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Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

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THE DYNASTS                    ACT ,
The question that compels the House to-night
Is not of differences in wit and wit,
But if for England it be well or no
To null the new-fledged Act, as one inept
For setting up with speed and hot effect
The red machinery of desperate war.
Whatever it may do, or not, it stands,
A statesman's raw experiment.    If ill,
Shall yet more raw assays and more be tried
In stress of jeopardy that stirs demand
For sureness of proceeding ?    Must this House
Exchange safe action based on practised lines
For yet more ventures into risks unknown
To gratify a quaint projector's whim,
While enemies hang grinning round our gates
To profit by mistake ?
My friend who spoke Found comedy in the matter.    Comical As it may be in parentage and feature, Most grave and tragic in its consequence This Act may prove.    We are moving thoughtlessly, We squander precious, brief, life-saving time On idle guess-games.    Fail the measure must, Nay, failed it has already; and should rouse Resolve in its progenitor himself To move for its repeal!    (Cheers.)
I rise but to subjoin a phrase or two To those of my right honourable friend. I, too, am one who reads the present pinch As passing all our risks of heretofore. For why ?    Our bold and reckless enemy, Relaxing not his plans, has treasured time To mass his monstrous force on all the coigns From which our coast is close assailable.