Two Pillars of the Empire
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The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 5 May 1904, p. 217-227


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DuMoulin, Right Rev. J. Philip, Speaker
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The verdict of the people generally recorded in favour of constructive statesmanship. Evidence for that statement throughout history. The Two Pillars of the Empire, the first being that of Commerce. Napoleon's insolent taunt that England was a "nation of shop keepers." The truth in that statement. Ways in which this is deeply written in their history; that in great movements commerce seems to have come first, and when troubles and difficulties arose the sword of England was unsheathed to protect the great empire of commerce she had previously built up and established. Tracing and recognizing this very distinctly and very vividly in the stories of the three great Chartered Companies whose history is so identified with the progress and upbuilding of the Empire: the East India Company, The Hudson's Bay Company, and the South African. A discussion of each, with brief history. The other pillar of our Empire its language. Ways in which the English language is another pillar of the Empire. English spoken now as the first language in the world.
Date of Original:
5 May 1904
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English
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TWO PILLARS OF THE EMPIRE.
Address delivered by the Right Rev. J. Philip DuMoulin, D.D., D.C.L., Bishop of Niagara, at the Empire Club Luncheon, on May 5th, 1904.

MR. PRESIDENT,--am sure it is a great pleasure to me to find myself among so many loyal laymen and, although just now under the command of the gallant Colonel, I do not find myself under fire, I do find myself under considerable smoke. I do not strongly object to it, however, though I do not indulge in it myself; and I am sorry to say smoke is an atmosphere that I am afraid you have been painfully acquainted with in this part of Toronto quite recentlv.

I think you will agree with me, Gentlemen, that the verdict of history and the verdict of the people generally has been recorded in favour of constructive statesmanship. Men pay very little regard to those whose office and mission amongst them seems to be to level and to pull down. The men whose names are emblazoned today upon the pages of history, and will be had in everlasting remembrance, are the great Empire builders from Alexander downwards, through Caesar, and Charlemagne, and Napoleon, and even to the great names that our fathers and ourselves remember, Clive and Hastings and Beaconsfield and, last, but not least, Cecil Rhodes. It is a very remarkable thing that to this day in England the name of Lord Beaconsfield is had in a brighter and stronger remembrance, though he is longer dead, than the name of his great rival, Mr. Gladstone. Mr. Gladstone was a man of great purity of character and life, of noble disinterestedness; was selfdenying, was deep in his religious thought and life, was great and commanding in his labours and in his eloquence; but to this day it would be impossible in England to evoke enthusiasm and gather it around the name and memory of William Ewart Gladstone as, voluntarily, it springs up and burns brightly around the name of Lord Beaconsfield. Whenever the anniversary of his death-day comes around in England you will meet on the crowded streets, from the highest to the lowest, people wearing on their breast the primrose in honour of that great man whose life-work it was to build up and to strengthen and not to give away or to lower the great Empire to which it is our pride to belong.

I have to say, or try to say, a few words to you now briefly, so as not to encroach upon your valuable time, upon what I have ventured to call " Two Pillars of the Empire." One of these, I think, unmistakably and unquestionably, is the strong pillar of Commerce. That insolent taunt that Napoleon in the days of his power hurled against England that she was a nation of shop keepers was notwithstanding eminently true. A commercial people undoubtedly the English always have been. And this is deeply written in their history, that in great movements commerce seems to have come first, and when troubles and difficulties arose the sword of England was unsheathed to protect the great empire of commerce she had previously built up and established. Now, you will have no difficulty whatever in tracing and recognizing this very distinctly and very vividly in the story of the three great Chartered Companies whose history is so identified with the progress and upbuilding of the Empire. These work out the idea that I have just expressed. They arose in that intensely commercial spirit of the Anglo-Saxon people, and when they were pushed in their progress into collision with great powers and great oppositions then came in the military spirit that conquered, and improved and retained what previously had been gained in a commercial way. These three chartered corporations that have built up the commercial empire of the Anglo-Saxon race have given her three-quarters of her territory and nine-tenths of her population. My young friends, if I may venture so to address the younger members of this Club, you could hardly employ your leisure hours in a more interesting and fascinating study than the history of those three corporations.*

That of the Fast India Company in point of order comes first. It is a magnificent romance. They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and so here that saying is wrought out and exhibited. If one sat down with all the brilliancy of his imagination to write a thrilling story he could not have done so in a way superior to that in which the literal story of the Fast India Company has been written indirectly by the pen of Lord Macaulay. And whenever we go back to the history of that wonderful company that added to England the brightest gem in the Crown, its most valuable possessions and the greatest number of its subjects-whenever, I say, we revert to that history we are forcibly reminded that it did not begin with dreams of ambition as to conquest and subjugation. It was not set on foot for the acquisition of territory; it was not set agoing to put down foreign races and take possession of their lands, and make them our slaves. No such thing. It originated in the commercial idea of the nation of shop-keepers. Men who had done well, merchant princes, bankers and capitalists-men who had money at command and were filled with the dream of profitable investment looked across the seas, listened to the stories, the romantic stories, that came to them of rubies and rupees, and furs and silks, and cashmere and ivory, and splendid works; all the riches of the Indies, as it were, within their grasp.

They did not organize armies to attack those people and to wrench those possessions from them. They employed the army of their money, of their golden pounds; they sent out their capital; they obtained a charter for a company? That Company went out and traded; did well; did famously; sent home good returns; and as these increased and the East India Company became renowned for its success and its almost fabulous wealth, then arose, as will generally arise under such conditions, oppositions and difficulties which led to subsequent and mare

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* Articles by Professor Seeley, H. Davis, and Essays by Lord Macaulay on Clive and Hastings.

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important events. Collision with the native princes was inevitable; their traditions could not go down silently before the influence and march of the Anglo-Saxon race. Three of their greatest cities, indeed, owed their building up, if not their origin, to that great English enterprise, but the mind of the Oriental is not attracted by commercial success and, therefore, great and dreadful oppositions commenced. The Indian potentates opposed themselves, and it was in this condition of things, as every one will remember, that that most wonderful hero of history arose, whose name shines like a star, but like a star going down behind a cloud, Lord Clive--a young man who was sent out to India as a worthless fellow to save him from idleness. He, in those circumstances, developed a military genius second only, perhaps, to that of Napoleon. He conquered the opposition; he avenged the horrible wrongs and outrages that had been committed upon his race. He wrote his name in letters of glory on the history of that country, and it has been said by Lord Macaulay, in tracing in his wonderful way his life and works, that if he had lived till the American Revolution he would in all probability have been placed in command of the British forces and George Washington might not have had the easy triumph that he obtained.

I need not detain you with details and particulars with which you are well acquainted. I have only to remind you in passing that Warren Hastings completed what Lord Clive began; that he organized what Clive had founded. It is true that these men did well for themselves, and well for the capitalists and the Company that they represented, and, as subsequent events have shown, well for the Great Empire. It is a very wonderful thing, gentlemen, as we recall the pages of history, that the greatest achievements of heroes and mighty men of old, in those times whereof I speak, as well as in our own, were obtained despite the opposition of the very people that should have stood by them and encouraged them. Lord Clive had to give account of himself before a Commission. Warren Hastngs, as you know, was impeached by all the eloquence of Burke, and the whole array of orators that composed the Parliamentary Party of the closing years of George III.'s reign. The little man, small and insignificant as he appeared, but towering head and shoulders above other men with superior advantages, won the victory and was restored to the confidence of the English people. Then followed years of trouble and wars with which were identified the name of Wellesley. These names are connected with the rise and progress and the years of trouble and decay of the East India Company, and then came the days when the great statesman that our glorious Queen loved, and who loved her with a devoted and unswerving loyalty, was able to call upon Parliament to recognize her as the Empress of India.

The commercial triumphs and the commercial prosperity were accomplished, the military glory was established. Millions upon millions were added to England's empire, and a mighty empire, grand and rich, was placed under the Imperial Crown and Government. This was not only a great commercial triumph, this was not only a great State acquisition, but this was the very best thing that in the government of God Almighty, and in the minds of all reasonable and thinking men could have befallen that ancient portion of the earth. For hundreds of years it had been rent by war, bloodshed and misrule; its treasures unknown, and when known, wasted or thrown away with prodigality unexampled; all such prolonged disasters happily ended with the reign of Her Majesty over that vast country, bringing to it peace and prosperity, and the best government under the sun. As we read this history and recall the other Powers of the world that had the opportunity of doing these things and mark their failure, can you and I, gentlemen, for a single moment withhold our sober conviction that we are now the subjects of an empire that God Almighty in his Providential rule over this world has raised up and advanced and strengthened to be the greatest boon for the people of the world that has yet appeared. One can only touch the outer fringe of this great chapter of history and commend it to your careful consideration. It is enough to fill the breasts of the Anglo-Saxon race with a pride which should energize them to noble deeds and purposes high and great and lofty.

From this we pass to another chartered company, "The Hudson's Bay Company." This is prosaic after the glitter of the East India Company's story; but comparatively dull, as it may be, you will mark in it this feature that dominates the whole history and career of the Anglo-Saxon race. There is in the Hudson's Bay Company, manifestly put forth, the same indomitable enterprise that led men in the century before to wrestle with the jungle and with the tropical heat and fire; the same spirit which sends them now alike to strive with eternal snows and everlasting ice and all the blasts, blizzards and storms of the frigid and inhospitable regions of the great North-West. They, too, saw in that unknown land so far away, the same prospects of good investments; as yet they knew not the mineral treasures that lay beneath those mountains and rolled through those rivers and rested in immeasureable lands, but they sent out their capital and their men and the dashing Prince Rupert and Marlborough the Grand, and after that you may read such names as McTavish and MacKenzie and Simpson, names that give you to understand that where people bearing them take a grip they do not easily let it go.

We come down through the usual sliding scale. The poor Indian was a poor competitor with such men who were sucking the riches of his country and taking his forests, prairies and rivers. Little wonder that he tried to roll back this tide and to keep his possessions. Little wonder that there were troubles and rebellions to be quelled. And, then, we meet with another renowned name, that of Donald Smith. They call him, as well he deserves to be called, Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, but I venture to say there are some here today who would prefer the resounding name of Donald Smith. In these times when the troubles there were great as they had been in the East India Territory, the arms of England were brought in, the military force, not to crush those people, not to make them serfs, not to drive them out, not to treat them cruelly, as so often has been done by the troops of the United States, bayonet in hand, but to give them every blessing that good government and Christianity could bring to their doors. There was nothing that could have been devised, nothing that could have been done for the aboriginal inhabitants of that continent that the British Government in its generosity did not undertake and strive to do. If Indians are not the people they ought to be it is their own fault. Some people say the only good Indian is a dead Indian. But, however that may be, he is destined to disappear before the advance of that race that must conquer. And so came the day as it was in India, when the Company having prospered commercially and made all it could well have made, handed over the territory to the great Crown and to the flag which is the insignia of Liberty and Prosperity wherever it waves.

Now we come to the last chartered Company, the South African, and here all the romance of your souls may gather around that name, of which every Englishman ought to be everlastingly proud, Cecil Rhodes. If ever there was an unselfish patriot, if ever there was a broad-minded man, it was the man who lies there amid the lofty hills and sleeps in the land that he did so much to make great. He understood the riches of that country, its diamonds and all its resources. He induced the capitalists to obtain the charter and founded the Company. But though he was commercially interested in this, as he said himself, "I have joined commerce and imagination," he had other, and, may I say, wider and nobler dreams. You have heard the story that as he sat one evening after dinner with his friends, and a map of South Africa was lying open on the table, he said, " I want to see it all red." That was his dream. And for that he laboured, beginning at the beginning with the commercial basis and establishing the Company, that the capitalists of England are ever ready to establish, for the promotion not merely of the selfish, but of the higher ends of humanity.' I need not pursue the history of that Company, or the difficulties with which that splendid man had to contend; the traitorous plans of the meanest enemy, Paul Kruger; the weakness and vacillation of him who was called by a vast number the " Grand Old Man," and of whom I desire to say nothing harsh or unkind, but of whom all Englishmen must say this, that at Majuba Hill he gave up the cause and buried the flag.

Then came the days of internal struggles and threatening wars; the days of conspiracy and the blunder of the Jameson Raid which dethroned Cecil Rhodes from his position at Cape Town and obliged him to retire from the Presidency of the Company that he had organized and established. But he lived long enough to foresee what the issue would be in that case, as in the other two, that the whole land should be ours, not for purposes of vain-glorious display, not for the covetous, but for the best interests and the highest good and the greatest happiness of the people of South Africa, and all the people who shall make that country their home. Here we have one great pillar of empire, Commerce. As has been said, the French were a military people; the Dutch a commercial people. The English are both, and by combining the two have established in the world the greatest Empire " that has been." How we are to hold this commercial supremacy, how best to steer the ship through the waves that now seem to begin beating against her, it is not my office to tell you, Gentlemen, here today. You are more familiar with these subjects than I could pretend to be. Only let us all make up our minds to this that as far as our individual and collective efforts go we will not suffer the great inheritance that has descended to us to be impaired by our incompetency, or negligence, or ignorance.

I must now for a moment turn to another pillar of our Empire upon which, as you see, a few moments alone can be bestowed. The other pillar of our Empire is its language. Wherever in this world you find a great man he must have a language in which to pour out his greatness and make other peoples and nations feel it. If he were a dummy his influence would be contracted and limited beyond the power of description. And so it is with our great Empire. If she is to spread herself;' if she is to leaven the world, if she is to be a teacher as great as her power, she must have a language and speech in which to express all the noble treasures laid up in her bosom. And so the English language is another pillar of the Empire upon which I would say a few words today. It is one of our noblest inheritances, one of our grandest possessions, and it comes down to us through the long roll and sweep of the centuries, beginning with the rugged old Anglo-Saxon tongue, so strong and striking, so honest, unequivocal and unmistakable in its assertions and propositions; onwards it flows through the stream and mixes with the Norman, French, and then with the Latin and Teutonic tongues, and in this progress, gathering as it goes, building itself up into the greatest tongue, as distinguished linguists say, in this world today.

The English language, Mr. Weisse says, is better fitted than any other to be the universal language; it has in it all the advantages of its predecessors, and all the milk and cream of its contemporaries. For all the purposes of life, he declares, after years of study, that it is the most usable and most useful of languages. The late President of the Great North-Western Telegraph Company said that for telegraphic purposes the English tongue saved 25 per cent. in expense. And it has been proved that three-fifths of all the railway and steamboat tickets that are used by travellers in the world today are used by the Anglo-Saxon race. These people have earned for themselves the name of " globe trotters." They go up and down through the world. They have made it necessary for all peoples and nations to respect and to speak the English tongue. Fifteen years ago when I was better able to accomplish it than I am now, I did a little globe-trotting, and when I came home I made a calculation that I had stayed in some fifty hotels; I had travelled most of the European continent over in various railways and steamboat communications; and there was only one hotel in my list in which English was not spoken. The railway officials, the conductors and sometimes even the inferior officers can speak enough of English to make the traveller understand, and to aid him in his inquiries, and in all the hotels, whatever lie wants, he can ask for in that great tongue and have an answer.

English is spoken now as the first language in the world. The tables that were compiled at the beginning of the nineteenth century gave the English tongue the fifth place; the tables recently compiled at the beginning of the present century have pushed this language of ours up to first place. Years ago it was said that one million natives in India could speak the English tongue. The Rev. Joseph Cook, of Boston, went out there and addressed immense assemblies of Brahmins without the aid of an interpreter. This language is spoken today in the world by 150,000,000 people. It is a noble tongue not only for all purposes of commerce and business and hard transactions between man and man, downright logic and mathematical reasoning and accuracy of mind with mind, but it lends itself as well to all that is gentle and poetic and sentimental and sweet in our nature; for purposes of war, for purposes of making love, or for poetry or romance, the English language is just as useful and as beautiful as it is for all the harder and more stern realities of this great life that you and I have to live. I have only to remind you that it is the language of Shakespeare, of Milton, of the English Bible, of the glorious literature of Queen Anne, and of the nineteenth century,, of the Victorian Era, of Tennyson, and, I may say it without exciting a smile, it is the language of Kipling, in which he has not only warbled the ballads that meet with the approbation of Tommy Atkins, but the incomparable Recessional, that lifts the soul to the very highest pinnacle of glorious communion and worshipful acknowledgment of the Great God of all.

This is another pillar of the Empire. In a sense it is committed to the keeping of every one of us. Let us not debase it, let us not corrupt it, let us not sanction the slang by which sometimes its involuntary enemies would pull it down and degrade it. Above all, men and brethren, never employ this speech, which is fit for the gods and the angels and superlative powers, to utter an impure word, or a blasphemous word, or an infidel word, or an unbrotherly word, or a disloyal word. God bless the Empire, which rests upon these two great pillars and upon many another. I am old enough to remember when in social gatherings it was customary to sing

Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves; Britons never, never shall be slaves.

But we have got beyond that. Who would dream of being a slave now that lives under the flag that serves the Empire? Not slaves, but princes and masters' and kings of the world in a noble and benevolent loyalty are we. And this great rule never visited any part of the world yet that it did not drive out tyranny and barbarism and illiberality of every sort, planting, instead liberty and truth and righteousness, making peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, the benediction of all the people.

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Two Pillars of the Empire


The verdict of the people generally recorded in favour of constructive statesmanship. Evidence for that statement throughout history. The Two Pillars of the Empire, the first being that of Commerce. Napoleon's insolent taunt that England was a "nation of shop keepers." The truth in that statement. Ways in which this is deeply written in their history; that in great movements commerce seems to have come first, and when troubles and difficulties arose the sword of England was unsheathed to protect the great empire of commerce she had previously built up and established. Tracing and recognizing this very distinctly and very vividly in the stories of the three great Chartered Companies whose history is so identified with the progress and upbuilding of the Empire: the East India Company, The Hudson's Bay Company, and the South African. A discussion of each, with brief history. The other pillar of our Empire its language. Ways in which the English language is another pillar of the Empire. English spoken now as the first language in the world.