Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/131

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SALISBURY


ON THE DESERTION OF GORDON IN EGYPT[1]

(1885)


Born in 1830, died in 1903; succeeded to the title of Marquis in 1868; graduated from Oxford in 1850; entered Parliament in 1854; Secretary for India in 1866; Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1869; Secretary for India in 1874; Foreign Secretary in 1878; at the Congress of Berlin in 1878; Prime Minister during four terms—1885, 1886, 1895, 1900.


The motion which I have the honor to lay before your lordships has a double aspect—it passes judgment on the past, and expresses an opinion with regard to the policy of the future. Some people receive with considerable impatience the idea that, at the present crisis of our country's destiny, we should examine into the past, and spend our time in judging of that which can not be recalled.

But I think that such objections are unreasonable. We depend in one of the greatest crises through which our country has ever passed on the wisdom and decision of those who guide

our counsels, and we can only judge of what

  1. Delivered in the House of Lords, July 26, 1885, in support of a motion of censure on the Gladstone government. Abridged. By kind permission of the London Times and Messrs. Dent & Co., London.