Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/111

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


this pestilent and pernicious process, were to be brought under the dominion or influence of France, and national equality was to be trampled under foot, and national rights denied. For that reason, England in the struggle almost exhausted herself, greatly impoverished her people, brought upon herself, and Scotland, too, the consequences of a debt that nearly crushed their energies, and poured forth their best blood without limit, in order to resist and put down these intolerable pretensions.

Gentlemen, it is but in a pale and weak and almost despicable miniature that such ideas are now set up, but you will observe that the poison lies—that the poison and the mischief lie—in the principle and not the scale.

It is the opposite principle which, I say, has been compromised by the action of the ministry, and which I call upon you, and upon any who choose to hear my views, to vindicate when the day of our election comes; I mean the sound and the sacred principle that Christendom is formed of a band of nations who are united to one another in the bonds of right; that they are without distinction of great and small; there is an absolute equality between them—the same sacredness defends the narrow limits of Belgium as attaches to the extended frontiers of Russia, or Germany, or France. I hold that he who by act or word brings that principle into peril or disparagement, however honest his intentions may be, places himself in the position