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Page 69. line 6. for “ 216” read “ 209.” This refers to the absolute majority: the actual majority was forty, as afterwards stated, many of the Royalists not yet having taken their seats.
ENGLAND AND FRANCE.
AFTER an absence of two years I find myself once more in my native country. During this interval, a series of convulsions has violently affected the political aspect of Europe. In France, an ancient dynasty has been banished; in the Netherlands, a newly-created kingdom has been decomposed; a bloody revolt in Poland; fruitless struggles in Italy; insurrections in Germany and Switzerland, and invasions of Portugal : every where alarm, agitation, and disorder.
Amid all this wild commotion, our country still remains unchanged; still she is mistress u the Ocean, and she still possesses the power to become the arbiter of the Earth. As yet we retain Ireland; as yet we enjoy India; as yet our Mediterranean commerce is protected by our garrisons; as yet
our flag is not struck in America, from the groves of the Antilles to the snows of the Canadas; as yet a fifth Continent still promises to pour forth its riches to our enterprise ; and as yet the standard of St. George waves on that important promontory of South Africa, which at once divides and unites the Eastern and Western worlds.
How long, indeed, this glorious and unparalleled empire, raised by our heroic energies, may subsist, is, I confess, doubtful. Already the sceptre seems to tremble in the royal hand; already a mysterious dimness appears to steal over the brightest jewels of the imperial crown: but I am not one of those who readily yield to despair; I am willing to treat these omens rather as a warning than a prophecy; and although the effort may be unavailing, I will at least participate in the last struggle to maintain our deserved Supremacy.
The principle on which the British empire has been founded has simply been by acting for ourselves alone, and by pursuing, at the same time, a policy which rendered our supremacy the guarantee of the security of all other countries. Such a course of action can only be the career of a great people, a nation possessing resources equal to the magnitude of its genius; and such a course of action is now perhaps the only basis of
extended empire. One power alone has never been our instrument, ever our rival, often our victim. A worthy rival she has been, although an unsuccessful one; a noble victim, and a costly sacrifice. If geographical position and genial clime, if internal resources and native talent, are to be admired, FRANCE has ever been worthy of admiration.
We have struggled with this nation in all ages of our history, because we have both struggled for a prize which only one can enjoy - Supremacy. Our Henrys and our Edwards sacked their towns, wasted their treasures, and despoiled them of their fairest provinces. Cressy, and Poitiers, and Agincourt, are not yet forgotten, although we seem to have consigned to oblivion the days of Ramillies, and Malplaquet, and Blenheim, and although our present rulers appear to have fallen in with the Gallic estimate of those military mistakes, which we, in our ignorance, were wont to call the victories of Alexandria and Salamanca, Vittoria and Waterloo.
Under the most powerful of their legitimate sovereigns, we maintained against the French nation a long, an arduous, but, in the end, successful contest. This never-ceasing struggle was, at the commencement of the present century, by the conducted with unprecedented