Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/58

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Born in 1804, died in 1881; elected to Parliament in 1837: Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1852, 1858-59, and 1866; carried the Reform Bill in 1867; Prime Minister in 1868, and again in 1874-80; made an Earl in 1876; at the Congress of Berlin in 1878.

I have not come down to Manchester to deliver an essay on the English Constitution; but when the banner of republicanism is unfurled—when the fundamental principles of our institutions are controverted—I think, perhaps, it may not be inconvenient that I should make some few practical remarks upon the character of our Constitution—upon that monarchy limited by the coordinate authority of the estates of the realm, which, under the title of Queen, Lords, and Commons, has contributed so greatly to the prosperity of this country, and with the maintenance of which I believe that prosperity is bound up.

Gentlemen, since the settlement of that Constitution, now nearly two centuries ago, Eng-

  1. Delivered in Manchester in April, 1872, during a widespread discussion, precipitated by Sir Charles Dilke's speech at Newcastle in the previous November denouncing the cost of royalty. Abridged. The result of this discussion was the weakening of the Gladstone ministry, then in power, and finally overthrown two years afterward, Disraeli becoming prime minister. Printed here by kind permission of the London Times and Messrs. G. P. Putman's Sons.