Mr Gladstones cabinet was as unstable as the public opinion it sought to conciliate.
In the course of the discussion on the bill in the House of Commons, the securities on which its authors had relied to enable them to stem the tide of democracy were, chiefly through Gladstones exertions, swept away.
The history of Disraelis second administration affords an exact reverse to that of Gladstones first cabinet.
They did something to meet the wishes of the publicans, Dis~drs whose discontent had contributed largely to Gladstones defeat, by amending some of the provisions of Bruces licensing bill; they supported and succeeded in passing a measure, brought in by the primate, to restrain some of the irregularities which the Ritualists were introducing into public worship; and they were compelled by the violent insistence of Plimsoll to pass an act to protect the lives of merchant seamen.
It was, no doubt, possible to say a good deal for Gladstones indignant denunciation of his predecessors policy in annexing the Transvaal; it would have been equally possible to advance many reasons for reversing the measures of Lord Beaconsfields cabinet, and for conceding independence to the Goer War, Transvaal in 1880.