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154

PALMERSTON AND GLADSTONE

palates. It is this insular temper, and this self-glorifying tendency, which the policy of the noble Lord and the doctrines of his supporters tend so much to foment1), and which has given to that policy the quarrelsome character that marks some of their speeches-, for, indeed, it seems as if there lay upon the noble Lord an absolute necessity for quarrelling. No doubt it makes a difference what may be the institutions of one country or another. If he can, he will quarrel with an absolute monarchy. If he cannot find an absolute monarchy for the purpose, he will quarrel with one that is limited. If he cannot find even that, yet, sooner than not quarrel at all, he will quarrel with a republic. He has Iately shown us this in the case of France: he showed it once before in the case of America. The tenacious memory of the noble Lord reached back to transactions many years farther off than 1843: he referred to the foundation of the throne in Belgium, which was under Earl Grey's Government, and had nothing to do with the present Motion; but I am sorry it should not have retained what happened to him in 1843 respecting the Ash'burton treaty, when this House, by its vote upon that treaty, read him a lesson of which he seems not to have reaped the benefit. The House of Commons at that time had the good sense to take a dispassionate view of a question depending between ourselves and a foreign country, and, rejecting the advice of the noble Lord, which must have led to a rupture between the two Powers, showed that it had no fear even of being thought afraid.

Sir, I say the policy of the noble Lord tends to encourage and confirm in us that which is our besetting fault and weakness, both as a nation and as individuals. Let an Englishman travel where he will as a private person, he is found in general to

1. to foment: to foster by applying warmth, to stimulate.

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