Monday, May 18, 2009

14Jun1866, That Person... Bright!!

LONDON, June 14th, 1866.
—Dined with the Amberleys, meeting only one person, and that person . . . Bright ! ! (Oh that one could become a Boswell now and then !) He was very agreeable, but only upon the one topic of politics, having little to say, for instance, when we started the new question of the establishment of central pauper infirmaries, instead of the present wretched system for the sick. He was certainly as violent and one-sided in his execration of Tories as any of them say ; and said of the Adullamites that he hopes not one will ever be re-elected by their constituencies. He spoke of the Bill for allowing real property to be divided among the children in cases of intestacy ; and said that the present tendency to accumulate land in few hands would lead to compulsory and equal subdivision (of which he said he disapproved) by the force of a strong reaction. He defended the Ballot ; but I could not understand. I was struck by his ease, and unaffected, simple manner. Afterwards I went to the House and saw a riotous but very victorious division upon a concession of Uncle W.'s. A letter telling Bright of this concession came to him at dinner and made him angry. He spoke against it in the House, and wouldn't vote, whereat the Opposition cheered derisively. F. didn't vote.

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