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SKETCHES OF THE LORDS.I

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SKETCHES OF THE LORDS. Lord Lansdowne is what is called the ministerial leader" in the House of Lords; that is to say, lie is the oracle entrusted more immediately with the revelation of the ministerial mind, just as Lord John Russell is in the Commons. There are many other oracles in both Houses, but they play minor parts. Lord Stanley is the leader of the opposition lords viewed in their collective capacity; other leaders not so richly gifted appear as the representa- tives of sections, such as the Duke of Richmond, who is watrusted with the utterance of the agricultural mind; the Earl of Roden, who is charged with declaring the will of the pious Orangemen of Ireland, and so on. The Duke of Wellington is the great arbiter, the power he possesses being practically lodged—where many other men's influence is to be found-in the breeches pocket; but in the case of the Duke it is not cash, but-proxies that are to be found there. But Lord Lansdowne, although the best accredited spokes- man in the upper House as regards ministerial views and 0 intentions, is not the one whose province it is to give battle to the opposition leader, although he never shrinks from the encounter when Hotspur comes in his way. The post of honour and of danger is more immediately allotted to Lord Grey. In many respects the combatants are well matched. Both arc sufficiently pugnacious both are in the prime of life, the one being forty-six and the other forty-nine; both have had largo experience of office both have failed as colonial-secretaries; and, what is of some significance now-a- days, Lords Grey and Stanley are the most distinctly heard of. all the speakers who claim the ear of the House. This hst feature arises from dissimilar causes. Lord Grey's voice is of low pitch, but the pronunciation is full and distinct and the diction clear, and, what is of great importance, he turns, on great occasions, his face full to the reporter's gallery. Lord Stanley pitches higher, too high I should think for ease; but he goes on without indicating in the slightest degree that he is overstraining his physical powers. When speak- ing, his lordship does not adopt the judicious rule of Lord Grey, and turn to the reporters' gallery on the contrary, he not "unfrequently turns his back upon that part of the House in his anxiety to enforce some view or argument upon noble lords who may happen to be sitting towards his right. When this occurs, parts of his sentences are lost. Of the two, Lord Stanley is the more impassioned, and, as a pleader, the more effective Lord Grey is more even in his course, but equally convincing. Both, I think, are high-minded; b I perfectly willing to break a lance with each other; and it so Z, happens that, when both have spoken, the heat of the party- encounter is understood to be over, and interest begins to flag. o* I like Lord Lansdowne. Courage, tempered by bonhomie b and a cautious prudence, arc the characteristics of his leader- ship. He is approaching his 70th year; and when I mention that he was Chancellor of the Exchequer forty-three years ago, and must have undergone some official training previous to that, it will readily be allowed that he is well seasoned" as a public man." Personally he presents a specimen of the nne old English gentleman." He is under the common height, but straight and as active as there is any occasion for. He neither uses eye-glass, nor spectacles—a circum- stance to be attributed perhaps to his shortness of sight. His hair and whiskers are blanched and it may seem strange when speaking of a member of the highest branch of the Legislature to have occasion to say that he is one of the cleanest looking and tidiest dressed man in the House. Can another peer superior to him in these respects be mentioned? Yes the Duke of Wellington. These two men stand out from the mass of their compeers in what I would call the external decencies of their station-in the matter of personal appearance. Whilst the petitions against the repeal of the Navigation Laws were presenting the Duke of Cambridge came in. He is in his 75th year, but with the exception of not being so straight in the back as he must at one time have been, age seems to press lightly upon him. He exhibits the dis- tinguishing lineaments of his family, particularly the slant- ing forehead. He shook hands with the Duke of Welling- ton, the Marquis of Londonderry, and Lord Stanley, with a heartiness quite in keeping with his character for frankness. iSone or i-iio Ministerialists came in his way, as they were siting on the opposite side of the table. The Duke is the oldest. peer in the House, having taken his seat in 1801. He makes a point never to vote against the existing adminis- tration, whatever it may be and if he cannot give their measures a conscientious support, he votes neither way. In 1846, when Sir Robert Peel expounded his reasons for abolishing the Corn-laws, the Duke attended with the view o judging of their weight; but Sir Robert failed to carry his auditor along with him, for the Duke declared on the second reading of the bill that he remained unconvinced of the propriety Z) of the change. From the opening of the debate 0:1 the Navigation-laws to its close the Duke was a patient listener, sitting in the same scat, and resting his hands, and occasionally his chin, on his ivory-headed cane. He did not rise, however, a Navigation-law repealer, for the name of the Duke of Cambridge does not appear on either side.—ARGUS, in Jervoid's Weekly Notes.

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