15 SEPTEMBER 1883, Page 1

Mr. Gladstone is steaming about the Scotch islands in Sir

Donald Currie's steam yacht, the Pembroke Castle; and on Thursday made a speech at Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkneys, He spoke of the great progress made in the half-century during which he had been in public life, and in which the British Empire had been enlarged, the people made more contented and more loyal, the children brought under education, and slavery abolished. He claimed in all those works a share, as a humble but a sincere and earnest labourer. After some compliments to the public spirit of the 0 rcadians , who maintain a body of 600 Volunteers, Mr. Gladstone proceeded to speak of Mr. Tennyson, who accompanies him, whose work, he said, had been " on a higher plane of human action than his own," and would be more durable. The inquirer of the future, seeing Mr. Gladstone's name in the roll of Kirkwall burgesses, might ask who he was ; but if, after a lapse of ages, he saw the name of Tennyson, he " would have no difficulty in saying who he was, and what he had done to raise the intellects and hearts of his fellow - creatures." The com- pliment is a fine one, but is it quite true that the poet out- lives the statesman P The world remembers Solon as well as Euripides, Augustus as well as Virgil, Moses the lawgiver as well as David the sweet singer of Israel, Munoo perhaps bettor than Valmiki. And is durability the test P The world knows of the first great soldier, but it has forgotten who discovered fire, who invented the potter's wheel, who first taught man to live a year in advance by putting seed into the ground. The late Mr, Bagehot used to say that the Bourses should put ap statues to that last unknown genius, for " he was the most daring and most original of all speculators."