plan was to form reservoirs of liquid manure trade in Manchester, Birmingham, and the from animal and vegetable refuse and land Irish linen factories, both in home and foreign drainage, and to distribute it over the poor orders and at good prices. Machinery had to land by means of iron pipes. His experia large extent superseded the former kind of ments were able and interesting, and he hand labour in numerous manufactures; but brought very poor, cold, and wet land to a it was shown that the effect had not been high state of cultivation; but the experimental disastrous to the people who were employed. farms at Tiptree did not pay, and eventually With respect to inventions, an instance may Mr. Mechi, having spent a large sum of money, be taken from one by which the lower class died poor, assisted however for a very short of hosiery goods was produced, and in conse- time by the contributions of his friends. quence of which it was stated that while the The name of Mr. Mechi could not very labour which formerly cost ls. 6d. had been well be omitted when questions like these are reduced to 2d., the output had enormously before us; his ingenious and persevering exaugmented and the average earnings of the periments had an important bearing, not only operatives had greatly increased. Indeed, the on agriculture, but on “sanitation.” Meancondition of the working-classes was better while the Sanitary Association was doing its than at any previous period. All the mills best to arouse public attention upon the subwere working at full time, and many of them ject of the water supply of London, and the had more orders than could be completed. defects of a bill introduced by Lord John New manufactories were being rapidly built Manners for regulating that supply in some in various districts. Prices of raw material particulars. At this time the proposal was and of articles of consumption were rising in openly made that the government should all our markets; and the shipping trade was “buy up" the water companies, and conactive, because, although the carrying power solidate the whole machinery of the supply of the railways had enormously increased, under an authority directly responsible to those railways brought goods regularly and parliament. rapidly from the interior, for conveyance from Sanitary topics spread themselves over large our ports.
areas of time--and space—and they are worked
by large numbers of hands; but a word is Among the prominent topics of the year also due to Mr. F. O. Ward's labours in the were those relating to agricultural in prove- cause of pure water for London from the ments, and they were closely associated with chalk hills, and the devotion of the refuse of the name of Mr. Mechi, a London cutler and towns to its natural use in fertilizing grourd dressing-case maker, whose cheap razors and set apart for the growth of grain, fruits, and “magic strop” were advertised all over the flowers. The open-air and other reunions of kingdom. Mr. Mechi—who became a prosper- Mr. F. 0. Ward for tasting hill-top water ous tradesman, and was afterwards alderman and fruit grown on ground fertilized in a and Lord Mayor of London-bought an estate manner which was then rather new to the at Tiptree in Essex, and there carried out very minds of the multitude, were among the most costly and interesting experiments in drain- brilliant and agreeable of the year 1852-3, age, and the application of sewage matter as including some of the foremost names in manure to the land. His guests at the annual “society," literature, and art. meetings and harvest-homes at Tiptree Hall usually included many of the nobility and The building of Sir Joseph Paxton and gentry who were interested in agricultural Messrs. Fox and Henderson in Hyde Park, improvements. Mr. Mechi said that “if far- which was the admired scene of the Great
SCIENCE AND ART TOPICS-PUGIN-TURNER.
Exhibition of 1851, became, when that exhibi- | by her majesty, and were empowered to detion of "peace” was over, a sad bone of con- vote the surplus derived from the Great tention. Lord John Manners peremptorily Exhibition to the erection of galleries and closed the building at the end of the term, museums for the promotion of arts, manuand the plan of making it a winter-garden factures, and commerce. The money was for London did not excite any very great therefore expended in the purchase of land interest in the mind of the general public. at South Kensington for the new national Many of the trades-people in Piccadilly and Science and Art Galleries. the neighbourhood strongly opposed the idea of retaining the building on its original site, Early in 1852 a name great in art, and of saying that the concourse of visitors blocked even more than national interest, had come the streets and spoiled their trade. Others prominently before the public. The death of urged that, as the building covered nearly | Pugin, the centre, or more than the centre of twenty acres of grass ground and necessitated the great Gothic revival, was interesting as the trampling down of about as much more, well as mournful in various ways which need with a disagreeable pollution of the Serpen- not be dwelt upon now; but Turner, who tine (from which the effluvium was said to be was in a more direct manner a national benevery bad), it was very undesirable on sanitary factor, claims distinct and extended notice. grounds to keep the edifice where it was. In He was, in several respects, a very remarkfact this crystal palace of peace was the sub- able man; perhaps, like Pugin, not altogether ject of more warfare than any human being He was born in Maiden Lane, Covent would have thought possible. It must not be Garden, in 1775, was the son of a barber, supposed that London alone took part in the and received a very poor education. His fray. The provinces joined in it, almost extraordinary natural gift with the pencil every town having a pet scheme of its own-- made him noticed by kind and discerning one of these being that the building should friends, and it befell that at twelve years of remain where it was and be made a "centre" age he was exhibiting two drawings at the for the granting of diplomas in art and tech- Royal Academy. When he was only twentynical knowledge. At public meetings the four
age he was elected an associate, Duke of Argyll, Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Har- and three years afterwards he received the rowby, Lord Palmerston, Baron Meyer de full honours of an academician. In 1807 he Rothschild, and other distinguished public was elected professor of perspective, but as he men, came forward to support the proposal was vulgarly illiterate and quite incapable of for keeping the palace in Hyde Park. A
A communicating knowledge this came to noworking-man sent £20 to Lord Shaftesbury thing. When he died, in a small house at in aid of the movement; but the general Chelsea looking on the river, it was found public after all were apathetic, and Lord that he had bequeathed to the nation the John Manners and his colleagues held that magnificent collection of pictures now to be the government were pledged to its removal. seen in the National Gallery, and a fortune of There was at first, a chance of its being laid about £200,000 for founding an asylum for down in Battersea Fields, which might have decayed artists : a scheme which was frustrated been a good conclusion; but the subsequent owing to some legal technicality. history of the palace is well known. The Turner left more—and more splendid-work noticeable point is that in these discussions in landscape than any artist that ever lived. the idea of technical education on a large and He travelled much, but used to say that the dignified scale, and as a national matter, fol- finest sunsets he ever saw were in the Isle of lowed so easily in the wake of ideas which be- Thanet. During the season he might be seen longed strictly to the original Exhibition itself. on board the Margate boat, eating a coarse
The royal commissioners had been consti- dinner out of a cotton handkerchief, and quite tuted a permanent body by a charter granted | ready to "spell for” a glass of wine of any
fellow-passenger. The back-grounds of his over Louis Napoleon's ingratitude. d'Orsay life are not agreeable to contemplate. It is had been a lieutenant in the French bewildering to think of the painter of those notwithstanding the great flaw in his life, rainbow dreams of pictures engaged in coarse, had, like the countess, fine qualities. He is and worse than coarse, orgies at Wapping. very amusingly sketched in Lord Byron's Turner's coffin lies in the crypt of St. Paul's diary at Genoa. “Milord Blessington (MountCathedral, close to that of Sir Joshua Reynolds. joy) and épouse, travelling with a very handWhat Mr. Ruskin did and has done for his some companion in the shape of a French fame is well known, and also Turner's gruff count, who has all the air of a Cupidon déchainé, astonishment at “the young man's” discoveries and one of the few ideal specimens I have seen of his meanings. He was sordidly careful of of a Frenchman before the revolution. Mountmoney, but that he was capable of kind and joy (for the Gardiners are the lineal race of even generous actions is certain.
the famous Irish viceroy of that ilk) seems
very good-natured, but is much tamed since I In this first year of the French empire, too, recollect him in all the glory of gems, and died Count d'Orsay, who was something of an snuff-boxes, and uniforms, and theatricals, artist, and held some sort of office under the sitting to Strolling, the painter, to be depicted prince-president, Louis Napoleon, in that as one of the heroes of Agincourt.” capacity. He was the Count Mirabel of Dis- It was arranged that d'Orsay was to be a raeli's love-story of Henrietta Temple; not a fixture in the Mountjoy family by becoming coxcomb in the vulgar sense, but an artisti- the husband of the honourable Harriet Gardically finished man of the world, elegantly ner, his lordship's daughter by his first wife. epicurean, very clever, and somewhat fas- This young person was summoned accordingly cinating. His relations with the Countess of from school and married at her father's bidding Blessington started from a very high-flavoured to the Cupidon déchainé. The great scandal enpiece of “scandal” which was never forgotten. sued. Lord Blessington died at Paris in 1827, At Gore House, where they presided over the and the title became extinct. His countess behospitalities together, no lady who was in came a fashionable star in the literary firmasociety was ever seen then, but there were ment of England, and Count d'Orsay resumed plenty of brilliant men, including Disraeli (as in London the career of sportsman, exquisite, has been mentioned), and some who were only artist, and general arbiter elegantiarum. Lady notorious, including Louis Napoleon, then an Blessington's literary success was nothing more exile.
than succès de salon. The disappearance of D'Orsay spent his last years in erecting, on these two figures may be said to mark the close a green eminence in the village of Chambourey of the whole business of literary dandyism. beyond St. Germain-en-Laye, where the rustic churchyard joins the estate of the Grammont While various small pageantries were going family, a marble pyramid. In the sepulchral on in Paris by way of preparing for the actual chamber there is a stone sarcophagus on either assumption of the purple by Louis Napoleon, side, each surmounted by a white marble a ludicrous performance in the empire way tablet;
that to the left incloses the remains of was taking place in Hayti, a place which Lady Blessington, that to the right contains is memorable in connection with Toussaint the coffin of d'Orsay himself.
L'Ouverture even if Wordsworth had not It was known that Count d'Orsay was commemorated him in one of his greatest bitterly disgusted with the state of French sonnets. Soulouque was to be crowned empolitics after the coup d'état of December, peror. For months, troops, such as they 1851, and disappointed with his old friend's were, had been pouring into "the capital” treatment of him. It was said in addition from every quarter of the country.
In they that he died (aged about 53) of chagrin, while came, helter-skelter, some with sticks, guns, a the Countess of Blessington broke her heart | great number of the latter without locks; some