Imatges de pÓgina
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than in any other combination. Socialism cannot solve them, because its attention is arbitrarily concentrated upon social and domestic issues, and because it is being taught to look askance at Empire. To Imperialism therefore alone can we look to satisfy the needs and to hold together the framework of the British Dominion.

MORAL Basis OF IMPERIALISM

But if Imperialism is to play this part, let us be sure that it is animated by the supreme idea, without which it is only as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal, viz., the sense of sacrifice and the idea of duty. Empire can only be achieved with satisfaction, or maintained with advantage, provided it has a moral basis. To the people of the mother State it must be a discipline, an inspiration, and a faith. To the people of the circumference, it must be more than a flag or a name, it must give them what they cannot otherwise or elsewhere enjoy ; not merely justice or order, or material prosperity, but the sense of partnership in a great idea, the consecrating influence of a lofty purpose. I think it must be because in the heart of British endeavour there has burned this spark of heavenly flame that Providence has hitherto so richly blessed our undertakings. If it is extin- . guished or allowed to die our Empire will have no more life than a corpse from which the spirit has lately fled, and like a corpse will moulder.

THE FUTURE

As to the future, if I found any audience of my countrymen who were plunged in doubt as to what it might bring forth and who wondered whether the handwriting might not already be tracing its sentence on the wall of our Empire, as it has done upon those of Babylon, and Nineveh, and Rome, I would say to them : Have no such craven fears. From the sordid controversies and the sometimes depressing gloom of our insular existence look forth, and, if the summons comes to you, go forth, into the larger fields of Empire where duty still calls and an illimitable horizon opens. Preserve with faithful attachment the acquisitions of our forefathers, not tabulating them with vulgar pride, but accepting the legacy with reverence, and holding no sacrifice too great to maintain it. Be sure that in our national character, if we can keep it high and undefiled, still lies our national strength. Count it no shame to acknowledge our Imperial mission, but, on the contrary, the greatest disgrace to be untrue to it, and even if God no longer thunders from Sinai, and His oracles are sometimes reported dumb, cling humbly but fervently to the belief that so long as we are worthy we may still remain one of the instruments through whom He chooses to speak to mankind.

CURZOM

.ON EARTH-PEACE!'

CHRISTMAS MUSINGS BY CARMEN SYLVA

Une immense espérance a traversé la terre.' --ALFRED DE Musset.

THROUGHOUT the hell which we have made of God's beautiful world, from time to time a word resounds, whose passing sweetness stirs our souls as it were a message from on high-the one word, ringing out like a clarion call above the blood-stained fields and cities black with smoke and sin which are the outcome of our boasted civilisation, echoing, too, within the depths of every heart with the yearning of an infinite regret, as our thoughts involuntarily go back to those better days in which men did not live in perpetual enmity and strife, and thus had some leisure left for the cultivation of the noble arts of peace. But since it now seems to be universally recognised that warfare in some shape or other is the natural state of mankind, and that it is incumbent on nations to be always armed to the teeth, in order to be ready at any moment for attack or defence, the intellect and the imagination should seem but of trifling importance beside the vast machinery required for this terrible work of destruction. The world's highest admiration is now given-not to him the expression of whose wise and noble thought has increased the common treasure of humanity and remains a priceless heritage to all future ages, neither to him who in some masterpiece has given us a new revelation of the eternal beauty his inner vision beheld, nor yet to him who by one of those great discoveries that enlarge our mental horizon has thrown light on the darkest, most baffling problems; to none of these, its true benefactors, does it award the prize, but to the individual who by the invention of some new and terrific engine of destruction furnishes us with the highly perfected means of hideous and wholesale slaughter. What a terribly significant saying is that of the Japanese diplomatist who the other day remarked :

For two thousand years we kept peace with the rest of the world, and were known to it but by the marvels of our delicate ethereal art, and the finely wrought productions of our ingenious handicrafts, and we were accounted barbarians ! But from the day in which we made war on other nations and killed many thousands of our adversaries, you at once admit our claim to rank among civilised nations.

When we consider the high pitch of civilisation to which during that protracted millennium the quick-witted, sensitive, versatile island-folk attained-a civilisation which it is to be feared their recent more tangible and more brutal triumphs in another field may induce them to barter for a cheap veneer of Western civilisation little in harmony with their capacities or their tastes—when we gaze upon the opalescent hues of those lovely landscapes for which their artists would appear to have dipped their brushes in some enchanted source, or handle the dainty toys which it might seem that fairy fingers alone could fabricate-above all, when we listen to the old heroic legends and stories which form the subject of the national literature and whose spirit animates the popular drama, as we are thus brought face to face with these multitudinous and irrefragable evidences of a widespread and perfectly homogeneous culture, spontaneously developed from native resources and penetrating and permeating all ranks to an extent rarely seen elsewhere

can we refrain from speculating on the grand results, which under like conditions--the duration of a peace of two thousand years—our own Europe might not also achieve ?

And yet we must not too hastily jump to the conclusion that war itself is the sole or even the chief obstacle to man's happiness here below. Far from it. There is something, it has been well said, far worse than actual war, and that is a deceitful and fallacious peace. It is the last product of an age of hypocrisy and shams, this peace which is peace only in name, but in reality serves as a cloak for the indulgence of petty hatreds and jealousies, a thousand times more hurtful to the moral fibre of a nation than openly declared and honest warfare. What can be more degrading than the miserable rivalry, so different from the generous emulation of former times, which every

: where prevails between the different peoples of the globe ? Mere greed of wealth, of territorial expansion and numerical superiority, would too generally seem to have taken the place of the nobler ambitions of our forefathers, whose very faults were on so grand a scale that they often appear to have sprung but from the excess of a virtue. But nations no longer compete for pre-eminence in literature, in science or in art, no state comes forward in our day as the champion of the oppressed, the protector of the weak, a leader of forlorn hopes, and patron of all chivalrous endeavour; the sole desire of each and all is to obtain the monopoly of commercial enterprise. And, as ever, to the lowness of the aim pursued corresponds a like absence of scruple in the means employed. It is a fight to the death, in which not only is no quarter given, but in which also the use of poisoned weapons, if not officially sanctioned, is at all events constantly hypocritically condoned. The combatants would seem moreover bent, not so much on securing some positive advantage to themselves, as on inflicting the utmost possible damage on their opponents. For it is curiously characteristic of modern rapacity that it finds even greater satisfaction in depriving another of his lawful possessions, or in forestalling him in the advantages to which he is legitimately entitled, than in the actual enjoyment of its own new illgotten gains. We have but to look around us, either at home or abroad, to see that it is under this most ignoble aspect that the so-called 'struggle for existence' is daily, hourly taking place, as well between nations as between individuals. And we still dare to speak of progress and enlightenment! In reality, we have gone back centuries, giving way to all the old savage instincts of primitive ages. Is it not humiliating to have arrived at this result after more than nineteen hundred years of Christianity ? Nearly two thousand years ago the divine injunction, ' Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' was given to man, and never at any period of the world's history were men divided by hatreds more bitter and unrelenting than possess them now. So little confidence have we apparently either in the integrity of our own designs or in the honesty of purpose of those by whom we are surrounded, that the very name of neighbour, far from conjuring up the ideas of help and good fellowship which should attach to it, has now become the synonym of enemy. Everywhere, all over the face of the globe, it is just the neighbouring states, which instead of being able to rest on a footing of mutual sincerity, are animated by the most suspicious and unfriendly feelings. While deriding the Christian ideal of union based on brotherly love we have at the same time fallen far behind pagan observance of private friendship and public alliance, to which the recognition of ties of kindred and the exchange of the sacred rites of hospitality imparted a sort of religious sanction. With one hand extended in friendship, the politicians of our day hold in the other the match ready with which to kindle the torch of discord, whilst the exigencies of modern statecraft, swayed by the rise and fall of the money market, may to-morrow make enemies of those who yesterday were brothers-in-arms. And where grounds of mutual distrust once exist, the increased facilities of communication between different countries, far from tending to further friendly intercourse, do but serve to widen the breach.

How different might it be, if divesting ourselves of unworthy suspicions, and whilst striving once more to live up to a higher ideal, we could allow ourselves quietly to reap the benefit of those practical improvements which the accumulated experience of past generations and the inventive genius of modern times have combined to bestow upon us. Among these, the rapidity and ease of travel is surely one of the first and best. Thanks to the speed with which the longest journeys are now accomplished, distance—if we may not precisely claim to have done away with it—is at all events no longer an insurmountable obstacle to our visiting scenes of special interest and attraction even when situated at the furthest ends of the earth. Famous historic sites, the glorious monuments of antiquity, whatever natural beauties or artistic treasures each land may contain, all these have now become easily accessible to many thousands, utterly beyond the reach of whom they formerly lay. How few human beings are indeed in our day condemned to spend their lives on the self same spot and in the midst of those very surroundings among which they were born! Nor is the hard necessity of lifelong exile from the home of their youth now, as formerly, imposed on those adventurous spirits whom a noble ambition sends forth as pioneers of civilisation to serve their country and humanity in some remote region at an advanced outpost. Not, however, from regard to the mere convenience of the individual do we set so high a store on the improved conditions of modern travel, but rather on account of the blessings to the world at large which must eventually result therefrom. There were no real gain to mankind, did the ingenuity and skill which enable us to move 50 swiftly from place to place serve but to gratify the idle curiosity of the tourist or to further the selfish interests of men of business ; here as elsewhere there are other than utilitarian ends at stake, and the perfected mechanism of each new system of locomotion involves issues fraught with deep significance. For undoubtedly the possibility of visiting foreign lands must be reckoned as one of the greatest of those material advantages which were formerly restricted to certain privileged classes, but may now be enjoyed by the majority of people. All of us who have travelled must have been conscious of the widening of our mental horizon as we step outside the frontiers of our native land. How often, if our studies have but rightly prepared us for the impressions we are to receive, does not this first aspect of another country come upon us with the force of a revelation, making clear at a glance much which seemed hitherto incomprehensible in the history of its past. And the longer we dwell upon its soil, the closer our association with its inhabitants, the more surely do we find this first impression—as of a new world suddenly opened out before usconfirmed and strengthened by subsequent experience. For when, after long years spent among a nation, living its life and speaking its speech, we have become sufficiently impregnated with moral atmosphere to penetrate to its inmost soul, it will not be merely the one special type of human society here represented which we shall have learnt to understand, but we may also, by contrasting it with the stock from which we ourselves have sprung, obtain, together with fresh insight into the problem of our own nature, a broader and more complete view of mankind in general. Can we then refuse to believe in the incalculable benefits which must necessarily result from the recently developed means of intercourse between different parts of the globe, if but wisely directed and no longer made subservient to narrow and selfish aims ? Knowledge begets sympathy; and were

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