and prebends useful institutions, and Great Britain the

time:2023-12-02 03:55:29 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:data

In commencing this subject, I must assume that the conquerors of territory are responsible for the moral welfare of the inhabitants; therefore our responsibility increases with our conquests. A mighty onus thus rests upon Great Britain, which few consider when they glory in the boast, "that the sun never sets upon her dominions."

and prebends useful institutions, and Great Britain the

This thought leads us to a comparison of power between ourselves and other countries, and we trace the small spot upon the world's map which marks our little island, and in every sphere we gaze with wonder at our vast possessions. This is a picture of the present. What will the future be in these days of advancement? It were vain to hazard a conjecture; but we can look back upon the past, and build upon this foundation our future hopes.

and prebends useful institutions, and Great Britain the

When the pomps and luxuries of Eastern cities spread throughout Ceylon, and millions of inhabitants fed on her fertility, when the hands of her artists chiseled the figures of her gods from the rude rock, when her vessels, laden with ivory and spices, traded with the West, what were we? A forest-covered country, peopled by a fierce race of savages clad in skins, bowing before druidical idolatry, paddling along our shores in frames of wickerwork and hide.

and prebends useful institutions, and Great Britain the

The ancient deities of Ceylon are in the same spots, unchanged; the stones of the Druids stand unmoved; but what has become of the nations? Those of the East have faded away and their strength has perished. Their ships are crumbled; the rude canoe glides over their waves; the spices grow wild in their jungles; and, unshorn and unclad, the inhabitants wander on the face of the land.

Is it "chance" that has worked this change? Where is the forest-covered country and its savage race, its skin-clad warriors and their frail coracles?

There, where the forest stood, from north to south and from east to west, spreads a wide field of rich fertility. There, on those rivers where the basket-boats once sailed, rise the taut spars of England's navy. Where the rude hamlet rested on its banks in rural solitude, the never-weary din of commerce rolls through the city of the world. The locomotive rushes like a thunder-clap upon the rail; the steamer ploughs against the adverse wind, and, rapid as the lightning, the telegraph cripples time. The once savage land is the nucleus of the arts and civilization. The nation that from time to time was oppressed, invaded, conquered, but never subjected, still pressed against the weight of adversity, and, as age after age rolled on, and mightier woes and civil strife gathered upon her, still the germ of her destiny, as it expanded, threw off her load, until she at length became a nation envied and feared.

It was then that the powers of the world were armed against her, and all Europe joined to tear the laurels from her crown, and fleets and armies thronged from all points against the devoted land, and her old enemy, the Gaul, hovered like his own eagle over the expected prey.

The thunder of the cannon shook the world, and blood tinged the waves around the land, and war and tumult shrieked like a tempest over the fair face of Nature; the din of battle smothered all sounds of peace, and years passed on and thicker grew the gloom. It was then the innate might of the old Briton roused itself to action and strained those giant nerves which brought us victory. The struggle was past, and as the smoke of battle cleared from the surface of the world, the flag of England waved in triumph on the ocean, her fleets sat swan-like on the waves, her standard floated on the strongholds of the universe, and far and wide stretched the vast boundaries of her conquests.


recommended content