AS his correspondence with Cobden testifies, Bright watched with undiminished vigilance during the early autumn of 1855 the sequelæ of the fall of Sebastopol, and continued to press for the immediate Peace which Napoleon now wanted and Palmerston feared. But the scene began to dim for him as the year advanced. He found himself drifting outside the political ring, losing touch with the negotiations that issued in the establishment of The Morning Star, becoming oblivious to all the interests which had filled his life for twenty years. When Peace came in the spring, he was a sick man indifferent to everything but the passing hour and his immediate surroundings.
No one in England had been more racked by the misery of the war. He had lain for two years under the immanent sense of a solemn duty --at all costs to testify against it, to endure insult and ignominy, to perform the labours of a slave with mind and tongue and pen, to press every ounce of his strength into the service of Peace. It broke him up. By January he was a nervous wreck. His last acts before the darkness came down were two appeals for appeasement--the first a letter to Sir George Grey urging that he and the moderate men in the Cabinet should stand for Peace at once on moderate terms; the second a Peace speech to his constituents in Manchester. This is a Memorandum which he made when beginning to recover from his illness nearly a year after:
"About the middle, or near the 20th, of the 1st mo. 1856, I found myself suffering from an attack of giddiness in the head, which deprived me almost entirely of the power of mental labour. An important meeting was fixed for the 28th in Manchester, at which my colleague, Gibson, and myself were to meet a large number of our constituents, and I greatly feared that I should be quite unable to attend it. I consulted my medical adviser Mr. Holland, and he recommended me to