The evidence taken before the Election Commissions of the week
seems to have been far more productive of laughter than of any other result that yet appears. Some of the witnesses were much more successful in bringing the " house down" than Buckstone, or Liston, or the best comic actors of the day. Before the Lancaster Commission, Mr. John Allbright, Quaker and tobacconist, who said he " took some enjoyment in elections," and evidently thought an election a species of moral deer-stalking, described very graphically the demeanour of the game which it was the delight of his craft to pursue. "The freemen there strut about at election times like little lords. You have to be very cautious how you approach them. They won't be approached in a common way. You have to give them brandy before you can say a word to them. Then, after a few hints, they perhaps say to you, What dost think figure will be?' but when you sound them about price, they won't give you an answer. They will see 'what 'tether party does,'' and so they make each party ' bid up." A Reigate witness frankly told the Com- mission he could " never get enough money " for his vote, and that Mr. Doulton's was the " best " election, —meaning that the price of the votes "ruled," as the City articles say, highest in that elec- tion. In the Yarmouth evidence, a witness speaks of one voter being " sugared twice by the Conservatives and once by the Liberals," and Mr. Marshman, for a time the Liberal candidate there, in his evidence before the same Commission, stated that he found even the new Liberal voters, put on the register expressly as Liberals to purify it from corruption, them- selves venal, and was decided to retire by hearing an elector say, " I am ready to lay down my life for Jesus Christ, but I don't consider that it would be a sin to take money for my vote." Possibly enough he was honest, and thought Christ was the more glorified the more His disciples were worth.