Oxford the orthodox has not had to undergo her new
electoral struggle very long. " I trust," says one of our University corre- spondents, " it is not too late even now to choose a more worthy head." But it is too late. Lord Derby is safe,, and Oxford Uni- versity is shamed. A paltry result has been brought about by paltry means. The election of Mr. Gladstone as the representative of the University in Parliament has been to that extent stultified. Accident and the diligence of another set have prevented the party that secured his election from maintaining an independent stand. An attempt was made to organize a support for the Duke of Newcastle, whose character and position would have rendered him in every way the more fitting Chancellor ; but the members of the party were scattered, and many who would have been favour- able doubted the rest. The thorough Liberals would have joined the Newcastle party on broad grounds, but-they were not brought into the field. The Duke may be called the only real opposition candidate. The Earl:of Carlisle hovered on the horizon but for an instant. The Earl of Ellesmere had differed from Dr. Pusey on the law of marriage, and therefore is not " moral " enough for Oxford -University ! The Earl of Harrowby, standing partly on the same ground as Lord Derby, was of course eclipsed. An attempt was-
made to put forward Lord Redesdale, who, though not a man of academical distinction, is one of strong predilections, and therefore fitted to represent "the stronghold of dogiiiatic truth," which is vaunted to have rebuked Latitudinarianism on the one side and Romanism on the other. So said writers who have found it ei- pedient to forget their old Anglicanism in their present Toryism.
Accident, adroit agency, the edition, and something else, favoured Lord Derby. It is vacation, and the men who mustered, at great expense of trouble 'ana even of money to some, in support of Glad- stone and principle, were away,. sporting, touring on the Continent, or pursuing antique studies in situ. The able and insinuating Bishop of the Diocese lent his sagacious infidenoe to the Premier as head of the Protectionist party ; a curious move.in a prelate who deelared, in his place in the House of Lords, that the clergy were ready to make any sacrifice for Free-trade ! . Evidently he then pro- fessed too much. Perhaps he did not anticipate this crucial test?
A further consideration is almost suggested by the' disclaimer of the contemporary which specially advocated Lord Redesdale's claims, but now accepts the candidate of the majority on the spot: " Lord Derby is plainly chosen, not because he is Premier, but be- cause he is chief of the Conservative party." It is still the feet, that the Premier for the time being will- not only be a favourable instrument for Oxford Conservatism—which means absolute re- sistance to the University Commission—but that he is a dispenser of patronage. ' Oxford elects, not only the obstructive in chief, but a grand almoner.
We are much mistaken, however, if this do not turn out a fatal success. Academical Anti-Reform is now to be embodied in that man who is the representative of political Anti-Reform, and ab- solute resistance challenges a much • more concentrated attack, Which will rally to it many who can view the question only on pblitieal grounds. The Hebdomadal Board becomes intelligible to the public at large in being represented by Lord Derby, and is likely to share in his preeminent caducity.