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ode, Who fears to speak of '98 ?' with its refrain, But a true man, like you, man,' &c. The revolutionary sentiments of the ode did not at all interfere with his admiration of its great poetical merit.

Though he never had the leisure which is necessary for the accomplishment of a great work, the character of Mr. Lowe's mind was essentially literary. He wrote verses; he took a great delight in English literature; during several years of his life he was working hard as a journalist, and from time to time writing in magazines. There was yet another branch of knowledge which exercised a great fascination over him; this was Natural Science. He hardly knew anything of it, but it seemed to him to have the promise of the future. It was the only knowledge in the world which was both certain and also progressive. Of Charles Darwin he spoke in a strain of respect which he would not have employed towards any other living person. Though a scholar and a man of various learning, he felt that from this greater world of Science he had been, unfortunately, shut out; like many of us, he had the misfortune to be born in the pre-scientific age.' Hence he was sometimes led to speak of his own subjects in a manner which, to the public, was puzzling and inconsistent. He was a good deal amused at a commendation of him which appeared in the Weekly Dispatch. At any rate,' the writer said, 'Bob Lowe is above the humbug of Latin and Greek.' It was not strange that he should have been so misunderstood; for at different times he was swayed by opposite impulses; he said what first occurred to his mind, and hardly at all considered how the many aspects of life and knowledge were to be harmonised. Still less did he reflect how far the visions of his youth might coincide with the maturer wisdom of his later years. He made mistakes, as he himself confessed, but greater mistakes than his are readily pardoned by the world to a man of his ability and force of character. His fault as a politician was his fixedness. He might have truly argued, in


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an Apologia pro vita sua, That on no important question had he ever changed his opinions; he had only stood still, while the rest of the world had gone forward.' But this was also a serious political misfortune. His mind did not move in sympathy with the pulse of the country. He was not exactly popular-his tongue was too sharp for that-and he did not take enough pains to conciliate public opinion. But there was also an undercurrent of good will towards him; the people knew that he was incorruptible, and was not actuated by any motive but what he thought to be the good of the public. He was never a hanger-on of great men; he struck out a path for himself. Everybody felt that he was a person who could not be ignored, and that he was entitled to one of the first places in the Cabinet. The prophecy placed under his portrait in Vanity Fair-'A man whose talents will make him Prime Minister '-was not destined to be fulfilled, but it was not deemed to be absurd or unreasonable. It used to be a matter of speculation how he and his great Chief would get on together in the same Cabinet. The answer is that they were loyal to one another, and that they agreed in many more ways than might at first sight have been supposed. Mr. Lowe always felt the generosity of Mr. Gladstone in giving him a place in the Government after his opposition to the Reform Bill. Though they were men made by Nature in different moulds, they had both received the same training, and had common academical leanings and interests. There were many subjects on which they were absolutely at one; as, for example, in their desire for Free Trade, for University reform, for the extinction of patronage in the Public Offices, for economic reforms, for an unambitious and peaceful foreign policy. The Crimean War and the American War affected the minds of both of them in the same manner, and, indeed, exercised a peace-making influence on the whole country.

As a speaker, Mr. Lowe was trenchant and forcible, though somewhat uncertain. He had the disadvantage of being un

able to see the effect of his words upon an audience; hence he could not adapt himself to their varying moods. As a conversationalist his fame stood higher than as an orator; there was no one who was more sought after, or who made a greater figure in London society. First of all, though not a regular humourist, he had a great deal of humour; he had the touch of sympathy which 'makes all things kin,' and he was never beaten in an argument, or at a loss for a repartee. He had the faculty of finding amusement, and of helping others to find amusement, in trifles. No one said more of the good things which make life bright and graceful; they came out unexpectedly, and he was exhilarated by them himself. Like Socrates and Dr. Johnson, he thought that there was nothing in the world more agreeable than a 'good talk.' He was never dull or depressed; he talked from a full mind, and had a marvellous memory. He never appeared to fear anyone; certainly, as he said himself, he was not at all afraid of 'clever young men.' It was delightful to wander with him in the country, or to sit alone with him. Sometimes he would ask a friend to come and take a walk or a ride on the Surrey Hills, in order to settle a matter of business; but the matter of business was apt to be forgotten, and the conversation easily diverged into more attractive themes, such as history or poetry. Even in Downing Street literary interests were not forgotten in his conversation with subordinates in his office.

Of all Mr. Lowe's qualities, some of his friends have thought his natural love of intelligence to have been the most charming and characteristic. He was, perhaps, a little severe on the dull, the prejudiced, or the commonplace; he was not one of those who suffer fools gladly.' But he lighted up at once when he met with a congenial spirit, and he was always ready to welcome anyone who could give him valuable information. A glow of satisfaction came over him whenever any new idea occurred to his mind; he rejoiced at any fresh discovery in Science as if he himself had had a part in it. In the language

of Plato, he might be said to have been a lover, not of one kind of knowledge only, but of all.' From youth upward, this striving after intelligence had been his chief pleasure and solace. His early years were a time of struggle to him, for he had been unlike other boys and young men. But he had always been sustained by absorbing intellectual interests; this was the golden thread which ran through his life.

The time came when that luminous intellect grew dim, and that eloquent voice could only speak in broken accents. Warned by the case of a friend, he knew what was happening to him, but he did not complain. He seemed only to study how he could be more gentle and considerate to others. He was still sometimes to be seen in the gallery of the House of Lords, or at the entertainments of friends. The battle of life was over; he never dreamed of returning to it. Though sometimes only half-awake to the things which were going on around him, he was always conscious that he had treasures of affection lavished upon him. He did not show the least impatience, or utter a word unworthy of himself. His friends could not think his lot unhappy when they saw with what dignity and fortitude he met the stroke of adversity, and how lovingly he was cared for to the end.

To those who were not personally acquainted with him, he may, perhaps, be most truly described as a man of genius who entered the arena of politics. He was not an idealist or philosopher; but he was full of life and character, a lover of knowledge and of human improvement, and one who never allowed personal interests or party politics to stand in the way of the good of the country.

I remain, Dear Sir,
Yours very truly,

Balliol College, Oxford:

February 11, 1893.





My official relations with Mr. Lowe, beginning in 1859, rapidly led to a friendship and intimate personal association between us, which continued till his death, thirty-three years afterwards; and as this not only caused me to observe with much interest his public actions during the time, but also gave me the advantage of knowing how he himself regarded them, his Biographer, aware of the circumstances, has invited me to supplement my departmental testimony by contributing what I can from this wider basis towards a general appreciation of my late Chief's character and career.

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The thought which comes first to me in the matter is to notice a strange myth which misrepresented Mr. Lowe. Twice in his parliamentary life he was the object of angry vituperation first, at the period when he took his memorable part in defeating Lord Russell's Reform Bill supported by the mass of the Liberal party, and when the leading agitators for that Bill took so savagely personal a tone against him, that he described them as denouncing him with the most virulent abuse for the hatred, perhaps the vengeance, of his fellowcountrymen; secondly, during the period of his Chancellorship of the Exchequer, when it happened from time to time that deputations which had sought to obtain his consent to questionable subsidies from the public purse, and had found him in their opinion too strict a guardian of its resources, returned in anger from their interviews with him, and spoke of him to their constituents and to the public in such terms

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