15 MAY 1880, Page 2

Lord Hartington, in returning thanks for the toast of his

own health, deprecated the disposition to expect any great legislative activity during the short session between Whitsuntide and he autumn recess, putting his plea expressly on the ground of the number and magnitude of the difficulties with which the new Administration has to deal. "It will not," he said, "I am sure, be for a moment contended that the condition of Europe, Asia, and Africa is not full of difficulty. As for myself, I am almost aghast at the number and intricacy of the questions connected with the Department of the Government of which I have taken the responsibility." And he added that he believed the same confession would be made by not a few of his col- leagues. We believe, however, that no living statesman, not even Mr. Gladstone himself, will face the great difficulties he has inherited from the last Administration with a cooler and surer judgment than Lord Hartington; and that coolness and sureness are well indicated in the public announcement of his dismay. It is only the strong man who, in such circumstances, takes the public frankly into his confidence as to the embarrassment of his position.