Page:The Lull before Dorking.djvu/11

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THE LULL BEFORE DORKING.

Amidst all this chaos and doubt, army re-organization, abolition of purchase, &c., to a practical and perceptive mind like the aforesaid Moltke, there would be no uncertainty or doubt whatsoever about the matter. If it were necessary for him to come with his triple column upon Great Britain (and it is said that a huge canal is being cut through from Kiel which will make that port only forty-eight hours steam from Yarmouth, while Hamburg is already Prussianized.): if he could succeed in landing two, or even one, of his columns (and the fleet cannot be everywhere), he sees clearly enough that there is nothing, not even a torpedo or a fort, to prevent his marching upon London within a week. What will Bobus and Co. say then? He must be logical under such circumstances, and he is bound to get the country out of the difficulty he has brought it into. As a sensible and practical man, therefore, he might speak thus: "Sirs, we were not quite ready for you. We are not sure whether we ever intended to be prepared for such a magnificent arrival; but we needn't fight. What will you take to go?"

This is the only logical consequence and result of the paltry policy, and puerile proposals of the Government; and it were better said out now than written in blood hereafter. To this condition are we clearly come. What are Englishmen prepared to say? What does the old Tory and the new Radical think? (Bobus has devoured the ancient Whig), but what is any practical man prepared to do?