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encounter. A dissolution of Parliament before he had had an opportunity of bringing forward his measures, or practically demonstrating the policy he meant to pursue, was indeed a great disadvantage. But to go on with the existing House of Commons would have been manifestly impossible. There was nothing for it but a bold appeal to the spirit of reaction which had already set in, and which it was supposed might be sufficiently stimulated to obtain an acquiescence, if not an approval, of the hazardous experiment on the temper of the nation which the Court had made.
In the preparations to meet the coming struggle past differences were forgotten. It was obvious that any open schism in the liberal party must ensure its defeat. Every effort was therefore directed by those who took an active part in the coming elections to induce co-operation where hitherto there had been distrust and discord. In Ireland the Repeal question was no longer made the exclusive test of eligibility; and the Anti-Tory Association took the place of that which had previously existed for the dissolution of the Union. Whigs and Repealers stood and were returned together for various counties, and amongst the latter were Mr. O'Connell and nearly all of his immediate friends. Some doubt at first prevailed as to
the second candidate for Tipperary. The expense in case of a contest would of necessity be formidable ; and of those who were willing to be nominated along with Mr. Sheil, none seemed to be in any haste to incur equal liability with him in the cost. One day, while engaged in consultation with his committee, a letter was received from Mr. E. Jacob, offering himself as a candidate for the county, stating his principles at considerable length, and engaging, if returned, to pay 5001. towards the general expenses of the election. When the reading of the letter was concluded, Sheil asked, was that all ? and on being answered in the affirmative, exclaimed, “So, then, the proposition is that I am to fight the county for two, and bear all the charge, with no other indemnification than the hypothetical I O U of Ebenezer Jacob! We had better, I think, return to business.” They did so, and an acceptable colleague being soon afterwards found in the person of Mr. Otway Cave, both were returned without much difficulty.
Ministers in a minority-Motion regarding Lord Londonderry
Lord J. Russell's resolutions regarding the Irish ChurchResignation of Sir Robert Peel-Reconstruction of the Whig Ministry-Lichfield-house compact—Rejection of the Irish Church Bill —Orange lodges— Municipal Reform-Lord Lyndhurst's “alien” speech-Speech in reply to Lord Lyndhurst-Death of William IV.—Peculiarities in mode of public speaking; acting.
In the choice of a Speaker, Ministers were, on the 19th February, defeated by a majority of ten; and on the 26th Lord Morpeth's amendment to the Address was carried against them by a majority of seven. Sir Robert Peel however did not resign; and upon being questioned as to whether he intended to retain office without being able to command a majority in the House of Commons, he declared that it was his inten
tion to bring forward his measures in detail, and if that course were not approved of by the leaders of Opposition, he challenged them to bring forward a motion of want of confidence. But this, in direct terms, it was not their policy to do. The circumstances in truth are rare in which such a motion has any chance of being carried, whatever the weakness of a Government may be; and it is obvious that its defeat must always tend to strengthen the hands it is designed to weaken. Various points of attack however soon presented themselves; amongst the rest was that of the selection of the Marquis of Londonderry as ambassador at the court of St. Petersburg. On the 13th of March, Mr. Sheil brought the subject under the notice of the House in a temperate and judicious speech. He disclaimed all objection to the noble lord on personal grounds, but remonstrated against his nomination to so important a trust on the gravest reasons of public policy. The encroaching spirit of Russia had never before needed to be so closely watched. By our negligence and apathy in 1828, and again in 1832, we had suffered Turkey to fall almost within her grasp. If it were not yet too late to put a check upon her ambitious career, the Government of England must be wakeful and ener
getic, and prepared, if occasion should arrive, to act promptly and with vigour. But how could this be done unless the representative of the country at the court of the Emperor Nicholas were a man of high intellectual qualities and of thoroughly liberal views ? The opinions which Lord Londonderry had publicly expressed, not only regarding Poland, but with respect to the conduct of Russia towards the Ottoman Porte, disqualified him peculiarly for such an office. Nor had he any pretensions on the score of diplomatic experience or mental endowments which could compensate for the want of coincidence between his known sentiments on foreign policy with those of the great majority of the nation. Lord Stanley, Mr. Cutlar Ferguson, and Mr. Hobhouse supported these views; and though the appointment was defended by Sir Robert Peel, the effect of the discussion was felt to be highly damaging to the Government, and three days afterwards Lord Londonderry declared in the House of Lords that he had spontaneously relinquished the honour intended for him.
But the question which was destined more than any other to test the strength and decide the fate of parties, was that of the Irish Church. On the 30th March, Lord John Russell moved, “ that the House