28 JULY 1866, Page 3

The Cobden Club held its inaugural meeting at the Star

and Garter, Richmond, this day week, Mr. Gladstone taking the chair. This club numbers, it is said, 150 gentlemen, of whom 80 are members of one or other of the Houses of Parliament. Lord Russell attended as well as Mr. Gladstone, but Mr. Bright was absent, and his absence explained by the emotion which it still costa him to dwell on the loss of his friend. Mr. Gladstone

delivered of course a very eloquent panegyric on the great free- trader. He spoke of his private virtues as those proper to one of "nature's nobles," of his public character as that of a man who did not embrace opinions for the-sake of party, but who adhered to party for the sake of the objects for which they were associated. He spoke of Mr. Cobden's singular good fortune in being the man to bestow on us not only free trade as a domestic policy, but also the first-fruits of free trade as the international policy of Europe, by the French treaty. No other man on earth but Mr. Cobden could have effected the French treaty, said Mr. Gladstone. He it was who first wholly dispelled for Europe the lingering belief, which is still boldly held in savage Africa, and very justly held there, that 'Trade is war.' Mr. Gladstone bitterly regretted the loss of his aid in the recent Reform campaign, and Lord Russell afterwards told the elub,—perhaps with a little of that want of political delicacy for which he has so often been blamed,—that Mr. Cobden had assured him that though he could not join the Government of Lord -Palmerston, he would gladly have joined a Government of Lord John Russell's.