Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/45

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have taken place in England at all, had it not been for that Scotchman. That is an authentic fact, and is not prompted by national vanity on my part, but will stand examining.

I should say also of that protectorate of Oliver Cromwell's, notwithstanding the censures it has encountered, and the denial of everybody that it could continue in the world, and so on, it appears to me to have been, on the whole, the most salutary thing in the modern history of England. If Oliver Cromwell had continued it out, I do not know to what it would have come. It would have got corrupted probably in other hands, and could not have gone on; but it was pure and true, to the last fiber, in his mind; there was perfect truth in it while he ruled over it.

Machiavelli has remarked, in speaking of the Romans, that democracy can not long exist anywhere in the world; that as a mode of government, of national management or administration, it involves an impossibility, and after a little while must end in wreck. And he goes on proving that, in his own way. I do not ask you all to follow him in that conviction—but it is to him a clear truth; he considers it a solecism and impossibility that the universal mass of men should ever govern themselves. He has to admit of the Romans that they continued a long time, but believes it was purely in virtue of this item in their constitution—namely, of their all having the conviction in their minds that it