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BOOK II.

THE POWER AND MAGNIFICENCE OF THE

BRITISH EMPIRE

POWER AND MAGNIFICENCE OF ENGLAND.

“That power whose flag is never furl'd

Whose morning drum beats round the world.”

“The future historian of a decline and fall hereafter, not less memorable than that of Rome, will probably commence his work with a corresponding account of the power and extent of the British Empire under William the Fourth and Queen Victoria. What Rome was in its influence over the destinies of mankind in the 1st Century, England is now in the 19th; while not merely in regard to rank in science and civilization, but also in the territorial extent of its possessions, on which the sun never sets, England occupies a prouder position than ancient Rome.” Westminster Review, Ap. 1842.

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CINETEEN hundred years ago the Roman Standard first

floated on the shores of Britain. Then a race of barbarians, clothed in the skins of wild beasts, roamed over the uncultivated island. The tread of the legions was then heard on the plains of Africa and Asia, and the name of Rome was written on the front of the world. Nearly two thousand years have rolled by, and Julius Cæsar and all the Cæsars, the Senate, the people, and the Empire of Rome have passed away like dream. Her population now falls short of that of New York State,-while that Island of barbarians has emulated Rome in her conquests, and not only planted and unfurled her standard in the three quarters of the globe that owned the Roman sway, but laid her all-grasping hand on a new continent. Possessing the energy and valor of her Saxon and Norman ancestors, she has remained unconquered, unbroken, amid the changes that have ended the history of other nations. Like her own island that sits firm and tranquil in the ocean that rolls round it, she has stood amid the ages of man, and the overthrow of empires.

II.

A

NATION thus steadily advancing over every obstacle that

checks the progress or breaks the strength of other governments, making every world-tumult wheel in to swell its triumphal march, must possess not only great resources, but great skill to manage them. Looking out from her sea-home

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EXTENT OF THE EMPIRE,

she has made her fleets and her arms her voice. Strength and energy of character, skill, daring, and an indomitable valor exerted through these engines of power, have raised her to her present proud elevation.

Her navy embraces six hundred vessels. Besides these she has fleets of steamships and packets so constructed as to be easily converted into war ships. In the short space of two months she could send 150 more steam frigates well equipped to sea, making in all 750 war vessels ; so that she could stretch a line of battle ships from Liverpool to New York, each separated only four miles from the other. Thirty millions of people in the three kingdoms sit down in the shadow of her throne. In the East, 150,000,000 more come under her sway, besides the vast number, civilized and uncivilized, that inhabit her provinces in every quarter of the globe.

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III.

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ALUTES in honor of the birth of the Prince of Wales were

fired in America,-on the shores of Hudson's Bay, along the whole line of the Canadian Lakes, in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, in the Bermudas, at a hundred points in the West Indies, in the forests of Guinea, and in the distant Falkland Islands, near Cape Horn. In Europe-in the British Islands, from the Rock of Gibraltar, from the impregnable fortifications of Malta, and in the Ionian Islands. In Africa-on the Guinea coast, and St. Helena and Ascension from the Cape to the Orange River, and at the Mauritius. In Asia-from the fortress of Aden in Arabia, at Karrack, in the Persian Gulf, by the British arms of Affghanistan, along the Himalaya Mountains, the banks of the Indus and the Ganges, to the Southern point of India, in the Island of Ceylon, beyond the Ganges in Assam, at Prince of Wales' Island, and Singapore; on the shores of China, at Hong Kong and Chusan, and in Australia, at the settlements formed on every side of the Australian continent and Islands, and in the Straits which separate

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HOW ENGLAND HAS EXPANDED.

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these Islands of the New Zealanders. No Prince has ever been born in any other country, in ancient or modern times, whose birth was hailed with rejoicings at so many different and distant points in every quarter of the world.

After glancing over this catalogue of countries, we might well inquire, what spot is there where English cannon do not speak of English power ? Along the St. Lawrence, Lakes Ontario, Erie and Michigan, one long booming shot rolls down over these free states, saying, “England is here.” The wandering tribes of the western prairies and Guianian forests hear it and cower back to their fastnesses, for England is there. It sends terror through millions of hearts as it thunders from the harbors and fortresses of the East Indies. The vessels entering the Mediterranean turn an anxious eye to the rock of Gibraltar, as the smoke slowly curls up its sides ; and the report of a thousand cannon says in the most significant language, that England is there. To the reflecting man there is meaning in that shot which goes round the earth. England sends her messengers abroad to every nation, and the insignia of her power are scattered among all the tribes of the great family of man ; while she sits amid the sea, as if her power were the centre of tides, whose pulsations are felt on every shore, and up every continent-piercing river.

IV.

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HERE is something in the name of England which awes

mankind. The pressure of her hand is felt on every government, and her voice is heard at the council board of every nation. To one who looks only on the territory of England proper, the extent of her dominion seems incredible. That a small island should rule half continents, is indeed strange. No other nation since Rome, has so expanded herself, reached out such long arms, and with them grasped so much, and so strongly. How so small a body can extend and wield such immense limbs surprises those who calculate power from physical strength. It

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