On Monday night the Conservatives mustered strong for a reconnaissance
on the Government. They took advantage of the cry about bribery and corruption to move an instruction to the Committee on the Reform Bills, "That they have power to make provision for the better prevention of bribery and corruption at elections." This was done by Sir R. Knightley. Mr. Gladstone of course pointed out that they might just as well foist any other utterly irrelevant measure into the Reform Bill, but Mr. Bernal Osborne took tremendously high ground in favour of the instruc- tion, aware that he should thereby please both the many Conserva- tives of Nottingham who gave him their votes, and probably the disaffected Liberals too. Mr. Clay filially asserted that a right thing could not well be done at a wrong time (for instance, Judas's kiss ?)—Mr. Bright spoke with justifiable warmth of the insincere character of this obstruction, and the note that would be taken of it out of doors, when Mr. Disraeli sprang to his feet to rebuke Mr. Bright for his threat,—and to cheer on .the House to do what he said he "clearly believed" to be its "duty,"—and altogether acted his part with great spirit and effect, and without betraying himself even by a smile. The Conservative amendment was carried by a majority of ten, to the intense delight of Lord Cranborue, who was one of the tellers, and regarded his tricky victory over Mr. Brand as an almost sensual enjoyment.