Sketches in the House (1893) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about Sketches in the House (1893).
against the shameless obstruction on which the Tories had resolved.  Mr. Sexton put this point neatly.  In view, he said, of the combined attempt and evident combination to intimidate and embarrass the Chair—­but he could go no further:  for at once there was a fierce hurricane of howls, “Withdraw!  Withdraw!” and “Shame!  Shame!” from the Tories and renegades, which drowned every voice.  Tory after Tory got up; shouts deafening, passionate, ferocious, made everything inaudible; Mr. Chamberlain, paler even than usual, shouted with full mouth across the floor; altogether, the scene was one of almost insane excitement.  Mr. Mellor—­gentle, considerate, conciliatory—­reasoned, explained, expostulated.  What he should have done, was to have named half-a-dozen Tories, and showed the party of bullies that their day was past.

CHAPTER V.

Obstruction and its agents.

[Sidenote:  The younger Tories.]

Obstruction is a thing rather of temperament than intellect.  The occurrences of the early weeks of the Session of 1893 fully confirm this view.  The Tory party and the Unionists vowed in their organs, and proved by their conduct in the House, that they determined to try and prevent, by obstruction, the second reading of the Home Rule Bill being taken before Easter.  With this design they came down to the House every evening with a plan of attack.  The consequences were somewhat serious to some members of the House.  I saw young gentlemen suddenly developing activity whom I had beheld in the House for many years in succession without ever suspecting in them either the power or the desire to take any part in Parliamentary debate.  The same gentlemen now rushed about with a hurried, preoccupied, and, above all, a self-conscious air that had its disgusting but also its very amusing side.  For instance, Mr. Bromley-Davenport, during the six years of Tory Government, never spoke, and rarely even made his appearance in the House of Commons.  His voice was as strange to the assembly as though he had never belonged to it.  But this Session he is constantly getting up in his seat, and he rushes through the lobbies with the cyclonic movement of a youth bearing on juvenile shoulders a weight too heavy to bear.  Mr. Bartley is about as dull a fellow as ever bored a House of Commons, and in the last Parliament even his own friends found him a trial and a nuisance.  He has suddenly taken to making the House of Commons familiar with his voice at every sitting.  Lord Cranborne has been remarkable for the boorishness and impertinence of his manners—­or, perhaps, to be more accurate, want of manners.  I have seen him interrupting Mr. Gladstone in the most impudent way with a face you would like to slap, and his hands deep down in the depths of his pockets.  Lord Cranborne is now nightly in evidence, and leads the chorus of jeers and cheers by which the more brutal of the Tory youth signalize the opening of the new style of Parliamentary warfare.

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Sketches in the House (1893) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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