Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/77

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began to attack every institution and every interest, every class and calling in the country.

It is curious to observe their course. They took into hand the army. What have they done? I will not comment on what they have done. I will historically state it, and leave you to draw the inference. So long as constitutional England has existed there has been a jealousy among all classes against the existence of a standing army. As our Empire expanded, and the existence of a large body of disciplined troops became a necessity, every precaution was taken to prevent the danger to our liberties which a standing army involved.

It was a first principle not to concentrate in the island any overwhelming number of troops, and a considerable portion was distributed in the Colonies. Care was taken that the troops generally should be officered by a class of men deeply interested in the property and the liberties of England. So extreme was the jealousy, that the relations between that once constitutional force, the militia, and the sovereign were rigidly guarded, and it was carefully placed under local influences. All this is changed. We have a standing army of large amount, quartered and brigaded and encamped permanently in England, and fed by a considerable and constantly increasing reserve.

I will illustrate this point by two anecdotes. Since I have been in public life there has been for this country a great calamity and there is a