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^ARLIAMMTARI JOTTINGS. THE elections have occupied the sole attention of politicans during the past fort- night, added to which there has been no little anxiety, amongst those who look into futurity, as to the position our veteran Premier will take in the new Parliament. Rumours of his retirement from public life have been general, and it was even intimated before the close of Parliament that he would not seek the suffrages of Tiverton again. But no sooner had the dis- solution absolutely taken place, than Lord Palmerston addressed his constituents in the same familiar manner as of yore, referred to his past acts as a qualification for the future, and assured them of the interest he still took in public affairs. A very capital remark is said to have been made by his lordship in reply to a friend who sought to know whether the rumours concerning his resig- nation of office were correct. Your lordship is the oldest Prime Minister which England ever saw," was the remark. H My dear fellow," re- sponded Lord Palmerston, "Cardinal Fleury was a Prime Minister at ninety." His lordship has not lead history in vain, and they who expect his retirement, owing to his advanced years, may have 110 reason to dread the result if they take this hint as regarding his lordship's views upon the subject. Most of the Parliamentary chiefs have been again returned as members of the House of Commons. Lord Palmerston, Mr. Disraeli, Lord Stanley, Sir George Grey, Milner Gibson, Sir Hugh Cairns, Mr. Whiteside, Sir John Pakington, Mr. Layard, Mr. Bright, Mr. Lowe, Mr. Walpole, Mr. Henley, Mr. Stansfeld, Mr. Cardwell, Sir Roundell Palmer, Sir Charles Woodi Mr. Roebuck, Lord Cranbourne, Sir Stafford Northcote, Mr. Villiers, Mr. Horsman, and Sir R. Peel, are names which 'we should be sorry to miss in their respective places in the House. I must confess that Mr. Gladstone's defeat for the Oxford University is somewhat surprising; it was not on political grounds, but upon sectarian ones, that he was opposed; therefore Conservative and Liberal alike join in disapprobation of the opposition raised against the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Setting aside politics altogether, I am bold to say that Mr. Gladstone has conferred infinitely more distinction upon the University than the collegiate members could possibly confer Upon him. The narrow-mindedness which has ex- pelled a statesman of such renown and such ability from a seat on which he has bestowed the lustre of his almost unrivalled public reputation, will not only strengthen Mr. Gladstone's hold on the sym- pathies of all Englishmen, but go far to establish the University itself in the. dis-esteem of the nation. The disasters of the Government beyond this have been trifling; perhaps the most remarkable is the defeat of Mr. F. Peel, of Lord Alfred Paget, and Colonel White, the former of whom, like Mr. Glad- stone, will doubtless find a new seat before the re- assembling of Parliament. Perhaps, however, the most surprising to the advocates of the Per- missive Bill is the defeat of their candidates. Mr. Pope tried hard at Bolton, but did not win; Mr. Lawson, the originator of the measure, was de- feated at Carlisle; whilst both Mr. Heywood and Mr. Jacob Bright failed to be elected for Man- chester. Again it is remarkable that Mr. Long- field, who brought forward that motion late in the Session, which was tantamount to a vote of cen- sure on the Lord Chancellor, should not be able to retain his seat, and that Mr. Denmaji, the young lawyer, who was the coadjutor of Lord Palmerston in the representation of Tiverton, and who was considered a promising character, and one likely to obtain position, should be beaten in the Premier's borough by a comparative stranger. On the whole, I do not believe that there has been a general election in recent years when so many new men have been introduced. This is to be accounted for in some respect by the long duration of the late Parliament, which caured many mem- bers to be tired of their position, or their con- stituents to be tired of them. Contests generally have been more numerous and uncertain than usual. We shall have in the new Parliament an immense quantity of new blood, and I hope the nation will profit by their new ideas. Earl Russell's son, Lord Amberley, was thrown out for Leeds, but the Chancellor of the Exchequer's son obtained a seat; and so did Mr. Stanley, the second son of the Earl of Derby, both, I believe, rising young men. But the fact is that the elestions, taken as a whole, testily much more strongly to the exhaustion of party spirit thanto the ascendancy of this party or the other. The interpretation of national sentiment afforded by theaa is pretty equal; and such distinctions as are marked are rather technical or traditional than political in their import. On all hands it is admitted that public opinion has become the great arbitrator of f national policy, whether domestic or foreign; and public opinion has been educated in political science sufficiently to enable it to judge questions as they may arise pretty much on their merits, without any direct reference to party interests or party prejudices. Many so-called Conservatives who are returned to the new Parliament are really quite as liberal as the average standard of Libe- ralism, and many so-called Liberals are quite as conservative as the average standard of Conservatism. Retrogression in the present age is impossible, and the majority of the mem- bers returned will, I am sure, support progressive Measures which are in accordance with the age in which we live. The Metropolitan members are of a much higher stamp than formerly, and many of the newly-elected ones are men known only for ttieir intellectual acquirements. Layard, Hughes, Torrens, and Mill are all literary men; all, except the first-named, owe their reputation to literature; ?Ud I trust that when they take their seats in the legislature, they will not be wanting in their support of good and useful measures which will benefit the nation. Speaking about London elections, it was astonishing to me to see such a lot of idle fellows, Hon-electors, taking part in the proceedings, and faking a harvest of the matter. I saw men who, to my knowledge, had been waiting for the last or six years for something to turn up," now assuming an importance quite beyond their station. were engaged on committees, soinp paid canvassers, some conveying messages hither and thither, quite regardless of expense. This kind of temporary occupation suits idlers in general—it is playing at business for a time, and so the most unworkable individuals become awfully busy for a short time. I met men tearing away in cabs, whose faces were familiar to me as loungers in the parks, hangers on at hotels or clubs, &c., where more wealthy friends occasionally recognise them and stand treat. These men, that I had seen the week before killing time by throwing crumbs of bread to the aquatic fowls on the ornamental waters, watching for hours the more busy animals diving for their food, were now important person- ages. It was no unusual occurrence to hear a colloquy of this kind:—Seedy man in a Hansom cab calls to the driver to stop on meeting an old chum. "Hallo old fellow!" would be the greet- ing, what are you doing now ? Oh, I'm on Mr. So-and-so's committee, I'm canvassing I" would be the answer. What a donkey you must be to walk," says gent in the cab. "Not such a donkey as you suppose; it's all charged, I can tell you; cab money keeps me in bitter ale." All right old fellow," responds the other, where will you be to-night? I'm going to play a game at billiards with Jones — good fellow, lots of tin: will you come?" "Agreed," says 9 1 the other. Time and plaee is then named and the friends separate. A letter to this effect will perhaps be sent next day to some favourite chum, who has not been lucky enough to get a berth. Dear Jack,—Here I am, as lively as a kitten; plenty to drink, and cabs at dis- cretion. I'm going to-morrow night to canvass at Cremorne-gardens; the next day I shall go to the Horticultural Fete, and perhaps on the next look after votes at the Crystal Palace. I shall tell the committee that I require assistance, and shall engage your services. Cab at your doer with the milk in the morning. I mean to have a jolly lark. J Yours, &c." In this way a candidate's money is frittered away without doing any good. These things may be better conducted in the country where a volunteer committee is formed, who give their gratuitous assistance; but in London the time of those engaged in business is so valuable that they cannot afford to leave their offices, or counting houses. Of the many electioneering squibs that I in- tended to give you, space will permit me to insert but few. The following handbill was circulated in Finsbury, and caused some sensation, to which was appended Miss Emily Faithfnil's name as printer:— "Women of Finsbury,— Use your influence with I your husbands and brothers on behalf of Mr. Phillips. J It was he who helped us in Lancashire. He is one of the founders of the Asylum for Infant Orphan Grirls J at Ham-common. He is one of the most munificent I benefactors to the Needlewoman's Institution in Hinde-street, and he well deserves all the-support our j sex can give Mm.—Ellen Barlee, Hinde-Street, Man- chester-square." I The lady referred to is known as a very philan- thropic person; but when this circular came into her hands, she wrote to the newspapers saying that she neither wrote the letter nor sanctioned I the endorsement of her name. One of the best electioneering jokes is said to have been perpetrated in Edinburgh. Mr. Adam Black, the late member, was very unpopular pre- vious/to the election taking place, and it was asked, What can have caused Adam's fall ? To which the reply given was, The Eve of the Election." Amongst the provincial squibs I also saw the 1 following:— "Wanted, for a Lunatic Asylum, a powerful man, well qualified to take charge of a defeated Blue Candi- date immediately after the close of the Bristol election. Apply to the Chairman of the Bedminater Blue Beef and Dripping Society." We have now before us a long vacation. It is probable Parliament will not meet again for the dispatch of business before February. During this blank time it is my intention to record to you any peculiar circumstances in London life, taking men and things as I find them; and I trust that under the heading of a Jotter's Ramblings," I shall be able weekly to produce something amus- ing to my readers. Next week I intend to give an original account of the great Wimbledon Review.











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