Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/268

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THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS

fiture? Surely it is to avoid those evil practises of boastfulness and over-cleverness which have brought them to ruin.

If one had had any doubt — and for my part I protest I never had any — as to the wisdom of our taking office, I think it would be dispelled by certain reassuring circumstances. In the first place, there has been no shudder through the chancelleries of Europe such as Mr. Balfour kindly anticipated. Sir Edward Grey tells me that the foreign ambassadors come to see him just as if nothing had happened. Again, consols, instead of tumbling down as they ought to have done, have actually risen. In the third place, Mr. Brodrick, who ought to know all about these matters, can not be laboring under any misap- prehension as to the effectiveness of the military defense of the Empire, because this is what he said the other day: The army required a judi- cious review of past efforts rather than fresh schemes, and he believed that a period of rest from doubts as to their prospects would be of great advantage to officers and men. ' ' The doubts of which he speaks, let me add, can only have come from the operations of himself and of his colleags. And last of all, we have the late prime minister who, his stratagem having completely succeeded and the trap being full, yet continues as confident after his resignation as he was be- fore it that the general election will leave his friends in a woful minority.

What has been going on in quite recent days

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