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[417] being corpulent, and a fine, easy, manly-looking gentleman. He was dressed in white pantaloons, a blue surtout coat, and a black cravat. He rarely faced the speaker, but turned to the body of the House. He had a vast mass of documents and notes, but did not refer to them very often. His opening was conciliatory, but somewhat vehement. As he went on he grew more vehement, too much so, I thought, for the very business-like tone of his speech. Sometimes he was sportive; once or twice, only, sarcastic; and even then I thought him judicious. He was always easy, always self-possessed, went with consummate skill over the weak parts of his cause, and felt his position in the House exactly, and showed unvarying and sure tact in managing and playing with it. He was cheered a great deal too often; sometimes at the end of every sentence for five or six successively, so as to interrupt him from going on, and occasionally with such vociferation that it was absolutely as bad as at a theatre.

But, after all, he did not produce on me or leave with me the impression of a mind of the first, or—may I dare to say it?—of the second order; and I have no more doubt than I have of anything else within my personal experience, that I have heard, both in England and in America, intellectual efforts of statesmanship quite beyond any Sir R. Peel can make. But I do not know that I have ever seen a man who had more skill and practice in managing a deliberative assembly; and perhaps this is the highest praise a political leader may now seek in the House of Commons.

One thing struck me a good deal. If he made a happy hit, so that the House cheered or laughed, he did not once fail, as soon as the laughing or cheering had subsided, to amplify upon it, and substantially to repeat it. But he did it ingeniously always, and sometimes with considerable effect; though, I think, in a person of less influence and name, it would occasionally have been thought an undignified trick. Eloquence, however, no longer works miracles. Before seven in the evening I saw eleven members of the House sound asleep at one time, notwithstanding the cheering.

I did not stay to hear anybody else, but went to join Mrs. T. at a very pleasant ladies' dinner-party at Dr. Ferguson's, where I met Mr. McNeill and his wife, the sister of John Wilson, who have been in Persia, connected with the British mission there, twelve years, and were both of them, especially the husband, full of vigorous talent and a various information very curious so far west.

July 22.—We had an extremely agreeable breakfast this morning. Mr. Sydney Smith, whom I had asked a few days ago, and who


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