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cious and accurate. Neither Mr. Lowe nor any other human being could have held in his memory the vast array of figures needful for the financial statement of a Chancellor of the Exchequer; and here he was at a distinct disadvantage when he had to refer to columns of figures which he could decipher only with great difficulty. But it would be the testimony of all the trained officials who worked under him at the Treasury, that he had a thorough mastery over the intricacies of our national finance. It would not be worth while thus picking to pieces the misstatements of one of Lord Sherbrooke's caricaturists, did not Mr. McCarthy claim to rank as an historian of our own times. His portraits of his distinguished contemporaries have been widely accepted, but certainly his sketch of Lowe almost shakes one's faith in history itself.

Let us turn to the testimony of one or two intimate friends, who still regard the hours passed at Sherbrooke as among the most pleasant of their reminiscences. Blanche, Countess of Airlie thus records her impressions of Lord Sherbrooke : ́ What a personality his was! My father always loved to meet him; the cleverer the man, the more enchanted he was with his ready wit, his inexhaustible memory, and his power of argument; his benevolent nature always took away any sting which a somewhat caustic tongue might inflict. He loved society and conversation, and said it inspired him-women's society and women's talk above all. If he had not been so indulgent, how would one have dared to measure oneself with him, and just say all that was in one's mind?'

It is ever the same story from those who knew him as he was; nor would the matter be worth consideration, but that people still have an unreasoning belief in mere print, as if in these days it were not almost as easy to print lies as to utter them.

Among the brilliant women of this century who knew Robert Lowe well, was the Hon. Mrs. Norton, who has left on

record her impressions of him in these words: I read Lowe's speech with interest and admiration as I do all he says or writes. His opinions on education are the real root of all progress and all reform in its best theoretical and only practical sense. I always have thought him the pleasantest giverout of knowledge among the many intellectual men I have consorted with-without effort, not making you feel that he knows so much, as that you know something more every time you talk to him. It is as good for the mind to be with him, as they say it is for the lungs to walk among the pines-a sort of vague improvement in one's general condition of thought without having to be dosed with hard teachings and obvious correction of one's deficiencies.' It would be difficult to improve on this picture.

Some little time after the American tour with Sir Douglas Galton, that eminent writer, Mr. Goldwin Smith, was staying with the Lowes at Sherbrooke. Mr. Goldwin Smith, who knew Robert Lowe very well indeed, is hardly to be outdone, even by Mrs. Norton, in his appreciation. He writes from Toronto: 'Little remains save the general recollection of a most powerful and brilliant mind richly stored, of caustic wit, and great conversational gifts. As a public man I suppose he would be allowed by all fair judges to have been as honest as he was able and eloquent. There was not a touch about him of the demagogue . . . the country has reason to wish that such a man were in the House of Commons now.'

Mr. Goldwin Smith, in a subsequent communication, records an Irish tour which he made in company with Mr. and Mrs. Lowe, and in the course of his narrative he furnishes the correct version of a famous story which, as generally related, exhibits Lord Sherbrooke's wit at the expense of his good feeling. One anecdote' (writes Mr. Smith) 'I see going the round which I can give you in an authentic form and free from a disagreeable innuendo. Mr. and Mrs. Lowe and I

were staying with Lord Cardwell-Mr. Cardwell as he then was-in the Chief Secretary's Lodge at Dublin. The English marriage service was the subject of conversation. Lowe said in his dashing way that it was full of nonsense. “Why” (he exclaimed, turning to his wife), "it made me say to you,

with all my worldly goods I thee endow,' when I had no worldly goods wherewith to endow you." "Ah, Robert" (she replied), "but then there were your brains!" "Well" (he said), "all the world knows that I did not endow you with them."

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'The current version of the anecdote' (continues Mr. Goldwin Smith) is such as to imply that Lowe spoke contemptuously of his wife. Nothing of the kind; it was a mere joke, at which she laughed as heartily as the rest of us.'

This Irish tour seems to have been a very merry holiday; for Mrs. Lowe, as long as she retained her health, was always full of fun. One little incident during their visit to Ireland lives in Mr. Goldwin Smith's memory; it is very characteristic and speaks volumes. One morning he started off early from the Lodge into Dublin, leaving Lowe and his wife playing croquet-a game which had then just come into vogue. When he returned late in the afternoon he found them still playing, and Mrs. Lowe said they had only stopped for a short time for lunch.

Like most of Lowe's visitors in Surrey, Mr. Goldwin Smith had to submit to be driven at a rattling pace by his host down the steep lanes by Warlingham and Caterham, and through the narrow, crowded streets of Croydon. It was miraculous how Lord Sherbrooke contrived to see, but it was mainly a question of courage and perfect nerve. Mrs. Lowe was a tremendous partisan whenever her husband was in any way concerned. On one occasion John Bright, who at times lacked savoir vivre, quite lost his temper under her pungent thrusts. Disraeli had, of course, much more of the ways of the man of the world, but after the Reform Bill of 1867 he and the Lowes

made no pretence to any mutual liking. At a dinner at Lady Waldegrave's the guests had all paired off till only Disraeli and Mrs. Lowe were left; with his inscrutable smile, and complete appreciation of the humour of the situation, Disraeli bowed and extended his arm: I suppose there's no help for it, Mrs. Lowe,' when both burst into hearty laughter.

It is a rather curious circumstance that both Mr. and Mrs. Lowe took a profound interest in Darwin. In his brief autobiography, Lord Sherbrooke has recorded his feelings on first seeing that great man. One would not at the first blush expect to find such a deep feeling of veneration for Charles Darwin on the part of a statesman and man of affairs. But there was in Robert Lowe that love of truth for its own sake, which throughout life made him always turn to the achievements of science with the greatest respect. This was the tie that bound him to William Sharpe Macleay of Sydney, and in later life to Sir John Simon, and other patient investigators and students of nature. For no one had he a more sincere regard than for the late Professor Sharpey, the patriarch of English physiology, whom he described as 'after the old Greek type.'

Sir John Simon traces that feeling of antagonism which Lord Sherbrooke displayed in later life towards a classical and literary education, to the conviction forced upon him that all real progress and civilisation must come from scientific research. Looked at in this way, there was something almost pathetic in these denunciations of Greek and Latin which so disgusted the dons and alarmed the schoolmasters in this country. Lowe was a man to whom classical allusions and the literary expression of the antique world were as household words; there was no more affectation in his quoting a Latin or Greek verse than in an ordinary well-read Englishman quoting a line of Shakespeare or Byron. The old classical words and phrases rose naturally to his tongue-he loved them, and almost to his dying day, after he had become

quite blind, had them read to him. But he felt that, beautiful as these things are, his almost unrivalled education and mental training had in a measure proceeded on wrong lines. It was altogether too literary, and those who had been responsible for it had too much neglected the vast and evergrowing realm of science. With that characteristic honesty and straightforwardness which marked his every action, Lord Sherbrooke, as soon as he was convinced of the truth of this, proclaimed it to the world.

When Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, in 1859, both Lowe and his wife were completely fascinated by it. With regard to science in all its branches, Lowe was always the humblest of learners; not only was he without mental arrogance or even ordinary assurance, but he went about asking guidance of those friends who had devoted their lives to scientific research. 'He was always' (writes Sir John Simon) so teachable;' a strange and suggestive word to be applied to one who, in the political arena, was never wanting in self-confidence. Mrs. Lowe seems not to have been a whit behind him in her interest concerning The Origin of Species, the far-reaching nature of whose cosmic speculations might well have perturbed and excited her mind. The world has now settled down to some kind of hazy acceptance of the doctrine of evolution; but when Charles Darwin published his great work, many persons besides Mrs. Lowe must have felt that the old teleological conception of life and nature would no longer stand the test of scientific investigation. In her anxiety on the subject, she promptly consulted the two persons whose judgment and ability she and her husband held in the highest esteem. Forthwith she posted The Origin of Species to Sir George Cornewall Lewis, and wrote to Mr. William Macleay in Sydney, requesting each of them to give her his opinion of the work. At a distance of thirty years, men of much commoner mind have advanced perhaps to a clearer perception of Darwin's aim and teaching; but these hitherto unpublished

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