For learning. For inspiration. Or just for fun.
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
The Din of Diplomacy : William Gladstone warns voters not to leave foreign policy in the hands of interventionist politicians.
The Din of Diplomacy

From ‘Political Speeches in Scotland, November and December 1879’, by William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898).

In a speech in Scotland in 1879, William Gladstone apologised for raising the subject of Foreign Policy, but explained that ordinary voters cannot afford to ignore such matters. Once Britain starts meddling in international affairs, the result will be war, and taxpayers foot the bill.

THERE was a saying of an ancient Greek orator, who, unfortunately, very much undervalued what we generally call the better portion of the community — namely, women; he made a very disrespectful observation, which I am going to quote, not for the purpose of concurring with it, but for the purpose of an illustration. Pericles, the great Athenian statesman, said with regard to women, Their greatest merit was to be never heard of.*

Now, what Pericles untruly said of women, I am very much disposed to say of foreign affairs — their great merit would be to be never heard of. Unfortunately, instead of being never heard of, they are always heard of, and you hear almost of nothing else; and I can’t promise you, gentlemen, that you will be relieved from this everlasting din, because the consequences of an unwise meddling with foreign affairs are consequences that will for some time necessarily continue to trouble you, and that will find their way to your pockets in the shape of increased taxation.

* On the roller-coaster career of Pericles, see our post Pericles and the Fickle Public of Athens.

From ‘Political Speeches in Scotland, November and December 1879’, by William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898).

More like this

Modern History (138) Liberty and Prosperity (60) International Relations (11) William Ewart Gladstone (1) British Empire (33) History (405)

Picture: Photo by Elliott and Fry, via the National Portrait Gallery and Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
William Gladstone in March 1879. During the following November and December, Gladstone made a series of speeches in his constituency in Scotland, where he was MP for Midlothian. The speeches received widespread acclaim, and the following April, 1880, he became Prime Minister for the second time.
By William Ewart Gladstone

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

Make words from two or more of the tiles below. What is the highest-scoring word you can make?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: High Tiles Games with Words

Numbers Game

Work across from the number on the left, applying each arithmetical operation to the previous answer. What’s the final total?

Tip: Click any of the four inner squares to check your running total.

More like this: Maths Steps (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
Elfric of Eynsham
Elfric, Abbot of Eynsham in the reign of Æthelred the Unready, reflects on two appearances of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament.
Marko adopts drastic measures to get out of repaying the loan of a penny.
By Adam Smith
If Britain is a chessboard, then politicians should remember that the ‘pieces’ are alive, and they generally play a better game.
Based on an account by Samuel Smiles
The engineer put his own life on the line for the safety of his fellow-workers in the coal industry.
By Samuel Smiles
A sympathetic understanding of the trials of other people is essential for getting along.
By Jane Austen
For Jane Austen, the best education a father can give to his child is to befriend her.