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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Before the War
By David Lloyd George (1863–1945)
 
From a speech on Scottish Land Reform delivered at Glasgow on February 4th, 1914

YOU have hundreds of thousands of men—working unceasingly for wages that barely bring them enough bread to keep themselves and their families above privation. Generation after generation they see their children wither before their eyes for lack of air, light, and space, which is denied them by men who have square miles of it for their own use. Take our cities, the great cities of a great Empire. Right in the heart of them everywhere you have ugly quagmires of human misery, seething, rotting, at last fermenting. We pass them by every day on our way to our comfortable homes. We forget that divine justice never passed by a great wrong. You can hear, carried by the breezes from the north, the south, the east, and the west, ominous rumbling. The chariots of retribution are drawing nigh. How long will all these injustices last for myriads of men, women, and children created in the image of God—how long? I believe it is coming to an end. (Cheers.)  1
  I remember a story told in my youth of a very remarkable but rather quaint old Welsh preacher. He was conducting a funeral service for a poor old fellow who had had a very bad time through life without any fault of his own. They could hardly find a space in the churchyard for his tomb. At last they got enough to make a brickless grave amidst towering monuments that rose upon it, and the old minister, standing above it, said: “Well, Davie Vach, you have had a narrow time right through life and you have a narrow place in death. But never mind, old friend; I can see a day dawning for you when you will rise out of your narrow bed and call out to all those big people—‘Elbow room for the poor.’” I can see the day of the resurrection, the dawn of the resurrection of the oppressed in all lands already gilding the hilltops. (Cheers.)  2
 
 
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