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delivered by Mr Gladstone some- night subsequent to that on which what later in the evening. Mr the second reading of the Crimes Gladstone must have been well Bill took place, Mr Gladstone aware of the false position in certainly out-Gladstoned himself. which he is placed, at once by the In his criticism of the accusations inconsistency which he displays in against the Parnellite leaders, he his opposition to a measure recom- absolutely declared that, although mended by arguments which he he had “in other years" had great has himself again and again en- differences with " these gentle forced, and by the reckless conduct men,' s neither now nor at any of some of his followers and lieu- time have I given utterance to the tenants, who have used language sentiment, or have I entertained a which plainly justifies rebellion suspicion that they were associated against the authority of the Queen. with crime." We leave our read. Mr Gladstone's speech on the 18thers to judge how far “marching April added nothing to his reputa- through rupine to the dismembertion; and the whole debate, as wellment of the empire," or belonging to as the outside agitation which he a society, the “ footsteps" of which has endeavoured to stimulate, sim- are “dogged by crime,” constitute ply prove to the word that the a crime; but, whether this be so or rregular opposition” is no longer not, if Mr Gladstone's words are conducted upon the high principles to be accepted as true, it follows which formerly guided British that he imprisoned Mr Parnell statesmen, whether in or out of and sundry other Irishmen when office, but that, under the guidance he did not even suspect them of of the “old Parliamentary hand," being criminal. Surely this is as alliances have been formed and heavy a charge as could well be sentiments openly professed, which brought against any man-namely, will strengthen the determination that of persecuting innocent peoof every loyal subject of the Queen ple—advanced against himself by to rally round the Conservative- Mr Gladstone, in the most open Unionist Government which is and emphatic manner !
With recarrying out the mandate of the gard to the accusations now made, country in the face of the most Mr Gladstone again makes use of unscrupulous and unprincipled op- the most extraordinary argument position with which a British Gov. in order to shield his new allies. ernment has ever been encountered. “The burden of proof,” says he, The majority of 101, with which "lies on those who make the the second reading of the Crimes charge, and unless they make the Bill was carried, affords an indi- charge with evidence that will bear cation of the unabated strength the test of investigation, they are which the loyal and Unionist party wanton calumniators." Very good. possesses in the House of Com- But Mr Gladstone forgets that the mons, and will doubtless encourage • Times' has challenged “the test the Government in their determina- of investigation" in the fullest and tion to re-establish the authority most open manner. It had made of the Queen in Ireland, despite certain charges and produced cerall the efforts of the Gladstonian tain evidence. That evidence may Separatists and their Parnellite be deemed sufficient by some, inallies.
sufficient by others; but the only In his speech at the “Eighty way in which it can be tested is Club” banquet, held upon the by those who are charged proceed
ing by due course of law against en Lord Hartington's position in those who have brought the charge, the country and with the really as being “wanton calumniators." sensible portion of the Liberal Silence under such a charge, or party. empty denial, in language however The most notable portion of Mr strong and vehement, will be in- Gladstone's “Eighty Club" speech, terpreted by the public in various apart from the passages above menways; but there is only one way tioned, is that in which he informs in which innocent men could and his audience that the battle is not should act, and if that way is not to be fought “ in the walls of the taken, Mr Gladstone's allies must House of Commons,” but outside. bear the consequences.
In other words, Mr Gladstone deIt will be noted that Mr Glad- liberately lays it down as a canon stone took some pains to criticise by which the future political life Lord Hartington's speech and con- of Great Britain is to be ruled, duct, when addressing the select that whenever a Parliament elected body of his adherents who were by household suffrage legislates in present at the “Eighty Club” a manner which is not approved gathering. His observations would by one or other political party, it have had more force if they had will be the duty of that party at been delivered in the House of once to commence an agitation Commons and in Lord Harting against the Parliament throughout ton's presence; but he preferred the length and breadth of the land. the select party and the more Thus we are to expect neither rest private occasion, when he could nor peace for the future; all is to not be answered. Considering be trouble and turmoil, and the that Mr Gladstone spoke subse- restless spirit of Mr Gladstone is quently to Lord Hartington in to pervade the whole civil life of the debate, the postponement of the nation. We have neither time his reply to the latter proves the nor space at the moment to critidifficulty which he has felt in cise this mischievous teaching, furencountering the straightforward ther than to remark that it is one antagonist who has done so much which we are confident will not to expose the weakness and in- commend itself to the commonconsistency of his policy. The in- sense and intelligence of our councident will only tend to strength- trymen.
THE REV. W. LUCAS COLLINS.
THERE is nothing more sad in life than the disappearance of familiar faces, the closing of hospitable doors, the sudden emptiness which takes possession of a spot once warmly filled with a pleasant image. As life goes on, this is what happens constantly to us all. Often, after long tranquillity, there will arise a great wave of loss, sweeping away one after another of those whom—where they stood in the perspective of our lives, which seemed impossible without them—we had felt to be "as steadfast as the scene." It is so natural that life should go on, and everything be as it has always been. Yet, lo! in a moment, desolation and emptiness, and what is no more.
No figure more venerable, no friend more respected, could have been withdrawn from the scen: than the admirable writer and faithful counsellor whom we have now to mourn. The Rev. W. Lucas Collins died on the 24th March at the Rectory of Lowick, near Thrapston, Northamptonshire, a parish of which he had been the incumbent for more than a dozen years, after holding several other benefices. Of his character as a parish priest, devoted to all the interests of his flock, and much beloved by them, it is not for us to speak. Could it be possible to regret a good man's devotion to the highest of callings, we should indeed, we fear, have been disposed to do so, for it abridged his literary work, and kept him from the foremost rank which he would otherwise have been so well able to fill. He was almost the oldest contributor still spared to us, having begun his work in this Magazine so early as 1843, a period to which few memories now run. He was then a young man just from college, newly ordained, and full of all the fervour of beginning life. During the long period which has followed, few years have passed in which there has not been some fine piece of criticism, some graceful essay or sprightly tale, from his hand in these pages. We do not commend ourselves in rendering due honour to the writers, according to the old tradition of the Magazine anonymous, who have laboured with us, and given of their best to the never-ungrateful “ Maga.” It would be a failure in friendship as well as in justice should we keep silent as to the merits of those who, so far as the general public was concerned, gave up their own credit and praise to the honour of the ensign under which they did their work.
Mr Collins was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, having a hereditary connection with the Principality which is chiefly represented there, and took his degree in classical honours in 1838. His earliest contributions to the Magazine were illustrations of the life of the University. He took the lighter side of bright and kindly comradeship, so dear to young men who have had their share of these delights, as the most pleasant and attractive to the general world, and told the humours of the reading party before that institution had become so well known as it is now, and discoursed delightfully upon college friends. Though he soon subsided into themes of less personal interest, the subjects both political and literary, which then occupied the world, his preference was always for matters scholastic and academical, and he was the first to
open that discussion of the great public schools of England, in which he has had so many followers. Rugby, Harrow, Winchester, and Shrewsbury were all in succession the subjects of articles; and the fuller study which he was led to give to the greatest of them all resulted in · Etoniana, one of the best and most interesting histories of Eton which exist. It is twenty years since that volume was published, and the great school has gone through a great many changes since then; but for the aspect which has now become historical there can be no better authority; nor is there any, so far as we know, which, in respect of literary merit, can stand comparison with it. Mr Collins returned to this ever-attractive subject many times in these pages ; but he did not carry his investigations further than the limits of an article with any other of the great schools. His articles on purely literary subjects were many; and some of the ablest reviews which have appeared of the works of George Eliot and other contemporary writers were from his hand. We have always strongly maintained the advantages of the anonymous, especially in literary criticism, feeling that it gives freedom to the hand of the operator, and, whether in praise or blame, liberates him from the embarrassing difficulties of holding the literary balance steady when treating friends or acquaintances; but it certainly has this one drawback, that a writer may thus influence the minds of numbers of his countrymen, and be, under his mask, a power in literature, while his personality remains unknown.
The first conception of the interesting and popular series of Ancient Classics for English Readers, when it. rose in the mind of the late respected editor of the Magazine, whose excellent intelligence and good taste originated so many successful undertakings, was associated at once by him with the name of Mr Collins, whom, with the insight which he possessed in a high degree, he immediately felt to be eminently qualified to carry it out. Nothing could have better suited the talents and inclinations of Mr Collins, or brought more effectually into play, for the service of the public, his good scholarship and critical acumen, as well as his faculty of selection and oversight. He was an indefatigable editor, giving himself up to that labour of love with judicious watchfulness, and a determination to make the series excellent which spared no trouble. The volumes which he himself contributed must always hold the very highest place among works of this description. The authors whom he treated were not picked up by hazard or got up for the occasion, as so often happens, but the favourites of long years, studied with affectionate devotion for half a lifetime before any thought of expounding and illustrating them for the public had occurred to him. The series was the first of its kind. It was in every way thoroughly successful, and its only drawback has been that it has suggested numberless other series, with which the world has been deluged since; but, as there is no such flattery as imitation, the compliment may be accepted without the responsibility. The work and the man in this case were so thoroughly suited to each other, that there could be no doubt of the excellence of the performance; and it was soon seen that a genuine want was supplied in this attempt to give the non-classical readers, who now form so large a number of the reading public, a scholar's account and description of those great works in which all
literature has its beginning. It is pleasant to see that this able and excellent series has added a modest but enduring laurel to the name of a writer whose best works had heretofore brought him but little personal reputation.
His whole literary career was thus woven in with that of this Magazine. Its readers owe him more than they knew, but not more than the more intimate circle of friends and literary coadjutors were always sensible of, owing to his clear head, and sound views, and lucid and admirable style. His contributions have diminished in numbers of late years, for his health had been delicate for a long time, and he had been obliged to spend several winters abroad on this account. But he was always a wise counsellor and a most faithful friend. For some months past little hope had been entertained of his recovery. But even with such warnings and breakings of the inevitable, the final blow always comes with a shock. Those who are left behird cannot but think of the lessening circle, the lights which are extinguished, the voices which have gone away into the silence. Mr Collins had, however, lived out the allotted time of human life in faithful service to God and man. He had gained, if not any of the higher dignities of his profession, at least an honourable place, and, to a tranquil and gentle spirit like his, perhaps the happiest of all social positions. He left no broken threads or unaccomplished purposes behind him, and we have no right to lament over such a conclusion. May it be given to us to live as wisely and to end as well!