13 APRIL 1889, Page 14


[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."] SIR,—You have spoken justly of the many great qualities manifested during his long life by Mr. Bright. I should like to add a little incident exhibiting the tenderness of heart which was the complement of his strength of character.

Speaking once to me of some of the miseries of life, he described a poor cottage near Llandudno which he was wont to visit. The inmate of the cottage was a woman so com- pletely paralysed that she could not rise from her wretched bed, or even help herself to a drink of water. Her husband was all day long out at work ; and while he was absent, save for the occasional visit of a neighbour, the helpless creature lay in utter solitude. She had but one comforter, a fine collie singularly affectionate and devoted to her, and of which she was very fond. The dog lay at her feet or beside her bed all day long, and when he took a scamper outside, returned to lick her poor useless hands, and make every demonstration of affection. Mr. Bright went, it seems, year after year to see this poor Welsh woman and talk to her (I doubt not, bringing her such little comforts as she could enjoy), and finally took great interest in her and her dog, whose devotion to his poor mistress struck him as beautiful.

At last a summer came in which, going as usual to the cottage after his arrival at Llandudno, Mr. Bright found the woman still in her bed, but he looked round in vain for the dog to whose joyful greetings he was accustomed. At this point of his little story, Mr. Bright's voice failed him. I

asked,—" What had become of the poor beast ?" Mr. Bright did not answer for a moment, and then said, in a voice I shall not soon forget,—" The woman's -husband had hanged her dog." Neither of us, I think, spoke much again till we rose from table.—I am, Sir, &c., FRANCES POWER COBBE. Hengwrt, Dolgelly, April 10th.