North America - Volume 2 By Anthony Trollope 




















































































































































 -   But
in such a matter I do not think it fair to judge them by their
conduct in such a - Page 510
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But In Such A Matter I Do Not Think It Fair To Judge Them By Their Conduct In Such A Moment As The Present.

That this is the very moment in which to judge of the efficiency of their institutions generally, of the

Aptitude of those institutions for the security of the nation, I readily acknowledge; but when a ship is at sea in a storm, riding out through all that the winds and waves can do to her, one does not condemn her because a yard-arm gives way, nor even though the mainmast should go by the board. If she can make her port, saving life and cargo, she is a good ship, let her losses in spars and rigging be what they may. In this affair of the habeas corpus we will wait awhile before we come to any final judgment. If it be that the people, when the war is over, shall consent to live under a military or other dictatorship, that they shall quietly continue their course as a nation without recovery of their rights of freedom, then we shall have to say that their institutions were not founded in a soil of sufficient depth, and that they gave way before the first high wind that blew on them. I myself do not expect such a result.

I think we must admit that the Americans have received from their government, or rather from their system of policy, that aid and furtherance which they required from it; and, moreover, such aid and furtherance as we expect from our system of government.

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