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governs a colony as Captain Cuttle manages his watch : puts it forward a quarter of an hour in the morning, and back half an hour in the evening.'

An admirable illustration of his incisive manner of expressing common sense opinion is furnished by an article on the Canterbury settlement, in New Zealand. After paying a high tribute to the noble ideal of the cultured founders of this province, Lord Sherbrooke gave this timely warning to the Canterbury pilgrims: 'If money is to be made at Canterbury, a mixed multitude of men of the most heterogeneous beliefs will infallibly rush in and elbow their orthodox predecessors from their stools. Nor do we see how this deluge of heresy and miscreancy is to be dammed out unless the Custom House officers are doctors of divinity, and the theological tenets of every new arrival be submitted to the same inquisitorial scrutiny as his sea-chest and his portmanteau.'

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By joining the staff of the Times, Robert Lowe became more or less intimate with a number of its leading contributors. Among the most distinguished of these was the late Mr. Knox, afterwards the well-known police magistrate at Marlborough Street. Mr. Knox was then one of the principal leader-writers, and was not only a most able and accomplished journalist, but a man much given to thought and speculation, with whom Lord Sherbrooke always found it a pleasure to converse. The late Montagu Williams—an infallible authority on such a point-declared that Knox was the best story-teller he had ever known.

Another still more celebrated writer on the Times was the Rev. Thomas Mozley, whose Reminiscences of Oriel ranks among the best books of its class in the language. Mr. Mozley, as is well known, is the brother-in-law of the late Cardinal Newman, and brother of the famous Regius Professor of Divinity, J. B. Mozley, and of Miss Anne Mozley, the able writer and essayist. Of this brilliant family group, the only

survivor is the Rev. Thomas Mozley, formerly of the Times. With him it would appear that Lord Sherbrooke was never on very

intimate terms.

With Sir George Dasent, the eminent Icelandic scholar, who was assistant-editor under Delane, Lord Sherbrooke was for many years on terms of great intimacy. He always regarded him as one of the best scholars and most accomplished and able writers in England. Sir Ceorge, who married a daughter of John Delane, is happily still living.

Bernal Osborne relates that he himself, Robert Lowe, Thackeray, Higgins (Jacob Omnium), Wingrove Cooke, Lawrence Oliphant, and Dr. W. H. Russell the war-correspondent, were wont to meet round the dinner-table at Delane's room in Serjeants' Inn. One can but regret that there should have been no Boswell present at these Symposia.

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Note.-Law Reforms (pp. 26 30). It is interesting to note that the chapters dealing with Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in Bleak House were issued just after the appearance of Lord Sherbrooke's Times leaders on Chan. cery Reform.'

With regard to the Inns of Court, shortly after the satirical articles quoted in this chapter appeared, five readers—in Roman Law and Juris. prudence, in Real Property, in Equity, in Common Law, and in Consti. tutional Law-were appointed. The authorities clearly meant to wipe out the reproach of being rigid about eating, careless about learning.' Sir Henry Maine was one of the lecturers, and the world was subsequently the richer for these discourses, which formed the basis of his great work on Ancient Law.

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CHAPTER III

MEMBER FOR KIDDERMINSTER

EARLY in the year 1852 Robert Lowe casually met an old and intimate Oxford friend, the Rev. David Melville, now Canon of Worcester, near his own residence in Eaton Square. After a cordial greeting his friend asked him what he was doing. 'Writing for the Times,' he replied. But you ought to be in Parliament,' remarked the other. That's very easily said,

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but how am I to get there?' was the rejoinder. I will come and see you to-morrow, and perhaps remove your difficulty'; and so they parted.

It so happened that Lowe's friend was staying with the then Lord Ward, afterwards Earl of Dudley, at Dudley House. Not merely from his territorial position in Worcestershire, but mainly from his wise and generous assistance in promoting the staple industry of Kidderminster, Lord Ward's political influence was then paramount in that borough. This was before the days of joint-stock enterprises and limited liability companies; and it is well-nigh impossible for us to realise what the support of a great nobleman's wealth and influence meant to the struggling industry of a country town. By supplying funds, which none of the Kidderminster manufacturers could then command, Lord Ward rescued the carpet trade of the town from entire annihilation. Steam had already elsewhere superseded the handloom, and it was only through this nobleman's timely subsidy that Kidderminster was enabled to acquire, before it was too late, the services of this all-powerful agency.

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When Robert Lowe called on the following day at Dudley House, he was introduced to its owner, and the question of the vacant seat at Kidderminster was broached then and there. Lord Ward quickly perceived that his visitor was a man of no common attainments, and without more ado he stated that he was quite favourable to the proposal of introducing him to the borough. They proceeded to Witley Court —the seat of the Dudleys in the county of Worcester-and Robert Lowe, under these most favourable auspices, straightway entered on his canvass for Kidderminster.

The election took place on July 10, 1852, when Lowe was opposed by a Conservative candidate in the person of a Mr. Best, a local lawyer. Though a complete stranger, but owing of course to the influence of Lord Ward, Lowe was returned by a majority of 94, the polling beingLowe.

246 Best

152 At the large public dinner given to celebrate Lowe's return, his friend, Canon Melville, in proposing his health, said that, • though he knew prophecy was rash, he ventured to predict that the man whom they had honoured by their choice that day, would go straight into office, and he could not predict when he would come out again.' This proved truer than most predictions, especially those made at political banquets; for in Lord Aberdeen's Government, Lowe became Secretary to the Board of Control, and with the exception of two brief periods was in office—whenever his party were—to the close of his House of Commons career.

It was an especially exciting and troublous time when Robert Lowe first took his seat in Parliament. The late Earl of Derby was Prime Minister, with Benjamin Disraeli as his Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader in the House of Commons. The great battle of the Corn Laws had been fought and lost ; Sir Robert Peel had died unexpectedly owing to a fall from his horse; and Lord George Bentinck had passed

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away prematurely two years before the man whom he and Disraeli so bitterly assailed. Shortly after Parliament assembled the Duke of Wellington was buried, with an Empire's lamentation,' in the crypt of St. Paul's. Thus the political stage was, as they say of the mimic one, 'waiting.' The nation, which in this case formed the spectators of the drama, were not kept long in suspense.

After the general election which landed Mr. Lowe in the House of Commons as member for Kidderminster, it was soon apparent to the dullest of mortals, that in addition to the three recognised parliamentary chieftains-Lord Palmerston, Lord Derby, and Lord John Russell—there were now two gladiators in the arena whose achievements and prowess would shortly arrest all eyes.

eyes. These, of course, were Benjamin Disraeli, the most romantic and unaccountable figure in English parliamentary history, and William Ewart Gladstone, who was then member for the University of Oxford and the foremost personality among the little band of Peelites who, small as they were in numbers, held the balance of power in their hands.

Greville penned a particularly pessimistic account of the General Election of 1852. In his opinion the unsolicited return of Macaulay for Edinburgh was the only creditable incident in the campaign. Nowhere else,' he remarked, “have character and ability prevailed against political prejudices and animosities. Distinguished men have been rejected for mediocrities, by whom it is discreditable for any great constituency to be represented. The most conspicuous examples of this incongruity have been Lewis in Herefordshire, Sir George Grey in Northumberland, and Cardwell in Liverpool. Pusey was obliged to retire from Berks, and Buxton was beaten in Essex, victims of Protectionist ill-humour and revenge.'

This seems somewhat too sweeping, although Greville by no means exhausts the list of notable parliamentarians who

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