Yes, Gentlemen; if I am asked why we are free with servitude all around us, why our Habeas Corpus Act has not been suspended, why our press is still subject to no censor, why we still have the liberty of association, why our representative institutions still abide in all their strength, I answer, It is because in the year of revolutions we stood firmly by our government in its peril; and, if I am asked why we stood by our government in its peril, when men all around us were engaged in pulling governments down, I answer, It was because we knew that though our government was not a perfect government, it was a good government, that its faults admitted of peaceable and legal remedies, that it had never inflexibly opposed just demands, that we had obtained concessions of inestimable value, not by beating the drum, not by ringing the tocsin, not by tearing up the pavement, not by running to the gunsmiths’ shops to search for arms, but by the mere force of reason and public opinion.

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) English writer and politician
Speech on re-election to Parliament, Edinburgh (2 Nov 1852)

On the various revolutions and counter-revolutions in Europe in 1848.

Added on 10-Oct-07 | Last updated 16-Jan-20
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