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Page:Studies in socialism 1906.djvu/221

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171
Anglo-French Dinner Speech

Hence arose a misunderstanding big with storm and peril. Experience, however, has shown that the very Revolution that quickened the free energies of all peoples, increased also the scope and the resources of the eldest of the free peoples. Experience has shown that the ardent force of the French Revolution animated without disturbing the evolution of the English nation: this nation has been able to pass without a shock from the oligarchical suffrage of Pitt to the almost universal suffrage of Gladstone; it has been able to enlarge the foundations of its public life without disturbing them.

And history itself has done away with the misunderstanding, for though difficulties may arise in the expansion of both nations across the face of the world, the day for irreparable conflicts has long since passed away. Against accidents and surprises we have now set a friendship that is growing daily in trust and good understanding. It is in the organisation of this friendship, if I may use the expression, that we are now engaged.

This friendship is not exclusive, nor is it offensive; there is nothing secret about it. It not only does not threaten any one, but it can annoy no one. The trust that exists between us involves no distrust towards others.

Human life, and international life especially, has been saturated with hate, jealousy, and deceit for so long, that even to-day, in the midst of profound European peace, there are some minds who