Friday, July 03, 2009

29May1867, Three Great Orators

LONDON, May 29th, 1867.
—Small tea-party at Auntie P.'s. Dinner there, meeting the Bp. of Oxford, Dean Stanley and Ly. Augusta, the Spencers, Mrs. Norton, Mr. Glyn, Ld. Cowper and — Bright ! ! ! Notable to have the 3 greatest English orators present [FN: This is a curious remark. Most people would have placed the Duke of Argyll, and many Disraeli, above Bishop Wilberforce.]. They all talked of speechifying : Bright said he well remembered learning a speech by heart, and being in such an agony of nervousness that he vowed he would never learn a speech again ; and never did. He spoke of the Government Bill as being extremely democratic, and said it would plunge us into the Ballot. "I hope not," said Mr. Gladstone. " You'll think differently," said B., "when you have studied it as much as you have studied Homer !"

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