Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/108

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ner, our frontier in India; and I think it, gentlemen, much to the credit of the late government, much to the honor of Lord Clarendon and Lord Granville, that, when we were in office, we made a covenant with Russia, in which Russia bound herself to exercise no influence or interference whatever in Afghanistan, we, on the other hand, making known our desire that Afghanistan should continue free and independent. Both the powers acted with uniform strictness and fidelity upon this engagement until the day when we were removed from office. But Russia, gentlemen, has another position—her position in respect to Turkey; and here it is that I have complained of the government for aggrandizing the power of Russia; it is on this point that I most complain.

Gentlemen, the prime minister[1] speaking out,—I do not question for a moment his own sincere opinion—has made what I think one of the most unhappy and ominous allusions ever made by a minister of this country. He quoted certain words, easily rendered as "empire and liberty"—words (he said) of a Roman statesman, words descriptive of the State of Rome—and he quoted them as words which were capable of legitimate application to the position and circumstances of England. I join issue with the prime minister upon that subject, and I

affirm that nothing can be more fundamentally

  1. Lord Beaconsfleld.