Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/123

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ministrative changes would produce, and the destruction to property which, in the absence of any recognised center of authority, those administrative changes would at times occasion, instead of being counted by the few hundred thousands which are the cost price of an hereditary throne, would be counted by millions and millions. So much for the first estate of the realm which the Radical party gloomily threaten and darkly scowl at. It is as well to remind ourselves from time to time of its history, its nature, and its use.

The more immediate object of Radical detestation is the House of Lords, in which they pretend to discover all the most execrable forms of class prejudice and privilege: and I have no doubt that much of the enthusiasm with which the Radical party clamor for the Reform Bill is due to the hope which they entertain that the passage of that Bill may possibly provoke a conflict between the Lords and the Commons, in which the Lords must for ever go down. I am not concerned, nor need you be concerned, to defend all the actions of the House of Lords in modern times; but I could, if I liked, point to many bright instances of statesmanship and liberality on their part. The House of Lords makes mistakes at times, I have no doubt; but even in this respect they will compare very favorably with Mr. Gladstone's government, or even with the Radical party. I maintain that the House of Lords should be preserved solely on the ground