Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/485

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468

GLADSTONE.

considerably remodelled, Mr. Glad- stone assuming the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, in addition to his office of First Lord of the Trea- sury. On Jan. 24, 1874, a fortnight before both Houses were to have met for the despatch of public business, Mr. Gladstone took every- body by surprise by announcing the immediate dissolution of Par- liament, and issuing his address to his constituents at Greenwich, in which he promised to abolish the Income Tax. At the general elec- tion which ensued, the votes were, for the first time, taken by secret ballot. The result proved most disastrous to the Liberal party. The returns, completed on Fe.b. 27, showed that 851 Conservatives had been elected and 302 Liberals, in- clusive of the Home Eulers, who, in I)oint of fact, declined to identify themselves with either of the old political parties. Mr. Gladstone at once resigned, and Mr. Disraeli be- came Prime Minister. In the ses- sion of 1874, Mr. Gladstone, who had been re-elected for Greenwich, was rarely to be seen in his place in the House of Commons ; but at its close he offered a persistent opposi- tion to the Public Worship Begula- tion Bill. Even amid the turmoil of political life, Mr. Gladstone had devoted a x>ortion of his time to literature. His " Ecce Homo," re- printed from Oood Words, appeared in 1868 J a pamphlet on the Irish Church question, entitled " A Chap- ter of Autobiography," was pub- lished Nov. 23, 1868 ; and " Juventus Mundi : the Gods and Men of the Heroic Age," in 1869. After his un- successful attempt to prevent the passing of the Public Worship Begu- lation Act, he contributed to the Contemporary Review for Oct., 1874, an article on "Ritualism," which gave rise to an animated contro- versy . In it he asserted that." Bome had substituted for the proud boast of semper eadem a policy of violence and change in faith," that she " had refurbished and paraded anew

every trusty tool she was fo thought to have disused," that one could become her convert "^ out renouncing his moral and i tal freedom, and placing his loyalty and duty at the mere another," and that " she had eqi repudiated modem thought ancient history." Challenged b; Eoman Catholic friends to sube tiate these grave charges, Mr. G stone published (Nov. 7, 187 bulky pamphlet entiUed " The ^ can Decrees in their bearing on < Allegiance: a Political Exposi tion," which elicited nume elaborate replies from Mgr. Cj Dr. Newman, Archbishop Mam and other distinguished membe the Eoman Catholic Church. Gladstone's reply to his oppon< published Feb. 24, 1875, is ent "Vaticanism; an Answer to Be and Beproofs." Mr. Gladstone lowed up his attacks on the Bo Catholic Church in an artich " The Speeches of Pius IX." ii Qriarterly Review for Jan., 1875. Jan. 13, 1875, three weeks before assembling of Parliament, Mr. C stone announced in a letter to Granville his determination t< tire from the leadership of Liberal party. "At the age of si five," he remarked, " and after f< two years of a laborious public I thmk myself entitled to retii the present opportunity. Thii tirement is dictated to me by personal views bb to the best me of spending the closing years oj life." Soon afterwards the Mai of Hartington was chosien by Liberal pwty to be their lead< the House of Commons. St quently, however, Mr. Glads constantly took part in the 6h sions of that assembly. In 187 published " Homeric Synchroni an Inquiry into the Time and I of Homer," and on Sept. 6 in same year appeared his fai pamphlet on "Bulgarian Hoi and the Question of the East." was followed (March 13, 1877