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many scenes in the House beside which the little explosions of the present day sink into insignificance.

One hopes he has forgotten, or at least refuses to remember, a scene that took place in the House of Commons during the height of the Jingo fever, when having gone out to vote on one of the protests against the foreign policy of Mr. Disraeli, a mob of the “gentlemen of England ” clustered by the door of the division lobby hooted and jeered him as he passed.

Another improvement he noted in this connexion is in respect of political cartoons. In his early days, when an artist was engaged to produce a caricature, he nearly always descended to gross personal caricature, sometimes to indecency. To-day Mr. Gladstone observes in the humorous papers (he was speaking more particularly of “ Punch ”) a total absence of vulgarity, and a fairer treatment, which made this department of warfare always pleasing.'

Here is note of another dinner-party, this time with Mr. Gladstone as the host. I leave it as it was written, perceiving in coming upon it after the lapse of eighteen years the intent of bringing into fuller light his supremacy uninfluenced by his surroundings.

15th March, 1890.-Dined to-night with Gladstone in St. James's Square, a house he has rented for the season, a big roomy gloomy mansion built when George I. was king. On the pillars of the porch stand in admirable preservation two of the wrought iron extinguishers in which in days gone by the link boys used to thrust their torches when they had brought master or mistress home or convoyed a guest. Inside hideous light-absorbing flock papers prevail. One gets a sight rare in these days of the gloominess amid which our grandfathers dwelt.

The dinner-table was as loveless in appearance as everything else. Evidently sore lack of the delicate taste that knows how to fling flowers about and make tables bright with chastened light and dainty colour. There was a central candelabra in which blazed eight candles without a shade. On either side stood two others, making hideous bare light over the table. It was more than even Mr. G., presumably accustomed to this kind of thing, could stand. After a while he ordered the smaller candlesticks to be removed. The company, including myself, was mediocre ; the surroundings such as I have hinted at. But the host made up for all shortcomings. He talked with unbroken flow of spirits, always having more to say on any subject that turned up, and saying it better, than anyone else. His memory is as amazing as his opportunities of acquiring knowledge have been unique.

In his eighty-first year, as we sat at table to-night, he recalled

as if it were yesterday an incident that happened when he was eighteen months old. Prowling about the nursery on all fours, there suddenly flashed upon his consciousness the existence of his nurse as she towered above him. He remembered her voice and the very pattern of her frock. This was his earliest recollection, his first clear consciousness of existence. His memory of Canning when he stood for Liverpool in 1812 was perfectly clear, for he was then nearly as old as three and took an intelligent interest in pablic affairs.

Of a later date was his memory of Parliamentary elections and the strange processes by which they were accomplished. The poll was kept open for days, and the custom was for voters to be shut up in pens ten at a time. Emerging from these enclosures, they recorded their votes. The gatherings were called tallies, and the reckoning up of them was a matter watched with breathless interest in the constituency. It was always a point of honour for a side to get its tally first recorded at the polling booth.

He told with great gusto of an incident that befell at a Liverpool election in the first quarter of the century. The poll opened at eight o'clock in the morning, and the Liberal Party, determined to have a start, marshalled ten voters and with them filled the pen by the polling booth as early as four in the morning. The Conservatives were to all appearances beaten in this first move.

But their defeat was only apparent. Presently a barrel of beer conveniently tapped was rolled up to the pen where time hung heavy on the hands of the expectant voters. They naturally regarded this as a delicate attention on the part of their friends, and cans being handy they liberally helped themselves. After a while consternation fell upon them. Man after man withdrew, till the pen was empty, and ten Conservatives waiting in reserve rushed in and took possession of the pen.

* The beer,' said Mr. Gladstone, laughing till his eyes moistened, had been heavily jalaped.'

In June 1895 the Kiel Canal was opened by the German Emperor. Sir Donald Currie, who on earlier occasions had been Mr. Gladstone's princely entertainer on health-giving sea-trips, conceived the idea of conveying him to the spectacle in one of the latest additions to the Union-Castle Line fleet. Mr. G., who had for some time been in ill-health, cordially accepted the invitation. The Tantallon Castle was assigned to the service, and an interesting company of guests invited to share the privilege of the unique expedition.

It will appear from the subjoined extract from a log of the voyage that Mr. Gladstone narrowly escaped from an accident that might have rounded off a marvellous career by the commonplace incident of drowning.

Kiel, Thursday, June 20.—This evening Mr. G. and small party went aboard Sir William Ingram’s yacht Osprey to make a tour of the battleships. As the yacht passed the British fleet, the Royal Sovereign, Repulse and Blenheim dipped their colours in honour of the old man, who sat on deck under shade of what looked like a Gingham umbrella. The officers, crowded to the gangways, saluted, a courtesy Mr. G. acknowledged by raising his bowler hat.

We had not sped half a mile when an incident occurred that threatened momentous consequences. A steam launch, putting off from the Italian man-of-war Savoia, bore right down upon our little craft of 60 tons; the course seemed so deliberately chosen that those on board the yacht, watching with increasing anxiety, expected every moment that the helm would be put up and collision avoided.

As the launch held on her way, straight as an arrow to the mark, we to our horror discovered that the man at the helm was in the act of drinking from a bottle. Apparently no look-out was kept. Holding straight on her course, the steam launch crashed into the yacht. At the very last moment the man at the helm, having finished his bottle and aroused to a sense of danger by shouts from the yacht, shifted the helm. Thus when the blow was struck the launch was beginning to turn off, and so smote the yacht at an angle that avoided what a minute earlier seemed absolute destruction.

I sat close to Mr. Gladstone during the terrible minutes. I am not sure that with his dimmed eyesight he realised the peril. He must have heard the shouting, and seen the rush of passengers to the side of the yacht warning off the launch. If he understood he faced the peril without displaying a sign of fear.

The captain and engineer of the Osprey hurried below to inquire what damage had been done to our cockleshell of a hull. Strange to say, none was visible, the scraping of the paint of the bulwarks being the only token of the encounter. The Italian boat was seriously injured, her cut-water being wrenched to one side.

The incident was observed from the Savoia and the launch was smartly recalled.

Mighty things happened in London during our brief voyage. On the morning of Saturday, June 22, there reached us at Gottenberg a telegram announcing the defeat on the Cordite question of Lord Rosebery's government. Arrived at Gravesend on the Monday morning, there were brought aboard newspapers hot from

the press. Whilst everyone fought for a copy, Mr. Gladstone, offered first choice from the precious bundle, looked a little bored. After a moment's hesitation he selected the 'Daily News,' tucked it under his arm, and walked off to his State cabin on deck. The news would keep till he had settled down in his armchair by the table, on which were set his Danish dictionary and the book which with its assistance he was already able to read.

The last time I looked upon the mobile face, the stately figure, familiar in the multitudinous phases of a quarter of a century, was when Mr. Gladstone drove through the streets homeward from Liverpool Street Station. Three years earlier had he passed through London when the City was throbbing in anticipation of a General Election his carriage would have been followed by an excited crowd, some cheering, some hooting as conscience and conviction dictated. Now as he moved along at a slow pace, necessitated by the midday traffic, people on the pathways, recognising the wellknown face, stopped to regard him. There's Gladstone !' they said to each other, and lifted their hats in salutation.

There was passing through the crowded streets not the strenuous statesman round whose banner for fifty years the turmoil of political warfare had raged. It was only his ghost, a wraith that had nothing to do with contests at the poll, with majorities in the country or in the House of Commons.

One of the last letters Mr. Gladstone wrote from Downing Street had reference to the position taken up by the Daily News' on the Home Rule question, described in an earlier chapter.

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10 Downing Street, Whitehall: March 5, 94. DEAR MR. LUCY,—Though under very great pressure I must thank you for your kind letter.

I must add a word to your statement of the solitude in which the * Daily News' took and gallantly maintained its post. I remember a day on which the Pall Mall Gazette, under its clever but erratic editor, published an object lesson of the field of battle on the Irish question. On one side were ‘D.N.' and `P.M.G.'-on

‘ the other the rest. I took my ‘P.M.G.,' drew a noose round the fighting figure, and with a long line at the end of it, carried it over to the other side, and by this verifying process placed the support of the ‘P.M.G.' at its true value, and left 'D.N.' occupying absolutely alone its place of honour. I hope my account is intelligible.

I remain faithfully yours,


A page of Toby, M.P.'s Diary appearing in Punch 'the week after Mr. Gladstone's death thus concluded : 'At the time of his second retirement the weight of twenty years was added to the burden of his prodigious labours. His mind was as bright, his intellect as keen as ever. But the flesh truly was weak. So he came not any more, and the House of Commons is poorer through all time to come by the loss of his illuminating presence. * Business done-Mr. Gladstone's.

Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages.'

From Sir George Trevelyan.

8 Grosvenor Crescent: Wednesday. MY DEAR LUCY, I think the final passage in Toby, M.P.'s, Diary in ‘Punch 'to-day is the best of that all has been written about Mr. Gladstone since the news came from Hawarden.

Yours faithfully,




I met Henry Colvile in January 1884. Mrs. Lucy and I were returning from our journey round the world. Colvile had completed a survey of the Arbain Road in the Libyan Desert, through which there was some talk of making a railway. He joined the ship at Suez, and, sitting opposite each other at the dinner-table, we speedily became friends. He was, I fancy, one of the earliest users of the Kodak. I still possess a number of photographs, snapshots taken by him on his interesting ride through lands unknown.

He was, with individual differences, the same type of man as Fred Burnaby. The two shared in common a passion for seeking danger in the car of a balloon. Whilst still a captain in the Grenadiers Colvile married his first wife. It occurred to him that it would be an agreeable thing, instead of going off after their wedding on a home or foreign tour, to start on a honeymoon in a balloon. The bride consenting, the happy couple drove from the church door to the place where Colvile’s balloon was inflated with gas, and had a most successful trip.

A hard worker, a born soldier, a man of dauntless courage, his promotion was steady. The outbreak of the Boer War found him at Gibraltar, in command of the Infantry Brigade. He urgently

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