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Dialogue following No. 15

Enter Lord Mountararat and Lord Tolloller from Westminster Hall.

Celia. You seem annoyed.

Lord Mountararat. Annoyed! I should think so! Why, this ridiculous protégé of yours is playing the deuce with everything! To‑night is the second reading of his Bill to throw the Peerage open to Competitive Examination!

Lord Tolloller. And he’ll carry it, too!

Lord Mountararat. Carry it? Of course he will! He’s a Parliamentary Pickford – he carries everything!

Leila. Yes. If you please, that’s our fault!

Lord Mountararat. The deuce it is!

Celia. Yes; we influence the members, and compel them to vote just as he wishes them to.

Leila. It’s our system. It shortens the debates.

Lord Tolloller. Well, but think what it all means. I don’t so much mind for myself, but with a House of Peers with no grandfathers worth mentioning, the country must go to the dogs!

Leila. I suppose it must!

Lord Mountararat. I don’t want to say a word against brains – I’ve a great respect for brains – I often wish I had some myself – but with a House of Peers composed exclusively of people of intellect, what’s to become of the House of Commons?

Leila. I never thought of that!

Lord Mountararat. This comes of women interfering in politics. It so happens that if there is an institution in Great Britain which is not susceptible of any improvement at all, it is the House of Peers!

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