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I HAVE attempted in these pages to give a brief Introduction. account of the interests of England in the East, and the policy adopted by her in order to defend those interests. I have also ventured, by a calm and unexaggerated statement of facts, based upon much study of the subject, to remove the misapprehensions which have gathered round it, owing to party passion and hasty, though not unnatural, inferences drawn from certain flagrant examples of Turkish misgovernment. Finally, I have endeavoured to sketch out what I conceive to be the policy which should be pursued by England in future.

It is of vital importance, in order that the action of this country abroad should be effective,


and the

that public opinion, in a critical moment like this, should be practically unanimous as to the form which such action should take, and it happens only too often that differences of opinion on foreign questions arise rather from incomplete knowledge than from radical divergences of principle. I do not here allude to the premature judgments which have been expressed by some

speakers of the Liberal party on the action of the The Ministry Government in the present crisis. Such judgments Opposition. are, in my opinion, only calculated to do mischief

to the country, and are in no way compatible with the constitutional functions of Opposition. It is a fundamental axiom of our Constitution that these functions are, in their way, as much an essential

, part of the Government machine as those of the Ministry and its supporters. Some of the reforms which have so greatly contributed to make the British Constitution what it is have been achieved by the efforts of the Opposition, both in and out of Parliament. The value of such efforts is, of course, finally tested in the parliamentary arena ; but the strength and tendency of public opinion have been shown in

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