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health, and to the company for the way in which they have received it. But I have to thank you, the Elder Brethren, especially, for the mark of confidence which you have shown me in reelecting me as your Master, a confidence which I assure you that I appreciate highly, and of which I shall be anxious to prove myself at all times worthy. Although the duties of my office are hardly more than nominal, I attach the greatest value to my personal connection with your Corporation — the only public body to whom duties are intrusted so deeply affecting the interests of the commerce, the shipping, and the seamen of this country. I must also take this opportunity to congratulate you on the working of the important alterations made last year in your constitution, as they have proved a successful attempt at that difficult and nice operation, to bring the spontaneous activity of a public body into harmony with the general feelings of the country, as represented in its Government, without destroying all individual and organic life by the killing influence of an arbitrary mechanical centralization.
In proposing to you to drink to the future prosperity of the Corporation, I shall but follow your wishes in coupling the toast with the name · of the Deputy-Master, to whose zeal and ability
so much of its present prosperity is due.
I have the honour of naming to you, as the next toast, “ The Honorary Brethren of the “ Corporation.” They are composed of men, although varying in their political opinions, yet all standing high in the estimation of their country—an esteem which they have earned by distinguished services rendered to the State, and the Corporation is justly proud of its connection with them. I would ask permission to couple the toast with the name of The Earl of Haddington.
In returning the thanks of the Corporation to our distinguished guests, I beg leave to propose to you. “ The Health of the Lord High Chan“ cellor of England, and the other noble and “ distinguished persons who have this day “ honoured the Corporation by their presence.”
T PROPOSE to you the health of the PRINCE
of Wales and the rest of the Royal FAMILY. May they prosper under the favour of the Almighty!
The toast which I now propose to you—the “ Army and Navy"—is one in which I am sure no Englishman can join at this moment without the feelings of the deepest emotion. In their keeping stand the honour and the best interests of this country—I may say the interests of the civilization of Europe. And nobly have they done their duty! whether in the daring impetuosity of attack, in the cool intrepidity of defence, or the noble and truly Christian patience with which they have endured nameless sufferings and privations ! They have set us all an example well worthy of imitation, and making us proud of the generation to which we belong. May God grant that their exertions may be crowned with the success they have striven to deserve, and that they may, by the side of our noble and gallant allies, conquer to the world a peace which may secure its tranquillity and prosperity from any further interruption!
I drink “The health of Viscount Hardinge, “ Sir Charles Wood, and the Army and Navy. “ Success to their exertions !"
I now propose to you the health of “ Her Ma6. jesty's Ministers.”
If there ever was a time when the Queen's Government, by whomsoever conducted, required the support-ay, not the support alone, but the confidence, goodwill, and sympathy of their fellow countrymen, it is the present. It is not the way to success in war to support it, however ardently and energetically, and to run down and weaken those who have to conduct it. We are engaged
with a mighty adversary, who uses against us all those wonderful powers which have sprung up under the generating influence of our liberty and our civilization, and employs them with all the force which unity of purpose and action, impenetrable secresy, and uncontrolled despotic power give him ; whilst we have to meet him under a state of things intended for peace and the promotion of that very civilization-a civilization the offspring of public discussion, the friction of parties, and popular control over the government of the State. The Queen has no power to levy troops, and none at her command, except such as voluntarily offer their services. Her Government can entertain no measures for the prosecution of the war without having to explain them publicly in Parliament; her armies and fleets can make no movement, nor even prepare for any, without its being proclaimed by the press ; and no mistake, however trifling, can occur, no weakness exist, which it may be of the utmost importance to conceal from the world, without its being publicly denounced, and even frequently exaggerated, with a morbid satisfaction. The Queen's ambassadors can carry on no negociation which has not to be publicly defended by entering into all the arguments which a nego