In the General Election of the summer of 1865, which had awarded Lord Palmerston his last popular triumph, William Ewart Gladstone had been rejected by Oxford. Palmerston was expressing an essentially British notion when he admonished Gladstone, in flat contradiction to his thesis: “What every man and every woman too has a right to, is to be well governed and under just laws.” Benjamin Disraeli was no more than an insignificant opponent in the battle of ideas into which he entered with his speech. The more serious, because more dangerous and thoroughgoing adversary, was Lowe, and with him he had an encounter which forced even his enemies to accept him as the greatest master of Parliamentary eloquence. In the meantime the virtual Leader of the House was Gladstone, whose resolutions were one by one adopted. Every head of a household who was a ratepayer and had lived at one address for two years was to be granted the franchise.