Mr. Gladstone's speech on moving the second reading of the
Irish Home-rule Bill, on Monday night, was not such an effort as that which he made in moving its introduction, and hardly so powerful as his reply at the close of that first debate ; but it was much the most effective of the speeches of Monday evening, —Lord Hartington being hardly up to the mark of his recent speeches ; while of the other speakers, only Mr. W. O'Brien, the Editor of United Ireland, produced any considerable impression at all. Mr. Gladstone began with explaining that he had never, at any period of his life, treated Home-rule as necessarily in- compatible with Imperial unity. Yet he had indulged the hope that by steadily passing good measures for Ireland, the demand for Home-rule might be diverted ; and he had always regarded two conditions as absolutely essential before the demand could ever be considered,—first, the evidence that Ireland as a whole demanded it; and next, the evidence that the demand could be gratified without endangering the unity of the Empire. The elections of November demonstrated the wish of Ireland beyond question, and Mr. Parnell's speech on the first night of the Session limiting his demand to Irish autonomy, Mr. Gladstone somewhat oddly regarded as furnishing proof positive that nothing was asked for which could not safely be granted.