Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/142

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can not trust us, that we are too weak, that our prestige is too low to justify us in undertaking this task.

My lords, those great dangers <can only be faced by a consistent policy, which can only be conducted by a ministry capable of unity of counsel and decision of purpose. I have shown you that from this ministry we can expect no such results. They can only produce after their kind. They will only do what they have already done. You can not look for unity of counsel from an administration that is hopelessly divided. You can not expect a resolute policy from those whose purpose is hopelessly halting.

It is for this reason, my lords, that I ask you to record your opinion that from a ministry in whom the first of all—the quality of decision of purpose—is wanting, you can hope no good in this crisis of our country's fate. And if you continue to trust them, if for any party reasons Parliament continues to abandon to their care the affairs which they have hitherto so hopelessly mismanaged, you must expect to go on from bad to worse; you must expect to lose the little prestige which you retain; you must expect to find in other portions of the world the results of the lower consideration that you occupy in the eyes of mankind; you must expect to be drawn on, degree by degree, step by step, under the cover of plausible excuses, under the cover of highly philanthropic sentiments, to irreparable disasters, and to disgrace that it will be impossible to efface.