of his days "in tranquillity," provided this was God's will also. In March he read his rival's old novel, Vivian Grey, and thought the first quarter extremely clever, but the last three quarters trash. Disraeli's opinion of Gladstone's "scribblement" was no less scathing. "Gladstone, like Richelieu, can't write
," he declared to Lady Bradford. "Nothing can be more unmusical, more involved or more uncouth. ... He has not produced a page wh. you can put on yr. library shelves. ... "Mr. Gladstone turned to recollection, tranquillity, and his "scribblement," as if his life of action were over. He wrote
The Vatican Decrees in Their Bearing on Civil Allegiance: A Political Expostulation. One hundred and fifty-five thousand copies were sold before the end of the year. Mr. Disraeli spoke generously of him in the Commons, praising his "illustrious career," but in a private letter to Lord Derby he described him as a "political maniac," an "extraordinary mixture of envy, vindictiveness, hypocrisy and superstition."
MR. DISRAELI had once dared to say,
"I am never well save in action, and then I am immortal."The time had come for him to prove this un-English boast to be true. His letters to Queen Victoria became as like love letters as he dared make them. He told her that
"during a somewhat romantic and imaginative life"nothing "so interesting" had "ever occurred to him" as the "confidential correspondence with one so exalted and so inspiring." A man who wrote,
"My nature demands that my life should be perpetual love"was not in the tradition of British Tory leadership. He was "fortunate," as he admitted to Lady Bradford in 1874, "in serving a female Sovereign."
Mr. Disraeli had not been long in power when the Queen renewed her war against ritualism. Her new Prime Minister was equally disgusted at the "finical and fastidious crew" in the High Church. He admitted that the Public Worship Regulation Bill, his first considerable task as Prime Minister, was "the most difficult" he had ever met. The measure, which has since proved ineffectual, was to give secular courts the power to suppress ritualism. The combined wills of the Queen and the Prime Minister never relaxed while they were urging the bill