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148

PALMERSTON AND OLADSTONE

which the noble speaker1) had directed. But although the resolution treated only of the general policy of the Government, Lord Palmerston did not fail to make a special defence of his action towards Greece. He based his vindication of this particular chapter of his policy on the ground which, of all others, gave him most advantage in addressing a parliamentary assembly. He contended that in all he had done he had been actuated by the resolve that the poorest claimant who bore the name of an English citizen should be protected by the whole strength of England against the oppression of a foreign government. His speech was an appeal to all the elementary emotions of manhood and citizenship and good-fellowship. To vote against him seemed to be to declare that England was unable or unwilling to protect her children. A man appeared to be guilty of an unpatriotic and ignoble act who censured the minister whose only error, if error it were, was a too proud and generous resolve to make the name óf England and the rights of Englishmen respected throughout the world. A good deal of ridicule had been heaped not unnaturally on Don Pacifico, his claims, his career, and his costly bed-furniture. Lord Palmerston turned that very ridicule to good account for his own cause. He repelled with a warmth of seemingly generous indignation the suggestion that because a man was lowly, pitiful, even ridiculous, even of doubtful conduct in his earlier career, therefore he was one with whom a foreign gov-

1. Members of the House of Commons must address the chairman, called the Speaker. When they speak of their fellow-members they must not call them by their name, but by the constituency which they represent. As the title of a member as such is the Honourable, they will say for example 'the Honourable member for Uverpool'. If the member is a soldier he is the gallant member; if a lawyer he is the learned member; if a son of alord, or an Irish lord (English lords are members of the House of Lords) he is the noble member. See note 1 to p. 45.

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