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THE POWER AND MAGNIFICENCE OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE.

I.

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INETEEN 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 a 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.

III.

S

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

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.

THE

THERE 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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THE MORAL POWER OF ENGLAND.

is the moral power of England that has carried her so high. Mind and skill multiply physical power a thousand-fold. It is as true of nations as of individuals. Every able-bodied man has two arms, and five fingers at their extremities; yet who estimates the power of the body so much as the power of the will that controls it? An ox can draw more than fifty men, it may be; but a single man can set in motion machinery which wields a power greater than that of the fabled Cyclops. China, with her vast territory and exhaustless population, can be brought to her knees by a few English ships and a few English cannon, guided and pointed by English mind. The few on one side, are governed by mind; the many on the other by ignorance. It is this which has enabled England so long to stand at the head of Europe, and send her mandates over the world. No throne since the world stood, has had such intellects gathered round it as the British throne. The clear heads that encircled it have ever been her firmest bulwarks. The intellect of Pitt, or Canning, can do for England in diplomacy, what Malta and Gibraltar cannot. English monarchs have in most instances been mere puppets-the wires that moved them were in the hands of such men. It was this moral power alone that made America her successful antagonist. Hitherto she had met physical force with moral power; but when she made her onset here, then "Greek met Greek." In the conflicts of ignorant nations, it is only a trial of muscles and bones, like the strifes of brutes; but in those of enlightened nations, it is the struggle of souls. England's soul, not her arms, has impressed itself on the world. It is the intelligence with which she speaks, that swells her voice so far, and makes it remembered so long. It is the intelligence that guides her fleets and armies, that renders them so formidable.

V.

ESIDES, there is a humanity about her when not crushed.

and

land have often shown a steadfast resistance to tyrants, that has

ANCIENT YEOMANRY OF ENGLAND.

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blessed the cause of human freedom the world over. They have cut off one king's head, and can another's when necessary. The yeomanry of England were superior to those of any other nation in Europe. Bold, intelligent, and upright, they ought still to constitute no small share of her glory. Even amid the terrors and lawlessness of civil war, they acted with moderation and humanity. When king and commons, tyranny and aristocracy, were arrayed against each other, under the ascending star of Cromwell, civil law in England lost little of its sacredness. There is a love for the right and the true in the yeoman which equally resists lawlessness and oppression. There is also a religious feeling pervading this class, which, mingling with the rough elements of the old Norman and Saxon character, gives double power to them as a body. It is the intelligence and morality of these men, which ought to be the founda tion of the English government, that will assert their power when revolutionary times come on again. There is no danger of the tyranny of British kings ever being reëstablished-all oppression now proceeds from the aristocracy-and the people are so fast advancing in a knowledge of human rights, and the consciousness of their power-which is always associated with intelligence that the danger of the aristocracy is fast increasing.

VI.

IT

T will be unnecessary to say much of the manufactures of Britain. Most of my readers know that her machinery accomplishes more every year, than could be done by the entire population of the globe without it; the machinery of England. does the work and puts forth the power, of a thousand million men, exceeding by one-half the entire number of men in the world. But I need not dwell on these facts, for they have been told a thousand times. England's commerce administers to the wants and the luxury of the world-finding its way to the farthest limits of the globe. Her merchants, like those of old Tyre and Alexandria, are clothed with scarlet, and dwell in pal

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