Sunday, February 06, 2011

11Feb1878, Gladstone and Cavendish

HOLKER, February 11th-17th, 1878.
Barrow business every day prevented F. resting as he ought; he is rather ill with all the worry and tension of the past fortnight. Especially he is harassed by the excessive difficulty of Hartington's and Uncle W.'s footing together. They are 2 men so utterly unlike in disposition and mode of viewing things, and Uncle W., having been driven by the very nature of this great question to take a leading part—(he has felt a special responsibility, as the only surviving Compos [FN: I.e. Compos mentis; still in possession of his faculties.] statesman who conducted the Crimean War and was a party to the Treaty of Paris)—has necessarily been prominent, tho' no longer leader. He never can properly realize that it is absolutely impossible for him, with his great past, and his great powers, to take up the line of "M. was a member." [FN: Appendix A; "A was an Admiral.".] I am come round to the conviction (which Papa always held strongly) that he should either have continued to lead the party, or withdrawn from Parliament altogether, or taken a Peerage. It is immensely to the credit of both him and Cavendish that they have pulled together at all, and is due to the perfect honesty and sense of duty of both. We had to go back to London Thursday—partly, to my disgust, that F. might vote on the odious Burial question Friday.

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