GENERAL GORDON AND THE GOVERNMENT.
[TO THZ EDITOR OF THE " EPECITATOR."1
SIR,—Surely the nation should not allow its admiration for one of the most magnificent instances of chivalrous self-sacrifice on record to make it unjust to its greatest statesman. It is nonsense to speak of Mr. Gladstone expecting Gordon to save himself by an act of meanness. How can a Government be carried on if it has not power to recall as well as to send out its emissaries ? It was not the intention of the Government, in sending out Gordon, that he should hold out Khartoum under all possible circumstances, or die in the attempt. Their duty to England compelled them to recall him ; his duty to those to whom be had pledged himself compelled him to disregard their recall, at the sacrifice of his own life. It is an instance of the relative " right " for the nation being overridden by the absolute " right " for the individual ; but we shall not come to see more clearly if our love of antithesis, combined with our admiration for Gordon's noble deed, makes us insist that this relative right is an absolute wrong.—I am, &c., AN ENGLISHWOMAN.