British History - Salisbury and Chamberlain - Imperialism - Africa - Cecil Rhodes - The Soudan conquered - Venezuela - The Boer War - The Queen's Jubilees and Death.
( Originally Published 1922 )
AFTER Gladstone's defeat, Salisbury and Chamberlain represented the forces dominant in the British Commonwealth.
Lord Salisbury was a student, a man of intellectual, religious and scientific interests, an aristocrat by upbringing and by nature, averse from all methods of réclame. He stood for the old traditions of the British political nobles, bearing the load of public care with a sense of inherited responsibility. He had indeed accepted without reserve the new democratic conditions of political power, although in earlier years he had put up the last open resistance to Disraeli's Bill for household franchise. His gravity was relieved by a pungency in epigram, and a more than royal indifference to the effect of any words that fell from his lips. Though astute in his sense of what was practical, and appealing less often than Gladstone to ideal motives, he stood for character, principle and tradition, maintained public life on a high level, and despised the sensationalism of the journalist and the tricks of the politician.
Beside him, in his third Ministry, was Chamberlain, with all the keen instincts of the modern business man, seeing farther and less far than his grave, bearded chief. Yesterday the leader of English Radicalism and still exerting great influence in some democratic sections of the community, he was prepared for an alliance on terms with the older elements in the State.
Lord Salisbury, firm in the belief that ' Britain's greatest interest is peace,' held the mere avoidance of war to be the best security against revolution as well as against other ills. He well knew that the impressive fabric of modern industrial prosperity was so artificial as to demand above all things peace. He was Foreign Minister in his own Cabinet.
Chamberlain, who had chosen for himself the office of Colonial Secretary, gave it a new importance, and undertook the propaganda of a self-conscious Imperialism. The doctrine suited the spirit of the age. A dozen years back it had received an impetus from Sir John Seeley's book of lectures on the Expansion of England (1883), that had since spread to circles beyond the readers of Seeley.
The two parts of the new doctrine were, first the need to attach the white democracies oversea more closely to the idea of Imperial unity ; and secondly the need for the Empire to secure its share of new lands, in the scramble then going on for the rest of the world's unappropriated surface. These two aspects of Imperialism had perhaps no logical connection, but they were connected by the men and by the events of that time. Disraeli's continental and pro-Turkish Imperialism was not revived, but the new creed might lead to complications with foreign Powers over colonial questions, though not, indeed, if Lord Salisbury could help it.
Salisbury was inclined to favour the Triple Alliance of the Central Powers, more than the Dual Alliance of France and Russia, chiefly because of the hostile attitude of France on Egyptian and Colonial questions. But he kept England free from commitments in Europe, where the balance of power could still adjust itself without the help of our weight in either scale.
Lord Salisbury's great work was the dividing up of Africa with Germany, France and other countries, without a resort to arms. This he had largely accomplished during his second Ministry (1886-92). It was a great triumph for the principles of peace and negotiation as contrasted with the endless wars of previous epochs over the sharing up of America and Southern Asia. In 1890 the boundaries of German and British possessions in South and Central Africa were defined, in connection with the work of British pioneers in Nyassaland and the territories of Rhodes' Chartered Company. The fact that Salisbury bargained away Heligoland against Zanzibar showed how much more our statesmen were then thinking of colonial expansion than of any danger to our fundamental security in Europe or in the British seas. Such danger did not then exist.
The interior of ' Darkest Africa ' opened out by Living-stone, H. M. Stanley and other explorers, had become ripe for white control and in places for white settlement, because railways, tinned foods, modern weapons and tropical hygiene at length enabled Europeans to penetrate and to inhabit regions where their fathers had perished. It was fortunate that the day of the white man's unlimited power over the black had not come earlier, whilst his only idea of a relation with the aborigines had been the profits of slavery and the slave trade. That bad spirit had not indeed entirely been exorcised among all the white races in their dealings with Africa. But Britain at least made good use in Nigeria and elsewhere of the white man's new ¡power to suppress the slave--trade and intertribal massacres.
The new situation opened out many difficult problems for the Empire, how far and for what purposes the native might be exploited by the newcomer, what were to be his rights either of retaining or of parting with tribal land and tribal custom. In all these questions the Home Government was often in the position of umpire between missionaries and settlers, chiefs and tribesmen. As among the nations of Europe, Britain had the greatest share of Africa and the greatest responsibility in these matters. On the whole that proved very fortunate for the African.
During the last twenty years of the century, so full of romantic adventure for the commercial pioneers of the Dark Continent, an old state policy of Tudor and Stuart times was revived. Chartered Companies were formed, like those trading companies of long ago which had been the first representatives of England's political and military power in the East. Such companies, employing their own capital, were granted political authority in Nigeria, Uganda and British South Africa. These delegations of sovereign power, useful at early stages of pioneering development, were resumable by the Crown as soon as the new district was fit to become a Colony.
It was in connection with the most famous of these Chartered Companies that Cecil Rhodes became a figure of inter-national importance. The child of an English parsonage, he had gone to South Africa for his health, and had there become a mining magnate in the Kimberley diamond world, and a leading figure in Cape politics. He valued money as a means to power, and power as a means to spread British influence and ideals. His policy, analogous to that of the Afrikander Bond, aimed at co-operation on equal terms between the Dutch and British races, and the Federation of the two Dutch Republics and the two British Colonies in a United South Africa. Chamberlain in 1889 complained that he was more of an Afrikander than an Imperialist.
But Rhodes, though friendly to the Afrikander Bond, had ideas of his own, and they sprang from an idealised belief in the British race and Empire. He had determined to extend South Africa's sphere of influence into the far northern interior, and to carry Britain's power and the progressive part of the Afrikander ideal into the lands that Livingstone had explored. Such was his dream. His nightmare was lest the Germans should be before him, and should extend their sphere of influence across Africa from the western sea to the Portuguese territory on the eastern coast. If the Germans could once make that step across the continent they would shut in South Africa from all chance of future expansion, and would incidentally get into touch with the more reactionary elements among the Transvaal Boers. These elements, represented by President Kruger, had already been much encouraged by the episode of the Majuba war.
Rhodes, ever the most practical of visionaries and the most visionary of men of business, dreamed of a Cape-to-Cairo railway through British territory. And so, in 1889, he secured from the home government a Charter conferring political powers north of the Limpopo River on the British South Africa Company. Armed with the Charter, he proceeded to develop not only Matabeleland and Mashonaland, but to push the future ` Rhodesia ' far north of the Zambesi, to join up with other British pioneering work in Nyassaland, along that doubtful southern border of German East Africa which Lord Salisbury was engaged in defining by negotiation.1
In 1890 Rhodes had become Prime Minister of the Cape. His position in South Africa and his reputation in England and the world at large was unique. He was almost as much talked about as Parnell. The two men differed from each other, but they differed still more strongly from anyone else. Some modern Plutarch should draw a parallel between them. Rhodes gave Parnell L10,000 for his Home Rule campaign, seeing its importance to Imperial Federation ; he described the Irish chief as ' the most reasonable and sensible man I ever met.'
At the new year of 1895–6 came the fall of Rhodes. It was less complete than that of Parnell, but the Jameson Raid dealt, to his life's work of uniting the British and Dutch on a progressive platform, a blow from which the policy never recovered in his own lifetime. Up to the fatal Christmas of 1895 the Dutch of the Orange River Colony and the Cape had many of them believed in Rhodes and were not in sympathy with the reactionary party among the Transvaal Boers headed by President Kruger.
The situation in South Africa had for ten years past been complicated by a new element. The discovery of gold reefs on the long ridge of the Witwatersrand Hills north of the Vaal River, led to the growth of Johannesburg as a cosmopolitan centre in the heart of the little republic of Bible-reading farmers. The seventeenth century and the late nineteenth century were brought into dangerously sudden contact, which the obstinacy of one party and the impatience of the other soon drew on to tragic issues.
Paul Kruger was a man of ability and force of character, with ideas limited to those of the farmer patriarchs whom he had accompanied on the original ' great trek ' out of British territory sixty years before. He denied the Republican franchise to the newcomers, obstructed their mining developments, yet taxed them heavily. The quarrel between the ` Uitlanders ' and the President waxed hot. Rhodes then held power in a double capacity, as Premier of the Cape, and as Managing Director of the British South Africa Company, whose Rhodesian developments, encircling the Transvaal to the north, added greatly to Kruger's old-world fears. In an evil hour Rhodes committed an act which seemed to justify all the President's harsh forebodings and jealousies. He secretly offered the aid of the armed forces of the British South Africa Company to a projected rising of Uitlanders. In other words, Rhodesia was to invade the Transvaal, at the orders of the Prime Minister of the Cape.
The projected rising at Johannesburg was never attempted, and Rhodes cancelled too late his orders for invasion, because the non-British section of the Uitlanders objected to the Union Jack, and aimed at an international republic. Unfortunately Dr. Jameson, administrator of Rhodesia, contrary to his chief's latest instructions, began the invasion of the Transvaal with six hundred troopers, who were surrounded and captured by the Boers before ever they reached Johannesburg. They were handed over to the British Government and imprisoned.
This weak and foolish outrage united the Dutch race against the British all over South Africa. Rhodes, who was implicated up to the hilt, resigned the Premiership of the Cape. He appeared before a Parliamentary committee of inquiry in London, whose proceedings did not succeed in removing from Dutch minds their suspicions of the attitude of the British government. Words used by Chamberlain in Parliament seemed to them too favourable to Rhodes, while Rhodes' public utterances left them with the impression that the English only regretted the affair because it had failed.
' I found all the 'busmen smiling at me when I came to London,' said Rhodes, ' and then I knew I was all right ! ' The excuse for the attitude of a great part of the British public towards the Raid was the telegram of the Kaiser offering his sympathy to Kruger. Three years later Rhodes met the Kaiser and said to him about these events, ' You see, I was a naughty boy, and you tried to whip me. Now my people were quite ready to whip me for being a naughty boy, but directly you did it, they said, " No, if this is anybody's business, it is ours." The result was that Your Majesty got yourself very much disliked by the English people, and I never got whipped at all I '
The reactionary party among the Transvaal Boers now had the game in their hands. They began to arm on quite a new scale for a war which they henceforth regarded as inevitable. Worst of all, Dutch sympathy in the Orange Free State and the Cape was now more with them than against them. The stage was set for the great Boer War with which the century closed.
In 1896 Sir Herbert Kitchener, Sirdar of the Egyptian army, began operations southwards against the Soudan. It seemed an answer from the far north to Rhodes' Cape-to-Cairo scheme, but in fact it was only the fulfilment of Cromer's long-cherished purpose, possible at last now that he had given Egypt sound finances and a reliable army.'
Long preparation and forethought, local knowledge, mechanical perfection, and withal economy of expenditure, marked Kitchener's two and a half years' campaign. It ended in the conquest of all the obstacles of the desert, and the annihilation with machine-gun and magazine-rifle of the fanatical Mandist hordes at Omdurman outside Khartoum. The Soudan under Mandism had been the focus of revived Mohammedan slave-trade in the interior of Africa. The conquest and government of the Soudan by a civilised Power was essential to the welfare of the continent, as well as to the safety of Egypt.
Unlike Egypt, the Soudan fell unconditionally under British and Egyptian rule, free from interference by any other country. But there was first a sharp diplomatic struggle with France, at one moment threatening war. Some French explorers under Major Marchand had reached Fashoda, higher up the river even than Khartoum, at the time of Kitchener's conquest. But their claim on behalf of France was disallowed. Feeling between the two countries was further embittered by the sympathy of the British public with the wrongs of Captain Dreyfus. The victory of the ' revisionists,' who had demanded his retrial, shortly afterwards made the way easier for a rapprochement with England.
A few years after the Fashoda incident, France realised that it was too late to renew her ambitions on the Nile, and in return for our recognition of her claims in Morocco, abandoned her hostility to our presence in Egypt. The difficulties of our administration in the new century were to arise not from the Capitulations or from the hostility of European Powers, but from the spirit of nationalism, rising there as in India, and no longer to be denied, even though our administration conferred great benefits on the peasantry and the people at large.
Meanwhile the mother country had been aroused to a living interest in the Dominions and Colonies, and Australasians as well as Canadians had begun to be keenly conscious of their position in the Empire and their relation to powers outside it. Talk about secession and ` parting friends ' died away as the century drew near its close. The first Imperial Conferences had been held, in connection with the Queen's two Jubilees, the pageantry and sentiment of which took on an Imperial even more than a national aspect in appealing to the popular imagination.
There was, however, a set-back to the first plans of British statesmen, who had hoped to create a formal constitution and parliament for a federated Empire. That idea was coldly received in the self-governing Dominions. Each was now a growing nation, proud of its own distinctive ideals, and more anxious to obtain security by association with kindred nations than to merge its individuality and rights of independent action in a larger whole. What great things voluntary co-operation could do for the Empire was shortly to be shown in the action of Canada and Australasia in the Boer War, as it has since been shown on a vaster scale and in a time of yet more tragic peril.
Blood-relationship, affection and common traditions were potent, and so too was the desire for a mutual guarantee of security against outside aggression. In the 'eighties and 'nineties Australia began to be uneasily conscious of the ` Pacific problem,' of the Germans in New Guinea and Samoa, and of the rising power of ' Westernised ' Japan, with her critical eyes turned on the vast spaces denied to Oriental immigrants by the ' White Australia ' policy. That policy, originating in the Trade Unions, has in our day become a national resolve. But a national resolve of so serious a character demands a nation to enforce it. Not only a sense of the value of the Imperial connection and of the British fleet, but the desire for internal unity was quickened among the Australian colonies in the last years of the old century. In 1900, after a decade of discussion and postponement, the terms of the Federal Union were agreed upon, the several colonies be-coming States of the Australian Commonwealth.' Three weeks before the death of Queen Victoria, the birth of the new nation was proclaimed on the first day of the new century.
The Dominion of Canada had achieved Federal Union a generation before under the leadership of Sir John Macdonald.' His death in 1891 was soon followed by the end of the long supremacy of the Canadian Conservative party, to whom the Imperial connection had owed most. But the new Liberal party, when it came to power, although it was largely dependent on the votes of the French Catholic element, learned to set a high value on the Empire, during the Premiership of Sir Wilfred Laurier. His striking figure was the observed of all observers in London at the Jubilee of 11397, and his government gave to the mother country a preference of over thirty per cent. in the Canadian tariff.
In the 'eighties and 'nineties the revived protectionism of Canada and the United States helped to cause friction between them. Dangerous disputes about fishing rights and the Alaskan boundary at Klondyke were continually postponed and eventually settled by a series of agreements and arbitrations.
But the most serious danger of war with the United States arose on a question that did not concern Canada. Periodic disputes as to the boundary between the South American Republic of Venezuela and British Guiana had been in process for generations. It was a diplomatic ' case in Chancery,' with-out a beginning anyone remembered or an end anyone expected. At length in the summer of 1895 the United States began seriously to put forward claims to a decisive voice in the matter, under an extended modern interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine.3 ' Today the United States,' wrote Secretary Olney, ' is practically sovereign on this Continent, and its fiat is law upon the subjects to which it confines its interposition.' Lord Salisbury did not admit the claim. Suddenly, in December 1895, President Cleveland, hitherto noted for a generally pacific policy, sent a message to Congress asserting the claim of the United States to be a party in the dispute, at the cost, if necessary, of war.
On both sides of the Atlantic men were taken completely by surprise. But while America rose up with a shout to support the President, England gave an instinctive cry of horror at the idea of war with the United States. It was the Christmas of the ' Jameson Raid,' and when the Kaiser telegraphed his sympathies to Kruger, England was far more angry with his interference than with that of President Cleveland. Lord Salisbury, aroused to the seriousness of the situation, took the Venezuela question in hand in his best manner, and consented to submit the boundary to arbitration on certain conditions. The ` suit in Chancery ' was soon settled, not unfavourably to Britain, whose claims had not been immoderate, though her objection to submit the question to an arbitrator had been carried on too long:
The outcome of President Cleveland's message was an improvement in the relations of the two countries. They now understood each other better. A new and extended interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine was in essence accepted by British public opinion, even though some of Secretary Olney's phrases about ' sovereignty ' are to be regarded as rhetorical. The Americans on their part discovered that England was no longer the England of Palmerston, and was very much more friendly and anxious to avoid offence than in the days of Lincoln and the Civil War. A sincere desire to prevent all danger to peace was soon dominant in both countries. An impetus was given to the movement for arbitration in general, and in particular for arbitration between Great Britain and the United States in all future cases of dispute.
In 1898 the United States went to war with Spain about Cuba. Again the instinctive friendliness of Great Britain formed a contrast to the past and a pledge for the future. While continental Europe took the side of Spain, British public opinion was equally strongly for America. From that date a better era in British-American relations began, based on mutual goodwill, felt by practically all the British on one side, and by very large sections of the inhabitants of the United States on the other, especially among those of British origin. The Boer War of the following year would have aroused a much more formidable anti-British movement in America, if it had come before instead of after the Venezuela incident and the Spanish-American War.
During the three years that bridged the old century and the new, South Africa passed through a fiery ordeal towards ultimate reconciliation and union.
In 1899 the Uitlanders of Johannesburg began to petition Queen Victoria as to their wrongs. Chamberlain took up the franchise question with President Kruger, and a conference was held in June between the British High Commissioner, Sir Alfred Milner, and the Boer President. A franchise after five years' residence was demanded, and the old claim to ' suzerainty ' over the Transvaal was raised once more.
Unfortunately the events of three years back had strengthened Kruger's position among the Dutch of the Transvaal. Had it not been for the Raid, the growing de-sire among the younger men for a settlement would probably have overborne his obstinacy. Even now it was a question for British statesmen to decide, whether they should not wait for his death, and for the work of time to overlay the suspicion aroused by the Jameson adventure. But they were alarmed at the military preparation in the Transvaal, and they felt that they could not permit it to go forward. In one sense, indeed, they were not frightened enough by the military preparation, for they despised their enemy. They neglected all warnings, even when officially given, that in case of war the Orange Free State would join the Transvaal, and that mounted men in great numbers would be required to contend on equal terms with the Boers, all of whom were riders and marksmen, knowing the open veldt as sailors know the sea. On neither side were the negotiations carried on with a very earnest desire for peace.
In October 1899 war broke out, while our forces in South Africa were still quite inadequate. The Boers invaded our territory on three sides at once, and laid siege to Mafeking, Kimberley and Ladysmith.2 The gallant defence of these places saved Cape Colony from serious invasion, which political conditions would have rendered a terrible danger. In one ' black week ' of December the relieving forces destined for Ladysmith and Kimberley, and the force making head against the invasion of Cape Colony, were all three defeated. The most serious of these defeats was the check to Sir Redvers Buller in Natal in his attempt to cross the Tugela River at Colenso on the way to Ladysmith.
The week of disaster roused Britain and roused the Dominions, who voluntarily came forward in the hour of need. The Imperial idea, coupled with the individual nationhood of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, received an impetus such as no speeches or conferences could have given. France, Germany and Europe were hostile to our side of the quarrel, but the supremacy of the British fleet was unchallenged. Vast armies of British, Canadians and Australasians were hastily levied and poured into South Africa. The veteran Lord Roberts, of Afghan fame, was put in command, and Lord Kitchener of Khartoum was his Chief of Staff. The general direction of their march was from the neighbourhood of Kimberley through Bloemfontein to .Pretoria. On the way they captured a Boer army under Cronje at Paardeberg the turning point of the war. Their advance relieved the pressure on the besieged garrisons, and when the capitals of the two Republics were in his hands, Lord Roberts thought very excusably that he had brought the war to an end.
The relief of remote Mafeking, defended by Baden Powell, the destined founder of the Boy Scouts, was a welcome and romantic event, though not of great military importance. It aroused in the streets of English towns an orgy of relieved feelings and relaxed dignity. The scenes of ' Mafeking ' night gave token, alarming to many, that the city dweller of the new England was very different from the rural John Bull who had lit his quiet bonfire after Waterloo. But it is remarkable that no such scenes of ' mafficking' were witnessed during the Great War of our own day until the news arrived of its termination.
In Lord Roberts' campaign far more men had perished of typhoid than of wounds in battle. In the relatively greater destructive power of disease, the Boer War repeated the experience of many previous wars, but affords a striking contrast to the statistics 1914-18, when typhoid and cholera inoculation reserved the greatest hecatombs of victims for Mars in person. In the Boer War artillery played only a minor part, and after the first sharp lessons in December the fighting was in very open order, a magnified and ubiquitous skirmish over the veldt. We lost z0,000 lives in the three years of the war, the greater number by illness.
Rhodes had been in Kimberley during the siege, broken in health but with energy enough left to embarrass the military authorities. After the capture of Pretoria he, like others, thought for a while that the war was over. While still under this impression he made at Cape Town a prophetic speech, which may be taken as his last political will and testament. Oct. ` You think you have beaten the Dutch ! ' he said to the over-eager Loyalists who had come to hear him. It is not so. The Dutch are not beaten. What is beaten is Krugerism, a corrupt and evil government, no more Dutch in essence than English. No ! The Dutch are as vigorous and unconquered to-day as they have ever been ; the country is still as much theirs as yours, and you will have to live and work with them hereafter as in the past.' Two years later he was dead. His errors have been repaired and his higher hopes fulfilled by other men, not least by two great leaders of those Dutchmen whom he pronounced unconquered and designated as our future friends.
But while Rhodes on that October day was prophesying over the heads of the Loyalists at Cape Town, Louis Botha and Jan Christian Smuts, no less than De Wet and De la Rey, were girding up their loins to fight to the last for their country's freedom. The astonishing resistance of the Boer farmers proved able, under great leadership, to keep the whole force of the Empire busy for two more years.
It was a guerrilla war, but of a unique grandeur. The farmers were not in uniform ; we accepted. that irregularity and, instead of treating them as francs-tireurs, gave them all the rights of regular combatants. We had to employ whole armies to guard the long lines of railway which fed our troops, and the ` block-houses ' with which Kitchener occupied and con-trolled the country. ' Drives ' over whole districts brought us in prisoners and material, while the nomad Boer ` Commandos' often attacked and captured our men, and let them go again disarmed, having no means of keeping them. Finally, to catch the farmers in these vast spaces where the scattered population was on their side, it was found that no method would answer but to destroy their farms and concentrate their families in camps. Unfortunately, many of the children died there. In the end the material means of further resistance were exhausted.
A war fought under such conditions to the utmost limit of exhaustion might be expected to leave bitter memories that would prevent all hope of reconciliation. But there had been very little intentional cruelty on either side. And after the war, statesmanship and good feeling triumphed over fear and revenge.
By the Peace of Vereeniging the Boers became British subjects. They were promised money to rebuild their farms, self-government as soon as possible, and the Dutch and English languages in schools and law--courts. These terms were kept. The Conservative Ministry that made the Peace effected the material reconstruction, and the Liberal government of 1906, under Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's leadership, boldly trusted our late enemies with complete responsible self-government. Botha and Smuts rose to the head of affairs, and in i 909 the Union of South Africa was accomplished by the free act of all the Colonies concerned.
The various consequences that the Boer 'War had for Britain and the Empire do not belong to the History of the Nineteenth Century, which may well be closed with the death of Queen Victoria on January 2z, 1901.
Queen Victoria had put an end to the Republican movement in Great Britain and in the Dominions, not by what she had done, but by what she had been, and by what she had refrained from doing. She had won back public respect for the monarchy in her person. And she had disarmed political hostility to the throne by effacing its occupant as a governing power. It was her habit to express to her advisers, often with unnecessary emphasis, her views on all public questions, but she had not insisted on having her way. She had been content with a purely consultative function in relation to Ministers who were in effect chosen for her by Parliament, sometimes much against her own ideas of their fitness.
She had made the monarchy welcome everywhere, as the representative of the public life of the nation in its non-political aspects. All through her reign, but most of all during its last twenty years, she had appealed to the common human heart of plain people, as a woman who was herself decidedly a plain person,' more apt than the clever, the cultured or the aristocratic of soul to sympathise with the elementary joys and sorrows of her subjects. When she said that she was grieved by some public or private calamity, people knew that her sorrow was sincere, and of the same nature as their own. There was nothing superfine about Queen Victoria in her widowhood. None the less, she made the world recognise in her the symbol of all that was mighty and lasting in the life of England and of the races associated with England in Empire. Because she thus combined the very human and the very high, sentiment about her person became, at the end, akin to the religious. And for an Empire which desired to hold together in brotherhood, but refused to be federated into a single parliamentary Constitution, the only possible unit, in symbolism or in law, was found at last to be the historic Crown of Britain.
The middle and later years of the nineteenth century, the most progressively prosperous and, in the sum of genius and achievement, perhaps the most solidly great in our annals, have been called the Victorian era. Victoria did not, like Elizabeth or Louis XIV, decide by her personal choice the trend and policy of the age that bears her name. And yet, when her Jubilee came to be celebrated, the people did not dissociate her from their deep gratitude for what had happened to them and to their fathers, since the day when first she had stepped from the schoolroom to take the headship of a divided and impoverished nation.
Though all was not well in 1897, yet, in those sixty years past, millions had come out of the house of bondage and misery into which the unregulated advent of the Industrial Revolution had plunged its victims. In the same years our people had spread far over the face of the globe, carrying with them, on the whole, justice, civilisation and prosperity where they went. Great men of genius in literature, science and thought had adorned an age when civilisation seemed for awhile to be strong both in quantity and in quality, and had helped to make common during her reign certain standards of intellectual seriousness and freedom. As the little grey figure passed in her open carriage through the shouting streets, there was a sense that we had come into port after a long voyage. But in human affairs there is no permanent haven, and we are for ever setting out afresh across new and stormy seas.