Friday, December 19, 2008

04May1863, A Speech by Uncle William

LONDON, Monday, May 4th, 1863.
—We drove a little, and then ! went to the House of Commons and heard Uncle William's splendid speech in defence of his extraordinary proposal of income-taxing charities. He bore down all before him while he spoke ; defending himself, as none but he can do, by dint of his marvellous eloquence and ingenuity, and by the evident strength and depth of his own convictions, which gave tenfold power to all he said. But I can well believe the opposition, when it calls the scheme "monstrous." The cry against it is tremendous : an enormous deputation waited upon him this afternoon, headed by the D. of Cambridge and the 2 Archbishops, the House was nearly to a man against him, and so (though his speech converted some), he withdrew the motion.
We went, somewhat exhausted in mind and body, to Ly. H. Vane's ball after this. I danced with Messrs. Lascelles and Wortley, Lord Cowper, and was engaged to Lord Lennox, when we had to go. But there ! I haven't mentioned that the Princess of Wales came quite incog. with 2 ladies, to hear the debate ! and had to go before the speech. We saw her lovely, fair, gracious profile very well.

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