Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/294

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Gladstone
Gladstone
282

teenth earl of Derby). A previous speech on the same subject (17 May), which has been erroneously attributed to Gladstone, was really made by his brother Thomas, then member for Portarlington (Robbins, p. 170).

Gladstone's speech on the Irish church temporalities bill (8 July 1833) is interesting, both as the first which he made on Ireland and as the beginning of his connection with the subject of ecclesiastical establishment. He denounced the appropriation clause, which diverted part of the revenues of the Irish church to secular purposes. The appropriation clause was withdrawn, and the bill thus lightened or weakened passed the House of Lords.

When, on William IV's dismissal of Melbourne, Peel was gazetted (29 Dec. 1834) first lord of the treasury and chancellor of the exchequer, Gladstone was included in the same commission as junior lord. He had refused to be under-secretary for war and the colonies because of his father's connection with the West Indies. Parliament was at once dissolved, and in his address to the electors of Newark Gladstone condemned the late whig ministers for rash, violent, and indefinite innovation, and for having promised to act on the principles of radicalism. He especially denounced the ballot, which, thirty-eight years later, he carried into law. He defended the king's dismissal of Melbourne, for which Peel had become constitutionally responsible, but which he himself deprecated when, in 1875, he reviewed Sir Theodore Martin's 'Life of the Prince Consort.' Gladstone was re-elected for Newark without opposition, his colleague being Serjeant Wilde. In the new parliament, which did not meet till February 1835, the conservatives were in a minority of 107. On 17 Jan. 1835 Gladstone for the first time met Disraeli, at a dinner given by Lord-chancellor Lyndhurst. In the same month the post of under-secretary for war and the colonies was again offered to Gladstone, who this time accepted it. The secretary of state was Lord Aberdeen, and this was Gladstone's first introduction to a statesman whom he thenceforth regarded with the highest reverence and esteem (cf. Lord Stanmore, Life of Lord Aberdeen). Of Gladstone, as under-secretary for the colonies, two judgments delivered within the office are recorded. Sir Henry Taylor wrote : 'I rather like Gladstone, but he is said to have more of the devil in him than appears in a virtuous way, that is only self-willed.' Sir James Stephen, on the other hand, pronounced that for success in political life he wanted pugnacity. His tenure of the under-secretaryship was, however, cut short by the resignation of Peel's government on 8 April.

At this time Gladstone lived in chambers in the Albany. He then began the practice of giving breakfast parties, which he continued when he was prime minister. He went a good deal into society, especially to musical parties, where he often sang ; and he rode regularly in the park. But he was a born student, and the amount of reading which he accomplished in those days was prodigious. Homer and Dante were his favourite authors, but it is recorded that at this period he read the whole of St. Augustine's works in twenty-two volumes octavo (Russell, p. 48).

At the dissolution of 1837, consequent upon the death of William IV, Gladstone and Wilde were again returned for Newark without a contest. Gladstone had declined to stand for Manchester, but the Manchester tories persisted in nominating him, and he was placed at the bottom of the poll. In December 1838 appeared Gladstone's once famous book, 'The State in its Relations with the Church' (1838; 2nd ed. 1839; 4th ed. enlarged, 2 vols. 1841). He was assisted in writing it by his friend, James Hope (afterwards Hope-Scott) [q. v.] The book is now chiefly known through the essay which Macaulay wrote upon it in the 'Edinburgh Review.' It was suggested by a series of lectures delivered by Dr. Chalmers in the Hanover Square Rooms. Gladstone affirms that the state has a conscience, that that conscience must be a religious one, and that it is impossible for the state, as for the individual, to have more than one religion. This is in fact a plea for a theocracy, for the exact opposite of Erastianism, for the subordination of the state to the church. On 10 April 1839 Gladstone wrote to Macaulay to thank him for 'the candour and single-mindedness ' of his review. Macaulay sent a cordial acknowledgment. Sir James Stephen described the book as one of 'great dignity, majesty, and strength.' But Wordsworth said that he could not distinguish its principles from Romanism; and Sir Robert Peel, who detested the Oxford movement, is said by Lord Houghton (Reid, Life, p. 316) to have exclaimed, as he turned over the pages, 'That young man will ruin his fine political career if he persists in writing trash like this.' The author obtained no real support from any quarter, and within ten years he himself perceived that his position, though it might be ideal, was untenable. As Gladstone says in his chapter of autobiography, written thirty years afterwards, his views