Lord Derby's reply,—for that is in a very real sense
what his answer to the working-men's deputation on Monday was, though
Mr. Gladstone was never named in it,—had a feeble and puzzled' ring in it, as of a statesman at bay, required to attempt the im- possible,—the one impossibility being to stir at all from a situation in which he had demonstrated to his own satisfaction that it was. only possible to sit still and wait upon events. He maintained . that all the atrocities were over before the fleet was sent to Besika Bay, and before the encouragement which that act gave was known to the Turks,—ignoring that they have been going on in less degree ever since, and have been resumed in Servia in these latter days. He pleaded in no very dignified fashion that the Government could not have abetted what had more than doubled the difficulty and anxiety of the diplomatic situation they had to meet,—as if any one had accused the Government of any complicity beyond cynical carelessness and dilatory incredulity, or as if complicity in inch crimes were in any sense a charge to which it became an English Foreign Minister to plead even "Not guilty." He denied that England was any more a surety for Turkey than France, which had joined her in the Crimean war, and he remarked that no agitation of this kind was going on in France. The only satisfac- tory sentence of his speech was this :—" For these unfortunate Bulgarians, who have suffered so much" (Lord Derby seemed to throws doubt on this in another part of his speech, by suggesting that to "the artistic and skilful language" in which those suffer- ings were painted, much of the sensation was due), "they have no doubt a right to such reparation as it is now possible to make. They have also the undoubted right to the signal, conspicuous, and exemplary punishment of those who have been the offenders ; and I think they may claim, in one manner or the other, that we should take steps such as should prevent the occurrence of similar actions." That would be satisfactory enough, if it stood alone. Unfortunately, it stands close to the remark that the only really effective remedy for Bosnia and Herzegovina,—administrative separation from Turkey,—appears practically unworkable, and that Lord Derby will never be quack enough to sanction what seems to him practically unworkable. The speech had a cowed and bewildered ring in it.