Table of Contents:
Palmerston, the British Premier, is interesting at this time: Of Lord Palmerston, the Premier, it is almost needless to speak. Few foreigners have ever so much as glanced through the door-way of the British House of Commons without carrying away a mental daguerreotype of his fashion and his face. True as the dial to the sun, the veteran Viscount may be seen each day, as the hour of assembling nears, marching down St. James's Park and Whitehall Gardens with a vigor and gaiety of stride that would become the boldest boxer in England. Though 75 years old, he retains all the buoyancy and vivacity of youth, and, with his gallant air and graceful dash of dandyism, looks a sort of masculine Ninon de L'Encos. He is said to possess that capacity of throwing off dull care, and that freedom from stupefying principles which make up the secret of inexhaustible political faith. His chief popularity with the masses is derived from their stout faith in his immense value with a nation so stout and daring as England always has been and always will be its was said of another great English politician: ‘ "Even at the feast his pluck pervades the board,
And dauntless game cocks symbolize their lord."
’ Every village ale-house echoes the belief that the Premier "Pam" eats nothing but good Southdown mutton and drinks nothing but good English beer; and as he canters along Rotton Row or down Piccadilly, there is something pleasant in the pride with which each passer turns and says, "There goes our 'Pam.'" At home he is the delight and stay of the social circle: ‘ Nor doubt nor toil his freshness can destroy,
But time still leaves all Eton in the boy.
’ In the conduct of his administrative department he is despotic and severe, and cannot for a moment brook the slightest contradiction or control. He is troubled with one or two singular prejudices. For instance, he will not permit smoking in any portion of his office, or allow any officer of his department to write with a steel pen. As a speaker, he is, except on rare occasions, clumsy and confused in the construction of his sentences, and, hesitating and "haw haw-y" in their delivery; and few who listened to him for the first time would believe that this was the statesman who claimed for every Englishman the defensive glory of the old Roman, "Civis Romanus Sum."
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.