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The Grand Old Man by Richard B. Cook

Part 2 out of 6

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want such a man as that. In some things he is likely to be obstinate and
prejudiced; but he has a fine fund of high, chivalrous Tory sentiment,
and a tongue, moreover, to let it loose with." And after the election he
exclaims: "And Gladstone has turned out the Sergeant!... What a triumph
for him. He has made his reputation by it; all that remains is to keep
up to it."

That one of Mr. Gladstone's Liberal opponents was impressed by his
talent and character is shown by the following lines of "descriptive
prophecy, perhaps more remarkable for good feeling than for
good poetry:"

"Yet on one form, whose ear can ne'er refuse
The Muses' tribute, for he lov'd the Muse,
(And when the soul the gen'rous virtues raise,
A friendly Whig may chant a Tory's praise,)
Full many a fond expectant eye is bent
Where Newark's towers are mirror'd in the Trent.
Perchance ere long to shine in senates first,
If manhood echo what his youth rehears'd,
Soon Gladstone's brows will bloom with greener bays
Than twine the chaplet of the minstrel's lays;
Nor heed, while poring o'er each graver line,
The far, faint music of a flute like mine.
His was no head contentedly which press'd
The downy pillow in obedient rest,
Where lazy pilots, with their canvas furl'd,
Let up the Gades of their mental world;
His was no tongue which meanly stoop'd to wear
The guise of virtue, while his heart was bare;
But all he thought through ev'ry action ran;
God's noblest work--I've known one honest man."

Mr. Gladstone spoke at Newark in company with his friend, the Earl of
Lincoln, shortly after his election, when another favorable testimony
was given, and his address spoken of as "a manly, eloquent speech,
replete with sound constitutional sentiments, high moral feeling, and
ability of the most distinguished order."

In commenting upon the result of the election a representative of the
press of Newark wrote: "We have been told there was no reaction against
the Ministry, no reaction in favor of Conservative principles. The
delusion has now vanished, and made room for sober reason and
reflection. The shadow satisfies no longer, and the return of Mr.
Gladstone, to the discomfiture of the learned Sergeant and his friends,
has restored the town of Newark to the high rank which it formerly held
in the estimation of the friends of order and good government. We
venture to predict that the losing candidate in this contest has
suffered so severely that he will never show his face in Newark on a
similar occasion."

But Mr. Gladstone had made bitter political enemies already, who were
not at all reconciled to his election, nor pleased with him. That they
were not at all slow to express unbecomingly their bitterness against
him, because of their unexpected defeat, the following shows from the
_Reflector_: "Mr. Gladstone is the son of Gladstone of Liverpool, a
person who (we are speaking of the father) had amassed a large fortune
by West India dealings. In other words, a great part of his gold has
sprung from the blood of black slaves. Respecting the youth himself--a
person fresh from college, and whose mind is as much like a sheet of
white foolscap as possible--he was utterly unknown. He came recommended
by no claim in the world _except the will of the Duke_. The Duke nodded
unto Newark, and Newark sent back the man, or rather the boy of his
choice. What! Is this to be, now that the Reform Bill has done its work?
Are sixteen hundred men still to bow down to a wooden-headed lord, as
the people of Egypt used to do to their beasts, to their reptiles, and
their ropes of onions? There must be something wrong--something
imperfect. What is it? What is wanting? Why, the Ballot! If there be a
doubt of this (and we believe there is a doubt even amongst intelligent
men) the tale of Newark must set the question at rest. Sergeant Wilde
was met on his entry into the town by almost the whole population. He
was greeted everywhere, cheered everywhere. He was received with delight
by his friends and with good and earnest wishes for his success by his
nominal foes. The voters for Gladstone went up to that candidate's booth
(the slave-driver, as they called him) with Wilde's colors. People who
had before voted for Wilde, on being asked to give their suffrage said,
'We cannot, we dare not. We have lost half our business, and shall lose
the rest if we go against the Duke. We would do anything in our power
for Sergeant Wilde and for the cause, but we cannot starve!' Now what
say ye, our merry men, touching the Ballot?"

However Mr. Gladstone had won as we have seen the golden opinions of
many, and the dreams of his more youthful days were realized when he was
sent to represent the people in the House of Commons.

On the 29th of January, 1833, the first Reformed Parliament met, and
William E. Gladstone, as the member from Newark, took his seat for the
first time in "an assembly which he was destined to adorn, delight and
astonish for more than half a century, and over which for a great
portion of that period, he was to wield an unequalled and a paramount
authority." There were more than three hundred new members in the House
of Commons. Lord Althorp led the Whigs, who were largely in the majority
and the Tories constituted a compact minority under the skillful
leadership of Sir Robert Peel, while the Irish members who were hostile
to the ministry followed O'Connell. On the 5th of February the king
attended and delivered the speech from the throne in person. This
Parliamentary session was destined to become one of the most memorable
in history for the importance of the subjects discussed and disposed of,
among them the social condition of Ireland, the position of the Irish
church, the discontent and misery of the poor in England, and slavery in
the British colonies; and for the fact that it was the first Parliament
in which William E. Gladstone sat and took part.

There was no reference made to the subject of slavery in the speech from
the throne, but the ministry resolved to consider it. Mr. Stanley, the
Colonial Secretary, afterwards fourteenth Earl of Derby and Prime
Minister, brought forth, May 14th, 1833, a series of resolutions in
favor of the extinction of slavery in the British colonies. "All
children of slaves, born after the passage of the Act, and all children
of six years old and under, were declared free. But the rest of the
slaves were to serve a sort of apprenticeship--three-fourths of their
time was for a certain number of years to remain at the disposal of the
masters; the other fourth was their own, to be paid for at a fixed rate
of wages." The planters were to be duly compensated out of the national

It was during the discussion of these resolutions that Mr. Gladstone
made his maiden speech in Parliament. It was made in answer to what
seemed a personal challenge by Lord Howick, Ex-Under Secretary for the
colonies, who, opposing gradual emancipation, referred to an estate in
Demerara, owned by Mr. Gladstone's father, for the purpose of showing
that great destruction of life had taken place in the West Indies owing
to the manner in which the slaves were worked. In reply to this Mr.
Gladstone said that he would meet some of Lord Howick's statements with
denials and others with explanations. He admitted that he had a
pecuniary interest in it as a question of justice, of humanity, and of
religion. The real cause of the decrease, he said, was owing, not to the
increased cultivation of sugar, but to the very large proportion of
Africans upon the estate. When it came into his father's possession it
was so weak, owing to the large number of negroes upon it, that he was
obliged to add two hundred more people to the gang. It was well known
that negroes were imported into Demarara and Trinidad up to a later
period than into any of the colonies; and he should at a proper time, be
able to prove that the decrease on his father's plantation, Vreeden
Hoop, was among the old Africans, and that there was an increase going
on in the Creole population, which would be a sufficient answer to the
charges preferred. The quantity of sugar produced was small compared to
that produced on other estates. The cultivation of cotton in Demarara
had been abandoned, and that of coffee much diminished, and the people
engaged in these sources of production had been employed in the
cultivation of sugar. Besides in Demarara the labor of the same number
of negroes, distributed over the year, would produce in that colony a
certain quantity of sugar with less injury to the people, than negroes
could produce in other colonies, working only at the stated periods
of crops.

He was ready to concede that the cultivation was of a more injurious
character than others; and he would ask, Were there not certain
employments in other countries more destructive of life than others? He
would only instance those of painting and working in lead mines, both of
which were well known to have that tendency. The noble lord attempted to
impugn the character of the gentleman acting as manager of his father's
estates; and in making the selection he had surely been most
unfortunate; for there was not a person in the colony more remarkable
for humanity and the kind treatment of his slaves than Mr. Maclean. Mr.
Gladstone, in concluding this able defense of his father, said, that he
held in his hand two letters from Mr. Maclean, in which he spoke in the
kindest terms of the negroes under his charge; described their state of
happiness, content and healthiness--their good conduct and the
infrequency of severe punishment--and recommended certain additional
comforts, which he said the slaves well deserved.

On the 3d of June, on the resumption of the debate on the abolition of
slavery, Mr. Gladstone again addressed the House. He now entered more
fully into the charges which Lord Howick had brought against the
management of his father's estates in Demarara, and showed their
groundlessness. When he had discussed the existing aspect of slavery in
Trinidad, Jamaica and other places, he proceeded to deal with the
general question. He confessed with shame and pain that cases of wanton
cruelty had occurred in the colonies, but added that they would always
exist, particularly under the system of slavery; and this was
unquestionably a substantial reason why the British Legislature and
public should set themselves in good earnest to provide for its
extinction; but he maintained that these instances of cruelty could
easily be explained by the West Indians, who represented them as rare
and isolated cases, and who maintained that the ordinary relation of
master and slave was one of kindliness and not of hostility. He
deprecated cruelty, and he deprecated slavery, both of which were
abhorrent to the nature of Englishmen; but, conceding these things, he
asked, "Were not Englishmen to retain a right to their own honestly and
legally-acquired property?" But the cruelty did not exist, and he saw no
reason for the attack which had recently been made upon the West India
interest. He hoped the House would make a point to adopt the principle
of compensation, and to stimulate the slave to genuine and spontaneous
industry. If this were not done, and moral instruction were not imparted
to the slaves, liberty would prove a curse instead of a blessing to
them. Touching upon the property question, and the proposed plans for
emancipation, Mr. Gladstone said that the House might consume its time
and exert its wisdom in devising these plans, but without the
concurrence of the Colonial Legislatures success would be hopeless. He
thought there was excessive wickedness in any violent interference under
the present circumstances. They were still in the midst of unconcluded
inquiries, and to pursue the measure then under discussion, at that
moment, was to commit an act of great and unnecessary hostility toward
the island of Jamaica. "It was the duty of the House to place as broad a
distinction as possible between the idle and the industrious slaves, and
nothing could be too strong to secure the freedom of the latter; but,
with respect to the idle slaves, no period of emancipation could hasten
their improvement. If the labors of the House should be conducted to a
satisfactory issue, it would redound to the honor of the nation, and to
the reputation of his Majesty's Ministers, whilst it would be delightful
to the West India planters themselves--for they must feel that to hold
in bondage their fellow-men must always involve the greatest
responsibility. But let not any man think of carrying this measure by
force. England rested her power not upon physical force, but upon her
principles, her intellect and virtue; and if this great measure were not
placed on a fair basis, or were conducted by violence, he should lament
it, as a signal for the ruin of the Colonies and the downfall of the
Empire." The attitude of Mr. Gladstone, as borne out by the tenor of his
speech, was not one of hostility to emancipation, though he was
undoubtedly unfavorable to an immediate and indiscriminate
enfranchisement. He demanded, moreover, that the interests of the
planters should be duly regarded.

The result of the consideration of these resolutions in the House of
Commons was that human slavery in the British Colonies was abolished,
and the sum of twenty million pounds, or one hundred million dollars was
voted to compensate the slave-owners for their losses. Thus was the
work begun by Wilberforce finally crowned with success.

It is an interesting question how Mr. Gladstone's first efforts in
Parliament were received. Among his friends his speech was anticipated
with lively interest. That morning he was riding in Hyde Park, on his
gray Arabian mare, "his hat, narrow-brimmed, high up on the centre of
his head, sustained by a crop of thick curly hair." He was pointed out
to Lord Charles Russell by a passer-by who said, "That is Gladstone. He
is to make his maiden speech to-night. It will be worth hearing."

From the first he appears to have favorably impressed the members of the
House. Modest in demeanor, earnest in manner, and fluent in speech, he
at once commanded the respect and attention of his fellow-members.

And here is a later testimony as to the early impression made upon his
colleagues and contemporaries, when he was twenty-nine years of age,
erroneously stated as thirty-five: "Mr. Gladstone, the member for
Newark, is one of the most rising young men on the Tory side of the
House. His party expect great things from him; and certainly, when it is
remembered that his age is only thirty-five, the success of the
Parliamentary efforts he has already made justifies their expectations.
He is well informed on most of the subjects which usually occupy the
attention of the Legislature; and he is happy in turning his
information to good account. He is ready on all occasions, which he
deems fitting ones, with a speech in favor of the policy advocated by
the party with whom he acts. His extempore resources are ample. Few men
in the House can improvise better. It does not appear to cost him an
effort to speak.... He is a man of very considerable talent, but has
nothing approaching to genius. His abilities are much more the result of
an excellent education and of mature study than of any prodigality of
nature in the distribution of her mental gifts. _I have no idea that he
will ever acquire the reputation of a great statesman. His views are not
sufficiently profound or enlarged for that; his celebrity in the House
of Commons will chiefly depend on his readiness and dexterity as a
debater, in conjunction with the excellence of his elocution, and the
gracefulness of his manner when speaking_.... His style is polished, but
has no appearance of the effect of previous preparation. He displays
considerable acuteness in replying to an opponent; he is quick in his
perception of anything vulnerable in the speech to which he replies, and
happy in laying the weak point bare to the gaze of the House. He now and
then indulges in sarcasm, which is, in most cases, very felicitous. He
is plausible even when most in error. When it suits himself or his party
he can apply himself with the strictest closeness to the real point at
issue; when to evade the point is deemed most politic, no man can wander
from it more widely."

How far these estimates were true we leave to the reader to determine,
after the perusal of his life, and in the light of subsequent events.

Mr. Gladstone, after his maiden speech, took an active part in the
business of the House during the remainder of the session of 1833. He
spoke upon the question of bribery and corruption at Liverpool, and July
8th made an elaborate speech on the Irish Church Temporalities Bill. The
condition of Ireland was then, as now, one of the most urgent questions
confronting the Ministry. Macaulay "solemnly declared that he would
rather live in the midst of many civil wars that he had read of than in
some parts of Ireland at this moment." Sydney Smith humorously described
"those Irish Protestants whose shutters are bullet-proof; whose
dinner-table is regularly spread out with knife, fork, and cocked
pistol; salt-cellar and powder-flask; who sleep in sheet-iron nightcaps;
who have fought so often and so nobly before their scullery-door, and
defended the parlor passage as bravely as Leonidas defended the pass of
Thermopylae." Crime was rife and to remedy the serious state of affairs
a stringent Coercion Bill was introduced by the government. Mr.
Gladstone voted silently for the bill which became a law.

The other bill introduced was that upon the Irish Church, and proposed
the reduction of the number of Protestant Episcopal Bishops in Ireland
and the curtailment of the income of the Church. This bill Mr. Gladstone
opposed in a speech, and he voted against it, but it was passed.

It was in the following session that Mr. Hume introduced his
"'Universities Admission Bill,' designed to enable Nonconformists of all
kinds to enter the universities, by removing the necessity of
subscribing to the thirty-nine articles at matriculation." In the debate
that followed Mr. Gladstone soon gave evidence that he knew more about
the subject than did the author of the bill. In speaking against the
bill, he said in part, "The whole system of the university and of its
colleges, both in study and in discipline, aimed at the formation of a
moral character, and that aim could not be attained if every student
were at liberty to exclude himself from the religious training of the
place." And in reply to a remark made by Lord Palmerston in reference to
the students going "from wine to prayers, and from prayers to wine," Mr.
Gladstone replied, he did not believe that in their most convivial
moments they were unfit to enter the house of prayer. This bill was
also passed.

It might have been expected that Mr. Gladstone's active participation in
the debates in the House of Commons, and the practical ability and
debating power he manifested would not escape the attention of the
leaders of his party. But the recognition of his merit came sooner than
could have been expected. It became evident, towards the close of 1834
that the downfall of the Liberal Ministry was near at hand. Lord
Althorp, who had kept the Liberals together, was transferred to the
House of Lords, and the growing unpopularity of the Whigs did the rest.
The Ministry under Lord Melbourne was dismissed by the king, and a new
Cabinet formed by Sir Robert Peel. The new Premier offered Mr. Gladstone
the office of Junior Lord of the Treasury, which was accepted.

Truly has an eminent writer said: "When a Prime Minister in
difficulties, looking about for men to fill the minor offices of his
administration, sees among his supporters a clever and comely young man,
eloquent in speech, ready in debate, with a safe seat, an ample fortune,
a high reputation at the university, and a father who wields political
influence in an important constituency, he sees a Junior Lord of the
Treasury made ready to his hand."

Appealing to his constituents at Newark, who, two years before, had sent
him to Parliament, he was re-elected. Mr. Handley having retired,
Sergeant Wilde was elected with Mr. Gladstone without opposition. Mr.
Gladstone was "chaired," or drawn by horses through the town, seated on
a chair, after the election, and then addressed the assembled people to
the number of 6,000, his speech being received with "deafening cheers."

Shortly after Parliament assembled, Mr. Gladstone was promoted to the
office of Under-Secretary for the Colonies. His official chief was Lord
Aberdeen, afterwards Prime Minister; and thus began a relation which was
destined to greatly affect the destinies of both statesmen.

Mr. Gladstone gave ample proof in his new office of his great abilities
and untiring energies.

In March he presented to the House his first bill, which was for the
better regulation of the transportation of passengers in merchant
vessels to the continent and to the Islands of North America. This bill,
which contained many humane provisions, was very favorably received. The
new Parliament, which met February 10, 1835, contained a considerable
Liberal majority. The old House of Commons had been destroyed by fire
during the recess, and the new Commons reassembled in the chamber which
had been the House of Lords, and for the first time there was a gallery
for reporters in the House.

"A standing order still existed, which forbade the publication of the
debates, but the reporters' gallery was a formal and visible recognition
of the people's right to know what their representatives were doing in
their name." However, the new Ministry was but short-lived, for Sir
Robert Peel resigned April 8th, and Mr. Gladstone retired with
his chief.

Mr. Gladstone spent the days of his retirement from ministerial office
partly in study, and partly in recreation. Being free to follow the bent
of his own inclinations, he ordered his life according to his own
ideals. He lived in chambers at the Albany, pursued the same steady
course of work, proper recreation and systematic devotion, which he had
marked out at Oxford. He freely went into society, dined out frequently,
and took part in musical parties, much to the edification of his friends
who were charmed with the beauty and cultivation of his rich baritone.
His friend Monckton Milnes had established himself in London and
collected around him a society of young men, interested in politics and
religion, and whom he entertained Sunday evenings. But this arrangement
"unfortunately," as Mr. Milnes said, excluded from these gatherings the
more serious members, such as Acland and Gladstone. Mr. Milnes expressed
his opinion of such self-exclusion in these words: "I really think when
people keep Friday as a fast, they might make a feast of Sunday." But
Mr. Gladstone evidently was not of this opinion, and remained away from
these Lord's Day parties. However at other times he met his friends, and
received them at his own rooms in the Albany, and on one memorable
occasion entertained Wordsworth at breakfast and a few admirers of this
distinguished guest.

Mr. Gladstone's relaxations were occasional, and the most of his time
was devoted to his Parliamentary duties and study. His constant
companions were Homer and Dante, and he at this time, it is recorded,
read the whole of St. Augustine, in twenty-two octavo volumes. He was a
constant attendant upon public worship at St. James', Piccadilly, and
Margaret Chapel, and a careful critic of sermons. At the same time he
diligently applied himself to the work of a private member of the House
of Commons, working on committees and taking constant part in debate.

In 1836 the question of slavery again came up before Parliament. This
time the question was as to the working of the system of negro
apprenticeship, which had taken the place of slavery. It was asserted
that the system was only slavery under another name. He warmly and ably
defended again the West Indian planters. He pleaded that many of the
planters were humane men, and defended also the honor of his relatives
connected with the traffic so much denounced, when it was assailed. He
contended that while the evils of the system had been exaggerated, all
mention of its advantages had been carefully withheld. The condition of
the negroes was improving. He deprecated the attempt made to renew and
perpetuate the system of agitation at the expense of candor and truth.
He also at this time spoke on support of authority and order in the
government of Canada, and on Church Rates, dwelling upon the necessity
of national religion to the security of a state. Mr. Gladstone was not
only a Tory but a High Churchman.

King William IV died June 20, 1837, and was succeeded by Queen Victoria.
A general election ensued. The Parliament, which had been prorogued by
the young queen in person, was dissolved on the 17th of July. Mr.
Gladstone, without his consent, was nominated to represent Manchester in
the House, but was re-elected for Newark without opposition. He then
turned his steps towards Scotland, "to see what grouse he could persuade
into his bag." The new Parliament met October 20th, but no business of
importance came before it until after the Christmas holidays.

In 1838 a bill was presented in both Houses of Parliament for the
immediate abolition of negro apprenticeship. Many harrowing details of
the cruelties practiced were cited. Mr. Gladstone returned to the
championship of the planters with increased power and success. His long,
eloquent and powerful speech of March 30th, although on the unpopular
side of the question, is regarded as having so greatly enhanced his
reputation as to bring him to the front rank among Parliamentary
debaters. Having impassionately defended the planters from the
exaggerated charges made against them, he further said: "You consumed
forty-five millions of pounds of cotton in 1837 which proceeded from
free labor; and, proceeding from slave labor, three hundred and eighteen
millions of pounds! And this, while the vast regions of India afford the
means of obtaining at a cheaper rate, and by a slight original outlay,
to facilitate transport, all that you can require. If, Sir, the
complaints against the general body of the West Indians had been
substantiated, I should have deemed it an unworthy artifice to attempt
diverting the attention of the House from the question immediately at
issue, by merely proving that delinquencies existed in other quarters;
but feeling as I do that those charges have been overthrown in debate, I
think myself entitled and bound to show how capricious are the honorable
gentlemen in the distribution of their sympathies among those different
objects which call for their application."

Mr. Gladstone, "having turned the tables upon his opponents," concluded
by demanding justice, and the motion before the House was rejected.

About one month later Rev. Samuel Wilberforce, afterwards Bishop of
Oxford, and of Winchester, wrote to Mr. Gladstone: "It would be an
affectation in you, which you are above, not to know that few young men
have the weight you have in the House of Commons, and are gaining
rapidly throughout the country. Now I do not wish to urge you to
consider this as a talent for the use of which you must render an
account, for so I know you do esteem it, but what I want to urge upon
you is that you should calmly look far before you; see the degree of
weight and influence to which you may fairly, if God spares your life
and powers, look forward in future years, and thus act _now_ with a view
to _then_. There is no height to which you may not fairly rise in this
country. If it pleases God to spare us violent convulsions and the loss
of our liberties, you may at a future day wield the whole government of
this land; and if this should be so, of what extreme moment will your
_past steps_ then be to the real usefulness of your high station....
Almost all our public men act from the merest expediency.... I would
have you view yourself as one who may become the head of all the better
feelings of this country, the maintainer of its Church and of its
liberties, and who must now be fitting himself for this high
vocation.... I think my father's life so beautifully shows that a deep
and increasing personal religion must be the root of that firm and
unwearied consistency in right, which I have ventured thus to press
upon you."

Mr. Gladstone began his Parliamentary life as a Tory. Later he developed
into a Liberal, a Radical, and yet there is not one who conscientiously
doubts his utter honesty. His life has been that of his
century--progressive, liberal, humanitarian in its trend.

[Illustration: Grattan]



We have now followed Mr. Gladstone in his course until well on the way
in his political career, and yet he is but twenty-eight years of age.
His personal appearance in the House of Commons at this early stage of
his Parliamentary life is thus described: "Mr. Gladstone's appearance
and manners are much in his favor. He is a fine looking man. He is about
the usual height and of good figure. His countenance is mild and
pleasant, and has a highly intellectual expression. His eyes are clear
and quick. His eyebrows are dark and rather prominent. There is not a
dandy in the House but envies what Truefit would call his 'fine head of
jet-black hair.' It is always carefully parted from the crown downwards
to his brow, where it is tastefully shaded. His features are small and
regular, and his complexion must be a very unworthy witness if he does
not possess an abundant stock of health.

"Mr. Gladstone's gesture is varied, but not violent. When he rises he
generally puts both his hands behind his back, and having there suffered
them to embrace each other for a short time, he unclasps them and allows
them to drop on either side. They are not permitted to remain long in
that locality before you see them, again closed together and hanging
down before him. Their reunion is not suffered to last for any length of
time, Again a separation takes place, and now the right hand is seen
moving up and down before him. Having thus exercised it a little, he
thrusts it into the pocket of his coat, and then orders the left hand to
follow its example. Having granted them a momentary repose there, they
are again put into gentle motion, and in a few seconds they are seen
reposing _vis-a-vis_ on his breast. He moves his face and body from one
direction to another, not forgetting to bestow a liberal share of his
attention on his own party. He is always listened to with much attention
by the House, and appears to be highly respected by men of all parties.
He is a man of good business habits; of this he furnished abundant proof
when Under-Secretary for the Colonies, during the short-lived
administration of Robert Peel."

From this pen picture and other like notices of Mr. Gladstone he must,
at that time, have attained great distinction and attracted a good deal
of attention for one so young, and from that day to this he has
commanded the attention not only of the British Senate and people, but
of the world at large. And why? may we ask, unless because of his modest
manner and distinguished services, his exalted ability and moral worth.

"The House of Commons was his ground," writes Justin McCarthy. "There he
was always seen to the best advantage."

Nevertheless, Mr. Gladstone wrote with the same earnestness and ability
with which he spoke. It was early in life that he distinguished himself
as an author, as well as an orator and debater in the House of Commons.
And it was most natural for him to write upon the subject of the Church,
for not only his education led him to the consideration of such themes,
but it was within his sphere as an English statesman, for the law of the
land provided for the union of the Church and State. It was in 1838,
when he was not thirty years of age, that he wrote his first book and
stepped at once to the front rank as an author. He had ever been a
staunch defender of the Established Church and his first appearance in
literature was by a remarkable work in defense of the State Church
entitled, "The State in its Relations with the Church." The treatise is
thus dedicated: "Inscribed to the University of Oxford, tried and not
found wanting through the vicissitudes of a thousand years; in the
belief that she is providentially designed to be a fountain of
blessings, spiritual, social and intellectual, to this and other
countries, to present and future times; and in the hope that the temper
of these pages may be found not alien from her own."

This first published book of Mr. Gladstone's was due to the perception
that the _status_ of the Church, in its connection with the secular
power, was about to undergo the severe assaults of the opponents of the
Union. There was growing opposition to the recognition of the Episcopal
Church as the Church of the State and to taxation of people of other
religious beliefs for its support; and this objection was to the
recognition and support of any Church by the State. What is called the
"American idea"--the entire separation of the Church and State--or as
enunciated first by Roger Williams in 1636, in Rhode Island, that the
magistrate should have authority in civil affairs only, was becoming
more and more the doctrine of dissenters. Preparations were already
being made for attacking the national establishment of religion, and
with all the fervor springing from conviction and a deep-seated
enthusiasm, he came forward to take part in the controversy on Church
and State, and as a defender of the Established or Episcopal Church
of England.

Some of the positions assumed in this work have since been renounced as
untenable, but its ability as a whole, its breadth and its learning
could not be denied. It then created a great sensation, and has since
been widely discussed. After an examination and a defense of the theory
of the connection between Church and State, Mr. Gladstone thus
summarizes his principal reasons for the maintenance of the Church

"Because the Government stands with us in a paternal relation to the
people, and is bound in all things not merely to consider their existing
tastes, but the capabilities and ways of their improvement; because it
has both an intrinsic competency and external means to amend and assist
their choice; because to be in accordance with God's mind and will, it
must have a religion, and because to be in accordance with its
conscience, that religion must be the truth, as held by it under the
most solemn and accumulated responsibilities; because this is the only
sanctifying and preserving principle of society, as well as to the
individual, that particular benefit, without which all others are worse
than valueless; we must, therefore, disregard the din of political
contention and the pressure of novelty and momentary motives, and in
behalf of our regard to man, as well as of our allegiance to God,
maintain among ourselves, where happily it still exists, the union
between the Church and the State."

Dr. Russell in the following quotation not only accounts for this
production from the pen, of Mr. Gladstone, but gives also an outline of
the argument:

"Naturally and profoundly religious ... Mr. Gladstone conceived that
those who professed the warmest regard for the Church of England and
posed as her most strenuous defenders, were inclined to base their
championship on mistaken grounds and to direct their efforts towards
even mischievous ends. To supply a more reasonable basis for action and
to lead this energy into more profitable channels were the objects which
he proposed to himself in his treatise of 1838. The distinctive
principle of the book was that the State had a conscience. This being
admitted, the issue was this: whether the State in its best condition,
has such a conscience as can take cognizance of religious truth and
error, and in particular whether the State of the United Kingdom at that
time was, or was not, so far in that condition as to be under an
obligation to give an active and an exclusive support to the established
religion of the country.

"The work attempted to survey the actual state of the relations between
the State and the Church; to show from history the ground which had been
defined for the National Church at the Reformation; and to inquire and
determine whether the existing state of things was worth preserving and
defending against encroachment from whatever quarter. This question it
decided emphatically in the affirmative. Faithful to logic and to its
theory, the book did not shrink from applying them to the external case
of the Irish Church. It did not disguise the difficulties of the case,
for the author was alive to the paradox which it involved. But the one
master idea of the system, that the State as it then stood was capable
in this age, as it had been in ages long gone by, of assuming
beneficially a responsibility for the inculcation of a particular
religion, carried him through all. His doctrine was that the Church, as
established by law, was to be maintained for its truth; that this was
the only principle in which it could be properly and permanently upheld;
that this principle, if good in England, was good also for Ireland; that
truth is of all possessions the most precious to the soul of man; and
that to remove this priceless treasure from the view and the reach of
the Irish people would be meanly to purchase their momentary favor at
the expense of their permanent interests, and would be a high offense
against our own sacred obligations."

We quote also from the opening chapter of the second volume of this
work, which treats of the connection subsisting between the State of the
United Kingdom and the Church of England and Ireland, and shows Mr.
Gladstone's views at that period of his life upon the relations of the
Church as affecting Ireland in particular. The passage also indicates
the changes that have taken place in his mind since the time when he
defended these principles. It also shows the style in which this
remarkable book was written and enables us to compare, not only his
opinions now and then, but his style in writing then with his style now.

"The Protestant legislature of the British Empire maintains in the
possession of the Church property of Ireland the ministers of a creed
professed, according to the parliamentary enumeration, of 1835, by
one-ninth of its population, regarded with partial favor by scarcely
another ninth, and disowned by the remaining seven. And not only does
this anomaly meet us full in view, but we have also to consider and
digest the fact, that the maintenance of this Church for near three
centuries in Ireland has been contemporaneous with a system of partial
and abusive government, varying in degree of culpability, but rarely,
until of later years, when we have been forced to look at the subject
and to feel it, to be exempted in common fairness from the reproach of
gross inattention (to say the very least) to the interests of a noble
but neglected people.

"But, however formidable at first sight the admissions, which I have no
desire to narrow or to qualify, may appear, they in no way shake the
foregoing arguments. They do not change the nature of truth and her
capability and destiny to benefit mankind. They do not relieve
Government of its responsibility, if they show that that responsibility
was once unfelt and unsatisfied. They place the legislature of the
country in the condition, as it were, of one called to do penance for
past offences; but duty remains unaltered and imperative, and abates
nothing of her demand on our services. It is undoubtedly competent, in a
constitutional view, to the Government of this country to continue the
present disposition of Church property in Ireland. It appears not too
much to assume that our imperial legislature has been qualified to take,
and has taken in point of fact, a sounder view of religious truth than
the majority of the people of Ireland in their destitute and
uninstructed state. We believe, accordingly, that that which we place
before them is, whether they know it or not, calculated to be beneficial
to them; and that if they know it not now, they will know it when it is
presented to them fairly. Shall we, then, purchase their applause at the
expense of their substantial, nay, their spiritual interests?

"It does, indeed, so happen that there are powerful motives on the other
side concurring with that which has here been represented as paramount.
In the first instance we are not called upon to establish a creed, but
only to maintain an existing legal settlement, when our constitutional
right is undoubted. In the second, political considerations tend
strongly to recommend that maintenance. A common form of faith binds the
Irish Protestants to ourselves, while they, upon the other hand, are
fast linked to Ireland; and thus they supply the most natural bond of
connection between the countries. But if England, by overthrowing their
Church, should weaken their moral position, they would be no longer
able, perhaps no longer willing, to counteract the desires of the
majority tending, under the direction of their leaders (however, by a
wise policy, revocable from that fatal course) to what is termed
national independence. Pride and fear, on the one hand, are therefore
bearing up against more immediate apprehension and difficulty on the
other. And with some men these may be the fundamental considerations;
but it may be doubted whether such men will not flinch in some stage of
the contest, should its aspect at any moment become unfavorable."

Of course the opponents of Mr. Gladstone's views, as set forth in his
book, strongly combated his theories. They replied that "the taxation of
the State is equal upon all persons, and has for its object their
individual, social and political welfare and safety; but that the
taxation of one man for the support of his neighbor's religion does not
come within the limits of such taxation, and is, in fact, unjust and

It was no easy task for Mr. Gladstone, with all his parliamentary
duties, to aspire to authorship, and carry his book through the press.
In preparing for publication he passed through all the agonies of the
author, but was nobly helped by his friend, James R. Hope, who
afterwards became Mr. Hope-Scott, Q.C., who read and criticised his
manuscript and saw the sheets through the press. Some of the letters
from the young Defender of the Faith to his friend contain much that is
worth preserving. We give some extracts.

He writes: "If you let them lie just as they are, turning the leaves one
by one, I think you will not find the manuscript very hard to make out,
though it is strangely cut in pieces and patched.

"I hope its general tendency will meet with your approval; but a point
about which I am in doubt, and to which I request your particular
attention, is, whether the work or some of the chapters are not so
deficient in clearness and arrangement as to require being absolutely
rewritten before they can with propriety be published.... Between my
eyes and my business I fear it would be hard for me to re-write, but if
I could put it into the hands of any other person who could, and who
would extract from my papers anything worth having, that might do.

"As regards myself, if I go on and publish, I shall be quite prepared to
find some persons surprised, but this, if it should prove so, cannot be
helped. I shall not knowingly exaggerate anything; and when a man
expects to be washed overboard he must tie himself with a rope to
the mast.

"I shall trust to your friendship for frankness in the discharge of your
irksome task. Pray make verbal corrections without scruple where they
are needed."

Again: "I thank you most cordially for your remarks, and I rejoice to
find you act so entirely in the spirit I had anticipated. I trust you
will continue to speak with freedom, which is the best compliment as
well as the best service you can render me.

"I think it very probable that you may find that V and VI require quite
as rigorous treatment as II, and I am very desirous to set both my mind
and eyes at liberty before I go to the Continent, which I can now hardly
expect to do before the first week in September. This interval I trust
would suffice unless you find that the other chapters stand in
equal need.

"I entirely concur with your view regarding the necessity of care and of
not grudging labor in a matter so important and so responsible as an
endeavor to raise one of the most momentous controversies which has
ever agitated human opinion,"

Again: "Thanks for your letter. I have been pretty hard at work, and
have done a good deal, especially on V. Something yet remains. I must
make inquiry about the law of excommunication.... I have made a very
stupid classification, and have now amended it; instead of faith,
discipline and practice, what I meant was the rule of faith, discipline,
and the bearing of particular doctrines upon practice.

"I send back also I and II that you may see what I have done."

The work was successfully issued in the autumn of 1838, and passed
rapidly through three editions. How it was received it would be
interesting to inquire. While his friends applauded, even his opponents
testified to the ability it displayed. On the authority of Lord
Houghton, it is said that Sir Robert Peel, the young author's political
leader, on receiving a copy as a gift from his follower, read it with
scornful curiosity, and, throwing it on the floor, exclaimed with truly
official horror: "With such a career before him, why should he write
books? That young man will ruin his fine political career if he persists
in writing trash like this." However, others gave the book a heartier
reception. Crabb Robinson writes in his diary: "I went to Wordsworth
this forenoon. He was ill in bed. I read Gladstone's book to him."

December 13, 1838, Baron Bunsen wrote: "Last night at eleven, when I
came from the Duke, Gladstone's book was lying on my table, having come
out at seven o'clock. It is a book of the time, a great event--the first
book since Burke that goes to the bottom of the vital question; far
above his party and his time. I sat up till after midnight, and this
morning I continued until I had read the whole. Gladstone is the first
man in England as to intellectual power, and he has heard higher tones
than any one else in the land." And again to Dr. Arnold he writes in
high praise of the book, but lamenting its author's entanglement in
Tractarian traditions, adds: "His genius will soon free itself entirely
and fly towards Heaven with its own wings."

Sir Henry Taylor wrote to the Poet Southey: "I am reading Gladstone's
book, which I shall send you if he has not.... His party begin to think
of him as the man who will one day be at their head and at the head of
the government, and certainly no man of his standing has yet appeared
who seems likely to stand in his way. Two wants, however, may lie across
his political career--want of robust health and want of flexibility."

Cardinal Newman wrote: "Gladstone's book, as you see, is making a
sensation." And again: "The _Times_ is again at poor Gladstone. Really I
feel as if I could do anything for him. I have not read his book, but
its consequences speak for it. Poor fellow! it is so noble a thing."

Lord Macaulay, in the _Edinburgh Review_, April, 1839, in his well-known
searching criticism, while paying high tribute to the author's talents
and character, said: "We believe that we do him no more than justice
when we say that his abilities and demeanor have obtained for him the
respect and good will of all parties.... That a young politician should,
in the intervals afforded by his Parliamentary avocations, have
constructed and propounded, with much study and mental toil, an original
theory, on a great problem in politics, is a circumstance which,
abstracted from all considerations of the soundness or unsoundness of
his opinions, must be considered as highly creditable to him. We
certainly cannot wish that Mr. Gladstone's doctrine may become
fashionable among public men. But we heartily wish that his laudable
desire to penetrate beneath the surface of questions, and to arrive, by
long and intent meditation, at the knowledge of great general laws, were
much more fashionable than we at all expect it to become."

It was in this article, by Lord Macaulay, that the mow famous words
occurred which former Conservative friends of Mr. Gladstone delight to
recall in view of his change of political opinions: "The writer of this
volume is a young man of unblemished character and of distinguished
parliamentary talents; the rising hope of those stern and unbending
Tories who follow, reluctantly and cautiously, a leader whose experience
and eloquence are indispensable to them, but whose cautious temper and
moderate opinions they abhor. It would not be strange if Mr. Gladstone
were one of the most unpopular men in England."

Higginson writes: "The hope of the stern and unbending Tories has for
years been the unquestioned leader of English Liberals, and though he
may have been at times as unpopular as Macaulay could have predicted,
the hostility has come mainly from the ranks of those who were thus
early named as his friends. But whatever may have been Mr. Gladstone's
opinions or affiliations, whoever may have been his friends or foes, the
credit of surpassing ability has always been his."

It was remarked by Lord Macaulay that the entire theory of Mr.
Gladstone's book rested upon one great fundamental proposition, namely,
that the propagation of religious truth is one of the chief ends of
government _as_ government; and he proceeded to combat this doctrine. He
granted that government was designed to protect our persons and our
property, but declined to receive the doctrine of paternal government,
until a government be shown that loved its subjects, as a father loves
his child, and was as superior in intelligence to its subjects as a
father was to his children. Lord Macaulay then demonstrated, by
appropriate illustrations, the fallacy of the theory that every society
of individuals with any power whatever, is under obligation as such
society to profess a religion; and that there could be unity of action
in large bodies without unity of religious views. Persecutions would
naturally follow, or be justifiable in an association where Mr.
Gladstone's views were paramount. It would be impossible to conceive of
the circumstances in which it would be right to establish by law, as the
one exclusive religion of the State, the religion of the minority. The
religious teaching which the sovereign ought officially to countenance
and maintain is that from which he, in his conscience, believes that the
people will receive the most benefit with the smallest mixture of evil.
It is not necessarily his own religious belief that he will select. He
may prefer the doctrines of the Church of England to those of the Church
of Scotland, but he would not force the former upon the inhabitants of
Scotland. The critic raised no objections, though he goes on to state
the conditions under which an established Church might be retained with
advantage. There are many institutions which, being set up, ought not
to be rudely pulled down. On the 14th of June, 1839, the question of
National Education was introduced in the House of Commons by the
Ministry of the day. Lord Stanley opposed the proposal of the government
in a powerful speech, and offered an amendment to this effect: "That an
address be presented to her Majesty to rescind the order in council for
constituting the proposed Board of Privy Council." The position of the
government was defended by Lord Morpeth, who, while he held his own
views respecting the doctrines of the Roman Catholics and also
respecting Unitarian tenets, he maintained that as long as the State
thought it proper to employ Roman Catholic sinews, and to finger
Unitarian gold, it could not refuse to extend to those by whom it so
profited the blessings of education. Speeches were also made by Lord
Ashley, Mr. Buller, Mr. O'Connell and others, and in the course of
debate reference was freely made to Mr. Gladstone's book on Church and
State. Finally Mr. Gladstone rose and remarked, that he would not flinch
from a word he had uttered or written upon religious subjects, and
claimed the right to contrast his principles, and to try results, in
comparison with those professed by Lord John Russell, and to ascertain
the effects of both upon the institutions of the country, so far as they
operated upon the Established Church in England, in Scotland and in
Ireland. It was at this time that a very remarkable scene was witnessed
in the House. Turning upon Mr. O'Connell, who had expressed his great
fondness for statistics, Mr. Gladstone said the use he had made of them
reminded him of an observation of Mr. Canning's, "He had a great
aversion to hear of a fact in debate, but what he most distrusted was a
figure." He then proceeded to show the inadequacy of the figures
presented by Mr. O'Connell. In reply to Lord Morpeth's declaration
concerning the duty of the State to provide education for Dissenters so
long as it fingered their gold, Mr. Gladstone said that if the State was
to be regarded as having no other functions than that of representing
the mere will of the people as to religious tenets, he admitted the
truth of his principle, but not that the State could have a conscience.
It was not his habit to revile religion in any form, but he asked what
ground there was for restricting his lordship's reasoning to
Christianity. He referred to the position held by the Jews upon this
educational question, and read to the House an extract from a recent
petition as follows: "Your petitioners feel the deepest gratitude for
the expression of her Majesty's most gracious wish that the youth of the
country should be religiously brought up, and the rights of conscience
respected, while they earnestly hope that the education of the people,
Jewish and Christian, will be sedulously connected with a due regard to
the Holy Scriptures."

Mr. Gladstone very pertinently asked how the education of the Jewish
people, who considered the New Testament an imposture, was "to be
sedulously connected with a due regard to the Holy Scriptures," which
consisted of the Old and New Testaments? To oblige the Jewish children
to read the latter would be directly contrary to the views of the
gentlemen on the other side of the House. He would have no child forced
to do so, but he protested against paying money from the treasury of the
State to men whose business it was to inculcate erroneous doctrines. The
debate was concluded, and the government carried its motion by a very
small majority. Two years later, when the Jews' Civil Disabilities Bill
was before Parliament, Mr. Gladstone again took the unpopular side in
the debate and opposed the Bill, which was carried in the House of
Commons but defeated in the House of Lords.

Mr. Gladstone published, in 1840, another work, entitled "Church
Principles Considered in their Results." It was supplementary to his
former book in defense of Church and State, and was written "beneath the
shades of Hagley," the house of Lord and Lady Lyttelton, and dedicated
"in token of sincere affection" to the author's life-long friend and
relative, Lord Lyttelton. He dwelt upon the leading moral
characteristics of the English Episcopal Church, their intrinsic value
and their adaptation to the circumstances of the times, and defined
these characteristics to be the doctrine of the visibility of the
Church, the apostolic succession in the ministry, the authority of the
Church in matters of faith and the truths symbolized in the sacraments.

In one chapter he strongly attacks Rationalism as a reference of the
gospel to the depraved standard of the actual human natures and by no
means to its understanding properly so called, as its measure and
criterion. He says: "That therefore to rely upon the understanding,
misinformed as it is by depraved affections, as our adequate instructor
in matters of religion, is most highly irrational." Nevertheless, "the
understanding has a great function in religion and is a medium to the
affections, and may even correct their particular impulses."

In reference to the question of the reconversion of England to
Catholicism, earnestly desired by some, Mr. Gladstone forcibly remarked:
"England, which with ill grace and ceaseless efforts at remonstrance,
endured the yoke when Rome was in her zenith, and when her powers were
but here and there evoked; will the same England, afraid of the truth
which she has vindicated, or even with the license which has mingled
like a weed with its growth, recur to that system in its decrepitude
which she repudiated in its vigor?" If the Church of England ever lost
her power, it would never be by submission to Rome, "but by that
principle of religions insubordination and self-dependence which, if it
refuse her tempered rule and succeed in its overthrow, will much more
surely refuse and much more easily succeed in resisting the
unequivocally arbitrary impositions of the Roman scheme." Here is the
key-note of many of Mr. Gladstone's utterances in after years against
the pretentious and aspirations of Rome. The defense of the English
Church and its principles and opposition to the Church of Rome have been
unchanging features in Mr. Gladstone's religious course. But, in the
light of these early utterances, some have criticised severely that
legislative act, carried through by him in later years, by which the
Disestablishment of the Irish Church was effected. How could the author
of "The State in its Relations with the Church" become the destroyer of
the fabric of the Irish Church?

To meet these charges of inconsistency Mr. Gladstone issued, in 1868, "A
Chapter of Autobiography." The author's motives in putting forth this
chapter of autobiography were two--first, there was "the great and
glaring change" in his course of action with respect to the Established
Church of Ireland, which was not due to the eccentricity or perversion
of an individual mind, but to the silent changes going on at the very
basis of modern society. Secondly, there was danger that a great cause
then in progress might suffer in point of credit, if not of energy and
rapidity, from the real or supposed delinquencies of the author.

He stated that "The author had upheld the doctrine that the Church was
to be maintained for its truth, and that if the principle was good for
England it was good for Ireland too. But he denied that he had ever
propounded the maxim _simpliciter_ that we were to maintain the
establishment. He admitted that his opinion of the Church of Ireland was
the exact opposite of what it had been; but if the propositions of his
work were in conflict with an assault upon the existence of the Irish
Establishment, they were even more hostile to the grounds upon which it
was now sought to maintain it. He did not wish to maintain the Church
upon the basis usually advanced, but for the benefit of the whole people
of Ireland, and if it could not be maintained as the truth it could not
be maintained at all."

Mr. Gladstone contended that the Irish Episcopal Church had fallen out
of harmony with the spirit and use of the time, and must be judged by a
practical rather than a theoretic test. In concluding the author puts
antithetically the case for and against the maintenance of the Church of
Ireland: "An establishment that does its work in much and has the hope
and likelihood of doing it in more; that has a broad and living way open
to it into the hearts of the people; that can command the services of
the present by the recollections and traditions of the past; able to
appeal to the active zeal of the greater portion of the people, and to
the respect or scruples of living work and service, and whose
adversaries, if she has them, are in the main content to believe that
there will be a future for them and their opinions; such an
establishment should surely be maintained.

"But an establishment that neither does nor has her hope of doing work,
except for a few, and those few the portion of the community whose
claims to public aid is the smallest of all; an establishment severed
from the mass of the people by an impassable gulf and a wall of brass;
an establishment whose good offices, could she offer them, would be
intercepted by a long, unbroken chain of painful and shameful
recollections; an establishment leaning for support upon the extraneous
aid of a State, which becomes discredited with the people by the very
act of leading it; such an establishment will do well for its own sake,
and for the sake of its creed, to divest itself, as soon as may be, of
gauds and trappings, and to commence a new career, in which renouncing
at once the credit and the discredit of the civil sanction, and shall
seek its strength from within and put a fearless trust in the message
that it bears."

Such, then, were the reasons that led the defender of the Irish Church
to become its assailant, "That a man should change his opinions is no
reproach to him; it is only inferior minds that are never open to

Mr. Gladstone is a firm Anglican, as we have seen, but the following
extract from his address made at the Liverpool College, in December,
1872, gives a fine insight as to the breadth of his Christian

"Not less forcibly than justly, you hear much to the effect that the
divisions among Christians render it impossible to say what Christianity
is, and so destroy all certainty as to the true religion. But if the
divisions among Christians are remarkable, not less so is their unity in
the greatest doctrines that they hold. Well-nigh fifteen hundred years
have passed away since the great controversies concerning the Deity and
the person of the Redeemer were, after a long agony, determined. As
before that time, in a manner less defined but adequate for their day,
so, even since that time, amid all chance and change, more--aye, many
more--than ninety-nine in every hundred Christians have, with one
voice, confessed the Deity and incarnation of our Lord as the cardinal
and central truth of our religion. Surely there is some comfort here,
some sense of brotherhood; some glory due to the past, some hope for the
times that are to come."

Mr. Gladstone as Prime Minister of England, during his several
administrations, has had a large Church patronage to dispense, in other
words, has been called upon, by virtue of his office, to till many
vacancies in the Established Church, but it has been truly testified
that there has probably never been so laboriously conscientious a
distributor of ecclesiastical crown patronage as Mr. Gladstone. In his
ecclesiastical appointments he never took politics into consideration. A
conspicuous instance of this may be mentioned. When it was rumored that
he intended to recommend Dr. Benson, the present Archbishop, for the
vacant See of Canterbury, a political supporter called to remonstrate
with him. Mr. Gladstone begged to know the ground of his objection. "The
Bishop of Truro is a strong Tory," was the answer; "but that is not all.
He has joined Mr. Raikes's election committee at Cambridge; and it was
only last week that Raikes made a violent personal attack upon
yourself." "Do you know," replied Mr. Gladstone, "that you have just
supplied me with a strong argument in Dr. Benson's favor? for, if he
had been a worldly man or self-seeker he would not have done anything so

Mr. Gladstone sympathized more or less with the Nonconformists
struggling against the application of university tests and other
disabilities from which the Dissenters suffered, but it was not until
1876 that he really discovered the true religions work of the English
Nonconformists. The manner in which the Congregationalists, Baptists,
Quakers and others rallied to the standard raised in the cause of
Bulgarian nationality effected a great change in his attitude towards
his Dissenting fellow countrymen. He entertained many of the
representative Nonconformist ministers at breakfast, and the fidelity
and devotion of Nonconformists generally to the Bulgarian cause left on
his mind an impression which has only deepened with the lapse of time.
The extent to which this influences him may be gathered from the reply
which he made to Dr. Döllinger whilst that learned divine was discussing
with him the question of Church and State. Dr. Döllinger was expressing
his surprise that Mr. Gladstone could possibly coquette in any way with
the party that demanded the severance of Church and State in either
Wales or Scotland. It was to him quite incomprehensible that a statesman
who held so profoundly the idea of the importance of religion could make
his own a cause whose avowed object was to cut asunder the Church from
the State. Mr. Gladstone listened attentively to Dr. Döllinger's
remarks, and then, in an absent kind of way, said, "But you forget how
nobly the Nonconformists supported me at the time of the Eastern
Question." The blank look of amazement on Dr. Döllinger's face showed
the wide difference between the standpoint of the politician and the
ecclesiastic. But Mr. Gladstone knew upon whom to rely in the hour of
need, when great moral issues were at stake. The Bishops of the House of
Lords had not always done their duty. Lord Shaftesbury, himself a very
ardent Churchman, wrote, June 16, 1855, in reference to the Religious
Worship Bill: "The Bishops have exhibited great ignorance, bigotry and
opposition to evangelical life and action, and have seriously injured
their character, influence and position."

Mr. Gladstone never displayed more marked respect for the "Nonconformist
conscience" than when, in deference to their earnest appeal, he risked
the great split in the Home Rule ranks that followed his repudiation of
Mr. Parnell. Mr. Gladstone never hesitated or made the slightest
pretense about the matter. If the Nonconformists had been as indifferent
as the Churchmen, his famous letter about the Irish leadership would not
have been written. "He merely acted, as he himself stated, as the
registrar of the moral temperature which made Mr. Parnell impossible.
He knew the men who are the Ironsides of his party too well not to
understand that if he had remained silent the English Home Rulers would
have practically ceased to exist. He saw the need, rose to the occasion
and cleared the obstacle which would otherwise have been a fatal
impediment to the success of his course. Mr. Gladstone is a practical
statesman, and with some instinct divined the inevitable."

Mr. Gladstone's religious belief, as well as his opinion of the Bible
and the plan of salvation revealed in the Gospel, are manifest as
expressed in the following words from his pen:

"If asked what is the remedy for the deeper sorrows of the human
heart--what a man should chiefly look to in his progress through life as
the power that is to sustain him under trials and enable him manfully to
confront his afflictions--I must point him to something which, in a
well-known hymn is called 'the old, old story,' told of in an old, old
book, and taught with an old, old teaching, which is the greatest and
best gift ever given to mankind."

Another may read the lessons on the Lord's day in Hawarden Church and
write and speak in defense of the Established Church of England, but Mr.
Gladstone did more--he put his trust in his Lord and Saviour, and
believed in his word. Mr. Gladstone was denominationally a member of
the Episcopal Church, but religiously he held to views commonly held by
all Evangelical Christians, from which the temptations of wealth at
home, of college and of politics never turned him.

[Illustration: Kilmainham Jail, where the Irish M.P.'s were confined in



Mr. Gladstone spent the winter of 1838-9 in Rome. The physicians had
recommended travel in the south of Europe for his health and
particularly for his eyes, the sight of which had become impaired by
hard reading in the preparation of his book. He had given up lamps and
read entirely by candle-light with injurious results. He was joined at
Rome by his friend, Henry Manning, afterwards Cardinal, and in company
they visited Monsignor, afterwards Cardinal, Wiseman, at the English
College, on the feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury. They attended solemn
mass in honor of that Saint, and the places in the missal were found for
them by a young student of the college, named Grant, who afterwards
became Bishop of Southwark.

Besides visiting Italy he explored Sicily, and kept a journal of his
tour. Sicily is a beautiful and fertile island in the Mediterranean
Sea, and is the granary of Rome. His recorded observations show the
keenness of his perceptions and the intensity with which he enjoyed the
beautiful and wonderful in nature.

Mount Etna, the greatest volcano of Europe, and which rises 10,000 feet
above the sea, stirred his soul greatly, and he made an ascent of the
mountain at the beginning of the great eruption of 1838. Etna has many
points of interest for all classes of scientific men, and not least for
the student of arboriculture. It bears at the height of 4000 feet above
the level of the sea a wonderful growth--a very large tree--which is
claimed by some to be the oldest tree in the world. It is a venerable
chestnut, and known as "the father of the forest." It is certainly one
of the most remarkable as well as celebrated of trees. It consists not
of one vast trunk, but of a cluster of smaller decayed trees or portions
of trees growing in a circle, each with a hollow trunk of great
antiquity, covered with ferns or ivy, and stretching out a few gnarled
branches with scanty foliage. That it is one tree seems to be evident
from the growth of the bark only on the outside. It is said that
excavations about the roots of the tree showed these various stems to be
united at a very small depth below the surface of the ground. It still
bears rich foliage and much small fruit, though the heart of the trunk
is decayed, and a public road leads through it wide enough for two
coaches to drive abreast. Travelers have differed in their measurements
of this stupendous growth. Admiral Smyth, who takes the lowest estimate,
giving 163 feet, and Brydone giving, as the highest, 204 feet. In the
middle of the cavity a hut is built, for the accommodation of those who
collect and preserve the chestnuts. One of the Queens of Arragon is
reported to have taken shelter in this tree, with her mounted suite of
one hundred persons; but, "we may, perhaps, gather from this that
mythology is not confined to the lower latitudes."

Further up the mountain is another venerable chestnut, which, with more
reason, probably, may be described without fear of contradiction as the
largest chestnut tree in the world. It rises from one solid stem to a
remarkable height before it branches. At an elevation of two feet from
the earth its circumference was found by Brydone to be seventy-six feet.
These trees are reputed to have flourished for much more than a thousand
years. Their luxuriant growth is attributed in part to the humid
atmosphere of the Bosco, elevated above the scorching, arid region of
the coast, and in part to the great richness of the soil. The luxuriance
of the vegetation on the slopes of Etna attracts the attention of every
traveler; and Mr. Gladstone remarked upon this point: "It seems as
though the finest of all soils were produced from the most agonizing
throes of nature, as the hardiest characters are often reared amidst
the severest circumstances. The aspect of this side of Sicily is
infinitely more active and the country is cultivated as well as most
parts of Italy."

He and his party started on the 30th of October, and found the path
nearly uniform from Catania, but the country bore a volcanic aspect at
every step. At Nicolosi their rest was disturbed by the distant booming
of the mountain. From this point to the Bosco the scenery is described
as a dreary region, but the tract of the wood showed some beautiful
places resembling an English park, with old oaks and abundant fern.
"Here we found flocks browsing; they are much exposed to sheep-stealers,
who do not touch travelers, calculating with justice that men do not
carry much money to the summit of Etna." The party passed the Casa degli
Inglesi, which registered a temperature of 31°, and then continued the
ascent on foot for the crater. A magnificent view of sunrise was
here obtained.

"Just before we reached the lip of the crater the guide exultingly
pointed out what he declared to be ordinarily the greatest sight of the
mountain, namely, the shadow of the cone of Etna, drawn with the utmost
delicacy by the newly-risen sun, but of gigantic extent; its point at
this moment rested on the mountains of Palermo, probably one hundred
miles off, and the entire figure was visible, the atmosphere over the
mountains having become and continuing perfectly and beautifully
transparent, although in the hundreds of valleys which were beneath us,
from the east to the west of Sicily, and from the mountains of Messina
down to Cape Passaro, there were still abundant vapors waiting for a
higher sun to disperse them; but we enjoyed in its perfection this view
of the earliest and finest work of the greater light of heaven, in the
passage of his beams over this portion of the earth's surface. During
the hour we spent on the summit, the vision of the shadow was speedily
contracting, and taught us how rapid is the real rise of the sun in the
heavens, although its effect is diminished to the eye by a kind of

The writer next describes in vivid and powerful language the scene
presented to the view at the very mouth of the crater. A large space,
one mile in circumference, which a few days before had been one
fathomless pit, from which issued masses of smoke, was now absolutely
filled up to within a few feet of the brim all round. A great mass of
lava, a portion of the contents of this immense pit, was seen to detach
itself by degrees from one behind. "It opened like an orange, and we saw
the red-hot fibres stretch in a broader and still broader vein, until
the mass had found a support on the new ground it occupied in front; as
we came back on our way down this had grown black." A stick put to it
took fire immediately. Within a few yards of this lava bed were found
pieces of ice, formed on the outside of the stones by Frost, "which here
disputes every inch of ground with his fierce rival Fire."

Mr. Gladstone and his fellow-travelers were the first spectators of the
great volcanic action of this year. From the highest peak attainable the
company gazed upon the splendid prospect to the east spread out before
them, embracing the Messina Mountains and the fine kindred outline of
the Calabrian coast, described by Virgil in the third book of the
Aeneid. Mr. Gladstone graphically describes the eruption which took
place and of which he was the enraptured witness. Lava masses of 150 to
200 pounds weight were thrown to a distance of probably a mile and a
half; smaller ones to a distance even more remote. The showers were
abundant and continuous, and the writer was impressed by the closeness
of the descriptions in Virgil with the actual reality of the eruption
witnessed by himself. On this point he observes:

"Now how faithfully has Virgil (Ae. iii, 571, et seq.) comprised these
particulars, doubtless without exaggeration, in his fine description!
First, the thunder-clap, or crack--

'Horrificis juxta tonat Aetna ruinis.'

Secondly, the vibration of the ground to the report--

'Et, fessum quoties mutet latus, intremere omnem
Murmure Trinacriam.'

Thirdly, the sheet of flame--

'Attolitque globos flarmmarum, et sidera lambit.'

Fourthly, the smoke--

'Et coelum subtexere fumo.'

Fifthly, the fire shower--

'Scopulos avulsaque viscera montis
Erigit erucatans, liquefactaque saxa sub auras
Cum gemitu glomerat, fundoque exae tuat imo.'

Sixthly the column of ash--

'Atram prorumpit ad aethera nubem
Turbine fumantem piceo et candente favilla.'

And this is within the limits of twelve lines. Modern poetry has its own
merits, but the conveyance of information is not, generally speaking,
one of them. What would Virgil have thought of authors publishing poems
with explanatory notes (to illustrate is a different matter), as if they
were so many books of conundrums? Indeed this vice is of very
late years."

The entire description, of which this is but an extract, is very
effective and animated, and gives with great vividness the first
impressions of a mind susceptible to the grand and imposing aspects
of nature.

"After Etna," says Mr. Gladstone in his diary, "the temples are
certainly the great charm and attraction of Sicily. I do not know
whether there is any one among them which, taken alone, exceeds in
beauty that of Neptune, at Paestum; but they have the advantage of
number and variety, as well as of highly interesting positions. At
Segesta the temple is enthroned in a perfect mountain solitude, and it
is like a beautiful tomb of its religion, so stately, so entire; while
around, but for one solitary house of the keeper, there is nothing,
absolutely nothing, to disturb the apparent reign of Silence and of
Death.... The temples enshrine a most pure and salutary principle of
art, that which connects grandeur of effect with simplicity of detail;
and, retaining their beauty and their dignity in their decay, they
represent the great man when fallen, as types of that almost highest of
human qualities--silent yet not sullen, endurance."

While sojourning at Rome Mr. Gladstone met Lord Macaulay. Writing home
from Rome in the same year, Lord Macaulay says: "On Christmas Eve I
found Gladstone in the throng, and I accosted him, as we had met, though
we had never been introduced to each other. He received my advances with
very great _empressement_ indeed, and we had a good deal of pleasant
talk." And again he writes: "I enjoyed Italy immensely; far more than I
had expected. By-the-by, I met Gladstone at Rome. We talked and walked
together in St. Peter's during the best part of an afternoon. He is
both a clever and an amiable man."

Among the visitors at Rome the winter that Mr. Gladstone spent in the
eternal city were the widow and daughters of Sir Stephen Richard Glynne,
of Hawarden Castle, Flintshire, Wales. He had already made the
acquaintance of these ladies, having been a friend of Lady Glynne's
eldest son at Oxford, and having visited him at Hawarden in 1835. He was
thrown much into their society while at Rome, and became engaged to the
elder of Lady Glynne's daughters, Catharine Glynne. It is strange to
relate that some time before this when Miss Glynne met her future
husband at a dinner-party, an English minister sitting next to her had
thus drawn her attention to Mr. Gladstone: "Mark that young man; he will
yet be Prime Minister of England." Miss Glynne and her sister were known
as "the handsome Miss Glynnes."

William E. Gladstone and Catharine Glynne were married July 25, 1839, at
Hawarden Castle. At the same time and place Miss Mary Glynne was married
to George William, fourth Lord Lyttleton, with whom Mr. Gladstone was on
the most intimate terms of friendship until his lordship's untoward and
lamented death. The brother of these ladies was Sir Stephen Glynne, the
then owner of Hawarden. Mrs. Gladstone was "in her issue heir" of Sir
Stephen Glynne, who was ninth and last baronet of that name.

The marriage ceremony has been thus described by an eye-witness:

"For some time past the little town of Hawarden has been in a state of
excitement in consequence of the anticipated nuptials of the two sisters
of Sir Stephen Glynne, Bart., M.P., who have been engaged for some time
past to Lord Lyttelton and to Mr. W. Ewart Gladstone. Thursday last
(July 25th) was fixed upon for the ceremony to take place; but in
consequence of the Chartists having attacked Lord Lyttelton's mansion in
Worcestershire, it was feared that the marriage would be delayed. All
anxieties on this subject were put an end to by orders being issued to
make ready for the ceremony, and the Hawarden folks lost no time in
making due preparations accordingly. The church was elegantly and
profusely decorated with laurels, while extremely handsome garlands,
composed of the finest flowers, were suspended from the venerable roof.
About half-past ten a simultaneous rising of the assembled multitude and
the burst of melody from the organ announced that the fair brides had
arrived, and all eyes were turned towards the door to witness the bridal
_cortege_. In a few minutes more the party arrived at the communion
table and the imposing ceremony commenced. At this period the _coup
d'oeil_ was extremely interesting. The bridal party exhibited every
elegance of costume; while the dresses of the multitude, lit up by the
rays of a brilliant sunlight, filled up the picture. The Rev. the Hon.
G. Neville performed the ceremony. At its conclusion the brides visited
the rectory, whence they soon afterwards set out--Lord and Lady
Lyttelton to their seat in Worcestershire, and Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone on
a visit to Sir Richard Brooke, Norton Priory Mansion, in Cheshire. The
bridal party having returned to the castle, the good folks of Hawarden
filled up the day with rambling over Sir Stephen Glynne's delightful
park, to which free access was given to all comers; and towards evening
a dance on the green was got up."

It is to be remarked that by his marriage Mr. Gladstone became allied
with the house of Grenville, a family of statesmen, which, directly or
in its ramifications, had already supplied England with four Prime
Ministers. Baron Bunsen, who made his acquaintance that year, writes
that he "was delighted with the man who is some day to govern England if
his book is not in the way."

Mrs. Gladstone is widely and deservedly known for her many philanthropic
enterprises, but even better, perhaps, has proved herself to be a noble
and devoted wife and mother. She has cheered by her sympathy her
illustrious husband in his defeats as well as in his triumphs, in the
many great undertakings of his political career, and been to him all the
late Viscountess Beaconsfield was to Mr. Gladstone's Parliamentary
rival. As a mother, she nursed and reared all her children, and ever
kept them in the maternal eye, carefully watching over and tending them.
One of the most interesting buildings at Hawarden is Mrs. Gladstone's
orphanage, which stands close to the castle. Here desolate orphans are
well cared for, and find, until they are prepared to enter on the
conflict and to encounter the cares of life, a happy home.

Mrs. Gladstone, although in many respects an ideal wife, was never able
to approach her husband in the methodical and business-like arrangement
of her affairs. Shortly after their wedding, the story runs, Mr.
Gladstone seriously took in hand the tuition of his handsome young wife
in book-keeping, and Mrs. Gladstone applied herself with diligence to
the unwelcome task. Some time after she came down in triumph to her
husband to display her domestic accounts and her correspondence, all
docketed in a fashion which she supposed would excite the admiration of
her husband. Mr. Gladstone cast his eye over the results of his wife's
labor and exclaimed in despair: "You have done them all wrong, from
beginning to end!" His wife, however, has been so invaluable a helpmeet
in other ways that it seems somewhat invidious to recall that little
incident. She had other work to do, and she wisely left the accounts to
her husband and his private secretaries.

The union of Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone has been blessed by eight children,
all of whom save two still survive. There were four sons, the eldest,
William Henry, was a member of the Legislature, and the second, the Rev.
Stephen Edward Gladstone, is rector of Hawarden. The third son is named
Henry Neville and the fourth Herbert John Gladstone. The former is
engaged in commerce and the latter is the popular member for Leeds. The
eldest daughter, Anne, is married to Rev. E.C. Wickham, A.M., headmaster
of Wellington College; and the second, Catharine Jessy Gladstone, died
in 1850; the third daughter, Mary, is married to Rev. W. Drew, and the
fourth, Helen Gladstone, is principal of Newnham College. As Sir John
Gladstone had the pleasure of seeing his son William Ewart become a
distinguished member of Parliament, so Mr. Gladstone in his turn was
able to witness his eldest son take his seat in the British Senate.

It was a sad bereavement when the Gladstones were called upon to part
with their little daughter, Catharine Jessy, April 9, 1850, between four
and five years old. Her illness was long and painful, and Mr. Gladstone
bore his part in the nursing and watching. He was tenderly fond of his
little children and the sorrow had therefore a peculiar bitterness. But
Mr. Gladstone has since had another sad experience of death entering the
family circle. July 4, 1891, the eldest son, William Henry Gladstone,
died. The effect upon the aged father was greatly feared, and the world
sympathized with the great statesman and father in his sad trial, and
with the afflicted family. In a letter dated July 9, the day after the
interment, Mr. Gladstone wrote:

"We, in our affliction are deeply sensible of the mercies of God. He
gave us for fifty years a most precious son. He has now only hidden him
for a very brief space from the sight of our eyes. It seems a violent
transition from such thoughts to the arena of political contention, but
the transition may be softened by the conviction we profoundly hold that
we, in the first and greatest of our present controversies, work for the
honor, well-being and future peace of our opponents not less than
for our own."

When away from the trammels of office, Mr. Gladstone taught his elder
children Italian. All the sons went to Eton and Oxford, and the
daughters were educated at home by English, French and German
governesses. A close union of affection and sentiment has always been a
marked characteristic of this model English family. Marriage and
domestic cares, however, made little difference in Mr. Gladstone's
mode of life. He was still the diligent student, the constant debater
and the copious writer that he had been at Eton, at Oxford and in
the Albany.


In the early days of their married life, Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone lived in
London with Lady Glynne, at 13 Carlton House Terrace. Later they lived
at 6 Carlton Gardens, which was made over to them by Sir John Gladstone;
then again at 13 Carlton House Terrace; and when Mr. Gladstone was in
office, at the official residence of the Prime Minister, Downing Street.
In 1850 Mr. Gladstone succeeded to his patrimony, and in 1856 he bought
11 Carlton House Terrace, which was his London house for twenty years;
and he subsequently lived for four years at 73 Harley Street. During the
parliamentary recess Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone divided their time between
Fasque, Sir John Gladstone's seat in Kincardineshire, and Hawarden
Castle, which they shared with Mrs. Gladstone's brother, Sir Stephen
Glynne, till in his death in 1874, when it passed into their sole
possession. In 1854 Mrs. Gladstone's brother added to the castle a new
wing, which he especially dedicated to his illustrious brother-in-law,
and which is fondly known as "The Gladstone Wing." And Mr. Gladstone,
having only one country house, probably spent as much time at Hawarden
as any other minister finds it possible to devote to residence out
of London.

Hawarden, usually pronounced Harden, is the name of a large market-town,
far removed from the centre and seat of trade and empire, in Flintshire,
North Wales, six miles southwest from the singular and ancient city of
Chester, of which it may be called a suburb. It is not pretty, but a
clean and tolerably well-built place, with some good houses and the
usual characteristics of a Welsh village. The public road from Chester
to Hawarden, which passes by the magnificent seat of the Duke of
Westminster, is not, except for this, interesting to the stranger. There
is a pedestrian route along the banks of the river Dee, over the lower
ferry and across the meadows. But for the most part the way lies along
dreary wastes, unadorned by any of the beautiful landscape scenery so
common in Wales. Broughton Hall, its pleasant church and quiet
churchyard, belonging to the Hawarden estate, are passed on the way. The
village lies at the foot of the Castle, and outside of the gates of
Hawarden Park. The parish contains 13,000 acres, and of these the estate
of Mr. Gladstone consists of nearly 7000. The road from the village for
the most part is dreary, but within the gates the park is as beautiful
as it is extensive. Richly wooded, on both sides of its fine drive are
charming vistas opening amongst the oaks, limes and elms. On the height
to the left of the drive is the ancient Hawarden Castle, for there are
two--the old and the new--the latter being the more modern home of the

[Illustration: THE PARK GATE, HAWARDEN.]

The ancient Castle of Hawarden, situated on an eminence commanding an
extensive prospect, is now in ruins. What, however, was left of the old
Castle at the beginning of the century stands to-day a monument of the
massive work of the early masons. The remnant, which ages of time and
the Parliamentary wars and the strange zeal of its first owner under
Cromwell for its destruction, allowed to remain, is in a marvelous state
of preservation, and the masonry in some places fifteen feet thick.
There is a grandeur in the ruin to be enjoyed, as well as a scene of
beauty from its towers. The old Castle, like the park itself, is open to
the public without restriction. Only two requests are made in the
interests of good order. One is that visitors entering the park kindly
keep to the gravel walks, while the other is that they do not inscribe
their names on the stone-work of the ancient ruin, which request has
been unheeded.

This ancient Castle was doubtless a stronghold of the Saxons in very
early times, for it was found in the possession of Edwin of Mercia at
the Norman Conquest, and was granted by William the Conqueror to his
nephew, Hugh Lupus. In later times Prince Llewelyn was Lord of Hawarden,
of which he was dispossessed by his brother, David. It was only after
Wales was conquered that Hawarden became an English stronghold, held
against the Welsh.

[Illustration: OLD HAWARDEN CASTLE.]

The Castle had its vicissitudes, both as to its condition and
proprietorship, for many years, even generations. Somewhere between 1267
and 1280 the Castle had been destroyed and rebuilt. It was rebuilt in
the time of Edward I or Edward II, and formed one link in the chain by
which the Edwards held the Welsh to their loyalty. Its name appears in
the doomsday-book, where it is spelled Haordine. It was presented by
King Edward to the House of Salisbury. Then the Earls of Derby came
into possession, and they entertained within its walls Henry VII in the
latter part of the fifteenth century. During the Parliamentary wars it
was held at first for the Parliament, and was taken by siege in 1643.
The royalists were in possession two years later, and at Christmas time,
in 1645, Parliament ordered that the Castle be dismantled, which was
effectively done. The latest proprietor of those times was James, Earl
of Derby. He was executed and the estates were sold. They were purchased
by Sergeant Glynne, Lord Chief Justice of England under Cromwell, from
whom in a long line of descent they were inherited, upon the death of
the last baronet, Sir Stephen Glynne, in 1874, by the wife of William E.
Gladstone. Sergeant Glynne's son, Sir William, the first baronet, when
he came into possession, was seized with the unaccountable notion of
further destroying the old Castle, and by the end of the seventeenth
century very little remained beyond what stands to-day.


Hawarden is supposed to be synonymous with the word Burg-Ardden, Ardin,
a fortified mound or hill. It is usually supposed to be an English word,
but of Welsh derivation, and is no doubt related to dinas, in Welsh the
exact equivalent to the Saxon _burg_. The Welsh still call it Penarlas,
a word the etymology of which points to a period when the lowlands of
Saltney were under water, and the Castle looked over a lake. The
earlier history of the Castle goes back to the time when it was held by
the ancient Britons, and stood firm against Saxon, Dane, or whatever
invading foe sought to deprive the people of their heritage in the
soil. On the invasion of William, as we have seen, it was in the
possession of Edwin, sovereign of Deira. "We find it afterwards," says
another account, "in the possession of Roger Fitzvalarine, a son of one
of the adventurers who came over with the Conqueror. Then it was held,
subordinately, by the Monthault, or Montalt, family, the stewards of the
palatinate of Chester. It is remarkable, as we noticed in our story of
Hughenden Manor, that as the traditions of that ancient place touched
the memory of Simon de Montfort, the great Earl of Leicester, so do they
also in the story of the old Castle of Hawarden. Here Llewelyn, the last
native prince of Wales, held a memorable conference with the Earl. With
in the walls of Hawarden was signed the treaty of peace between Wales
and Cheshire, not long to last; here Llewelyn saw the beautiful daughter
of De Montfort, whose memory haunted him so tenderly and so long. Again
we find the Castle in the possession of the Montalt family, from whom it
descended to the Stanleys, the Earl of Derby.... Here the last native
princes of Wales, Llewelyn and David, attempted to grasp their crumbling
sceptre, Here no doubt halted Edward I, 'girt with many a baron bold;'
here the Tudor prince, Henry VII, of Welsh birth, visited in the later
years of the fifteenth century; and this was the occasion upon which it
passed into the family whose representatives had proclaimed him monarch
on Bosworth field. But when James, Earl of Derby, was beheaded, after
the battle of Worcester, in 1651, the estate was purchased under the
Sequestration Act by Sergeant Glynne, whose portrait hangs over the
mantleshelf of the drawing-room; 'but,' says Mrs. Gladstone, in calling
our attention to it, 'he is an ancestor of whom we have no occasion to
be and are not proud.'"

This remark of Mrs. Gladstone's may be explained by the following from
the pen of a reputable author: "Sergeant Glynne, who flourished
(literally flourished) during the seventeenth century, was a most
unscrupulous man in those troubled times. He was at first a supporter of
Charles I, then got office and preferment under Cromwell, and yet again,
like a veritable Vicar of Bray, became a Royalist on the return of
Charles II. The Earl of Derby, who was taken prisoner at the battle of
Worcester, in 1661, was executed, and his estates forfeited. Of these
estates Sergeant Glynne managed to get possession of Hawarden; and
though on the Restoration all Royalists' forfeited estates were ordered
to be restored, Glynne managed somehow to remain in possession of the


It is very probable that Hawarden Castle was no exception to those cruel
haunts of feudal tyranny and oppression belonging to the days of its
power. Many years ago, when the rubbish was cleared away beneath the
Castle ruin, a flight of steps was found, at the foot of which was a
door, and a draw-bridge, which crossed a long, deep chasm, neatly faced
with freestone; then another door leading to several small rooms, all,
probably, places of confinement; and those hollows, now fringed with
timber trees, in those days constituted a broad, deep fosse.

The old Hawarden Castle, a curious ruin covered with moss and ivy, like
many other ancient piles of stone in historic England, is a reminder of
a past and warlike age, when an Englishman's home had to be a castle to
protect him and his family from his enemies. But times have changed for
the better, and long immunity from internal foes and invading armies has
had its peaceful effects upon the lands and the homes of men. As the
grounds of Hawarden show the remarkable cultivation produced by long
periods of peaceful toil, so the ancient castle has given way for the
modern dwelling, a peaceful abode whose only protecting wall is that
with which the law surrounds it.

Modern Hawarden Castle is a castle only in name. The new "Castle" has
been the home of the Glynns' for generations, and ever since the
marriage of Mr. Gladstone and Miss Glynn has been the dwelling of the
Gladstones. Mr. Gladstone has greatly improved the Hawarden estate and
the castle has not been overlooked. Among the improvements to the castle
may be named the additions to the library and the Golden Wedding Porch.

The new Castle was begun in 1752, by Sir John Glynne, who "created a
stout, honest, square, red-brick mansion;" which was added to and
altered in the Gothic style in 1814. The Glynnes lived in Oxfordshire
till early in the eighteenth century, when they built themselves a small
house, which was on the site of the present Castle. The new Hawarden
Castle stands in front of the massive ruin of the old Castle, which has
looked down on the surrounding country for six centuries. A recent
writer speaking of the new structure as a sham Castle, with its plaster
and stucco, and imitation turrets, says: "It would not have been
surprising if the old Castle had, after the manner of Jewish chivalry,
torn its hair of thickly entwined ivy, rent its garments of moss and
lichen, and fallen down prostrate, determined forever to shut out the
sight of the modern monstrosity."

However, the author somewhat relents and thus describes the modern

"The aspect of the house is very impressive and imposing, as it first
suddenly seems to start upon the view after a long carriage-drive
through the noble trees, if not immediately near, but breaking and
brightening the view on either hand; yet, within and without, the house
seems like its mighty master--not pensive but rural; it does not even
breathe the spirit of quiet. Its rooms look active and power-compelling,
and we could not but feel that they were not indebted to any of the
aesthetic inventions and elegancies of furniture for their charm. Thus
we have heard of one visitor pathetically exclaiming, 'Not one _dado_
adorns the walls!' Hawarden is called a Castle, but it has not, either
in its exterior or interior, the aspect of a Castle. It is a home; it
has a noble appearance as it rises on the elevated ground, near the old
feudal ruin which it has superseded, and looks over the grand and
forest-like park, the grand pieces of broken ground, dells and hollows,
and charming woodlands."


The traditional history of Hawarden Church, as well as that of the
Castle, travels back to a very remote antiquity, and is the central
point of interest to many a tragedy, and some of a very grotesque
character. For instance, for many ages the inhabitants of Hawarden were
called "Harden Jews," and for this designation we have the following
legendary account. In the year 946, during the reign of Cynan ap Elisap
Anarawd, King of Gwynedd North, there was a Christian temple at Harden,
and a rood-loft, in which was placed an image of the Virgin Mary, with a
very large cross in her hands, which was called "holy rood." During a
very hot and dry summer the inhabitants prayed much and ardently for
rain, but without any effect. Among the rest, Lady Trowst, wife of
Sytsyllt, governor of Harden Castle, went also to pray, when, during
this exercise, the holy rood fell upon her head and killed her. Such
behavior upon the part of this wooden Virgin could be tolerated no
longer. A great tumult ensued in consequence, and it was concluded to
try the said Virgin for murder, and the jury not only found her guilty
of wilful murder, but of inattention in not answering the prayers of
innumerable petitioners. The sentence was hanging, but Span, of Mancot,
who was one of the jury, opposed this act saying it was best to drown,
since it was rain they prayed for. This was fiercely opposed by Corbin,
of the gate, who advised that she should be laid on the sands by the
river. So, this being done, the tide carried the lady, floating gently,
like another lady, Elaine, upon its soft bosom, and placed her near the
walls of Caerleon (now Chester), where she was found next day, says the
legend, drowned and dead. Here the inhabitants of Caerleon buried her.
Upon this occasion, it is said, the river, which had until then been
called the Usk, was changed to Rood Die, or Rood Dee. We need not stay
here to analyze some things belonging to locality and etymology, which
appear to us somewhat anachronistic and contradictory in this ancient
and queer legend.

Hawarden Church is a fairly large structure, externally a plain old
brick building with a low tower and a dwarf spire, standing in the midst
of a large population of graves. There is preserved in the annals of
the Church a list of the rectors of Hawarden as far back as 1180.

About forty years ago a fire broke out in the Church, and when all was
over, very little was left of the original structure except the walls.
It was restored with great expedition, and was re-opened within the same
year. The present building is a restoration to the memory of the
immediate ancestor, from whom the estate is derived by the present
family. It is the centre of hard, earnest work, done for an
exceptionally large parish. But the Church population is occasionally
recruited from all the ends of the earth.

It is here that the Gladstone family worship on the plain, uncushioned
pew, near the lectern and opposite the pulpit. When the estates came
into the hands of the Glynnes the living was bestowed upon a member of
the family. The Rector is Rev. Stephen Gladstone, second son of the
Premier. He is not a great preacher, but he is quietly earnest and
instructive. Mr. Gladstone was up early on Sunday mornings and seldom
failed to be in his pew at Church. Crowds filled the Church Sunday,
morning and evening, week after week, many of them strangers, to see the
Prime Minister of England, and behold him leave his pew and, standing at
the reading-desk, go through his part of the service--that of reading
the lessons for the day, in this obscure village Church. After church
Mr. Gladstone went to the rectory with his family, with his cloak only
over his shoulders, when the weather required, and as he walked along
the path through the churchyard would bow to the crowds that stood on
either side uncovered to greet him as he passed by. The two brothers,
until recently, lived at the rectory, and the whole family seemed to
live in the most beautiful harmony together.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone attribute much of his health to the fact
that he will have his Sabbath to himself and his family, undisturbed by
any of the agitations of business, the cares of State, or even the
recreations of literature and scholastic study. This profound public
regard for the day of rest, whether in London or at Hawarden, awakens a
feeling of admiration and puts us in mind of his great predecessor in
statesmanship, Cecil, Lord Burleigh, who, when he arrived at Theobalds
on a Saturday evening would throw off his cloak or chain of office and
exclaim, "Lie there and rest, my good lord treasurer."


One of the main points of interest at the home of Mr. Gladstone is the
library. There is not a room in Hawarden Castle in which there is not an
abundance of books, which are not all collected in the library, but
distributed all over the house. Where other people have cabinets for
curiosities, china, etc., there are here shelves and cases full of
books. In ante-room and bed-room dressing-room and nursery they are
found, not by single volumes, but in serried ranks; well-known and
useful books. But it is in the library where Mr. Gladstone has collected
by years of careful selection, a most valuable and large array of
books, from all parts of the world, upon every subject. These books are
classified and so arranged as to be of immediate use. All those on one
particular subject are grouped together.

[Illustration: DOROTHY'S DOVECOTE]

Mr. Gladstone was a familiar figure in the book stores, and especially
where rare, old books were to be found, and he seldom failed to return
home with some book in his pocket. Mrs. Gladstone is said to have gone
through his pockets often upon his return home, and sent back many a
volume to the book-seller, that had found its way to the pocket of her
husband, after a hasty glance at its title. He kept himself informed of
all that was going on in the literary, scientific and artistic worlds,
receiving each week a parcel of the newest books for his private
readings. Every day he looked over several book-sellers's catalogues,
and certain subjects were sure of getting an order.

Hawarden library gave every evidence of being for use, and not show. Mr.
Gladstone knew what books he had and was familiar with their contents.
Some books were in frequent use, but others were not forgotten. He could
put his hand on any one he wanted to refer to. At the end of a volume
read he would construct an index of his own by which he could find
passages to which he wished to refer.

There are few stories that Mr. Gladstone told with greater relish than
one concerning Sir Antonio Panizzi, who many years ago visited the
library at Hawarden. Looking round the room and at its closely packed
shelves, he observed in a patronizing tone, "I see you have got some
books here." Nettled at this seemingly slighting allusion to the paucity
of his library, Mr. Gladstone asked Panizzi how many volumes he thought
were on the shelves. Panizzi replied: "From five to six thousand." Then
a loud and exulting laugh rang round the room as Mr. Gladstone answered:
"You are wrong by at least two thousand, as there are eight thousand
volumes and more before you now." Since then the library has
grown rapidly.


The fate of this large library was naturally a matter of much
consideration to Mr. Gladstone. It was particularly rich in classical
and theological works, so it occured to its owner to form a public
library under a trusteeship, for the benefit of students, under the care
of the Rector of Hawarden, or some other clergyman. So he caused to be
erected at a cost to him of about $5,000, a corrugated iron building on
a knoll just outside Hawarden Church. The name of this parish library is
"The St. Deiniol's Theological and General Library of Hawarden." In
1891, Mr. Gladstone had deposited about 20,000 volumes upon the shelves
in this new building, with his own hands, which books were carried in
hand-carts from the castle. Since that time thousands have been added to
this valuable collection.


It was a happy thought of Mr. Gladstone to found a theological library
in the immediate vicinity of Hawarden; also to have connected with it a
hostel where students could be boarded and lodged for six dollars a week
and thus be enabled to use the library in the pursuit of their studies.
Mr. Gladstone has endowed the institution with $150,000. Rev. H. Drew,
the son-in-law of Mr. Gladstone, is warden and librarian.

[Illustration: HAWARDEN CHURCH.]



We come now to another memorable period in the life of William E.
Gladstone. This period, beginning with 1840, has been styled "a
memorable decade" in the history of Parliament. His marriage and the
publication of his first book were great events in his eventful life,
but the young and brilliant statesman was soon to enter the British
Cabinet. He was before long to demonstrate that he not only possessed
the arts of the fluent and vigorous Parliamentary debater, but the more
solid qualities pertaining to the practical statesman and financier. In
following his course we will be led to observe the early stages of his
changing opinions on great questions of State, and to trace the causes
which led to his present advanced views as well as to his exalted
position. The estimation in which he was then held may be indicated by
the following, from one of his contemporaries, Sir Stafford Northcote,
afterwards Lord Iddesleigh, and who subsequently succeeded him as
leader of the House of Commons: "There is but one statesman of the
present day in whom I feel entire confidence, and with whom I cordially
agree, and that statesman is Mr. Gladstone. I look upon him as the
representative of the party, scarcely developed as yet, though secretly
forming and strengthening, which will stand by all that is dear and
sacred in my estimation, in the struggle which I believe will come ere
_very_ long between good and evil, order and disorder, the Church and
the world, and I see a very small band collecting round him, and ready
to fight manfully under his leading."

In 1840 Mr. Gladstone crossed swords with the distinguished historian
and Parliamentary debater, Lord Macaulay, in debate in the House of
Commons on the relations of England with China. The speech of Mr.
Gladstone was remarkable for its eloquent expression of anxiety that the
arms of England should never be employed in unrighteous enterprises. Sir
James Graham moved a vote of censure of the ministry for "want of
foresight and precaution," and "especially their neglect to furnish the
superintendent at Canton with powers and instructions calculated to
provide against the growing evils connected with the contraband traffic
in opium, and adapted to the novel and difficult situation in which the
superintendent was placed." Mr. Gladstone, on the 8th of April, spoke
strongly in favor of the motion, and said if it failed to involve the
ministry in condemnation they would still be called upon to show cause
for their intention of making war upon China. Answering the speech of
Lord Macaulay of the previous evening, Mr. Gladstone said: "The right
honorable gentleman opposite spoke last night in eloquent terms of the
British flag waving in glory at Canton, and of the animating effects
produced on the minds of our sailors by the knowledge that in no country
under heaven was it permitted to be insulted. But how comes it to pass
that the sight of that flag always raises the spirit of Englishmen? It
is because it has always been associated with the cause of justice, with
opposition to oppression, with respect to national rights, with
honorable commercial enterprises; but now, under the auspices of the
noble lord, that flag is hoisted to protect an infamous contraband
traffic, and if it were never to be hoisted except as it is now hoisted
on the coast of China, we should recoil from its sight with horror, and
should never again feel our hearts thrill, as they now thrill with
emotion, when it floats proudly and magnificently on the breeze." The
ministry escaped censure when the vote was taken by a bare majority.

In the summer of 1840 Mr. Gladstone, accompanied by Lord Lyttleton, went
to Eton to examine candidates of the Newcastle Scholarship, founded by
his political friend, the Duke of Newcastle. Mr. Gladstone had the
pleasure in this examination of awarding the Newcastle medal to Henry
Fitzmaurice Hallam, the youngest brother of his own beloved friend and
son of the historian Hallam. One of the scholars he examined writes: "I
have a vivid and delightful impression of Mr. Gladstone sitting in what
was then called the library, on an _estrade_ on which the head master
habitually sate, above which was placed, about 1840, the bust of the
Duke of Newcastle and the names of the Newcastle scholars.... When he
gave me a Virgil and asked me to translate Georg. ii, 475, _seq_., I was
pleasantly surprised by the beautiful eye turning on me with the
question, 'What is the meaning of _sacra fero_?' and his look of
approval when I said, 'Carry the sacred vessels in the procession.'"

"I wish you to understand that Mr. Gladstone appeared not to me only,
but to others, as a gentleman wholly unlike other examiners or school
people. It was not as _a politician_ that we admired him, but as a
refined Churchman, deep also in political philosophy (so we conjectured
from his quoting Burke on the Continual State retaining its identity
though made up of passing individuals), deep also in lofty poetry, as we
guessed from his giving us, as a theme for original Latin verse, 'the
poet's eye in a fine frenzy,' etc. When he spoke to us in 'Pop' as an
honorary member, we were charmed and affected emotionally: his voice was
low and sweet, his manner was that of an elder cousin: he seemed to
treat us with unaffected respect; and to be treated with respect by a
man is the greatest delight for a boy. It was the golden time of
'retrograding transcendentalism,' as the hard-heads called the
Anglo-Catholic symphony. He seemed to me then an apostle of unworldly
ardor, bridling his life."

The Whig administration, which for some time had been growing very
unpopular, was defeated and went out of power in 1841. From the very
beginning of the session their overthrow was imminent. Among the causes
which rendered the ministry obnoxious to the country, and led to their
downfall, may be named the disappointment of both their dissenting
English supporters and Irish allies; their financial policy had proved a
complete failure and dissatisfied the nation; and the deficit in the
revenue this year amounted to no less a sum than two millions and a half
pounds. Every effort to remedy the financial difficulties offered by the
ministry to the House was rejected, Hence it was felt on all sides that
the government of the country must be committed to stronger hands.
Accordingly, in May, Sir Robert Peel proposed a resolution in the House
of Commons to the effect that the ministry did not possess sufficiently
the confidence of the House to carry through measures deemed essential
for the public welfare; and that their continuance in office was, under
the circumstances, at variance with the Constitution, For five days this
resolution was discussed, but Mr. Gladstone took no part in the debate.
The motion of Sir Robert Peel passed by a majority vote of one, and on
the 7th of June Lord John Russell announced that the ministry would at
once dissolve Parliament and appeal to the country. Parliament was
prorogued by the Queen in person June 22d, and the country was soon in
the turmoil of a general election. By the end of July it was found that
the ministry had been defeated and with greater loss than the Tories
even had expected. The Tories had a great majority of the new members
returned. The Liberal seats gained by the Tories were seventy-eight,
while the Tory seats gained by Liberals were only thirty-eight, thus
making a Tory majority of eighty. Mr. Gladstone was again elected at
Newark, and was at the head of the poll; with Lord John Manners,
afterwards Duke of Rutland, as his colleague.

The new Parliament met in August, and the ministers were defeated, in
both Houses, on the Address and resigned. Sir Robert Peel was called
upon by the Queen to form a new ministry, and Mr. Gladstone was
included by his leader in the administration. In appearing on the
hustings at Newark Mr. Gladstone said that there were two points upon
which the British farmer might rely--the first being that adequate
protection would be given him, and, second, that protection would be
given him through the means of the sliding scale. The duties were to be
reduced and the system improved, but the principle was to be maintained.
"There was no English statesman who could foresee at this period the
results of that extraordinary agitation which, in the course of the next
five years, was destined to secure the abrogation of the Corn Laws."

There is a tradition that, having already conceived a lively interest in
the ecclesiastical and agrarian problems of Ireland, Mr. Gladstone had
set his affections on the Chief Secretaryship. But Sir Robert Peel, a
consummate judge of administrative capacity, had discerned his young
friend's financial aptitude, and the member for Newark became
vice-president of the Board of Trade and master of the Mint.

Although in the midst of engrossing cares of office as vice-president of
the Board of Trade, yet Mr. Gladstone found time to renew his old
interest in ecclesiastical concerns. In the fall of 1841 an English
Episcopal Bishopric was established at Jerusalem, Mr. Gladstone dined
with Baron Bunsen on the birthday of the King of Prussia, when, as
reported by Lord Shaftesbury, he "stripped himself of a part of his
Puseyite garments, spoke like a pious man, rejoiced in the bishopric of
Jerusalem, and proposed the health of Alexander, the new Bishop of that
see. This is delightful, for he is a good man, a clever man and an
industrious man." And Baron Bunsen, speaking of the same occasion, said,
"Never was heard a more exquisite speech, It flowed like a gentle,
translucent stream. We drove back to town in the clearest starlight;
Gladstone continuing with unabated animation to pour forth his
harmonious thoughts in melodious tone." And Mr. Gladstone himself writes
later; "Amidst public business, quite sufficient for a man of my
compass, I have, during the whole of the week, perforce, been carrying
on with the Bishop of London and with Bunsen a correspondence on, and
inquisition into, the Jerusalem design, until I almost reel and stagger
under it."

And still later he writes: "I am ready individually to brave
misconstruction for the sake of union with any Christian men, provided
the terms of the union be not contrary to sound principle; and perhaps
in this respect might go further, at least in one of the possible
directions, than you. But to declare the living constitution of a
Christian Church to be of secondary moment is of course in my view
equivalent to a denial of a portion of the faith--and I think you will
say it is a construction which can not fairly be put upon the design,
as far as it exists in fixed rules and articles. It is one thing to
attribute this in the way of unfavorable surmise, or as an apprehension
of ultimate developments--it is another to publish it to the world as a
character ostentatiously assumed."

We have evidence also that at this time he was not permitted to forget
that he was an author, for he thus writes, April 6, 1842, to his
publisher: "Amidst the pressure of more urgent affairs, I have held no
consultation with you regarding my books and the sale or no sale of
them. As to the third edition of the 'State in its Relations,' I should
think that the remaining copies had better be got rid of in whatever
summary or ignominious mode you may deem best. They must be dead beyond
recall. As to the others, I do not know whether the season of the year
has at all revived the demand; and would suggest to you whether it would
be well to advertise them a little. I do not think they find their way
much into the second-hand shops. With regard to the fourth edition, I do
not know whether it would be well to procure any review or notice of it,
and I am not a fair judge of its merits, even in comparison with the
original form of the work; but my idea is that it is less defective,
both in the theoretical and in the historical development, and ought to
be worth the notice of those who deemed the earlier editions worth
their notice and purchase; that it would really put a reader in
possession of the view it was intended to convey, which I fear is more
than can with any truth be said of its predecessors. I am not, however,
in any state of anxiety or impatience; and I am chiefly moved to refer
these suggestions to your judgment from perceiving that the fourth
edition is as yet far from having cleared itself."

It was from this time that a marked change was observable in the
subjects of Mr. Gladstone's Parliamentary addresses. "Instead of
speaking on the corporate conscience of the State and the endowments of
the Church, the importance of Christian education and the theological
unfitness of the Jews to sit in Parliament, he was solving business-like

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