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Earl Powis on this side, Prince Albert on that, | eration.
Or the man who defended the mitre ?
Then why, oh collegiate dons, do you run
Much-loved Augustus Stafford, that frank, cordial, friendly nature, so sadly and harshly treated by those who should have judged all his acts in a more gen erous manner! Yes, he was somewhat vain, proud of his talents—and why not? Why should a woman not appreciate her beauty, and a man his intellectual superiority? Men of heart like to see the feelings of success and the glory of the triumph lightening the brow and brightening the eye, and one should sympathize with the language of Rahel to Ranke on the death of Gentz: "Therefore you cannot know how I for that very reason loved my lost friend when he said that he was so happy to feel his superiority to many others, and this with a little laugh of triumph. Wise enough to be silent is every transient distorted mind; but give me the self-betraying soul, the childlike simplicity of heart to speak it out."
Maga. All your college set were not given to politics, but I suppose you associated with men of all opinions and of all pursuits?
A. There was a great deal of 'sympa thetic sentiment at this date among the undergraduates. For instance, when the Earl of Dundonald (better known as Lord Cochrane, the hero of Basque Roads) paid a visit to Cambridge, he dined in the Hall of Trinity College, and when he entered the hall all the fellows and students stood up. This was remarkable; for the glorious exploit of Basque Roads occurred in 1809, but it still interested the rising gen
*Although it has no connection with this period, am tempted, while quoting graceful verse, to recall two at Lord Mansfield's, when all the library of Lord Chief stanzas by Cowper, written on the occasion of the fire Justice Murray was entirely destroyed:
"And Murray sighs o'er Pope, and Swift,
Their pages mangled, burnt, and torn,
But ages yet to come shall mourn
The burning of his own.'
Lord Cochrane's was quite a reputation to win the sympathy of the young and daring. Napoleon called him "le Loup des Mers," and always expressed astonishment at the treatment the great captain received. I remember Lord Dundonald saying, in no boasting spirit, for he was simplicity itself, "that he never knew what fear was." A near relative of the great Marquis of Anglesey told me that the marquis always made the same remark.
We were very cosmopolitan in our college life; wine-parties, riding-parties, reading-parties, we took part in all, and pleasant they all were. Many an early ride to Newmarket, not for racing but for breakfast, and boating excursions to Ely. were never tired of visiting the cathedral, siastical churches in the land.
one of the most beautiful and oldest eccle
I do not intend to afflict you with a series of undergraduate reminiscences; but there occurred an incident indirectly associated with the Bishop of Ely which suggests an amusing and original mode of raising money. There was a rather popular, extravagant young fellow, well known and well liked in all sets, whose popularity He was the nephew of Mr. Mortlock, the led him frequently into financial crises. great Cambridge banker, and also of the Bishop of Ely. The relatives did all they could paid and paid until they would pay no more, and at last desired him to take his name off the boards. This he refused to do, but adopted an unusual expedient to have his debts paid. He hired an apple-stall and a small tent, placed bank, with the inscription in large letters them exactly opposite Mr. Mortlock's on the stall, "Fruit-stall kept by Mr. Mortlock, nephew of Messrs. Mortlock, Lord Bishop of Ely. No change given." bankers, and of the Right Reverend the He passed the day seated in the tent in a magnificent, velvet-lined cloak, books on the table; beside him there was a plate to receive donations, which poured in As there was room for two in the tent, sovereigns and half-sovereigns abounded. friends took it by turns to sit with him. Mr. Mortlock, the banker, could not move out or even appear at the windows without seeing a crowd, whose sympathies were all with the stall-keeper, and who enjoyed the joke immensely. The result was inevitable. He had to be bought off. How ever, he did not remain at college; the authorities found an early excuse to get rid of him.
Maga. I dare say you could fill a vol
ume with anecdotes of college life; but I feel more interest in the conduct of Young England in the House of Commons. Where did you sit? For there are no cross-benches in the Commons as in the Lords, where it is understood peers have places assigned for what Lord Rosebery called "cross-bench minds."
thing more, standing as you do on the summit of fame, with, as I may say, all nations and languages at your feet, will you not use your power, like the prophet of old, to bless and not to curse the people?
A similar appeal was made to Sir Robert Peel as to the use of his great power, in the following verses: Oh thou to whose plebeian brow The noblest lords are forced to bow, And e'en thy sovereign must avow,
must bring to its study qualities to which I have no pretension,-industry, philosophy, deep thought, perfect habits of business, unremitting self-denial. When my name shall be forgotten, or remembered only as a household word beloved by my children or descendants, you, sir, will be remembered, for you belong to history; A. No; but sitting below the gangway, you will ever be spoken of as the statesman it is understood you are open to convic of unsurpassed ability, as the consummate tions, and are not out-and-out ministerial-orator, the unrivalled debator, as one who ist. The Young Englanders were not achieved successes in a field of intense supposed to adopt a factious line; they competition. Will you not demand somesimply expressed in bright and vigorous language fresh political views, which they hoped to see adopted by the government, so they sat on the bench exactly behind the ministerial or leader of the opposition. It was not without anxiety Sir Robert Peel heard the voices of the new party, who clearly intended to be independent of the Tapers and Tadpoles of the government, and would not at word of command cheer his glowing utterances. They were the more important because the Times, as represented by Mr. Walter, adopted them, and honored their speeches with leading articles and panegyrics. The fact is, Sir Robert Peel was not popular in the House, and not even with the nation, for whom he made the greatest sacrifice, even that of consistency. When he arrived from Rome in 1835, he was at the zenith of his popularity and fame; it was something to have a whole nation hanging in suspense on the movements of one man, while the Duke of Wellington really filled ad interim every office in the State. It was then Sir Robert had that remarkable reception at Glasgow, when he was installed as lord rector of the university, and made two speeches, one as lord rector, and the other in reply to his health at the banquet, which have never been equalled, certainly never surpassed, by any succeeding lord rector. But if his speech was frank, free, and open, his manner was not so, and the result was that the great divisions in the lobbies
Knit votes which served with hearts abhorring
And all this arose from his shyness, for
Thy plenitude of power;
In this triumphant hour.
To bear thy father's honest name,
And trophies of the war;
Walks fettered to thy car.
Oh! if thou couldst but understand,
Proclaim yourself a man.
Then thou wilt only place retain
And give the poor man bread;
A laurel for thy head.
From Britain's darkest frown.
Alone shall drag thee down.
And thou wilt leave to after-times
And did not dare be great.
large contiguous country districts-indeed, in not rare instances, the agricultural element predominated; but up to the last moment there was perfect confidence in the staunchness of Sir Robert to protection, and the voters had been gladdened with eloquent descriptions of golden crops and remunerative harvests, "of the bold The orator and the poet were satisfied peasantry, the country's pride." Nothing when in 1846 Sir Robert Peel proposed had been wanting to complete the picture the repeal of the Corn Laws. It is need of agricultural prosperity; now these visless to say what a blow this was to all his ions had melted into air, and hereafter party. The consequence of this sudden England was to depend on other countries change of policy extended far beyond the for her food supplies. Those of our party measure itself, for it was the commence- who cared for men more than measures, ment of the sad loss of confidence in pub- resolved to consult the great man himself. lic men. It was not, however, until six Interviews with prime ministers are almonths afterwards that the division on the ways solemn events, and it was not withIrish Coercion Bill hurled the great min-out nervousness that we went to Whiteister from power. However much he was hall Gardens. But if we were nervous, convinced of his own integrity of purpose, Sir Robert Peel was much more so. it cannot have been without deep emotion that on this memorable evening he saw the great country party pass into the opposition lobby. It was well said at the time that those who voted against him on that occasion "were men of honor, breeding, and refinement, of great weight and station in the country." They had been not only his followers but his friends, had joined in the same pastimes, drunk from the same cup, and in the pleasantness of private life had often forgotten together the cares and strife of politics. He must have felt the bitterness of fate, while the Manners, the Lowthers, the Bentincks, the Somersets, passed before him. Yes; these were the country gentlemen, the gentlemen of England, with whose cheers, but five years before, the very same building had been ringing whenever he rose; they were proud at having him for their leader. So they marched out, all the men of high character, and large-acred squires, whose spirit he had so often quickened, and whose council he had so often solicited in his eloquent speeches.
This occasion was the first difference of opinion in the Young England party. To some it seemed more desirable rather to continue to support a Conservative ministry, than to turn out Sir Robert Peel and let in the Whigs for the sake of a great principle, more especially when he could only be put into a minority by voting with the opposition. It was a very difficult position for young politicians to be placed in, the more so as not a few had very recently been speaking at agricultural meetings, and advocated the principle of protection in magniloquent periods. Many of the boroughs at that time embraced
schoolboy could be more anxious than the great minister. While with one hand he fidgeted with his watch-chain and seals, with the other he played with papers which were lying on the table. Still, when once he began to explain the position, no words could be heartier, no expression of feeling nobler. He said his brother, Colonel Peel, found himself in the same difficulty. When Sir Robert was told that in some instances it was impossible conscientiously to retain the seat without re-elec tion, he made tempting offers to vacate on taking office, which were invariably declined. One of the elections consequent on these events was remarkable. The rival candidates were exactly equal the whole day. The poll was published every hour after eight o'clock, and on each occasion it was a tie. The poll should have closed at four o'clock, but at a quarter to four an excited mob made an attack on the polling-booth. It was carried away, together with the returning officers and pollclerks, the Liberal candidate, as it was supposed, being in a majority of one. The return was to be declared at the town-hall, whither the Conservative candidate went to protest against the return as illegal, the poll not having been kept open until four. As he commenced a very energetic protestation, the returning officer beckoned him to draw near, and whispered, "It is a mistake, you have a majority of one." As he spoke the band was heard approaching, playing "See the Conquering Hero comes !" They were chairing the supposed successful candidate. When the triumphal procession reached the townhall, they were told of the mistake, when (as was commonly reported) the occupant
of the chair descended from his rickety | more popular ever filled the post. He and most uncomfortable elevation, for the was given two rooms, and one of these he bearers were in very high spirits, and the invited his friends to smoke in. There Conservative, then member, took his place. were the pleasant reunions. Within these Again" See the Conquering Hero was walls no party feeling entered; it was played by the same band, the same mob of "lasciate ogni asperitate voi ch'entrate." thirsty souls cheered, and the same amount Each of the invited brought his own cigars of beer flowed, although from a different and whiskey- that is, all who frequently source. Alas! the result of all this was enjoyed this society used to send a present the break up of the great country party, of whiskey, and there was no light conand, what was more, the loss of confidence sumption of the old Glenlivet and poteen. in the consistency of public men. On one occasion Mr. Gladstone was asked what he imagined was the consumption during the session. He put it at three hundred and fifty bottles, and he was right within half-a-dozen. I very much question whether the new smoking-rooms ever will see such a genial society as the small retreat where the walls were covered with the photographs of the visitors, and where the pleasant talk until "Who goes home?" was heard, was only interrupted by the division bell.
It was very remarkable that a statesman who had seen and lived so much in all societies, and with so great self-command in public, was so shy in private life. I remember on one occasion going rather early to dinner · a large Parliamentary dinner in Whitehall Gardens, and meeting a member who was leaving. "I must be very late," I said to him.
"No; you are early," he replied; "but I am sure there is a mistake in the day. I must have been invited for next Saturday, for I have been in the picture-gallery with Sir Robert for a quarter of an hour, and he has never spoken a word to me."
This was a new member, and not acquainted with Sir Robert's manner. I advised him to return. He did so, and was warmly greeted by Sir Robert, who gained confidence with the increase in the number of his guests.
Sir Robert was not less remarkable for his physical than for his mental power. He was an excellent shot and a good walker. I have heard one who was learned in all manner of sports say he had met few better walkers and better shots; but both as a walker and a shot, he never met any one to equal Sir Robert.
He dined frequently at the House of Commons. The catering was at that time in the hands of Bellamy. There was a great difference between the dinner arrangements at that time and the present. Then, members dined in the kitchen, and the dinner was cooked before them. There was little besides beef-steaks and muttonchops; but they were grilled at a roaring fire, and never were mutton-chops better served. Now, there is an elaborate menu of entrées and joints; but the change is not for the better, and the old members regret the simple cuisine of forty years since. What would they have thought of the new innovation of ladies dining within the sacred precincts? Never was change greater than this, except in the smoking arrangements. Formerly, the only place for smoking was Gossett's room. Captain Gossett was sergeant-at-arms, and no one
Few deaths ever produced such a sense of loss to the nation as the death of Sir Robert Peel, which occurred in 1850 in consequence of a fall from his horse, on Constitution Hill. The people seemed stunned. Right or wrong in his politics, he had occupied a large place in the na tional mind. It was hard to realize the loss of that great intellect. It was a mournful day in the House of Commons when Mr. Gladstone rose to move the adjournment of the House; there were tears in the eyes of all present. Now," said the great orator:
Is the stately column broke,
And then in thrilling voice and in noble
he is thoroughly convinced that it is right. To attack him, then, on the ground of inconsistency is idle; he will reply that he is the one consistent man that
Nel mondo mutabile e leggiero
It was well said by some one, "When Mr. Gladstone brings forward a question it is with a majestic authority, as if he came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments in his despatch-box for private reference." I have always felt that if Mr. Gladstone, from his place in the House, chose to accuse me of any crime, not only would he at once persuade the House that I had committed it, but would persuade even myself that I had done it.
Mr. Gladstone's sympathetic utterance on the death of Sir Robert Peel reminds me that two years later his great rival moved the funeral honors of the Duke of Wellington. The highest expectations were aroused; never was such a grand more favorable for a noble orator than the death of Sir Robert Peel -for in the case of the great duke there could be but one unanimous sentiment. If I remember right, there was a national mourning. Over the untimely grave of the eminent statesman, passions were hushed for a time; but party animosity only slumbered, for there were many who loved him not and deplored him not. The great captain's death was felt throughout the length and breadth, not alone of Great Britain, but of the civilized world. Well was it written at the time, "It is the last stone torn from the ancient foundations of the European monarchies, and the present generation, leaning breathless over the dark gulf of the future, and listening to its fall in the unfathomable deep." The great minister, the powerful orator, addressed the House of Commons on this memorable occasion. Strange to say, he fell far short of the hopes and wishes of all the expectant hearers. It was very remarkable, and more remarkable that he who possessed in their fulness "the thoughts that breathe and words that burn," should ever have adopted the words which had been spoken over the grave of the marshal Gouvion de Saint Cyr. "Doubt less," said Mr. Disraeli, "to think with vigor, with clearness, and with depth in the recess of the Cabinet, is a fine intellectual demonstration; but to think with equal vigor, clearness, and depth among bullets, appears the loftiest exercise and the most complete triumph of the human faculties.”
These were pretty near the words in the funeral oration of the maréchal, in which the expression, "le silence de son cabinet was curiously translated by Mr. Disraeli "in the recess of the Cabinet; " and if I remember right, it was this which attracted attention. Had Mr. Disraeli taken the trouble, he could have spoken imperishable words on that occasion. Only two years had passed since the invasion of the Houses of Parliament by Feargus O'Connor and his Chartist hordes had been averted by the genius and determination of the great captain. When the queen went to Osborne, and the duke accepted the command of all the forces, it was understood that he was to possess undivided responsibility and authority. It was truly a momentous day when in the very early dawn a large force was concentrated in the metropolis, and yet not a soldier to be seen the whole day; not a carriage was seen in the streets, which were only patrolled by special constables. At four o'clock, when the House was sitting, Feargus O'Connor asked permission for the Chartist delegates from the mass on the other side of Westminster Bridge to introduce the monster petition. The answer was, that the petition of the people would, of course, be received by the House, but no deputation. Then Feargus O'Connor's heart sank. On the Vauxhall side of the bridge, there were the tens of thousands he had collected from all parts in the hope of the plunder of the metropolis; but O'Connor well knew that although no soldier was seen, they occupied every house in the vicinity; that the great duke had said, if one of his soldiers was struck with a stone, or a man put his foot on the bridge, the leaders of the movement and their followers must take the consequences of their deeds. The cannon knew no distinction of persons, so Feargus O'Connor took the most prudent course, and with great difficulty induced his forces to disperse, and so ended the eventful revolution of 1848.
Some of the Chartist songs, though very profane, possessed a good deal of vigor. I remember the first stanza of one which was popular with this socialist party:— Crucified, crucified every morn, Beaten with stripes and crowned with thorn; Spurned and spat on, and drenched with Brothers, how long will ye bear this thrall? gall Mary of Magdalene, Peter, and John, Answer the question and pass it on.
In Mr. Disraeli's graceful dedication of