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exaggeration to describe as criminal. One would be loth to believe that any personal ambition had led him to incite the Irish tenantry to the steps which too many of them have shown themself ready to take; but even if he has been inspired by the best possible intentions, his course has been such as to lay him open to the strongest censures, and to justify those who declare that in the interests not merely of the Imperial Parliament, but of the Irish people, strong measures must be adopted against him.

In Parliament he may have been nearly as much sinned against as sinning; but in his extra-Parliamentary utterances, he has put himself beyond the reach of tolerance or respect.

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THE SPEAKER.

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[The Right Honourable HENRY BOUVERIE WILLIAM BRAND, second son of the twenty first Baron Dacre, was born in 1814, and was educated at Eton. In 1838 he married Eliza Ellice. Sat for Lewes from July 1852 till November 1868, and has sat for Cambridgeshire since the latter date. Was private Secretary to Sir George Grey at the Home Office ; Lord of the Treasury from April 1855 till March 1858 ; and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury from June 1859 till July 1866. Chosen Speaker of the House of Commons in February 1872.]

THE SPEAKER.

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MAN must either be a Member of A

the House of Commons, or must have an intimate personal acquaintance with its life, in order to understand the full dignity of the Speaker's position, and the reverence habitually shown towards him by those with whom he is associated. His office, his functions, and his authority are defined by no clear and precise rules like those which regulate the place and powers of the Presidents of foreign Assemblies. Mr. Hayward, in one of his entertaining essays, speaks of Parliament as being what the Russian Em

VOL. II.

S

peror once called himself—'a lucky accident;' and in the same way it may be said that the Speaker is the accident of an accident. It has taken

years of English history, whole cycles of political strife and trial, to produce the calm but potent Chairman of the English House of Commons, who is not merely the first in rank among English Commoners, but the first in station and authority among all the Presidents of representative and governing bodies in the world. He is in literal fact the creature of precedents. His rights, vague, dimly guessed at even by the holder of the Chair himself, and, like the secrets of Freemasonry, uncommitted to the treacherous keeping of ink and paper, are founded upon innumerable incidents in the history of Parliament, and can only be fully ascertained by an exhaustive study of the records of Westminster, from the day on which those records begin

many hundreds of

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