Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/129

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learn, and who have yet to understand that the Tory party of to-day is no longer identified with that small and narrow class which is connected with the ownership of land, but that its great strength can be found, and must be developed, in our large towns as well as in our country districts. Yes, trust the people. You, who are ambitious, and rightly ambitious, of being the guardians of the British Constitution, trust the people, and they will trust you—and they will follow you and join you in the defense of that Constitution against any and every foe.

I have no fear of democracy. I do not fear for minorities; I do not care for those checks and securities which Mr. Goschen seems to think of such importance. Modern checks and securities are not worth a brass farthing. Give me a fair arrangement of the constituencies, and one part of England will correct and balance the other. I do not think that electoral reform is a matter of national emergency. I should have been glad to see Parliament devote its attention and time to other matters, such as finance, local taxation, commerce, Ireland and Egypt. But I think that electoral reform is a matter of ministerial urgency, of party urgency, and that it is being treated as a question of party tactics for the purpose of uniting and stimulating the shattered Liberal majority; and it was for these reasons that I voted against the Reform Bill. But you may be sure that the English Constitution will endure and thrive, whether you add