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afraid of discussing the war with the noble lord on his own principles. I understand the blue book as well as he; and, leaving out all fantastic and visionary notions about what will become of us if something is not done to destroy or to cripple Russia, I say-and I say it with as much confidence as I ever said anything in my lifethat the war cannot be justified out of these documents; and impartial history will teach this to posterity if we do not now comprehend it. I am not, nor did I ever pretend to be, a statesman; and that character is so tainted and so equivocal in our day, that I am not sure that a pure and honourable ambition would aspire to it. I have not enjoyed for thirty years, like those noble lords, the honours and emoluments of office. I have not set my sails to every passing breeze. I am a plain and simple citizen, sent here by one of the foremost constituencies of the empire, representing feebly, perhaps, but honestly I dare aver, the opinions of very many, and the true interests of all those who have sent me here;-let it not be said that I am alone in my condemnation of this war and of this incapable and guilty Administration. And, even if I were alone, if my voice were the solitary one raised amid the din of arms and the clamours of a venal press, I should have the consolation I have to-night-and which I trust will be mine to the last moment of my existence-the priceless consolation, that no word of mine has tended to promote the squandering of my country's treasure, or the spilling of one single drop of my country's blood.
MANUAL OF EXPRESSIVE READING.
WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE.
SPEECH ON THE OUTBREAK OF HOSTILITIES WITH CHINA, DELIVERED IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, 1857.
THERE is not war with China. No, sir, there is not war with China; but what is there? There is hostility. There is bloodshed. There is a trampling down of the weak by the strong. There is the terrible and abominable retaliation of the strong upon the weak. You are occupied in this House by revolting and harrowing details about a Chinese baker who poisoned bread,-by proclamations for the capture of British heads, and the waylaying of a postal steamer. And these things you think strengthen your case. Why, they deepen your guilt. War, taken at the best, is a frightful scourge to the human race; but because it is so, the wisdom of ages has surrounded it with strict laws and usages, and has required formalities to be observed which shall act as a curb upon the wild passions
BENJAMIN DISRAELI ON THE DEATH OF WELLINGTON. 307
of man, to prevent that scourge from being let loose, unless under circumstances of full deliberation and from absolute necessity. You have dispensed with all these precautions. You have turned a consul into a diplomatist, and that metamorphosed consul is, forsooth, to be at liberty to direct the whole might of England against the head of a defenceless people. While war is a scourge and a curse to man, it is yet attended with certain compensations. It is attended with acts of heroic self-sacrifice and of unbounded daring. It is ennobled by a consciousness that you are meeting equals in the field, and that while you challenge the issue of life or death, you at least enter into a fair encounter. But you go to China and make war upon those who stand before you as women or children. And what do these people, who are as mere women and children, do when you make war with them? They resort to those miserable and detestable contrivances which their weakness teaches them. It is not the first time in the history of the world. Have you never read of those rebellions of the slaves which have risen to the dignity of being called wars, and which stand recorded in history as the servile wars? And is it not notorious that among all the wars upon record these have been the most terrible, ferocious, and destructive? And why? Because those who have been trampled upon, adopt in their turn the practices of their oppressors. And that is the character of the war which we are prosecuting in China. Every account that we shall read in the journals or hear recited in this House, will tell of calamity heaped upon calamity, and of cruelty heaped upon cruelty.
BENJAMIN DISRAELI ON THE DEATH OF
THE House of Commons is called upon to-night to fulfil a sorrowful but a noble duty. It has to recognise, in the face of the country and of the civilized word, the loss of the most illustrious of our citizens, and to offer to the ashes of the great departed1 the solemn anguish of a bereaved nation. The princely personage who has left us was born in an age more fertile3 of great events than any period of recorded time. Of these vast incidents the most conspicuous were his own deeds, and these were performed with the smallest means, and in defiance of the greatest obstacles. He was therefore, not only a great man, but the greatest man of a great age. Amid the chaos and conflagration10 which attended the end of the last century, there rose one of those beings who seem born to master mankind. It is not too much to say that Napoleon combined the imperial ardour 12 of Alexander with the strategy 13 of Hannibal. The kings of the earth fell before his fiery and subtile 14
genius, and at the head of all the power of Europe he denounced destruction to the only land that dared to be free. The providential superintendence of this world seems seldom more manifest than in the dispensation which ordained that the French emperor and Wellesley should be born in the same year: that in the same year they should have embraced the same profession; and that, natives of distant islands, they should both have sought their military education in that illustrious land which each in his turn was destined to subjugate.15 During the long struggle for our freedom, our glory, I may say our existence, Wellesley fought and won fifteen pitched battles, all of the highest class-concluding with one of those crowning victories which give a colour and aspect to history. During this period that can be said of him which can be said of no other captain-that he captured three thousand cannon from the enemy, and never lost a single gun. The greatness of his exploits was only equalled by the difficulties he overcame. He had to encounter at the same time a feeble Government, a factious 16 opposition, and a distrustful people, scandalous allies,17 and the most powerful enemy in the world. He gained victories with starving troops, and carried on sieges without tools; and, as if to complete the fatality which in this sense always awaited him, when he had succeeded in creating an army worthy of Roman legions and of himself, this invincible host was broken up on the eve of the greatest conjuncture 18 of his life, and he entered the field of Waterloo with raw levies 19 and discomfited allies.
MEANINGS: 1. Great departed, great man who has just died. 2. Bereaved nation, a nation which has lost a friend. 3. Fertile, fruitful. 4. Recorded time, time of which history speaks. 5. Incidents, things that took place. 6. Conspicu ous, prominent and easily seen. 7. Defiance, spite. 8. Obstacles, hindrances. 9. Chaos, confusion. 10. Conflagration, burning. 11. Combined, joined. 12. Imperial ardour, wish to conquer the world. 13. Strategy, clever plans for deceiving the enemy, good generalship. 14. Subtile, crafty and fine. 15. Both Wellington and Napoleon studied war in French military colleges-Napoleon at Brienne, Wellington at a military college in the South. 16. Factious, to serve the interests of a party. 17. Scandalous allies, the Spaniards, who were shamefully untrustworthy. 18. Conjuncture, events. 19. Raw levies, newly enlisted young troops.
Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, and London