The Life of the Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone

The Life of the Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone

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The Life of the Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone

The Life of the Right Honourable William Ewart Gladstone

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The leading purpose of this work is of a biographical and historical, rather than of a polemical character. It has been my object to place the reader the story of Mr. Gladstone's life --and his relations to the great movements of his time--through the medium of his writings and speeches. In the Parliamentary portion of the work, I have been sparing of comment, for two reasons: first, to have discussed at length the manifold political acts of this eminent statesman would have expanded this biography greatly beyond its present dimensions; and, secondly, the period has not yet arrived when it is possible to estimate (even were I competent to do so) the full effect and influence of those great legislative measures with which Mr. Gladstone's name is associated. In a work of this kind it would be impossible for the author to conceal the nature of his political sentiments; neither have I the wish to do so; but a high admiration for the subject of this biography is not incompatible with an impartial recognition of certain errors of judgment. Nor, in sometimes strongly condemning the action of his opponents, have I endeavoured unduly to asperse them. Amongst such opponents, during the last forty years, have been men entitled to the respect and gratitude of the country; and England is proud of all her sons who have rendered her distinguished service, be their party name Whig or Tory, Liberal or Conservative.

There are few, I believe--even amongst those who most differ from him--who deny to Mr. Gladstone the title of a great statesman. With regard to his course on recent Foreign policy, my conviction is that 'time is on his side,' and is even now working out his justification; but be this course approved or disapproved, nothing can blot out the memory of his past achievements. In more illustrious than his. The purity of his motives and the . . .

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