5 SEPTEMBER 1885, Page 2

The Attorney-General made a bitter speech in the Isle of

Wight on Thursday against the Liberal Party. Not having what we may call a very lively political mind, Sir R. Webster is reduced to a very common resource amongst politicians who are only half-politicians,—namely, what we may term hypotheti- cal prophecy. Amongst his other remarks he "unhesitatingly asserted that if Lord Beaconsfield had been alive to-day, General Gordon also would be alive." Now, that a prudent man, a long-headed lawyer, a man accustomed to consider the course of human affairs, should " unhesitatingly " assert such nonsense as that, illustrates very remarkably the fact that even the ablest men when they embark on subjects which do not really interest them, and are compelled to affect an interest they hardly feel, lose all their power, and become almost as silly as silly men. So far as we can see, Lord Beaconsfield's continued political career could by no probable contingency have affected General Gordon's fate,—unless, indeed, Sir R. Webster thinks that, had Lord Beaconsfield been alive, the Tories would have returned to power more than a year ago. And, even interpreting him so, such an unhesitating conviction as that is as silly a conviction as one can easily imagine. •