Later in the evening Mr. Bernal Osborne somewhat revived its
spirits by a very pungent attack on the Government and on the Liberal defaulters. He did not object, he said, to "fishing for a policy," but he did object to the unsportsmanlike fishing of the present Government, the "cross-fishing," where both sides of the stream are swept by different-coloured baits. The President of the Poor law Board the other day "threw the dual vote, the two years' residence, and the counterpoises," and a solitary fish, Mr. Banks Stanhope; M.P. for Lincolnshire, rose on the occasion, and was duly lauded. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer threw the very artificial fly of household suffrage below the gangway, and immediately the Member for Sheffield gorged the bait. Mr. Osborne read from Sir Stafford Northeote's speeches of last year against lowering the suffrage in boroughs, to which the Secretary for India replied that he objected only to lowering the rental suf- frage ;—that what the Government now proposed was a mere sup- plementary suffrage, with special guarantees of its own,—a fancy franchise, in fact, we suppose—namely, rating suffrage guarded by two years' residence and personal payment of the full rate—a statement which, disclosing the secret Conservative view of the pro- posed borough franchise as an exceptional one, anxiously guarded against any large =n, really did much to shake the Govern- ment with the Mr. Lowe replied to Sir Stafford
Northcote in his bitterest style, saying that the conduct of the Government might, or might not, lead to the retention of office, "but it merits alike the contempt of all honest men and the execration of posterity."