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Title: King Edward's realm: Story of the making of the Empire
Author: Dawe, C. S.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "King Edward's realm: Story of the making of the Empire" ***

[Frontispiece: King Edward]

  King Edward's
  Realm * * *



  REV. C. S. DAWE, B.A.,

  _Author of "Queen Victoria, and her People," &c._




As Englishmen we have been born to a great inheritance, which we hold
in common with our kinsmen in all parts of the empire.  It is quite
time that all who share in its possession should have some knowledge
of the way in which it has been founded and built up, and should
learn something of the great men under whose guidance and inspiration
the work has been done.

The writer has attempted to impart such knowledge in an attractive
form, avoiding mere dry details, and that closely-packed synopsis of
facts which may be desirable in a work intended for a student
preparing for examination.  But this little work is not written for
the student, but as a pleasant course of reading for young or old,
who desire to know something of the men who have made the empire, and
of the principal events which stand out as mile-stones on the road
along which our nation has travelled.

Whilst selecting the more picturesque parts of the story of the
empire for special treatment, an endeavour has been made to keep up
the continuity of the narrative, so as to enable the reader to trace
the connection between events, their results and causes, and to help
in sustaining his intelligent interest from page to page throughout
the book.  An endeavour has also been made to foster that imperial
spirit which takes a true pride in what our forefathers have
achieved, which resolves to hold what they have won, and which
broadens our view of public questions by setting them in relation to
the interests of the empire at large.



The Empire and its Living Link.


England Preparing for Empire


  (1) Invention of Printing
  (2) Invention of Fire-Arms
  (3) Discovery of a Sea-Route to India
  (4) Discovery of a World to the West
  (5) Rise of the English Navy
  (6) Queen Elizabeth at the Helm
  (7) Coming Struggle with Spain
  (8) An Elizabethan Mariner
  (9) A Celebrated Voyage Round the World
  (10) Singeing the King of Spain's Beard
  (11) Arming for the Fight
  (12) Defeating the "Invincible"
  (13) Expansion of England into the "United Kingdom"


Early English Colonisation


  (1) England's Success in Colonizing
  (2) England's First Colony
  (3) "Farewell, dear England"
  (4) Progress in Colonizing
  (5) Struggle for the Mastery at Sea
  (6) Our Great "General-at-Sea"


Expansion by Conquest


  (1) What we owe to William of Orange
  (2) A Famous Victory and a Lucky Capture
  (3) Grandmotherly Government of the French in Canada
  (4) Ripening for War
  (5) "The Great Commoner" and his "Mad General"
  (6) Capture of a Second Gibraltar
  (7) First Founder of our Indian Empire
  (8) Beginning of British Rule in India


Time of Trial and Triumph


  (1) Tightening our Hold on India
  (2) A Great Loss to the Empire
  (3) Australasia brought to Light
  (4) First Settlement in Australia
  (5) Pioneer Work in Australia
  (6) Remarkable Industrial Progress
  (7) Nelson and Napoleon
  (8) Nelson's Crowning Victory
  (9) India's New Masters
  (10) Wellington and Napoleon


Progress of India and the Colonies

(Since 1815).

  (1) Colonial Self-Government
  (2) Birth of a Nation
  (3) Promise of National Greatness
  (4) "The Good of the Governed"
  (5) Spoils of Victory
  (6) Deeds of Heroism
  (7) British Rule on a New Footing
  (8) Bars to Progress
  (9) Effect of the Discovery of Gold
  (10) Exploration & its Martyrs
  (11) Mutual Advantage of Motherland & Colony
  (12) A Difficult British State to Build
  (13) Great Extension of British Territory


Unity of the Empire.

  (1) Growth of Freedom
  (2) Imperial Spirit of our Race
  (3) The Sovereign in Relation to the Empire



The Empire and its Living Link.

1.  A glance at the map of the world in which the parts of the
British Empire are coloured red may well fill us with astonishment
that the little spot marked England has expanded into an empire that
covers one-sixth of the habitable globe, and measures more than one
hundred times as much as the little island that forms its heart and

2.  The only other empire that approaches it in size is that of
Russia, and we can well imagine a patriotic Russian thinking that his
sovereign had a much better realm than had ours, even if it was not
so large.  "For see," he might say to a countryman of ours, "what a
sprawling, disjointed empire yours is, whereas ours is so compact
that we can pass through its length and breadth without crossing a
single sea."

What reply should a Briton make to this boast?

3.  "True," he might say, "the British Empire looks like a giant with
his limbs outstretched, having his head in one sea, and his arms and
legs in as many others; true it is that our king's realm is so widely
spread that the sun never sets on his dominions, still it is far
easier for us to go from end to end of our empire than it would be if
built like yours."

4.  We could not expect the Russian to agree to this, but
nevertheless it is true; for the sundered portions of the British
dominions are connected by the sea, and the sea offers a ready-made
road to every ship that sails.  No hills have to be levelled, no
tunnels bored, no rails laid down, and hence it is much cheaper to
travel on sea than on land, and often much easier and quicker.  We
may rightly regard the seas that come between our shores and the rest
of the empire, not as separating but as connecting its several parts,
and enabling the motherland to keep in constant touch with her
daughter states in other lands.

5.  Steam and electricity have worked wonders in bringing all the
members of the English family of nations into close connection with
each other in spite of the many thousands of miles that separate
them.  By means of our great ocean-liners we can cross a wide ocean
in a few days, and by means of electric cables beneath the sea each
part of the empire can converse with any other part in the course of
a few hours, or even in a few minutes.

6.  This ready means of communicating with each other, draws us all
more closely together in thought and feeling.  The same incidents and
events, to a great extent, occupy the minds of all our race at the
same time, and send a thrill of joy or sorrow throughout the empire.
Whether living in London, Sydney, or Montreal, the Briton finds in
his daily paper a great deal of the same news, showing how much of
common interest there is between ourselves and our brothers beyond
the seas.

7.  Away then with the idea that seas act as barriers.  They serve
rather to unite.  Has not steam bridged the ocean, and electricity
brought its shores within speaking distance? For trading purposes,
especially, the sea is much more a uniter than a divider, since goods
may be carried so much more cheaply by water than by land.  It costs
less to bring wheat by sea from Montreal or New York to London, a
distance of 3500 miles, than to bring the same by rail from Liverpool
to London.

8.  The British Empire, it is true, is scattered over the face of the
globe, but in some respects this is an advantage.  Being so widely
sundered its different portions differ much in climate and
productions, and thus can the better supply each others' wants.
England, for instance, serves as the great manufacturing shop for her
colonies, whilst they in return send her the raw material for her
factories and food for her children.  England, indeed, would soon
suffer from famine if a constant supply of food did not come from
other lands.  To insure this supply without interruption to our
traffic, we must be able to keep the seas open to our merchant-ships,
whether in peace or war, and for this purpose our navy must be

9.  Nothing is more interesting in the story we have to tell than the
daring exploits of our seamen, by which we have risen to the command
of the seas, and are able to sing _Rule Britannia_ with the proud
happy feeling that Britannia does indeed still rule the waves, and
that as far as in us lies it shall never cease to do so, since it is
only by thus "ruling the waves" that we can look to the sea as a
friend that unites the whole family of English-speaking peoples, and
enables them to aid one another.

10.  But we need something warmer than sea-water to unite us all, and
make us in heart and mind one people, in whatever quarter of the
globe we live, and that is the spirit and sentiment that spring from
the fact that we are of kindred race, that we all speak the same
language, read the same books, enjoy the same freedom, make our own
laws, and passionately love justice and fair-play.  We have recently
had striking evidence of the warm feeling that pervades the whole
empire, and welds its several parts into one.  When the Boer war
broke out and the British arms met with reverses, the whole empire
throbbed with one heart and kindled with one spirit, revealing to
ourselves and the whole world that though the British Empire is
widely scattered, it is in heart and mind closely united.

11.  As a symbol of that unity we have one king, one flag.  The king,
indeed, is more than a symbol of unity, he is a link, a living link,
that actually binds the parts together.  Every true Briton,
throughout the empire, looks to the sovereign as the head and centre
of the national life, from whom all who administer the laws, or
exercise command in the army or navy, derive their authority.  Whilst
the king takes a personal share in the government in the homeland
only, he has his representatives who act as governors, in his name,
in every province of the empire.  The king, therefore, may be
regarded as the living link which unites the sundry and sundered
parts of his mighty empire.

12.  The relation of King Edward to the different portions of his
realm is thus expressed in the title which he has assumed: _Edward
the Seventh, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas,
King; Defender of the Faith; Emperor of India_.


England Preparing for Empire



1.  We will begin our "Story of the Making of the Empire" with that
of the _Making of England_, the centre around which the whole empire
has grown, and try to show how she was shaped and prepared to be the
mother of nations.  To become fit for her high calling, it was
essential for her to become wise and powerful.  And as nothing has
contributed more to this end than the spread of knowledge, we will
start with the brighter day that dawned upon our land when printing
was invented.

2.  The first printing-press was brought to our country by William
Caxton, about 1475, that is ten years before Henry VII., the first
Tudor, began his reign.  He set it up near Westminster Abbey, and
astonished all the great men of the land who came to see his
wonderful machine.

3.  Formerly all books were written by hand, and consequently were so
scarce and expensive that only few could get them to read.  Much
knowledge was hidden away in Greek and Latin manuscripts, but it had
been hard to get at it.  The invention of printing altered all this.
It brought books within easier reach, and men who were athirst for
knowledge could satisfy their craving.

4.  Caxton was a great worker.  More than fifty years old when he
began his new labours, he printed ninety-nine books before his death.
Though busy as a printer, he was even busier as a translator.  The
first book he printed was _The Tales of Troy_, which he translated
from the French.  In the preface to this book Caxton tells us how
tired he had become of writing books with pen and ink, how his eyes
had become dim "with overmuch looking on the white paper," and how
gladly he had learned the new art of printing.  Having finished the
printing of his first book, he said proudly to his visitors: "It is
not written with pen and ink as other books be, but all the books of
this story here imprinted as ye see were begun and finished in one

5.  The printing-press worked wonders in the world.  Many books which
had been left to moulder in the dust for more than a thousand years
now saw the light of day.  Printed copies of these works were soon in
circulation.  The great thoughts of famous writers who had lived in
ages past once more stirred the human heart.  Men seemed to awake
from the sleep of centuries, to open their eyes to the light of
knowledge, and to begin to think for themselves.

6.  Within fifty years from the introduction of the printing-press
nearly all the great works of Greek and Latin authors were in print.
Greek scholars were everywhere in great request as teachers.  By many
earnest students in our land the knowledge of Greek was chiefly
sought because it was as a key to unlock the meaning of the New
Testament, the books of which were originally written in that
language.  This study of Greek and the new learning that shed its
light around, led in England to considerable changes in men's
religious opinions.

7.  The new art of printing had also a considerable effect on the
Englishman's mother tongue.  Caxton tells us that he found great
difficulty in choosing his words when translating because "the common
language of one shire differs from that of another so much that
travellers from one part of England have much ado to make themselves
understood in another part."  When a language only lives on men's
lips it soon becomes altered in various ways; but when it is not only
spoken but printed it is wont to become fixed, and all who read
become accustomed to the same form of speech.

8.  In the course of the century that followed Caxton's labours, some
years before any emigrants left our shores, the English language
assumed its final form.  When at length Englishmen began to emigrate,
they carried with them the same tongue that continued to be spoken at
home.  This is a matter of no small importance; for a common language
is a strong bond of union.  Happily, all who have left the old
country to form colonies in other parts, however distant or widely
separated, still speak the same language as ourselves.  We all read
the same books, and clothe our thoughts and feelings in almost the
same words.  This tends to keep us in heart and mind one people,
however wide the seas between us.

9.  When now-a-days an Englishman lands in the United States, or in
any British Colony, he hears men speaking his own tongue.  The people
of other nations rarely enjoy this privilege.  The German emigrant,
for example, seldom desires to settle in a German Colony.  He usually
makes his new home in the United States or in some British Colony,
and there he finds himself in the midst of an English-speaking
people, and forced to learn their language in order to get on.  An
Englishman it is said, is always ready to grumble, but no nation has
less cause than our own to be discontented with its lot.

10.  Lastly, printing had a great effect in giving a lift to men of
the humbler classes.  Thousands of people who never before had a
chance of learning were now able to buy and read books, and gain
valuable knowledge.  Of course, in our own day, books are so cheap,
and free libraries so common, that all who have the will can read and
learn.  But even in Tudor times--in the century that followed the
introduction of printing into England--the wider spread of knowledge,
due to the new invention, made people more equal than before, and
gave a clever boy in humble life a better chance of turning his
talents to good account, both for himself and his fatherland.


1.  Gunpowder had been invented long before printing, but it was much
longer in making its influence felt.  Cannon had been used as early
as the battle of Crecy, 1346, but they were of little use, being
rudely constructed of wood, hooped with iron, and almost as dangerous
to the gunners who fired them as to the enemy they were intended to
kill.  In time, however much better cannon were turned out, and
before the end of the War of the Roses great guns were used with much
success both on board ship and in the siege of castles and

2.  Hand-guns came into use somewhat later than cannon, but in the
times of the Tudors they gradually superseded the bow and arrow.
Henry VIII. was much opposed to the change, for the English archer
excelled all others in his art.  Excellence is never a mere accident.
It was due, in this case, to a long and careful training begun in
boyhood and enforced by law.  Fathers and masters of apprentices were
obliged to teach the lads under their care the use of the bow, to
provide them with weapons suited to their strength, and to compel
them to practise at stated times.  Our forefathers have set us an
excellent example.  If Old England is to ward off all danger from her
shores, and to hold her proud place among the nations, she must see
that her lads are in like manner provided with rifles suited to their
strength, and encouraged to practise regularly at the target.  Lads'
Brigades and Cadet Corps must become the order of the day.

3.  The use of gunpowder made sweeping changes in the art of warfare,
just as smokeless powder and quick-firing rifles and guns are doing
to-day.  Both the archer and the mailed knight disappeared.  The old
castles became quite useless as fortresses, and the barons in
consequence lost much of their old power.  In the reign of Henry VII.
we find them, for the first time, quite unable to stand up against
the king, who took care to keep in his own possession the only great
guns in the kingdom, much in the same way as in India, at the present
day, we are careful to keep the artillery wholly in the hands of
British soldiers.

4.  Gunpowder is a great leveller.  It puts the weak and strong, the
short and tall more nearly on a level.  It is the men, small or
large, who can shoot straight that are likely to win the battle.  As
soon as fire-arms displaced the bow and arrow, success in battle no
longer turned mainly upon the valour of the gentlemen in armour, but
upon the right handling and steady discipline of the rank and file.
A volley of shots from a line of common soldiers could scatter death
and disorder among the ranks of the bravest knights in armour.  The
gentlemen-at-arms soon found that their armour was only an
encumbrance, and that its proper place was on the walls of their
grand old halls, or, for people to look at, in some public gallery,
like that in the Tower of London.  The sword and the lance still hold
their ground, but there are many signs that the rifle will soon
supplant them in actual warfare.

5.  In the last chapter we have spoken of the beneficial effects of
the invention of printing.  Can we speak in the same way of
gunpowder?  It may seem strange to talk about gunpowder as if
anything good could result from its use, but it would be a mistake to
think that the work it has done in the world has been wholly bad, for
there are times when force is the only argument that can convince,
when force is the only way of putting down evil.  In reality it has
played a large part in the making of our empire, and, therefore, in
establishing the reign of justice and order.

6.  It was by means of fire-arms that our forefathers were able to
gain a secure footing in the countries of uncivilized races, to make
new homes among them, and to establish law and order in their midst.
It was by the superior weapons of the white man--a superiority due
mainly to the use of gunpowder--that he was able to prevail over the
Red Indians of America, the Negroes and Kaffirs of Africa, and the
Cannibals of New Zealand.  To the simple savage there is something
magical in the effect of fire-arms.  He sees a distant object struck
down, and perhaps killed, but his eye cannot follow the flight of the
bullet that has dealt the blow.  He sees the flash, he trembles at
the thunder, and in a moment the messenger of death unseen has sped.

7.  Of course the natives in time learn that there is no magic in all
this, but a knowledge of the reality brings them no comfort.  They
are obliged to admit that their own weapons, such as rude spears or
feeble bows and arrows, are no match for the arms of thunder and
lightning in the hands of the white man.  And so they sullenly submit
to their fate, and leave the white strangers to settle in their

8.  The effect of superior weapons is equally striking in our own
day, whenever Europeans come in contact with half-civilized people,
like the blacks of West Africa.  It is true these men are often armed
with muskets, but they are of such an out-of-date pattern, that they
do little damage compared with ours.  Consequently, a few hundred
well-armed and well-drilled natives, under British officers, can go
to battle with as many thousands of the enemy and carry off the

9.  Even when the natives are brave and well-armed, like the Zulus,
with their terrible assegais, they cannot stand against one-tenth as
many Englishmen armed with repeating rifles, and supported by maxim
guns, grinding out bullets by the score.  It was never more evident
than it is to-day that "Knowledge is Power," and that the greatness
of a nation is based on knowledge and character.  Of this we shall
have repeated evidence in the course of this story.


1.  Let me again carry your minds back to the time when Caxton set up
his printing-press in England, about 1475; for that date we may take
as a convenient starting-point in telling our tale.  At that time the
larger portion of the earth was unknown to even the best geographers.
A glance at the map will enable you to see how limited was their
knowledge of the size and surface of the earth.  You will look there
in vain for the larger portion of the British Empire as we know it
to-day.  You will find there no Canada, no Australasia, no South

2.  It was known indeed that the earth was round like a globe, but no
one had ever gone round it.  Mariners in their voyages had always
kept near the coasts, and never ventured very far from home.  But
when men awoke, with the rattle of the printing-press, from the sleep
of centuries, a new spirit of enquiry took hold of them.  The same
spirit that led some men to search out old truths hidden away in
musty manuscripts, urged others of a more daring turn of mind to go
in search of new lands.

[Illustration: The known World in 1475]

3.  It was not, I regret to say, our own countrymen that took the
lead in the discovery of new lands.  That honour belongs to the
Portuguese.  By the middle of the fifteenth century they had sailed
along the coast of Africa as far as Cape Verde, and seen men with
skins as black as ebony.  At the sight, some of the sailors, it is
said, began to fear that if they proceeded still further south, their
skins would turn black under the scorching rays of the tropical sun,
and their hair become frizzled as the negro's.  Before turning back,
however, they explored the coast of Guinea, and found the natives
ready to traffic in ivory and gold.

4.  The wonders that the sailors had to tell on their return, and the
sight of the gold and ivory, the monkeys and curiosities they brought
with them, kindled an eager spirit of adventure among their
countrymen.  Lisbon became the headquarters of bold mariners bent on
exploring new lands, with the King of Portugal as patron.  It was his
ardent wish to find a sea-route to India and the East, whence came
the rich carpets and shawls, the silks and gems, the drugs and spices
so highly valued in Europe.

5.  The King of Portugal, accordingly, fitted out a small fleet, and
directed Diaz, its commander, to follow the coasts of Africa and try
to make his way to India.  But the distance was much greater than the
king supposed.  Diaz sailed a thousand miles further along the
African coast than any yet had dared to go, and reached the southern
end of that continent.  But he could go no further.  Stormy weather
and the crazy condition of his ships compelled him to turn their
prows homeward.

6.  The king named the "lands-end" Diaz had reached the _Cape of Good
Hope_, for he believed that by rounding that Cape the sea-route to
India would be gained.  And he was right.  This, however, was not
actually proved until 1498, when Vasco da Gama, another Portuguese
mariner, rounded the Cape, crossed the Indian Ocean, and anchored in
the harbour of Calicut, on the west coast of India.

7.  The discovery of a sea-route to India had important results, and
in time proved a great advantage to English commerce.  Hitherto the
merchandise of India and the East had been carried overland on the
backs of camels to the ports of Syria and Asia Minor, and thence
shipped chiefly to Venice.  When once the treasures of the East
reached that port they were safe from plunder; for Venice with its
sea-girt walls was perfectly secure.  But in the course of their long
passage from India and the East, the goods were always exposed to
plunder.  The caravans, with their long string of loaded camels, were
often attacked by bands of Arab robbers; and the merchant-ships,
though armed, were often boarded by Turkish pirates.

8.  The sea-route, via the Cape, offered great advantages.  It was
both cheaper and safer; cheaper, because the goods could be brought
the whole way in ships; and safer, because the voyage was made across
the open ocean, where the risk from pirates was not nearly so great.
The Portuguese were the first to take advantage of the new route, and
for many years kept the whole trade to themselves; for in those days
it was generally thought that the discoverer of new lands had the
sole right to trade with them.

9.  The Venetians soon found themselves unable to compete with the
Portuguese.  Lisbon, accordingly, became the centre of trade for the
spices, silks, calicoes, gums and drugs of the East, and the glory of
Venice departed.  The Dutch were not slow to avail themselves of this
new opening for trade.  They freighted their ships at Lisbon, and
made Antwerp the chief entrepôt of trade for the countries round.
London dates its rise as the great centre of the world's commerce
from the capture and sack of Antwerp by the Duke of Parma about a
hundred years later (1585).  It was not till the year 1600, near the
end of Elizabeth's reign, that our English merchants ventured on
trade with India direct, and then the East India Company was
chartered by the queen for that purpose.  It was destined to take a
large share, not only in trade with the East, but in the great work
of making the empire.


1.  Across the Atlantic lay a double continent unknown to the rest of
the world until discovered by Christopher Columbus (1492).  This
extraordinary man was born at Genoa, and in the early years of his
manhood "sailed," as he tells us, "wherever ship had sailed."  He
came to the conclusion that, as the world was round, India might be
reached by sailing westward across the Atlantic.  But he knew not, of
course, how far it was in that direction, or what lay between his
goal and his starting-point.

2.  Columbus having prevailed on Isabella of Spain to put three small
ships under his command, began his voyage of discovery on setting out
from the Canary Islands.  He soon reached the part where the
trade-wind blows, and was carried by it steadily along to the
westward, day after day, without the necessity of shifting a sail.
But the greater the progress of the ships, the greater became the
alarm of the sailors.

3. There arose murmurs among the terrified crews, and some of them
talked of throwing the admiral overboard and returning to Spain.  At
length, when more than thirty days had passed, and still nothing
could be seen but sea and sky, Columbus promised that, if in three
days longer no land was discovered, he would tack about and make for
home.  Before the three days had passed, there arose from the
foremost ship the joyful cry of "Land!  Land!"

4.  The men soon manned the boats and pulled to shore, whilst the
natives flocked to the beach and gazed in wondering admiration.
Columbus, clad in scarlet, leapt ashore, with the royal banner of
Spain in his hands.  In a few moments a crucifix was erected, and
then "all gave thanks to God, kneeling upon the shore, and kissing
the ground with tears of joy."  The simple natives regarded the
strangers as a superior order of beings descended from the sun.  They
were shy at first through fear, but soon became familiar with the
Spaniards; and received with transports of joy, in exchange for their
gold ornaments, hawk's bells, glass beads, and other baubles.

5.  Columbus was not aware that he had hit upon a new continent, but
supposed he had come upon some islands lying off India.  He had
really landed upon one of the Bahama Islands.  In consequence of his
mistake the islands he had discovered were called the Indies, and the
natives were spoken of as Indians.  Cruising among the islands, now
called the West Indies, Columbus discovered Cuba and Hayti, and then
returned to Spain in triumph, taking with him gold, cotton, parrots,
and other products of the islands, and a few natives besides.

6.  The famous voyage of Columbus soon became the common talk among
seafaring men.  At that time, in the port of Bristol, were two
skilful mariners, father and son, named Cabot.  John Cabot was a
seaman of Venice, but his son Sebastian was born at Bristol.  They
were bent on finding a short way to India by sailing westward, like
Columbus, only keeping in a much higher latitude.  They obtained
permission from King Henry VII. "to seek out, subdue and occupy any
regions which before had been unknown to all Christians," and they
were authorised to set up the royal banner in any such land and to
take possession in the king's name.

7.  On an old map drawn by the younger Cabot it is stated: "In the
year of our Lord 1497, John Cabot, with his son Sebastian, discovered
that country which no one before his time had ventured to approach,
on the 24th of June, about five o'clock in the morning.  He called
the country _The-land-first-seen_, and the island opposite, St. John,
because discovered on the festival of St. John the Baptist."
"The-land-first-seen" was probably Nova Scotia or the island of Cape

8.  Next year, Sebastian Cabot came upon Newfoundland and sailed
along the coast of Labrador, picking his way among the icebergs, in
his effort to discover an open channel to India.  He then retraced
his course and examined the coast of the United States as far as
Virginia without finding the desired opening.  He had, however,
mapped out roughly 1800 miles of the North American coast, and
secured for England the prior claim to the northern half of that
continent.  But nothing came of this adventure until the reign of
Elizabeth, when steps were taken to occupy some part of the new-found


1.  We owe the founding of the royal navy to Henry VIII.  Before his
time there seems to have been no standing navy, private ships being
hired and armed when a war-fleet was needed.  With the accession,
however, of Henry VIII. (1509), England began to take her right place
as a naval power.  The new king was rich and clever, bluff and
hearty, a thorough "John Bull," with a proud resolute spirit that
would brook no denial.


2.  Henry at once made up his mind to have a powerful navy that
England and her sovereign might become "second to none."  He knew
well that if England was to secure her share of trade with other
nations she must have a navy strong enough to enforce her claims and
protect her merchantmen.  Henry, therefore, lost no time in
establishing dockyards at Deptford and Woolwich, and in procuring
from Italy and elsewhere skilled shipbuilders and cannon founders.

3.  A great change took place in Henry's reign in the kind of warship
chiefly built.  Before his time the warship was usually a kind of
long boat, called a galley, propelled by oars.  But when cannon came
into use, it was found advisable to build larger vessels, and
substitute sails for oars, just as in the reign of Queen Victoria
sails had to give place to steam.  The change, however, was gradually
wrought, and oared galleys held their ground, as a secondary force,
to the end of Henry's reign.

4.  The early Tudor ships were, of course, far from perfect.  They
had towering castles both at bow and stern which made them top-heavy.
Their rigging also was too unwieldy for stormy weather, and made it
unsafe to keep the sea in winter.  The fate of that "flower of
ships," the _Mary Rose_, shows how easily vessels of the time were
upset.  Coming out of Portsmouth Harbour, on her way to join in
battle with the French, her crew were tacking her, when she heeled
over and rapidly sank, carrying with her some 400 soldiers and 200

5.  Some of Henry's ships were evidently of large dimensions.  The
_Great Harry_, for instance, was of 1000 tons, and carried
twenty-three great guns, some of which were loaded with shot weighing
at least thirty pounds.  Besides his great ships, Henry built smaller
ones, called pinnaces; and fast, handy sailing ships they proved.
Guns also of all sizes and patterns, bronze and iron, were cast in
his reign, many of them little inferior to those in Nelson's time.

6.  In the early years of Henry's reign, his ships were armed
principally with small guns for use as mankillers, rather than for
damaging the hull or rigging of the enemy's ships.  The aim in a
sea-fight, at that time, was for each ship to get on the windward
side of the enemy, and then sail down with the wind to ram its
adversary and board her, if she did not sink with the collision.
Only on getting quite close were the guns discharged, and at the
moment of boarding the stones, lances, and other implements of war in
the castles, "fore and aft," were brought into play.  A sharp fight
then ensued on the enemy's deck, the boarders being either driven
back into their own ship, or left in possession of their prize.

7.  The whole object in this mode of fighting was to close with the
enemy as quickly as possible.  But before the end of Henry's reign a
great change of tactics had taken place.  Henry was one of the first
to perceive that a great advantage would be gained by the
introduction of heavy guns.  Larger ships were, accordingly, built
and the lower decks furnished with port-holes, thus enabling them to
carry two tiers of guns.

8.  This change in the structure of the ships and the weight of the
guns brought about a change in the mode of attack.  The aim now was
for each big ship by clever seamanship to place itself so as to
deliver a "broadside," while avoiding one of the enemy, and thus to
disable or sink its adversary while pounding away at a distance.
Thus a complete revolution in naval warfare was made in the course of
Henry's reign.  That revolution was not confined to England, but the
English king took the foremost place in carrying it out.  While other
nations on the continent were intent on establishing standing armies,
Henry devoted himself to the creation of a standing navy that should
be able to compete with the best on the sea.

9.  At the close of his reign the navy belonging to the Crown
consisted of 53 vessels, carrying 250 guns of bronze and 1850 of
iron, the crews numbering about 7000 men.  Henry VIII., therefore,
has a good right to be considered the founder of the English navy.
He had the satisfaction of knowing that some of the finest ships that
sailed the seas flew the flag of St. George.  We say the flag of St.
George because at that time there was no union of England and
Scotland, and consequently no Union Jack.  It was Henry VIII. who
first ordered that every king's ship should fly at the masthead and
at the bowsprit, the flag of St. George, with its red cross on a
white ground.  This flag is still carried by every ship in the
British navy when an Admiral is on board and in command.


1.  Elizabeth, who came to the throne in 1558, did much for the
making of England.  To her reign we can trace the beginning of much
that constitutes the glory and greatness of the England of to-day.
Her reign, indeed, may be considered the seed-time of England's
greatness.  When the crown passed from the head of Queen Mary to that
of her sister Elizabeth the fortunes of England were at a very low
ebb.  The kingdom had just been worsted in a war with France, and
felt a rankling sore at the loss of Calais.

2.  The one hope of England centred in Elizabeth, whose coming to the
throne was as the rising of the sun.  In addressing her first
Parliament she struck the keynote of her reign, and thrilled the
hearts of her hearers with joy.  "Nothing, no worldly thing under the
sun, is so dear to me as the love and goodwill of my subjects....  My
greatest desire is to be the mother of my people."  And so well did
she study the interests of her people that they learned to call her
"Good Queen Bess."

3.  It was no easy task which lay before the young queen.  She had to
govern a people sharply divided into two parties, calling themselves
Catholics and Protestants, ever ready in those days to bite and
devour one another.  Elizabeth endeavoured from the first to reign,
not as queen of this party or that, but as queen of all her people.
In her religious opinions, however, she leaned to the Protestant
side.  She was decidedly in favour of a National Church, in which the
Pope had no power, and at her request her first Parliament restored
the English Bible and Prayer-book to their former place in public

4.  Elizabeth was not without her faults.  She was vain and fond of
flattery, and sometimes mean and deceitful.  But in the management of
affairs of state she always sought the greatness of England.
Although she had able ministers, she steered the ship of state
herself.  She loved to pilot her vessel in troubled waters, and to
take a zigzag course, but so skilfully did she handle the helm that
she avoided the shoals and rocks that lay in her course.

5.  Elizabeth's great endeavour was to keep her country out of war.
And so well did she succeed that she secured for England almost
unbroken peace for thirty years, not peace at any price, but "peace
with honour."  She never yielded to threats, she never drew back a
single inch when the honour of England bade her stand firm.  She
stood again and again on the brink of war, either with France or
Spain.  But so jealous were these powers of each other, and so full
were their hands of their own home troubles, that the wily queen was
able to play off one against the other, and get her own way without
going to war.  Owing to the long peace she secured, and the strict
economy she practised, England constantly grew in prosperity and

6.  Another lasting good Elizabeth wrought for her country.  Before
her day Scotland had always joined France when the latter went to war
with England, and so close was the alliance at the time of
Elizabeth's accession that Queen Mary of Scotland was married to the
King of France, and French troops were quartered in Edinburgh.
Elizabeth put herself at the head of the Scotch Protestants, who,
with the help of her fleet and army, soon drove out the French.  This
action of Elizabeth put an end for ever to the alliance between
France and Scotland.  It created a friendly feeling between the
Protestants of England and Scotland, and prepared the way for the
peaceful union between the two crowns on Elizabeth's death.

7.  Happily, that death was far distant, and when it occurred all
England was ready to acknowledge James of Scotland as king.  But had
Elizabeth died young, the country would have been thrown into utter
disorder, if not civil war.  That danger at one time seemed imminent.

8.  The queen, while staying at Hampton Court, felt herself one day
faint and unwell.  Never suspecting that small-pox was the cause, she
went out for a ride, caught cold, and in a few hours was in a high
fever.  The eruption was checked.  She grew rapidly and alarmingly
worse.  _The thin cord that held England together was threatening to
snap_.  Should the queen die no ray of hope or light could be seen
for England.  In the evening she sank into a stupor without speech;
and with blank faces, in the ante-chamber of the room where she was
believed to be dying, the Council sat into the night to consider the
thorny question of the succession to the throne.  At midnight the
fever cooled, the skin grew moist, the spots began to appear.  By the
morning the eruption had come out--and the danger was over.

9.  Among the queenly qualities of Elizabeth was her unfailing
insight into men's character.  She knew worthy men when she saw them,
and showed unerring judgment in the selection of her ministers and
agents.  She made the interests of the kingdom her chief concern, and
those who shared her counsels were of the same spirit.  Her chief
minister was William Cecil, and for forty years he served the queen
with rare ability and loyalty.  He had much to endure from the shifty
and uncertain ways of his royal mistress, but he bore all with
wonderful patience, and was ever at her elbow with his sage advice
when the right moment had come.  Elizabeth knew that she could trust
him, and was never offended when he plainly showed that he disliked
her crooked policy.  Blunt of speech herself, she required her
ministers to be plain-spoken; always ready to listen to their
counsel, though not always ready to follow their advice.

10.  Her great minister Elizabeth created Lord Burleigh, and gave him
great wealth and power, which he always used in the interests of his
country.  No other minister has directed the affairs of state for so
long a period, or ever directed them more wisely.  Lord Burleigh,
therefore, deserves a place of high honour among the makers of
England.  The family of Cecil has often since taken an active part in
the government of the kingdom, a conspicuous example of which we have
seen in the case of Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury, who has held
the office of Prime Minister both in the last reign and the present.

11.  Every Englishman recalls the reign of Queen Elizabeth with
patriotic pride.  In it he can find the roots of our national life
and character.  Many faults the queen certainly had, but they were
such as affected the few who lived at her court.  To the many who
looked from afar her virtues only were known.  Her ministers might
know the weaknesses of her character and the windings of her policy,
all her other subjects saw only the good results of the guiding hand
at the helm.  Whatever mistakes she made, there was one she never
committed.  She never forgot that she was _Queen of England_, and
that it was her duty to make England great, prosperous, and powerful.


1.  During the long peace of Elizabeth's reign, England was
repeatedly on the brink of war with Spain.  That war was bound to
come.  It came with the sailing of the Spanish Armada, in the
thirtieth year of Elizabeth's reign.  It would have come much sooner
but for the long war between Philip King of Spain, and his Dutch
subjects in the Netherlands, which at that time formed part of the
Spanish dominions.  Our business now is to unfold the causes that
made war with Spain inevitable.

2.  King Philip had married Mary of England, and on her death,
offered his hand to Elizabeth, who declined the honour.  At the time
of his accession Spain was the foremost state in the world.  The
discovery made by Columbus had given the Spaniards possession of the
West Indies and Central America, and by conquest they had gained
Mexico and Peru with their rich mines of silver and gold.

3.  The natives, so-called Indians, were forced to work in the mines
for their new masters, and every year the harvest of the mines was
collected and poured into the royal treasury of Spain.  The sugar
plantations were also a source of wealth.  As the poor natives could
not stand the hard toil in the mines and plantations, and their
numbers in consequence began rapidly to dwindle, the cruel slave
trade was set afoot.  Negroes were purchased on the coast of West
Africa and taken across the sea to work for the Spaniards.

4.  We wish it could be said that England stood forth as the champion
of freedom, and that the shameful traffic in slaves was the chief
cause of the war with Spain.  But this was not so.  In enslaving
their fellow-men the Spaniards were no worse than other peoples.  All
alike in that age seemed to think the traffic in slaves to be right
and lawful.

5.  No, the chief cause of the coming war was King Philip's
determination to shut the door of Spanish America against our trade,
and the equally strong determination of our merchants and mariners to
force that door open.  Nor can it be said that Philip was going
beyond his rights according to the common opinion of his time; for it
was then generally held that the nation which first made the
discovery of new lands had the sole right to trade with the same.  In
the discovery of new lands the Portuguese and the Spaniards had got
the start of the other nations of Europe, and both alike warned off
all ships except their own from their respective domains.

6.  But it soon became pretty clear that the English seamen did not
intend to be frightened off.  Wherever ship sailed, they would sail
too.  They did not wait for Queen Elizabeth to make a formal demand
for the right to trade with the newly-discovered lands, but with her
secret connivance set sail in armed merchantmen, some to trade with
the Portugese possessions on the coast of Guinea, others to trade
with the Spanish settlements in America.  They were resolved to trade
in an honest peaceable way, if permitted; and if not, to take the law
into their own hands and do what was right in their own eyes.  We
shall see presently what deeds of violence and bloodshed this led to
in America, many years before the war was actually declared that
brought the Armada to our shores.

7.  Of that war the necessities of trade were not the sole cause.
Religious differences were scarcely less responsible.  In those days
men thought it their duty to force others, if they could, to hold the
same faith as themselves.  Fines, imprisonment, and even death were
often thought too good for those who dared to differ from the common
faith of their countrymen.  Nor were all nations content to limit
their interference to men of their own nationality.  The chief
offenders were the Spaniards.  All "heretics"--that is, such as held
what they considered false doctrine--who came within their reach had
to pay the penalty for their supposed misbelief.  Woe to the English
seamen who fell into their clutches!

8.  We would gladly throw a veil over the horrible scenes in the
Spanish dungeons and torture-chambers, but they cannot be wholly
passed over as they palliate in some measure the wild, reckless
plunderings and piracies of English seamen when Elizabeth was queen.
To plunder a ship or town belonging to the hated Spaniard was, in
their view, to take a just revenge for his cruelties, to fight for
God against misbelievers, and at the same time to fill their pockets
with gold.  There was certainly a strange mixture of greed, revenge
and religion in the hearts of England's bold mariners in their
lawless proceedings, such as we are about to relate.


1.  The prince of Elizabeth's bold mariners was Francis Drake, a
native of Tavistock, in the county of Devon.  He spent his early days
on the sea as an apprentice, and when twenty-one joined his kinsman,
the celebrated mariner, John Hawkins, a man who ventured to carry on
trade with the Spanish Colonies in spite of the King of Spain's

2.  In this way Drake acquired much skill in seamanship, and much
knowledge of Spanish America.  He ascertained, among other things,
that every year the harvest of the mines of Peru was carried in ships
to Panama, a town on the Pacific coast, and then taken on the backs
of mules across the Isthmus, to Nombre de Dios, a town on the Gulf of
Mexico.  Here the precious metals brought from Peru were hoarded up
until fetched by a fleet from Spain.

3.  Now Drake was a man of splendid audacity, fearless, energetic,
and full of resource.  It occurred to his daring mind that he might
capture the town, where the treasure was stored, or pounce upon the
treasure itself while on its way from Panama.  The means employed
were, as usual in that age of wonders, ridiculously small for the end
proposed.  The fleet placed under the command of our hero for this
great enterprise, consisted of two ships no larger than many pleasure
yachts of the present day, the _Pasha_ of seventy tons, and the
_Swan_ of twenty-five.  On board these ships were taken "three dainty
pinnaces made in Plymouth, taken asunder all in pieces, and stowed
away to be set up as occasion served."  The vessels were manned by
seventy-three men all told, all under thirty except one.

4.  Having crossed the Atlantic, Drake found a secluded harbour, and
there set up his "dainty pinnaces."  One moonlight night he fell upon
the town, where the treasure was stored, and captured it, but had to
retire empty-handed; for while trying to break open the strong door
of the treasure-house, he was wounded in the leg and carried off by
his men, who declared their captain's life was worth more than all
the gold of the Indies.

5.  Our hero withdrew to some retired spot on the coast where he
could hide his ships and refit.  And here in a clearing in the
tropical forest he set up his forges, and built a leafy village in
the manner of the natives.  To the hard-worked seamen it must have
been a paradise.  The woods swarmed with game, the sea teemed with
fish; archery butts and a bowling green were got ready, and while one
half of the men worked, the other half played.  Here they remained
until the time came round for the annual transit of the treasure,
across the Isthmus, from Panama; for it was their captain's purpose
to seize the treasure on its way to Nombre de Dios.

6.  It was in the course of this expedition that Drake first set eyes
on the great Pacific, then almost an unknown ocean, called the South
Sea.  We are told that in a glade the natives had cleared away for
one of their hamlets, there rose "a goodly and great tree, in which
they had cut divers steps to ascend near the top, where they had also
made a convenient bower, wherein ten or twelve men might easily sit.
After our captain had ascended to this bower and had seen that sea of
which he had heard such golden reports, he besought Almighty God of
His goodness to give him life and leave to sail once in an English
ship in that sea."

7.  The march through the forest was then continued until they came
in full view of Panama harbour, crowded with the treasure ships from
Peru.  On hearing from a native spy that the mule trains were ready
to start at sunset--for they always crossed the Isthmus in the cool
of the night--Drake posted his men for a night attack, every man
being ordered to put his shirt on outside his clothes, that friend
might be known from foe.

8.  When the right moment came Drake's shrill whistle broke the
stillness.  In a second his men were on their feet; there was a rush
through the grass in front and rear; and almost without a blow the
two foremost strings of mules were in their hands.  To the chagrin of
the captors, among all the hundred mules not more than two carried
silver.  All the others were laden with victuals.  The alarm was
given, and the rest of the train hastened back to Panama.

9.  Drake disappeared.  The muleteers after some days set out again.
This time they fell into an ambush near the end of their journey.
Before help could arrive, the marauders were struggling back to their
vessels staggering under heavy packs of the precious metals.  With
his two little ships ballasted with gold and silver, and his crew
reduced, through sickness and wounds, to thirty men, Drake laid his
course for home.

10.  The story here told will serve as an example of the daring and
audacity of the Elizabethan mariners, who were possessed of an
adventurous spirit that seemed to laugh at difficulties and dangers.
No odds made them quail.  It was enough that they were Englishmen,
and therefore bound to prevail.  The adventure we have related is of
slight importance, but it well illustrates the spirit of reckless
daring and the wonderful resource and dogged perseverance of the men
who had the fortunes of England in their keeping in the days of Queen


1.  Drake's next exploit was still more extraordinary though hardly
more daring.  Towards the end of 1577 he started on his famous voyage
round the world.  He was then in the prime of life, and is described
by one who saw him as "low of stature, of strong limbs,
broad-breasted, round-headed, with brown hair and a full beard, his
eyes round, large and clear, well-favoured, fair, and of a cheerful
countenance."  When at sea he wore a scarlet cap with a gold band,
and about his neck a plaited cord with a ring attached to it.  He
exacted every mark of respect from all on board.  A sentinel stood
always at his cabin door, and on special occasions "he was served
with sound of trumpets and other instruments at his meals."

2.  Drake sailed in the _Pelican_--afterwards called the _Golden
Hind_--a ship scarcely as big as a Channel schooner, and the
remainder of his little squadron consisted of four vessels still
smaller.  They were, however, swift sailers, and carried in abundance
wildfire, chainshot, guns, pistols, bows, and other weapons.  The
whole force on board the squadron did not exceed 164 men, a
surprisingly small number for the perilous task in hand.

3.  Before reaching Port Julian, in Patagonia, the two smallest of
the vessels had to be abandoned.  Having refitted at this port, Drake
made for the Straits of Magellan, through which no Englishman had yet
passed.  This was the only known way from the Atlantic into the
Pacific, for Tierra del Fuego was supposed, at that time, to be a
great continent stretching far southwards.  Being without charts,
they had to grope their way by means of the lead, which was kept in
constant use.  To relieve the toil-worn crews, halts were made at
various islands on the route, where the sailors amused themselves in
procuring fresh provisions by killing seals and penguins, everything
they saw being strange, wild, and wonderful.  After a perilous
passage of three weeks the three ships reached the open Pacific,
where they were greeted with a violent storm, which swept them far to
the south.  The smallest vessel went to the bottom.  Another losing
sight of the _Pelican_ returned to England.

4.  Drake, with his one ship, and eighty men, having weathered the
storm turned his prow northwards, determined to plunder the Spanish
settlements along the unguarded coasts of Chile and Peru, where no
hostile ship had ever been seen.  Drake's task was, in consequence,
much easier than he could have anticipated.  The inhabitants, when
they saw a sail approaching, never dreamt that it could be other than
a friend.  It was as when men visit some island where no human foot
had ever trod, the animals come fearlessly around, and the birds
perch upon their hands.

5.  At Valparaiso, in Chile, there lay in the harbour a great galleon
which had come from Peru.  Drake sailed in, and the Spanish seamen,
who had never seen a foreigner in those waters, ran up their flags,
beat their drums, and prepared a banquet for their supposed
countrymen.  They were only undeceived when the English sailors leapt
on board and rifled the ship of its wedges of gold.  Off the coast of
Peru, near Potosi, world-famed for its silver mines, they swept off
the silver bars laid out on the pier, whilst the weary labourers who
had brought them from the mines were peacefully sleeping.  The last
bars had scarcely been stowed away in the boats, when a train of
llamas was seen descending the hills with a second freight as rich as
the first.  This too found its way on board the _Pelican_.

6.  All sail was now set for Lima, the chief port of Peru.  Here they
learned that a ship had sailed for Panama a few days before, taking
with her all the bullion that the mines had yielded for the season.
Not a moment was to be lost.  Every inch of canvas was spread and the
chase begun.  Drake promised his gold chain to the man who should
first descry the golden prize.  For eight hundred miles the _Pelican_
flew on, and then the man at the mast-head claimed the promised chain.

[Illustration: Queen Elizabeth Knighting Sir Francis Drake]

7.  Not wishing to come up with his prize till dusk, Drake filled his
empty wine casks with water and trailed them astern, thus slackening
his pace whilst avoiding the suspicion that might have been awakened
by taking in sail.  On coming within ear-shot our commander hailed
the Spanish captain to "strike" his flag.  The next moment a
cannon-ball shot his mast overboard and a volley of arrows cleared
the decks.  The master, who was wounded, at once yielded his ship.
Besides gold, pearls, emeralds, and diamonds, the booty included
twenty-six tons of silver bullion.  With spoils of above
half-a-million in value the daring adventurer sought the safest way

8.  That way, he considered, lay across the Pacific, and around the
Cape of Good Hope.  But before starting on his journey across the
fifteen thousand miles of unknown water that lay between him and the
Cape, it was necessary to repair his ship and scour her keel; for
before the days of copper sheathing, the ships' bottoms grew foul
with sea-weed, barnacles formed in clusters, and the sea-worms bored
holes in the planking.  Finding a suitable harbour Drake beached his
ship, and setting up forge and workshop, refitted her, with a month's
labour, from stem to stern.

9.  After passing across the chartless waters of the Pacific, they
arrived at the end of three months at the Moluccas, or Spice Islands.
The ship was again beached, scraped, and patched.  The crew found
refreshment in the fruits and turtles that abounded, and great
delight in the countless fire-flies that lit up the tropical forests
at night.  At the end of their stay, the fifty-six men who survived
were all as sound and hearty as the day they left England.

10.  On putting to sea again, and while threading their unknown way
between the numerous islands they chanced to strike on a sand-bank.
All seemed lost.  The crew were mustered, and to every man the
chaplain administered the Sacrament.  The captain then cheerily
called to his men to hearten up, and having done the best they could
for their souls to have a thought for their bodies.  All their
efforts to get the ship off failed, but the wind happily changing,
"we hoisted our sails and were lifted off into the sea again, for
which we gave God thanks."  Without further adventures, the _Pelican_
sailed in triumph into Plymouth harbour in October, 1580, after an
absence of three years, and after completing the circuit of the globe.


1.  Drake had safely returned from his voyage round the world, but
how would his royal mistress receive him?  He knew that the queen
secretly approved of all that he had done, but would she sacrifice
him in order to keep at peace with Spain?  At length a message came
from Elizabeth, summoning him to London, and assuring him of her
protection.  With a lightened heart Drake set out for London, taking
with him all his most precious jewels as a present for the queen.
She received him graciously, accepted his magnificent present, and
made no secret of her royal favour.

2.  Elizabeth ordered the _Golden Hind_, as Drake's ship was now
called, to be anchored off Greenwich for all the world to see.  And
in honour of her great mariner, she went in state to dine on board
his ship, wearing in her crown the rich jewels he had given her.
Here in the presence of a vast concourse of people she gave open
defiance to King Philip of Spain.  He had demanded Drake's head.
Making the culprit kneel before her, she took a sword as if to strike
it off, and giving him a gentle stroke bade him rise Sir Francis
Drake.  And instead of restoring the plunder to the king, she ordered
it into safe keeping in the Tower.  Such was the response Elizabeth
made, having at last thrown off all disguise, to the King of Spain's

3.  The Spanish ambassador thus writes to his sovereign respecting an
interview he had now with the queen: "I complained that I had been
able to obtain no redress, either from her Council or herself, for
any wrong that had been done.  'Your Majesty, I said, 'will not hear
words, so we must come to the cannon, and see if you will hear them.'
Quietly, in her most natural voice, she replied, that if I used
threats of that kind she would fling me into a dungeon."

4.  It was now quite plain that the queen thought war with Spain
inevitable.  But strange to say open war did not break out till four
years later, although the two peoples wanted but a word from their
sovereigns to fly like bull-dogs at each other's throats.  That word
Philip was in no haste to speak.  He was content to nurse his wrath
and meditate revenge.  He had but recently annexed Portugal, and was
fully occupied in securing his new dominions.  The possession of
Lisbon gave Philip one of the finest and most powerfully-defended
seaports in the world.  Lisbon was also most conveniently placed for
the head-quarters of the Spanish fleet in the event of war with

5.  Philip began the war by the seizure of every English ship in his
ports (1585).  Sir Francis Drake was ordered to repair to the various
ports and demand the release of the arrested ships.  On hearing that
the famous "corsair" was on the coast, all Spain became alarmed.
Drake did not linger long on the coast of Spain.  He suddenly
disappeared, no one knew whither.  When next heard of, he was on the
other side of the Atlantic, playing great havoc among the Spanish
towns of the Indies.  This was easily done, for his name had become a
terror and bore victory before it.  "The daring of the attempt,"
wrote the king, "was even greater than the damage done."

6.  The chief result of Drake's achievements was to set the world
talking of the great Sea Power that England bade fair to become.  It
is very difficult for us now-a-days--when little England has grown
into a mighty empire, and great Spain has dwindled to her natural
size--to realise the wonder which opened men's eyes, at the daring
exploits of the English navy.  The blows dealt by Drake aroused the
indignation of Spain.  The English, said Philip, were running up a
long score which he would call upon them to pay to the uttermost
farthing.  But he was in no hurry to present his bill.  He was
determined to make such preparations for the invasion of England as
to insure success.

7.  Whilst Philip was busy in his preparations Drake unexpectedly
appeared, with a small squadron at Cadiz (1587), the harbour of which
was then crowded with transports and store-ships.  There were many
scores of these vessels loaded with wine, oil, corn, dried fruits,
biscuits--all going to Lisbon for the use of the great Armada.  The
entrance was narrow with batteries on the sides, whilst in the
harbour itself was a number of galleys on guard.

8.  Drake, like most great admirals, probably thought that the fewer
and simpler the orders the better.  He had, at any rate, but one to
give his men.  They were to follow him in and destroy the shipping
when they got there.  His little fleet glided into the harbour
unhurt, and fell instantly upon the only man-of-war there.  The
galleys were rowed to the rescue; but in a short time the great
warship sank and the galleys drew off.  Meanwhile, the crews of the
store-ships rowed to land, leaving their cargoes at the disposal of
the English.

9.  When Drake withdrew from Cadiz his own ships were crammed with
good things, and the harbour was filled with ransacked vessels all on
fire.  Well might the bold captain boast as he retired, that he "had
singed the King of Spain's beard."  Drake next moved off to the
Azores in the hope of capturing some rich merchant vessel from the
East Indies.

10.  Almost immediately hove in sight an East Indiaman, "the greatest
ship in all Portugal, richly laden, to our happy joy and great
gladness."  No such prize had ever been seen.  In her hold were
hundreds of tons of spices and precious gums; chests upon chests of
costly china, bales of silks and velvets, and coffers of bullion and
jewels.  This great merchantman, the _San Philipe_, was soon on its
unwilling way to England.  The whole fleet arrived safely with their
prize at Plymouth, "to their own profit and due commendation," says
one of the happy company, "and to the great admiration of the whole


1.  The fateful day was fast approaching when England and Spain would
meet in deadly encounter.  Both sides were straining every nerve to
prepare for the great event.  It seemed like a war between a dwarf
and a giant.  Spain at that time was mistress of the East and West
Indies; she had conquered Mexico and Peru, and her dominions in
Europe included Portugal, a large part of Italy, and the Netherlands.
Spain could thus command the services of a vast population, her navy
was the largest in the world, and she had at her disposal many
thousands of brave soldiers inured to war, whilst her coffers were
full to overflowing.  She had, in short, ships, men, and money in

2.  England, on the other hand, was then but a little kingdom.
Scotland was not yet incorporated with it, and Ireland was a source
of weakness rather than of strength.  Her whole population did not
exceed five millions.  But the spirit which animated little England
was indomitable.  We have seen its high mettle in Drake's daring
adventures.  And England's queen was as high-spirited as the boldest
in the kingdom.  She called upon her people to stand by her, and do
or die in defence of "Queen and country."

3.  But how would the Catholics of England respond to her appeal?
Would they throw in their lot with the Spaniards, who were of their
own religion, or stand true to their flag as Englishmen, side by side
with their Protestant countrymen?  The fortunes of England seemed
placed in their hands; and to their honour, be it remembered, they
proved themselves true Englishmen.  Not a word of treason or
treachery was whispered.  Loyal England forgot its difference of
creed.  It knew only that the invader was at the gate.

4.  On every side volunteers came forward in thousands.  There was no
standing army, but some thousands had seen service in the
Netherlands, in France, and in Ireland.  Forts were built at the
mouth of the Thames, and an army was stationed at Tilbury.  The queen
visited their camps and heartened the soldiers by her presence and
her words.  "My loving people," she said, "we have been persuaded by
some that are careful of our safety to take heed how we commit
ourselves to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but I assure you
I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people.
Let tyrants fear!  I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I
have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts
and goodwill of my subjects.  I know that I have the body but of a
weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king,
and of a king of England, too, and think foul scorn that Parma or
Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of
my realm."

5.  The chief command of the fleet was given to Lord Howard of
Effingham, with Drake as vice-admiral.  "True it is," says an old
writer, "Howard was no deep seaman; but he had skill enough to know
those who had more skill than himself."  All the great seamen of
Queen Elizabeth, such as Hawkins and Frobisher, served under him,
with 9000 hardy sailors.  Merchants offered their ships for the war,
and offered them with powder, shot, and crews all ready on board.
And so splendid was the spirit that stirred the country, that when
the queen asked the Lord Mayor of London to supply fifteen ships, he
requested her to accept double that number.

6.  Most of these merchantmen were of small size, and would be quite
unable to cope with the great Spanish galleons, although useful as
auxiliaries, serving to cut off stragglers, and to capture disabled
ships.  In the great fight with the Armada the brunt of the fighting
must fall on the Royal Navy.  But there were only thirty-eight ships,
of all sorts and sizes, carrying the queen's flag.  They were,
however, in prime condition.  The celebrated Sir John Hawkins, a
kinsman of Drake's, had long been in charge of the royal ships, and
he had taken such good care in their construction and equipment, that
they had no match in the world for speed, handiness, and soundness.

7.  So well pleased was Howard with the fleet placed under his
command, that he declared, "Our ships do show themselves like
gallants, and I assure you it will do a man's heart good to behold
them.  I think there were never seen worthier ships, and as few as we
are, if the King of Spain's force amount not to hundreds, we will
make good sport with them."  Howard tells us that he had crept into
every place, in every queen's ship, wherever man could get, and there
was never one of them knew what a leak meant.  And when the
Bonaventure ran hard on a sand bank, it was got off without a
spoonful of water in her.

8.  Comparing the ships of Drake with those of Nelson, we find them
considerably smaller but more heavily armed for their size.  Between
the times of these two great admirals but little advance seems to
have been made in the arming of our ships.  Drake could even boast a
few sixty-five pounder guns with a range of over a mile.  In what
were called "fireworks" the English fleet was particularly strong.
They included grenades to be shot out of great mortars and to explode
by means of a fuse; illuminating shells for detecting an enemy's
movements by night; and shells containing "wild-fire" that would burn
in water and could only be extinguished with sand or ashes.

9.  Whilst England is sharpening her weapons and marshalling her
forces, King Philip is assembling his squadrons.  His preparations
were made on such a grand scale, that he may well have thought his
Armada "invincible."  By the end of July, 1588, all was ready for the
great task of conquering England.

10.  The "Invincible Armada" was composed of 130 ships, the majority
being of great size "with lofty turrets like castles."  There were on
board 8000 seamen, whose sole duty was to work the ships, with 20,000
soldiers to do the fighting, and it was provided with no less than
2500 cannon.  The whole fleet was under the command of the Duke of
Medina Sidonia.  The duke's orders were very strict.  He was to sail
up the Channel till he got to Dunkirk.  Nothing was to stop him.  If
the English attacked, he was not to delay, but merely keep up a
running fight.  On reaching Dunkirk, he was to escort the Duke of
Parma and his army to the shores of England.

11.  The Armada was expected long before it appeared.  Meanwhile, the
whole people from Berwick to the Land's End were waiting in anxious
expectation for the first news of the enemy.  Beacons were prepared
along the coast, and on every high point throughout the country.  As
soon as the enemy were sighted, the beacons were kindled.


1.  The main English fleet awaited the arrival of the Armada at
Plymouth, whilst a smaller fleet kept watch at Dover, to prevent the
crossing of the Spanish army assembled at Dunkirk, a few leagues from
Calais.  At last, the long-expected Armada was seen off Plymouth
Sound, on Saturday, July 30th, 1588.  The little English fleet kept
out of sight till the Armada had passed the Sound.  On Sunday morning
the Spaniards saw their enemy hovering about their rear just out of

2.  The English admirals well knew their business, and wisely planned
their mode of action.  They knew that the Spaniards had not only the
advantage in the number and size of their ships, but that they
carried on each ship some hundreds of soldiers.  They judged,
therefore, that it would be best for the English to avoid coming to
close quarters, to hang on the rear, to cut off stragglers, and "to
pluck the feathers of the Spaniard one by one."

3. Thus day after day passed without any pitched battle, but the
damage wrought by the English guns was considerable.  The contrast
between the build and action of the ships in the two fleets was
manifest to all.  The English vessels sailed at much greater speed,
and "with such nimble steerage," says a Spanish writer, "that they
could turn and wield themselves with the wind as they listed, coming
oftentimes quite close to the Spaniards, giving them one broadside
and then tacking round to give them the other."  Their guns also were
handled with much greater rapidity, firing, gun for gun, four shots
to the Spaniards' one.

4.  "The enemy constantly pursue me," wrote Sidonia, off the Isle of
Wight, to the Duke of Parma.  "They fire upon me most days from
morning till nightfall; but they will not close and grapple.  I have
given them every opportunity; I have purposely left ships exposed to
tempt them to board; but they decline to do it, and there is no
remedy, for they are swift and we are slow.  If these calms last, and
they continue the same tactics, as they assuredly will, I must
request your Excellency to send me two shiploads of shot and powder
immediately, for I am in urgent need."

5.  Calms so prevailed that it took a week for the Armada to reach
Calais Roads, when the Spanish admiral dropped anchor, intending to
remain there until the Duke of Parma was ready to embark his troops.
The English promptly let go their anchors at the same instant two
miles astern.  The two fleets lay watching each other all the next
day.  At a council of war called towards evening in Admiral Howard's
cabin, it was resolved to convert eight vessels into fire-ships.  The
ships having been smeared with pitch, resin, and wild-fire, and
filled with combustibles, they were set on fire, and sent in the dead
of night, with wind and tide, straight for the Spanish fleet.

6.  The galleons at once cut their anchor cables, and made all haste
to escape from the threatened danger, "Happiest they who could first
be gone, though few or none could tell which way to take."  Some of
the ships had no spare anchors, and when they got outside the harbour
could not anchor again, and were carried far away from their
flag-ship.  When morning broke Sidonia saw his fleet widely
scattered.  Signals were sent up for them to collect and make back
for Calais.

7.  The hour for the English to close was now come.  A hot attack was
begun before the enemy had time to rally and reform.  The battle
raged with fury from dawn to sunset.  By the end of the day the
Armada was in a hopeless state.  Three great galleons had sunk, three
had drifted helplessly on to the Flemish coast, whilst those afloat
were in a battered condition, with sails torn and masts shot away.

8.  The Spanish admiral was in despair.  He saw there was nothing
left but to get away by the easiest road.  Not daring to return by
the Channel, he resolved on making his way home by sailing round the
Orkneys.  A terrible tempest pursued him, and so many vessels were
dashed against the rock-bound coasts of Scotland and Ireland that
only fifty-three storm-shattered ships ever reached Spain.  Out of
thirty thousand men who had set sail in the Armada at least twenty
thousand never returned.

9.  In England one voice of joy and thanksgiving rang through the
land.  The great victory had been won with the loss of only one
vessel and very few men.  Not a single hostile foot had been planted
on English soil.  A solemn thanksgiving service was held in St.
Paul's Cathedral; and in memory of the great deliverance a medal was
struck, around the edge of which was inscribed in Latin, "_God blew
with His breath and they were scattered_."

10.  The war with Spain did not come to a close with the destruction
of the Great Armada, but the long-dreaded danger of invasion had
passed away.  The navy of the greatest power in the world had been
smitten and shattered.  And the only result of Spain's attempt to
enslave England was to raise her to a higher place among the nations.
Hence the poet sings in his song of _Rule Britannia_:--

  Still more majestic shall thou rise,
    More dreadful from each foreign stroke;
  As the loud blast that tears the skies
    Serves but to root thy native oak.

11.  The war with Spain lasted until the death of Philip (1598).  It
was carried on almost wholly at sea, but the only story of much
interest relates to Sir Richard Grenville, who for fifteen hours
resisted all the efforts of a Spanish fleet to take or sink his ship,
the _Revenge_.  The unequal contest went on right through the night.
When day dawned the _Revenge_ was riddled with shot, Grenville
mortally wounded, and hardly a man still alive and unwounded.

12.  The dying admiral ordered the ship to be scuttled and sent to
the bottom with all on board, "Trust to God," he said, "and to none
else.  Lessen not your honour now by seeking to prolong your lives."
But his men thought they had done enough for honour, and hauled down
the flag of St. George.  The Spaniards showed their admiration of the
heroism they had witnessed by doing all they could for the remnant
alive.  They carried the hero on board the _San Pablo_, where lie
died three days later.  His last words were, "Here die I, Richard
Grenville, with a joyful and quiet mind having ended my life like a
true soldier that has fought for his country, queen, religion, and


1.  Elizabeth's realm was very small compared with that which King
Edward reigns over.  It only embraced England, Wales and Ireland, and
the last-named was in a chronic state of discontent and rebellion.
On the death of Elizabeth, the crowns of England and Scotland were
united in the person of James I. (1603), the first king of Great
Britain and Ireland.  Thus the Scots had the satisfaction of feeling
that they had given a king to England instead of England forcing a
king on them.

2.  This union of the crowns of England and Scotland was the first
step towards bringing about that real union between the two countries
which exists at the present day; for they now form parts of a truly
"United Kingdom," having one sovereign, one parliament, one army and
navy, having the same friends and the same foes among the nations.
But this happy result was long in coming.  The jealousy and enmity
which had so long existed between the two countries did not come to
an end with the union of the two crowns.  Each country still cared
only for its own interests, and each people regarded the other as
foreigners.  They were not even permitted to trade freely with each
other; but duties were levied on each other's goods in crossing the
Border or entering each other's ports.

3.  This state of things lasted a hundred years after James of
Scotland became King of England.  It happily came to an end in the
reign of Queen Anne (1707).  By the Act of Union, then passed, each
country was to keep its own laws and its own National Church; but in
other respects they were made into one kingdom, with the same
parliament, the same privileges in trade, the same obligations in war.

4.  This happy marriage between England and Scotland has had the best
results for both parties.  England gained a staunch friend in war,
Scotland no small share in England's wealth; both alike grew in power
and prosperity.  Nor has the smaller kingdom been lost in the larger.
The Scots have retained their old national spirit, their love of
independence, and their own religion and customs.  The union has only
offered the sons of Scotland a larger field on which to prove their
worth and expend their energy.  Her soldiers, and especially her
Highland regiments, have done more than their share in building up
the empire.  A noble rivalry has long existed between the regiments
of the two countries, which has helped to evoke deeds of valour and
self-sacrifice that have raised the British army to a high position
on the roll of honour.

5.  Turning now to Ireland we must admit that the relations between
the two countries have not been nearly so satisfactory.  It is not
for us to enter into the wrongs and rights of the matter, but as in
most cases of continual disputes and disagreements, there have been
faults on both sides.  If we could only "forgive and forget," it
would be a happy thing for both of us.  Ireland certainly has been
the exception to the marked success of England in her mode of

6.  Though Ireland, as a whole, has seldom been a loyal friend or
staunch supporter of the empire, her gifted sons, by their wit and
eloquence, as speakers and writers, have played no small part in its
making and moulding.  As men of action too in the affairs of the
nation they have gained great renown, as the annals of our military
history plainly show.  Have we not recently seen, for example, in the
Boer war, what an heroic part Irishmen can play?  Nor have we
forgotten how Queen Victoria marked her high appreciation of the
valour of her Irish soldiers, ordering all ranks in the Irish
regiments to wear, as a distinction, on St. Patrick's Day, a sprig of
shamrock in their head-dress, to commemorate the gallantry of their
countrymen in South Africa.

7.  Had the Irish been treated in this generous spirit in the days of
our forefathers, England would not have failed, as she has, in
winning Ireland to her side.  Two causes, in particular, may be
mentioned for this failure.  England attempted to force her form of
religion on the Irish, punishing them in various ways for refusing to
become Protestants.  And she treated Ireland unfairly in regard to
trade and manufactures, selfishly making laws and regulations to suit
herself at the expense of the poorer kingdom.

8.  These causes of disunion and resentment have long since been
removed, but the evil done in past centuries has left behind it
bitter memories, and, in some cases, vengeful feelings.  An endeavour
was made to draw the two nations more closely together by the _Act of
Union_, which came into force on January 1st, 1801.  This Act decreed
that Ireland, instead of having a parliament of its own, should send
representatives straight to the _Imperial Parliament_ at Westminster,
and enjoy henceforth the right of free trade with Great Britain.

9.  Thus was formed, at last, the _United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland_.  And as a symbol of that union a new flag was designed,
combining the three crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, and St.
Patrick, who had from early times been regarded as the patron saints
of England, Scotland, and Ireland respectively.  The flag thus
composed is styled the _Union Jack_, and is regarded throughout the
empire as the symbol of that spirit of brotherhood which should bind
us altogether in feelings of loyalty and devotion to our king and


Early English Colonisation



1.  As far as we have gone in our story we have followed the fortunes
of England in the times of the Tudors, and have seen her rise to a
high place among the nations as one of the great Sea Powers.  So far
we have spoken only of the making of _England_ and its expansion into
the "United Kingdom."  What we have said, as yet, relates only to the
laying of the foundation-stones on which the British Empire has been
built.  Our next task is to show how that empire began and how it
afterwards grew and became great.  When James I. came to the throne
of England the _King's Realm_ was limited to the _Home Countries_
that form the United Kingdom.  The rest of the empire has been
acquired in the course of the three centuries that separate the death
of Queen Elizabeth from that of Queen Victoria.

2.  The expansion of the empire has been effected in three ways: (1)
by peaceful occupation, (2) by force of arms, and (3) by friendly
treaty.  When the territory taken possession of was thinly occupied
by wandering tribes, as in North America, or by mere savages, as in
Australia, we have been able to gain an easy settlement without the
sacrifice of many lives.  Some countries have come to us as the fruit
of conquest, examples of which we have in India, Canada, and Cape
Colony.  And certain territories we have acquired by purchase or by
friendly arrangement with the native chiefs, as in the case of New
Zealand and the Straits Settlements.

3.  Of these possessions only a certain number are rightly termed
_colonies_.  True British colonies are settlements where men from our
own shores have been able to make a permanent home, found a family,
and rear children in robust health.  Men of our stock can only plant
such colonies where a temperate climate prevails, where wheat and
other cereals thrive, and where flocks and herds can be successfully
reared; such colonies we have in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

4.  But the term "colony" has a wider application than this.  We
speak, for instance, of our West Indian colonies, where the climate
is too hot for our race to flourish.  Here the British resident is
usually the owner of some plantation of sugar or tobacco, and for
some years he superintends his crops, but always returns "home" as
soon as he has made what he considers sufficient to live upon, in
comfort, for the rest of his days.  In fact, the term "colony" is
generally applied to any of the British possessions beyond the seas,
with the exception of India.  And the whole of such possessions, with
the same exception, may be conveniently referred to as our _Colonial

5.  It is now admitted on all sides that the British have surpassed
all nations in the art of colonizing.  Their success is due to a
variety of causes, among which we may reckon their adventurous
spirit, their love of liberty, their energy and enterprise.  This
spirit has made the Briton often restless and discontented with what
he considers his humdrum life at home.  It has driven him forth to
seek a more varied and fuller life in the midst of dangers and
difficulties, where he hopes to find free scope for his energies, and
full liberty to follow his own bent and go his own way.  But the mere
spirit of adventure would not have insured success.  That has come to
him because he is gifted with great pluck, where fighting has to be
done, with good staying power under stress and storm, with
self-reliance when cut off from friends, and above all with a spirit
of justice and fair-play.

6.  Possessing these qualities he has been able to conquer his foes
and afterwards to gain their good-will.  When, for instance, the
brave Sikhs of India were thoroughly beaten, they readily took
service under our flag and helped us to put down the Sepoy Mutiny.
To make the men you have conquered follow you gladly; that is the
secret of empire.  England's success in colonizing and ruling the
native races within the borders of her realm is also largely due to
the fact that she has avoided that common fault of most other nations
in dealing with their colonies--over-governing, treating them as
children needing precise rules and many restrictions.  England, on
the other hand, has seldom kept her colonies in leading-strings
longer than it was necessary.

7.  Much, however, of Britain's success in the management of her
colonies is the result of experience, and the outcome of repeated
failure, which is always ready to yield lessons of wisdom to those
who are willing to learn.  We did not learn all at once to set a true
value on colonies.  Their worth was measured, at first, by the amount
of gold or silver that could be got out of them.  It took some time
for the truth to be clearly seen that _the richest land is that which
can feed most people_.

8.  If we wish now-a-days to ascertain the value of any colony to the
motherland, we ask ourselves one or two such questions as these: Is
it a country where our surplus population may make new permanent
homes and bring up healthy families?  Is it a country that offers a
good field of commerce for our merchants?  We usually find that
"trade follows the flag."  Where the Union Jack flies, there, as a
rule, the people trade mostly with the home-country.  In New Zealand,
for instance, seven-tenths of the total trade is done with the United

9.  We have thus learned to value our colonies chiefly as places for
the reception of our surplus products and population.  And our
success in keeping them attached to the motherland and loyal to the
old flag, that has "braved a thousand years the battle and the
breeze," arises from the fact, that we leave them as free as possible
to manage their own affairs and to spend their own money in their own
way.  And this is only right, for a colony has a great deal to do for
itself which has been done for us in the old country by our
forefathers.  A young colony, like a young householder, has to
furnish and set its house in order.  It has, for example, to provide
roads and bridges, railways, and telegraphs; it has to bank the
rivers, drain the marshes, and clear the forests.  It is, therefore,
only right that no attempt should be made to tax our colonies or to
restrict their trade for the benefit of the mother-country.


1.  Sir Walter Raleigh made strenuous efforts, in the reign of
Elizabeth, to found a colony in Virginia, but the men who first
consented to go as emigrants, were not true colonists, but mere
adventurers on the hunt for gold.  Failing in their search for gold,
they returned to England, taking with them a sample of the strange
herb they had learnt from the Indians to smoke.  Two further attempts
made by Raleigh to colonize Virginia ended in failure and disaster.

2.  The first offshoot of the English race destined to take root in
America, sailed from England in the third year of James I.'s reign.
After a tedious voyage the expedition entered Chesapeake Bay too late
in the season for the seed they had brought with them to be sown that
year (1607).  Ascending a stream which they called the James River,
they chose for the site of their settlement a peninsula about forty
miles from its mouth, where they built a village of rude huts to
which they gave the name of Jamestown, and which proved the first
permanent settlement of the English in the New World.

3.  It cannot be said that these emigrants deserved to succeed any
better than those who preceded them.  We can only wonder, after the
sad experience already bought at such a heavy cost, that men of the
same stamp should still be sent over as colonists.  Most of the
present company were mere idle adventurers and worthless fellows who
had never done an honest day's work at home.  The new colony,
consequently, was soon in danger of extinction.  In six months half
of the settlers were swept away by disease, wretched food, and other
hardships.  The remnant owed its escape to the resource and energy of
one of their number, John Smith, who is entitled to the honour of
being the first to plant the English race within the borders of what
is now the United States.

4.  Smith was a true Briton in many things besides the name, a man
who would "stand no nonsense," who on being chosen leader soon made
it plain that no drones should live in the hive.  He soon proved
himself the head and heart of the whole colony.  Having provided a
plenteous store of deer's flesh, wild-fowl, and maize-bread for the
winter--"for he was more wakeful to gather provisions than the
covetous to find gold"--he left the camp to explore the country
round.  Whilst thus engaged, Smith had the misfortune to fall into
the hands of Indians.

5.  "I was brought," he says, "to the village where the great chief
Powhatan has his spacious wigwam.  There they performed a war-dance
around me, every one in the ring brandishing his weapons.  One of my
captors having been wounded, I cried out that at Jamestown I had some
medicine to cure him.  They would not let me fetch it; but I was
permitted to send a letter, in which I asked my friends to put what I
wanted under a great rock outside the town.  To the astonishment of
the Indian messengers who delivered my letter, the things I had
promised were found by them the next day at the appointed place.  On
their return every one was full of wonder because of the

6.  "They thought it was all due to magic, and met in council to
decide my fate.  Some feared to put me to death, others feared to let
me live.  After a long and solemn talk there was a dead silence,
whilst a huge stone was dragged into the centre, and I was forced to
kneel down beside it, Indians standing around with their heavy clubs.
At this critical moment the chief's daughter, Pocahontas, a young
girl of ten or twelve, flew to my side and, spreading her arms over
me pleaded for my life.  Another council was held, and I was set

7.  Meanwhile everything had fallen into confusion at Jamestown, and
Smith had much ado to keep the men from sailing away in the pinnace.
In the following spring another party of emigrants arrived, composed
mostly of mere reckless adventurers, whose one object was to find
gold.  "When you send again," Smith wrote to the Council at home, "I
entreat you rather send but thirty carpenters, husbandmen, gardeners,
fishermen, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers up of trees' roots than a
thousand of such as we have....  Nothing is to be won here but by
honest toil."  Under Smith's rule the colony passed safely through
another winter, and then an explosion of a bag of gunpowder slung
around his neck, rendered him for a time useless, and he returned to

8.  The colony went to pieces in Smith's absence, and within six
months of his departure it was reduced to a miserable remnant of
sixty persons, supporting themselves mainly on roots and berries.
They were on the point of abandoning their settlement and had just
reached the mouth of the river when they were astonished by the sight
of a ship coming up to meet them.  The ship was the forerunner of a
small squadron, under the command of Lord de la Warr, who had been
sent to the relief of the colony.

9.  The turning-point had come.  The new governor had brought
provisions for a year and a large band of emigrants.  He assembled
the old settlers, sternly rebuked them for their "sluggish idleness,"
and entreated them to amend their ways, and so avoid the sword of
justice, which he was determined to wield.  It is amusing to read the
old chronicler's idea of hard work.  "Let not any man," says he, "be
discouraged by the relation of their daily labour.  It began at six
and went on till ten, and again from two to four when they went to
church, and after that returned home and received their rations."

10.  With the coming of Lord de la Warr, the prospects of the colony
began to brighten and progress to be made.  The first decided step
onward was taken when a few acres of land were assigned to each
settler for his orchard and garden and other private uses.  Hitherto
all had been expected to work for the common good, and the result had
been reluctant labour and waste of time, the few willing to work
having no heart to do so, when the majority were idly whiling away
the time.  Hence we see the advantage of giving every man the right
to hold private property.

11.  The colonists for some little time lost much of their labour in
growing grapes, but on turning their chief attention and care to the
cultivation of tobacco, they found themselves on the highway to
prosperity.  Very soon the fields, the gardens, the public squares,
even the sides of the streets of Jamestown, were planted with tobacco
for the English market.  Few women had as yet dared to cross the
Atlantic, but the growing prosperity of the colony induced ninety
women to throw in their lot with their countrymen in Virginia.  They
were not long in finding husbands.  Thus arose new English homes in
the land beyond the seas.  England's first colony had taken root, and
in time a new English nation sprang therefrom.


12.  From the many blunders made in trying to found our first colony,
we learned how to secure success in similar undertakings in future.
Virginia served as our school of wisdom and experience in planting
colonies; we had still to learn, by losing her and her sister states,
how to keep colonies within the empire after planting them.


1.  The second English colony in America was founded, in 1620, by a
very different class of persons from those reckless adventurers who,
in Elizabeth's reign, threw away their lives in Virginia.  The
founders of _New England_, as this second colony was named, were a
devoted band of earnest persons, knit together by religious ties, who
went out there as pilgrims in search of a land where they could enjoy
religious freedom.

2.  The "Pilgrim Fathers," as many love to call them, belonged to the
religious body known as "Puritans."  The Puritans thought that the
English Church needed further reform, and many of them refused to
attend divine worship in the parish churches as the law directed.
For their disobedience, they had been fined and in other ways
punished.  When James I. came to the throne, they hoped to be left
free to worship God as they thought best.  In this they were,
unhappily, doomed to disappointment.

3.  King James was exceedingly bitter against the Puritans, and said,
"I will make them conform, or harry them out of the land."  And out
of the land the more zealous resolved to go.  They first sought an
asylum in Holland; but they could not feel at home there, for the
language and manners of the Dutch seemed to them harsh and uncouth.
At last they were moved to make real English homes for themselves
across the Atlantic.

4.  They knew from the reports that had come to them that they must
expect much toil and suffering.  "But we are well weaned," wrote
their pastor, "from the delicate milk of the mother-country, and
inured to the difficulties of a strange land; the people are
industrious and frugal.  We are knit together as a body in a most
sacred covenant of the Lord, by virtue whereof we hold ourselves
strictly tied to all care of each other's good and of the whole.  It
is not with us as with men whom small things can discourage."

5.  Accordingly, a little company of one hundred and twenty,
including men, women, and children, set sail from Plymouth in the
_Mayflower_, bound for the country round the river Hudson.  But the
captain of the _Mayflower_, either mistaking his course, or driven
out of it, brought his ship to anchor in the harbour of Cape Cod, on
a barren and bleak coast in Massachusetts.  The country was then
buried in snow, and the whole winter was before them.  There were
none to show them kindness or bid them welcome, but they were not

6.  The first thing was to choose a good spot for the settlement.  An
exploring party landed, but after several days discovered nothing of
value but a heap of maize in a deserted Indian village.  Many graves
were scattered about the country, but no Indians were seen.  They
afterwards learnt that a pestilence had swept off the Indians in that
part, so that no difficulty arose from the hostility of the natives.

7.  Meanwhile the carpenter had been busy repairing their large boat
or shallop.  As soon as it was ready a party set off to explore the
coast.  The cold was so severe that the spray of the waves froze as
it fell on them, making their clothes like coats of steel.  On the
third day, the pilot of the shallop, who had been in those regions
before, assures them that they can reach a good harbour before
nightfall.  After some hours' sailing, a storm of snow and rain
breaks upon them: the sea swells, the rudder breaks, the boat must
now be steered with oars; the storm increases and night is at hand.
To reach the harbour before dark, as much sail as possible is borne;
the mast breaks into three pieces and the sail falls overboard.  But
the tide is favourable, and as darkness sets in, they enter a fair
harbour, and step ashore wet, and cold, and weak.

8.  Morning, as it dawned, showed the place to be a small island in a
well-sheltered bay.  Here they remained for a day to recruit, and as
the next day was the "Christian Sabbath," they felt bound to rest and
"keep it holy."  On Monday the exploring party made their way to the
mainland.  The granite boulder on which they stepped on landing has
ever since been treasured by their descendants.  Here the "Pilgrim
Fathers" resolved to settle.  They called the town, which in time
grew up on this spot, _New Plymouth_, in memory of the port from
which they had last set sail.

9.  No holiday-task lay before the settlers.  Huts had to be built in
the intervals of rain and snow.  Meanwhile the _Mayflower_ was their
home, but so ill provided were they for enduring the rigours of
winter that by cold or famine half the company were cut off before
the spring.  In April, the vessel which had sheltered them so long
sailed away for England, leaving the survivors ready to bear their
hard lot with a stout heart.  Thrifty and industrious as they were,
their progress was very slow; and at the end of ten years they
numbered only three hundred souls.  They had, however, struck deep
root and remained steadfast.  "Let it not be grievous unto you," some
of their brethren in England had written to them in the midst of
their sufferings, "that yours has been the task to break the ice for
others.  The honour shall be yours to the world's end."

10.  At last the time came for a large increase of their numbers from
home.  In 1630 seven hundred emigrants set sail for the land of
freedom in the West; for Charles I. was now on the throne and had
begun his arbitrary rule.  Before the assembling of the Long
Parliament (1640), which carried on the struggle that ended with the
execution of the king, no less than two hundred emigrant ships,
carrying twenty thousand Englishmen, had crossed the Atlantic.  Nor
were these men the waifs and strays, the mere wreckage of society,
but men of means and character, ready to risk all for the privilege
of serving God according to their conscience.  As the ships bore them
away out of sight of their native land, they remembered it, not with
feelings of bitterness for the ill treatment they had received on
account of their religion, but as the home of their fathers.  As its
shores faded from their sight there arose from every heart the tender
cry, "_Farewell, dear England!_"


1.  We have now sketched out the circumstances attending the planting
of our first two colonies--Virginia and New England.  Between these
two colonies was planted another, called Maryland, in honour of
Henrietta Maria, the wife of Charles I.

2.  _Maryland_ was in most respects a highly-favoured colony.  It was
founded, in 1633, by Lord Baltimore, who seems to have risen above
most men of his age in his readiness to tolerate men of a different
faith from his own.  Baltimore declared himself a Catholic, and was
desirous of providing a home in America for men of his creed, since
they were debarred from the free exercise of their religion in
England.  Neither Virginia nor New England would have suited his
purpose; none but members of the Church of England were welcomed in
the former, and none but Puritans of the strictest order were
tolerated in the latter.

3.  It was otherwise ordered in Maryland.  "No person within this
province," ran the earliest law of the colony, "professing to be a
Christian, shall be in any way troubled or molested for his or her
religion, or in the free exercise thereof."  Due consideration also
was shown to the rights of the natives.  The first act of the
governor was to purchase land from the Indians, and with their
consent he took possession of a village, which he named St. Mary's.
The settlers then went resolutely to work, learning all they could
from the natives, whose goodwill it was easy to gain by presents of
cloth and axes, of hoes and knives.

The Indian women taught the wives of the new comers to make bread of
maize; the warriors of the tribe gave many valuable hints in hunting
and fishing.  Thus the foundation of Maryland was peacefully and
happily laid.  In six months it advanced more than Virginia had done
in as many years.

4.  In the course of the next hundred years such progress was made in
building up a new English nation on the other side of the Atlantic,
that no less than thirteen flourishing colonies, including the three
already mentioned, were established in what is now the United States.
But as these colonies have long ceased to form part of our empire we
do not propose to give here any further details respecting them.  We
cannot, however, but feel proud of the fact that the great American
nation has sprung mainly from our race, that it speaks our language,
that its laws are based on ours, and that it inherits our love of
justice and freedom.

5.  Whilst the colonies that have since grown into the United States
were taking root, our countrymen settled in some of the American
islands, which have since become valuable possessions.  An English
vessel bound for Virginia, when it was an infant colony, happened to
be wrecked on one of the Bermuda islands.  The _Bermudas_ form a
cluster of a hundred small islands, and in one of the recesses of the
inland sea, which they enclose, is a splendid harbour with an
entrance so narrow as to render it beyond the reach of attack.
Seeing the value of these islands as a secure refuge for our shipping
in the North Atlantic, the shipwrecked mariner took possession in the
name of King James, and ever since they have remained in our hands as
a military post and naval station of no mean importance.

6.  In the West India Islands also the English, in spite of the
Spaniards, gained a footing, _Barbados_ being their earliest
settlement in that quarter.  The first recorded visit of Englishmen
was in the year 1605, when the crew of the "Olive Blossom" landed,
and erected a cross as a memorial of the event, cutting at the same
time upon the bark of a tree, "James, King of England and of this
island."  Barbados was the first English colony in which the
sugar-cane was planted, and sugar soon became a great source of
wealth to the planters.  The civil war in the reign of Charles I.
induced many Englishmen to cast in their lot with the settlers of
this little island in the summer seas.  Many of the West India
Islands have changed hands more than once, but Barbados from its
first settlement, in 1624, has remained in our possession.

7.  _Jamaica_, the largest of our West India colonies, fell as easily
as a ripe fruit into English hands in the days of Cromwell's rule.
Cromwell took great pride in his new colony, and aided the colonists
very materially by sending some thousands of Scottish prisoners of
war after his victory at Worcester, to work in the sugar plantations.
These men after a few years became free labourers, and many worked
their way, as Scotsmen know how, to high place and fortune.

8.  _Newfoundland_ claims to be the oldest British colony.  True, it
was taken possession of by Gilbert in the name of Queen Elizabeth,
but no regular settlement was made there until long afterwards.  The
island was inhabited mainly by a floating population that came and
went.  Some thousands of fishermen came in spring, and on the
approach of winter re-embarked with the cod they had caught and
cured.  The English government wanted no regular settlers here.  They
wished to preserve the island simply as a fishing-station, and the
fisheries as nurseries for the navy.  In spite of all discouragement
settlers constantly increased, but more than a hundred years passed,
after Gilbert took possession, before the first governor was

9.  The country around _Hudson Bay_ was claimed by the English by
right of discovery.  Hudson Strait and Bay recall the name of Henry
Hudson, who, in the service of King James, first entered and explored
these seas.  His fate is, perhaps, the saddest that any of the brave
men, engaged in discoveries in these icy regions, have suffered.  The
crew mutinied, and Hudson, with his son and seven others, was turned
adrift in a small boat and never afterwards heard of.

10.  The Hudson Bay Company was authorised by Charles II. in 1670, to
take possession of the lands around Hudson Bay.  It was soon found
that the country was too cold for colonists to settle in it, but that
a valuable fur trade could be carried on.  "Forts," or
trading-stations, were accordingly set up on the shores of the Bay,
and trade was opened with the Indian trappers who came once a year
with their annual catch of furs.

11.  Each summer a ship arrived from London, bringing all that the
Indian most needed or most fancied, such as guns, knives, axes,
spirits, looking-glasses, blankets, beads, and trinkets of all sorts.
When these had been properly arranged in the great room of the fort,
the traffic began.  The Indians were first admitted to the outer room
with their bundles of furs.  Each skin was examined and the price
decided on was paid in the form of little coloured sticks.  With
these counters each red man passed into the inner room and exchanged
them for such articles as he wished to purchase.

12.  Before concluding this short sketch of the progress made in
English colonization during the reigns of the Stuarts, justice
compels us to say that the "Merry Monarch"--who is supposed never to
have said a foolish thing, and never to have done a wise one--acted
wisely on behalf of his colonies.  He established a Colonial Council
to take the oversight of all the colonies and see to their welfare.
They were to arrange for a common system of government and trade, to
assist the right sort of people to emigrate, and to bind the
mother-country and the colonies together by schemes for mutual help.


1.  Britain has long been acknowledged mistress of the seas, and our
very existence as a nation, still more as an empire, depends on our
being able to keep that position; for it is only by command of the
sea that we can defend the scattered parts of our empire, and make
sure of being fed at home, seeing that a large part of our food comes
from abroad.  England began to be a great Sea Power when the Spanish
Armada was destroyed (1588), but more than a hundred years had yet to
pass before she could lay undisputed claim to the foremost place upon
the seas.  Meanwhile, a great struggle took place between the Dutch
and English for the leading place.

2.  No braver or more skilful seamen ever sailed the seas than our
Dutch rivals.  Holland was at last obliged to yield the palm, because
she had to defend her borders from attack by France on land whilst
carrying on war with England at sea.  We owe much to the fact that
our land is encircled by the sea.  Hence Shakespeare speaks of it as

  "This precious stone set in the silver sea,
  Which serves it in the office of a wall,
  Or as a moat defensive to a house,
  Against the envy of less happier lands."

3.  Had James I. been like the great queen whom he succeeded, Holland
would probably not have got the start of England, as she did, when he
was king.  Under his timid government our nation sank to a low place
among the Powers of Europe, whilst Holland stepped forward and took
our place as the rival of Spain, and in the course of a few years
made herself the first maritime state in the world.  The Dutch became
great ship-builders, and in their ships carried on the trade of a
large part of Europe.  They became in fact the great ocean carriers
of the day, holding the position which is now held by ourselves; or
to quote the writer of _Fights for the Flag_--"They swept the Spanish
flag from the seas.  The carrying trade of the world was in their
hands.  They fished in all waters, traded in all ports, gathered the
wealth of the world under all skies, and, as far as marine qualities
were concerned, might almost have been web-footed."

4.  During our Civil War, in the reign of Charles I., the Dutch
profited much by our home troubles.  Much of the English trade fell
into their hands, their ships being largely employed in carrying
goods to and from our English ports.  But no sooner was King Charles
executed than steps were taken to revive English shipping.  In the
early days of the Commonwealth a _Navigation Act_ was passed, which
struck a serious blow at the Dutch carrying trade.  By this Act it
was ordered that no goods should be imported into England except in
English vessels, or in those belonging to the country in which the
goods were produced.

5.  The Dutch regarded this Act as a dagger aimed at their heart.
There was another thing which rankled within them.  English ships of
war had for centuries claimed the right to require all foreign ships
to salute them by lowering their topsails, or striking their flag,
whenever they met in the narrow waters of the English Channel; and
now, under the rule of Cromwell, the captains of our warships were
ordered to enforce this claim.  Before long "the greatest naval power
of the day and the greatest naval power of the future" launched their
forces against each other--the Dutch under their celebrated admiral,
Van Tromp, and the English under Robert Blake, who became equally

6.  The English were first afloat.  Blake sailed north to sweep the
Dutch fishermen off the coasts of England and Scotland; for the
poaching of the Hollanders had been one of the grievances which
brought on the war.  This was an easy task.  The enemy's guard-ships
were taken or sunk, the cargoes of poached herrings were thrown into
the sea; but the fishermen's boats were spared by the English
Admiral, since they belonged, as he said, to poor families and formed
their only means of a livelihood.  Dutch merchantmen returning from
the Indies were snapped up in the Channel and sent as prizes up the
Thames in scores.  Very soon Van Tromp was on the heels of our
admiral with a magnificent fleet, but a storm so battered his ships
that he had to return and refit.

7.  On the approach of winter the English fleet broke up for their
winter quarters; for at that time the thought of a winter campaign
never entered men's minds.  Van Tromp, however, was daring enough to
face the winter storms and take the risk.  He suddenly appeared off
the Downs with ninety sail.  Blake could only muster half that
number, but he thought it more honourable to risk a battle than seek
safety in flight.  The unequal contest went on doggedly till dusk,
when Blake withdrew his shattered fleet into the Thames after three
of his ships had been sunk and two taken.

8.  Van Tromp now sailed the Channel, it is said, with a broom at the
mast-head of his ship as a sign that he had "swept the English from
the Channel."  The English did not regard the result of the battle
with dismay.  On the contrary, the reports of the battle were read
with pride; and the Council of State thanked Blake for his services.
The real battle which should decide the question of superiority at
sea had yet to be fought.

9.  Van Tromp's triumph with the broom at his masthead did not last
long.  In less than three months the English were again on the sea
with a powerful fleet, and took up their station off Portland.  They
had no need to go in search of Tromp, for he could not help bringing
the merchant-ships that he was escorting home right past them.  At
length he was seen coming up the Channel with a huge convoy of at
least 150 sail under his wing.  His warships were between them and
the English.  The moment had come, and every sailor in the two ships
felt it, to test their prowess.  It was the first time the two great
admirals had met on equal terms.

10.  The close and desperate fighting that ensued told sorely on both
sides.  A hundred men fell on board the English admiral's flag-ship;
and at the end of the day the ship itself, which had gone foremost
into battle, had its masts down, its rigging gone, and its hull
riddled.  Some of its shattered sisters were glad enough to crawl
into Portsmouth.  Of the Dutch ships one was burnt, one blown up, and
six taken or sunk.

11.  During the night the two fleets continued working slowly along
the Channel eastwards.  Van Tromp had his men-of-war in the form of a
crescent with the convoy between its horns.  With daylight came a
renewal of the fighting which lasted until sunset.  Never was sterner
fighting done.  One Dutch captain, for instance, when grappled on
each side by an English ship, set fire to his own vessel that the
three might burn together.  The English, however, drew off, leaving
the Dutchman to its fate.

12.  The dawn of the third day saw the brave old Tromp still keeping
guard like a hen over her brood of chickens.  His line, however, was
on that day broken through, and then an exciting chase followed,
which ended in the capture of some fifty merchant-ships.  Two other
desperate battles took place the same year, and both ended favourably
for England.  On the last day of the last battle, the grand old Dutch
admiral was pierced to the heart with a musket-ball.

13.  This war dealt a severe blow to the Dutch carrying-trade, and
brought Holland to the brink of ruin.  "The Zuyder Zee," it is said,
"became a forest of masts; the country was full of beggars; grass
grew in the streets, and in Amsterdam fifteen hundred houses were
empty."  Peace with England (1654) alone saved the Dutch from utter
ruin.  And this peace left England, for the time at least, mistress
of the seas.


1.  Robert Blake, whose victories at sea are second only to those of
Nelson, was not learned in the arts of seamanship.  In his day it was
quite usual for generals to take command at sea, leaving the
navigation of the ships in the hands of the "Masters."  Blake,
however, did not fight the less well because he went to sea in full
military uniform, including his top-boots.  In the excitement of
battle some of these "Admirals-in-spurs" forgot the language of the
sea.  It is said that General Monk, in the middle of a sea-fight,
sent a shout of laughter round his own decks by giving the order, as
to cavalry, "wheel to the left."

2.  Blake, our great "General-at-Sea" had all the qualities of a
great commander, except perhaps his outward look and mien.  He was a
little man, of rather a melancholy turn, and chary of his words.  He
had however, that magnetic influence over his men that bespeaks the
true leader--the influence that made them ready to follow wherever he
led the way, regardless of chances and risks.  He was also beloved by
them for his constant care and thought for their welfare.  He set
himself, with all his heart and strength, to remove all abuses from
the navy and to introduce numberless reforms.  None knew better that
success in the day of battle depends greatly upon previous attention
to what seems "little things."

3.  Blake had no ends of his own to serve.  In the face of any
question that presented itself, his one thought was, "What do the
interest and honour of England require?"  The watchword of his life
was that grand word DUTY, which Nelson set before the eyes of his
sailors on the morning of Trafalgar.  These two great admirals are
well linked together by the poet Campbell in his famous sea-song:--

  "The spirit of your fathers
    Shall start from every wave--
  For the deck it was their field of fame,
    And Ocean was their grave:
  Where Blake and mighty Nelson fell
    Your manly hearts shall glow,
  As you sweep through the deep,
    While the stormy winds do blow;
  While the battle rages loud and long
    And the stormy winds do blow."

4.  No sooner had our great admiral ended the war with the Dutch, in
the way already described, than he was despatched by Cromwell with a
powerful fleet to the Mediterranean, which had long been infested by
pirates in league with the Governors, or Deys, of the Barbary States.
These pirates not only seized the cargoes of the merchant ships, but
sold their crews and passengers into slavery.

5.  When Blake, in the course of his cruise, appeared before Tunis
and demanded the release of all Christian prisoners and slaves, the
Dey pointed defiantly to his castles at the entrance of the harbour
and his nine cruisers anchored beneath their guns.  Blake replied by
leading in his ships and cannonading the Dey's batteries at close
range.  When this terrible hail of shot had dismounted the enemy's
guns, the admiral lowered his long-boats, and having manned each with
a picked crew sent them through the smoke straight at the pirate
ships.  Cutlasses, pikes, and pistols first did their deadly work and
then firebrands did the rest.  When the English fleet put out to sea
that night every one of the Dey's ships was wrapped in flames.

6.  This exploit marks a turning-point in our commercial history.
Hitherto merchant vessels were expected to protect themselves and
take the risks of capture.  Blake's round of the Mediterranean, with
his ships of war, let princes and pirates know that henceforth any
wrong done to an English vessel would be avenged as a national
insult, that to attack a ship flying the flag of England would be
regarded as an attack upon England itself.  As soon as it was seen
that England's arm was long enough, and ready enough, to strike at
all offenders on the seas, the English began to take the foremost
place as "carriers of the sea," for foreign merchants soon came to
the belief that their goods would be safest where the flag of England
insured protection.

7.  Blake's next great object was to sap the power of Spain with whom
Cromwell had gone to war to enforce England's claim to trade with the
Spanish colonies of America.  Annually there came to Spain from the
Western World a great fleet, known as the "plate fleet," freighted
with gold and silver, quicksilver and pearls, sugar, hides, and
dye-wood.  To cut off these supplies was to sever the sinews of war
at a stroke.  For nearly two years Blake kept watch outside Cadiz for
the expected plate-ships, but they had run into harbour at Santa
Cruz, under the great peak of Teneriffe, and were waiting there until
the way home was clear.  Here, at length, Blake resolved to come and
burn the ships he saw no hope of capturing.

8.  Santa Cruz was then one of the strongest naval stations in the
world.  The harbour, shaped like a horseshoe, was defended at the
entrance and sides by forts, armed with heavy guns, and well
garrisoned.  Armed vessels were moored in a semi-circle at the bottom
of the harbour and in front of them were stationed the royal galleons
that had escorted the plate-fleet across the Atlantic.  Blake must
have seen at once that these ships would act as a screen between his
own squadron and the great Spanish batteries on the shore, that
one-half of the Spanish force would get in the way of the other in
resisting an attack.

9.  Our great sea-general knew well the kind of place he was about to
assail, but judged that his ships were equal to the task.  At any
rate he resolved to make the daring attempt, a solemn prayer being
first of all offered on board each ship to the great Disposer of
events.  Wind and tide favouring, anchors were weighed, and in a
brief space of time the castles at the entrance were passed, and the
ships stationed for the attack.

10.  For four hours the old peak of Teneriffe looked down upon a
scene which might seem like an imitation of his own volcanic
outbursts.  The Spaniards fought with great courage, but Blake's
fire, by its speed and deadly aim, was overwhelming.  By two o'clock
the battle was clearly won.  Two of the Spanish galleons had gone
down, and every other Spanish ship in the harbour was in flames.  The
most extraordinary thing now happened to complete the English
triumph.  Just at the right moment the wind veered round and enabled
the whale squadron to leave the harbour without the loss of a single
ship, though many of course were too much battered for further

11.  Blake, like Nelson, was not permitted to return home alive to
receive the thanks and homage of his admiring countrymen.  The fleet,
headed by his battered flagship, the _George_, had passed the
Eddystone and was seen approaching Plymouth harbour.  The Hoe was
crowded with thousands waiting to welcome their hero home.  But at
that moment, all unknown to them, Blake lay dying in his cabin.  Just
as the _George_ dropped her anchor, the hero drew his last breath
(1657).  His corpse was carried in state to Westminster Abbey and
there buried.  Never has England had a more devoted and unselfish
servant, nor the English sailor a kinder and nobler captain.

12.  The warships of England now rode triumphant on the seas.  But
their triumph did not long remain unchallenged.  Throughout a large
part of Charles II.'s reign, the English and the Dutch strove
constantly for the mastery.  Having to defend their homes against the
French, the Dutch, at last, felt compelled to retire from the
struggle with England for the sovereignty of the seas.  In 1674 they
finally made peace with England ceding the island of St. Helena--of
some value as a place of call to ships sailing to and from the East
Indies--and admitting England's claim to a salute from all foreign
ships passing through the "narrow seas" around her coasts.


Expansion by Conquest



1.  We pass now to a period in our history in which our struggle for
empire is chiefly with the French.  That struggle began almost as
soon as the Prince of Orange became William III. of England.  Though
a Dutchman, he is entitled to a place among the great builders of the
British Empire.  To him we are doubly indebted, for he defended our
liberties at home against James II. of England, and our interests
abroad against Louis XIV. of France.  His chief pleasure in accepting
the crown of England, arose from the hope that it would enable him to
unite the forces of England and Holland in curbing the power of

2.  It had been the one great object of William's life to thwart the
great enemy of his native country, Louis XIV.  Though often defeated,
he was never conquered.  In the darkest times he had never given way
to despair, and after each defeat had set to work to mend his broken
fortunes.  And now he had England at his back, William believed that
he could meet his old enemy on equal terms, and he rejoiced at the
prospect.  Few men have had to contend with so many difficulties, and
none have grappled with them more courageously.

3.  Though William did much for England, it cannot be said that he
ever loved her, or was beloved by her.  He was cold and reserved in
manner, and seldom seen to smile, being rarely free from bodily pain.
But in the field of battle, on his war charger, he seemed full of
life and joy; wherever the fight was fiercest and the danger
greatest, there he was sure to be.  We see the kind of man he was in
his reply to the Parliament that proposed to make his wife, Mary,
Queen of England, and himself only Regent.

4.  "My lords and gentlemen," he said, "No man can esteem a woman
more than I do the princess, but I am so made that I cannot think of
holding anything by my wife's apron-strings; nor can I think it
reasonable to have any share in the Government unless it be put in my
own person, and that for the term of my life.  If you think fit to
settle it otherwise, I will not oppose you, but will go back to
Holland and meddle no more in your affairs."  William, you see, knew
his own mind.  He will be king or nothing, and king, accordingly, he

5.  William was scarcely seated on the throne, when James II. landed
in Ireland, with a body of French troops, brought there under the
escort of fifteen French men-of-war.  As soon as news of this reached
London, war was declared against King Louis, in spite of the peril in
which the declaration placed England, for not only was the greater
part of Ireland in the hands of James II. and his French allies, but
the Highlanders of Scotland had risen in his favour.  William first
made peace in Scotland, and then crossed to Ireland.  He had no
sooner landed there with some thousands of troops than a great French
fleet under Admiral Tourville appeared in the Channel.

6.  The spectators standing on the summit of Beachy Head on the last
day of June, 1690, must have watched the battle fought just below,
with sinking hearts; for the combined English and Dutch fleets were
that day completely beaten, and obliged to seek refuge in the Thames,
leaving the French fleet sole master of the Channel.  Luckily no
French troops were ready to be landed on our shores, and the danger
soon passed away; for on the very next day, William won a complete
victory over James II. in Ireland, on the banks of the little river

7.  On the day before the battle, whilst inspecting his troops, a
shot grazed William's shoulder, and made him reel in his saddle.
"There was no need for any bullet to come nearer than that!" was his
remark.  And certainly not many bullets have ever come nearer to
changing the history of Britain, and therefore of the British Empire.
But on the fateful day itself (1st July, 1690) he escaped unhurt,
though often in the thick of the fight.  Seeing the battle going
against him, James galloped off to Dublin and embarked for France.
The brave Irish who had fought for him that day were much disgusted,
and said to the victors after the battle: "Change leaders and we will
fight it all over again."

8.  The battle of the Boyne is a memorable one, for it decided
whether the crown of England should be worn by a despot like James
II. under the patronage, if not the pay, of the French king, or by a
champion of popular freedom like William III., whose one aim was to
diminish the power of France and to foil the designs of King Louis.

9.  James II., who had fled to France after his defeat in Ireland,
resolved to make one more effort, with the help of the French king,
to recover his throne.  French troops were assembled in Normandy for
the invasion of England, and Admiral Tourville was sent with a fleet
to protect their passage across the Channel.  It was feared that
Admiral Russell, who commanded the English fleet, would not do his
duty, for it was known that he was personally in favour of the
deposed monarch.  But to James's friends he said, "Do not think I
will let the French triumph over us in our own seas; if I meet them,
I fight them, ay, though his Majesty himself should be on board."

10.  Russell was as good as his word.  After a determined fight for
five hours, the French were obliged to make for the shelter of their
ports.  Fifteen ships that failed to reach St. Malo before the tide
had turned, took refuge in the bays of Cherbourg and La Hogue.  Their
pursuers were soon upon them, and ship after ship was burnt under the
eyes of the French army, waiting to be taken across the Channel--in
sight too of James II. who, on beholding the daring of our sailors,
could not forbear exclaiming, "My brave English tars," even though
their victory was the death-blow of his hopes of ever regaining the
throne.  La Hogue was the last general action fought by the French
fleet for a long period, and Louis's dream of supremacy at sea was,
for the present, at least, seen to be hopeless.

11.  William was now safely seated on the throne, but he had no
intention of sitting quietly on it.  He carried on the war vigorously
against Louis on the continent.  Much English blood was shed, but it
was not shed in vain.  It was necessary, in the interests of England,
to keep the French from overflowing the limits of their own land.
Had they succeeded in adding the Netherlands to France and the Dutch
navy to their own, our country would have been outmatched.  She would
probably have lost her lead upon the sea, and her future greatness in
America and India.  Louis by the Treaty of Ryswick, in 1697, agreed
to acknowledge William as King of England, and to give up all his
conquests except Strasburg.  All honour to William of Orange who
foiled the ambition of the vain monarch that made war upon war for
his own glorification.


1.  When William died, in 1702, he was preparing for a new war, with
his old enemy, Louis XIV., to prevent the union of the Crowns of
France and Spain.  It is known as the _War of the Spanish
Succession_, and arose from the fact that the King of Spain had
willed the crown to a French prince.  "There are no longer any
Pyrenees," said Louis, as he contemplated the union of the two
crowns.  Such an union would have put the other kingdoms of Europe
under the feet of France.  Accordingly, an alliance was formed
between England, Holland, and Austria to keep the Pyrenees in their
place and the two nations apart.

2.  Louis must have heard of the death of King William with deep
satisfaction.  A queen now sat on the throne of England, but
fortunately she had in Lord Churchill, afterwards Duke of
Marlborough, a general who was better qualified even than William as
Commander-in-chief, and whose good fortune as a commander proved so
remarkable that in the whole course of the war he suffered no defeat;
he never besieged a fortress he did not take, nor fought a battle he
did not win.  Of his many victories the most splendid was that of
Blenheim, a little village on the Danube, in Bavaria.

3.  The Bavarians having joined the French as allies, the way lay
open, through their country, into the very heart of Austria.  The
French, under Marshal Tallard, were marching on Vienna, when they
were pulled up at Blenheim by the allied forces under Marlborough.
The right wing of the French army was posted in this village with the
river Danube on their flank.  In front of the village the French had
erected strong palisades; they had also barricaded the streets and
loopholed the houses.

4.  Marlborough first attempted to dislodge the French from this
strong position.  Nothing could be finer than the onset of the
British, but they were bound to fail.  Behind the palisades knelt
long lines of French troops, as brave as their assailants, whilst a
second line standing erect fired over the heads of their kneeling
comrades.  Some of our men tried to tear up the palisades with their
hands, or clamber over them by mounting on each other's shoulders,
but the task proved beyond them.  Marlborough withdrew his men, but
bade them keep up the feint of an attack upon Blenheim, whilst he
prepared to throw his cavalry on the French centre.

5.  Marshal Tallard seems to have trusted to the protection of a
swamp which here separated the two armies.  Across this swamp our
general led his cavalry, having first made tracks by laying down
faggots of wood.  At the sound of the trumpet, about 8000
splendidly-mounted horsemen, who had made their way across moved up
the gentle slope, and then gradually quickening their pace, fell on
the French centre.  So deadly was the volley of the French infantry
that the foremost of our squadrons recoiled and all was wild
confusion.  The moment had come far the French cavalry to charge, but
they let the opportunity slip by.  As soon as the British cavalry had
reformed, they renewed the attack with redoubled fury.  The French
horsemen fired their carbines, wheeled, and fled.  This decided the

6.  The French centre, flung back on the Danube, was forced to
surrender; their right, cooped up in Blenheim, and cut off from
retreat, also became prisoners of war.  Marshal Tallard was caught
before he could make his escape.  The French general, in command of
the troops posted in Blenheim, tried to swim his horse across the
Danube, and was drowned in the attempt.  Before nightfall,
Marlborough wrote to his wife half-a-dozen lines in pencil, on the
back of an old hotel bill, to tell her to "give his duty to the
queen, and let her know that her army has won a glorious victory.  M.
Tallard and two other generals are in my coach, and I am following
the rest."

  "'It was the English,' Kaspar cried,
    'Who put the French to rout;
  But what they fought each other for
    I could not well make out,
  But everybody said,' quoth he,
    'That 'twas a famous victory.'"

And it really was "a famous victory;" for it put an end to the danger
of France being able to lord it over the rest of Europe, and to
replace the Stuarts on the throne of England.  Our free government
and our present line of sovereigns are among the results which we owe
to the genius of Marlborough and to the bravery of his troops.

7.  But there was one other victory won in the same year as that of
Blenheim, which, though it was gained almost by accident, with little
fighting and little loss, has left us a prize which half the world
covets.  This was the capture of Gibraltar by Admiral Sir George
Rooke (1704).  Gibraltar was not then the strong fortress that it is
now; but it was so strong by nature that the Spaniards thought a
small garrison sufficient for holding it.  Rooke first seized the
narrow strip of land by which the Rock of Gibraltar is joined to the
mainland.  The next day, while the Spanish sentries were at church,
some English sailors climbed up the rock and hoisted the English
flag.  That flag has waved over the Rock of Gibraltar from that day
to this.

8.  Gibraltar owes its great importance to the fact that it is
situated on the strait that forms the gateway between the Atlantic
and the Mediterranean.  It is, in consequence, called the Key to the
Mediterranean.  In time of war it would be invaluable to our
shipping, serving as a place of refuge to our merchantmen, a
coaling-station for our men-of-war, a dockyard for their repair, and
a storehouse for providing them with guns, ammunition, and provisions.

NOTE I.  By the Peace of Utrecht (1713), which ended the War of the
Spanish Succession, it was agreed that to Britain should belong--(1)
Gibraltar and Minorca, (2) Newfoundland and Acadia (Nova Scotia), and
(3) Hudson Bay Territory.

NOTE 2.  It should be remembered that the union between England and
Scotland was effected in 1707.  Hitherto we have spoken almost
entirely of England and the English; we shall now have to speak
chiefly of Britain and the British, not forgetting that Ireland and
the Irish are included in these terms.


1.  We are now on the threshold of one of the most important parts of
our story.  In the eighteenth century was fought out the question:
Should the British or the French be the ruling race of North America?
In answering that question, the British navy had much to say,
although the battles which decided the contest were fought mostly on
land; for it was owing to Britain's command of the seas, that we were
able to send our soldiers in safety across the ocean, and to supply
them with all things necessary for a fighting force, whilst depriving
the enemy of all succour from their friends at home.

2.  The commanding position which the British navy had reached at
that time is undisputed.  "Before the war of the Spanish Succession,"
says a distinguished naval officer of the United States, "England was
one of the sea powers; after it, she was _the_ sea power, without any
second.  This power also she held alone, unshared by friend,
unchecked by foe."

3.  The Englishman who first enters Canada by way of Quebec is
surprised to find himself among a people speaking French, whilst
Quebec itself looks to him like a quaint old Norman town.  The fact
is, the majority of the inhabitants are of French descent, although
at the present day as loyal to the British flag as any could desire.
The explanation of this French air about the place is, of course, the
fact that Canada was at first a French colony.

4.  The French began to plant a colony in Canada about the same time
as did the English in Virginia, but for the first fifty years it
dragged out a miserable existence.  A new day dawned upon Canada,
when Louis XIV. took the colony in hand (1665), with the resolution
that a new France should be added to the old.  Soldiers, settlers,
horses, sheep, cattle, were all sent out in abundance, and the
well-being of the colony became the object of the king's fatherly
care.  Before winter set in, about two thousand persons had landed at
Quebec at Louis's expense.  "Thus a sunbeam from the court of France
fell for a moment on the rock of Quebec."  Indeed the light of the
king's favour continued to fall on the colony for some years, but it
failed to insure prosperity.

5.  The way in which Louis treated the French colonists in Canada is
a striking illustration of the difference between the French and
English methods of dealing with colonies; it is the difference
between liberty and restraint, between leaving the colonists to
manage their own affairs under friendly help and guidance, and
hampering them by foolish meddling.  The French colonists were
treated as children and kept in leading-strings.  The king acting for
some time the part of a fond father, and coddling them most unwisely.
Not only were their actual wants relieved by his bounty, but every
branch of trade and industry received liberal grants.  They were thus
trained to dependence on their rulers to whom they were expected to
pay unquestioning obedience.

6.  "It is God's will," wrote Louis, "that whoever is born a subject
should not reason but obey."  Every one of his officials seemed to be
of the same opinion.  "It is of very great consequence," wrote one of
them, "that the people should not be left at liberty to speak their
own minds."  They were not free so much as to go home to France when
they pleased; leave had first to be obtained.  They were even told at
what age to marry, and fines were imposed unless they conformed.  The
colonists, in fact, were in the position of a papoose, or Indian
baby, bound up tight from head to foot and carried on its mother's
shoulders like a pack.  What was the consequence?

7.  All the most active and vigorous spirits in the colony took to
the woods and escaped the control of the king's officials.  We hear
sometimes of farms abandoned, wives and children deserted, and the
greater part of the young men of a district turned into bushrangers
and forest outlaws.  They joined the Indians, trapped the beaver,
trafficked with the natives for beaver-skins, and lived the wild life
of semi-savages.  This was the natural result of their not enjoying
reasonable liberty in their own homes.

8.  Such slow progress did New France make, notwithstanding King
Louis's tender care, that on his death, in 1715, the whole colony was
in the depths of poverty and numbered only 25,000 souls, whereas the
English colonists in America were at that date ten times as numerous,
and lived in the midst of plenty.  The former depended on Government
aid, the latter on themselves.


1.  The treaty of Utrecht (1713) left Britain at the commencement of
a long period of peace and prosperity.  During that quiet period we
have little that is interesting to tell.  Britain was quietly growing
in wealth and power, and her colonies in population and importance.
By the census of 1754 it appeared that the British colonists,
occupying a strip of territory about 200 miles in width along the
Atlantic coasts, numbered upwards of a million souls; whereas at that
date, the whole white population under the French flag in North
America did not exceed 80,000.

2.  Though the French settlers were so few, France laid claim to all
America from the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains, and from the
Gulf of Mexico to Hudson Bay.  They claimed it by right of discovery
and partial occupation.  It was her explorers who first made their
way down the Mississippi, her missionaries who first visited the
Indian tribes of the interior, her traders who first opened a market
with the natives.  But the French had hardly occupied any part of
that vast region south of the Great Lakes.  It is true they had
founded Orleans at the mouth of the Mississippi and partly colonized
Louisiana; but between the delta of that river and the St. Lawrence
there was still a vast wilderness, the home of the bison and beaver,
where the Indian trapped and hunted, with here and there a French
trading post or mission station.

3.  "French America," says the historian of Canada, "had two
heads,--one among the snows of Canada, and one among the cane-breaks
of Louisiana; one communicating with the world through the gulf of
St. Lawrence, and the other through the Gulf of Mexico.  These vital
points were feebly connected by a chain of military posts, circling
through the wilderness nearly three thousand miles.  Midway between
Canada and Louisiana lay the valley of the Ohio.  If the English
should seize it, they would sever the chain of posts and cut French
America asunder."  And this they seemed now (1754) on the point of

4.  The Governor of Canada at that time was a man of bold spirit and
clear insight.  He saw that the British traders were crossing the
Alleghanies into the valley of the Ohio, poaching on the domains
which the French claimed as their own, ruining the French fur trade,
and making friends of the natives by underselling the French traders.
He felt that, cost what it might, France must link Canada to
Louisiana by a chain of forts strong enough to keep back the British
colonists and coop them up in their old domains.  The king's
ministers in France were of the same mind, and ordered the governor
to "send force enough to drive off the English from the Ohio, and
cure them of all wish to return."  The governor accordingly set to
work to build forts at commanding points along the Ohio.  The most
important was Fort Duquesne at the forks of the Ohio, where now
stands Pittsburg, with its clanging forges and flaming furnaces.

5.  A young officer, who later in life became famous, George
Washington, was sent with a small colonial force to expel the French,
if possible, from this fort before they had time to gain a firm
footing.  He found however, his small force unequal to the task.
Washington's failure had the effect of throwing the Indians of the
Ohio into the arms of the French, for of course their one desire was
to be on the winning side.  And when, next year, the smouldering war
burst into flame, nearly all the western tribes drew their
scalping-knives for France.

6.  It must be remembered that in all the fighting in America between
the British and the French, the native Indians took an active share.
Armed with their favourite weapon, the tomahawk, they were at close
quarters dangerous foes.  Their fierce aspect in full war-paint--for
the warriors daubed their naked bodies with glaring colours--and
their wild war-whoops were well calculated to inspire soldiers
straight from England or France with considerable dread.  From first
to last the various tribes were always ready to join one side or the
other, taking a fiendish delight in shedding blood and in crowing
over their fallen foes.  And both English and French were equally
ready to bid for their support, and to fight side by side with them,
whilst abhorring their barbarities.  Some tribes were always ready to
throw in their lot with the side that seemed the stronger, whilst
others were permanently attached either to the English or the French.

7.  The English were fortunate in having secured from the first the
loyal support of the Iroquois Indians, known as the "Five Nations,"
the most formidable savages on the continent.  But they were sorely
tempted to join the French whenever they felt aggrieved at the way
they were treated by the English colonists.  They evidently found it
difficult, at times, to choose between the two peoples.  "We don't
know what you Christians, English and French intend," said one of
their orators, "We are so hemmed in by you both that we have hardly a
hunting-place left.  In a little while, if we find a bear in a tree,
there will immediately appear an owner of the land to claim the
property.  We are so perplexed between the two that we hardly know
what to think or say."

8.  Being on the eve of war with the French, the colonial governors
called a meeting of the chiefs of the Five Nations, at the frontier
town of Albany, to try to conciliate them.  At that conference one of
the chiefs thus concluded his speech: "You have neglected us for
these three years past."  Here he took a stick and threw it behind
him.  "You have thus thrown us behind your back; whereas the French
are always caressing us, and doing their utmost to win us over to
them.  You desire us to speak from the bottom of our hearts, and we
shall do it.  Look about your country and see; you have no
fortifications, no, not even in this city.  It is but a step from
Canada here and the French may come and turn you out of doors.  Look
at the French; they are men; they are fortifying everywhere.  But you
are all like women, bare and open, without fortifications."

9.  They were however, induced to renew the covenant with our people.
A large "chain-belt" of white shells, called wampum, was provided, on
which the King of England was represented, holding in his embrace the
colonies and the Five Nations with their allied tribes.  The chief,
on accepting the belt, said in reply: "We do now solemnly renew and
brighten the covenant chain.  We shall take the chain-belt to
Onondaga, where our council-fire always burns, and keep it so safe
that neither thunder nor lightning shall break it."

10.  Hearing of Washington's failure to capture Fort Duquesne, the
Home Government sent out General Braddock with two regiments to take
it and any other fort that prevented our colonists from spreading
westwards.  But both general and soldiers were ignorant of
"bush-fighting," and knew little of the Indians and their mode of
warfare.  The French at Fort Duquesne had armed their Indian allies
with firearms, and waited in ambuscade for the approach of the
British who were advancing through the adjoining forest.  The
advanced guard had crossed a little gully and the flat beyond it, and
was just crossing a second gully, when a force of about a thousand
French and Indians suddenly appeared in front and flank; shots were
scarcely exchanged when every enemy disappeared from view; but from
behind trees on all sides, and from the two gullies, just deep enough
to serve as rifle-pits, a continuous fire poured in upon the crowded
British.  After three hours' fighting with an invisible foe, the
general, wounded and in despair, ordered a retreat.

11.  News of this defeat fired the minds of all Englishmen, and all
felt that nothing remained but "a fight to a finish" between the two
nations for settling their respective claims in America.  The "Seven
Years' War," which began in 1756, was destined to decide once for all
the great questions in dispute between the two rivals in that quarter
of the globe.  Few wars have had greater results in the history of
the world, and none has brought greater triumphs to Britain, but at
its opening the fortune of war, as usual, went wofully against us.


1.  At the outset of the _Seven Years' War_ the French scored a great
success by the capture of Port Mahon, which was conceded to Britain
by the Peace of Utrecht.  It was a fortified town of Minorca, with an
excellent harbour, and was of great value to our navy, as it enabled
our ships to winter and refit in the Mediterranean, instead of having
to come to England for that purpose.

2.  Admiral Byng had been sent with a fleet to prevent its capture,
but judging that the French fleet was superior to his own, both in
the number of men and guns, he did not drive home the attack, but
thought more of saving his ships than of saving the port.  He was
summoned home, tried by court-martial, and found guilty of not doing
his utmost to defeat the French fleet and relieve the garrison.  The
unfortunate admiral was, accordingly, shot on board a man-of-war
while sitting, blindfolded, in a chair on deck.  The nation, by its
approval, taught the lesson that an English admiral is expected to
think more of destroying the enemy's fleet than of saving his own.

3.  In America, also, nothing at first seemed to prosper.  The men in
command were old or incapable, and every attack made on the French
forts failed.  Thus the first year of the war ended in gloom; but
with the appointment of William Pitt, as War Minister (1757), the
fortunes of Britain began to brighten and went on increasing in
splendour.  "The Great Commoner," as Pitt was called, seemed to
inspire the whole country with his own lofty spirit.  "No man," said
a soldier of the day, "ever entered Mr. Pitt's closet who did not
feel himself braver when he came out than when he went in."

4.  Pitt's greatest triumphs were gained in America.  He had, of
course, nothing to do with the actual fighting.  It was for him to
plan the campaigns, to appoint the men for carrying out his designs,
and to provide them with the means of doing so successfully.  His
first aim was to take Louisbourg, a strong fortress of Cape Breton,
which stood sentinel for the French at the entrance of the Gulf of
St. Lawrence.  In a safe harbour, under the guns of its fortress, the
French ships could bide their time, ready to strike when the right
moment had come.  This place, therefore, had to be captured before it
would have been safe to sail up the St. Lawrence and lay siege to

5.  An army of twelve thousand men, placed under the command of
General Amherst, was sent out to wrest Louisbourg, if possible, out
of the hands of the French.  Louisbourg, at that time, was the
strongest fortress in either English or French America.  At the
entrance of the harbour was a rocky islet well fortified.  In the
harbour itself were twelve French warships with 3000 men on board.
The forts of the harbour were garrisoned by 3000 troops, whilst
upwards of 200 cannon were mounted on the walls.  The best defence of
Louisbourg was its craggy shore, with only a break here and there,
commanded by the guns of one or other of the forts.

6.  On examining the shores for a landing-place for his troops, the
general feared that the task before him was hopeless.  At length a
cove was selected for the attempt and Brigadier Wolfe--who afterwards
became famous--was honoured with the command of the attacking party.
The place selected was more strongly defended than it seemed to be.
About a thousand Frenchmen lay behind entrenchments covered in front
by fir trees, felled and laid on the ground.  Eight cannon were
planted to sweep every part of the beach, and these pieces were
masked by young evergreens stuck in the ground before them.

7.  The British were allowed to come within close range unmolested.
Then the batteries opened, and a deadly storm of grape and
musket-shot was poured upon the boats.  It was clear in an instant
that to advance further would be destruction; and Wolfe gave the
signal to sheer off.  But three boats on the right, little exposed to
the fire, made straight for the shore before them.  There the men
landed on a strand strewn with rocks and lashed with breakers, but
sheltered from the cannon by a projecting point.  Wolfe hastened to
support them.  Many of the boats were stove among the rocks, and
others were overset, but most of the men tumbled through the surf and
climbed the crags.  Forming his men in compact order, Wolfe attacked
and carried with the bayonet the first French battery.  Thus the
first footing was gained, the first move of the great game was played
and won.

8.  The great guns were now landed and the siege commenced.  The
British lines grew closer and closer, and their fire more and more
destructive.  On the thirteenth day of the siege the guns of the
Island Battery that guarded the entrance were dismounted and
silenced.  The French commander, Ducour, then sank four of his large
ships to block the mouth of the harbour and prevent any English ships
from entering.  This did not, however, prevent six hundred English
sailors from rowing into the harbour on a dark night and setting fire
to the remaining ships.

9.  It is pleasing to find that during the siege various courtesies
were exchanged between the two commanders.  Ducour, hoisting a flag
of truce, sent a letter to Amherst offering the services of a skilful
surgeon in case any English officers required them.  Amherst, on his
part, sent letters and messages from wounded Frenchmen in his hands
to Ducour, and begged his wife to accept a gift of pine-apples.  She
returned his courtesy by sending him a present of wine.  After an
exchange of courtesies like this the cannon spoke again.  The lady
herself was seen on the ramparts every morning encouraging the French
soldiers by her presence, and even firing cannon with her own hand.

10.  On the twenty-sixth day the last of the enemy's guns was
silenced, and all was ready for the assault.  Finding it impossible
to hold out any longer, Ducour surrendered.  It was stipulated that
the garrison should be sent to England as prisoners of war, and that
all artillery and arms should be given up intact.

11.  Amherst proceeded to complete his task by making himself master
of the adjacent possessions of France, including Cape Breton and what
are now called Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.  Meanwhile
another British force was successful in capturing Fort Duquesne, the
key of the Great West.  The town which rose around this fort was
called Pittsburg, in honour of the minister who had planned its
capture.  This success opened the country west of the Alleghanies to
the pushing British colonists, and deprived France of one-half of her
savage allies in that region.

12.  Thus ended the campaign of 1758.  The Canadian winter imposed a
truce on the combatants.  Wolfe returned to England and, though only
thirty-two years of age, was raised by Pitt, the great war minister,
to the rank of general.  When some one remarked to His Majesty,
George II., that Pitt's new general was mad, "Mad is he?" returned
the king; "then I hope he will bite some other of my generals."


1.  The conquest of Canada hinged on the capture of Quebec the
"Gibraltar of America."  This task was assigned to General Wolfe--a
bold, impetuous, and intrepid warrior, who had already won the
admiration of the soldiers at the siege of Louisbourg, and was about
to win undying fame at Quebec.  No one had less the likeness of a
hero.  It is worth while to picture out the man as he looked, at the
time of his appointment, that we may learn to distrust a hasty
judgment formed from mere outside appearance.

2.  The forehead and chin receded, the nose was slightly upturned,
the mouth expressed no resolution, and nothing but the clear, bright,
and piercing eye bespoke the spirit within.  He wore a black
three-cornered hat, his red hair was tied in a tail behind; his
narrow shoulders, slender body, and long, thin limbs were cased in a
scarlet coat, with broad cuffs and ample skirts that reached the
knee; while on his left arm he wore a band of crape in mourning for
his father.  Wolfe's life was a constant battling with ill-health.
He seems always to have been at his best in the thick of battle; most
complete in his mastery over himself and others at a perilous crisis.

3.  The fleet, with nine thousand troops on board, sailed out of the
harbour of Louisbourg in June, 1759, the officers drinking to the
toast, "British colours on every French fort, port, and garrison in
America," Fifteen months later this wild wish was realised, except at
New Orleans, at the mouth of the Mississippi.

4.  While the British fleet is making its way up the St. Lawrence,
the French under their brave, able and humane general, Montcalm, take
up a strong position east of Quebec, between two rivers, and behind
earthworks which lined the shore.  The British army landed on the
Isle of Orleans three or four miles below Quebec.  Wolfe soon saw
that the task before him was a desperate one.  Before him frowned the
rock of Quebec, rising vertically more than 300 feet; and crowning
the rock was a citadel girdled with batteries.

5.  Our troops had hardly taken up their quarters, after landing,
than the enemy in the hope of cutting off their retreat attempted to
destroy our fleet by means of fire-ships, filled with pitch, tar, and
other combustibles, mixed with bombs, grenades, and old cannon and
muskets loaded to the mouth.  On they came with the tide, flaming and
exploding, yet doing no harm except to a few French sailors who were
steering them.  Some of them ran ashore before reaching the fleet;
the others were caught with grappling irons by the British tars, and
towed safely out of harm's way.  A second attempt, later on, to burn
the English fleet by means of a fire-raft met with no better success.
It consisted of seventy rafts, boats, and schooners chained together.
Nothing saved the fleet but the undaunted courage of the British
sailors, who towed the fire-raft safe to shore, and left it at
anchor, whilst sounding the well-known refrain, _All's well_.


6.  Wolfe, meanwhile, had laid Quebec in ruins, but no injury he
could do could draw "the wary old fox" from his cover.  The question
was less how to fight the enemy than how to get at him.  Montcalm
persisted in doing nothing that his antagonist wished him to do.  "I
can't get at him," wrote Wolfe, "without spilling a torrent of blood,
and that perhaps to little purpose."  At last the attempt was made,
and many lives were lost in vain.  The troops, however, so loved and
trusted their general that they were ready to do his bidding with
alacrity when he resolved on a still more daring venture.

7.  The time was fast approaching when the English fleet would have
to leave the St. Lawrence to escape imprisonment in the ice.  As a
forlorn hope, it occurred to Wolfe that an attempt might be made to
scale the heights under cover of night.  About a mile above Quebec
was a tiny bay, now called Wolfe's Cove, from which a narrow path
passed up the face of the woody precipice, known as the _Heights of
Abraham_.  Close upon the brow of the hill was the post of a French
captain with 150 men.

8.  Whilst the main fleet made a feigned attack below Quebec, Wolfe
was quietly preparing for his venture ten miles further up the river.
There a squadron of ships, with 3600 troops on board, lay tranquil at
anchor.  Around it was collected a number of boats sufficient to take
half the troops.  At one o'clock two lanterns were raised to the
maintop of the leading ship as a signal for the soldiers to enter the
boats; and an hour later, when the tide began to ebb, the order was
given to cast off and glide down with the current.  The vessels, with
the rest of the troops, were to follow a little later.

9.  For full two hours the procession of boats floated silently down
the St. Lawrence.  The stars were visible but the night was moonless
and sufficiently dark.  The general, who was in one of the foremost
boats, repeated, in a low voice to the officers sitting round, Gray's
_Elegy in a Country Churchyard_.  "Gentlemen," he said, as he
finished his recital, "I would rather have written those lines than
take Quebec."

10.  The leading company disembarked on a narrow strand at the foot
of the heights to be climbed, and began the ascent, each man pulling
himself up by bushes, stumps of trees, and jutting rocks.  On
reaching the top they saw in the dim light a cluster of tents and
made a dart at them.  The French, taken by surprise, fled.  The main
body of British troops waited in their boats, near the beach, all
intently listening.  Soon from the top came a sound of musket shots,
followed by loud hurrahs from British throats, and Wolfe knew that
the position was gained.  The word was given; the troops leaped from
the boats and climbed the heights, clutching at trees and bushes,
giving and taking hands, their muskets slung at their backs.  As fast
as the boats were emptied they hastened to the ships to be refilled.

11.  When the day broke Wolfe's battalions were drawn up in battle
array on the Plains of Abraham just behind Quebec, and there they
waited for the attack, Montcalm hurried to the spot, and full in
sight before him stretched the lines of Wolfe: the close ranks of the
English infantry, a silent wall of red, and the wild array of the
Highlanders with their bagpipes screaming defiance.  The British
waited until the French were within forty yards and then rang out the
command, and a crash of musketry answered.  Another volley quickly
followed, and then came the order to charge with the bayonet.  As
Wolfe led on his grenadiers a shot shattered his wrist.  He wrapped
his handkerchief about it and kept on.  Another shot struck him, but
he still advanced, when a third lodged in his breast and brought him
to the ground.  He was carried to the rear, and there lay dying, when
all at once an officer cried cut: "They run; see how they run!"  "Who
run?" asked the dying hero.  "The enemy, sir, they give way in all
directions."  "Then God be praised; I shall die in peace!"

12.  The brave Montcalm met with a similar fate.  As, borne with the
tide of fugitives, he approached the town, a shot passed through his
body.  He lingered until the next day, and soon afterwards Quebec
opened its gates to the conquerors.  In the public gardens of Quebec,
there now stands an obelisk, bearing on one of its faces the word
Montcalm and on the opposite face the name Wolfe; two brave men equal
in honour, in devotion to duty, in patriotism.

13.  The capture of Quebec was soon followed by the conquest of all
Canada.  All the French troops in the colony were taken back to
France.  Protection to person and property, and the free exercise of
their religion, were promised to all the colonists who were willing
to remain in the country.  They had hitherto been treated as
children, unable to speak and act for themselves.  All this was now
changed.  A new spirit of freedom animated the whole colony, infusing
new life and vigour into all classes.  This resulted in the increase
of wealth and comfort, and in the growth of a genuine loyalty to the
British Crown.


1.  Whilst General Wolfe was fighting the French in Canada, Robert
Clive was similarly engaged in India.  Here, as in America, the
British and French were rivals for power.  Both nations had an East
India Company, and until lately the two companies had confined
themselves to their own proper business as merchants.  The British
had factories, or trading-stations, at Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay;
the French had their headquarters at Pondicherry.  The appointment of
Dupleix as governor at Pondicherry, in 1748, led to a change of
policy.  From that time the French began to bid for empire, and the
British were not slow to follow their lead.

2.  India at that time was nominally under the rule of an emperor,
known as the "Great Mogul"; but the real power was in the hands of
the princes who ruled, in his name, in the different provinces of the
empire.  Dupleix saw in this state of things a chance of making
France the supreme power in India.  Disputes were constantly arising
between the native princes about the right of succession.  Dupleix's
plan was an immoral one; it was, in any dispute for a throne, to take
the side of the prince who had the least right to it; for the one who
gained the throne, by his help, without being entitled to it, would
afterwards be only a mere puppet prince under his thumb.

3.  Dupleix also perceived that the army of a native prince was
merely an armed rabble, and that a small disciplined force would
easily beat it, even if that force was composed of merely
well-drilled natives under European officers.  He perceived that the
natives, though not wanting in personal courage, were as babes in the
art of warfare.  When, for instance, they engaged in battle, the
officer in command mounted an elephant and became the standard of his
army.  All eyes were turned towards him; as long as he was visible
the troops rallied round him; directly he fell or turned they
dispersed, and the day was lost.  It was thus possible for a
well-directed shot to decide the fate of a battle.

4.  The opportunity which Dupleix wanted was not long in presenting
itself.  A dispute arose between two princes for the right to rule
the Carnatic, a province of Southern India.  The claimant whom
Dupleix favoured soon triumphed over his rival, but he was a mere
tool in the hands of his French patron, who became the real ruler of
the province.  And to impress the natives with a sense of his
greatness, he clad himself in costly native dresses, trimmed with
jewels, and required his attendants to serve him on bended knee.  But
Dupleix was not long left in the quiet enjoyment of his honours.

5.  There was a clerk in the employ of our East India Company whose
adventurous spirit urged him to quit the desk and gird on the
soldier's sword.  That man was Robert Clive, who proved to be one of
the master-makers of our empire, and the founder of British rule in
India.  Clive showed himself to be a born leader of men, with a
genius for war, as brave as the bravest, with a presence of mind that
never forsook him however great the danger.  Clive proposed to make a
sudden dash on Arcot, the capital of the Carnatic, about a hundred
miles inland from Madras.  His offer was accepted, and he set out
from Madras at the head of 200 English soldiers and 300
Sepoys--natives armed and drilled after the European fashion--with
eight English officers.

6.  Clive made the journey by forced marches through the thunder and
lightning and rain of the wet season, and so astounded the garrison
of Arcot that they ran without striking a blow.  A force of 3000 men
soon appeared to drive out the intruders.  In the middle of the night
on which they arrived, while all of them were fast asleep,
Clive--without waiting to be besieged, as he should have done by all
the rules of Indian warfare--made a sudden sally, drove them headlong
from the place, and returned without losing a single man.  Somewhat
later a force of 8000 men encircled the city, and for fifty days the
young captain foiled all their efforts to take it.

7.  During this terrible time, officers and men--European and native
alike--were all animated by the same undaunted spirit and by the same
devotion to the young captain.  When there was nothing left but rice
to live and fight on, and very little of that, the Sepoys came to him
of their own will to beg that the grain should be reserved for their
European comrades and the water in which it was boiled for themselves.

8.  At last, the enemy stormed the fort, driving before them
elephants whose foreheads were armed with iron plates.  It was
expected that the gates would yield to the shock of these living
battering-rams.  But the balls from the fort sent the huge beasts
flying in terror into the crowded ranks of their own masters.
However, a breach had been made, and the attack went on.  Clive had
placed his best marksmen in front, and ordered those in the rear to
load the muskets for them to fire.  Three times the besiegers stormed
the breach, and three times they quailed before the leaden-storm that
beat upon them.  During the night the enemy suddenly decamped,
leaving guns and stores to the victors.

9.  Clive's success at Arcot may be justly considered the first stone
laid in the foundation of our Indian Empire.  As the star of Clive
rose so that of Dupleix sank.  The prince that the latter had set up
lost his throne, and Dupleix himself was recalled to France; for the
French Government regarded his lofty aims and pretensions as no
better than a wild dream.  But the wild dream of Dupleix for France
was fulfilled by Clive and his successors for Britain.  To-day we see
that dream realised, and an English King proclaimed Emperor of India.

10.  To Clive belongs the honour of having been the first Englishman
to impress the people of India with the fighting-powers of our race,
the first to inspire them with the idea that Victory rode in a
British war-chariot.  Nothing is more essential to success in ruling
the myriads of India than the conviction that our arms are sure to
prevail.  Fortunately, the British soldier, ever since the days of
Robert Clive, has made his name famous in India; the credit he has
gained for valour and victory materially aids him in battle to win
the day.  The name and renown gained by success and good fortune in
the past is what is meant by prestige, and this heritage of ours is
one of the secrets of the power that enables a few thousands of our
race in India to rule its three hundred million souls.


1.  Who has not heard of the "Black Hole of Calcutta" and of the
miscreant Surajah Dowlah, the _nawab_, or native governor, of Bengal?
This man hated the English, and he resolved to expel them from his
province.  Marching to Calcutta with a large force, he seized all our
countrymen within his reach, and thrust them for the night into a
small stifling room.  When the door was thrown open in the morning,
only 23 out of 146 staggered out alive.  All the rest had fallen dead
from the intense heat and suffocating air.

2.  When the news reached Madras there went up a cry for vengeance,
and all eyes turned to Clive as the avenger.  A part of the famous
39th regiment, lately arrived from England, formed the backbone of
Clive's force.  Admiral Watson was also at hand with a small fleet,
and sailed with the avenging army to the mouth of the Hooghly (Hugli).

3.  On their arrival the work of retribution began.  Calcutta soon
fell into their hands.  The nawab's capital, Moorshedabad, was the
next object of attack, Clive boldly advancing against it with his
small force of 3000 men.  The nawab drew up his army of 50,000 men on
the plains of Plassey, a few miles in front of his capital.  Whilst
Clive could only muster ten light field pieces, his enemy had fifty
heavy guns at his command.  But there was treachery in his ranks, for
Clive had won over Meer Jaffier, the principal commander of his
troops, and the nawab himself was hated by his own people.

4.  Clive drew up his troops in front of a grove of mangoes, and near
it was a hunting-lodge from the roof of which Clive watched the
nawab's army take up its position.  They came on with all the pomp
and panoply of war--the infantry with their banners flying, the
cavalry with their drawn swords flashing back the rays of the rising
sun, the elephants with their scarlet trappings, and the heavy guns
with their unwieldy platforms and struggling teams of white oxen.
The battle that followed lasted till noon.

5.  At the right moment, Clive ordered a general advance, and after a
brief struggle, disorder and dismay having spread through the ranks
of his army, Surajah gave the order to retreat.  Clive immediately
darted forward with all his men, while the hosts of the enemy fled
panic-stricken before them.  The nawab mounted a swift dromedary, and
was the first to reach Moorshedabad, with a bodyguard of 2000
horsemen.  Plassey was not a great battle, but it was fruitful in
great results.  It was fought on 23rd June, 1757, a date from which
is reckoned the foundation of British rule in India.

6.  As an immediate result of the battle Surajah Dowlah was deposed,
and Meer Jaffier made nawab.  Clive was taken by the new nawab into
the royal treasury of Bengal, and there, walking between heaps of
gold and silver and cases filled with jewels, he was invited to help
himself.  He accepted about two hundred thousand pounds, and became
the real ruler of Bengal.  Much had yet to be done to place the power
of the British in Bengal on a firm footing, but that result was
achieved before Clive sailed for England (1760).

7.  Whilst Clive was securing Bengal, his friend, Colonel Eyre Coote,
was doing much, in southern India, to raise the British and lower the
French in the eyes of the native soldiers.  A decisive engagement was
fought between the troops of the two rivals at Wandewash, south of
Madras, in 1760.  This battle is unique in the warfare of India,
being fought between Europeans only.  The native soldiers, on both
sides, deliberately held back to let the strangers have a fair fight.
The French were routed, and their prestige soon faded from the native
mind.  Coote's sepoys, in congratulating their general on his
victory, warmly thanked him for having shown them how a battle should
be fought.  By the end of another year Pondicherry was surrendered to
Coote, and no spot of Indian soil remained under the French flag.  It
is true Pondicherry was restored to France at the conclusion of the
Seven Years' War (1763), but only on condition that it should be held
simply for purposes of trade.  Britain, on the other hand, retained
possession of Bengal and bade fair to become, ere long, the ruling
power in India.

8.  To help England to build her Indian empire on a sound basis, our
hero returned to India (1765) as governor of Bengal, with the title
of Lord Clive.  He soon set himself the most difficult task of his
life, and that was to put an end to the corrupt practices of the
officials of the Company, who were growing rapidly rich by accepting
bribes to act unjustly.  The whole body of officials seemed to be
set, as one man, against the reforms of the new governor, but his
iron will was too strong for them all.

9.  By his just and honest government Clive became the friend of the
Hindoo, and at the same time the true friend of his own country; for
if the first establishment of British rule in India was due to
British valour, its continuance is due to British truthfulness,
justice and fair-dealing.  All that we could have gained by being as
false and subtle as the Orientals themselves were wont to be, is as
nothing compared with what we have gained by being the one power in
India whose word could be trusted.  It is a thing of which we may be
justly proud, that no oath, however binding, no hostage, however
precious, inspires one tithe of the confidence which is produced by
the "yea, yea" and "nay, nay" of a British envoy.


Time of Trial and Triumph



1.  The Seven Years' War, which came to a close in 1763, left Britain
everywhere triumphant.  But she was not left long to enjoy her
triumph.  Days of darkness came upon her, bringing defeat and
disaster, and the loss of her principal colonies.  Everywhere she had
to fight to hold her own.  And how well this was done for her in
India by one of her ablest sons our story shall now tell.

2.  If Clive was the founder of British rule in India, Warren
Hastings was its preserver.  Like Clive, he began his career as a
clerk in the service of the East India Company.  In the Bengal war he
shouldered a musket and fought at Plassey; but Clive's quick eye soon
perceived that there was more in his head than his arm, and he
employed him as his agent at the court of the new nawab, Meer
Jaffier.  From this time Hastings steadily rose in the Company's
service, until, in 1774, he was made Governor-General of India, the
first to hold that office.

3.  India at this time was a medley of nations under the nominal
headship of the "Great Mogul"; but his power was very limited, and
the princes who ruled in his name did much as they pleased.  The most
powerful of these native rulers were the Mahratta chiefs, and for
many years it was a question whether the Mahrattas or the British
should be the leading power in India.

4.  The original seat of this fierce and cunning people was the wild
range of hills that run along the western coast of India.  When the
Mogul empire fell to pieces, some time previously, the Mahratta
chiefs made themselves masters of the central provinces, with Poona
as their headquarters.  They founded states which spread from sea to
sea, and their sword was always at the service of the highest bidder.
They were almost equally dreaded by friend and foe; the former were
ruined by the heavy pay they extorted, and the latter had their
country ravaged by fire and sword.  Their cavalry moved in large
bodies with marvellous speed, and wherever "their kettledrums were
heard the peasant threw his bag of rice on his shoulder, hid his
small savings in his girdle, and fled with his wife and children to
the mountains or jungles, to the milder neighbourhood of the hyæna
and the tiger."

5.  Such were the people with whom Hastings had to contend for the
safety of the British dominions in India.  Hearing that France had
sent an envoy to form an alliance with them, our governor-general
determined to strike a decisive blow before a French force could
arrive.  The first general sent by Hastings bungled and failed.  A
new commander was appointed who spread the military renown of the
British through regions where no European flag had ever been seen.
Captain Popham, in particular, gained great applause by his capture
of the great rock-fortress of Gwalior--a feat which all had thought
impossible.  At dead of night he led his forces, their feet wrapped
in cotton, to the foot of the fortress.  By means of ladders they
silently scaled a smooth wall of rock, sixteen feet high.  Above, a
steep ascent of forty yards was climbed.  A few of the sepoys were
then drawn up a wall thirty feet high by ropes let down by some
spies, and on being joined by their comrades, rushed forward and
overpowered the sleeping garrison, thus gaining possession of the
far-famed fortress.

6.  Meanwhile our governor-general made all ready for the French.  He
knew that France had declared war (1778), and that a great French
expedition was on the way.  To Hastings' great delight there arrived
from England, to take the chief command of the forces, Sir Eyre
Coote, the hero of Wandewash, and the idol of the sepoys who had
fought under him.  An incident is mentioned by an English officer,
half a century later, which shows the high honour in which Coote was
held by the native soldiers.  One of his veterans came to the officer
who tells the story to present a memorial.  Seeing a print of Coote
hanging in the room, he at once recognised the face and figure which
he had not seen for fifty years, and, forgetting his salute to the
living, halted, drew himself up, lifted his hand, and made a solemn
bow to the dead.

7.  Coote's services were soon required after his arrival at
Calcutta.  A swift ship flying before the south-west monsoon brought
the news that a great army of 90,000 men, under the direction of
French officers, had poured down through the wild passes that led
from the table-land of Mysore to the plains of the Carnatic.  They
had swept down under the command of Hyder Ali, a soldier of fortune,
who had raised himself to the throne of Mysore, and who now sought,
with the help of the French and the Mahrattas, to drive the British
out of India.  His squadrons had burst upon the Carnatic like a
furious storm, spreading desolation and ruin far and wide, routing
the small British force that stood in their way, and driving all
before them up to the gates of Madras.

8.  Such was the state of things in Southern India when Sir Eyre
Coote arrived from Calcutta with all the troops that the
governor-general could collect.  He happily reached Madras before the
expected French fleet appeared in the Indian seas.  Without an hour's
delay Coote sought the enemy, and brought him to battle at Porto
Novo, a haven some forty miles south of Pondicherry.  Though he could
only muster nine thousand men to oppose a force ten times as
numerous, yet after six hours of conflict the enemy fled in dismay.
Every town on the coast under French rule was seized at once, so that
when the French fleet arrived it found no port where it could refit.
Its nearest station was in the Mauritius, two thousand miles away.

9.  Many forgotten battles, with varying fortune, were fought in the
five years that followed this great victory; but by 1783 the war had
burnt itself out, leaving the Carnatic a scene of desolation.  In
Bengal, however, our governor-general had been able to maintain peace
and to insure to the natives the fruits of their labours.  "Under the
nawabs," says Macaulay, "the hurricane of Mahratta cavalry had passed
annually over the rich plain of the Ganges.  But even the Mahratta
shrank from a conflict with the mighty children of the sea; and the
rich harvests of the Lower Ganges were safely gathered in under the
protection of the English sword."  One homely instance may be given
of the general security felt by the poor natives under British rule.
"A good rain this for the bread," said one Indian peasant to another.
"Yes," was the reply, "and a good government under which one may eat
bread in safety."

10.  In all his schemes for the success of his rule and the honour of
his country, Hastings was constantly thwarted by a member of the
Supreme Council, named Francis.  The quarrel between them at last,
according to the custom of those days, led to a duel.  In this duel,
we get a glimpse of the calm courage and high spirit of the man, who
was as a pillar on which rested the whole fabric of our rule in
India.  The seconds in the duel had taken the precaution to bake the
powder for their respective friends, nevertheless, Francis' pistol
missed fire.  Hastings obligingly waited until he had reprimed.  This
time the pistol went off, but the shot flew wide of the mark.  Then
Hastings coolly returned the shot, and the bullet entered the right
side of his foe.  As soon as he was well enough to travel Francis
went home to England, and poisoned men's minds against him.

11.  Hastings, indeed, had laid himself open to attack in his schemes
for raising money to pay his troops.  The means he adopted for this
purpose has left a stain on his name, and an uncomfortable feeling
upon the minds of his countrymen that our empire in India has not
always been built on honourable lines.  On Hastings' return to
England he was brought to trial for the wrongs he had committed in
the course of his government.  The fact was clearly brought out at
his trial that, whatever his measures for obtaining money, he had
taken them with the object, not of enriching self, but of promoting
the interests of his country.  After the trial had drawn its weary
length over a period of seven years, the accused was acquitted.  The
nation had by this time forgotten his faults and remembered only his
great services, whereby he had preserved Britain from loss in the
East whilst her fortunes underwent eclipse in the West.


1.  The triumphs in the Seven Years' War had not been won without
great cost.  A long score had been run up by the nation, and to pay
the interest on the National Debt heavy taxes had to be borne.  If
the money spent in the last war was not to be thrown away, it was
necessary to spend still more in order to defend what British arms
had won.  The American colonies, also, were constantly exposed to
Indian raids, and the savage use of the scalping-knife.  It was,
accordingly resolved by the British Government to keep a standing
army in America of ten thousand men.  And for the maintenance of such
an army it was only just that the colonists should contribute.

2.  A dispute now arose between the colonists and the Home
Government, not about the amount which the former should pay, but
upon the way in which the demand for payment was made.  The British
Parliament asserted its right to tax the colonists and insisted on
levying a tax on tea.  The colonists urged that they should be left
free to tax themselves in their own colonial parliaments.  "We will
not allow," said they, "the British Parliament to thrust their hands
into our pockets."  The dispute ended in war.  The thirteen American
colonies banded together, and declared themselves free and
independent states (1776).

3.  In the war that followed the colonists gained the day.  They owed
their success, in no small measure, to George Washington, their
Commander-in-chief.  It was only as the weary fight went on that his
countrymen learnt, little by little, the greatness of their
leader--his silence under difficulties, his calmness in the hour of
danger or defeat, the patience with which he waited for an
opportunity, the quickness and vigour with which he struck home when
it came.

4.  But success was due still more to the help the colonists received
from France and Spain.  These two powers had been brought to their
knees in the Seven Years' War, and now they resolved to take
advantage of the family quarrel between Britain and her colonies to
pay off old scores: "to avenge," as they said, "old injuries, and to
put an end to that tyrannical empire which England has usurped, and
claims to maintain, upon the ocean."  The main object the French had
in view was not, as we might suppose, the reconquest of Canada, but
the transfer to herself of the British possessions in the West
Indies.  Spain's heart was set on the recovery of Gibraltar.  Both
nations made a solemn vow to grant neither peace nor truce until
Gibraltar had fallen.

5.  Spain set about the siege of Gibraltar the moment she had
declared war (1779).  The difficulty on our side was not to keep the
enemy from landing, but to keep the garrison supplied with provisions
and ammunition.  Our fleets, however, proved equal to the task.  They
were led to victory by Admiral Rodney, one of the greatest of English
seamen.  He not only escorted his own provision ships into the
harbour of Gibraltar, but on the way captured a Spanish squadron of
seven ships-of-war and sixteen supply ships, which were added to his
own for the victualling of Gibraltar.  A week later, when off Cape
St. Vincent, Rodney espied a Spanish fleet of eleven
sail-of-the-line, gave chase, and cutting in between the enemy and
his port, captured the Commander-in-chief, with six of his
battle-ships, whilst a seventh was blown up.

6.  The siege went on for three years.  At last the allies, in
September, 1782, resolved to bend all their energies to finish off
the work.  On the isthmus, joining the rock to the mainland, they
planted 300 pieces of artillery, and in front of the rock ten
floating batteries, which were supposed to be both shot and fire
proof.  War-ships, gun-boats, and bomb-vessels were to lend their
aid.  Thousands of French soldiers were brought to reinforce the
Spaniards, all held in readiness for a grand assault as soon as the
guns had made a breach large enough for troops to enter.

7.  For four days the guns on the isthmus bombarded the fortress in
vain.  Then the floating-batteries were brought into action.  A
furious cannonade raged for hours between the batteries afloat and
the batteries on the rock.  General Eliott, who was in command of the
fortress, served his guns with red-hot balls, and at last, in spite
of the enemy's frantic efforts to extinguish the fire, one of the
batteries was well ablaze, and soon the same fate overtook the
others.  In the end, nine of the ten blew up, and about two thousand
poor fellows were blown into the sea.  Our commander then showed that
he was as humane as he was brave.  The British guns ceased firing,
and boats, rowed by willing British hands, rescued four hundred from
death.  Thus ended the last attempt to take Gibraltar by storm.

8.  A few months before her triumph at Gibraltar, Britain won a
signal victory over the French in the West Indies.  A French fleet,
under Admiral De Grasse, consisting of thirty-six war-ships, with
five thousand troops on board, was ordered to join a Spanish fleet of
fourteen men-of-war, carrying eight thousand troops, off Hayti, and
then clear the British out of Jamaica and all their West India
possessions.  Had the junction taken place, the combined armada of
fifty ships might have accomplished the task.  But the scheme came to
nought in consequence of a splendid victory over the French fleet by
Admiral Rodney.

9.  The battle was fought in April, 1782, near a group of islets
called the _Saints_, which gives its name to the battle.  For four
days the two fleets manoeuvred, circling round each other like two
birds of prey on the wing, each admiral trying to place his
antagonist at a disadvantage.  At last Rodney's chance had come.  The
signal was given for attack.  The British fleet glided on, each ship
a cable's length, or about two hundred yards, from her neighbour; and
so perfect was the line, we are told, "that a bucket dropped from the
leading ship might have been picked up by almost any ship that
followed."  Rodney drew his ships within musket-shot of the enemy's,
and then began a cannonade that soon wrapped the two lines in smoke
and flame through their whole length.  All the time the ships are in
movement, the two lines sailing in opposite directions, and pouring
in their shot as ship passes ship.

10.  At length the crisis has come.  One of the French ships is
disabled and leaves a gap between itself and the next.  Rodney
immediately pushes his ship through the gap, thus breaking the French
line.  In breaking the line, says an eye-witness, "we passed so near
the lame French ship that I could see the gunners throwing away their
sponges and hand-spikes in order to save themselves by running
below."  The captains coming next to the admiral follow him through
the fatal gap, thus crumpling up the French centre, and placing the
French flag-ship and six others between two fires.

11.  De Grasse fought his flag-ship like a gallant sailor.  She was
the finest ship afloat carrying 106 guns and a crew of 1300 men.  In
vain he signalled for help.  The ships that had formed his van and
his rear were flying in opposite directions.  The British ships, one
after another, drew round the doomed ship.  When his cartridges were
exhausted, De Grasse ordered powder barrels to be hoisted from the
hold, and loose powder to be poured into the guns with a ladle.  By
sunset there were but three unwounded men on the upper deck.  More
slain or wounded men lay around her guns than in Rodney's whole
fleet.  At six o'clock, the unfortunate admiral, with his own hands,
hauled down his flag.

12.  Six ships fell to the British, but one caught fire and burned to
the water's edge, while three were so mauled that they foundered
before reaching port.  The battle of Saints is famous for the skilful
tactics of the victor and for the important results of the victory.
Combined with the successful defence of Gibraltar, it induced the
allies to bring the war to a close by the Treaty of Versailles
(1783).  By this treaty the independence of the United States was
acknowledged.  But beyond the loss of her American colonies, Britain
had weathered the storm with little damage to herself.

13.  The forcible separation, however, between the mother-country and
her colonies bequeathed for many generations a feeling of bitterness
between the two nations.  But a better day has now dawned.  A new
bond of sympathy has arisen between them as two branches of the same
Anglo-Saxon race.  They are divided by a wide ocean, but at critical
times it has been plainly proved that "blood is thicker than water."
A voice has passed across the ocean from either side, and this is the
message it tells:--

                      "Kinsmen, hail!
    We severed have been too long:
  Now let us have done with a worn-out tale,
    The tale of an ancient wrong,
  And our friendship last long as Love doth last,
    And be stronger than death is strong."


1.  Britain had now lost her chief colonies in the New World, but a
newer world was waiting for her to occupy.  This newer world was
Australia, whose existence was not known until fifty years after
Columbus made his famous discovery.  The first to get a glimpse of
Australia were the Dutch, who called it New Holland; but they only
touched on its northern and western coasts, and knew nothing of the
extent and character of the interior.  To a Dutchman also, named
Tasman, is due the honour of having first lighted on New Zealand and
Tasmania, but he did little or nothing in exploring these lands and
mapping out their coasts.  It was reserved for an Englishman, the
famous Captain Cook, to explore the coasts and definitely fix the
situation of those southern lands that now form so important a part
of King Edward's Realm.

2.  This celebrated explorer was the son of a day-labourer in
Yorkshire, and, when a boy of six or seven, was set to work at
bird-scaring on a farm.  The farmer's wife, taking an interest in the
lad, taught him to read and write, which few poor boys in his days
were able to do.  A year or two later we find him ship-boy to a
collier.  Whilst serving as a sailor before the mast, James Cook did
what was seldom done by men in his position, he went on with his
learning, and mastered the rules of navigation and the mode of making
charts.  For thirteen years he went on learning his business as a
mariner, and training himself to take things as they came and to look
on hardships and coarse or scanty fare as matters of no account in a
seaman's life.

3.  On the outbreak of the Seven Years' War Cook's chance came to
him.  He entered the royal navy, and by his talents attracted the
notice of his captain and was appointed "master" of the _Mercury_.
Whilst holding this post he was sent to the St. Lawrence to prepare
for Wolfe's expedition to Quebec, by taking soundings of the river
and laying down a chart.  So well was this work done that not only
did the fleet reach Quebec without a mishap, but the work has needed
but little re-doing from that day to this.  This service to his
country was not forgotten; and when it was resolved to send an
exploring expedition to the Southern Ocean, James Cook was placed in

4.  Between 1768 and 1779, Captain Cook made three voyages of
discovery from end to end of the great Pacific Ocean, from the
impassable barrier of ice in the south to that in the north.  During
that time he did more to fill up the blanks on the map of the world
than any man before or since.  In his first voyage Captain Cook set
sail in the _Endeavour_--a mere collier of 370 tons, but stout and
strong, built for safety rather than speed, and worked by a crew of
eighty-five men.  The explorer made direct for Tahiti, and after
refitting his ship and refreshing his men at this earthly Paradise
set sail for New Zealand.

5.  Though discovered long ago by Tasman, no white man had yet set
foot on it.  During his three voyages Cook thoroughly explored and
mapped out its coasts.  He often landed and made the acquaintance of
some of the chiefs.  The natives, who called themselves _Maoris_,
proved to be a warlike race of cannibals, who not only ate human
flesh, but boasted of the practice.  The natives derived much benefit
from the visits of the explorer; for he introduced many useful
animals and plants, including pigs, fowls, potatoes, and turnips.

6.  The captain in his Journal tells us that the Maoris paid no
attention to musketry fire unless actually struck, but "great guns
they did, because they threw stones further than they could
comprehend.  After they found that our arms were so superior to
theirs, and that we took no advantage of that superiority, and a
little time was given them to reflect upon it, they ever after were
our good friends."  He also found in them a sense of honour which
kept them true to any bargain or agreement they had made.

7.  The great explorer next sailed for Australia, then almost an
unknown land.  Cook was the first to visit the East Coast, which he
explored with great care.  The first point of Australia seen by his
look-out man was Cape Howe, in the south-east corner of the country.
A few days later the _Endeavour_ anchored in Botany Bay, which owes
its name to the great variety of new plants seen there.

8.  The English made there their first acquaintance with the natives,
who on seeing the strange vessel near the shore did not seem to take
the slightest notice; "they were," says Cook, "to all appearance
wholly unconcerned about us, though we were within half-a-mile of
them."  And even when the sailors threw among them little presents of
beads and pieces of cloth, they regarded such things with
indifference.  The only thing they cared to accept was food, and
this, when given them, they greedily devoured.  They were neither
excited to wonder by the ship nor overawed by the sound of its guns.
They were evidently savages of a low order, not intelligent enough to
be curious.  They stood sullenly aloof, and would enter into no
relation with the stranger.

[Illustration: Captain Cook Presenting Pigs and Fowls to the Maoris.]

9.  For the next three or four months the explorer proceeded
northwards, making a careful survey of the coasts.  At one time it
seemed likely that the ship and its crew would perish.  After sailing
1300 miles along the East Coast without meeting with any accident,
the _Endeavour_ suddenly struck on a part of the Barrier Reef, whose
existence at that time was unknown.  A great hole was knocked in the
vessel.  A sail, with a quantity of wool and oakum lightly stitched
to it, was placed beneath the ship with ropes, and served in some
measure to stop the leak.  The ship was at length got off the rock,
brought to land and beached for repairs, at a spot in Queensland
where now stands Cooktown.

10.  Cook afterwards completed the survey of the East Coast and gave
the name of New South Wales to the whole country, from Cape York to
Cape Howe.  Already at Botany Bay, and at other landing places, Cook
had hoisted the British Flag, and now, before quitting Australia on
his homeward way, he once more landed and took formal possession in
the name of King George.  Thus he added what turned out a whole
continent to the British Empire, and that without sacrificing a
single life in battle; and thus in great measure he made up for our
loss in the New World by opening the door of a newer world which our
people might enter and occupy.


1.  In former times we used to get rid of our criminals by sending
them across the seas to work, as forced labourers, on the farms of
our colonists in America.  But when the colonists rose in rebellion
and fought for independence, they refused to take any longer our
thieves and vagabonds.  As the war went on our prisons became crowded
with convicts, and by the time it came to an end (1783) every one saw
that some other field for convict labour must be found.

2.  An empty continent, whose whereabouts Captain Cook had made
known, was waiting to receive any who came from our shores; but it
was situated on the opposite side of the globe, twelve thousand miles
away.  At length, in spite of the distance, Australia was selected as
a suitable place for our convicts.  And in May, 1787, the first
convoy set sail.  It carried nearly 800 convicts, with a guard of 200
marines, and was placed under the command of Captain Phillip, who had
been appointed governor of the new settlement.

3.  The voyage lasted eight months, and in January, 1788, the fleet
arrived at Port Jackson, which struck the new-comers as "the finest
harbour in the world."  All being landed, governor Phillip gathered
his subjects around him and made them a little speech, in which he
tried to inspire the convicts with new hope, and to make them feel
that their future fortune was in their own keeping.  He also reminded
the marines that after three years' service, they would be at liberty
to settle there as colonists with free gifts of land for cultivation.
The ships fired three salutes, and the rest of the day was spent as a

4.  This was the last cheery time for many years to come in the lives
of the settlers.  Hard times lay before them.  The first settlement
was made on the site of Sydney.  The task which lay before the
governor was a gigantic one; roads to make, trees to fell, houses to
build, crops to plant; and the men and women to help him in the work,
for the most part idle and dishonest.  Indeed, many of them, as the
governor said, "dread punishment less than they fear labour."  To add
to his troubles, for the first two years a great drought, aided by a
fiery sun, baked the soil till it became hard and sterile.  The
settlers had brought with them seeds and cattle as well as stores of
provisions; but the seeds failed to grow, and the cattle broke loose
and were lost in the "bush."

5.  Within a few months the danger of starvation came so near that
the whole colony was put on short rations.  To the credit of the
governor, in this time of distress, he threw his own private stock
into the common store, and shared alike with the rest.  To lessen the
chance of starving, the governor sent a large party by sea to Norfolk
Island, where the soil was less sterile, and more food could be
obtained by fishing and fowling.  There also it became necessary to
collect all private stores of food, and to throw them into one common
stock, and deal out a certain quantity daily to each person.

6.  Happily the firm government and wise measures adopted in each
settlement kept the wolf from the door until fresh supplies came from
England.  Governor Phillip having shared the privations of his men,
and borne the heavy strain of his responsible post for nearly five
years, returned home in December, 1792.  Few men have been placed in
a more difficult position for such a length of time, and none have
brought to the fulfilment of such a thankless task as his more
courage, devotion, and humanity.  "The consideration alone," he says,
"of doing a good work for my country could make amends for being
surrounded by the most infamous of mankind."  The name of Arthur
Phillip deserves an honoured place on the roll of the founders of the
British Empire.

7.  Another convict settlement was soon afterwards made in Tasmania,
or Van Diemen's Land, as it was then called.  And here the worst
characters were sent.  As early as 1804 a batch of criminals was sent
there from England, and a settlement made where Hobart now stands.
Through mismanagement the young colony was brought to the verge of
starvation.  Luckily there were large herds of kangaroo in the
island.  The governor, being unable to feed his prisoners, permitted
them to hunt the kangaroo for their food.  In fact, at one time,
there was little to eat but kangaroo flesh, and little to wear but
kangaroo skins.  Many of the convicts became fond of this hunter's
life, and preferred the wild freedom of the "bush" to the restraints
of convict life under the eye of the governor.

8.  Fortunately, before many years had passed, free emigrants came
"to try their luck," some to Australia, others to Tasmania, being
tempted by the offer of free gifts of land, and the services of
well-behaved convicts to help in farm-labour.  The free colonists of
Tasmania soon found themselves in evil plight.  Many of the convicts
assigned to them fled into the "bush," where they lived in gangs, as
"bushrangers," on violence and robbery.  The evil grew to such an
extent that, at last, every homestead became the scene of terror and
dismay.  Nor was "bushranging" the only evil from which Tasmania's
early colonists suffered.  The native blacks were naturally cruel and
crafty, and they had been goaded on to take revenge on the white
strangers by the barbarous way in which they had been treated by the
runaway convicts.

9.  From this desperate state the colony was delivered by Colonel
Arthur on his appointment as governor.  To him Tasmania owes the
foundation of its prosperity.  He spared no pains to ascertain his
duty and was as rigid as rock in doing it.  Under his leadership the
settlers banded together against the bushrangers, and defended their
homesteads as soldiers in regular warfare.  They loopholed their
buildings, posted men as sentinels, and held themselves in readiness
to fight, both by day and night.  The governor rewarded the capture
of any bushranger with a grant of land, and before the end of two
years the whole gang was taken and executed.

10.  Arthur's next care was to relieve the colony of the blacks,
between whom and the whites a deadly feud existed.  His desire was to
collect all the natives and confine them to one district.  He
assembled all the settlers to aid his troops in driving the poor
savages out of their haunts.  He placed his men at intervals, so as
to form a line stretching across the island, with orders to advance
and either catch the blacks or coop them up in a corner of the
island.  After two months of marching, at an expense of £30,000, the
whole operation resulted in the capture of a man and a boy.  But
kindness succeeded where force failed.  They were persuaded by George
Robinson, who had proved himself their friend, to withdraw to
Flinders Island in Bass Strait.  There, to his grief, they rapidly
dwindled, and in the course of a few years became extinct.

11.  Both natives and convicts have long disappeared from Tasmania,
and the colonist can now live there in peace and quietness, in a land
of natural beauty with an agreeable climate.  It is not a country
where a fortune can be rapidly made, but where food is plentiful and
labour well paid.


1.  The chief source of wealth in Australia is, and always has been,
its excellent wool.  The founder of the wool industry was Captain
McArthur, whose quick eye saw from the first that the country was
best adapted to sheep-farming.  He also saw that the value of sheep
in this far-away country, with its scanty population, would depend
upon their wool rather than their flesh.  He accordingly introduced
some Spanish merino sheep, and succeeded in producing a breed of
animals that thrived well on the grasses of the country and grew wool
of the finest quality.  MacArthur, therefore, is entitled to the
credit of having laid the foundation of Australian prosperity.  With
the same stroke of business, he did a great service to the
mother-country.  The war then raging with France and Spain--just
before their defeat at Trafalgar--had cut off from English looms the
supplies of Spanish wool on which they had hitherto relied.  Thus the
colony that had been chiefly valued by the Home Government as a
dumping-ground for criminals, rose high in their estimation as a
country to which our woollen manufacturers would be able to turn for
their much-needed wool.

2.  Sheep-farming is an industry that demands great stretches of
suitable land for sheep-runs.  The sheep-farmers of New South Wales,
soon found it difficult to get enough elbow-room.  You may think this
strange, considering the vast expanse of Australia.  But in the early
days of the colony, the settlers occupied merely a narrow strip
between the mountains and the sea.  The Blue Mountains, which rose at
the back of Sydney, seemed to hem them in, and to cut them off from
the unknown country beyond.

3.  For the first quarter of a century, few serious efforts were made
to cross the range.  The early governors, indeed, discouraged all
such attempts; for they were afraid of its being made too easy for
the convicts to escape, since they were not kept in prison, but put
out to farm-labour.  But with the coming of Macquarie, as governor,
in 1810, all this was changed.  He made it his chief business to
prepare the colony as a suitable place for free settlers from home,
and for such convicts as had served out their time and became free
men.  He at once set to work to rebuild Sydney, to make roads and
bridges, to clear the forests, and to improve the public property in
various ways.

4.  Seeing the importance of enlarging his domains, he encouraged the
free settlers to range as far afield as possible, and induced
Blaxland and two others to face the perils of the mountains, and try
to find a way to the interior.  All previous explorers had failed
because they tried to find passes, as is usually done, by following
the valleys.  But in the Blue Mountains the valleys end in
perpendicular cliffs, which say, as plainly as a man can speak, _No
road this way_.  Blaxland and his companions determined to try the
ridges, keeping as high as possible all the time.  For several days
they pushed through a wild and barren land, cutting every afternoon
the track along which their horses, with their packs of provisions,
would travel the next morning.  On the seventeenth day they stood on
the last summit, and saw with great joy the grassy plains that lay

5.  On their return the delighted governor sent off another party to
follow the same route and to explore still farther.  They reported,
on coming back, that the new country was "equal to every demand which
this colony may have for extension of tillage and pasture lands for a
century to come."  The convicts were forthwith set to work to make a
road across the Blue Mountains.  This difficult undertaking was
finished in two years, and in 1815, two months before the Battle of
Waterloo brought peace to Europe, the road was ready for traffic.

6.  News of the bright prospects of the colony reached England in the
nick of time, when the end of the long war with France threw
thousands of soldiers, sailors, and workmen out of employment.  A
stream of emigrants soon began to flow into Australia and to clamour
for gifts of land.  From this time the colony began to prosper.  The
work of exploration went steadily on.  Little by little it became
clear that behind the mountain-range that skirts the east and
south-east coasts, there stretched far into the interior vast plains
capable of feeding countless flocks, where now millions of sheep
furnish wool for the looms of our manufacturers.

7.  Many years passed before any explorer came upon an important
river.  There is, in fact, but one really fine river in Australia,
and that is the Murray, which was discovered, in 1830, by Captain
Sturt.  Sailing down the Murrumbidgee, he found the river take a
sudden turn to the south.  "We were carried," he writes, "at a
fearful rate down between its glowing and contracted banks....  At
last we found we were approaching a junction, and all of a sudden we
were hurried into a broad and noble river."  It was the Murray, and
Sturt endeavoured to follow the river to its mouth, which proved to
be a distance of a thousand miles.

8.  The natives as a rule were few in number, weak, timid, and
harmless; but on this occasion they gathered, to the number of six
hundred, in a well-chosen position on a shallow reach of the river to
dispute its passage, and made their intention clear by yelling and
brandishing spears.  "As we neared the sandbank," Captain Sturt
relates, "I stood up and made signs to the natives to desist, but
without success.  I took up my gun, therefore, and cocking it, had
already brought it to the level.  A few seconds more would have
closed the life of the nearest savage, for I was determined to take
deadly aim, in the hope that the fall of one man might save the lives
of many.  But, at the very moment when my hand was on the trigger, my
purpose was checked by my companion, who directed my attention to
another party of blacks on the left bank of the river."

9.  "Turning round, I observed four men running at the top of their
speed.  The foremost of them, as soon as he got ahead of the boat,
threw himself from a considerable height into the water.  He
struggled across the channel to the sandbank, and in an incredibly
short time, stood in front of the savage against whom my aim had been
directed.  Seizing him by the throat he pushed him backwards, and
driving all who were in the water upon the bank, he trod its margin
with a vehemence and agitation extremely striking.  At one time
pointing to the boat, at another, shaking his clenched hand in the
faces of the most forward, and stamping with passion on the sand, his
voice that was at first distinct and clear, was lost in hoarse
murmurs."  After a river journey of thirty-two days, from this spot,
Sturt reached, without further adventure, the coast of South
Australia.  He observed that near the sea, it widened into a shallow
lagoon, which he named Lake Alexandrina, and that its course thence
to the sea, was, by shallow channels of shifting sand, difficult to

10.  Colonists followed close on the heels of the explorer.  As fast
as the news spread of the discovery of suitable lands for crops or
sheep-runs, men moved on from less favoured districts to take
possession, and the lands thus left vacant, were soon occupied by
immigrants from Britain.  The arrival of so many free labourers made
convict labour no longer necessary, and the feeling of the colonists
against the reception of our rogues and scoundrels constantly grew
stronger.  Accordingly, in 1840, the transportation of convicts to
New South Wales came to an end, and a few years later, every colony
in Australia shut its gates against them.


1.  We must now return from following the fortunes of our kinsmen on
the opposite side of the world, and see what had been going on,
meanwhile, at home.  There is a vital connection between what was
happening here and what we have stated about events out there.  If
our countrymen were permitted to settle down quietly in Australia,
and to take undisputed possession of the whole continent, it was not
because no other nation had a desire to appropriate any part of it,
but because we alone commanded the great highway that led to its
shores.  And this command of the seas our forefathers had with might
and main to fight for while our countrymen were laying the
foundations of a new British state in the Southern Seas.

2.  When the Treaty of Versailles was signed (1783), by which Britain
acknowledged the independence of the United States, it was widely
thought that she was ruined, and that she had fallen for ever from
her proud place among the nations.  The real greatness of a nation is
never so well seen as in her conduct after defeat and disaster.  In
seven years from the loss of the American Colonies, the Prime
Minister was able to say, "The country at this moment is in a
situation of prosperity greater than in the most flourishing period
before the last war."  The world was startled to find that Britain,
instead of being ruined by her loss, was fast becoming stronger and
greater than ever.

3.  This marvellous recovery was due, partly to the enterprising
character of our countrymen; partly to the vast resources of our
country in its stores of coal and iron; and partly to a number of
remarkable inventions that enabled us to make the most of those
resources.  Indeed, the ten years that followed the Treaty of
Versailles saw a display of industrial activity in England such as
the world had never witnessed before.

4.  Owing to inventions by Arkwright and others of machines for the
spinning and weaving of cotton, England began to manufacture calicoes
and cotton prints for half the world.  About the same time Josiah
Wedgwood set his wits to work to make porcelain as good as that from
China, and became the father of the potteries of Staffordshire.  The
iron manufacture now began its prosperous career; for the mode of
smelting iron with pit-coal, instead of charcoal, had lately been

5.  But the extraordinary advance in British manufactures was due
more than to anything else to the improvements made in the
steam-engine by James Watt.  Under his clever hands the steam-engine
became the most powerful and obedient servant of man; and steam
became, in consequence, the great motive-power in most of our
factories.  It would hardly have been possible, however, to make an
extensive use of this steam-power unless there had been some cheap
way of conveying coal to the seats of manufacture.  There were in
those days, we must remember, no railways, for no locomotive engine
had yet been invented.  The place of railways was supplied, in
respect to the carriage of coal and other heavy goods, by a network
of canals.

6.  The introduction of the cotton machines had, at first, a cruel
effect upon the work-people.  In the long run, however, it brought
them vastly more work; for machine-made things being much cheaper
than those made by hand, it usually happens that the demand for the
cheapened article becomes so much greater as to give more employment
than before in its production.  But even if this were not so, it is
well known now-a-days that it is useless to fight against the
introduction of machines.  What, for instance, would be the result,
if the shoemakers of Northampton set their faces against the
introduction of certain labour-saving machines commonly used in
America?  Unless such machines were used here, the English masters
would be undersold by those in America, and the trade in consequence
would fall into American hands; for, of course, people will buy where
they can get most for their money.

7.  But when the new machines for spinning cotton were first set
a-going, the uselessness of fighting against their employment was not
understood.  The hungry workers only knew that the bread was taken
out of their mouths by the new machines, and therefore they regarded
the inventors--poor men for the most part like themselves--as the
enemies of their fellow-workers.  Their anger often blazed forth into
open violence; machines were smashed and mills wrecked.  Baulked in
one place, the inventors set up their machines in another, and it was
soon found that the bulk of the trade followed the machines.

8.  Whatever may have been the effect that the new machines had upon
the happiness and well-being of the old hand-workers, it is certain
that the country at large gained immensely in wealth.  And it was
soon to stand in need of every penny it could get.  For in 1793 began
"the great French war," which ended only with the victory at Waterloo
in 1815, a war lasting, with two short intervals, two and twenty
years, and so costly that it left us with a National Debt amounting
to £880,000,000.  That England was able to raise such a huge sum was
due in no small measure to the cotton-mill and steam-engine.
England, indeed, might well place the statues of Arkwright and Watt
side by side with those of Nelson and Wellington; for had it not been
for the wealth which the former created, there would have been no
well-equipped fleets and armies for the latter to command.

9.  Another great source of wealth, during the war itself, was the
immense share which England gained of the carrying trade of the
world, owing to the security which her merchantmen enjoyed in
consequence of the victories of her fleets.  While her mines, her
looms, her steam-engines were giving her the principal share in the
manufacture of goods, ships flying the British flag spread her own
products through the world and carried to every part of it the
products of other countries.  England, in fact, was at once the
workshop of European manufactures and the ocean-carrier of its


1.  "The great French War," which began, as we have said, in 1793 and
lasted almost two and twenty years, ended triumphantly for the
British at Waterloo; but whilst the war continued, it was a great
drain on England's resources, and a great strain on her powers of
endurance.  The war had not long gone on, when it became evident that
a great military genius had arisen among the French in the person of
Napoleon Bonaparte, and that in Horatio Nelson the British had an
equally great leader in fighting on the seas.

2.  Nelson seems to have been sent into the world to frustrate the
proud schemes of Napoleon, though one fought only on land and the
other at sea.  Nelson's name only appears in our annals between 1793
and 1805, but his career lasted long enough for the fulfilment of his
mission, which was to sweep the French war-ships from the sea, and
thus save his country from invasion, and its colonies from capture.
Such horror and alarm had the French caused by the torrent of blood
they had shed in shearing off the heads of their sovereigns and
nobles, and by the triumphant tramp of their armies over the
neighbouring states, that Nelson only expressed the general feeling
of Europe when he said, "_Down, down with the French_, ought to be
posted up in the council-room of every country in the world."

3.  Nelson first drew the eyes of the whole world upon himself, in
1798, by his famous victory of the Nile.  Napoleon Bonaparte had
sailed from Toulon with 30,000 troops on board 400 transports,
escorted by a fleet of thirteen men-of-war.  Nelson who was sent in
pursuit with a squadron, also numbering thirteen ships-of-the-line,
found the transports empty in the harbour of Alexandria, and the
French fleet anchored in the Bay of Aboukir.

4.  Imagine thirteen great battle-ships drawn up in a single line
parallel with the shore, but on account of the shallow water three
miles from it, with the _Orient_, the French flag-ship, in the
centre.  The ship in the van, at one end of the line, was anchored so
close to an island, which stands at the western entrance to the Bay,
that no one in the French fleet imagined that there was room for a
ship to pass in between them.  But as Nelson said, "Where a French
ship can swing, an English ship can either sail or anchor."

5.  Ship for ship, the French had a decided advantage in the number
and size of their guns.  Nelson, however, took care not to engage the
whole line, but brought the whole weight of his guns to bear upon a
part only.  This he was able to do by sailing between the French van
and the island, five of his ships taking up their stations on the
inner side of the enemy's line, and the rest on the outer side.  Thus
the French van and centre were caught between two fires, whilst the
rear ships, being at anchor to leeward, were unable to come to the
rescue of their distressed sisters.

6.  It was already dusk when the first broadside was fired.  Not a
moment had been lost in getting into action.  Three of Nelson's ships
were miles off when the battle began.  It was so dark when the
_Culloden_ arrived that it struck on a shoal and there lay useless
right through the battle.  The other two, warned by her fate, reached
the scene of action in safety.  They came just in time to take the
place of the _Bellerophon_, which was retiring maimed and disabled
after a combat of more than an hour with the _Orient_, the largest
ship afloat.  The two new-comers, placing themselves on either side
of this monster, made up for delay by the rapidity of their fire.

7.  At the end of an hour flames were observed on the poop of the
_Orient_.  The nearest English ships brought their guns and musketry
to bear upon the blazing poop, and made the task of extinguishing the
fire quite hopeless.  The flames spread rapidly, upward along the
masts and the tarred rigging, downward to the lower decks, where her
undaunted crew, still ignorant of their approaching doom, worked at
the guns.  Nelson, who had been struck on the forehead by a flying
piece of iron, and for the time almost blinded, demanded to be led on
deck, where he gave orders for the boats to be lowered to help in
saving the unhappy crew.  He then remained watching the progress of
the fire.  In less than an hour the flames reached the
powder-magazine, when a terrific explosion shattered the great vessel
into fragments, and hurled the brave seamen into the air.  Ten
minutes of death-like stillness passed before a gun dared to break
the awful pause.  In the meantime our sailors were busily rescuing
the unfortunate French sailors that had been blown out of their ship.

8.  At dawn it was found that the six ships of the French van had
hauled down their flag.  The _Orient_ having blown up, there were six
survivors.  Of these three were ashore and helpless; but the other
three, being in the rear, had received little injury, and now got
under way to make off.  On setting sail one of them ran aground.  The
crew escaped to the beach, and she was then set on fire by the
captain, her colours flying as she burned.  The two other ships
escaped, for only one British ship was in condition to give chase.

9.  The crews were so worn out with their night's work that "as soon
as the men," writes Captain Miller of the _Theseus_, "had hove our
sheet anchor up they dropped under the capstan bars, and were asleep
in a moment in every sort of posture."  Nelson took the earliest
opportunity of returning thanks to God for this great victory:

"_Vanguard_, 2nd August, 1798.

"Almighty God having blessed His Majesty's arms with victory, the
Admiral intends returning Public Thanksgiving for the same at two
o'clock this day; and he recommends every ship doing the same as soon
as convenient.


10.  The results of Nelson's victory were highly important.  In
giving England the command of the Mediterranean, it utterly spoiled
Bonaparte's design.  He came to conquer Egypt, because he regarded
that country as the gate to India and as a kind of jumping-off place
from which to attack our Eastern possessions.  But the loss of the
French fleet left him and his army stranded in Egypt without the
means of drawing supplies from France.  Bonaparte did not at once
give up all hope of reaching India.  He crossed the desert into
Syria, but was brought to a standstill before the walls of Acre.  And
on trying to take the place by storm, his troops were hurled back by
the Turkish garrison, with the aid of a small British squadron under
Sir Sidney Smith.  Bonaparte was wont to say, in later days, that but
for Sidney Smith, he might have died Emperor of the East.

11.  To the victory of the Nile we also owe our possession of Malta;
for the destruction of the French Mediterranean fleet left our ships
free to blockade, without serious hindrance, the harbour of Valetta,
and to starve out the French garrison by whom it was held.  Thus fell
into our hands one of the strongest links of the chain that binds
India to England, and what is regarded--from its strong fortress,
excellent harbour, and central situation---the best naval station in
the Mediterranean.


1.  Napoleon hastened back from Egypt to France at the first
opportunity, and being raised to supreme power took measures for
building a strong fleet.  This he viewed as the first step towards
the invasion of England.  He next collected an immense flotilla of
flat-bottomed boats at Boulougne, to transport an invading army
across the Channel.  His troops were eagerly awaiting the signal to
embark, like hounds straining at the leash with the hare in sight.

2.  Napoleon knew that the only chance of getting his army across
"the silver streak" was to get command of the Channel for at least a
few hours.  With this end in view, he had induced Spain to join him,
and devised a scheme for the union of all the French and Spanish
men-of-war and their sudden appearance in the Channel.  But the
best-laid schemes often go awry, and so did this one.  The allied
fleets did, indeed, come together, but not in the Channel.  They were
encountered by a British fleet under Nelson, off Cape Trafalgar.

3.  The battle of Trafalgar, fought on the 21st October, 1805, is one
of the most famous sea-fights on record.  The allies mustered
thirty-three battleships, the British twenty-seven.  Nelson arranged
the general order of battle with his captains some days beforehand.
He drew up his ships, on the fateful day, in two columns, placing
himself at the head of one column in the _Victory_, whilst Admiral
Collingwood in the _Royal Sovereign_ took the lead in the other.  The
allies received the attack with their ships arranged in a single
irregular line, stretching from north to south in front of the
harbour of Cadiz.

4.  Nelson arranged that the two British columns should advance
parallel to each other, and bear down on the enemy at right angles to
their line.  Collingwood was to break through the line near the
centre and engage the ships forming the rear to the south; Nelson
himself undertook to break through the line, also near the centre,
and so dispose his forces as to leave unengaged ten or a dozen of the
enemy's ships forming the van, to the north.  By the time these ships
tacked so as to come into action, it was hoped that the day would be
decided, the allied ships in the centre and rear having had to bear
the whole brunt of the attack made by the entire British fleet.

5.  Having made all arrangements for the approaching fight, Nelson
went down into his cabin to pray.  The words of his prayer, written
on his knees in his private diary, the last he ever penned, ran

"May the great God, whom I worship, grant to my country, and for the
benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory; and may
no misconduct in any one tarnish it; and may humanity after victory
be the predominant feature of the British fleet.  For myself,
individually, I commit my life to Him who made me, and may His
blessing light upon my endeavours for serving my country faithfully.
To Him I resign myself and the just cause which is entrusted to me to
defend.  Amen, Amen, Amen."

6.  Then our hero appeared on deck ready for anything that might
befall him.  Just before going into action he issued the famous
signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty."  The ships
of the three nations now hoisted their colours, and the admirals
their flags.  Nelson wore, as usual, his admiral's frock coat, on the
left breast of which were stitched the stars of four different
orders.  The officers on board the flagship saw these stars with
dismay, knowing as they did that the enemy's ships swarmed with
soldiers, many of whom were sharpshooters, and that the action would
be at close quarters.  But none dared to advise their chief to make
himself less conspicuous.

7.  The _Royal Sovereign_ was the first to reach the enemy's line.
As the _Victory_ at the head of the second column advanced, she
became the target of all the ships in the enemy's centre.  For forty
minutes she had to endure the hail of the enemy's shot in silence,
her speed continually getting less as one sail after another was
stripped from the yards.  Despite her injuries the _Victory_
continued to forge ahead, and at last her bows crossed the wake of
the French flag-ship, by whose stern she passed within thirty feet.
Now spoke the double-shotted guns of the _Victory_, as they passed in
succession the French admiral's ship, their shots raking the vessel
from stern to stem.  Twenty guns were at once dismounted and a
hundred men laid low.

8.  The _Victory_, passing on, brought up alongside the
_Redoubtable_.  The rigging of the two ships got entangled so that
they lay side by side, with their guns almost mouth to mouth.  Both
ships were soon on fire.  The flames, however, were soon
extinguished, but the fury of battle grew fiercer.  Marksmen in the
rigging of the French ship shot down at the officers and men on the
deck of the _Victory_.  The figure of a one-armed officer, with
epaulettes on his shoulders and stars upon his breast, attracted the
notice of one of these marksmen.  The man fired, and the ball shot
through epaulette and shoulder and lodged in the spine.  The wounded
Nelson fell into Captain Hardy's hands, saying, "They have done for
me at last."

9.  Nelson was carried to the cockpit with his handkerchief over his
face and breast, so that the crew might not become discouraged by
observing his fate.  The dying hero, an hour or two later, sent for
his friend Hardy, but he was unable to leave the deck for some time.
"Well, Hardy," said Nelson, when at last he appeared, "how goes the
battle?"  "Very well, my lord; we have got twelve or fourteen of the
enemy's ships already in our possession."  "I hope none of our ships
have struck, Hardy."  "No, my lord, there is no fear of that."
Nelson then said, "I am a dead man, Hardy.  I am going fast" .... "I
feel something rising in my breast," he said, somewhat later, "which
tells me I am gone.  God be praised, I have done my duty."  The last
words audible were, "God and my country."

10.  By the time firing ceased, near sunset, seventeen of the enemy's
ships had struck, and one, with the tri-coloured ensign still
displayed, was burning to the water's edge.  Our boats used every
effort to save the brave fellows who had so gloriously defended her;
but only two hundred and fifty were rescued, and she blew up with a
tremendous explosion.

11.  Nelson's victory secured for Britain the undisputed sovereignty
of the seas, freed her from all fear of invasion, ensured the safety
of the seas to her merchantmen, and threw a strong shield over her
colonial possessions.  When Nelson died, his work was done, his
mission ended; but yet he has not ceased to be a source of living
power, "he being dead yet speaketh."  Wherever danger has to be faced
and duty done, at cost to self and for the sake of fatherland, there
the name and deeds of Nelson still speak with an uplifting force.

12.  It is interesting to know that Nelson's splendid services and
his mournful death are still commemorated in the Royal Navy by
certain details, in each blue-jacket's dress, with which we are all
familiar.  The three rows of white braid on the collar recall the
three greatest of Nelson's victories--the Nile, Copenhagen, and
Trafalgar; whilst the black silk handkerchief, worn by each sailor,
reminds him of the sad occasion when it was first assumed in token of
mourning for the fallen hero in the hour of victory.


1.  Whilst Nelson was sweeping the French war-ships off the ocean,
and securing for Britain the sovereignty of the seas, the Marquess
Wellesley was turning every French soldier out of India, and making
British rule supreme in that country.  Wellesley held office as
governor-general of India between 1798 and 1805, the years of
Nelson's victories of the Nile and Trafalgar.  The former victory
relieved Wellesley of all fear of a French invasion of India, and
left him free to deal with the native princes, who had now nothing to
rely upon but their own resources.

2.  The time had now come for England to make herself the mistress of
India.  During the last hundred years the Mogul Empire had gone more
and more to pieces, and now the old emperor was a prisoner in the
hands of one of the Mahratta princes.  It was in the interests of
good government that one power should arise strong enough to keep all
the others in order, and with a sense of justice keen enough to hold
the balance fairly between them.  Our governor-general did not for a
moment doubt that the power best qualified for giving the law to
India was the British, and he resolved, if possible, to make that
power supreme.

3.  Wellesley's plan was to separate the states under native princes
from each other by encircling them with a ring of British territory,
like so many islands surrounded by the sea, and to gain possession of
the sea coasts so as to exclude all foreign foes.  His first aim was
to destroy all French influence.  His watchword, like Nelson's, was
"Down with the French," who at that time, we must remember, were
trying, under Napoleon, to enslave all Europe.  Many of the Indian
princes had French soldiers in their pay, by whom their armies were
trained.  The Marquess began his great task by persuading our ally,
the Nizam of the Deccan, to dismiss his French officers, and these he
packed off home by the next ship.  The sepoys whom they had drilled
were disbanded, and then induced to take service under British

4.  The Nizam thus became a dependent ally.  He was still master in
his own domains, and over his own people, but he could no longer make
war or form alliances, on his own account, with other princes.  He
had, in fact, bartered his independence for protection.  In any
attack from another state he was assured of being defended, if need
be, by the whole force of British India.  This system of protected
states made great progress whilst Wellesley held office.

5.  The princes who put themselves under British protection were
expected to receive one of our officials at his court, and to be
guided by his advice.  They were also required to admit British
troops as a part of their standing army.  And when they complained of
the cost of their maintenance, the Marquess offered to accept a slice
of their territory and to pay the troops out of its revenues.  This
may seem sharp practice, but it worked well in the interests of the
Hindoos who came under our rule.  The ceded districts soon became the
home of an industrious population, who looked to British officials
for justice, and looked not in vain.

6.  Before Wellesley had been five years in office the whole of
Southern India, the whole plain of the Ganges, and a strip along the
whole of the eastern coast were under the direct rule of the British
or their dependent allies.  The Mahratta princes alone were capable
of doing much mischief, and the time had now come to put an end, if
possible, to the bloodshed and ruin that followed the track of their
horsemen.  With two of the Mahratta princes the Marquess came to
terms without fighting; with the remaining three he went to war.
Having organized two armies, he placed one under the command of
General Lake to invade the northern part of the Mahratta dominions,
and the other under the command of his brother, Arthur Wellesley, the
future Duke of Wellington, to wage war in the southern part of their

[Illustration: Marquess Wellesley and the Nizam.]

7.  "The hero of a hundred fights" won his first great victory at
Assaye, in the Nizam's dominions, which the Mahrattas had invaded.
With a force of 5000 men he defeated the enemy, numbering, it is
said, eight to one.  The English general took advantage of the
junction of two rivers, near Assaye, to place his little army in the
angle between them, so as to be open to attack only in front.  But to
get into this position it was necessary to cross one of the rivers,
and his guide assured him there was no ford by which the passage
could be made.

8.  Going forward to see for himself, General Wellesley observed that
two villages stood facing each other on opposite banks of the river.
"I immediately said to myself," he tells us, "that men could not have
built two villages facing one another on opposite sides of a stream
without some means of passing from one to the other.  And I was
right.  I found a passage, crossed my army over.  And there I fought
and won the battle, the bloodiest for the numbers that I ever saw."

  "This is England's greatest son,
  He that gained a hundred fights,
  Nor ever lost an English gun;
  This is he that far away
  Against the myriads of Assaye
  Clash'd with his fiery few and won."

9.  Meanwhile, General Lake was equally successful at the other end
of the Mahratta's dominions.  After a great but costly victory, he
entered Delhi in triumph, and delivered the old emperor from his long
captivity.  Wellesley nominally restored him to the throne and set
apart £150,000 a year for his maintenance; but from this time the
Emperor of India was merely a pensioner in the pay of the British and
under British control, forbidden even to go beyond the walls of
Delhi, where the "Great Moguls" formerly gave the law to the whole of
India.  The real masters of India, from this time, were the British.

10.  Marquess Wellesley's work in India was now done.  He had
attained every object he proposed to himself.  The last of the French
officers in native employ had disappeared from India; there was no
corner of the coast left on which a Frenchman could land.  He not
only made Britain from this time the supreme power, but by his system
of protected states--separated from each other, and fenced round by
British territory--he did much to place that power on a firm and
lasting basis.


1.  In the great war with Napoleon, as our fleets were led to victory
by Nelson, so were our armies by Wellington.  The scene of his
battles and sieges were, with one exception, the peninsula of Spain
and Portugal, and on this account the war in which he was engaged,
between 1808 and 1814, is called the _Peninsular War_.  When
Wellington began his Peninsular campaigns, Napoleon was practically
the master of Europe.  Some of the nations he had crushed, others he
had overawed or won over to his side, all were either his humble
servants or his forced allies.

2.  Napoleon had already been crowned Emperor of France, and his
amazing successes on the continent caused him to dream of Europe as
an empire, with Napoleon as its emperor, and Paris as its capital.
But there was one nation near his own doors that stood in his way,
and whom he would fain have struck to the ground, had his arm been
long enough to reach across "the silver streak."  England might,
perhaps, after the victory at Trafalgar, have held aloof from the
strife which turned all Europe into a battle-field; she might,
perhaps, have lived in ease and security in her island-home, and left
the less-favoured nations on the continent to be trampled under the
heel of the conqueror; but she nobly chose to stand forth and take
the lion's share in the war against the tyrant.

3.  Hence arose the Peninsular War which, with varying success, was
persevered in for years as the most effectual way of draining the
life-blood of France.  That war was to France like a running sore.
Napoleon sent his best generals, one after another, to put an end to
the war by driving the British out of the country.  To Marshal Soult
he wrote, "You are to advance on the English, pursue them without
ceasing, beat them and fling them into the sea.  The English alone
are formidable--they alone."  But the English refused to be flung
into the sea.  On the contrary, it was the French that had, in the
end, to take their flight homeward.

4.  In the course of his seven campaigns in the Peninsula, Wellington
found the tide of success ebb and flow.  Sometimes he was able to
advance and drive the enemy before him, sometimes he was compelled to
retreat and stand on the defensive; but whether advancing or retiring
he suffered no disaster, he lost no pitched battle.  Much of
Wellington's success was due to the solidity and steady discipline of
his troops, still more perhaps to his own military skill and personal
character.  By patience and perseverance, by careful attention to
details, by never letting a chance slip by, by never sparing himself,
by making "duty" his watch-word; by such plain, homely virtues our
Wellington fought and won.  "Wellington dazzled no one," says a
French writer, "but he beat us all the same."  After being routed at
Vittoria, in 1813, the French were compelled to beat a hasty retreat
across the Pyrenees, and to seek safety in France.

5.  In the meanwhile, Napoleon's great army of 400,000 men had
perished in Russia, and in the retreat from the burning city of
Moscow.  Henceforth, Napoleon is like a hunted lion whom his enemies
were gradually gathering round so as to cut off his retreat and
encage him.  At length, in 1814, the fallen emperor resigned his
crown, and retired to the little island of Elba, which was to serve
as his prison.

6.  Wellington's work now seemed crowned with success, but really a
greater task was in front of him.  In March, 1815, the world was
startled to hear that the lion encaged at Elba had made his escape,
and was now at large in France.  Owing to the return, since the
peace, of some 200,000 of his veterans from the prisons of Germany,
Napoleon was soon at the head of a powerful army.  All Europe flew to
arms.  The first to encounter his troops were the British and the

7.  In the great battle of Waterloo (18th June, 1815), the fate of
Napoleon was finally decided.  It was the first time Napoleon had
witnessed the unflinching courage and stubborn solidity of British
troops, and ere the battle began had only mocked at Soult when he
declared, "They will die rather than quit the ground on which they
stand."  With his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon ceased to be the
central figure of the civilised world.  He was banished to the Isle
of St. Helena, and there he died after six years spent in darkly
brooding over his broken fortunes.

8.  On Napoleon's fall, the nations of Europe entered on a long
peace.  A congress was held between the great powers at Vienna, and
the map of Europe redrawn, France being thrust back within her
ancient borders.  During the war England had seized the Colonial
possessions of France.  Those of Holland shared the same fate, for
she had thrown in her lot with her powerful neighbour.  The war had
cost Britain a vast sum of money and many thousands of lives but she
now received large additions to her empire.

9.  By the Treaty of Vienna, Britain was allowed to retain what is
now called _British Guiana_, _Ceylon_, and the _Cape of Good Hope_,
all of which she had taken from Holland.  She also obtained the
island of _Mauritius_, which, lying on the sea-route to India, had
long enabled the French to strike a blow at our Indian trade and
possessions.  The islands of _Trinidad_ and _Tobago_ in the West
Indies also fell to her share, and above all the island of _Malta_,
placed like a watch-tower in the centre of the Mediterranean, the
central sea of the civilised world.

10.  Nor do these important additions to the empire include all the
fruits of victory in the course of the great war with Napoleon.  An
Australian writer tells us that the Australian colonies are apt to
think of these Napoleonic wars as matters having no direct bearing on
their concerns.  But in reality, as he reminds them, Australia was
made British on the shores of Europe.  What Hawke and Wolfe did for
Canada, Nelson and Wellington did for Australia.  We owe it to
Trafalgar and Waterloo that the island-continent to-day is free and
peaceful from end to end, instead of being parcelled out among
nations of different races, all jealous of one another.  We owe it to
the success of our arms, under Nelson and Wellington, that when in
later years the French asked how much of the Australian continent we
claimed, our Minister could say, "The whole," without their being
able to say "Nay."

11.  We usually associate peace with plenty; but such was not the
first results of the long peace which followed the victory at
Waterloo.  The war had given employment to thousands who now found
wherever they turned for work, a notice staring them in the face, "No
more hands wanted here."  One great advantage to our colonies arose
from this state of things.  Finding it impossible to make a living in
the old country, large numbers in the first years of the peace
emigrated to the colonies, where brawny arms were in great demand,
and where food was cheap and plentiful.  We shall presently follow
the fortunes of our countrymen who now go forth to plant nations on
the shores of Australia, to people the valleys of Tasmania, to share
New Zealand with the Maoris, to take possession of South Africa and
lay there the foundation of a great state,--driven across the seas by

  "Such wind as scatters young men through the world
  To seek their fortunes further than at home,
  Where small experience grows,"


Progress of India and the Colonies

(Since 1815).



1.  The French Canadians, after the conquest of their country by the
British, were turned into loyal citizens of the empire by being left
in the enjoyment of their own language, laws, and religion.  Even
when our American colonies rose in rebellion, they remained true to
the British Crown.  The same feeling of loyalty led many of the
American colonists themselves to throw in their lot with the old
country.  They banded themselves together as the _United Empire
Loyalists_, and fought on the side of Britain rather than help their
fellow-colonists to rend the empire.

2.  On the conclusion of the war that gave the American colonies
their independence (1783), thousands of the "Loyalists" came
streaming across the Canadian frontier, leaving behind them the bulk
of their property, and forced to starve and struggle for years before
they could carve comfortable homes out of the Canadian forests.  Many
of them migrated to Nova Scotia, others found rest in the beautiful
valley of the St. John river, and founded the province of New
Brunswick, whilst others toiled up the St. Lawrence to create the
fertile and busy province of Ontario, thus building up a British
colony in Upper Canada by the side of the old French colony in Lower

3.  The inrush of loyalist refugees from the lost colonies was
followed by a large immigration from the mother-country, and
especially from Scotland.  Of the Scotch peasants who emigrated many
came from the same district, and held together in the new country.
On the downfall of Napoleon the tide of emigration flowed more
strongly than ever.  We hear of four hundred discharged Irish
soldiers coming over in a body with their old regimental officers at
their head, and forming a regular military camp in the backwoods,
till their united efforts had cut out the roads and fields, and built
the houses required for the settlement.  We find, in fact, that a
large proportion of the early settlers were old soldiers, and they
handled the pruning-hook none the worse for having once handled the
sword.  While the silence of the desert spread over the barren moors
and hillsides of Scotland and Ireland, the Canadian woods were
ringing with the settler's axe.

4.  Emigration to Canada has gone on ever since, though at a slower
rate than in those early years when 160,000 emigrants landed on
Canadian soil in the space of four years.  One of the most
interesting experiments in Canadian emigration has been made in our
own day.  During the last ten or a dozen years about ten thousand
picked boys and girls, from the homes of the "National Waifs'
Association," have been settled by Dr. Barnardo on a large estate in
Manitoba, or placed out as labourers and servants on Canadian farms,
with the happiest results.

5.  Canada has not seen much war since the days of Wolfe, though she
has not been left wholly at peace.  During the great French war a
dispute arose between Britain and the United States, which foolishly
led to a half-hearted war between the two nations, and to the
invasion of Canada by American troops.  After three campaigns, in
which the British and French Canadians fought side by side, the war
ended without the loss of an inch of their territory.  The only
result was, to create a feeling of mutual sympathy and respect
between the two races that shared Canada between them.

6.  However, as time went on, and new emigrants came pouring in, the
Canadian form of government, which had well served its purpose for
some years, began to encumber the young limbs of a nation so rapidly
growing.  The fact is, time always works changes, and nations pass
through stages--childhood, youth, and manhood--as well as
individuals.  Thus constant changes are required in the machinery of
government to keep pace with the changing circumstances and varying
wants of a people.  In the year that Queen Victoria came to the
throne (1837), all Canada was discontented, and the lower province on
the eve of rebellion, which actually broke out a little later.  The
rebels, however, were easily put down, and the leaders were soon
either in prison or exile.

7.  The Home Government in this crisis acted wisely and promptly.
They sent over Lord Durham with the olive branch of peace, and
directed him to ascertain the cause of the rebellion, and to find out
remedies.  He reported that the root of the whole mischief was to be
found in the Constitution under which the people were governed.  The
Canadians elected men to form an "Assembly," like our House of
Commons, and though these men were free to express the wishes of the
people, they had no power to make the ministers and officials of the
Government give effect to them.  They were expected to vote funds for
the public service, but they could not call the ministers to account
if they misspent the money.

8.  At Lord Durham's suggestion all this was changed.  The
governor-general was henceforth to employ as his ministers such men
as had the confidence of the "Assembly," and the ministers were to be
responsible to that House for the advice they gave the
governor-general, and for the way in which the public revenue was
spent.  The first Canadian Parliament, under the new regulations, met
in 1841, and from this year we date the self-government of the
British colonies.

9.  What was done now for Canada became in due time the rule for the
other colonies in which men of our race have chiefly settled.  All in
turn, as they became capable of self-government, were entrusted with
the power to mark out their own course, and to manage their own
affairs in their own way.  By this system of government full play is
given to local opinions and feelings, the laws are framed by the
colonists themselves, through their representatives, and the public
affairs of the whole colony are managed by ministers who have
obtained the confidence and esteem of its inhabitants.  Moreover, the
same system of self-government in respect to local affairs is usually
extended to every town and district in the colony.  Thus the
principle of self-government is brought home to the door of each
colonist, whenever circumstances admit.  This is the secret of
England's success in keeping her world-wide empire peaceful and
contented, under the protection of one flag, and in allegiance to one



1.  The new era that smiled on Canada with the grant of
self-government, in 1841, was marked by a rapid growth of the
population.  So great was the number of emigrants who came flocking
into the country that in the next quarter-century the population
nearly trebled itself.  Canada at that time, it must be remembered,
was but a shred of the vast expanse that reddens the map of North
America to-day.  The settled part included the two provinces now
called Quebec and Ontario, the three provinces of Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, and the island of Newfoundland.
The whole of the remainder--known as the great "North-West"--was,
until 1870, the happy hunting-ground of the "Hudson Bay Company."

2.  It is true that the Company did not, as did that great hunter,
William the Conqueror, turn a peopled country into an uninhabited
wilderness, but they took good care that the vast wilderness in their
possession should not become a country inhabited by white men.  Their
whole territory was nothing but a vast game preserve from which all
settlers were warned off.  The red man was looked upon with favour,
for he was as the game-keeper who trapped the fur-bearing animals and
brought their skins to exchange for their masters' goods.  Dotted
over the Company's wide domains stood the log or stone forts where
the furs were collected, and where lived one of the Company's
factors--usually a Scotsman--to trade with the Indians.  Around the
fort no village was allowed to spring up.  Some idea may be formed of
the solitary life led by the factor, when we are told that the
postman only visited him once a year.

3.  The Company made enormous profits, for the goods they supplied to
the Indians cost a mere trifle compared with the value of the furs
they received in exchange.  For a long time the nation, at home, was
kept in the dark, not only as to the profits of the fur trade, but as
to the real nature of the country from which the fur was obtained.
The people, in fact, supposed that the fur country was an
irreclaimable wilderness in which no white settlers could possibly
make a living.  At length it became known that in the great
"North-West" there were immense prairies (over which roamed herds of
buffalo) that would yield, if cultivated, rich crops of the finest
wheat.  When this discovery was made the country was thrown open to
settlers (1870), and the province of Manitoba soon became the granary
of Canada.

4.  Another discovery had already led to the colonizing of British
Columbia, the country beyond the Rocky Mountains.  This was the
discovery of gold (1858).  The Indians, canoeing down the river
Fraser, brought with them quantities of the precious metal which they
had found along the river-bed.  The men who had ransacked California
for gold now rushed to the new gold country.  The hardships they had
to encounter were appalling.

5.  At the season when the miners flocked into Columbia the water in
the rivers was at its highest, and the sand-bars in which they hoped
to find gold were hidden deep beneath its surface.  The rivers
themselves flowed through gloomy gorges, along which not even a mule
could make its way.  All provisions had to be carried on men's backs,
and before a mule-track could be cut the miners were reduced to a
diet of wild berries.  Hundreds of miles had to be traversed before
the rich Cariboo district was reached, where nuggets could be picked
up in an old river-bed.  News of this "find" brought men into the
country so much faster than flour that all were reduced to the verge
of starvation.  The same thing has occurred in our own day, still
further north, in the district of Klondyke.

6.  Gold is a powerful magnet.  It is one of the best colonizing
agents known.  What hardships will not men face to fill their pockets
with gold!  Wherever gold is to be picked up, there thousands of
adventurers soon gather, and if the country is suitable for a colony
thousands of settlers remain.  Thus British Columbia owes its
position as a colony, in the first place, to the gold-nuggets sown in
the sands of its river-beds.

7.  Attached to British Columbia is the island of Vancouver, and here
also a discovery was made, which has much enhanced its value and
attracted colonists.  A settlement had already been made at Victoria
on its southern shores, when, one day, came some Indians from the
northern part of the island, and entering a smithy were surprised to
find a fire of coals.  When told that the fuel had been brought
thousands of miles across the sea, they were much amused, as there
was any quantity, they said, of the same sort of "black stone" on
that very island.  And so it proved.  At the present time, indeed,
the output amounts to one million tons a year.

8.  Canada now extended over a region nearly the size of Europe,
embracing besides the old provinces in the east, British Columbia in
the far west, Manitoba in the centre, and the unsettled lands of the
great "North-West."  The next thing was to knit together the various
provinces and out of them to make one great nation.  This was made
possible by the Confederation Act of 1867.  By this Act the _Dominion
of Canada_ came into being, with a constitution, settling the terms
on which the different provinces could unite.  In less than seven
years all the Canadian provinces, except Newfoundland, consented to
join.  Thus a new nation was born on the great American continent.

9.  By the new constitution each province continues to manage its own
local affairs, whilst all matters of national concern are brought
before the Dominion Parliament.  This parliament consists of an Upper
House styled the Senate, and a Lower House called the House of
Commons.  The former is composed of life-members nominated by the
Crown, the latter of members elected by the people, and having full
control of the public purse.  The Sovereign is represented by the
governor-general, appointed by the Crown, and no laws are valid
without his consent.

10.  To avoid all jealousy between the province of Ontario and that
of Quebec, neither of their capitals was selected as the seat of the
national or federal government.  That honour was given to the little
town of Ottawa, situated on their common border.  Ottawa has now
grown into an important city, and in its Houses of Parliament
possesses two of the finest edifices on the continent of America.



1.  With the union of the Canadian provinces into the _Dominion of
Canada_, a new nation sprang into existence (1867).  As no nation
deserves to be free unless it can defend itself when attacked, Canada
at once took steps for guarding her existence.  A law was passed
requiring every able-bodied man between sixteen and sixty to enrol
himself for the defence of the Dominion, and to prepare for that duty
by spending a certain number of days each year in drill and

2.  Though Canada is a distinct nation, with her destiny in her own
hands, either to make or mar, she is, at the same time, a member of
the great British Empire.  This connection obliges her to make no
treaty with a foreign power without the consent of the British
Government; but as a set-off, it entitles her in time of danger to
the powerful assistance of the British army and navy.  And, as we
have seen in the great Boer war, Canada is willing, on her part, to
come to the aid of the mother-country in the time of stress and
strain.  No more gallant men than her sons have fought in that war
and it is a great satisfaction to England to know that the support
she has received from Canada has been freely rendered by Canadians of
French origin as well as by those of British descent.  Thus the
defeated foe of Wolfe's day has, by just treatment, been turned into
the loyal friend of to-day.

3.  After providing for her defence Canada's next care was to bring
the different provinces into touch with each other.  By means of a
wonderful network of waterways, a person can go through the length
and breadth of the land almost entirely by water.  But this mode of
travelling is slow and difficult.  Steps were, therefore, taken by
the Dominion Parliament to bind the different provinces together by
means of a line of rails.  What a gigantic task lay before them!  The
distance to be crossed between the two oceans was no less than 3000
miles, a distance so great that it would take an ordinary train,
going day and night, almost a week to accomplish the journey.

4.  The task, however, was completed in five years.  The Canadian
Pacific Railway, as it is called, was begun in 1880 and finished in
1885.  Thus the Dominion of Canada, which now stretches from the
Atlantic to the Pacific, is linked together by the iron road, and its
most distant parts brought into easy communication with each other by
rail and wire.  To British Columbia and Manitoba, in particular, such
a line meant everything.  It afforded settlers easy access to the
interior and gave an outlet to the markets for the produce of their
farms.  And to the mother-country also this railway is of great value
as an important link in the chain that binds together the various
parts of the British Empire.  Mails from England to the Far East are
now carried by way of Canada more quickly than by any other route.
Troops may be transported from Liverpool to Hong Kong in less than
thirty days.

5.  Canada has everything required to make a nation great and
prosperous.  Her various provinces have each their own special
character and productions.  _Nova Scotia_, for instance, is the great
coal-cellar of the eastern provinces, and it stands first in the
whole Dominion for its fisheries; whilst the supply of wood-pulp for
making paper is almost unlimited.

6.  The province of _Quebec_ was formerly a vast forest, and the
lumber trade is still its most important industry.  Its inhabitants
are chiefly of French origin, and they still cling to the language
and customs of their ancestors.  The French Canadian does not seem to
move with the stream of time.  He is content to smoke his home-grown
tobacco and to get his sugar from the sap of the maple.  He wears a
strong "home-spun" cloth, spun and woven at his own fire-side; in
fact, he is content to go on as his fathers before him.  The people
of _Ontario_ are strikingly different.  They are mostly of British
origin and are always pushing on, trying to make what is good still
better.  Their fruit orchards, vineyards, and dairy-farms are a
growing source of wealth, and a great surprise to those who have
thought of Canada as the land of ice and snow.  Canadian butter and
cheese are now largely exported; in 1900, for example, about twenty
million pounds of butter and 200 million pounds of cheese were sent

7.  On entering _Manitoba_, the central province, the traveller finds
himself in a new world.  Here are vast plains presenting in summer
the appearance of a sea of waving corn.  The farms are immense, all
so different from our English farms with their small fields and
hedge-rows.  Think of a farm where the furrows are four miles long
and as straight as an arrow!  Continuing westward we come to the
slope of the Rocky Mountains which are specially adapted to the
raising of cattle.  This is the "ranch" country of Canada, where the
horses and cattle range wild, and as a rule manage to provide for
themselves both in winter and summer.

8.  Of _British Columbia_, on the western side of the Rockies, we
have already spoken as rich in gold and coal.  This province is also
valuable for its timber and salmon.  If you buy a tin of preserved
salmon, you will be almost sure to find that it has come from this
colony.  So plentiful are the salmon in this part of Canada that at
times they swarm up the rivers like a shoal of herrings on the coast
of Cornwall.

9.  Canada, then, it will be seen is bountifully supplied by nature
with all she needs to make her the land of plenty.  She has been
styled "Our Lady of the Snows," and it must be admitted that the
Canadian climate is very cold in winter, and that the snow lies on
the ground for some months over most of the country.  The snow,
however, is really one of the boons of nature: protecting the ground
from extreme frosts, bridging the streams, converting rough tracts
into the smoothest of roads, and turning with the warm breath of
spring into water to moisten the ground for the upspringing crops.

10.  Canada's great want is men of the right stamp to turn the gifts
of nature to account, and these will come in time.  She has now five
millions of people, but could well support ten times as many.  She
possesses every element essential to national greatness, both in the
character of her people and the wealth of her resources.  The
fisheries of her maritime provinces, the timber of her ancient
forests, the granaries of the prairie region, the ranches of the
Rockies, and the treasures of her mines, together with her intricate
network of water-ways--all combine to give Canada the promise of an
honoured place among the great nations of the world, and to make us
proud to remember that she is a staunch and loyal friend to the
British name and nation.



1.  We have already seen how Clive laid the foundations of British
rule in India, how Warren Hastings tightened our hold on the country,
and how the Marquess Wellesley reduced the native princes to a state
of dependence, and made the British the real masters of India.  To
establish a firm and just rule, and to save India from anarchy and
its people from oppression, were all that the early rulers of India
could attempt.  But with the appointment of Lord Bentinck as
governor-general, in 1828, our rule began to have a higher aim, and
that was to build British greatness upon Indian happiness.

2.  Of his many services to India, two stand out conspicuously: one
was the rooting out of the _Thugs_, who made the robbing and
murdering of travellers a pious duty, thinking that such acts would
win them the favour of the dread goddess Kali.  An old French
traveller speaks of them as "the cunningest robbers in the world, who
use a certain slip, with a running noose, which they can cast so
deftly about a man's neck, that they strangle him in a trice."  No
person whom they attacked ever escaped to tell the tale.  They went
in bands disguised as travellers or rich merchants, and always
carried tools for digging the graves of their victims.  After each
successful attack, offerings were made in the temples of the goddess.
Within six years nearly all the members of this strange profession
were hanged or placed in safe custody for life.

3.  A still greater service, perhaps, was the putting an end to the
custom of _suttee_.  When any Hindu died, his widow was expected, in
some parts of India, to accompany him to the next world by throwing
herself into his funeral pile, and perishing in the flames.  So
common was the practice that in a single year, in Bengal alone, seven
hundred widows were burnt alive.  To this day the country is, in
certain districts, thickly dotted with little white pillars, each in
memory of a _suttee_.  Lord Bentinck made a proclamation declaring
that henceforth all who took part in a _suttee_ would be held guilty
of murder.

4.  When Bentinck's seven years of office were over, a statue was
erected to his memory with this inscription:

  William Cavendish Bentinck,

5.  We pass on to the next great landmark in the story of British
rule in India.  This was the governor-generalship of the Earl of
Dalhousie, who ruled India between 1848 and 1856.  Though he added to
the empire more territory than any other British ruler in India,
before or since, he did it all for the good of India as well as for
the greatness of Britain.  Believing that rulers exist only for the
good of the governed, he made it his great aim to do away with
abuses, to redress wrongs, to deal even-handed justice all round, and
to promote the happiness of the people under his care.

6.  It may seem strange that Dalhousie, whose great maxim was "the
good of the governed" should have done so much to extend the British
Empire in India.  This was partly due to the fact that wars were
forced on him, and partly to the fact that he believed that people
were better off under British rule than any other.  This
consideration led him to take advantage of every opportunity to
substitute British rule for that of a native prince.  When, for
instance, a native ruler died without offspring, instead of allowing
his adopted son, as was the custom in India, to succeed him,
Dalhousie annexed the territory thus left kingless.

7.  Our governor-general also dethroned unworthy rulers, including
the King of Oudh, whose realm was naturally the fairest province of
all India.  It may be remembered that in all the dependent states a
British official resided at court to give his advice, and to watch
over British interests.  The British resident at Lucknow, the capital
of Oudh, reported to Dalhousie that under its native ruler, Oudh knew
neither law nor justice, that "great crimes stain almost every acre
of land in his dominions."  The strong, he said, everywhere preyed
upon the weak, and what might be the garden of India was fast
becoming a wilderness, whilst the king amused himself in the company
of fiddlers, singers, buffoons, and dancing girls.  After a solemn
warning, and a reprieve of five years, the corrupt monarch was
deposed and his kingdom added to our Indian Empire.

8.  During Dalhousie's rule much was done to bring the different
parts of this great empire into closer touch with each other.  A
cheap uniform postage was introduced, by which a letter could be sent
from one end of India to the other for half an anna, about three
farthings.  A short railway was laid down as an experiment, and it
proved highly successful.  The new mode of travelling rose at once
into favour with the natives of India.  They soon saw the advantage
of cheap travelling at the rate of twenty or thirty miles an hour in
carriages drawn by the "English fire-horse."

9.  Lord Dalhousie then drew up a scheme for laying down 4000 miles
of rails between the great centres of population and the seats of
government.  And he succeeded in getting the necessary capital for
this vast undertaking by offering it to public companies with the
guarantee, on the part of the Indian Government, of a fair profit on
their outlay.  So great was the success of this scheme that in the
course of the next quarter-century £100,000,000 were spent on Indian

10.  It would not be easy to overrate the importance of railways in
this vast country, in the interests both of Britain and India.  They
form so many iron bands to unite the scattered provinces under
British rule, and to enable our military forces to be sent speedily
to any threatened quarter.  They also serve to bring supplies to
districts suffering from famine, whereas in former times it often
happened that people in one part of India were dying for want of the
food that was stored up in rich abundance in some distant part.  The
advantages that the railways offer to trade are still more important.
"Great tracts," wrote Dalhousie, "are teeming with produce they
cannot dispose of.  Others are scantily bearing what they would carry
in abundance, if only it could be conveyed whither it is needed....
Ships from every part of the world crowd our ports in search of
produce which we have, or could obtain in the interior, but which at
present we cannot profitably fetch to them."  So great an impulse was
given to trade in the course of the seven years of Lord Dalhousie's
rule, that the export of raw cotton was doubled and that of grain
increased threefold, whilst the total annual exports rose from
thirteen millions to twenty-three.

11.  The great viceroy also, meanwhile, set in action a scheme for
binding all India together by a network of telegraph wires.  In the
last two years of his rule, no less than 4000 miles of electric
telegraph were put in working order.  The difficulties to be overcome
were very great.  The wires had to be carried on bamboo poles, or on
pillars of stone and iron, over broad swamps and rocky wastes,
through dense and deadly jungles, up wild mountain steeps, across
deep gorges, and seventy large rivers.  And all this had to be done
in spite of the depredations of white ants, wild beasts, and
half-civilised men.  A famous writer thus describes the difficulties
the engineers had to contend with:

12.  "His posts had to pass through jungles, where wild beasts used
them for scratching-stations, and savages stole them for firewood and
rafters for huts.  Inquisitive monkeys spoiled the work by dragging
the wires into festoons, or dangling an ill-conducting tail from wire
to wire.  Crows, kites, and fishing-eagles made roosting-places of
the wires in numbers so great as to bring them to the ground; though
once or twice a flash of lightning, striking a wet wire, would strew
the ground with the carcases of the feathered trespassers by dozens.
The white ant nibbled galleries in the posts, and the porcupine
burrowed under them."

13.  It is owing to the telegraph that all India is held under the
control of the governor-general.  The wires are as the nerves that
pass through the whole body of India and terminate, as it were, in
his hands.  By their means the latest news reaches him from every
part of India, and by the same means he flashes back his commands.
In the great mutiny that broke out, at the close of Dalhousie's term
of office, it was the telegraph that saved us from many a disaster.
"It is that accursed string that strangles us," exclaimed a mutineer
pointing to the telegraph wire as he was led out to execution.



1.  The story of India cannot be told without frequent reference to
war.  Though the Marquis of Dalhousie was so much occupied, as we
have seen, with the arts of peace, he was obliged to wage more than
one great war.  On landing at Calcutta (1848) he was told by the last
governor-general that so far as human foresight could predict, "it
would not be necessary to fire a gun in India for seven years to
come."  Yet, within a twelvemonth, the whole scene was changed.

2.  The Punjab, or Land of the Five Rivers, was inhabited by the
Sikhs, a brave and warlike people.  They had already fought
desperately for the mastery of India and had been defeated.  A
British army had marched into Lahore, their capital, and dictated
terms of peace, by which the Sikhs were left under the rule of a
native prince, but required to receive a British officer at the royal
court and to be guided by his advice.  Dalhousie had scarcely been in
office six months when the Punjab was all aflame again, and he found
himself compelled to renew the war.  "I have wished for peace," he
said, "I have striven for it.  But untaught by experience, the Sikh
nation has called for war, and on my word, sirs, they shall have it
with a vengeance."

3.  The work that lay before the British army was a terribly
difficult one.  After a trying campaign in which we came near defeat,
the two armies met for a decisive encounter at Gujerat.  It ended in
the rout of the Sikhs, who fled in dismay, leaving behind them most
of their guns and standards, their ammunition, stores, and tents.
The defeated troops were never allowed to rally, and within three
weeks the last gun had been abandoned and the last soldier had laid
down his arms.  The Sikhs cheerfully owned themselves beaten, and
heard with delight that their Afghan allies "had ridden down through
their hills like lions and ran back into them like dogs."

4.  The conquest of the Punjab was followed by its annexation.  The
Sikhs were informed that they must henceforth regard themselves as
British subjects, and the Land of the Five Rivers as a part of
British India.  Two famous brothers, Henry and John Lawrence, were
appointed to set things in order in this great province and to
establish a firm and just government.  The Sikh soldiers readily took
service under our flag.  They were proud to be enlisted in the
regiments that had so well beaten them.  Forts were built to defend
the new frontier, the taxes were lightened and made more even, canals
were cut, roads laid out, criminals punished, and honest labour
protected; in fact, in a few short years the latest British conquest
became the best managed, the most contented, and the most loyal of
all the British provinces in India.

5.  Three years after the annexation of the Punjab, war broke out at
the opposite end of the Indian Empire, in what was then called
Further India.  It is known as the _Second Burmese War_ (1852).
Burma was at that time under the rule of an upstart king, whore
throne was at Ava.  He seems to have been as ignorant and arrogant as
the King of Ava in the First Burmese War (1824), who on being
requested by the governor-general of India to withdraw his troops
from Assam, which they had invaded, ordered his commander-in-chief to
proceed to Calcutta, arrest the governor-general, and bring him to
Ava, bound in golden fetters, for execution.  As a result of that
First Burmese War Assam had been added to the empire.  It now forms
the great tea-plantation of India.

6.  The spoils of the Second Burmese War were still more valuable.
The most brilliant feat of arms in that war was the storming of
Rangoon.  The Burmese troops held the city and pagoda of Rangoon with
18,000 men; the British could only bring one-third that number to the
attack.  Among the Burmese were the picked guards known as "The
Immortals of the Golden Country," whose military oath compelled them
to conquer or die at their posts.  The courage of the ordinary troops
was also insured, as their women and children were fastened up at the
back of the fort to incite the valour of their husbands, sons, and
brothers.  But all to no purpose.  The headlong rush of our troops,
and the fierce cheer with which they came on, seemed to take the
heart out of the defenders, and when the storming party entered at
one gate the garrison fled by the opposite one, the brave Immortals
in their gilt lacquer accoutrements leading the way.

7.  Before the end of the year the whole of Lower Burma was at our
disposal.  As the people of that province everywhere greeted us as
friends, and besought us to deliver them from the tyranny of their
king, there was good reason to believe that it could be held by a
small number of troops.  It was, accordingly, annexed to our Indian
Empire.  Rangoon has become one of the great ports of the empire.  In
thirty years its population increased fifteen-fold, and its trade
grew in the same proportion.  The rest of Burma was annexed as the
result of another war some years later.

8.  The British India which Lord Dalhousie left to his successor was
more than one-third larger than the India of which he had received
charge seven years before.  The great changes which he had made
produced a spirit of unrest among the inhabitants.  The native
princes naturally felt their thrones insecure; the introduction of
railways and telegraphs was to the old-fashioned native a sign that a
new era had begun, and that old customs were giving place to new;
whilst many began to fear that even their religion was in danger of
being supplanted.

9.  Lord Canning, the next governor-general, seems to have seen signs
of the coming upheaval; for on taking office, he said at the send-off
banquet in London, "We must not forget that in the sky of India,
serene as it is, a small cloud may arise, at first no bigger than a
man's hand, but which growing bigger and bigger may at last threaten
to overwhelm us with ruin."  He knew that the same instrument that we
had used to help us to conquer India might be turned against
ourselves.  And what made our position the more serious was the fact
that the Sepoys in our army--who constituted that instrument--were
five times as numerous as our own troops, and that the native gunners
outnumbered ours by two to one.

10.  On reaching India, Lord Canning heard the first muttering of the
storm which threatened to drive the British out of India.  There had
long been a prophecy among the natives that British rule would come
to an end at the close of a hundred years from its commencement.  The
fateful year (1857) had now come, and with it came the great mutiny
of our Sepoy regiments.  England, in her hour of danger, has never
lacked brave and patriotic sons to defend and maintain her cause, and
never has this been more conspicuously the case than in the _Sepoy



1.  The Sepoy Mutiny had its centre at Delhi, where lived the old
emperor in great state and luxury, but without a vestige of power or
authority.  The mutineers placed this shadow of an emperor at their
head, making him their centre of union, and his sovereignty a cause
to fight for.  The great powder-magazine within the city was luckily
in British hands.  Of the garrison in charge of it were two British
officers, who, at the sacrifice of their own lives, applied a torch
to the powder, and in a moment the building, with hundreds of Sepoy
mutineers, was sent flying into the air.

2.  There were two circumstances which in the most providential
manner enabled our countrymen to hold their own until succour reached
them from England.  These were the loyalty of the Sikhs, who had
recently been conquered, and the passage across the seas of British
troops on their way to China.  These troops were intercepted at Cape
Town and Singapore, and diverted to India.  The Sikhs threw in their
lot with their conquerors, and fought like lions for them throughout
the Mutiny.  A few weeks after the first outbreak, a combined British
and Sikh force arrived at Delhi.  Our men posted themselves on a
commanding ridge outside the city, and held it against all comers,
whilst waiting for reinforcements.

3.  Sir John Lawrence was straining every nerve to collect forces in
the Punjab, and to push them on, with all speed, to Delhi; whilst his
brother, Sir Henry Lawrence, was rendering a service, scarcely less
valuable, at Lucknow.  Forewarned by telegraph, he made every
preparation for defence within his power before the rebels in the
city heard of the outbreak.  He brought all the Europeans within the
"Residency," as the government buildings were called, and stocked it
well with provisions and ammunition.  Lawrence himself was mortally
wounded, near the beginning of the siege, by the bursting of a shell
that crashed into his room, where he was writing at table.  When
dying he desired that on his tomb should be engraven:

  Henry Lawrence

4.  The siege of Lucknow is one of the most memorable in our history.
We may well be proud of the splendid stand which a small band of our
countrymen made here, in the presence of their wives and children,
against myriads of the enemy, who were kept in check for nearly three
terrible months, until relief came.

5.  All this time the eyes of India and Great Britain were earnestly
fixed on Delhi.  It was there all felt the question was being fought
out, who should be masters of India.  For three weary months our men
had to cling to their position on the ridge, outside the city, before
obtaining guns sufficiently heavy to begin the siege.  Great was the
joy in the British camp when the guns arrived, and with them General
Nicholson, known alike to friend and foe for his daring valour.  All
were eager to follow where he led.

6.  After a bombardment of three days, two great breaches in the
walls opened the way for the assault, and an entrance at each breach
was made at the point of the bayonet, but whilst leading on his men
the gallant Nicholson was slain.  Of the many daring deeds performed
that day the most memorable was the perilous exploit of blowing up
the Cashmere gate, to make a third entrance for our troops.  A small
band of heroic men volunteered to place bags of powder under the
gate, and to take the risk of being shot or blown up in the attempt.

7.  "I placed my bag," said Sergeant Smith, "and then at a great risk
reached Carmichael's bag (for he was killed), and having placed it in
position with my own, arranged the fuse for the explosion, and
reported all ready to Lieutenant Salkeld, who held a quick-match.  In
stooping down to light the quick-match, he was shot, but in falling
had the presence of mind to hold it to me.  Burgess was next him and
took it.  I told him to keep cool and fire the charge.  He turned
round and said, 'It won't go off, sir; it has gone out, sir.'  I gave
him a box of lucifers, and, as he took them, he let them fall into my
hand, he being shot through the body at that moment.  I was then left
alone, and was proceeding to strike a light, when the fuse went off
in my face, the light not having gone out as we thought.  I took up
my gun and jumped into the ditch but before I had reached the ground
the charge went off, and filled the ditch with smoke."  Before the
smoke cleared away our troops were through the gateway.

8.  But though the entrance to the city was gained the work had only
begun.  Every street and public building had been fortified, and had
to be won by steady and continuous fighting.  It was not until the
sixth day that our men had fought their way to the palace in the
heart of the city.  When the British flag waved over the palace, all
felt that the neck of the rebellion was broken, and that our Indian
Empire was saved.  The old emperor was sent as a state prisoner to
Rangoon, where he died in 1862, being buried in the night-time near
his bungalow, so that no native might know the resting-place of the
last of the emperors.

9.  Three days after the fall of Delhi, General Havelock reached the
Residency at Lucknow, after fighting half a dozen battles on the road
and forcing his way through streets lined with armed rebels.  We can
imagine the kind of welcome the troops received on their arrival.
"In a moment," writes a lady, one of the survivors of the garrison,
"big, rough-bearded soldiers were seizing the little children out of
our arms, kissing them with tears rolling down their cheeks, and
thanking God that they had come in time."  They had come in time to
save the women and children from falling into the enemy's hands, but
not in sufficient numbers to remove them.

10.  For final deliverance they had to wait nearly two months longer,
until the arrival of the Commander-in-chief, Sir Colin Campbell, at
the head of a small army of 5,000 men.  It is interesting to know
that Lieutenant Roberts, now Field-Marshal Lord Roberts, was an
officer in the relieving force, and gave proof of his daring spirit,
as the troops fought their way through the city, by hoisting the
British flag, amid a shower of bullets, on the tower of a fort they
had captured.  Sir Colin now turned his arms against every city in
revolt, and before the end of the following year (1858), the embers
of the rebellion were finally stamped out.



1.  As soon as peace was restored to India, after the Mutiny, a
proclamation, at Calcutta, declared that the governing power of the
East India Company was abolished, and that henceforth the sovereign
of England would be the immediate ruler of India.  In this
proclamation, which may be regarded as the Magna Charta of the people
of India, it was announced, in the name of the queen, that we desire
no further extension of territory in India, but that what we had got
we intended to hold; that we would respect the rights, dignity, and
honour of the native princes; that we would in every way endeavour to
further the interests of the people, and in no way interfere with
their religious convictions.


2.  The title of _Empress of India_ was not assumed until some years
later.  But the assumption of that title, and the change in the form
of government, as stated in the proclamation, gave great satisfaction
to the princes and people of India.  Our Indian government acquired
new dignity in their eyes, and our rule became more acceptable, since
they could now regard themselves as fellow-subjects with ourselves of
the same personal sovereign.  They had now distinct promises on which
they could rely, for they knew by experience that their English
masters would feel themselves bound by their own words.  Nothing is
more gratifying to our national pride than the reliance thus placed
on the pledged word of our Government.  "It is certain," says a great
Polish writer, in reference to the Boer war, "that if King Edward
VII. guaranteed to the Boers, with his royal word, the enjoyment of
their liberty and laws, not an Englishman would be found throughout
the gigantic British Empire, who would not burn with shame if the
royal promise were broken."

3.  The improved state of feeling among the people of India, in
consequence of the changes which had been made, and the distinct
promises they had received, showed itself very clearly, when, a few
years later, the Prince of Wales--now King Edward VII.--paid a visit
to India as the representative of Queen Victoria.  His progress
through the land called forth a succession of brilliant
demonstrations--cities, temples, and palaces, being illuminated in
his honour.  All the princes and rajahs of India vied with each other
in the magnificence of their trappings and the splendour of their
welcome.  And when at last the Prince set sail for England, the ship
was laden with numerous memorials and presents of great variety,
value, and interest.  The proclamation in the following year of the
queen's new title, as Empress of India, tended to draw still closer
the ties of love and loyalty between Her Majesty and her Indian

4.  Sweeping changes were made in our Indian army at the close of the
Mutiny.  That army now contains only two natives to one European, and
the artillery is kept almost entirely in the hands of British
soldiers.  Many wars have occurred in India since it came under the
British crown, but they have all been wars on her borders, keeping
strife and danger far removed from every home in India.  They have
been wars to preserve internal peace, and to strengthen our
frontiers, especially on the borders of Afghanistan, the only quarter
from which an invading army could approach India except by sea.

5.  But the chief enemy we have had to fight in India since the days
of the Mutiny is famine, which has been known to carry off in a
single year five millions of people.  This calamity has arisen not
from want of food in India, but from the difficulty of transporting
it to the distressed districts.  As famine in India is caused by an
insufficient rainfall, great works have been executed to store water
in vast tanks or lakes--for instance, by damming up the outlet of
some mountain valley--and to cut canals for carrying water to the
crops suffering from drought.  Great engineering works have been
taken in hand to keep the great rivers in bounds, and to prevent
their waters in time of flood from rushing with ruin and havoc over
the land.

6.  If the British were to abandon India to-morrow they would leave
behind them a grand memorial of their works for the good of the
country, in their schools and colleges, their telegraphs, railways,
roads, bridges, canals, reservoirs, and river embankments.  People
who have only seen such things in our own island-home, have no
conception of the great scale on which such works have been carried
out in a large country like India--a country as large as all Europe,
leaving out Russia--where the rivers are immense, and subject to
terrible floods from the down-pouring tropical rains which fall most
copiously on the southern slopes of the Himalayas.

7.  It is true that we do not give India the same kind of government
we give Canada and Australia.  We are obliged to govern India, not
according to the notions of the natives, but according to our own.
We take care, however, to keep order and see justice done, not only
in the provinces under direct British rule, but also in the dependent
states, which occupy about two-fifths of the country, and contain
one-fourth of the population.  There are no less than seven hundred
of these states, great and small; none of them may make alliance with
any other state except Britain; each of them must admit a British
resident, who keeps an eye on its government.  If any prince, after
repeated warnings, fails to reform, he is replaced by another native,
for Britain annexes no longer.  On the other hand, a prince who does
his duty and governs wisely, receives from the Emperor some mark of
distinction or titular honour, nowhere in the world more valued than
in India.

8.  It will be seen then that our government of India is despotic,
like that of a schoolmaster, who makes his own laws and administers
them for the good of his scholars.  There is, however, this
difference.  In India, the natives themselves are admitted to a large
share in the administration of the laws and in the service of the
state, an arrangement tending to keep the educated natives contented
and to train them for the work of self-government.

9.  On the whole, it may be said with truth that there is nothing
more wonderful in the history of the world than that, under the flag
of these two little islands, there should have grown up the greatest
and most beneficent despotism that the world has sees.  The very face
of the country has changed; pestiferous swamps have been drained, and
are now fertile lands with healthy cities.  Wide tracts of jungle,
the secure refuge of evil beasts, have been reclaimed.  The great
rivers are now brought under control; canals receive their surplus
waters, and instead of causing desolation, bring fertilizing streams
to a thirsty land.  Railroads transport corn and rice through tunnels
cut in the mountains, and across mighty rivers, to distant
famine-stricken districts.  In short, the story of India's progress
under British rule is one of which we may well be proud.

10.  The advantage, however, has not been all on one side.  The
connection with India has brought, and still brings, much grist to
our own mill.  It provides high salaries for about eight hundred of
our most competent countrymen, acting as governors, magistrates, and
high state officials; it offers employment for our engineers and land
surveyors; it serves as an excellent training-ground for our officers
and soldiers; and, above all, it opens up a splendid trade to our
merchants and manufacturers.  Were India to fall into the hands of a
foreign power, like Russia, our merchants would probably find
themselves, if not shut out entirely from the markets of India, much
hampered in doing a profitable business.  But with the government in
our own hands we can make such regulations as tend to the mutual
advantage of the two countries.  So flourishing is the trade between
them now that its annual value amounts to more than £50,000,000.

11.  Such being the mutual advantages to India and Britain of our
rule in that great country, it would be an indelible stain on our
name and nation, if through indifference, or negligence, or
faint-heartedness, we were to lose an empire built up by so much
genius and heroism under the controlling hand of an unseen Power.

  "We sailed wherever ship could sail,
    We founded many a mighty state;
  Pray God our greatness may not fail
    Thro' craven fears of being great."



1.  To measure the progress that has been made by our kinsmen in
Australia, we must know something of the country in its natural
condition, and of the special difficulties they have had to contend
with.  One of these difficulties was of our own making, and that was
the landing there of shiploads of our worst criminals, many of whom
fled to the "bush," and preyed upon the lonely settlers, or committed
outrages upon the natives, who naturally tried to take revenge upon
any white men that came in their way.

2.  The plants found in Australia by the early explorers had, with
few exceptions, never been seen in any other parts of the world.
Strange to say, no wheat or any other cereal grew there, and but few
fruits or vegetables fit for human food, although both soil and
climate are in many parts so favourable to their growth that, since
their introduction, they have thriven as well as in most countries.

3.  The animals peculiar to Australia are even more strange than its
plants.  Of all the useful animals belonging to other countries, not
a single representative was found here.  All our domestic animals,
however, have been introduced, and thrive remarkably well.  One,
indeed, the rabbit, has thriven so well as to form a serious pest.
So rapidly do these animals multiply here that the colonists are
obliged to incur much expense in the effort to keep down their
numbers.  Of the quadrupeds found elsewhere Australia only possessed,
when first discovered, some species of rats and mice and a sort of
wild dog, or dingo.  Most of the native animals are pouched, like the

4.  Dingoes cannot be trained for the service of man.  They are
always ready to prey upon his flocks.  So great a pest are these
animals, in certain parts, that each man on a sheep-station is
expected to carry strychnine, in order to poison the carcase of any
dead animal he may chance to find in his wanderings, with the view of
destroying the dingoes that may happen to feed upon it.  These
animals destroy far more than they devour.  On entering a sheepfold
they bite and kill without stint or stay.  There is, however, one
drawback to their wholesale destruction, as they are the natural
enemies of the kangaroo.  Since the dingoes have become scarce, the
kangaroo has multiplied greatly.  In some districts droves of these
animals are still seen, eating up every blade of grass and starving
the sheep off the land.

5.  As the native productions of Australia are of little service to
man, it is not surprising to find the natives a low order of savages.
There is no bond of union between them.  They consist of many tribes,
always ready to go to war with each other.  It is supposed that about
50,000 survive, but through intemperance, wars and diseases, their
numbers are gradually dwindling.  They have already almost
disappeared from the more settled parts, but as such a large
proportion of Australia is uninhabitable by white men, they will
probably long linger in the more remote quarters of the continent.

6.  Like all wandering savages, their senses are remarkably acute,
and their skill and cunning in hunting and snaring beasts and birds
can hardly be surpassed.  Advantage is taken of this fact by the
Australians, who employ them to track out fugitives, when offenders
against the law have to be pursued, or when cattle have strayed.

7.  The natives were at first a source of great trouble to the
settlers.  They stole their sheep and ran off with their horses,
caused their cattle to stampede, and killed their shepherds and
herdsmen.  But as the colonist never moved out of doors without his
firearms, they soon gained a wholesome dread of his power.  One tribe
of "blacks" also was always ready to help the white man to pursue and
punish the men of another tribe.  In Queensland, indeed, a body of
native police, officered by Europeans, was formed to cope with the
disorders and depredations of the savages, who are bolder and more
numerous in that part of Australia.  But the experiment was attended
by dreadful results, for a member of one tribe displays savage
enjoyment in the slaughter of members of any other tribe.  Among the
settlers also were men who had been dangerous criminals, and who had
no compunction in murdering "blacks," as if they were devoid of human

8.  One of the great bars to progress in Australia is the irregular
supply of rain.  Whilst droughts are not infrequent, there is
occasionally an excessive downpour, causing disastrous floods.  The
amount of rain that falls from first to last would probably be
sufficient to make Australia a well-watered country.  But owing to
the extreme irregularity of the rainfall the plains are liable to be
alternately deluged and burnt up.  Explorers have often been in
danger of perishing with thirst from this cause; for instead of
finding a large lake, where they had seen one on a former occasion,
they find nothing but a stretch of baked mud.

9.  In times of drought the rivers, too, dwindle into mere threads of
water, or become too shallow for navigation.  Even the Murray, the
largest of Australian rivers, is at times but an indifferent
waterway.  Still worse, its mouth consists of shallow channels of
shifting sand, so that no steamer can enter it from the sea.  Large
sums have been expended in trying to remove the bar at its mouth and
form a harbour; but the attempt has been abandoned, for as fast as
the sand is dredged away, fresh deposits of silt take its place.

10.  These are some of the difficulties and drawbacks which the
Australian colonists have had to fight against.  But in spite of them
an extraordinary advance has been made, thanks to their own energy
and enterprise, to the mineral wealth of their country, and to their
freedom from war.  Contrary to the experience of nations, in other
continents, the Australians have never had to fight a regular battle
in their own land.  This immunity from war they owe, in large
measure, to the protecting arm of the mother-country, and to the
wisdom she has shown in granting self-government to her Australian
colonies as soon as they became fit to manage their own affairs.



1.  Next to wool as a source of Australian wealth comes gold.  The
discovery of gold, in 1851, had a wonderful effect on the progress of
Australia.  The discovery was made, near Bathurst, in New South
Wales, by Hargraves, one of the numerous adventurers that left the
colony in 1848 to dig for gold in California.  The first thing which
impressed him on his arrival in the gold country was the resemblance
between it and the district around his own home in Australia.  The
more he saw of the gold-diggings in California, the more he was
struck with the likeness.  At length he resolved to return, and on
searching a creek near his old home, he found it rich in gold.

2.  At the news of this discovery, thousands hastened to the diggings
from all parts of the colony.  The news of this "rush" for gold had
hardly reached the people of Victoria, when it became known that
there was a still richer gold-field at Ballarat in their own country.
The gold fever seized upon the Victorians, and in a few weeks most of
the men in the colony were grubbing for gold.  Workshops were left
without workmen, ships without crews, and houses without tenants.
The squatters were left to look after their own sheep, and farmers
saw their crops spoiling for want of labourers to harvest them.
Ordinary business came to a standstill, and even schools were closed
for want of teachers.

3.  To the streams of men from every part of Australia was soon added
a flood of adventurers from all quarters of the world, including
numbers of escaped convicts from Tasmania.  Of those who came in the
hope of rapidly making a fortune at the diggings, the majority were
doomed to disappointment.  But a few picked up gold nuggets of
considerable size, and one miner at Ballarat hit upon the largest
mass of gold ever found.  It was called the "welcome stranger," and
was worth upwards of £8000.  The scene at the gold-fields is thus
described in the "Story of the Nations:"--

4.  "The banks of the Yarrowee presented a strange appearance, with
the eager line of men standing shoulder to shoulder, washing in the
muddy water the dirt brought them from time to time by a companion.
A little further back the earth was cut into innumerable holes,
flanked by great mounds of red soil, in and around which men busily
ran or dug with feverish energy.  At night the scene was even more
weirdly curious, for the glaring lights of the theatres and grog
shanties, with the flaring torches and fires of the miners, joined in
throwing into strong relief the shadows of the tents and their wild
surroundings.  Above all rose the hum of a city, broken now and again
by bursts of noisy revelry.  Wealth easily won was as readily
squandered, and the lucky digger showered gold with a free hand.
Prices were exorbitant, for the miner, drunk with fortune, seldom
asked for change, and the style of living generally was recklessly

5.  The value to Australia of the discovery of gold within her
territory has been far greater than the worth of the gold itself,
though that, in forty years from its first discovery in 1851,
amounted to the extraordinary sum of £300,000,000.  It has been the
means of bringing to her shores hundreds of thousands of enterprising
men, who on leaving the gold-fields have settled down in the country
to gain a livelihood, if not a fortune, by steady industry in some
useful employment.  Thus, just before the discovery of gold, the
population of Victoria was less than 80,000; now, half a century
later, the population is nearly one-and-a-quarter millions.

6.  Gold-mining is now one of the regular industries of Australia.
But gold is no longer to be picked up on the surface.  It is now only
obtained by sinking shafts, and much expensive machinery is required
in working the mines.  The yield of gold in Victoria and New South
Wales is, of course, much less than it was, but the annual value is
still considerable.

7.  Gold-mining has also been long carried on in Queensland.  Indeed,
the Mount Morgan mine in that colony has proved itself one of the
richest mines in the world.  Its story is a curious one.  A young
squatter had bought a farm near Rockhampton, but it was on a rocky
hill, and he found that for grazing or cultivation it was useless.
He was, accordingly, glad to sell it to three brothers, named Morgan,
at £1 an acre.  The dirty grey rocks of which the hilly farm was
composed turned out to be so rich in gold, that the hill, which had
cost the Morgans £640, was sold for £8,000,000.  And now West
Australia, which has long lagged behind the sister colonies, can also
boast of its gold mines, and has fairly started on its onward march.

8.  Australia has lately followed the example of Canada, and formed
her six colonies into one great dominion, under the name of the
_Commonwealth of Australia_, which started on its new career on the
first day of the twentieth century.  Each colony, or state, retains
control over its own local affairs, but the Parliament of the
Commonwealth is empowered to decide all questions relating to
defence, railways and telegraphs, customs duties and postal rates,
and all other matters common to the whole country.



1.  The story of Australian exploration tells of hardships and
hazards innumerable.  It is a story that is highly creditable to the
dauntless courage and persevering energy of our brothers in
Australia.  As landlords of a vast estate, they have endeavoured to
ascertain its nature, and to learn how best to turn it to profitable
account.  This knowledge could only be gained at the expense of many
lives, and at the cost of great self-sacrifice.  The explorers who
have lost their lives in the fulfilment of their self-imposed task,
if not entitled to a place on the roll of martyrs, have certainly
earned a place among the makers of our empire.  Of such men we can
only give one or two examples in this brief account.

2.  The vast interior is worse to cross than the Sahara, for while it
is often quite as hot and quite as dry, it is covered in many parts
with a dense "scrub," consisting of prickly shrubs and the dreaded
porcupine grass.  The constant pricking of this grass causes raw and
bleeding swellings round the horses' legs; and to escape from it,
they will prefer to force their way through the densest scrubs.  Here
they rush along, frequently forcing sticks between their backs and
their loads; then comes a frantic crashing through the scrub, packs
are forced off, and the horses are lost sight of for hours or even

3.  Mr. Kennedy, who explored in Queensland, describes the difficulty
of travelling in the tropical jungles of that colony.  He speaks, in
particular, of the terrible lawyer vine and the equally-dreaded
tree-nettle.  The former is a species of rattan, armed with hooks and
spurs, which once fast never let go.  The other is a forest-tree
belonging to the nettle family, and its broad leaves sting so
severely as to cause serious inflammation; horses, indeed, which have
plunged about and got stung all over, sometimes die from the effects.

4.  For exploring the interior, Adelaide, in South Australia, has
been a favourite starting-point; in 1840 Mr. Eyre made his perilous
journey along the shores of the Australian Bight to King George's
Sound, a distance of 1,200 miles.  The greatest difficulty was to
find water.  He had with him ten horses and six sheep.  Before moving
the animals from their halting-place it was necessary to secure water
for them, and Eyre himself explored in advance, sometimes five or six
days at a time, without finding a drop, being reduced to collecting
dew with a sponge and rags.  When 600 miles from his destination Eyre
was left with one native servant, two horses, 40 lbs. of flour, and
four gallons of water.  It was 150 miles further before they obtained
a fresh supply of water.  Thus they struggled on for a month, living
on horse-flesh, with a little flower-paste or damper.  They had then
the good luck to attract the notice of a whaling ship near the shore,
and were kindly received on board for a fortnight.  Being
sufficiently recruited, they continued their journey, and after
undergoing further hardships for twenty-three days, succeeded in
reaching King George's Sound.

5.  In 1860 an expedition set out from Melbourne to cross the
continent from south to north.  Burke and Wills were first and second
in command.  These two men accomplished the last part of the journey
alone, and on foot, for all the camels had sunk with fatigue.  Having
reached the shores of Carpentaria, they retraced their steps in the
expectation of coming across the men and stores they had left at a
certain place on the route.  Four months and a half after leaving the
depot they reached it again, only to find a notice stating that their
friends had left that same morning.  The word "dig" was cut on a
neighbouring tree, and buried beneath it they discovered a small
supply of provisions.

6.  On their way back to the depot they had been rejoined by one of
the party.  The three deserted wanderers rested for a couple of days,
and then started for Adelaide.  They were rapidly dying of hunger
when they met some natives, who treated them in a friendly manner.
After resting with them for four days they resumed their journey.
But first Wills, and then Burke, completely broke down and died.  The
only survivor wandered on until he met with a tribe who permitted him
to stay with them.  He was afterwards found by a rescue party from
Victoria, but so weak that he could scarcely speak.  The blacks were
rewarded for their kindness with gifts of looking-glasses, gay pieces
of ribbon, and other articles of finery.

7.  While the explorers just mentioned were crossing the continent
from Melbourne, another expedition, under Stuart, was attempting to
cross from Adelaide.  About the centre of the continent Stuart
reached a mountain, which has been named Central Mount Stuart.  He
had penetrated within 200 miles of the Gulf of Carpentaria, when he
was forced to turn back through the hostility of a numerous tribe of
natives.  Nothing daunted, Stuart set out again from Adelaide on New
Year's Day, 1861, and got about 100 miles beyond the point already
reached, when his further progress was barred by an impenetrable
scrub.  He made strenuous efforts to pass the obstacle, but without
success.  Reluctantly compelled to turn back for want of provisions,
he arrived safely in the settled districts, north of Adelaide, and
for the third time attempted to reach the goal; and this time with
well-earned success.  Neither on this, nor on any of his previous
journeys, did Mr. Stuart lose a single man of his party.

8.  This journey had important results.  It showed that through the
centre of the continent was a chain of fertile spots and grassy
plains, through which a track might be found for a telegraph line,
stretching from Adelaide in the south to Port Darwin in the north.
But the difficulties to be overcome in carrying this line across the
continent were considerable.  For one thing, the two ends of the wire
were 1,600 miles apart, and for no small part of the way it had to
pass through a desolate region void of water and pasture.  The
northern section of the work proved the most difficult to accomplish;
for there were no trees for posts, and the tropical heat was too
great for European labour.  Indian coolies and Chinese labourers were
hired, wells were dug along the route, iron posts were imported, and
by great exertions the task was, in 1872, completed.

9.  It is by this telegraph line that Australia is in constant
communication with the rest of the world.  Thanks to this magical
wire, Australians are able to read at their breakfast tables events
which had occurred on the opposite side of the globe a few hours
previously.  Thanks to the same wire, if an important cricket match
is being played in Australia, we at home can almost stand round the
field and watch it in progress.  Whilst the telegraph has brought us
within easy speaking distance of Australia, the steam-ship has also
wrought its wonders.  It is worth remembering that at the time when
Australia received its first ship-load of settlers, the Orkneys and
other remote parts of Scotland were as far distant from London, in
respect to the time taken in travelling, as are the Australian
colonies to-day, whilst the difficulties and risks of the journey
were considerably greater.


(New Zealand).

1.  Of all the colonies, with the exception of Tasmania perhaps, New
Zealand most resembles the mother-country both in climate and
scenery.  At the same time it is wholly unlike Australia.  If a
long-sleeping Briton could be set down among the Otago hills, and, on
awaking, be told that he was travelling in Galway or the west of
Scotland, he might be easily deceived, though he knew those countries
well; but he would feel at once that he was being hoaxed, if he were
told in any part of Australia that he was travelling among Irish or
British scenery.

2.  Everything English seems to flourish here.  The only quadrupeds
seen are those imported from Europe.  The complaint is that many of
our English animals and plants thrive only too well.  Hosts of pigs
run wild; rabbits also spread over the country in battalions, and do
great damage to the crops.  Gorse and sweet-briar, brought by the
early settlers from "home" are with difficulty kept in check.  Even
the English grasses are displacing those of native origin.  Our
house-sparrow is now the most common bird in New Zealand, and our
house-fly seems likely to be as often seen there as here.


3.  In colonising Australia little account had to be taken of the
natives, who were both few and feeble.  It was otherwise with the
natives of New Zealand.  The _Maoris_, as they called themselves,
were a fierce, warlike race, strong and brave, who were not content
with killing their enemies, but fed upon their flesh afterwards.
They were not, however, mere naked savages.  They wove mats and
clothing from flax, and cloaks of great value from the dressed skins
of dogs.  In the narrative of the wars between the Maoris and the
colonists, one is constantly reminded of the war between the ancient
Britons and the Romans; in both cases the natives were brave and
skilled in war, and owed their final defeat to their own divisions
and to the superior arms of their enemies.

4.  The first settlement was made here in 1840 after a friendly
treaty had been made with the Maoris.  By this treaty they took Queen
Victoria for their sovereign, but on the express understanding that
their lands should remain at their own disposal.  "The shadow of our
lands," said an old chief, "will go to the queen, but the substance
will remain in our own hands."  Emigrants began to pour in and to
purchase lands at a low price.  At the end of twenty years the Maoris
began to awake to the fact that the settlers were increasing very
rapidly, and now outnumbered themselves, whilst their lands were
continually passing out of their hands.  A movement, accordingly,
soon took place among themselves for the purpose of stopping the sale
of land to the stranger.

5.  The war that ensued lasted, off and on, for ten years.  Aided by
British troops, the colonists at last convinced the Maoris that their
cause was hopeless.  They consented to live at peace on the terms
offered, and have ever since been as good as their word.  All, except
a few of the older people, call themselves Christians.  They have
become to a certain extent educated and civilised; many of them have
farms and ships.  But with the change in their habits has come a
change in their spirit.  They seem to feel themselves a doomed race.
"As the white man's rat," they say, "has extirpated our rat, as the
European fly is driving out our fly, as the foreign clover is killing
our ferns, so the Maori himself will disappear before the white man."

6.  Since 1870, when the war ended, the whole of New Zealand has made
steady progress.  In the course of the next ten years, such a stream
of emigrants came flowing in that the population almost doubled
itself.  All skilled labourers who came found ready employment and
good pay.  It was a time when much money was spent on public works.
The New Zealand Government had raised a loan of ten millions from men
of capital in England.  The money thus borrowed was devoted to three
purposes: (1) to improve the means of communication by constructing
roads, railroads, bridges, telegraphs, and coasting-vessels; (2) to
purchase lands from the natives whenever they were willing to sell;
and (3) to aid men of the right stamp to emigrate from Britain.

7.  New Zealand is, as I have intimated, an eminently _British_
Colony.  The colonists are almost entirely of British descent.  Their
trade is nearly confined to the British Empire, seven-tenths of it
being with the mother-country, and nearly all the rest with
Australia, India, and Fiji.  The discovery of the method of keeping
meat frozen in cold air chambers during the passage of a vessel
through the tropics has been a great boon to New Zealand, and a great
advantage to our own land, enabling British workmen to purchase
excellent meat at a moderate price.

8.  A moment's reflection on these facts will serve to bring home to
our minds the mutual advantages accruing to the mother-country and
her colonies, when in friendly relations with each other.  We observe
that New Zealand has received the aid of British troops in her war
with the natives; she has been able to raise a large loan for public
works at a moderate rate of interest from men of property at home;
and she enjoys here a ready market for her produce.

9.  The mother-country, on her part, has been able to provide new
homes for her surplus population in a country like their own; she has
secured seven-tenths of the trade of New Zealand, increasing thereby
the amount of profitable employment for her workpeople; she has drawn
from the colony supplies of cheap food to help fill the hungry mouths
of her millions, and quite recently she has received the substantial
aid of 6,000 New Zealand troops in her war in South Africa.


(South Africa).

1.  The story of South Africa, since the British gained a footing
there, is marked by many a dark spot of misfortune and disaster that
we would gladly forget.  When Britain, in 1806, took possession of
the Cape, the country was occupied by Boers, Hottentots, and Kaffirs.
The building up of a British state, with such conflicting elements,
has been a work of extreme difficulty, which has put the best
qualities of the British race to a severe test, and much of the work
still remains to be done.

2.  The Home Government, for many years, only valued the Cape as a
military post and naval station, occupying a commanding position on
the waterway to India.  They shrank, accordingly, from extending
British rule in South Africa beyond the narrowest limits, and for
many years made no attempt to colonize the country.  It was not until
1820 that a body of picked emigrants, numbering 5,000, were landed at
Algoa Bay, and, having been taken 100 miles inland, were put in
possession of farms of 100 acres each.

3.  The first three years were years of blight which killed the
growing grain, and then came a flood which washed away their cottages
and gardens.  Many of the emigrants were good artisans but bad
farmers.  They had been set out like so many plants, in well-ordered
rows, and told to grow where they were placed.  But the experiment
was bound to fail.  Before long many of the men deserted their farms
and found work as artisans, whilst those who were fitted for
farm-work added the derelict farms to their own, and thus in time
each one found himself in the sphere for which he was best adapted.

4.  The coming of the British settlers had a marked effect on the
government of the colony.  The governor was no longer able to rule
simply as he thought best.  The new-comers were not disposed to be
treated as children.  They wanted law and government, but insisted on
their right to question the acts of the governor, and to see that he
governed according to law, and not merely according to his own will
and pleasure.  It is interesting to find from an official report made
to the House of Commons that,--"The introduction of the English
settlers, and the right of discussion which they claimed and
exercised, have had the effect of exciting in the Dutch and native
population a spirit of vigilance and attention, that never existed
before, to the acts of the government, and which may render all
future exertion of authority objectionable _that is not founded upon
the law_."

5.  The history of South Africa, for more than thirty years after the
first British settlement, is marked by two special features, both
arising from the fact that three races--British, Boer, and
Kaffir--were contending for the mastery.  One feature was the
repeated migrations of the Boers to get away from British rule and
taxation, and from British justice, which was dealt out even-handed
to black men and white men alike.  The Boers succeeded in forming two
republics--the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.  They also
attempted to settle in Natal, but that colony was annexed by the
British government (1843).

6.  The other feature of those early days was the frequent necessity
of going to war with the Kaffirs.  Several serious wars had to be
fought with the natives, who were very numerous, before they were
convinced that the white man had come to stay, and that his arm was
stronger than theirs.  Each war with the Kaffirs ended in an
extension of British territory, and by the middle of the century
nearly the whole country south of the Orange river was taken under
British rule.

7.  The governor that did most for the peace of the colony was Sir
George Grey, who had already done a good work for the empire in South
Australia and New Zealand.  He secured the good offices of the Kaffir
chiefs by taking them into his pay, and he opened schools where their
young men might be trained in some useful occupation, as farming,
gardening, and carpentry.  But he met with only moderate success.
Like the negroes of the West Indies, most Kaffirs hate work and have
no desire to better their condition.  Given a noisy musical
instrument, a bright sun, and a gaudy dress, and their mirth and
gaiety seem boundless.

8.  Sir George Grey also tried to cure the natives of their belief in
witchcraft, but in this he miserably failed.  He did much, however,
to put down the practice of "smelling out" witches.  The Kaffirs
believe that diseases and disasters of all kinds are caused by
wizards and witches, and in every tribe there was a professional
witch-finder whose duty it was to go through certain forms, calling
"smelling-out," and then point out the individual, who was supposed
to have caused the mischief.  This practice did not commend itself to
the governor's sense of justice, and he did all he possibly could to
put it down.

9.  The superstitious belief of the Kaffirs was the cause of a
terrible tragedy during Grey's term of office.  Thousands of their
cattle had been carried off by a pestilence, when a Kaffir prophet
consoled the poor natives by assuring them that the Kaffir chiefs,
long dead and gone, were about to return to earth with a new breed of
cattle, which disease could not touch, and that their coming would
result in the triumph of the black men over the white.  But all this,
he said, would only happen if all the present cattle and corn were
destroyed.  Thousands took the madman at his word and made away with
their corn and cattle.  The great day of deliverance was fixed for
February 18th, 1857, and to their amazement the sun rose and set as
usual, leaving the poor dupes face to face with starvation.  The
Kaffirs suffered so dreadfully from the scourge of famine, and their
numbers were in consequence so much reduced, that we hear of no more
wars during the next twenty years.

10.  During this peaceful time Cape Colony made steady but slow
progress, but, in 1870, an event occurred which awoke the colony to
new life.  This was the discovery of a rich diamond-field around
Kimberley.  Men and capital began to flow into the country and the
wheels of industry began to turn more rapidly.  Farmers obtained a
good market, trade became brisk, railways were speedily laid down.
The diamonds are found in a kind of "blue ground," which is nothing
but a stream of volcanic mud cast up in ages past.  So rich is it in
diamonds that the mines have yielded, since 1870, a yearly revenue of
between two and three million pounds.

11.  The blacks in 1878 made one more hopeless attempt to oust the
white men.  The struggle ended in the British government taking
possession of all the Kaffir lands, except Basutoland, and adding
them to Cape Colony.  Basutoland is a native state under the direct
rule of the British Crown.  This arrangement was made in response to
the prayer of a Basuto chief: "Let me and my people rest and live
under the large folds of the flag of England."


(South Africa).

1.  No sooner had we put down the Kaffirs and annexed their territory
to Cape Colony than we had to advance into Zululand and finally add
that country to the Empire.  The Zulus were then under the rule of
their king Cetewayo, who kept a large army, well drilled and armed
with musket and assegai.  This force was a standing peril to Natal,
and to save this colony from the horrors it feared, a British force
crossed the Tugela--which separates Natal from Zululand--to destroy,
if possible, the Zulu king's "man-slaying machine."

2.  The invading army crossed the river at a ford called _Rorke's
Drift_ (1879), and a division of the troops suffered a great
disaster, not far from there, at Isandlana.  Happily, a small
detachment had been left to guard the passage at the ford.  The
command of this post was in the hands of Lieutenants Chard and
Bromhead, whose names deserve an honoured place in our memory.  With
a force of 104 men they made an heroic defence against a savage host
of 3000 warriors, who had reddened their assegais in the blood of our
countrymen, taken by surprise, at Isandlana.

3.  During the fight a building used as a hospital was set on fire by
the Zulus.  The brave defenders gallantly repulsed every attack
whilst the sick were removed.  A sort of redoubt was then constructed
of bags of mealies in the centre of the camp, and when hard pressed
to this they retired.  The vigour of the siege continued from four in
the afternoon until midnight.  With the first light of morning the
Zulus retired, on hearing of the approach of the British main-body,
leaving three hundred black corpses on the ground.  Of the gallant
defenders seventeen were killed and ten wounded.

4.  When the British General first came in sight of Rorke's Drift and
saw smoke rising from the burning hospital, he felt certain that the
depot had been captured, and that Natal, at that moment, lay at the
mercy of a horde of savages.  But he was quickly relieved at the
sight of a British flag and the sound of a British cheer, and then he
learned the story of the defence of that isolated post by the
undaunted resolution of a little band of heroes, by whose conduct
Natal was saved from invasion and massacre.

5.  After a large force had landed from England, the invasion of
Zululand was renewed, and a pitched battle, fought at Ulundi, brought
the war to a close.  To prevent the country from falling into the
hands of the Boers, Zululand was annexed to Natal, and now forms part
of the British Empire.  The Zulus have ever since lived in peace and

6.  It also became necessary to take under our wing the country of
the Bechuanas on the west of the Transvaal; for there also many of
the Boers were settling and making themselves at home on their
neighbour's territory.  Khama, a king of the Bechuanas sent to ask
for British protection.  "There are three things," he wrote, "which
distress me very much--war, selling people, and drink.  All these I
shall find in the Boers, and it is these things which destroy people
to make an end of them in the country."  A part of Bechuanaland was,
accordingly, brought under British rule, and the remaining part under
British protection.

7.  The next addition to the empire in South Africa was a vast
country now known as _Rhodesia_, a country that owes its name to
Cecil Rhodes, to whose marvellous enterprise its possession is mainly
due.  From its fertility, climate, and mineral wealth, it now bids
fair to become a flourishing British Colony.

8.  It was, however, difficult at first to make a settlement here,
because it was partly occupied by the warlike Matabele, a tribe akin
to the dreaded Zulus.  Their king, Lobengula, kept an army of 10,000
warriors, who lived only for the joy of fighting.  Permission,
however, was purchased from Lobengula to search for, and work, the
minerals within his territory.  And a pioneer force was sent to turn
this permission to account (1890).  Before two years had passed it
became quite clear that the Matabele warriors must be crushed before
any progress could be made.  Thanks to our machine-guns and modern
rifles, this was soon effected.

9.  A decisive engagement was fought near Bulawayo, the Matabele
capital.  The enemy foolishly hurled themselves against our small
force when some were laagered, the rest entrenched.  After an hour's
carnage, they began to retreat with the loss of 1000 killed and
wounded.  A day or two later a loud report rent the air, and huge
columns of smoke were observed to rise from Bulawayo.  The king had
fled after ordering his magazine to be blown up.  Lobengula died
shortly afterwards of fever, and his kingdom was placed under British

10 The patriot that secured Rhodesia for the empire, has, unhappily,
had his work cut short by an early death.  Much as he had done for
his country he hoped to do still more.  His keen disappointment finds
utterance in his last words: "So little done, so much to do."


Unity of the Empire.


1.  It cannot be said that such is the unity of the British Empire
that go where you will in it, you will find the same amount of
liberty as at home, and exercise as large a share in the making of
the laws.  That can only be said if you go to one of the
self-governing colonies, like Canada and Australia.  But wherever you
go within the limits of the empire, you may be pretty sure of being
governed by law and not by caprice, and if wronged, of getting
justice in a court of law.  The empire stands for law and justice.
These are two strands of the cord that unites the whole empire,
independently of race and colour.

2.  But the colonies which are peopled mainly by our own kinsmen
enjoy with us the advantage of liberty in its fullest sense.  It is
worth while considering what is included in that word _liberty_.  It
means the right to form our own opinion on all subjects, and to
express the same freely, without injury to others, in speaking or
writing.  It means the right for employers and workmen, like buyers
and sellers, to settle their own terms without interference.  It
means the right to worship God according to conscience without having
to suffer penalties or disabilities on account of our religion.  It
means the right to be governed according to law, and to be judged
without fear or favour; and above all, the right to take part in
levying taxes and making new laws by means of our representatives in

3.  So far as a people enjoys the right last named, it may in a real
sense be said to govern itself.  And it is this self-government which
constitutes the crown of liberty.  Only it must be remembered that it
is not every nation, nor all in any nation, that are fit to govern
themselves.  Some nations are like children, not wise enough to know
what is for their own good.  Every nation, indeed, passes through the
stages of childhood and youth before it reaches an age when it
becomes capable of managing its own affairs with discretion.

4.  In the colonies where men of our own race have chiefly settled,
the period of childhood and youth has soon passed away, because I
suppose their ancestors had spent a long period in these stages in
the old country.  It is astonishing on looking back a hundred years
to see how much remained to be done in the cause of freedom even in
England, which is now able to boast of being free and the mother of
free nations.  The mention of a few of the evils then existing will
show how far we have travelled on the path of freedom since the
centenarian of to-day was born.

5.  The slave trade still went on, and slaves were still employed in
our colonies; Roman Catholics were still at a serious disadvantage on
account of their religion; children were permitted to work in mines
and factories, however young, and even to climb chimneys for the
purpose of sweeping them; crimes like stealing a sheep or a horse
were punishable by hanging; trade was in fetters--scarcely was a
thing imported duty free, even wheat from abroad was heavily taxed.

6.  For a nation to be free the law must be supreme, and the people
must have a share in making it through their representatives.  Yet, a
century ago, such large towns as Leeds, Manchester, and Birmingham,
sent no members to Parliament at all; whilst old decayed boroughs
sent two.  And the franchise, or right to vote at Parliamentary
Elections, was limited to a privileged few.  Thus one class of the
people made the laws which all were expected to obey.  These blots
were removed by three Reform Bills, which were passed at intervals of
twenty or thirty years.

7.  It is worth observing from this example how gradual have been the
changes made in our Constitution, or system of government.  We seem
to have learnt the lesson that true freedom can only be obtained when
it is allowed to grow, when time is given for it to strike its roots
deep in the life of the people.  For the enjoyment of real freedom
the law must be adapted to the wishes as well as the needs of the
governed; that is to say, it must be moulded by public opinion, and
the two must grow together so as to fit in with each other.

8.  This is the secret of the ready obedience paid to the law by
English people in general.  Nothing so strikes a foreigner, on
entering "the land of the free," as this willing submission to
authority, especially as exemplified in the crowded streets of
London, where all drivers instantly obey the policeman whose duty it
is to direct the traffic.  The coachman may have a prince or a duke
in his carriage.  It makes no difference.  He must wait his turn.
All alike willingly obey the officer in authority because he acts
without fear or favour, with a single eye to the public convenience.
Here we have a typical instance of the close connection that exists
between _law_, _order_, and _liberty_, those three watchwords of
every true Briton throughout the empire.  The British are a
law-abiding nation, because they join in making their laws, and as a
practical people realise the fact that without obedience to law there
can be no order, and without order no enjoyment of liberty.

9.  It is interesting to read the impressions of an Eastern Potentate
in his recent visit to England.  "I have been particularly struck in
this enormous metropolis with the loyal, willing recognition of
lawful authority which pervades all classes, enabling your civil and
municipal government to work smoothly, and your press to speak out
fearlessly, and like watchdogs to bark at the least sign of
encroachment upon the liberties of the subject.  By a wave of his
hand the police officer directs traffic at crossings and junctions of
streets.  By his writ or summons the magistrate orders you to appear
to bear witness in a court of law.  No one thinks of disobeying the
policeman or the magistrate.  Both are recognised as acting in the
execution of their respective spheres of duty.  I cannot think of
Britain without realising how the source of all her strength is
founded upon obedience.  You detest tyranny.  You love liberty.  You
bow to authority."

10.  Much of what is here said about us resolves itself into one
great characteristic, which stamps us all as one people, in whatever
part of the empire we may chance to live, and that is the passionate
love of justice or _fair-play_.  What men of our race ask for is a
fair field and no favour.


1.  Not long ago a discovery was made which turned all eyes to South
Africa as the land paved with gold (1886).  In a district known as
the Rand, in the west of the Transvaal, gold reefs were discovered of
extraordinary richness.  Many important results have grown out of
this discovery, the most momentous being the great Boer War.

2.  The gold-fields of the Transvaal drew a large stream of
adventurers and gold-miners from all parts of the world.  These
"outlanders," as the Boers called them, included a large proportion
of men of British nationality.  These men were treated by the Boer
government with gross injustice, and by Boer officials with open
contempt.  And when our government demanded fair treatment for
British subjects, the Boers took offence at what they considered
undue interference.  Here then was one cause of the quarrel which
ended in war.

3.  But there was another cause not less potent.  The gold mines of
the Transvaal were so productive that the Boer treasury soon
overflowed with gold.  This wealth stirred the ambition of the Boer
leaders, and made them dream of South Africa as a great federal
Republic, with the Transvaal as the leading state, and the Boer flag
as the national standard.  This, of course, meant the sweeping of
British authority out of South Africa.

4.  The gold at their disposal seemed to the Boers to give them a
fair chance of accomplishing this result.  At any rate, it enabled
them to build forts, to provide arms of the best modern type in
abundance, and to employ European officers as artillery instructors.
It is true, they may have reflected, our numbers are comparatively
small, but all our forces are close at hand, whilst the British will
have to draw theirs from a country 6,000 miles away.

5.  And so at last the die was cast, and, on the 11th October, 1899,
a Boer force entered Natal in the hope of driving the small British
army into the sea before reinforcements could arrive from England.
In this they failed, as we know, by the splendid stand made by our
troops, under Sir George White, at Ladysmith.  It is not our
intention to tell the story of the war, whose main incidents are
fresh in our minds, but to show what a marvellous effect that war has
had in drawing out the great qualities of our race, and in uniting
the whole empire.

6.  In the beginning of the war our arms met with serious reverses.
In one dark week of December came the news of three disastrous
failures, in our attack on the enemy's position, in three different
quarters.  But what was the effect of this threefold misfortune?  It
braced the nation to put forth its strength, it stiffened their
resolve to conquer in the end, whatever the cost in blood or
treasure.  A mighty wave of patriotism swept over the land, and
thousands of our best and bravest responded to the call to arms.
Regulars, militia, volunteers, yeomanry--all alike, men of all
classes from prince to peasant, eagerly proffered their services.

7.  Still more remarkable was the effect which the need of the great
mother had upon her sons in all parts of the empire.  From Canada,
from Australia, from New Zealand thousands of brave men hastened to
the rescue, all sent off from their distant homes with the
acclamations of enthusiastic crowds.  Offers of help came from every
corner of the empire; nor were such offers limited to men of British
origin.  Indian princes pressed their services on our acceptance, and
the Maoris of New Zealand were as eager as any in their land to fight
for the flag.  But the British government wisely declined the
services of all who were not of British blood.  The war was a contest
between the Boers and the British for supremacy in South Africa, and
it was resolved to make it a fair stand-up fight between the two

8.  The spirit in which our nation girded themselves for the fight,
when the blows of misfortune fell hard upon them in that dark
December week, is well exemplified in the prompt response of Lord
Roberts to the call made upon his services, as commander-in-chief of
our army in South Africa, at the very moment when he had received the
crushing news of the death of his son, in a gallant attempt to rescue
some guns after the battle of Colenso.

9.  No need to tell of the splendid services Lord Roberts rendered at
the seat of war, how, within six months from his departure from
England, he led his army in triumph into the capitals of the two Boer
states, and made their conquest in the end almost a certainty.  In
taking his farewell of the army, the general paid a well-deserved
tribute of praise to our soldiers, who "by their pluck, endurance,
discipline, and devotion to duty" had covered themselves with glory.
"For months together," said their commander, "in fierce heat, in
biting cold, in pouring rain, you have marched and fought without
halt, and bivouacked without shelter...  You have forced your way
through dense jungles, over precipitous mountains, through and over
which, with infinite labour, you have had to drag heavy guns and
ox-waggons....  You have endured the suffering, inevitable in war, to
sick and wounded men, without murmur, and even with cheerfulness."

10.  And if any other testimony is needed in favour of "Tommy
Atkins," as we fondly call our soldiers, we have it in the despatch
of a German officer: "We can only marvel," he says, "at the heroism
with which British troops in close order attempt to scale steep
heights under a fierce hail of bullets.  We can only marvel at the
intrepidity with which they try to force a passage through narrow
mountain passes where the enemy lie concealed."

11.  A thrill of pride, then, may well go through the heart of every
Briton when he thinks of the deeds of courage, the splendid
resolution, and the cheerful patience of our troops in South Africa.
The nation, too, has given full proof that the spirit of their
fathers, the same old spirit that has carried the old flag through so
many times of stress and strain, is still active as ever, that the
fibre of our race is as hard and well-knit as in days of yore.

12.  War is at best a great calamity, but the war we have waged with
the Boers has brought us compensations.  It has proved that our
soldiers and sailors are as truly hearts of oak now as formerly, and
that our brothers in the colonies are made of the same stuff as the
best of ourselves.  It has done still more in revealing to the whole
world that the British Empire is not a mere name for a number of
territories scattered over the globe, but that it is a living whole
animated by one and the same spirit.  All nations may now know that
the honour and interests of the empire are dear not to Britain alone,
but to the whole family of nations that have sprung from her; and
that in any future contest with Great Britain they will have to
reckon also with the Greater Britain beyond the seas.  "Shoulder to
shoulder, _all for each_, and _each for all_, we stand united before
the world, and our children have shown that they are not unwilling to
share with us the obligations as well as the dignity of the empire."

13.  The union of the empire has now been cemented by the blood so
freely shed by our kinsmen in South Africa.  In confirmation of the
hope that the bonds of that union will only grow stronger with the
increasing years, we may mention the impressions that the Prince of
Wales has brought home with him from his tour round the empire.  "If
asked," he says, "to specify any particular impressions derived from
our journey, I should unhesitatingly place before all others that of
loyalty to the Crown, and of attachment to the old country, which
they invariably referred to as _Home_.  And with this loyalty was
unmistakable evidence of the consciousness of strength, of a true and
living membership in the empire, and of power and readiness to share
the burden and responsibility of that membership."

14.  Everywhere the prince had evidence of that pride of race, that
unity of sentiment and purpose, that feeling of common loyalty and
obligation, that eager desire to claim their share in the glories of
a great empire with a great past and, perchance, a greater future--in
a word, that imperial patriotism, which keeps in view the welfare of
the whole empire,--

  "One with Britain, heart and soul!
  One life, one flag, one fleet, one throne!"


1.  Our sovereign serves the same purpose in the empire that a
keystone does in an arch, and that is to lock the whole fabric
together.  The recognition of this fact has led King Edward in
assuming his title to call himself king, not only of the United
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but also of the British
Dominions beyond the seas.  It has led him also to send his son the
Prince of Wales, round the empire to carry his message of sympathy
with his subjects on the loss of their beloved queen, and of thanks
for the splendid way in which they had rallied round the old flag in
South Africa.

2.  It is by the interchange of such kind offices and services that
the various parts of the empire are knit together; and it is the
sovereign who has in his keeping the chief power of drawing them all
more closely together by a common attachment to his person and
loyalty to his throne.  That the spirit of unity in the empire has
for many years been steadily growing in strength is largely due to
the character and example of our great Queen Victoria.

3.  When Her Majesty celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, the
demonstrations of love and loyalty, on the part of her people, in all
parts of her empire, were so striking that it seemed impossible for
that love and loyalty to be surpassed; yet it is certain that the
noble part the queen played in the course of the Boer war intensified
those feelings of devotion, and placed her on a still higher pinnacle
of glory, not only in the eyes of her subjects, but of the civilised

4.  It would take too long to mention one tithe of the queen's kind
acts and words of comfort to the mourners and sufferers as the war
went on.  Her many kind messages to the besieged as well as the sick
and wounded, her hearty congratulations to generals and soldiers on
their gaining some victory or important success, her farewells to
those going out to hazard their lives, her reception of troops
returning from the war, and her visits to the military hospitals with
her words of sympathy to those maimed or wounded in their country's
service--all these things are written indelibly on the hearts and
memories of the British people.

5.  Nor will they ever forget the example of calm fortitude the queen
set the nation in the days darkened by sad news from the seat of war,
nor her self-sacrifice in visiting London and Dublin, after the turn
of the tide, to show her admiration and gratitude for the devotion
and bravery of her troops, and the patriotic spirit of her people.
The task was only achieved at the cost of great fatigue and
exhausting excitement, for Her Majesty's years numbered more than
fourscore.  As in this Boer war, so throughout her long reign, Queen
Victoria was ever the centre of our national life, and the vital link
between all parts of her world-wide empire.

6.  The great Queen is dead, but we have every reason to believe that
her son and successor, King Edward VII., will prove equally worthy of
his exalted position.  As Prince of Wales we all know he did his
utmost to promote the well-being of the whole nation.  His name is
associated with numberless institutions set on foot for benevolent
purposes.  The affectionate relation existing between King Edward,
when Prince of Wales, and the British people have been especially
shown on two turning points in his life--his happy marriage and his
dangerous illness.

7.  Nothing could have exceeded the warm welcome given to the
Princess Alexandra when she entered London to become his bride, or
the great rejoicing throughout the land when she became the Princess
of Wales (1863).  But the joy of the nation on this happy event was
of small significance compared with the wondrous sympathy manifested
when the Prince seemed on the bed of death, and the Princess on the
point of becoming a widow.  All the nation seemed to stand around
that bed, and to watch with increased hope or fear, every change in
the progress of the disease.  It was then perceived that as a nation
we had a heart that could throb as with one pulse.

8.  When the Prince was raised from the bed of sickness, a day of
National Thanksgiving was solemnly observed.  The Queen, accompanied
by the Prince and Princess of Wales, appeared in St. Paul's
Cathedral, with ten thousand of her subjects, to, acknowledge the
hand of God in restoring health to the Prince, and the Prince to the
nation (1872).  Since then both prince and people have felt that they
belong to each other.

9.  We may, therefore, confidently hope that the link between the
King and the nation will only grow stronger with the advancing years.
And this hope is confirmed by the assurance that the King's solemn
resolution, as he withdrew from the death-bed of the good and wise
Queen, was to reign in the same spirit and after her example.  This
is apparent from his address, on the following morning, to his Privy

    Your Royal Highnesses, my Lords and Gentlemen,

    This is the most painful occasion on which I shall ever be called
    upon to address you.

    My first and melancholy duty is to announce to you the death of
    my beloved mother, the Queen, and I know how deeply you, the
    whole nation, and I think I may say the whole world, sympathise
    with me in the irreparable loss we have all sustained.

    I need hardly say that my constant endeavour will be always to
    walk in her footsteps.  In undertaking the heavy load which now
    devolves upon me, I am fully determined to be a Constitutional
    Sovereign in the strictest sense of the word, and as long as
    there is breath in my body to work for the good and amelioration
    of my people....

    In conclusion, I trust to Parliament and the nation to support me
    in the arduous duties which now devolve upon me by inheritance,
    and to which I am determined to devote my whole strength during
    the remainder of my life.

[Illustration: King's address]

10.  In this address, we observe, the King solemnly declares that he
will act as "a Constitutional Sovereign in the strictest sense of the
word."  This means that in his official acts the Sovereign will be
guided by the advice of his ministers, not merely by his own personal
will and wisdom.  This principle is the corner-stone of the British
Constitution, as it makes the King's ministers responsible for his
action, in all state affairs, and enables the nation, through
Parliament, to call them to account for the same.

11.  It is a maxim of our Constitution that "the king never dies,"
which implies that at the moment one reign ends the next begins.
Hence the accession of Edward VII. dates from the 22nd January, 1901,
but his solemn installation as king was deferred until June 26th,
1902, a day that will long be remembered as _Coronation-day_, when
King Edward received the crown, as the symbol of sovereignty, in the
presence of representatives from every corner of his wide dominions.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "King Edward's realm: Story of the making of the Empire" ***

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