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One feature of the eclipse was spoken of as very interesting. The son's face showed many small and seemingly very dark spots. As the moon, passing1 onwards, disclosed these one after another, the following succession of appearances was presented.
First, it seemed as though a lunar mountain were being upreared by some gigantic sublunarian force. As this seeming mountain grew to its full height one could recognize in it a distinctly marked difference of darkness as compared with the moon, and a somewhat ruddy aspect. It was, indeed, almost possible to persuade oneself that the seeming mountain was of the nature of those red prominences which during total eclipse seem to surround the moon, "as garnets round a brooch of jet." Then the moon would detach itself from this appendage, and it was very noteworthy how plainly the moon's onward motion could be recognized while the small spot was still close by; but as the moon's distance gradually increased, the spot which had appeared a few moments before to be travelling away from the moon's edge seemed to come to rest—at least, its gradual increase of distance from the moon [could no longer be recognized.
The eclipse was seen to great advantage from the streets of Manchester. A clear frosty atmosphere prevailed, and at about onethird of the obscuration the sun shone out brilliantly, but during the greater part of the eclipse it could be seen with ease by the naked eye. At the moment of greatest obscuration there was no apparent difference in the light, so that, but for the groups collected in the streets to watch it, the attention of many people would not have been attracted. A rather thick mist succeeded the phenomenon, and prevailed during the rest of the day.
The eclipse was also seen to great advantage at Leeds, the weather being splendid, and the view remarkably clear.
Severe Frost.—A severe frost set in shortly before Christmas Day, and continued till the end of the year. The London Parks were in consequence crowded with thousands of skaters and sliders.
A disastrous accident occurred on the 24th to the eldest son of Mr. Walter, of Bearwood, Berkshire, who in endeavouring to save his brother and cousin, who had fallen into the ice, unfortunately lost his own life though he preserved theirs.
In the county of Norfolk there was a very large fall of snow. In the western division there were three or four inches of snow. In the Fens of Cambridgeshire snow was also plentiful.
In Yorkshire the winter set in with great severity. On the night of the 23rd, at Messrs. Slater's Nurseries, Malton, the thermometer fell to eight degrees. In the town the lowest point was fourteen degrees. On the 24th, though the sun was bright, the temperature never rose above twenty-two degrees.
There was a hard frost in Northumberland and Durham. The upper reaches of the Tyne, Wear, and Tees, and all the smaller rivers in these counties were frozen over; and the weather had not been so severe in the neighbourhood of Newcastle since the Christmas of 1860. All out-door employment was stopped, and so was all the trade by keels and other craft above Tyne-ridge. On Christmas-eve the sheets of water frozen in the neighbourhood of Newcastle were crowded with skaters.
In the island of Jersey, a strong frost suddenly set in, the cold being more severe than had been known for many years. The glass fell as low as twenty degrees, an unusually low temperature for this island.
The Scotsman said it was many years since the occurrence of such cold weather as that experienced at the end of the year; in fact, it was questionable whether the same low temperature had been felt within living memory in Edinburgh. At one o'clock a.m. on the 23rd, the thermometer recorded sixteen degrees of frost, and the readings later in the morning showed the mercury at twelve degrees and a half. This reading was made in a south suburb, the thermometer being placed about five feet from the ground. A thermometer, attached to a third story window, on a level with Princes-street and with a southern exposure, exhibited no less than twenty degrees of frost—a reading almost unprecedented in the neighbourhood.
EMINENT PERSONS DECEASED IN 1870.
THE EABL OF CLAREXDOX, E.G.
The Right Hon. George William Frederick Villiers, Earl of Clarendon, of Clarendon, near Salisbury, and Baron Hyde, of Hindon, in the county of Wilts, E.G., G.C.B., Ac, who died'on the 27th of June, was born in London, on the 26th of January, 1800. He was the eldest son of the Hon. George Villiers, by tho Hon. Teresa Parker, daughter of John, first Lord Boringdon, and sister of the first Earl of Morley. He succeeded to the family honours, as fourth Earl, in December, 1838, upon the death of his uncle, John Charles, third Earl.
He entered the diplomatic service at an early age, and was attached to the Embassy at St. Petersburg as far back as the year 1820. Three years later he was appointed a Commissioner of Excise, and was employed in Ireland for two or three years—we believe in 1827-29 —in arranging tho union of the English and Irish-Excise Boards.
In 1831 he was sent to France for the purpose of negotiating a commercial treaty.
In discharging the duties of these, comparatively speaking, subordinate posts, he showed so much judgment, discretion, and energy that, in September, 1833, he was accredited by Lord Grey's Administration as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Madrid. His residence in Spain in that capacity was coincident with the warfare which raged in that unfortunate country between the Queen's party, or Constitutionalists—known also as Christinoa—and the adherents of the Pre
tender, Don Carlos. It would be impossible to give here a history of that sanguinary war; but it may safely be said that, placed in a post which required the greatest tact, firmness, and discretion, our Minister acquitted himself with the greatest honour, not only to his own personal character, but to the country which he represented. He was largely instrumental in procuring, in April, 1834, the signature of the Treaty concluded in London, which was known as the "Quadruple Alliance," on account of the four contracting parties, England, France, Spain, and Portugal. The object of this Treaty was the pacification of tho two kingdoms of the Peninsula; under its articles Spain and Portugal mutually engaged to assist each other in the task of expelling from their respective territories Don Carlos and Don Miguel. France bound herself to second their efforts in any way she could, and England undertook to co-operate by employing a naval force on the Portuguese and Spanish coasts. Such being the case, the position of the British Envoy at Madrid became one of extreme difficulty and delicacy, the more so as France showed herself, if not lukewarm in the matter, at least far less disposed than England to take active measures in support of the objects of the Alliance. The advice of Mr. Villiers, therefore, was eagerly sought, and received with corresponding deference by the Spanish Government. It was also mainly through his efforts that England was successful in negotiating with Spain a treaty for the more effectual abolition of the slave trade in the Spanish Colonics, a measure
to which that most Christian Government, up to that time, had refused to listen, but which, as soon as it was ratified, was hailed with delight by the philanthropists of this country.
The sendees of Mr. Villiers in his diplomatic capacity were cordially approved by Lord Melbourne, then at the head of the Government at home, who conferred on him the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, while Lord Palmerston, at that time Minister for Foreign Affairs, in his place in the House of Commons, on the 19th of April, 1837, bore personal witness to the fact "that tho respect Spain entertained for this oountry was very much owing to the able and judicious conduct of tho British Minister at Madrid; and that the high character which that Minister had personally established, joined with the good faith which the British Government had observed in its dealings, had indeed rendered the character of an Englishman a passport through Spain." A higher testimony to personal worth could scarcely have been given, or a higher compliment paid to official ability.
At the beginning of the year 1839, having recently succeeded to his uncle's title, Lord Clarendon resigned his post at Madrid, and came to London to take his seat in the House of Lords. In the month of July following the conduct of the British Government and their representative in Spain having been severely commented upon by Lord Londonderry, a speech was elicited from Lord Clarendon, which proved that, though not, of course, an accomplished debater, he could state a case so clearly and effectively as to command the attention and the sympathy of his audience. On this occasion his speech contained a masterly exposition of the policy which had been followed in dealing with the tangled web of Spanish affaire, in which he declared that no greater mistake could be made than to suppose the people of the Peninsula unfit for freedom or radically opposed to a Liberal and enlightened form of Government, and that whatever changes had lately been made had produced, at all events, some measure of free discussion, publio opinion, popular representation, and a free Press. As soon as this speeoh reached tho Peninsula a'gold medal was struck in his honour, and in recognition of his services to the cause of constitutional freedom in that country. A mooting, too, was held at which it was resolved that the speech should be forthwith translated into the Spanish language, and circulated as widely as possible through
out Spain. It was also subsequently resolved to present Lord Clarendon with a handsome work of art in perpetuam rei memoriam.
In the following January, upon some changes being effected in Lord Melbourne's Cabinet, Lord Clarendon was appointed to suooeed Lord Duncannon in the office of Lord Privy Seal, and in the October of the same year ho succeeded Lord Holland in the Chancellorship of tho Duchy of Lancaster. There is not, however, much to say about him in either of those not very laborious or very responsible posts, except that as a Cabinet Minister he rendered good service to the feeble Administration of which he had become a member so shortly before its fall. In little more than a year and a half after his joining the Cabinet came the General Election of July, 18-11, tho resignation of the Whig Government followed only a few weeks later, and the accession of Sir Eobert Peel and the Conservatives to power, with a majority of nearly a hundred votes in the House of Commons.
Having been at all times favourable to the principles of Free Trade, as soon as ho saw that Sir Robert Peel was becoming convinced of their truth, Lord Clarendon, though firmly adhering to his own party, gave a hearty support to the commercial policy which that statesman inaugurated. Of the repeal, the total repeal, of the Corn Laws there had never been a more stanoh and persistent advocate than his brother, Mr. Charles Pelham Villiers, the member for Wolverhampton; and when that crowning act of legislation was brought forward for discussion in the House of Peers, Lord Clarendon accompanied his vote for tho measure by a speech of great ability. It was but natural, therefore, that on the return of tho Liberals to office in 1846, with Lord John Russell at their head, Lord Clarendon was appointed President of the Board of Trade, and in tho following year he was entrusted with the important post of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In Bpite of the famine, caused by the failure of the potato crop, which, having begun in 1846, in 1847 was almost universal, he entered on his Viceroyalty under the most favourable auspices. His nomination was considered as one of tho most popular appointments made by the new Premier; and we have Lord Brougham as our authority for saying that the feeling of the IriBh towards their new Lord Lieutenant was one not of "eulogy or praise," but of "veneration and all most worship." He at once exerted himself to mitigate the sufferings of the people by organizing machinery for their relief, and for administering that relief in such a way as to give the full effect at once to the contributions of private charity and to the beneficent intentions of the Legislature. His popularity, it is true, was to some extent diminished by the agitation of the "Yonng Ireland" party, who were tempted to the very verge of treason by the success of the Paris Revolution in February, 1848; and the "veneration" and "worship" of the Celtic part of the population gave way to another set of feelings towards him, both personally and officially, when Mr. Smith O'Brien, having risen in arms against the Queen, was ignominiously defeated in a cabbage-garden, arrested, tried for high treason, and condemned to death. The sentence, however, was subsequently commuted to transportation for life—a punishment to which O'Brien's fellow - conspirators, Messrs. Meagher and Mitchell, were also sentenced. It is much to Lord Clarendon's credit that he was able in such troubled times to vindicate the law, without appealing to the Legislature for any extraordinary ooercive powers. It will be remembered also that, in suppressing these seditious outbreaks among the misguided Celtic peasantry, Lord Clarendon most wisely declined the proffered services of the Orange Lodges. With similar firmness and impartiality, shortly afterwards, he superseded Lord Roden and two other members of Orange Lodges in the Commission of the Peace, on account of the "untoward" affair in the pass of Dolly's Brae. HiB conduct as Lord Lieutenant in this transaction was severely questioned at tho time in the House of Peers, not only by Lord Roden's friends, but by the late Lord Derby; but Lord Clarendon's reply was a masterly vindication of the impartial policy pursued by the Irish Executive.
That, in spite of his supersession of Lord Roden as a magistrate, Lord Clarendon did not lose the respect even of Lord Roden's champion, Lord Derby himself, was very markedly shown, as we shall see, on a subsequent occasion. In February, 1853, he was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet of Lord Aberdeen, that post being vacated by Lord John Russell, after he had held it scaroely two months; and it fell to his lot in this capacity to direct the several intricate and difficult negotiations of the British Government with France, Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, and Turkey, which the Russian war entailed. When the Aber
deen Ministry fell in the spring of 1855, Lord Derby was commanded by her Majesty to construct a Cabinet; and on this occasion the Tory chief expressed a strong desire to leave the direction of Foreign Affairs in the hands of Lord Clarendon. Lord Derby was unable to form a Cabinet, and Lord Palmerston, who then succeeded to the helm, in reforming the Cabinet of Lord Aberdeen, very naturally handed back the portfolio of Foreign Affairs to Lord Clarendon, who in that capacity and as British Plenipotentiary signed the treaty of peace which was negotiated in Paris at the commencement of the following year. His services on that occasion elicited the highest praise both in Parliament and from the Press, and it waa said that he was offered, but declined, the coronet of a Marquis. He continued to hold the direction of Foreign Affairs until the retirement of his chief in 1858. In 1864 he rejoined Lord Palmerston's third Ministry as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster! but resumed his former post as Foreign Secretary in the following year, under the Administration of Lord Russell. Remaining ont of office with his party during Lord Derby's last Ministry and that of Mr. Disraeli, he returned in December, 1868, on the formation of the Gladstone Cabinet, to the Office which he held to the last, and with which his name will hereafter be chiefly identified.
The retrospect of so long a public and official life as that of Lord Clarendon is full of instruction and interest. His principal qualifications for the posts he filled was, perhaps, his unwearied industry. Probably there never was a harder worker. He wrote with extraordinary facility as well as felicity, and his correspondence embraced all sorts and conditions of men, and included in its range every variety of subject. He was an admirable talker, and, what is possibly equally rare, a most patient listener. If any thing were to be learnt from the most tedious visitor, he suppressed all sign of weariness, followed him through every irrelevant excursion, brought him back dexterously to the point, and elicited the one grain of worth from whole bushels of chaff. But we should do him injustice if we enlarged only on his rare power of listening. He was a master of the art of conversation. No man was more gay, more "light in hand," none more full of happy illustrations, of pleasant anecdote collected in a wide experience of society, no one could put a whole argument into an epigram more neatly, or, where the