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MR. GLADSTONE. 1 (1860.) - Walter Bagehot, The Works and Life of Walter Bagehot, vol. 3 (Historical & Literary Essays) 
The Works and Life of Walter Bagehot, ed. Mrs. Russell Barrington. The Works in Nine Volumes. The Life in One Volume. (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1915). Vol. 3.
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We believe that Quarterly essayists have a peculiar mission in relation to the characters of public men. We believe it is their duty to be personal. This idea may seem ridiculous to some of our readers; but let us consider the circumstances carefully. We allow that personality abounds already, that the names of public men are for ever on our lips, that we never take up a newspaper without seeing them. But this incessant personality is wholly fragmentary; it is composed of chance criticism on special traits, of fugitive remarks on temporary measures, of casual praise and casual blame. We can expect little else from what is written in haste, or is spoken without limitation. Public men must bear this criticism as they can. Those whose names are perpetually in men’s mouths must not be pained if singular things are sometimes said of them. Still some deliberate truth should be spoken of our statesmen, and if Quarterly essayists do not speak it, who will? We fear it will remain unspoken.
Mr. Gladstone is a problem, and it is very remarkable that he should be a problem. We have had more than ordinary means for judging of him. He has been in public life for seven and twenty years; he has filled some of the most conspicuous offices in the State; he has been a distinguished member of the Tory party; he is a distinguished member of the Liberal party; he has brought forward many measures; he has passed many years in independent Opposition, which is unquestionably the place most favourable to the display of personal peculiarities in Parliament; he is the greatest orator in the House of Commons; he never allows a single important topic to pass by without telling us what he thinks of it;—and yet, with all these data, we are all of us in doubt about him. What he will do, and what he will think, still more, why he will do it, and why he will think it, are quæstiones vexatæ at every political conjuncture. At the very last ministerial crisis, when the Government of Lord Derby was on the verge of extinction, when every vote on Lord John’s resolution1 was of critical importance, no one knew till nearly the last hour how Mr. Gladstone would vote, and in the end he voted against his present colleagues. The House of Commons gossips are generally wrong about him. Nor is the uncertainty confined to Parliamentary divisions; it extends to his whole career. Who can calculate his future course? Who can tell whether he will be the greatest orator of a great administration; whether he will rule the House of Commons; whether he will be, as his gifts at first sight mark him out to be, our greatest statesman? or whether, below the gangway, he will utter unintelligible discourses; will aid in destroying many ministries and share in none; will pour forth during many hopeless years a bitter, a splendid, and a vituperative eloquence?
We do not profess that we can solve all the difficulties that are suggested even by the superficial consideration of a character so exceptional. We do not aspire to be prophets. Mr. Gladstone’s destiny perplexes us—perhaps as much as it perplexes our readers. But we think that we can explain much of his past career; that many of his peculiarities are not so unaccountable as they seem; that a careful study will show us the origin of most of them; that we may hope to indicate some of the material circumstances and conditions on which his future course depends, though we should not be so bold as to venture to foretell it.
During the discussion on the Budget, an old Whig who did not approve of it, but who had to vote for it, muttered of its author, “Ah, Oxford on the surface, but Liverpool below”. And there is truth in the observation, though not in the splenetic sense in which it was intended. Mr. Gladstone does combine, in a very curious way, many of the characteristics which we generally associate with the place of his education and many of those which we usually connect with the place of his birth. No one can question the first part of the observation. No man has through life been more markedly an Oxford man than Mr. Gladstone. His Church and State, published after he had been several years in public life, was instinct with the very spirit of the Oxford of that time. His Homer, published the other day, bears nearly equal traces of the school in which he was educated. Even in his ordinary style there is a tinge half theological, half classical, which recalls the studies of his youth. Many Oxford men much object to the opinions of their distinguished representative; but none of them would deny, that he remarkably embodies the peculiar results of the peculiar teaching of the place.
And yet he has something which his collegiate training never would have given him, which it is rather remarkable it has not taken away from him. There is much to be said in favour of the University of Oxford. No one can deny to it very great and very peculiar merits. But certainly it is not an exciting place, and its education operates as a narcotic rather than as a stimulant. Most of its students devote their lives to a single profession, and we may observe among them a kind of sacred torpidity. In many rural parsonages there are men of very great cultivation, who are sedulous in their routine duties, who attend minutely to the ecclesiastical state of the souls in their village, but who are perfectly devoid of general intellectual interests. They have no anxiety to solve great problems; to busy themselves with the speculations of their age; to impress their peculiar theology—for peculiar it is both in its expression and in its substance—on the educated mind of their time. Oxford, it has been said, “disheartens a man early”. At any rate, since Newmanism lost Father Newman, few indeed of her acknowledged sons attain decided eminence in our deeper controversies. Jowett she would repudiate, and Mansel is but applying the weapons of scepticism to the service of credulity. The most characteristic of Oxford men labour quietly, delicately, and let us hope usefully, in a confined sphere; they hope for nothing more, and wish for nothing more. Even in secular literature we may observe an analogous tone. The Saturday Review is remarkable as an attempt on the part of “university men” to speak on the political topics and social difficulties of the time. And what do they teach us? It is something like this: “So-and-so has written a tolerable book, and we would call attention to the industry which produces tolerable books. So-and-so has devoted himself to a great subject, and we would observe that the interest now taken in great subjects is very commendable. Such-and-such a lady has delicate feelings, which are desirable in a lady, though we know that they are contrary to the facts of the world. All common persons are doing as well as they can, but it does not come to much after all. All statesmen are doing as ill as they can, and let us be thankful that that does not come to much either.” We may search and search in vain through this repository of the results of “university teaching” for a single truth which it has established, for a single high cause which it has advanced, for a single deep thought which is to sink into the minds of its readers. We have, indeed, a nearly perfect embodiment of the corrective scepticism of a sleepy intellect. “A B says he has done something, but he has not done it; C D has made a parade of demonstrating this or that proposition, but he does not prove his case; there is one mistake in page 5, and another in page 113; a great history has been written of this or that century, but the best authorities as to that period have not been consulted, which, however, is not very remarkable, as there is nothing in them.” We could easily find, if it were needful, many traces of the same indifferent habit, the same apathetic culture, in the more avowed productions of Oxford men. The shrewd eye of Mr. Emerson, stimulated doubtless by the contrast to America, quickly caught the trait. “After all,” says the languid Oxford gentleman of his story, “there is nothing true and nothing new, and no matter!”
To this, as to every other species of indifferentism, Mr. Gladstone is the antithesis. Oxford has not disheartened him. Some of his colleagues would say they wished it had. He is interested in everything he has to do with, and often interested too much. He proposes to put a stamp on contract notes with an eager earnestness as if the destiny of Europe, here and hereafter, depended upon its enactment. He cannot let anything alone. “Sir,” said an old distributor of stamps in Westmoreland, “my head, sir, is worn out. I must resign. The Chancellor, sir, is imposing of things that I can’t understand.” The world is not well able to understand them either. The public departments break down under the pressure of the industry of their superior. Mr. Gladstone is ready to work as long as his brain will hold together—to make speeches as long as he has utterance (words he is sure to have); but the subordinate officials will not work equally hard. They have none of the excitement of origination; they will not share the credit of success. They do, however, share the discredit of failure. In the high-pressure season of this year’s Budget, Acts of Parliament have been passed in which essential provisions were not to be found, in which what was intended to be enacted was omitted or exceeded, in which the marginal notes were widely astray of the text. In his literary works Mr. Gladstone is the same. His book on Homer is perhaps the most zealous work which this generation has produced. He has the enthusiasm of a German professor for the scholastic detail, for the exact meaning of word No. 1, for the precise number of times which word No. 2 is used by the poet; he has the enthusiasm of a lover for Helen, the enthusiasm of an orator for the speeches. Of his theological books we need not speak; every reader will recall the curious succession of needless quæstiunculæ by which their interest is marred.
Some of this energy Mr. Gladstone probably owes to the place of his birth. Lancashire is sometimes called “America-and-water”: we suspect it is America and very little water. The excessive energy natural to half-educated men who have but a single pursuit cannot, indeed, in any part of England, produce the monstrous results which it occasionally produces in the United States; it is kept in check by public opinion, by the close vicinity of an educated world. But in its own pursuit, in commerce, we question whether New York itself is more intensely eager than Liverpool—at any rate, it is difficult to conceive how it can be. Like several other remarkable men whose families belong to the place, Mr. Gladstone has carried into other pursuits, the eagerness, the industry—we are loth to say the rashness, but the boldness—which Liverpool men apply to the business of Liverpool. Underneath the scholastic polish of his Oxford education, he has the speculative hardihood, the eager industry of a Lancashire merchant.
Such is one of the principal peculiarities which Mr. Gladstone’s character presents even to a superficial observer. But something more than superficial observation is necessary really to understand a character so complicated and so odd. We will touch upon some of the traits which are among the most important; and if our minute analysis has, or seems to have, some of the painfulness of a vivisection, we would observe that a defect of this kind is in some degree inseparable from the task we have undertaken. We cannot explain the special peculiarities of a singular man of genius without a somewhat elaborate and a half-metaphysical discussion.
It is needless to say that Mr. Gladstone is a great orator. Oratory is one of the pursuits as to which there is no error. The criterion is ready. Did the audience feel? were they excited? did they cheer? These questions, and others such as these, can be answered without a mistake. A man who can move the House of Commons—still, after many changes, the most severe audience in the world—must be a great orator. The most sincere admirers and the most eager depreciators of Mr. Gladstone are agreed on this point, and it is almost the only point on which they are agreed.
It will be well, however, to pause upon this characteristic of Mr. Gladstone’s genius, and to examine the nature of it rather anxiously, because it seems to afford the true key to some of his most perplexing peculiarities. Mr. Gladstone has, beyond every other man in this generation, what we may call the oratorical impulse. We are in the habit of speaking of rhetoric as an art, and also of oratory as a faculty, and in both cases we speak quite truly. No man can speak without a special intellectual gift, and no man can speak well without a special intellectual training. But neither this gift of the intellect nor this education will suffice of themselves. A man must not only know what to say, he must have a vehement longing to get up and say it. Many persons, rather sceptical persons especially, do not feel this in the least. They see before them an audience—a miscellaneous collection of odd-looking men—but they feel no wish to convince them of anything. “Are not they very well as they are? They believe what they have been brought up to believe.” “Confirm every man in his own manner of conceiving,” said one great sage. “A savage among savages is very well,” remarked another. You may easily take away one creed and then not be able to implant another. “You may succeed in unfitting men for their own purposes without fitting them for your purposes”—thus thinks the cui bono sceptic. Another kind of sceptic is distrustful, and speaks thus: “I know I can’t convince these people; if I could, perhaps I would, but I can’t. Only look at them! they have all kinds of crotchets in their heads. There is a wooden-faced man in spectacles. How can you convince a wooden-faced man in spectacles? And see that other man with a narrow forehead and compressed lips—is it any use talking to him? It is of no use; do not hope that mere arguments will impair the prepossessions of nature and the steady convictions of years.” Mr. Gladstone would not feel these sceptical arguments. He would get up to speak. He has the didactic impulse. He has the “courage of his ideas”. He will convince the audience. He knows an argument which will be effective, he has one for one and another for another; he has an enthusiasm which he feels will rouse the apathetic, a demonstration which he thinks must convert the incredulous, an illustration which he hopes will drive his meaning even into the heads of the stolid. At any rate, he will try. He has a nature, as Coleridge might have said, towards his audience. He is sure, if they only knew what he knows, they would feel as he feels, and believe as he believes. And by this he conquers. This living faith, this enthusiasm, this confidence, call it as we will, is an extreme power in human affairs. One croyant, said the Frenchman, is a greater power than fifty incrédules. In the composition of an orator, the hope, the credulous hope, that he will convince his audience, is the primum mobile, it is the primitive incentive which is the spring of his influence and the source of his power. Mr. Gladstone has this incentive in perhaps an excessive and dangerous measure. Whatever may be right or wrong in pure finance, in abstract political economy, it is certain that no one save Mr. Gladstone would have come down with the Budget of 1860 to the Commons of 1860. No other man would have believed that such a proposal would have a chance. Yet after the warning—the disheartening warning of a reluctant Cabinet—Mr. Gladstone came down from a depressing sick-bed, with semi-bronchitis hovering about him, entirely prevailed for the moment, and three parts conquered after all. We will not say that the world is given to men of this temperament and this energy; on the contrary, there is often a turn in the tide, the ovation of the spring may be the prelude to unpopularity in the autumn; but we see that audiences are given them; we see that unimpressible men are deeply moved by them—that the driest topics of legislation and finance are for the instant affected by them—that the prolonged effects of that momentary influence may be felt for many years, sometimes for centuries. The orator has a dominion over the critical instant, and the consequences of the decisions taken during that instant may last long after the orator and the audience have both passed away.
Nor is the didactic impulse the only one which is essential to a great political orator; nor is it the only one which Mr. Gladstone has. We say it with respect; but he has the contentious impulse. He illustrates the distinction between the pacific and the peaceful. On all great questions, on the controversies of states and empires, Mr. Gladstone is the most pacific of mankind. He hates the very rumour of war; he trusts in moral influences; he detests the bare idea of military preparations. He will not believe that preparations are necessary till the enemy is palpable. In the early part of 1853 he did not believe that the Russian war was impending; after the conversations of the Emperor Nicholas with Sir Hamilton Seymour, he proposed to Parliament a scheme for converting some portions of the National Debt, which could only be successful if peace continued, and which, after the outbreak of the war, failed ignominiously. In 1860, mutatis mutandis, he has done the same. He staked his financial reputation upon a fine calculation; he gave us a Budget in which the two ends scarcely met. The Chinese war came, and they no longer meet. We believe that Mr. Gladstone so much hates the bare idea of the possibility of war, that after many warnings, after at least one failure which must have been painful, and which should have been instructive, he has refused to take even the contingency of hostilities into his calculations. Some one said he was not only a Christian, but a morbid Christian. He cannot imagine that anything so coarse as war will occur; when it does occur, he has a tendency to disapprove of it as soon as he can. During the Russian war he soon joined, in fact if not in name, the peace-at-all-price party; he exerted his finest reasonings and his most persuasive eloquence against a war which was commenced with his consent. At the present moment no Englishman, not Mr. Bright himself, feels so little the impulse to arm. He will not believe in a war till he sees men fighting. He is the most pacific of our statesmen in theory and in policy. When you hear Mr. Gladstone, he is about the most combative. He can bear a good deal about the politics of Europe; but let a man question the fees on vatting, or the change in the game certificate, or the stamp on bills of lading—what melodious thunders of loquacious wrath! The world, he hints, is likely to end at such observations, and it is dreadful that they should be made by the honourable member who made them—“by the honourable member who four years ago said so-and-so, and five years before that moved,” etc. etc. The number of well-intentioned and tedious persons whom Mr. Gladstone annually scolds into a latent dislike of him must be considerable.
But though we may smile at the minutiæ in which this contentious impulse sometimes shows itself, we must remember that the impulse itself is essential to a great political orator, everywhere in some degree, but in England especially. To be an influential speaker in the House of Commons, a man must be a great debater. He must excel not only in elaborate set speeches, but likewise in quick occasional repartee. No one but a rather contentious person will ever so excel. Mr. Fox, the most genial of men, was asked why he disputed so vehemently about some trifle or other. He said, “I must do so; I can’t live without discussion”. And this is the temperament of a great debater. It must be a positive pain to him to be silent under questionable assertions, to hear others saying that which he cannot agree with. An indifferent sceptic such as we formerly spoke of, endures this very easily. “He thinks, no doubt, that what the speaker is saying is quite wrong; but people do not understand what he is saying; very likely they won’t understand the answer: besides, we’ve a majority; what is the use of arguing when you have a majority? Let us out-vote him on the spot, and go to bed.” And so, report says, have whips argued to Mr. Gladstone, but he is ever ready. He takes up the parable of disputation at a quarter past twelve, and goes on till he has exhausted argument, illustration, ingenuity, and research. To hardly any man have both the impulses of the political orator been given in so great a measure: the didactic orator is usually felicitous in exposition only; the great debater is, like Fox, only great when stung to reply by the æstrus of contention. But Mr. Gladstone is by nature, by vehement overruling nature, great in both arts; he longs to pour forth his own belief; he cannot rest till he has contradicted every one else.
In addition to this oratorical temperament, Mr. Gladstone has in a high degree the most important intellectual talent of an orator; he has what we may call an adaptive mind. He has described this himself better than most people would describe it:—
“Poets of modern times have composed great works in ages that stopped their ears against them. Paradise Lost does not represent the time of Charles the Second, nor the Excursion the first decades of the present century. The case of the orator is entirely different. His work, from its very inception, is inextricably mixed up with practice. It is cast in the mould offered to him by the mind of his hearers. It is an influence principally received from his audience (so to speak) in vapour, which he pours back upon them in a flood. The sympathy and concurrence of his time, is, with his own mind, joint parent of his work. He cannot follow nor frame ideals: his choice is, to be what his age will have him, what it requires in order to be moved by him, or else not to be at all. And as when we find the speeches in Homer, we know that there must have been men who could speak them, so, from the existence of units who could speak them, we know that there must have been crowds who could feel them.”1
We may judge of the House of Commons in the same way from the great Budget speech. No one, indeed, half guides, half follows the moods of his audience more quickly, more easily, than Mr. Gladstone. There is a little playfulness in his manner, which contrasts with the dryness of his favourite topics, and the intense gravity of his earnest character. He has the same sort of control over the minds of those he is addressing that a good driver has over the animals he guides: he feels the minds of his hearers as the driver the mouths of his horses.
The species of intellect that is required for this task is pre-eminently the advocate’s intellect. The instrument of oratory, at least of this kind of oratory, is the argumentum ad hominem. It is inextricably mixed up with practice. It argues from the data furnished to him “by the mind of his hearers”. He receives his premises from them “like a vapour,” and pours out his “conclusions upon them like a flood”. Such an orator may believe his conclusions, but he can rarely believe them for the reasons which he assigns for them. He may be an enthusiast in his creed, he may be a zealot in his faith, but not the less will he be an advocate in his practice; not the less will he catch at disputable premises because his audience accepts them; not the less will he draw inferences from them which suit his momentary purpose; not the less will he accept the most startling varieties of assertion, for he will imbibe from one audience a different “vapour” of premises from that which he will receive from another; not the less will he have the chameleon-like character which we associate with a consummate advocate; not the less will he be one thing to-day, with the colour of one audience upon him; not the less will he be another to-morrow, when he has to address, persuade, and influence some different set of persons.
We scarcely think, with Mr. Gladstone, that this style of oratory is the very highest, though it is very natural that he should think so, for it exactly expresses the oratory in which he is the greatest living master. Mr. Gladstone’s conception of oratory, in theory and in practice, is the oratory of Pitt, not the oratory of Chatham or of Burke: it is the oratory of adaptation. We do not deny that this is the kind of oratory which is most generally useful, the only kind which is commonly permissible, the only one which in general would not be a bore; but we must remember that there is an eloquence of great principles which the hearers scarcely heed, and do not accept—such as, in its highest parts, is the eloquence of Burke—we must remember that there is an eloquence of great passions, of high-wrought intense feeling, which is nearly independent of the peculiarities of its audience, because it appeals to our elemental human nature—which is the same, or much the same, in almost every audience, which is everywhere and always susceptible to the union of vivid genius and eager passion. Such as this last was, if we may trust tradition, the eloquence of Chatham, the source of his rare, magical, and occasional power. Mr. Gladstone has neither of these. Few speakers equally great have left so few passages which can be quoted—so few which embody great principles in such a manner as to be referred to by coming generations. He has scarcely given us a sentence that lives in the memory; nor is his declamation, facile and effective as it always is, the very highest declamation: it is a nearly perfect expression of intellectualised sentiment, but it wants the volcanic power of primitive passion.
The prominence of advocacy in Mr. Gladstone’s mind is in appearance, though not in reality, diminished by the purity and intensity of his zeal. There is an elastic heroism about him. When he begins to speak, we may know that we are going to hear what we shall not agree with. We may believe that the measures he proposes are mischievous; we may smile at the emphasis with which some of their minutiæ are insisted upon; but we inevitably feel that we have left the ordinary earth. We know that high sentiments will be appealed to by one who feels high sentiments; that strong arguments will be strongly stated by one who believes that argument should decide controversy. We know that we are beyond the realm of the Patronage Secretary; we have left behind us the doctrine that corruption is the ruling power in popular assemblies, that patronage is the purchase-money of power. We are not alleging that in the real world in which we live there is not some truth—more or less of truth—in these lower maxims; but they do not rule in Mr. Gladstone’s world. He was not born to be a Secretary of the Treasury. If he tried his hand at it, he would perplex the borough attorneys out of their lives. And he could not keep the office a month; he would evince a real disgust at detestable requests, and guide with odd impulsiveness the delicate and latent machinery. His natural element is a higher one. He has—and it is one of the springs of great power—a real faith in the higher parts of human nature; he believes, with all his heart and soul and strength, that there is such a thing as truth; he has the soul of a martyr with the intellect of an advocate.
Another of Mr. Gladstone’s characteristics is an extraordinary love of labour. We have alluded several times to his taste, we might almost say his whimsical taste, for minutiæ. He is ready with whatever detail may be necessary on any subject, no matter of what kind. He covers his greatest schemes with a crowd of irrelevant appendages, till it is difficult to see their outline. The Budget of 1860 was large enough and complicated enough, one would have thought, in its essential irremovable features; but its author did not think so. He had supplementary provisions respecting game certificates, respecting the transmission of newspapers by the post, respecting “several other minuter changes with which he was almost ashamed to trouble the committee”. The labour necessary to all these accessories must have been enormous. Many of the alterations may have—must have—been lying ready in his memory, or in some old note-book, for many years. But the industry to furbish them up, to get them into a practicable, or even into a proposable shape, would frighten not only most persons, but most laborious persons. And Mr. Gladstone’s energy seems to be strictly intellectual. Nothing in his outward appearance indicates the iron physique that often carries inferior men through heavy tasks. Whatever he does that is peculiar, he does by the peculiarity of his mind. He is carried through his work, or seems to be so, by pure will, zeal, and effort.
The last characteristic of Mr. Gladstone which is very remarkable, or which we shall mention, is his scholastic intellect. We have not much of this in conspicuous men in the present day, but in former times there was a good deal of it. Lord Bacon had something like it in his eye when he spoke of minds which were not “discursive” or skilful in discovering analogies, but were discriminative or skilful in detecting differences. The best scene for training this sort of intellect is the law-court. Lord Bacon must have seen much of it in the work of Gray’s Inn when he was young, and traces of the discipline which he then underwent may perhaps be found even in books which were written by him many years afterwards. When, as in positive law, the first principles are fixed, there is no room for the highest originality; the only admissible controversy is whether a particular case comes or does not come within a particular principle. On this point there is room for endless distinctions and eternal hair-splitting. When the principles settled by authority are not entirely consistent, the function of this kind of distinguishing reason is even greater; it has to suggest nice refinements, which may reconcile the apparent differences between the principles themselves, as well as to settle the exact relation of the case, or the facts, to the doctrine of the authorities. Accordingly, the scholastic theologians of mediæval times were the most expert masters of the discriminative ratiocination which the world has ever seen. They had to reconcile the recognised authorities of the Catholic Church—authorities vast in size, and scattered over centuries in time—with one another, with good sense, with the facts of special cases, with the general exigencies of the age. By their labour was formed that acute logic, that subtle, if unreal philosophy which fell at the Reformation, when the authorities of the Catholic Church were no longer conclusive, and the art of arranging them was no longer important. We have learned to smile at the scholastic distinctions of former times; the inductive philosophy, which is now our most conspicuous pursuit, does not need them; the popular character of our ordinary discussion does not admit of them. In a free country we must use the sort of argument which plain men understand—and plain men certainly do not appreciate or apprehend scholastic refinements. So at least we should say beforehand. Yet Mr. Gladstone is the statesman whose expositions have, for good or for evil, more power than those of any other; his voice is a greater power in the country of plain men than any other man’s; nevertheless, his intellect is of a thoroughly scholastic kind. He can distinguish between any two propositions; he never allowed, he could not allow, that any two were identical. If anyone on either side of the House is bold enough to infer anything from anything, Mr. Gladstone is ready to deny that the inference is correct—to suggest a distinction which he says is singularly important—to illustrate an apt subtlety which, in appearance at least, impairs the validity of the deduction. No schoolman could be readier at such work. We may find the same tendency of mind even more strikingly illustrated in his writings. At the time of the Gorham case, for example, he wrote a pamphlet on the Royal Supremacy. For the purposes of that case, it was of the last importance to determine the exact position of the Crown with respect to ecclesiastical affairs, and especially to the offence of heresy. The law at first seems distinct enough on the matter. The 1st of Elizabeth provides “that such jurisdictions, privileges, superiorities, and pre-eminences, spiritual and ecclesiastical, as by any spiritual or ecclesiastical power or authority hath heretofore been or may lawfully be exercised or used for the visitation of the ecclesiastical state and persons, and for reformation, order and correction of the same, and of all manner of errors, heresies, schisms, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, shall for ever, by authority of this present Parliament, be united and annexed to the imperial Crown of this realm”. These words would have seemed distinct and clear to most persons. They would have seemed to give to the Crown all the power it could wish to exercise—all that any spiritual authority had ever “theretofore exercised”—all that any temporal authority could ever use. We should think it was clear that Queen Elizabeth would have applied a rather summary method of instruction to any one who attempted to limit the jurisdiction conferred by this enactment. If Mr. Gladstone had lived in the times about which he was writing, he might have had to make a choice between being silent and being punished; but in the times of Queen Victoria he is not subjected to an alternative so painful. He writes securely:—
“We have now before us the terms of the great statute which, from the time it was passed, has been the actual basis of the royal authority in matters ecclesiastical; and I do not load these pages by reference to declarations of the Crown, and other public documents less in authority than this, in order that we may fix our view the more closely upon the expressions of what may fairly be termed a fundamental law in relation to the subject-matter before us.
“The first observation I make is this: there is no evidence in the words which have been quoted that the Sovereign is, according to the intention of the statute, the source or fountain-head of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. They have no trace of such a meaning, in so far as it exceeds (and it does exceed) the proposition, that this jurisdiction has been by law united or annexed to the Crown.
“I do not now ask what have been the glosses of lawyers—what are the reproaches of polemical writers—or even what attributes may be ascribed to prerogative, independent of statute, and therefore applicable to the Church before as well as after the Reformation. I must for the purposes of this argument assume what I shall never cease to believe until the contrary conclusion is demonstrated by fact, namely, that, in the case of the Church, justice is to be administered from the English bench upon the same principles as in all other cases—that our judges, or our judicial committees, are not to be our legislators—and that the statutes of the realm, as they are above the sacred majesty of the Queen, so are likewise above their ministerial interpreters. It was by statute that the changes in the position of the Church at that great epoch were measured—by statute that the position itself is defined; and the statute, I say, contains no trace of such a meaning as that the Crown either originally was the source and spring of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, or was to become such in virtue of the annexation to it of the powers recited; but simply bears the meaning, that it was to be master over its administration.”
So that which seems a despotism is gradually pruned down into a vicegerency. “All the superiorities and preeminences spiritual and ecclesiastical,” which had ever been lawfully exercised, are restricted to the single function of regulation; and by a judicious elaboration the Crown becomes scarcely the head of the Church, but only the visitor and corrector of it, as of several other corporations. We are not now concerned with the royal supremacy—we have no wish to hint or intimate an opinion on a vast legal discussion; but we are concerned with Mr. Gladstone. And we venture to say that a subtler gloss, more scholastically expressed, never fell from lawyer in the present age, or from schoolmen in times of old.
The great faculties we have mentioned give Mr. Gladstone, it is needless to say, an extraordinary influence in English politics. England is a country governed mainly by labour and by speech. Mr. Gladstone will work and can speak, and the result is what we see. With a flowing eloquence and a lofty heroism; with an acute intellect and endless knowledge; with courage to conceive large schemes, and a voice which will persuade men to adopt those schemes—it is not singular that Mr. Gladstone is of himself a power in Parliamentary life. He can do there what no one else living can do.
But the effect of these peculiar faculties is by no means unmixedly favourable. In almost every one of them some faulty tendency is latent, which may produce bad effects—in Mr. Gladstone’s case has often done so, perhaps does so still. His greatest characteristic, as we have indicated, is the singular vivacity of his oratorical impulse. But great as is the immediate power which a vehement oratorical propensity, when accompanied by the requisite faculties, secures to the possessor, the advantage of possessing it, or rather of being subject to it, is by no means without an alloy. We have all heard that Paley said he knew nothing against some one but that he was a popular preacher. And Paley knew what he was saying. The oratorical impulse is a disorganising impulse. The higher faculties of the mind require a certain calm, and the excitement of oratory is unfavourable to that calm. We know that this is so with the hearers of oratory; we know that they are carried away from their fixed principles, from their habitual tendencies, by a casual and unexpected stimulus. We speak commonly of the power of the orator. But the orator is subject himself to much the same calamity. The force which carries away his hearers must first carry away himself. He will not persuade any of his hearers unless he has first succeeded, for the moment at least, in persuading his own mind. Every exciting speech is conceived, planned, and spoken with excitement. The orator feels in his own nerves, even in a greater degree, that electric thrill which he is to communicate to his hearers. The telling ideas take hold of him with a sort of seizure. They fasten close upon his brain. He has a sort of passionate impulse to tell them. He hungers, as a Greek would have said, till they are uttered. His mind is full of them. He has the vision of the audience in his mind. Until he has persuaded these men of these things, life is tame, and its other stimulants are uninteresting. So much excitement is evidently unfavourable to calm reflection and deliberation. Mr. Pitt is said to have thought more of the manner in which his measures would strike the House than of the manner in which, when carried, they would work. Of course he did—every great orator will do so, unless he has a supernatural self-control. An ordinary man sits down—say to make a Budget: he arranges the accounts; adds up the figures; contrasts the effects of different taxes; works out steadily hour after hour their probable incidence, first of one, then of another. Nothing disturbs him. With the orator it is different. During that whole process he is disturbed by the vision of his hearers. How they will feel, how they will think, how they will like his proposals—cannot but occur to him. He hears his ideas rebounding in the cheers of his hearers; he is disheartened, at fancying that they will fall tamely on an inanimate and listless multitude. He is subject to two temptations; he is turned aside from the conceptions natural to the subject by an imagination of his audience; his own eager temperament naturally inclines him to the views which will excite that audience most effectually. The tranquil deposit of ordinary ideas is interrupted by the sudden eruption of volcanic forces. We know that the popular instinct suspects the judgment of great orators; we know that it does not give them credit for patient equanimity; and the popular instinct is right.
Nor is cool reflection the only higher state of mind which the oratorical impulse interferes with; we believe that it is singularly unfavourable also to the exercise of the higher kind of imagination. Several great poets have written good dramatic harangues; but no great practical orator has ever written a great poem. The creative imagination requires a singular calm it is “the still unravished bride of quietness,” as the poets say, “the foster-child of silence and slow time”.1 No great work has ever been produced except after a long interval of still and musing meditation. The oratorical impulse interferes with this. It breaks the exclusive brooding of the mind upon the topic; it brings in a new set of ideas, the faces of the audience and the passions of listening men; it jerks the mind, if the expression may be allowed, just when the delicate poetry of the mind is crystallising into symmetry. The process is stayed, and the result is marred.
Mr. Gladstone has suffered from both these bad effects of the oratorical temperament. His writings, even on imaginative subjects, even on the poetry of Homer, are singularly devoid of the highest imagination. They abound in acute remarks; they excel in industry of detail; they contain many animated and some eloquent passages. But there is no central conception running through them; there is no binding idea in them; there is nothing to fuse them together; they are elaborate aggregates of varied elements; they are not shaped and consolidated wholes. Nor, it is remarkable, has his style the delicate graces which mark the productions of the gentle and meditative mind; there something hard in its texture, something dislocated in its connections. In his writings, where he is removed from the guiding check of the listening audience, he starts off, just where you least expect it. He hurries from the main subject to make a passing and petty remark. As he has not the central idea of his work vividly before him, he overlays it with tedious, accessory, and sometimes irrelevant detail.
His intellect has suffered also. He is undeniably defective in the tenacity of first principle. Probably there is nothing which he would less like to have said of him, and yet it is certainly true. We speak, of course, of intellectual consistency, not of moral probity. And he has not an adhesive mind; such adhesiveness as he has is rather to projects than principles. We will give—it is all we have space to give—a single remarkable instance of his peculiar mutability. He has adhered in the year 1860 to his project of reducing the amount levied in England by indirect taxation. He announced in 1853 that he would do so, and, what was singular enough, he was able to do it when the time came. But this superficial consistency must not disguise from us the entire inconsistency in abstract principle between the Budget of 1853 and the Budget of 1860. The most important element in English finance at present is the income-tax. In 1853 that tax was, Mr. Gladstone explained to us, an occasional, an exceptional, a sacred reserve. It had done much that was wonderful for our fathers in the French war; Sir R. Peel had used it with magical efficiency in our own time; but it was to be kept for first-rate objects. In 1860 the income-tax has become the tax of all work. Whatever is to be done, whatever other tax is to be relinquished, it is but a penny more or a penny less of this ever-ready and omnipotent impost. We do not blame Mr. Gladstone for changing his opinion. We believe that an income-tax of moderate amount should be a permanent element in our financial system. We think that additions to it from time to time are the best ways of meeting any sudden demand for exceptional expenditure. But we cannot be unaware of the transition which he has made. His opinion as to our most remarkable tax has varied, not only in detail but in essence. It was to be a rare and residuary agency, it is now a permanent and principal force. The inconsistency goes further. He used to think that he would be guilty of a “high political offence” if he altered the present mode of assessing the income-tax, if he equalised the pressure on industrial and permanent incomes. But he is now ready to consider any plan with that object—in other words, he is ready to do it if he can. A great change in his fundamental estimate of our greatest tax has made an evident and indisputable change in his mode of viewing proposed reforms and alterations in it.
Mr. Gladstone’s inclination—his unconscious inclination for the art of advocacy—increases his tendency to suffer from the characteristic temptations of his oratorical temperament. It is scarcely necessary to say that professional advocacy is unfavourable to the philosophical investigation of truth; a more battered commonplace cannot be found anywhere. To catch at whatever turns up in favour of your own case; to be obviously blind to everything which tells in favour of the case of your adversary; to imply doubts as to principles which it is not expedient to deny; to suggest with delicate indirectness the conclusive arguments in favour of principles which it is not wise directly to affirm—these, and such as these, are the arts of the advocate. A political orator has them almost of necessity, and Mr. Gladstone is not exempt from them. Indeed, without any fault of his own, he has them, if not to an unusual extent, at least with a very unusual conspicuousness. His vehement temperament, his “intense and glowing mind,”1 drive him into strong statements, into absolute and unlimited assertions. He lays down a principle of tremendous breadth to establish a detail of exceeding minuteness. He is not a “hedging” advocate. He does not understand the art which Hume and Peel—different as were their respective spheres—practised with almost equal effect in those spheres. Mr. Gladstone dashes forth to meet his opponents. He will believe easily—he will state strongly whatever may confute them. An incessant use of ingenious and unqualified principles is one of Mr. Gladstone’s most prominent qualities; it is unfavourable to exact consistency of explicit assertion, and to latent consistency of personal belief. His scholastic intellect makes matters worse. He will show that any two principles are or may be consistent; that if there is an apparent discrepancy, they may still, after the manner of Oxford, “be held together”. One of the most remarkable of Father Newman’s Oxford Sermons explains how science teaches that the earth goes round the sun, and how Scripture teaches that the sun goes round the earth; and it ends by advising the discreet believer to accept both. Both, it is suggested, may be accommodations to our limited intellect—aspects of some higher and less discordant unity. We have often smiled at the recollection of the old Oxford training in watching Mr. Gladstone’s ingenious “reconcilements”. It must be pleasant to have an argumentative acuteness which is quite sure to extricate you, at least in appearance, from any intellectual scrape. But it is a dangerous weapon to use, and particularly dangerous to a very conscientious man. He will not use it unless he believes in its results; but he will try to believe in its results, in order that he may use it. We need not spend further words in proving that a kind of advocacy at once acute, refined, and vehement, is unfavourable both to consistency of statement and to tenacious sluggishness of belief.
In this manner, the disorganising effects of his greatest peculiarities have played a principal part in shaping Mr. Gladstone’s character and course. They have helped to make him annoy the old Whigs, confound the country gentlemen, and puzzle the nation generally. They have contributed to bring on him the long array of depreciating adjectives, “extravagant,” “inconsistent,” “incoherent,” and “incalculable”.
Mr. Gladstone’s intellectual history has aggravated the unfavourable influence of his characteristic tendencies. Such a mind as his required, beyond any man’s, the early inculcation of a steadying creed. It required that the youth, if not the child, should be father to the man: it required that a set of fixed and firm principles should be implanted in his mind in its first intellectual years—that those principles should be precise enough for its guidance, tangible enough to be commonly intelligible, true enough to stand the wear and tear of ordinary life. The tranquil task of developing coherent principle might have calmed the vehemence of Mr. Gladstone’s intellectual impulses—might have steadied the impulsive discursiveness of his nature. A settled and plain creed, which was in union with the belief of ordinary men, might have kept Mr. Gladstone in the common path of plain men—might have made him intelligible and safe. But he has had no such good fortune. He began the world with a vast religious theory; he embodied it in a book on Church and State; he defended it, as was said, mistily—at any rate, he defended it in a manner which requires much careful pains to appreciate, and much preliminary information to understand; he puzzled the ordinary mass of English Churchmen; he has been half out of sympathy with them ever since. The creed which he has chosen, or which his Oxford training stamped upon him, was one not likely to be popular with common Englishmen. It had a scholastic appearance and a mystical essence which they dislike almost equally. But this was not its worst defect. It was a theory which broke down when it was tried. It was a theory with definite practical consequences, which no one in these days will accept—which no one in these days will propose. It was a theory to be shattered by the slightest touch of real life, for it had a definite teaching which was inconsistent with the facts of that life—which all persons who were engaged in it were, on some ground or other, unanimous in rejecting. In Mr. Gladstone’s case it had been shattered. He maintained, that a visible Church existed upon earth; that every State was bound to be directed by that Church; that all members of that State should, if possible, be members of that Church; that at any rate none of the members should be utterly out of sympathy with her; that the State ought to aid her in her characteristic work, and refrain from aiding her antagonists in that work; that within her own sphere the Church, though thus aided, is substantially independent; that she has an absolute right to elect her own bishops, to determine her own creed, to make her own definitions of orthodoxy and heresy. This is the high Oxford creed, and, in all essential points, it was Mr. Gladstone’s first creed.
But a curious series of instructive events proved that England at least would not adopt it,—that the actual Church of England is not the Church of which it speaks,—that the actual English State is by no means the State of which it speaks. The additional endowment of the Maynooth College which Sir Robert Peel proposed was an express relinquishment of the principle that the Church of England had an exclusive right to assistance from the State; it proved that the Conservative party—the special repository of constitutional traditions—was ready to aid a different and antagonistic communion. The removal of the Jewish disabilities struck a still deeper blow: it proved that persons who could not be said to participate in even the rudiments of Anglican doctrine might be Prime Ministers and rulers in England. The theory of the exclusive union of a visible Church with a visible State vanished into the air. The real world would not endure it. We fear it must be said that the theory of the substantial independence of the English Church has vanished too. The case of Dr. Hampden proved conclusively that the intervention of the English Church in the election of her bishops was an ineffectual ceremony; that it could not be galvanised into effective life; that it was one of those lingering relics of the past which the steady English people are so loth to disturb. Undisputed practice shows that the Prime Minister, who is clearly secular prince, is the dispenser of ecclesiastical dignities. And the judgment of her Majesty’s Council in the Gorham case went further yet. It touched on the finest and tenderest point of all. It decided that, on the critical question, heresy or no heresy, the final appeal was not to an ecclesiastical court, but to a lay court—to a court, not of saintly theologians, but of tough old lawyers, to men of the world most worldly. The Oxford dream of an independent Church, the Oxford dream of an exclusive Church, are both in practice forgotten; their very terms are strange in our ears; they have no reference to real life. Mr. Gladstone has had to admit this. He has voted for the endowment of Maynooth; he has voted for the admission of Jews to the House of Commons; he has acquiesced in the Hampden case; he sees daily the highest patronage of the Church distributed by Lord Palmerston, the very man who, on any high-church theory, ought not to dispense it, to the very men who, on any high-church theory, ought not to receive it. He wrote a pamphlet on the Gorham case, but he does not practically propose to alter the constitution of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; he has never proposed to bring in a bill for that purpose; he acquiesces in the supreme decision of the most secular court which can exist over the most peculiarly ecclesiastical questions that can be thought of. These successive changes do credit to Mr. Gladstone’s good sense; they show that he has a susceptible nature, that he will not live out of sympathy with his age. But what must be the effect of such changes upon any mind, especially on a delicate and high-toned mind? They tend, and must tend, to confuse the first principles of belief; to disturb the best landmarks of consistency; to leave the mind open to attacks of oratorical impulse; to foster the catching habit of advocacy; to weaken the guiding element in a disposition which was already defective in that element. The “movement of 1833,” as Father Newman calls it, has wrecked many fine intellects, has broken many promising careers. It could not do either for Mr. Gladstone, for his circumstances were favourable, and his mental energy was far too strong; but it has done him harm, nevertheless: it has left upon his intellect a weakening strain and a distorting mark.
Mr. Gladstone was a likely man to be enraptured with the first creed with which he was thrown, and to push it too far. He wants the warning instincts. Some one said of him formerly, “He may be a good Christian, but he is an atrocious pagan”; and the saying is true. He has not a trace of the protective morality of the old world, of the modus in rebus, the μέσον, the shrinking from an extreme, which are the prominent characteristics of the ethics of the old world, which are still the guiding creed of the large part of the world that is,—scarcely altered after two thousand years. And this much we may concede to the secular moralists—unless a man have from nature a selective tact which shuns the unlimited, unless he have a detective instinct which unconsciously but sensitively shrinks from the extravagant, he will never enjoy a placid life, he will not pass through a simple and consistent career. The placid moderation which is necessary to coherent success cannot be acquired, it must be born.
Perhaps we may seem already to have more than accounted for the prominence of Mr. Gladstone’s characteristic defects. We may seem to have alleged sufficient reasons for his being changeable and impulsive, a vehement advocate and an audacious financier. But we have other causes to assign which have aggravated these faults. We shall not, indeed, after what we have said, venture to dwell on them at length. We will bear in mind the precept, “If you wish to exhaust your readers, exhaust your subject”. But we will very slightly allude to one of them.
A writer like Mr. Gladstone, fond of deriving illustration from the old theology, might speak of public life in England as an economy. It is a world of its own, far more than most Englishmen are aware of. It presents the characters of public men in a disguised form; and by requiring the seeming adoption of much which is not real, it tends to modify and to distort much which is real. An English statesman in the present day lives by following public opinion; he may profess to guide it a little; he may hope to modify it in detail; he may help to exaggerate and to develop it; but he hardly hopes for more. Many seem not willing to venture on so much. And what does this mean except that such a statesman has to follow the varying currents of a varying world; to adapt his public expressions, if not his private belief, to the tendencies of the hour; to be in no slight measure the slave—the petted and applauded slave, but still the slave—of the world which he seems to rule? Nor is this all. A Minister is not simply the servant of the public, he is likewise the advocate of his colleagues. No one supposes that a Cabinet can ever agree; when did fifteen able men—fifteen able men, more or less rivals—ever agree on anything? We are aware that differences of opinion, more or less radical, exist in every Cabinet; that the decisions of every Cabinet are in nearly every case modified by concession; that a minority of the Cabinet frequently dissents from them. Yet all this latent discrepancy of opinion is never hinted at, much less is it ever avowed. A Cabinet Minister comes down to the House habitually to vote and occasionally to speak in favour of measures which he much dislikes, from which he has in vain attempted to dissuade his colleagues. The life of a great Minister is the life of a great advocate. No life can be imagined which is worse for a mind like Mr. Gladstone’s. He was naturally changeable, susceptible, prone to unlimited statements—to vehement arguments. He has followed a career in which it is necessary to follow a changing guide and to obey more or less, but always to some extent, a fluctuating opinion; to argue vehemently for tenets which you dislike; to defend boldly a given law to-day, to propose boldly that the same law should be repealed to-morrow. Accumulated experience shows that the public life of our Parliamentary statesmen is singularly unsteadying, is painfully destructive of coherent principle; and we may easily conceive how dangerous it must be to a mind like Mr. Gladstone’s—to a mind, by its intrinsic nature, impressible, impetuous, and unfixed.
What, then, is to be the future course of the remarkable statesman whose excellences and whose faults we have ventured to analyse at such length? No wise man would venture to predict. A wise man does not predict much in this complicated world, least of all will he predict the exact course of a perplexing man in perplexing circumstances. But we will hazard three general remarks.
First, Mr. Gladstone is essentially a man who cannot impose his creed on his time, but must learn his creed of his time. Every Parliamentary statesman must, as we have said, do so in some measure; but Mr. Gladstone must do so above all men. The vehement orator, the impulsive advocate, the ingenious but somewhat unsettled thinker, is the last man from whom we should expect an original policy, a steady succession of mature and consistent designs. Mr. Gladstone may well be the expositor of his time, the advocate of its conclusions, the admired orator in whom it will take pride; but he cannot be more. Parliamentary life rarely admits the autocratic supremacy of an original intellect; the present moment is singularly unfavourable to it; Mr. Gladstone is the last man to obtain it.
Secondly, Mr. Gladstone will fail if he follow the seductive example of Sir Robert Peel. It is customary to talk of the unfavourable circumstances in which the latter was placed, but in one respect those circumstances were favourable. He had very unusual means of learning the ideas of his time. They were forced upon him by a loud and organised agitation. The repeal of the corn-laws, the repeal of the Catholic disabilities—the two Acts by which he will be remembered—were not chosen by him, but exacted from him. The world around him clamoured for them. But no future statesman can hope to have such an advantage. The age in which Peel lived was an age of destruction: the measures by which he will be remembered were abolitions. We have now reached the term of the destructive period. We cannot abolish all our laws, we have few remaining with which educated men find fault. The questions which remain are questions of construction—how the lower classes are to be admitted to a share of political power without absorbing the whole power; how the natural union of Church and State is to be adapted to an age of divided religious opinion, and to the necessary conditions of a Parliamentary government. These, and such as these, are the future topics of our home policy. And on these the voice of the nation will never be very distinct. Destruction is easy, construction is very difficult. A statesman who will hereafter learn what our real public opinion is, will not have to regard loud agitators, but to disregard them; will not have to yield to a loud voice, but to listen for a still small voice, will have to seek for the opinion which is treasured in secret rather than for that which is noised abroad. If Mr. Gladstone will accept the conditions of his age; if he will guide himself by the mature, settled, and cultured reflection of his time, and not by its loud and noisy organs; if he will look for that which is thought, rather than for that which is said—he may leave a great name, be useful to his country, may steady and balance his own mind. But if not, not. The coherent efficiency of his career will depend on the the guide which he takes, the index which he obeys, the δαιμων which he consults.
There are two topics which are especially critical. Mr. Gladstone must not object to war because it is war, or to expenditure because it is expenditure. Upon these two points Mr. Gladstone has shown a tendency—not, we hope, an uncontrollable tendency, but still a tendency—to differ from the best opinion of the age. He has been unfortunately placed. His humane and Christian feeling are opposed to war; he has a financial ideal which has been distorted, if not destroyed, by a growing expenditure. But war is often necessary; finance is not an end; money is but a means. A statesman who would lead his age must learn its duties. It may be that the defence of England, the military defence, is one of our duties. If so, we must not sit down to count the cost. If so, it is not the age for arithmetic. If so, it is for our statesmen—it is especially for Mr. Gladstone, who is the most splendidly gifted amongst them—to sacrifice cherished hopes; to forego treasured schemes; to put out of their thoughts the pleasant duties of a pacific time; to face the barbarism of war; to vanquish the instinctive shrinkings of a delicate mind.
Lastly, Mr. Gladstone must beware how he again commits himself to a long period of bewildering opposition. Office is a steadying situation. A Minister has means of learning from his colleagues, from his subordinates, from unnumbered persons who are only too ready to give him information, what the truth is, and what public opinion is. Opposition, on the other hand, is an exciting and a misleading situation. The bias of every one who is so placed is to oppose the Ministry. Yet on a hundred questions the Ministry are likely to be right. They have special information, long consultations, skilled public servants to guide them. On most points there is no misleading motive. Every Minister decides, to the best of his ability, upon most of the questions which come before him. A bias to oppose him, therefore, is always dangerous. It is peculiarly dangerous to those in whom the contentious impulse is strong, whose life is in debate. If Mr. Gladstone’s mind is to be kept in a useful track, it must be by the guiding influence of office, by an exemption from the misguiding influence of opposition.
No one desires more than we do that Mr. Gladstone’s future course should be enriched, not only with oratorical fame, but with useful power. Such gifts as his are amongst the rarest that are given to men; they are amongst the most valuable; they are singularly suited to our Parliamentary life. England cannot afford to lose such a man. If in the foregoing pages we have seemed often to find fault, it has not been for the sake of finding fault. It is necessary that England should comprehend Mr. Gladstone. If the country have not a true conception of a great statesman, his popularity will be capricious, his power irregular, and his usefulness insecure.
[1 ]Speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Finance of the Year and the Treaty of Commerce with France. Delivered in the House of Commons on Friday, 10th February, 1860. Corrected by the Author.
[1 ] On the Parliamentary Reform Bill brought forward by Lord Derby’s Government in 1859.
[1 ]Homer, vol. iii., p. 107.
[1 ] Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn.
[1 ] Wordsworth, The Excursion.