On Wednesday, a letter from Mr. Gladstone to the Home-
rule candidate at Rossendale was communicated to the Press. The letter begins by expressing the writer's deep interest in Mr. Maden's invitation to Rossendale " to concur with the large majority of other British constituencies by returning you, a Liberal, to Parliament." That is rather a big blunder to begin with. Mr. Gladstone has apparently forgotten that the large majority of British constituencies are Unionist, and
that even the eighty-six Parnellites are not enough to reduce this majority much below a hundred. Mr. Gladstone next asserts that Lord Hartington pledged himself to " the large introduction into Irish government of the representative principle, and a.fundamental reform in the system of adminis- tration known and hated by Ireland under the name of Dublin Castle." "Nearly six years," he continues, "have since elapsed, but not a single step has been taken towards the redemption of either of these pledges ; but instead of such fulfilment, Ireland has for the first time been placed under a law of perpetual coercion, and the credit of the Exchequer has been pledged to act, to the extent of a hundred millions, for the purchase of Irish estates." Mr. Gladstone of course ignores the fact that the so-called perpetual coercion has practically ceased, that when it was in operation, it was only coercion of the kind which is applied every day in London and Glasgow, and that he himself was anxious to burden the Exchequer to a far larger extent, and at the same time to throw away the chief security for the repayment of the money.