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PARLIAMENTARY GOSSIP. [BY AN INDEPENDENT WELSH MEMBER.] It cannot be denied that the Government with the best possible intentions often betray a singular want of tact, and put the fidelity of their supporters to a severe test. No better illustration of this can be given than the intro- duction of the Parks' Bill now before the House of Com- mons. There seems to have been no special necessity for a Bill at all. The Conservative Government in 186607 had got themselves into trouble and incurred great un- popularity by a similar Bill, which was thought seriously to invade popular liberty. And yet, in the teeth of this, the Liberal Government thrust this measure on the House, interfering with the freedoms of public meetings, attaching heavy penalties to small offences, and giving large powers to arrest without warrant. The opposition is led by Mr. VERNON HARCOURT, who is a sort of stermy-petrel of politics, delighting iR a tempest, and animated by no very friendly feelings towards the Govern- ment. But there are many who, while not sympathising with his bitterness towards men in office, are obliged to show their disapproval of this blundering Bill. On Thursday night the discussion on this subject led to one ef those scenes in which the house delights, though it does not much contribute to exalt its dignity. It was begun by Mr. GATHORNE HARDY, who thought he saw a good opportunity for making an attack on Mr. GLADSTONE. It is very evident that there is more of personal feeling between these two gentlemen than any others in the House. One can understand why there might be some soreness on the part of Mr. GLADSTONE seeing that Mr. HARDY supplanted him in the affections of the Uni- versity of Oxford. But why the latter should be so wrath- jul it is difficult to discover. And yet, generally he is the aggressor, and very unwisely so, for though a man of con- siderable ability, he is no match for Mr. GLADSTONE, who invariably lays him on his back, and makes him cut a rather pitiable figure. Under ordinary circumstances his right honourable leader rushes to his rescue, and plays what Lord PALMERSTON called the part of a" judicious bottle- hulder." Such was the case on Thursday night. In a manner perfectly unexpected, and without any apparent provocation, Mr. HARDY, like an angry bull, put his head down and went full butt at the Prime Minister. The instant he showed fight, Mr. GLADSTONE leaped into the arena like a Spanish matador, and in a moment had his knife deep in the quivering side of his assailant. No man, he said, in that House, knew so well as the right hon. gentleman how to impart the acid and venom of party spirit into their discussions. And he went on dealing blow after blow to his adversary, who sat trying to laugh, but with the wrong side of his mouth, and shaking himself in his seat like a New- foundland dog whioh has just come out of water, as is Mr. HARDY'S manner when he is excited. To those who sat opposite him, it was clear from the working of Mr. DISRAELI'S countenance, which is usually as impassive as a mask, that he meant mischief. Mr. HARDY also cast a sort of appealing side-look at him, and when Mr. GLADSTONE sat down, he sprang on his feet, and was hailed with a loud cheer by his friends. He did not seem particularly happy in his hits, except the last, in which he charged the Prime Minister, when the Con- servative Government were trying to carry a Bill through the House, for the protection of the Parks, with having sat there in sullen silence, and then going and addressing a tumultuous mob from the balcony of his own residence. To this Mr. GLADSTONE gave instant and flat contradiction, and, in terms which, in old duelling times, might have led to serious consequences, he said that there was in the charge not the shred or shadow of truth, and then sat down. But, as if feeling the language was rather too strong, he rose again immediately and added something about its having no foundation in fact. While this duel was going on the House shouted and roared with de- light. But there were many who, while joining in the laughter,—for "not to laugh exceeded all power of face, felt that the scene they witnessed was not very edifying. It was, no doubt, as amusing as a comedy, but surely it is not desirable that the leading statesmen of the House of Commons should act as comedians for the entertain- ment of the members. There is great dissatisfaction among the advanced Liberals at the enormity of the military estimates, and several amendments for a reduction have been already placed on the notice paper.



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