Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/284

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THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS

allowance must be made for the momentum of the past which thrusts the old regime forward upon the new.

Remember, too, that the people are on your side. I know it is said that democracy is as prone to war as any other form of government. But democracy, as we know it, is a late comer on the world's stage, where it has barely had time to become conscious of its characteristic powers, still less to exert them effectively in its external relations.

The bonds of mutual understanding and esteem are strengthening between the peoples, and the time is approaching when nothing can hold back from them the knowledge that it is they who are the victims of war and militarism ; that war in its tawdry triumphs scatters the fruits of their labor, breaks down the paths of progress, and turns the fire of constructive energy into a destroying force.

In this connection I can not refrain from say- ing for myself, and I am sure for every one in this great and historic assembly, how glad we are to welcome among us to-day the representa- tives of the youngest of parliaments — the Rus- sian Duma. We deeply appreciate the circum- stances of their appearance in our midst. It is, I venture to think, of good augury for your movement and for the future of Europe that the first official act of the Russian Parliament in regard to affairs outside the Russian Empire has been to authorize its delegates to come here to

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