« PreviousContinue »
force. The largest empire the world has ever seen is held together upon very different principles, principles from which English statesmen would not dream of departing. The only risk, such as it is, to the ultimate retention of South Africa within the Empire, lies in the permanent alienation of British citizens, whether of Dutch, foreign, or British blood, from the Imperial connexion. This is the danger which it is the great duty of our statesmen at home, and of their representatives in the various colonies, to reduce to a minimum. Patience and prudence and a good deal of moral courage will be required; but without these qualities our great Colonial Empire would not have been built up, and without them it will not be retained.
Though every week that passes evidently brings peace on our own terms nearer and nearer, little advantage is to be gained by the propounding of specific schemes for the government of the new provinces. There must be a limited period devoted to the work of restoring a sense of security and order before any permanent system can possibly be got to work. During this period the Government will have time to study the reports and hear the views of men directly acquainted with these countries, and with a real knowledge of their inhabitants. It is all-important that Imperial authority should then be represented by some one who understands, and is understood by, the people whom we have to ruleunfortunately, for the time being, against their will-a man of firmness and of tact combined, in whose sense of justice the conquered may have as much confidence as the conquerors, and whose ambition it will be to make men forgive and ultimately to forget (if that be possible) the injuries and the memories of so terrible a war. People speak as if the adoption of some specific settlement' will at once make an end of South African troubles ! A settled state of things can only come about by the reconciliation of jarring races, and complete reconciliation can only be the work of years, perhaps of generations. What is infinitely more important at present than the details of any plan of settlement is the spirit in which we set about our task. Our statesmen have declared again and again that their hands have been set to the plough,' and that they would not rest from their labour till their work had been accomplished. It would be a poor compliment to British statesmanship to suppose that its work was complete with the mere triumph of British arms. No! the end it has in view is the building up in South Africa of a great, free, self-governing dominion under the British flag, worthy to take its place side by side with the other great colonies of the Empire. When peace comes let us hear no more of pro-Boer' or 'anti-Dutch;' and let us remember that it was for equal privileges of citizenship among the European races in South Africa that the war was in great measure fought. Great difficulties have to be surmounted before the end is attained, but that end is a noble one, and worth fighting for; and for our part we refuse to believe that it will not, with firmness and patience on the part of our statesmen, at last be won. To feel otherwise would be to think that all the bloodshed and misery of the war, so far at least as South Africa is concerned, have been in vain.
The war is, however, producing consequences of much importance outside South Africa. It has stirred to the very heart the whole Empire, which for the first time has proved its sense of its own unity, and its coinmon allegiance to the throne and flag, by taking its share in bearing the burdens and winning the laurels of war.
What do they know of England
IV ho only England know?' asked Mr. Rudyard Kipling, full of the sense of pride that cannot but fill the heart of every British traveller who visits his countrymen beyond the seas. Even home-keeping English ven now realise the Empire as they have never done before. The Empire has shown itself one, not only ir sentiment, but in deed—a great fact in the present an future of the world! In Great and in Greater Britain tl sinking of all differences between men of every class ar creed and political opinion in the sole desire and determin tion to make the country win at any cost of life or mone in the face of unexpected difficulties, has been the mc striking event in the politics of recent years, and has be full of instruction for others as well as for ourselves. T Queen, as usual in the fullest sympathy with her subjec has represented this sentiment of unity and patriotism men of every race who own her sovereignty. So far least the spirit of · Imperialism'is surely good.
So deep and so strong a wave of feeling cannot has passed over the country without leaving permanent effe behind it. For the time being party 'has been annihilat but that condition of public opinion will not last. WI again party spirit revives it will largely have shaken it
not observed hof Impet is done the know so f
"ee from old trammels, and new questions derived from - 1ore recent emotions will take the place of the decaying
platforms of the past. Even before the war Home Rule ras dead. It has been difficult for some time for the one arty to flog the dead horse, and, to tell the truth, not very
asy for the other party to fight him. Leading statesmen - - recognise the new position of affairs, and Lord Rosebery - proposes to construct out of the ruins of Gladstonianism a
* Liberal Imperialism,' of which the distinctive marks have - not yet been divulged to the public. Mr. Gladstone, it will be observed, not less than Home Rule, is dead and buried.
The merit of ‘Imperialism' clearly depends upon what is meant by it and what is done with it. Our national safety lies in our strength and in the knowledge of the whole world that we can defend ourselves. So far we are all
Imperialists. But we want the whole world to recognise also that we are not actuated by unjust or aggressive aims; that we love peace, that the interest of the British Empire lies in peace, and that we have no intention of abandoning the coupsels of three generations of statesmen in order to enter upon a rivalry of military ambition with the great powers of the world. We do not wish to rest our peaceful relations with the rest of Europe merely upon the fear of our power. Our statesmen have to see that our national character and good name are also held in respect.
No. CCCXCIII. will be published in July.
Alaska Boundary, review of books concerning, 279—territory in
dispute, 279—purchase of Alaska by United States, 280, 284–
present position of the question, 304.
Baldry, d. L., his book on Sir J. E. Millais reviewed, 182.
defects of new army administration, 247—difficulties in attaining