Page:The Lull before Dorking.djvu/9

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THE LULL BEFORE DORKING.

And what is the sum of all this? Simple chaos as regards the state of practical defence in England, and some twenty-five millions a year spent in producing chaos; with one gleam of better things in India, where we are not playing at soldiers, but holding with the sword one hundred and fifty millions of hostile foreigners at our peril. Some apparent efficiency in our fleet, but great uncertainty as to future modes of marine warfare, whether the broadside or the ram, the sea-goer or the floating battery, the big gun, or the torpedo is to decide these matters for us hereafter.

But some will ask, how comes all this about? Never was cause more palpable, or effect more consequent. For some years past we have been governed by the Plutocratic Philistine, whom a great writer has christened "Bobus." From Parliament to Vestry Bobus is king! Cash-nexus is his only rule and government! and Anarchy is his minister! A crass, selfish, and timorous Plutocracy, destitute of convictions or politics, incapable of greatness or of government, and careless of national honour that costs money, has so usurped the position and the power of the old Aristocracy,—has so fooled with "liberal sentiments" and Cant the new Democracy, that we have now come to this;—nothing but this—Anarchy plus Bobus!—or in case of actual invasion, it may be—Anarchy minus Bobus!

Such being the case, amid much doubt and uncertainty, caused by a revolution in the art of war, a strong and otherwise intelligent Government, having the bugbear of Bobus greatly before their eyes, con-