1 JANUARY 1876, Page 9

Sir William Harcourt made the first of a " trilogy

" of speeches to his constituents on Thursday in the Oxford Town Hall, ono of the concluding dramas of which will be enacted, we suppose, amid the Druidical scenery of a certain ancient Society, and the other we know not where. Sir William began, by congratulating 'his constituents on the dullness of politics, and promising not to in- dulge in any eccentricity himself, but to be as dull as possible, a

promise which, we need not say, he carefully broke. On this great subject he made a rather good half-quotation and half- parody from Pope's " Dunciad :"—

" Say how the Goddess bade Britannia sleep, And poured her spirit o'er the land and deep. More she had spoke, but yawned—all Nature nods, What mortal can resist the yawn of Gods? Wide and more wide it spread o'er all the realm, E'en Palinurus nodded at the holm.

The vapour mild o'er each Committop crept, Unfinished measures in each (Atka slept, Exchanging colonels dozed out the campaign, And sinking ironclads perplexed the main."

Dean Swift, he said, had once made some admirable reflec- tions on a broomstick, but even a broomstick was a more fruitful theme than suet-pudding, which had been taken as the symbol of last Session's legislation. Sir William, however,

found a still better symbol for it. "The Bills of last Session

remained on the hierarchy of the land,' had proved such a failure that the only tenant-farmer on the Treasury Bench had achieved general popularity by abandoning the Ministry which boasted to be par excellence " the farmer's friend."