Two-minute tales from history, myth and fiction, accompanied by word games, grammar games and writing practice, all based on traditional school textbooks.

A to Z Index

The Din of Diplomacy
Music: Ethel Smyth
William Gladstone warns voters not to leave foreign policy in the hands of interventionist politicians.
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)

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.

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Six Posts
Collateral Damage
Music: Gustav Holst
Richard Hannay reflects on the innocent lives lost, when the lust for power or the desire for revenge makes us less than human.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)

THAT night I realized the crazy folly of war. When I saw the splintered shell of Ypres and heard hideous tales of German doings, I used to want to see the whole land of the Boche given up to fire and sword. I thought we could never end the war properly without giving the Huns some of their own medicine.

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Peace By Free Trade
The blessing of trade free from political interference was one of most important insights in British, indeed world history.
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)

FREE Trade! What is it?

Why, breaking down the barriers that separate nations; those barriers, behind which nestle the feelings of pride, revenge, hatred, and jealousy, which every now and then burst their bounds, and deluge whole countries with blood. [...]

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Guardian of Peace
Music: Charles Villiers Stanford
J. S. Mill argues that free trade has done more to put an end to war than any political union or military alliance.
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)

COMMERCE first taught nations to see with goodwill the wealth and prosperity of one another. Before, the patriot, unless sufficiently advanced in culture to feel the world his country, wished all countries weak, poor, and ill-governed but his own: he now sees in their wealth and progress a direct source of wealth and progress to his own country.

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An Exceptional Nation
Music: Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky
William Gladstone explains that a truly ‘exceptional nation’ respects the equality and rights of all nations.
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)

YOU may sympathize with one nation more than another. You sympathize most with those nations, as a rule, with which you have the closest connection in language, in blood, and in religion, or whose circumstances at the time seem to give the strongest claim to sympathy. But in point of right all are equal.

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Huskisson’s Legacy
Music: Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Charles Dickens explains how cutting tax and regulation on Britain’s global trade made everyone better off.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

AUSTRALIA was the great woollen revolutionist. German superseded Spanish wool, and Australian has superseded German to a great extent. The fine wool of Spain often cost ten shillings a-pound; we now obtain an enormous supply of fine wool at from one shilling and sixpence to two shillings per pound.

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The Jealousy of Trade
Music: Charles Avison
David Hume encourages politicians to put away their distrust of other countries, and allow free trade to flourish.
By David Hume
(1711-1776)

NOTHING is more usual, among states which have made some advances in commerce, than to look on the progress of their neighbours with a suspicious eye, to consider all trading states as their rivals, and to suppose that it is impossible for any of them to flourish, but at their expense.

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All Posts
Tagged International Relations (10 posts)
page 1
1 The Din of Diplomacy
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)
William Gladstone warns voters not to leave foreign policy in the hands of interventionist politicians.
2 An Exceptional Nation
By William Ewart Gladstone
(1808-1898)
William Gladstone explains that a truly ‘exceptional nation’ respects the equality and rights of all nations.
3 Not the World’s Policeman
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Richard Cobden questioned both the wisdom and the motives of politicians who intervene on foreign soil.
4 Guardian of Peace
By John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873)
J. S. Mill argues that free trade has done more to put an end to war than any political union or military alliance.
5 Collateral Damage
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
Richard Hannay reflects on the innocent lives lost, when the lust for power or the desire for revenge makes us less than human.
6 The Jealousy of Trade
By David Hume
(1711-1776)
David Hume encourages politicians to put away their distrust of other countries, and allow free trade to flourish.
page 2
7 Kindergarten Politics
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
John Buchan didn’t think much of our ‘new manners’ in foreign policy during the 1920s.
8 The Unselfishess of Free Trade
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
Victorian MP Richard Cobden pleaded for Britain to set the world an example as a nation open for business.
9 Huskisson’s Legacy
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens explains how cutting tax and regulation on Britain’s global trade made everyone better off.
10 Peace By Free Trade
By Richard Cobden
(1804-1865)
The blessing of trade free from political interference was one of most important insights in British, indeed world history.
Authors
John Buchan (1875-1940)
2 posts
Richard Cobden (1804-1865)
3 posts
Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
1 post
2 posts
David Hume (1711-1776)
1 post
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
1 post
which is ‘English Style’ ?

Word Play: Active or Passive?

Use each of the verbs below in either the active or the passive form. Can you use both forms?

Alarm. Become. Ask.

JB Cramer was one of the finest pianists of his day, though his reverence for Mozart made his own music more popular in the drawing room than the concert hall.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says that the pinnacle of political achievement is the government not of others, but of ourselves.
By John Keats
(1795-1821)
Poet John Keats speaks of the beauties of Autumn, her colours, her sounds and her rich harvest.
By Percy Bysshe Shelley
(1792-1822)
Poet Percy Shelley calls on November’s sister months to watch by the graveside of the dead Year.
Cut
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Polyword ‘Icy’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

Note: You can find more Polywords and other games on our Nine Lives puzzle page, and most of our stories are accompanied by games with words, grammar and numbers.

More Puzzles
Divide one number by another number. See how quickly you can solve the sums.
Do you know ‘glittering crown’ (6 letters), and ‘dark and gloomy’ (5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with DOOR and finish with STEP.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with NEAT and finish with TIDY.
See if you can guess these words letter-by-letter.
A word-making and word-searching game with a dash of strategy to it.
top topics
History (379)
Fiction (82)

letters game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

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

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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