as a practical man, and Peace-Cobden as an innocent (more, perhaps, than an outsider) in politics. The way in which this interception reaches the reader follows from Dr. Hinde's exceedingly useful analysis of Cobden's private affairs. Cobden abandoned his successful calico-printing business in order to devote himself to the League. The business, which was left in the hands of his brother Frederick, languished, and by the time the League had triumphed it was on the verge of failure. Grateful Manchester manufacturers raised a subscription, and presented £ 75,000 to their hero. £ 40,000 went to pay the debts of the business. One part of the remainder enabled Cobden to leave Manchester and buy back the family farmhouse at Dunford in Sussex: the other was invested. Unfortunately, Cobden was a bad judge of an investment. Together with Bright and George Wilson, he put money into a Safety Life Assurance Company, which he thought might be turned into 'a valuable property for us, and more so for our children'. The company failed, and the money was lost. Worse was to follow. In 1835, Cobden had stood on the summit of the Alleghanies and gazed westward across the great Mississippi plain. 'Here', he had said, 'will one day centre the civilisation, the wealth, the power of the entire world'. In the late-fifties he sold all his other investments in order to buy Illinois railway stock. Had he been in a position to wait, all might yet have come right in the end. But the shares were subject to further calls, Cobden could not meet them, and Henry Ashworth and his other friends among the Manchester free traders raised another £ 40,000 for him, paid off his debts for a second time, and placed the remainder of the money in trust for his wife and children. Cobden had to be told that he was not fit to look after his own affairs, and he was not, therefore (the implication is inescapable), fit to tell the nation how to run its foreign policy-though ministers shrewdly disarmed him by allowing him to conduct the negotiations for the Anglo-French treaty of 1860 on their behalf. The general impression then is that Cobden was right about repeal and wrong about foreign affairs. It is worth spelling out the alternatives. Could he have been wrong about repeal and right about foreign affairs? Could he have been wrong in both cases? Could he have been right in both cases? This last possibility was the one favoured by Morley, and it deserves more extended consideration than it receives in this new life. Cobden died in 1865, a few months before Palmerston. For a modern biographer, understandably, that is the end. But Cobden, it can be argued, had converted Gladstone, and made an impression upon the plastic Whigs, Clarendon and Granville, who became Gladstone's Foreign Secretaries. Cobden's policy of non-interference in the disputes between other nations was adopted by one of the two great parties in the state. Electorally, the policy may have turned out to be a loser, as it had been even in Lancashire in the mid-fifties. But the fact that the Liberal Party took it up meant that there was a genuine debate in the upper reaches of the body politic. In more recent times, with bi-partisan policies, debate has taken place between people outside the system (where Cobden himself, of course, began) and those within it. J. M. PREST Balliol College, Oxford