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in the House of Commons for the first time. One of these was Mr. J. B. Dillon, a man who had been concerned in the Irish Rebellion of 1848. He had long opposed the idea of an armed rising, believing it inopportune and hopeless, but nevertheless, when the movements was precipitated by events, he went and took his place in the front of it with his leader. Mr. Dillon had lived for some years in the United States, and had lately returned to Ireland under an amnesty. He at once reassumed a leading part in Irish politics, and won a high reputation for his capacity and his integrity. He promised to have an influential part in bringing together the Irish members and the English Liberals, but his untimely death cut short what would unquestionably have been a very useful career. Wherever there was a change in the character of the new Parliament it seemed to be in favor of * advanced reform. It was not merely that the Tories were left in a minority, but that so many mild Whigs had been removed to give place to genuine Liberals. There seemed to be little doubt that this new Parliament would do some. thing to make its existence memorable. No one surely could have expected that it would vindicate its claim to celebrity in the peculiar manner that its short history illustrates. Mr. Disraeli himselt expressed his opinion of the new Parliament after it had been but a short time sitting. He spoke of it as one which had distinctly increased the strength and the following of Mr. Bright. No one could fail to see, he pointed out, that Mr. Bright occupied a very different position now from that which he had held in the late Parliament. New men had come into the House of Commons, men of integrity and ability, who were above all things advanced Reformers. The position of Mr. Gladstone was markedly changed. He had been defeated at the University of Oxford by Mr. Gathorne Hardy, but was at once put in nomination for South Lancashire, which was still open, and he was elected there. His severance from the
University was regarded by Liberals as his political emancipation. The Reformers then would have at their head the two great parliamentary orators (one of them undoubtedly the future prime minister) and the greatest philosophical writer and thinker of the day. This Liberal triumvirate, as they were called, would have behind them many new and earnest men, to whom their words would be a law. The alarmed Tories said to themselves that between England and the democratic flood there was left but one barrier, and that was in the person of the old statesman, now in his eighty-first year, of whom more and more doubtful rumors began to arrive in London every day.
NARM, Eros; the long day's task is done and we must
sleep!” A long, very long day's task was nearly done. A marvellous career was fast drawing to its close. Down in Hertfordshire Lord Palmerston was dying.
As Mirabeau said of himself, so Palmerston might have said, he could already hear the preparations for the funeral of Achilles. He had enjoyed life to the last as fully as ever Churchill did, although in a different sense. Long as his life was, if counted by mere years, it seems much longer still when we consider what it had compassed, and how active it had been from the earliest to the very end. Many men were older than Lord Palmerston; he left more than one senior behind him. But they were for the most part men whose work had long been done; men who had been consigned to the arm-chair of complete inactivity. Palmerston was a hardworking statesman until within a very few days of his death. He had been a member of Parliament for nearly sixty years. He entered Parliament for the first time in the year when Byron, like himself a Harrow boy, published his first poems. He had been in the House of Commons for thirty years when the Queen came to the throne. He used to play chess with the unfortunate Caroline of Brunswick, wife of the Prince-Regent, when she lived at Kensington as Princess of Wales. In 1808, being then one of the Lords of
the Admirality, he had defended the Copenhagen expedition of the year before, and insisted that it was a stroke indispen. sable to the defeat of the designs of Napoleon. During all his political career he was only out of office for rare and brief seasons. To be a private member of Parliament was a short occasional episode in his successful life. In the words of Sadi, the Persian poet, he had obtained an ear of corn from every harvest.
It was only during the session of 1865 that Lord Palmer. ston began to give evidence that he was suffering severely at last from that affliction which has been called the most terrible of all diseases-old age. Up to the beginning of that year he had scarcely shown any signs of actual decay. He had, indeed, been for a long time a sufferer from occasional fits of gout, lately in hands as well as feet. During the winter of the Trent seizure he had been much disabled and tortured by a visitation of this kind, which almost entirely crippled him. But in this country the gout has long ceased to be an evidence of old age. It only too commonly accompanies middle life, and indeed, like black care in the poet's verse, seems able to cling on to any horseman. But during the session of 1865 Lord Palmerston began to show that he was receiving the warning which Death, in Mr. Thrale's pretty poem, is made to give of his coming. He suffered much for some of the later months. His eyesight had become very weak, and even with the help of strong glasses he found it difficult to read. He was getting feeble in every way. He ceased to have that joy of the strife which inspired him during parliamentary debate even up to the attainment of his eightieth year. He had kept up his bodily vigor and the youthful elasticity of his spirits so long, that it must have come on him with the shock of a painful sur. prise when he first found that his frame and his nerves were beyond doubt giving way, and that he too must succumb to the cruel influence of years. The collapse of his vigor came
on almost at a stroke. On his eightieth birthday, in October, 1864, he started, Mr. Ashley tells us, “at half-past eight from Broadlands, taking his horses by train to Fareham, was met by engineer officers, and rode along the Portsdown and Hilsea lines of forts, getting of his horse and inspecting some of them, crossing over to Anglesey forts and Gosport, and not reaching home till six in the evening." Earlier in the same year he rode one day from his house in Piccadilly to Harrow, trotting the distance of nearly twelve miles within one hour. Such performances testify to an energy of what one would almost call youthful vitality, rare indeed even in the history of our long-living time. But in 1865 the change set in all at once. Lord Palmerston began to discontinue his attendance at the house ; when he did at. tend, it was evident that he went through his parliamentary duties with difficulty, and even with pain. The Tiverton election on the dissolution of Parliament was his last public appearance. He went from Tiverton to Brocket, in Hert. fordshire, a place which Lady Palmerston had inherited from Lord Melbourne, her brother, and there he remained. The gout had become very serious now. It had flown to a dangerous place; and Lord Palmerston had made the dan. ger greater by venturing with his too youthful energy to ride out before he had nearly recovered from one severe attack. On October 17th a bulletin was issued, announcing that Lord Palmerston had been seriously ill, in consequence of having taken cold, but that he had been steadily improving for three days, and was then much better. Somehow this announcement failed to reassure people in London. Many had only then for the first time heard that Palmerston was ill, and the bare mention of the fact fell ominously on the ear of the public. The very next morning these suspicions were confirmed. It was announced that Lord Palmerston's condition had suddenly altered for the worse, and that he was gradually sinking. Then every one knew that the end