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prayed that other men might be put in their by family (Mr. Gibson). He is like some fly places. But the right honourable gentleman in amber, and the wonder is how the devil he was afraid to raise that issue. He has, indeed, got there. The honourable meniber for Rochplucked up courage to propose this motion; dale (Mr. Cobden) and the honourable member but why has he not done it in the proper con- for Birmingham must have been disappointed, stitutional form in which votes of want of I think, in this young man from the country.' confidence have hitherto been drawn? Never When he married into the family we expectbefore, as far as I know, has party spirit led ed some liberal measures from him; but the gentlemen in this country to frame a motion right honourable gentleman has become inwhich places on record that which must be solent and almost quarrelsome under the regarded as dishonourable to the nation. I guidance of the noble lord. Well, what are go back to the time of Sir R. Walpole, of we to expect? We know by the traditions of Lord North and Mr. Fox, but nowhere do we the great Whig party that they will cling to find such a sterile and jejune affair as this the vessel, if not like shipwrecked sailors, at resolution. Those charges were written in least like those testaceous marine fish which legible and plain terms; but the right honour- adhere to the bottom, thereby clogging the able gentleman substitutes language which engines and impeding the progress. Should might, indeed, be sufficient for the purpose of this parliament decide on terminating its own rendering it impossible for the government to and their existence, they will find consolation continue in office, but which cannot transfix that the funeral oration will be pronounced them without its sting first passing through by the honourable member for North Warthe honour of England. For the reasons I wickshire (Mr. Newdegate), and that some have stated, I look forward with cheerfulness friendly hand will inscribe on the mausoleun) to the issue which has been raised with regard ‘Rest and be thankful."> to our conduct. Nay, more, I feel the most The ministry arranged to accept a division confident anticipation that both the house on Mr. Kinglake's amendment. After a discusand the country will approve of the course sion lasting over three nights, the numbers were taken in this difficult negotiation by her found to be:—For Mr. Disraeli’s motion, 293: majesty's government, and that they will for the amendment, 313. The debate arousel reject a motion which both prudence and much public interest, because the strength of patriotism must alike emphatically condemn.” parties was pretty nearly equal, and on the In the course of a subsequent debate great result of the vote depended the continuance or amusement was caused by Mr. Bernal Os- retirement of Lord Palmerston's administraborne's peculiar sallies against the govern- tion. Each afternoon, as Lord Palmerston ment. The cabinet he described as a museum went down to the house, he was cheered by the of curiosities. “ There are some birds of rare crowd assembled in Palace Yard. He spoke and noble plumage, both alive and stuffed. on the last night. As the successful windingBut, sir, unfortunately there is a difficulty in up of a great party debate, involving the fall keeping up the breed, and it was found of a ministry, his speech on this occasion was necessary to cross it with the famous Peelites. his last triumph, and showed that though he I will do them the justice to say that they spoke at the end of a night of long and weary have a very great and able minister amongst sitting his old vigour and cunning of fence them in the chancellor of the exchequer, and had not deserted him. He had, in truth, a it is to his measures alone that they owe the difficult task. There had been a conspicuous little popularity and the little support they failure; of that there could be no doubt. get from this Liberal party. But it cannot be Allies, colleagues, and circumstances had proved said by their enemies or friends that they adverse; yet the excuses for failure could not have been prolific in measures since they have be laid on any of them. So, with the excepbeen in office. Then there is my right hon. tion of a dexterous allusion to the words of friend who is not connected with the Whigs | the resolution as “a gratuitous libel npon the
lease of power.
PALMERSTON AT EIGHTY YEARS OLD.
167 country by a great party who hoped to rule were to take it into his head to deprive it,” he did not detain the house for long on Prussia of her Rhenish provinces, not a finger the points immediately at issue, but, dropping in England would be stirred, nor a voice the Danish matter altogether, went straight raised, nor a man nor a shilling voted to into a history of the financial triumphs of his resist such retribution upon the Prussian government. What has this to do with the monarch; and when France and Italy shall question? asked impatiently the Tories. But be prepared to deliver Venetia from the it had all to do with the party question, for it Austrian yoke, the joy with which the sucdecided the votes of doubting men who, caring cess of such an undertaking will be hailed little about Schleswig-Holstein, cared a great throughout England will be doubled by the deal about English finance. Anyhow, it com- recollection of Holstein, Lauenburg, Sleswig, manded success, for the government got a and Jutland.” majority of eighteen, and this renewed their That autumn Lord Palmerston became
eighty years old. He was en d, as one of To the King of the Belgians Lord Palmer- his biographers tells us, with an excellent conston shortly afterwards wrote (August 28, stitution, and had been very temperate both in 1864):
eating and drinking; but he maintained his "I have many apologies to make to your freshness, both of mind and body, to a great majesty for not having sooner thanked you degree by the exercise of his will. He never for your letter of the 15th June. We were gave anything up on the score of age. At at that time in the midst of an engrossing anyrate, he never owned to that as a reason. session of parliament, and the unequal contest He used to go out partridge-shooting long between Denmark and Germany was still un- after his eyesight was too dim to take a decided, though with little hope that right correct aim, and he persevered in his other could prevail over might. The Danish govern
outdoor pursuits. Twice during this year, ment, both under the late and under the starting at nine o'clock and not getting back present king, undoubtedly committed many till two, he rode over from Broadlands to the mistakes, both of commission and omission, training stables at Littleton, to see his horses and they showed throughout these affairs, take a gallop on Winchester race-course. He from beginning to end, that inaptitude to rode down in June to Harrow speeches, and deal with great concerns which might, per- timed himself to trot the distance from Pichaps, have been expected from a nation shut cadilly to the head-master's door, nearly up in a remote corner of Europe, and not twelve miles, within the hour, and accommixed up or practised with the general poli- plished it. On his eightieth birth-day, in tics of the world. It was, however, an un- October, he started at half-past eight from worthy abuse of power by Austria and Prus- Broadlands, taking his horses by train to sia to take advantage of their superior en- Fareham, was met by engineer officers, and lightenment and strength to crush an anta- rode along the Portsdown and Hilsea lines of gonist utterly incapable of successful resist- forts, getting off his horse and inspecting ance; and the events of this Danish war do some of them, crossing over to Anglesey forts not form a page in German history which and Gosport, and not reaching home till six any honourable or generous German hereafter in the evening-an instance of such combined will look back upon without a blush. I wish energy both of mind and body as cannot in that France and Russia had consented to join the nature of things be very common at fourwith us in giving a different direction to those affairs; and I am convinced that words The government was not likely to be confrom three such powers would have been demned by the nation for having refused to sufficient without a recourse to blows. One embroil itself in a foreign war. English consequence is clear and certain, namely, that if our good friend and neighbour at Paris
· The Hon. Evelyn Ashley.
sympathy with the Danes was genuine, and land would have been as competent to undertook the form of contributions to a fund for take the work as Lord Westbury, who was the wounded, and of meetings at which much scarcely less famous for his keen judgment indignation was expressed against the bullies and wide attainments than for the power of of Europe who joined in oppressing a small incisive sarcasm and stinging invective often nation unable to maintain its rights in the delivered in tones so smooth that they for a unequal conflict.
moment covered the barb which afterwards
rankled all the more for the momentary conThough the war in America had seriously cealment. Another proposition, to commence affected more than one branch of industry, and a similar consolidation of the common law by there was still great distress in various parts examining and briefing the enormous mass of of the country, the comparative repose from judicial decisions contained in the records any great military or naval operations had from the time of Edward II., extending to left a good national balance sheet to be pre- something like twelve hundred volumes, sented to parliament.
opened an almost appalling prospect, and, of The sessions of 1863 and 1864 had not, it is course, could only be dealt with by considertrue, been marked by striking examples of ing arrangements for employing a large numlegislation, but there were some attempts and ber of specially qualified persons to compare, also some achievements which indicated a revise, and finally reduce the tedious and distinct line of social and political progress. often contradictory reports to a series of conA troublesome conflict had for some time been sistent accounts. The plan had been concarried on against the rebellious and hostile sidered, and doubtless, unless the lawyers in Maori chiefs in New Zealand, but this was parliament had succeeded in their opposition finally concluded in 1864, and the course of to such an attempt at simplification, the lordlegislation was only interrupted by rumours chancellor would have urged it in later sessions and anticipations of probable entanglements until he carried the scheme into effect; but with the Polish or the Danish or some other before that time arrived he had given occasion question.
to his political and official enemies (of whom
he had many, and perhaps a few personal It is well at this stage of our inquiries to ones also), and had retired from the high note that among the proposals brought before office which he had so ably sustained and yet parliament, but failing to achieve any im- in which he had done nothing that became mediate legislative result, were some chat him better than his leaving of it. But this had a very definite relation to the rapid ad subject we shall presently glance at in another vances which were shortly to follow, and to aspect. Among other topics of agitation in the position which Mr. Gladstone was soon relation to changes in the law, that of the to occupy at the head of the Liberal party. abolition of capital punishment had for some The measure brought forward by Lord West- time been made prominent by its advocates, bury, the lord-chancellor, to consolidate the and though the government was not prepared statute law of the kingdom was one impor- to bring in a measure that would put an end tant alike to all parties and entailed a vast to sentences of death, the necessity for some amount of labour, so that it had to be divided inquiry into the subject was obvious enough. and made the subject of separate proposals A commission was appointed in 1864 composed for succeeding sessions in which the laws of of men who had devoted attention to the successive historical periods were to be dealt question, and though they did not all hold the with. The laws as they stood were contained same opinions on other points, they mostly in forty-four thick folio volumes of acts of agreed that some change was required in proparliament, all of which required to be care- viding for greater distinctions between the fully and critically examined, digesied, and crime of manslaughter and that of murder in summarized. Probably not six men in Eng- / order to prevent juries from acquitting perEDUCATION-MR. LOWE-LORD ROBERT CECIL.
sons accused of the capital offence rather than 1862 introduced into the House of Lords by that they should be sentenced to death when Earl Granville and into the Commons by Mr. there were circumstances which, pleaded in Lowe. The original code gave aid by way of extenuation, made such a punishment too government grants to voluntary efforts to severe. Some alterations designed to meet the educate the children of the labouring part of demands of justice were introduced, and in the population. The grants were capitation reference to that part of the inquiry dealing grants, grants to certificated teachers and to with the method of inflicting capital punish- pupil-teachers. Many schools were supported ment, it was decided that executions of crim- by the united aid of charitable subscriptions, inals should take place within the walls of the the school-pence paid by the children, and the prison, and in the presence of a small number government grants; but it was found that the of witnesses, so that the horrible and de- schools which received the largest amount in moralizing scenes which were presented at grants were by no means the most efficient, public executions might be avoided. This and it was proposed to make the government latter recommendation was adopted and be aid by capitation grants only, some of them to came law in 1868.
depend on examinations, and others on the
reports of inspectors. There were of course The claims of education were not altogether considerable difficulties in the way of those neglected amidst other demands during the who had the administration of the code, and, session of 1864. There had been a commission as Mr. Lowe was vice-president of the council of inquiry into the condition of public schools, of education, it fell to him to place the various and in 1864 the report was presented. Eton, religious bodies of the country under equal Winchester, Westminster, St. Paul's, Merchant advantages as regarded the distribution of Taylors', Shrewsbury, Harrow, and Rugby grants. In 1864 this difficulty was increased schools had been under examination, and the by the hostility of the opposition in parliaconclusion come to by the commissioners was, ment, and by the continued jealousies of those that while the course of study pursued in these outside who were advocates of the voluntary institutions was sound and valuable in its main system, or the support of schools without any element, it was wanting in breadth and flexi- government grant whatever, as the only way bility-defects which in many cases destroyed, of avoiding the support of the authority of and in all cases impaired its value as an edu- the state to teach religion in schools. Mr. cation of the mind. These schools, though in Lowe was not likely to be charged with want a different degree, were too indulgent to idle- of vigour in administering his office, nor could ness, or at least struggled ineffectually against i he justly be charged with want of efficiency. it, and consequently they sent out a large Some of those who were associated with him proportion of men of idle habits and empty thought him rather too vigorous, nor was he uncultivated minds. The commission, how- remarkable for that amiability of temper which ever, highly praised the discipline and moral could brook contradiction. His speeches were training afforded in these establishments. The often exhaustive, displayed thorough knowreport called direct attention to the alleged ledge of the subject under discussion, and were defic's in education, and this led to many in- not unfrequently rather cantankerous. He provements being made both in those which, was the very man to carry out, with effect, the like Merchant Taylors' and St. Paul's, were provisions of such a measure as the revised under the direction of a corporate body, and code under its new aspect, and those members to the institutions which were capable of being of the Conservative party who were opposed directly controlled by the government through to those provisions disliked him accordingly. the action of the revised code of education, Among them was Lord Robert Cecil, whose which, however, was long in passing through abusive style of criticism too often found its parliament, in consequence of the alterations readiest expression in accusations, preferred made in the original measure which was in in the most acrid terms with which constitu
tional ill-humour and some reading supplied | insulting, was not the result of knowledge or him. Lord Robert Cecil was, so to speak, an of reasonable inquiry. There were comparaanachronism. With the temper (which, it had tively few members in the house, for many more than once been declared, he inherited on the ministerial side had gone out thinking from his ancestor, the famous treasurer of there would be a couple of hours' debate before Queen Elizabeth), and a manner of exhibiting a division; but the opposition pushed for an it which, if he had lived in the times to which early decision, and the motion was carried by it was more appropriate, would have rendered | 101 to 93—a result which, as Mr. Disraeli him liable to a “countercheck quarrelsome" afterwards said, showed that Mr. Lowe bad not in vogue in the present age, he had entered not been supported by his government as he political life with qualifications that the ex- should have been. It was with natural intreme Conservatives regarded with interest dignation that, a few days afterwards, he anand with some expectations. It was soon dis- nounced that he regarded the vote as a direct covered, however, that he was of too intract- charge against him of want of veracity, and able a disposition to submit to the discipline that he had resigned his office. He had by which is essential to one who aspires to lead. that time learned that the so-called “mutiAfterwards, when he had by a certain pres- lated” reports shown to members were some tige and by his personal abilities attained dis- reports, attached to which were certain marks tinction, it was painfully obvious that his reck- made by a clerk entirely without his (Mr. less declarations and angry but deliberately Lowe's) knowledge. Lord Robert Cecil thereoffensive expressions were more likely to be upon observed, that "if this explanation had mischievous to his avowed comrades than to been given on the night when the vote was those whom he intended to injure. It may taken the result would have been different." It have been that his peculiarly uncontrollable is not pleasant to dwell upon the tone of mind temper was the more alarming to his friends, and temper which could lead a man to say this because it was a smouldering and not a fiery | without any expression of regret that an ac
“Lord Robert's acrid temper is not ex- cusation so injurious, and preferred apparently jilosive," wrote an observer on the occasion with such inveterate animosity, should have we are now referring to; "there are no erup- rested only at most on a surmise which a few tions; it is, if we may so say, a sort of chronic words would have refuted. At anyrate Mr. low fever."
Lowe abandoned his office, which was worth It would only be charitable to say that this £2000 a year, and a committee of inquiry, fever was at a height when Lord Robert Cecil the appointment of which he demanded, so l'ose to bring against DIr. Lowe a charge so entirely exonerated him that the resolution serious that it could only have been justified voted by the house was rescinded. It was by investigations which could not fail to estab- not quite unnatural that the man who had lish some foundation for it. It was: “That in been thus left unsupported by his colleagues the opinion of this house the mutilation (mu- should retire with some bitter feelings, nor tilation was the acrid word) of the reports of that he should afterwards, on some important her majesty's inspectors of schools, and the occasions, be found independently opposing esclusion from them of statements and opinions the government which had neglected him. adverse to the educational views entertained by the committee of council, while matters fa- It may be seen that the events, and the disvourable to them are admitted, are violations position of forces, so to speak, which took of the understanding under which the appoint- place during the period now under our view, ment of inspectors was originally sanctioned distinctly indicated that some striking changes by parliament, and tend entirely to destroy and rapid advances must be soon expected. It the value of their reports.” This charge, is for this reason that more space than might which was made in a tone and manner that seem properly to belong to them has been degave sinister emphasis to words in themselves voted to a narrative of occurrences which at this