2 DECEMBER 1865, Page 1

Mr. Bright's speech at Blackburn—which as regards its in- vective

against the Tories we have discussed elsewhere—was so studiously conciliatory towards the Liberal Government, and so flavoured with a prescriptive tinge of feeling almost worthy of a Whig in some of its sentendke, that it will be regarded by many an a bid for office. He said "the new administration is com- posed of men probably more entitled to confidence than any other administration of our time." And he trusted that the last years of Lord Russell's life "would be sweetened by the thought that God has twice enabled him to render signal service in the glorious work of building upon broader and more lasting foundations the ancient liberties of his country." We do not ouiselves pi* the ints- pretation of a bid on Mr. Bright's language, for weintlieve- him to be a single-minded politician, and we know that he Sa‘repeatedly, even in his most virulent Radical speeches, contrasted Lord Russell favourably with all our other contemporary statesmen. Towards all our institutions, except the Tories, however, his speech was wonderfully moderate, and his only fling even at the House of Lords.waa in the potential mood. If, lie said, the Toriea had succeeded in obstructing all reforms for the last forty years, "the House of Lords would in all human probability have been emptied into the Thames." A conditional proposition, mulitioual, too, by an hypothesis contrary to the fact, is an excellent safety- „valve for the feelings of such a man as Mr. Bright. The minds of English people are very lightly stirred by "tMnkting of what

"would have happened "—even to sacred beings like peers—under a contingency which has not occurred ; and while it has the great advantage of alarming nobody, we do not see but what, in an artis- tic point of view, it has quite as good an oratorical effect as more bcathing and penetrating sarcasms.