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140

SHAFTESBURY

in the art of verse, were they candidates upon the same principles for the office to which Mr. Williams aspires." Gladstone feit that this furious controversy was likely to do the Church harm, and he tried to arrange a compromise, suggesting that both candidates should withdraw in favour of a third. But passions were too hot; the anti-Tractarians were confident of victory, and the battle was fought out, with the result that Shaftesbury's man won by a handsome majority. Shaftesbury's polemical efforts excited great admiration. "What a noble dash you have made at the Puseyites" wrote a lady, famous herself, as a Protestant writer, for what she called the anger that is not sinful.

In 1855 a piece of good fortune put Shaftesbury in a position in which he could take more effective steps against the dreaded Puseyites. When Palmerston became Prime Minister, Shaftesbury wrote to his son: "I much fear that Palmerston's ecclesiastical appointments will be detestable. He does not know, in theology, Moses from Sidney Smith 1). The vicar of Romsey, where he goes to church, is the only clergyman he ever spoke to; and as for the wants, the feelings, the views, the hopes and fears, of the country, and particularly the religious part of it, they are as strange to him as the interior of Japan. Why, it was only a short time ago that he heard, for the first time, of the grand heresy of Puseyites and Tractarians2)!" But the sky cleared suddenly in a surprising and delightful manner. The friendship between Palmerston and Shaftesbury, his wife's son-in-law, is one of the strangest incidents of the Victorian

1. The Liberal clergyman mentioned in chapters V. and VIII.

2. The Tractarians are a party of ecclesiastical reformers in the early nineteenth century (1833—1840) who advocated the 'sacramentai' side of the doctrines and life of the Church (Wakeman, History of the Church of England p. 458).They published the Tracts for the Times. Some of them went over to the Church of Rome; the most famous of these was Newman,

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