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of Steam. His spiritual part, the reign which has brought forth so swiftness, the silence, the invisi- many? When the Queen came to bility, thrill the mind when we the throne the world was wrapt in find ourselves by his means almost perennial silence, as when Columtouching the hand of a friend bus sailed into the unknown. Now thousands of miles away; but the it thrills with sound around all the tools by which he reveals himself spheres, and in the twinkling of are singularly unimpressive, and an eye your friend's voice comes possess nothing of the tremendous back, in keen or kind response, material being which awes and from the end of the world. Is overwhelms the mind when we not this something to rave about see a great engine clanging, and When we were young
But plunging, and whirling his wheels you cry out, Oh, no more, please
, through the daylight. It is said about the Electric Telegraph; that the wires were twice removed don't we know everything that from the side of the first enter- can be said on that subject? It prising line that set them up, be- puts a girdle round the earth, &c. cause they were so ugly! Think It brings news of the son to the of that among all the contented mother, the husband to the wife ; ugliness of the early Victorian age! also of the precise moment to sell There is more possibility of being out your shares at an advantage ; fanciful about them now, when please, no more of it! And we subthey stretch like a blank score of mit: we are of that opinion, too, music across the sky everywhere, in ordinary circumstances.
Can shrilling by times an Eolian note anything be so vulgar and ugly, fillof their own, waiting for the ing the air above us and the earth music to be breathed into them, beneath us with its odious wires : and in the meantime playing with how careless the little clerks are the little birds who find a mo- at the side offices, too much taken mentary repose, a sort of rest-and- up by their gossip to attend to be-thankful perch, high amid the you: what a bore it is to be pelted airs of heaven! Now there are all with yellow envelopes by all sort sorts of whimsical and cheerful of insignificant people, explaining associations gathering about them. how they cannot dine with you (as We hear sometimes of an expected if you ever wanted them, save for birth, by a freak of time and space, civility !), or how sorry they were before it has occurred, so to speak, not to see you when you called and drink the health of the new- (a circumstance for which you born by a clock which has not yet yourselves gave thanks to Provisounded his birth - hour on the dence). Well ! we leave this second other side of the world!
Afreet to commend himself, as he We feel balf ashamed of our- does in almost every new combinaselves for proclaiming these won.
tion of circumstances, to every. ders. Is not this the sphere of body's business and bosom. It the penny-a-liner, who daily to would be a dark day for us all the listening earth proclaims the were we to be deprived of the aid story of these triumphs, with much of this Servant of the Queen. shedding of adjectives ? It is very Other "easements," like those well to laugh at the penny-a-liner, which Jeanie Deans recorded but what can the soberest narrator gratefully on her long and terrible do but shed adjectives also, when journey into England, have come he has to record the wonders of a to us along with the greater aids
of science. Jeanie Deans's journey what the French did more effectuis made in some hours now, and ally by the permanent waterway. without any expenditure of per- Our route was called the Overland sonal energy, a trifling matter not Route, with much pretension and to be thought of. We have often discomfort; and it was the first thought, however, that among attempt to shorten the long voythe grievances which the French age, or bring India within closer think they have against us, the reach. Our eastern possessions practical subtraction from them up to that time were scarcely of one of the greatest works nearer to us than when John of modern times, which was not Company first set foot upon their our work, is a very real grievance shores. indeed. We did not make the This wonderful change has Suez Canal, -We would not even altered our relations in many join in making it. We laughed ways with our great dependency, at it, wonderful to relate, taking gradually making the conditions our cue from a powerful but flip- of intercourse so different and so pant Minister; and when that much easier than of old, that nation flew to work with an Britain has an additional chance amount of feeling and enthusiasm of coming to understand India, which we seldom manifest, we con- and India to know more or less tinued to jeer like Lord Palmer- what Britain means—a still more ston: until there came a moment difficult matter. Going to India, when the jeer dropped, or was once almost the sacrifice of a turned upon ourselves. They life, — for many of the men in made that great work : but it is former days who filled the Serwe who have the advantage, and vices were twenty, thirty years in have got the control into our own unbroken exile,—has now become hands. If France dislikes this, a pleasure-trip for the wealthy, a we can only say she has very possibility for all.
A young good reason, and that it is natural civilian or officer no longer hesishe should. It may be partially tates to use his three months' her own fault, nevertheless it is leave in a visit home—six weeks apparent that it was a very for- at home being, he feels, "good tunate thing for us. The next gen- enough,” with all its reopenings eration, at least the uninstructed of kindness and refreshings of part of it, will probably refuse to mind, for the expenditure rebelieve that it was French science quired. How the old nabobs and enterprise which dug that dull would have stared at the rush ditch with its yellow sides out of home for six weeks of their young the sand, and made things so con. successors! There are no nabobs venient for us as we come and go now: the life of the West flows to our Indian possessions. Per freely to the Orient; that of the haps—let us flatter ourselves, that East, if not so freely, yet with a at least it was we who showed fulness extraordinary among those them the way.
For before de races, tends towards the West, Lesseps had stirred, or the first prejudice and terror of the black sod was cut, we had already begun water, and the inevitable (but to land at Alexandria and rattle temporary) loss of caste notwithacross the desert in the most standing. wretched of pseudo-railways, doing This, however, is not the only after a clumsier and easier method change in India since the Queen's accession. It was the country of Company had fallen, a tribute to the Company when her Majesty the righteousness of his cause. began to reign. The soldiers then Whether the Indian loves the were the Company's soldiers, and British rule better in consequence so were the statesmen, the admin- is a subject on which very few istrators, the actual rulers. The speak with any authority. That most exciting period of her his- great assembly of nations is a wontory, so far at least as our connec- der and mystery to all. What goes tion with her is concerned, has on over its vast surface, amid all its passed in the Victorian age. The courts and seats of antique learnmost vigorous effort ever made in ing, in its temples and mosques, the East to shake off British rule in the villages which we do was made in 1857 in the Mutiny. not know, and the bazaars which It was then that we discovered in we do not understand, who shall Great Britain how close to our say? But the Indian princes, who pride, our interest, and our heart are gradually acquiring the habit was the sway of India. No war of presenting themselves at her perhaps ever moved a people so Majesty's Court, and the native completely, who were themselves soldiers who will swell the Queen's out of reach of its atrocities. pageant in June, and who are also There was no sacrifice that could acquiring the habit of fighting for have been made, which would her flag in various regions of the have been regarded at home, and earth, maydo much towards mutual by the people, as too much to pre- understanding,-unless they should serve and recover the great con- make the misunderstanding deeper, tinent which had rebelled against which also is possible too. Inour sway, and to punish those who dia the unchangeable has changed had insulted the sovereignty of under the Queen's reign as perEngland. The fury was almost haps never before. The East has individual throughout the length learned to come to the Westand breadth of the land. When the West has sent trade, manufacthe struggle was finally over and tures, crowds of visitors. A certhe rebel subdued, the Company tain unity seems to have grown up had to give place to the Imperial between the kingdoms which acGovernment, and henceforward knowledge the same sovereign. there was no authority in India Bat how far this is to be trusted but that of the Queen. The differ- no man knows. ence was little, in practical mat- Beside all these fundamental ters, but we have been told that changes, two great principalities the subtle Indian mind found a or kingdoms have been added to consolation in its defeat, from the empire in India—the Punjab, the fact that, though the Queen with its manly races and moderate was victorious, the rebel also climate; the mysterious empire of had a kind of victory in the Burmah, rich in barbaric pearl downfall of the Company. He and gold - enough territory and accepted it as success, and was wealth to make a puissant monarch rather elated than humbled by in their own ground alone, but the fact that the foot which now scarcely noted in the vast extent held him down was a royal foot, of British possessions. and that though the great Queen of the West had triumphed over
intelligence, of our own race, and days, or a German independent sharing all our methods of thought, duchy. Each, indeed, is a country is formed by the Colonies wbich go in itself, with its own Rulers and round the world and trace the boun- laws, though all in faithfullest addaries of empire, always carrying herence to the Mother country, and with them the English tongue and Her who represents that Mother name. Our Colonies are no mush- with a force and meaning greater rooms, springing up in a night, no perhaps than any other symbolism seedlings struggling into artificial existing--being in herself the nabeing, but well assured, and deeply tural Mother to whom that entire planted, adopting the Antipodes world may be said to have been as if they were its native children, born; for Australia has no bappy and adding many a blossom of the memory that goes beyond the wilds triumphantly, as if by na- Queen. ture, to the oaken fabric of their All her prosperities, the great native growth. All through this facts of her existence, belong to and age the influences which form have been developed by the great nations bave been at work with. Victorian age. The visitors from out a pause, persistent, unweary- that newest of new worlds (though ing, with results that sound like the scientific people say it is so the telling of a fairy tale. That antiquated a world, with its oldgreat Australia, which is now so fashioned beasts who have survived teeming with life, so rich in flocks nowhere else) who are coming to and herds, so busy in all the crafts grace the Queen's commemoration and arts, possessed, when the reign are as a class the most wonderful, began, little more than a fringe of the most whimsical settlements round the coast, and ever monarch invited. They are even these apparently doomed not nobles and chiefs as in the old from their beginning, being built, world, nor sheep-farmers nor goldas some reckless constructors of diggers, nor the aristocracy of mercheap houses build, upon the foul- chants, shipowners, and suchlike, est dust-heap, a mass of human as in a perfectly new community débris, worse than the uncleanest they might be. They are Prime rinsings of road and stable. A Ministers! Imagine a modern mass of convicts discharged out of sovereign who is able to invite English prisons, to ease the respon- a dozen first officers of State, sibilities of the home country at Premiers of Cabinets and Parliathe cost of ruining the new, seems ments—all ruling in her name, putto us now an extraordinary found- ting forth proclamations, making ation on which to plant an honest laws which will be known in the race or build solid institutions: but courts as 1000th Victoria, and fortunately the mistake became which run under the title of our apparent before it went too far. gracious Sovereign lady the Queen In these sixty years Australia — to her great celebration! When has wiped out all trace of its con- you think of it, so simple as it is, vict settlements, and become one expressed in the soberest everyday of the most rich and prosperous words, it is the most memorable communities in the world, if com- invitation, worthy of a Cyrus or munity that can be called which an Alexander. All the Prime is made up of so many states, each Ministers! all the Satraps, Tea great principality in itself, larger trarchs, Princes-Palatine, subject than a French province in former kings ! It is like great Rome at her greatest, when she was far less the Queen, who have made her reign Mistress of the world. To think illustrious, and extended her power of that great circle of loyal gov- over all the world, without being ernments makes the head of the more than dumb obedient forces, spectator whirl round.
There put together by men's hands. were no prime ministers in Aus- Her Majesty has had no personal tralia when Queen Victoria as- influence upon the benevolent yet cended her throne. People were terrible Dæmons of Electricity and still building, protesting, upon that Steam. But when we come into dust-heap, which the mother coun- higher spheres and have to consider try had “shot” upon their shores. the human offshoots of her empire, Now the shores are clean, they are those who make up the Greater royal, washed by broad seas upon Britain which circles all the seas, which Australian ships go to and the goodly race of Sons which gird fro, fringing a great interior, in us about, out-measuring, out-numwhich a vast world of life and bering our original empire, but labour exists-in which they elect never out-growing the family parliaments and form cabinets, and bond, we cannot fail to feel that make great fortunes, and try great the Queen's name, her influence, experiments for our edification and her character, the unique and their own: without however pull- great personality which all the ing out of gear the noble elastic world recognises, has had an almost machinery of government, which incalculable part in reviving that they have carried with them across old passion of loyalty which had the seas, and by which they rule dropped for a time, and looked as and obey, perfecting themselves in if it were never to be a living inall the high principles of Power. fluence more. Sixty years since it
would have been folly to calculate Once we lost a great colony, upon that visionary principle as chiefly perhaps by our own folly, anything appreciable in the econvery few people in Great Britain omy of State. The romantic knowing exactly how, and still thinker who considered it at all as fewer caring. It was a loss which a possible influence of any importeven at the time was regarded with- ance would for very shame have out bitterness, and never has much laughed a little at himself, to detroubled the British mind since, precate the laughter of others at though our American friends love the mention of anything belonging to think that we keep up a grudge so entirely to the old world, to the on the subject. And when Queen days when kings were served by Victoria ascended the throne there subjects on their knees, and the was a great deal of foolish indif- touch of a royal hand was believed ference about our other outlying to cure one of the most deeply possessions, and newspapers and rooted of maladies—such were the philosophers were fond of remind- opinions of 1837. But that is ing them that they might go if sixty years since. Now we have they pleased, and that nobody pushed Modernity, as the clever would lift a finger to retain them. people call it, to the farthest But it is a very different thing deal. bounds. And whence comes this ing with men and with mechani- old loyalty, this ancient passion, cal forces, however great, or even which has sprung up amongst us Science, however wise. We have more warm, more strong, than it spoken of the two great Servants of has been for hundreds of years ?