Windthorst was undoubtedly one of the greatest of German parliamentary leaders: no one equalled him in his readiness as a debater, his defective eyesight compelling him to depend entirely upon his memory.
The principal achievements of the long session of 1902 (which extended to the autumn) were the passing of the Education Act, - entirely reorganizing the system of primary education, abolishing the school boards and making the county councils the local authority; new rules of procedure; and the creation of the Metropolitan Water Board; and on all these questions, and particularly the two first, Mr Balfour's powers as a debater were brilliantly exhibited.
The Greek ecclesiastes means one who takes part in the deliberations of an assembly (ecclesia), a debater or speaker in an assembly (Plato, Gorgias, 452 E), and this is the general sense of the Hebrew word.
But he is rather the practised debater who will admit his opponent's principles for the moment when he sees his way to moulding them to his own purposes, than the philosophical statesman who has formulated a theory from whose terms he will not move.
Having failed to form a rival party against Sagasta, Martos subsided into political insignificance, despite his great talent as an orator and debater, and died in Madrid on the 16th of January 1893.