Gladstone, William Ewart - Squash the big I am
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
John Richard Green to Miss Stopford (21 February 1877), as quoted in Letters of John Richard Green (1901) by Leslie Stephen
Last night I met Gladstone — it will always be a memorable night to me; Stubbs was there, and Goldwin Smith and Humphrey Sandwith and Mackenzie Wallace whose great book on Russia is making such a stir, besides a few other nice people; but one forgets everything in Gladstone himself, in his perfect naturalness and grace of manner, his charming abandon of conversation, his unaffected modesty, his warm ardour for all that is noble and good.
I felt so proud of my leader — the chief I have always clung to through good report and ill report — because, wise or unwise as he might seem in this or that, he was always noble of soul. ….
And all through the evening not a word to recall his greatness amongst us, simple, natural, an equal among his equals, listening to every one, drawing out every one, with a force and a modesty that touched us more than all his power.