Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

a

a

forms, and there was therefore much less daily labour on which he is strictly dependent desire for further innovations. The events for his daily bread, it is only because then, in which were taking place in other countries, railway language, the danger signal is turned Leing to a great extent the result of their con- on, and because he feels a strong necessity for stitutional systems, had made the people of action, and a distrust of the rulers who have this country much less anxious for change. driven him to that necessity. The present

Lord Palmerston had undoubtedly reached state of things, I rejoice to say, does not indithe stage when“ rest and be thankful,” though cate that distrust; but if we admit that, we not quite in the sense that Mr. Bernal Os- must not allege the absence of agitation on borne afterwards used it, is the motto most the part of the working-classes as a reason likely to be adopted; but his opinions on the why the parliament of England and the public subject of further measures of reform were mind of England should be indisposed to ennot shared by some of his colleagues-certainly tertain the discussion of this question.” Mr. not by Mr. Gladstone. About a month after- Gladstone denied that there was any essential wards this was made conspicuously evident reason for drawing a marked distinction beduring the debate on Mr. Baines's bill for tween the middle class and a select portion of lowering the franchise in boroughs. This, the working-classes, so far as related to the

like the proposal of Mr. Locke King, had fre- exercise of the franchise. He advocated the quently been before the house, and though it extension of the franchise on the ground that had not been accepted, there was a general it would tend to advance that unity of classes feeling that it indicated reform in a direction which was now in progress throughout the to which attention must soon be turned. That country. Mr. Gladstone should already be looking that This speech caused a flutter among halfway was not surprising, but few members of hearted Liberals, and it was felt that such a the house had expected that he would give so decided expression of opinion denoted apdecided a support to the proposed measure, or proaching changes, in spite of Lord Palmerthat he would so unmistakably express his ston's declarations. The effect on the country dissent from the propositions laid down by was considerable, while among the electors at Lord Palmerston. He was of opinion that Oxford a large number began to regard such there should be a considerable addition to the utterances with a degree of distrust, which numbers of the working-classes who were in was deepened when in the following year possession of the franchise.

their representative, instead of denouncing “We are told,” he said, " that the working- any interference with the Established Episcoclasses don't agitate; but is it desirable that pal Church in Ireland, seemed to admit that we should wait until they do agitate? In my the time would arrive when some interposition opinion agitation by the working-classes upon of the government would be necessary. any political subject whatever is a thing not The country at large did not, perhaps, attach to be waited for, not to be made a condition much immediate importance to the remarks previous to any parliamentary movement, but, made by the chancellor of the exchequer in

the contrary, is to be deprecated, and, if the debate which arose at the end of March, possible, prevented by wise and provident 1865, on Mr. Dillwyn's motion; but the elec

An agitation by the working-tors of the university regarded these utterclasses is not like an agitation by the classes ances with grave suspicion. above them having leisure. The agitation of Mr. Dillwyn had proposed “that the present the classes having leisure is easily conducted. position of the Irish Church establishment is Every hour of their time has not a money unsatisfactory, and calls for the early attention value; their wives and children are not de- of her majesty's government." The motion. pendent on the application of those hours of was opposed by Sir George Grey, who declared labour. When a working man finds himself that the government was not prepared to bring in such a condition that he must abandon that forward a measure calculated to produce the

a

a

measures.

[blocks in formation]

it:

result that Mr. Dillwyn desired, namely, the cline to follow the honourable gentleman into entire abolition of the Irish establishment. the lobby, and declare that it is the duty of Mr. Gathorne Hardy also spoke strongly the government to give their early attention against the proposition. When Mír. Gladstone to the subject; because if we gave a vote to rose he at once entered frankly into the ques- that effect we should be committing one of tion, and admitted that the position of the the gravest offences of which a government church in Ireland was unsatisfactory.

could be guilty-namely, giving a deliberate “There is not the slightest doubt,” he said, and solemn promise to the country, which pro“that if the Church of England is a national mise it would be out of our power to fulfil.” church, and that if the conditions upon which Mr. Whiteside, who had been the Conserthe ecclesiastical endowments are held were vative attorney-general for Ireland, violently altered at the Reformation, that alteration was opposed Mr. Gladstone's opinions, and the made mainly with the view that these endow- debate was adjourned not to be renewed in ments should be intrusted to a body minister- that parliament. Mr. Gladstone, some time ing to the wants of a great majority of the afterwards, in writing to Dr. Hannah, warden people. I am bound to add my belief that of Trinity College, Glenalmond, reviewed the those who directed the government of this position as he regarded it, and explained his country in the reign of Queen Elizabeth acted own action or want of action in relation to in the firm conviction that that which had happened in England would happen in Ire- “Because the question is remote, and apland; and they would probably be not a little parently out of all bearing on the practical surprised if they could look down the vista of politics of the day, I think it would be for me time, and see that in the year 1865 the result worse than superfluous to determine upon any of all their labours had been that, after 300 scheme or basis of a scheme, with respect to it. years, the church which they had endowed Secondly, because it is difficult; even if I antiand established ministered to the religious cipated any likelihood of being called upon to wants of only one-eighth or one-ninth part of deal with it, I should think it right to take no the community.” Thus, although the govern- decision beforehand on the mode of dealing ment were unable to agree to the resolution, with the difficulties. ... I think I have they were not prepared to deny the abstract stated strongly my sense of the responsibility truth of the former part of it. They could attaching to the opening of such a question, not assert that the present position of the except in a state of things which gave promise establishment was satisfactory. The Irish of satisfactorily closing it. For this reason it Church, as she then stood, was in a false posi- is that I have been so silent about the matter, tion. It was much more difficult, however, to and may probably be so again; but I could decide upon the practical aspect of the ques- not, as a minister and as member for Oxford tion, and no one bad ventured to propose the University, allow it to be debated an inderemedy required for the existing state of finite number of times and remain silent. things. This question raised a whole nest of One thing, however, I may add, because I political problems; for while the vast majority think it a clear landmark. In any measure of the Irish people were opposed to the main- dealing with the Irish Church, I think (though tenance of large and liberal endowments for a I scarcely expect ever to be called on to share fragment of the population, they repudiated in such a measure) the act of Union must be any desire to appropriate these endowments, recognized, and must have important conseand firmly rejected all idea of receiving a state

quences, especially with reference to the posiprovision for themselves. How could the tion of the hierarchy.” government, in view of these facts, substitute He evidently had little idea that he would a satisfactory for an admittedly unsatisfactory so soon be called upon to deal with the disstate of things? They were unable to do so. establishment of the Irish Church as a “burnConsequently "we feel that we ought to de- ling" question, nor did many other people

think so at that time. But some of his con- Librarian, Sir F. T. Palgrave, the Right Hon. stituents at Oxford took aların; others, who S. Lushington, the Dean of St. Paul's, the had for some time been watching him with Rev. John Keble, the Principal of Brasenose, suspicion, announced their intention of aban- the Dean of Peterborough, Professor Coningdoning him at the general election. A large ton, the Rev. J. B. Mozley, Mr. E. A. Freenumber who were firm and faithful, and who man, Chief Justice Erle, Dr. Pusey, Professor admired his determined freedom of opinion, Jowett, Mr. Cardwell, the Marquis of Kildare, supported him with marked enthusiasm. and the Rector of Lincoln. They were not numerous enough to carry his “After an arduous connection of eighteen election, however. He was opposed by Mr. years I bid you respectfully farewell,” wrote Cathorne Hardy, a pronounced Conservative, Vr. Gladstone to the members of convocation. who, as we have seen, was a strong advocate “My earnest purpose to serve you, my many for maintaining the Established Church in faults and shortcomings, the incidents of the Ireland. Mr. Gladstone's former colleague, political relations between the university and Sir William Heathcote, was unopposed, and myself, established in 1847, so often questioned it was arranged that the supporters of both in vain, and now at length finally dissolved, I the other candidates should give him their leave to the judgment of the future. It is second vote. By an act passed in the pre- one imperative duty, and one alone, which invious parliament, elections for the universities duces me to trouble you with these few partmight be conducted by voting-papers sent to ing words—the duty of expressing my prothe vice-chancellors, and the poll was kept open found and lasting gratitude for indulgence as for five days; but many distinguished men generous and support as warm and enthusiaswent up personally to accord their vote for tic in itself, and as honourable from the charthe chancellor of the exchequer. There was acter and distinctions of those who have given a general feeling that to discard him would it, as has, in my belief, ever been accorded by be a disgrace if not a calamity to the univer- any constituency to any representative.” sity, and as a matter of fact it was not by the Whatever may have been the regrets of those lack of real university votes that he lost the thoughtful churchmen who regarded Mr. election. His defeat was due to the opposi- Gladstone as the representative of opinions tion of the non-residents. Of the 250 resi- which must prevail if the church itself were dents 155 voted or paired in his favour; those to be at once free and truly authoritative, the who voted against him were the men who Liberals outside Oxford and all over the had left the university, and had no sympathy country felt no little satisfaction when they with its advances or its changed mode of heard that the chancellor of the exchequer thought since they had ceased to be connected was cut loose from the trammels of a reprewith it.

sentation which necessarily often restrained With a majority in the important colleges, him from fully expressing his convictions on Mr. Gladstone received 1724 votes, Mr. Hardy, points of Liberal policy. There was nothing 1904; and Sir W. Heathcote, 3236–a large unworthy in this reticence, for his association number of electors plumping for Mr. Glad with Oxford had been a sentimental as well stone, and the total number of votes being as a practical one; and the deep regard he larger than had been registered at any previous entertained for the university, as well as the election. Among the distinguished men who honour which he felt it to be to represent it voted for the chancellor of the exchequer in parliament, made him careful to avoid were the Bishops of Durham, Oxford, and giving needless offence to those who were Chester, Earl Cowper, the Dean of Westmin- already watching him with something like ster, the Dean of Christchurch, Professors suspicion. Farrar, Rolleston, and Max Müller, the Dean The regrets of many eminent men of various of Lichfield, Sir J. T. Coleridge, Sir Henry shades of opinion may be well exemplified by Thompson, the Rev. Dr. Jelf, the Bodleian the few words of remonstrance addressed by

GLADSTONE'S DEFEAT AT OXFORD.

177

Dr. Pusey to the editor of a periodical pro- ciation with Oxford. He issued his address fessing to represent the views of churchmen, from Manchester on the 18th of July. It was and delighting in Mr. Gladstone's defeat and short and effective. the return of his opponent. “You are natu- “ You are conversant-few so much som rally rejoicing," said the letter, “over the re- with the legislation of the last thirty-five jection of Mr. Gladstone, which I mourn. years. You have seen—you have felt its Some of those who concurred in that election, results. You cannot fail to have observed the or who stood aloof, will, I fear, mourn here- verdict which the country generally has, after with a double sorrow because they were within the last eight days, pronounced upon the cause of that rejection. I, of course, the relative claims and positions of the two speak only for myself, with whatever degree great political parties with respect to that of anticipation may be the privilege of years. legislation in the past and to the prospective Yet, on the very ground that I may very pro- administration of public affairs. I humbly, bably not live to see the issue of the momen- but confidently-without the least disparagetous future now hanging over the church, let ment to many excellent persons from whom I me, through you, express to those friends have the misfortune frequently to differ-ask through whom I have been separated, who you to give your powerful voice in confirmalove the church in itself, and not the accident tion of that verdict, and to pronounce with of establishment, my conviction that we significance as to the direction in which you should do ill to identify the interests of the desire the wheels of the state to move. Before church with any political party; that we have these words can be read I hope to be among questions before us, compared with which you in the hives of your teeming enterprise.” that of the establishment (important as it is

Mr. Gladstone made his appearance in in respect to the possession of our parish Manchester in the afternoon of the same day, churches) is as nothing. The grounds alleged and addressed a crowded meeting in the Freeagainst Mr. Gladstone bore at the utmost trade Hall. “At last, my friends,” he said, upon the establishment. The establishment “I am come among you—and I am come, to might perish, and the church but come forth use an expression which has become very the purer. If the church were corrupted, the famous, and is not likely to be forgotten, I am establishment would become a curse in pro- come among youʻunmuzzled.' After an anxious portion to its influence. As that conflict will struggle of eighteen years, during which the thicken, Oxford, I think, will learn to regret unbounded devotion and indulgence of my hier rude severance from one so loyal to the friends maintained me in the arduous position church, to the faith, and to God.”

of representative of the University of Oxford, These were weighty words; and it was not I have been driven from my seat. I have no alone men who held views similar to those of complaint to make of the party which has rethe regius professor of Hebrew who saw in fused to me the resumption of that place. I Mr. Gladstone a faithful representative of the cannot say that I am glad of it; but they are church, as we have seen by the names already the majority, and they have used their power. inentioned of those who were among his de- As they have used it, I appeal to you, the men termined supporters.

of my native county, to know whether that Mr. Gladstone's own feeling was one of re- which has disqualified me from representing lief. He had a sense of freedom. The time had the University of Oxford has also disabled come when he felt impelled to speak out—the me from representing you. But, gentlemen, time had come, and with it the opportunity. do not let me come among you under false In South Lancashire his name had been pro- colours or with false pretences. I have loved posed to the Liberal electors directly it was the University of Oxford with a deep and seen that the election in Oxford might go passionate love, and as long as I breathe that against him; and to South Lancashire he attachment will continue; if my affection is hastened after baving closed his political asso- of the smallest advantage to that great, that

VOL. IV.

75

ancient, that noble institution, that advantage, In Manchester, Liverpool, and all the large such as it is, and it is most insignificant, Ox- towns he was returned at the head of the poll; ford will possess as long as I live. But don't in the total polling he came third, two Conmistake the issue which has been raised. servative candidates, Messrs. Egerton and The university has at length, after eighteen Turner. preceding him, the fourth candidate, years of self-denial, been drawn by what I who would have been returned but for Mr. might, perhaps, call an overweening exercise Gladstone's election, was Mr. Leigh, also a of power, into the vortex of mere politics. Conservative, the fifth and sixth on the poll, Well, you will readily understand why, as who were also defeated, were Mr. Thompson long as I had a hope that the zeal and kind- and Mr. Heywood, both Liberals. ness of my friends might keep me in my place, The result of the elections throughout the it was impossible for me to abandon them. country was a considerable gain to the Liberal Could they have returned me by a majority party. The city of London returned Messrs. of one, painful as it is to a man of my time of Goschen, Crawford, Lawrence, and Rothschild, life, and feeling the weight of public cares, to all Liberals; in Westminster John Stuart be incessantly struggling for his seat, nothing Mill was at the head of the poll, and he had could have induced me to quit that university not failed to pronounce pretty clearly what to which I had so long ago devoted my best were his views on electoral reform. He said:care and attachment. But by no act of mine “With regard to reform bills, I should vote I am free to come among you. And having at once both for Mr. Baines's bill and for Mr. been thus set free, I need hardly tell you that Locke King's, and for measures going far beit is with joy, with thankfulness, and en- yond either of them. I would open the sufthusiasm that I now, at this eleventh hour, a frage to all grown persons, both men and candidate without an address, make my appeal women, who can read, write, and perform a to the heart and the mind of South Lancashire, sum in the rule of three, and who have not, and ask you to pronounce upon that appeal. within some small number of years, receivel As I have said, I am aware of no cause for the parish relief. At the same time, utterly votes which have given a majority against me abominating all class ascendency, I would not in the University of Oxford, except the fact that vote for giving the suffrage in such a manner the strongest conviction that the human mind that any class, even though it be the most can receive, that an overpowering sense of the numerous, could swamp all her classes taken public interests, that the practical teachings of together. In the first place, I think that all experience, to which from my youth Oxford considerable minorities in the country or in a herself taught me to lay open my mind-all locality should be represented in proportion these had shown me the folly and, I will say, to their numbers. I should be prepared to the madness of refusing to join in the generous support a measure which would give to the sympathies of my countrymen by adopting labouring classes a clear half of the national what I must call an obstructive policy." representation.”

The sense of freedom spoke in these words- Altogether it became evident that a new and they were responded to with exuberant en- Reform Bill was at least among the probabilthusiasm by those who heard them. A mighty ities of the next parliament. Of the 657 shout that rang through the vast hall, densely members returned during the elections 367 crowded with thousands of listeners, greeted were recorded as Liberals and 290 as Conserthe phrase that he had come there un- vatives. muzzled, and showed that he was understood It was an exciting contest, and the speeches and appreciated. At that moment he must of candidates, especially those of well-known have felt that he was now taking a step that statesmen and orators, were eagerly read. would place him in the front of the party to But the sound of one earnest and well-known which he had hitherto seemed sometimes to voice was still. Early in the spring of the give only an incomplete support.

year Richard Cobden had gone to his rest.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »