Mr. Gladstone made a good speech yesterday week at Salisbury,
partly in memory of Lord Herbert, upon whom he pronounced a very touching as well as polished eulogium, and partly also in defence of the late Ministry's conduct with relation to the Reform Bill. It had been asserted, he said, that the failure of the Govern- ment was due to "the careless, rash, and hasty manner in which that measure had been framed." It was "always open," he justly observed, and he might have added always sweet, "to a political party to treat as impotent the efforts of its opponents," but he said, "if haste and rashness are to be measured by ordinary tests, then I must say to this charge against the Government that no measure which has been introduced into Parliament since the great Act of 1832 in relation to Reform ever was prepared with one- half the industry, care, solicitude, and patient examination which was bestowed by the late Government upon the Bill which they proposed for the reduction of the franchise." We never thought the charge of rashness plausible. The Government wanted more courage, not less. They could not have thought it wise in their hearts to extend the suffrage in corrupt places like Reigate, Lancaster, Totnes, or even Yarmouth, for the same reasons for which they extended it in Manchester, Leeds, Halifax, and so forth. They knew it was absurd to apply the same external remedy to wants, defects, and diseases so different, and yet they did it from mere fear of the political Mrs. Grundy. A little less solicitude and a little more determination to convince the public, and not take their convictions from the public, would have done more for the Bill than any delay.