Page:The Lull before Dorking.djvu/7

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IT has been said, truly or untruly, that a certain responsible minister of the Crown, upon reading the now famous "Battle of Dorking," declared that "Either he or the author deserved to be shot!" While these two are settling which it ought to be, and while Parliament is wasting precious hours in puerile and undignified palaver, it may be observed, that the only question that would occur to a practical mind like that of Moltke, on reading the aforesaid description, would be whether our volunteer battalions in their present unorganised and unprepared condition would have made any such stand at all against "Pickelhaube" veterans. Whether, in fact, under present circumstances, there would have been any other possible alternative to that described in the Blackwood article except to buy out the invader without a contest. And yet this may be unquestionably predicated of England at this moment, that in every natural and warlike resource, including money, the