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Model Speeches for Practise
written by "Kleiser, Grenville, 1868-1953"
... to go round this exhibition and see the works of art that glorify your walls; but I am led by him to expect that I shall see the pictures of Liberal leaders, including M. Rochefort. I am not sure whether M. Rochefort will figure as a man of letters or as a Liberal leader, but I can understand[Pg 140] that his portrait would attract the Prime Minister because M. Rochefort is a politician who was once a Liberal leader, and who has now seen occasion to lose his faith in Parliamentary government. Nor have I seen the picture of "The Flowing Tide," but I shall expect to find in that picture when I do see it a number of bathing-machines in which, not the younger generation, but the elder generation, as I understand are waiting confidently—for the arrival of the "Flowing Tide," and when it arrives, the elderly gentlemen who are incarcerated in those machines will be only too anxious for a man and a horse to come and deliver them from their imminent peril. I thought that I detected in the last words of your speech, in proposing this toast, Mr. President, an accent of gentle reproach that any one should desert the[Pg 141] high and pleasant ways of literature for the turmoil and the everlasting contention of public life. I do not suppose that there has ever been a time in which there was less of divorce between literature and public life than the present time. There have been in the reign of the Queen two eminent statesmen who have thrice had the distinction of being Prime Minister, and oddly enough, one of those statesman (Lord Derby) has left behind him a most spirited version of Homer, while the other eminent statesman (William E. Gladstone)—happily still among us, still examines the legends and the significance of Homer. Then when we come to a period nearer to ourselves, and look at those gentlemen who have in the last six years filled the office of Minister for Ireland, we find that no fewer than three (George Otto Trevelyan, Jo...

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